A new series of Dan Dare audio adventures, based on the characters and stories from Frank Hampson’s original comic strip in Eagle has been produced by B7 Media and will be published by Big Finish, available from late December, 2016.
The new series will the fifth incarnation of Dan Dare in audio form.
- The New Adventures of Dan Dare first appeared on Radio Luxembourg from 1951 until 1956, with Noel Johnson (of Dick Barton fame) as Dan Dare.
- In 1990 (Eagle's 40th Anniversary year) the BBC's Dan Dare Pilot of the Future adapted the first Venus story from Eagle with Mick Ford in the title role.
- In 2008 Orion Audio Books published a dramatised reading of the strip (with Tom Goodman-Hill reading Dan Dare's dialogue). The full title was Dan Dare Pilot of the Future: The Voyage to Venus - Part 1. Unfortunately there has been no part 2.
- The fourth incarnation was Michael Shipway's 2011 musical adaptation of the first adventure, Voyage to Venus, which included dialogue sampled from the BBC's 1990 dramatisation.
The new series stars actor Ed Stoppard as the intrepid "pilot of the future", Colonel Dan Dare.
Ed Stoppard has had many film, television and theatre roles, in movies such as The Pianist, Brideshead Revisited, and Youth. Recent television roles have included Brian Epstein in Cilla, and Dr Will Campbell in Home Fires.
Dan Dare’s loyal companion, Digby, is played by Geoff McGivern, probably best known to science fiction fans as the original Ford Prefect in The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy on radio and in recent live UK tours. Some of his recent TV roles have been in Toast of London, Esio Trot and Episodes.
Professor Peabody is played by Heida Reed, best known in the role of Elizabeth in the currently running BBC drama series Poldark.
Sondar is played by Bijan Daneshmand, whose acting credits include 20 Fingers, A Snake’s Tail, Body of Lies, Munich, Page Eight and the BBC dramatisation of John le Carré’s The Night Manager.
The Mekon is played by Raad Rawi, known for his roles in Spy, The Devil's Double and Traitor, as well as appearances in some of the most popular British television drama series, such as Coronation Street, The Bill, Silent Witness, Holby City, etc. and the mini-series The Honourable Woman.
|Voyage to Venus|
Sir Hubert will be played by Michael Cochcrane, who has had numerous acting roles on television and radio, including (on TV) Wings, Criminal Justice, Law and Order and Sharpe.
His film career has included Escape to Victory, The Return of the Soldier, Number One Gun, The Saint, Incognito, A Different Loyalty and The Iron Lady.
|The Red Moon Mystery|
Guest stars include: Jake Maskall (East Enders, The Royals), Hugh Fraser (Agatha Christie's Poirot, Sharpe), Nicholas Briggs (Doctor Who, Torchwood), Noof McEwan (Vera, Leave to Remain), Jonathan Rhodes (M.I. High, Beacon 77, Deadpan Valentine), Kelly Burke (The Blind Man), Dean Harris (The Fourth Arm, Howard’s Way, Bad Boyes)
Writers on the series are Richard Kurti and Bev Doyle, James Swallow, Simon Guerrier, Marc Platt, Patrick Chapman and Colin Brake.
|Marooned on Mercury|
The first volume of adventures will be published at the end of December 2016, and will be available as a 4-CD set or a download from the Big Finish website. The volume will contain Voyage to Venus, The Red Moon Mystery and Marooned on Mercury and, on the fourth disc, a documentary on bringing Dan Dare back to audio life in 2016.
A second 4-CD volume containing Reign of the Robots, Operation Saturn and Prisoners of Space plus another documentary “bonus” disc, will be published in February 2017.
The Dan Dare Audio Adventures can be pre-ordered from the Big Finish website, where you can find further details: www.bigfinish.com The pre-order price for each volume is £20 for download or £25 for a CD box-set.
To listen to the trailer click HERE
To read synopses of the first three adventures and pre-order Volume 1click HERE
To read synopses of the second three adventures and pre-order Volume 2 click HERE
With thanks to John Freeman and B7 Media, who provided most of the information and the pictures