ASSASSIN'S CREED

ASSASSIN'S CREED
January 2017

Hello...

...I'm John Banks - welcome to my website.

The majority of my working life has been spent in the theatre with companies including
York Theatre Royal, Cheltenham Everyman, Sheffield Crucible, Bristol Old Vic, Manchester Royal Exchange and the National Theatre in London.

Television work includes Emmerdale, Coronation Street, and 'Allo, Allo!'. I have also worked on a number of radio drama and comedy productions with the BBC.

Since March 2009, I have enjoyed playing a huge variety of characters in numerous audio-drama stories for Big Finish Productions and Games Workshop, for whom I have performed in over 200 audio dramas*, details of which can be found in the postings below.


There are also details listed here of the more than 90 audio books* I've recorded since March 2013,
including the unabridged New Revised Standard Version of The Bible, for companies including RNIB, audible.co.uk, Hachette, W.F. Howes, Little Brown Group, Penguin Random House, Games Workshop, Fantom Films & Ladbroke Audio.

(*figures at May 2017)

I hope you find something of interest here and come back soon for further updates.


For all posts, reviews and audio samples, please scroll down...

Games Workshop

Games Workshop

Assassin's Creed

The War Doctor

The War Doctor
December 2015

The Harrowing - short story

Resurrection

Resurrection
Warhammer 40,000

The Carrion Throne

The Carrion Throne
Warhammer 40,000

The Long Night - short story

Catherine, David & me as Gully......

Catherine, David & me as Gully......
May 2016

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Tuesday, 22 August 2017

New Who; who knew?

August, height of the holiday season. Roads are less congested, seats are available on trains; a time of rest and relaxation, an opportunity to 'kick back', to 'chill'...

It wasn't so long ago that I was writing on this very blog, that my working life was a bit calmer this year, that somehow, I was approaching the mythical nirvana of the 'work/life balance'. I had an idea that maybe for a couple of weeks, I could happily throttle back and fire on impulse engines only.

Fat chance.

I'm now looking at a diary that has me recording two series of ten audiobooks, a further two unrelated audiobooks and two audio dramas - all before 19th October! How??? To make things slightly easier, I have in fact, already recorded three of the first series of ten, which reduces the task ahead to 19 books and two dramas and some of them aren't especially long books - even so, even so...

"So, why the post title Johnny...?" I hear you saying. Good question. Thanks for asking. There are two audio drama releases from Big Finish this month that I'm involved with and in one of them, despite playing the titular character, I'm uncredited. I know! Uncredited! Bit harsh.

Disappointment aside (!), here are details of the two new Who's:


The Third Doctor Adventures Volume 3


The Conquest of Far by Nicholas Briggs

Earth Alliance, the future… Fleet commanders receive their orders from the President of Earth.

Operation Far is ‘go’. As soon as the planets are suitably aligned, the attack will go ahead.

The Doctor and Jo arrive on the planet Far. The Doctor wants to attend the grand opening of one of the human race’s greatest achievements. A huge Hyper Gateway built to make travel around Earth’s great empire more convenient, bringing relief to many starving outer colonies.


But they land in the wrong time period, long after the Gateway has been in service, and the Daleks have conquered Far! It’s the middle of a war and a deadly game is underway. When everyone has an agenda, betrayal can happen at any time, from any side. The endgame is approaching and maybe this time no one will survive.

In Nick's story, The Conquest of Far, I'm playing Jickster. I'm not in Andrew's story, but here's a brief synopsis:


Storm of the Horofax by Andrew Smith

During a North Sea military exercise, the crew of the destroyer HMS Nemesis detect what they suspect is a submarine following them. But it’s actually a futuristic ship with an alien occupant, Arianda.

The Doctor and UNIT are called in, but things are already running out of control. The damaged craft is leaking particles and contaminating the Nemesis with time disruption.

But that’s not the biggest problem. For Arianda is being followed by the warships of the Horofax, who have picked precisely this moment to invade. Soon the destruction of humanity’s future will begin.


Tim Treloar The Doctor Katy Manning Jo Grant
George Watkins Delralis John Banks Jickster Amy Newton Elaquon
Robin Weaver Arianda Iain Batchelor Adam Rigg Robert Hands Major Hardy / Crewman
Richard Derrington Commander Burton Ian Cunningham Sinko / Ronson / Lieutenant
Jake Dudman UNIT Radio Operator and Nicholas Briggs The Daleks

Directed by Nicholas Briggs 


You may notice that in the following synposis and credits - I have added myself!!!

The Skin of the Sleek


On the planet Funderell you can walk on the ocean. The surface holds you when you move, but if you stand still, you sink. Lights shift in the fathoms and great shapes move beneath your feet - schools of giant electric eels known as Sleeks.


There is no solid land and the only locals are the Wavewalkers, hunters who live in floating villages. But recently some strangers have arrived, pursuing their own distinct agenda.

When the Doctor and Romana lose the TARDIS to the deep, they need help. Which makes finding a fellow Time Lord on the planet very useful. The fact that Time Lord is Sartia, an old friend of Romana's, is even better!

But this is a planet of secrets. Be careful when you explore its depths. You may just drown.




Tom Baker The Doctor Lalla Ward Romana Joannah Tincey Sartia  
Alan Cox Eamonn Orensky Kieran Hodgson Klick Chervain Des McAleer Blujaw Skaldson  
Alex Wyndham Linnis Skaldson Jamie Newall Greygul Jane Slavin Frithra            

Other parts played... by members of the cast. (!!!)

...but in fact: The Sleek and Wavewalker played by John Banks - ha!

Written by Marc Platt
Directed by Ken Bentley  

* * * * *

If you should happen to listen to either of these stories, I hope you enjoy them and if I have been replaced by 'other members of the cast' in The Skin of The Sleek, I hope they've done a good job!

Here's a little something to round off this posting; a trailer for new Warhammer adventures that I recorded a couple of weeks ago. I did... I did. Honestly!!!





...all for now, more just as soon as it happens! 

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

The Horusian Wars: Resurrection

Good morning! And so, July rolls along apace and some very interesting audio projects have been recorded, others are set to be recorded and yet others are being released. Which brings us neatly to today's posting.

The latest release comes from The Black Library and which is, in my opinion, a fascinating and thoroughly absorbing story from John French. Resurrection features a host of well drawn characters, quite a number of them female, which I had great fun creating voices for, together with an intriguing and fast paced plot. Here are some details:

Horusian Wars: Resurrection


A Warhammer 40,000 novel

Summoned to an inquisitorial conclave, Inquisitor Covenant believes he has uncovered an agent of Chaos and prepares to denounce the heretic Talicto before his fellows…




War rages in the Caradryad Sector. Worlds are falling to madness and rebellion, and the great war machine of the Imperium is moving to counter the threat. Amongst its agents is Inquisitor Covenant. Puritan, psyker, expert swordsman, he reserves an especial hatred for those of his order who would seek to harness the power of Ruin as a weapon.

Summoned to an inquisitorial conclave, Covenant believes he has uncovered such a misguided agent and prepares to denounce the heretic Talicto before his fellows. But when the gathering is attacked and many left dead in its wake, Covenant vows to hunt down Talicto and discover the truth behind the mysterious cult apparently at the heart of the massacre, the Unseen.

In the murky plot into which he is drawn, Covenant knows only one thing for certain: trust no one.


Written by John French

Produced by Matthew Renshaw and Narrated by John Banks

Audiobook running time: 10 hours 14 minutes.

* * * * *

And just in case you missed it...

...as I did, here's a very interesting, challenging and thought provoking audio anthology which I co-narrated with Nicola Bryant. Thought X was produced by Neil Gardner and released by audible.co.uk in June:

Thought X: Fictions and Hypotheticals

Science is always telling stories. Whether in the creation myths of evolution or the Big Bang, or in the eureka moments of science history, narrative just as much as metaphor is a key tool in the scientist's surprisingly literary toolkit. 

 

Perhaps the most interesting use of story is the thought experiment, the intuition pump, that draws on the most instinctive parts of the imagination to crack otherwise perplexing problems. From Newton's Bucket to Maxwell's Demon, from Einstein's Lift to Schrodinger's Cat, all are examples of 'fiction' being used at the highest level, not just to explain, but to deduce, to prove.

In this unique anthology, authors have collaborated with leading scientists, to bounce literary, human narratives against purely theoretical ones, alloying together real stories with abstract ones, to produce truly extraordinary results.

Also featuring stories by Annie Clarkson, Marie Louise Cookson, Claire Dean, Andy Hedgecock, Sarah Schofield, Zoe Gilbert, Sandra Alland, Margaret Wilkinson, and Anneliese Mackintosh.

Unabridged Audiobook: Length: 9 hours 



* * * * *

Amazingly and without quite knowing why, I somehow seem to have achieved a sort of 'balance' in terms of the volume of work I have to do with the amount of time in which I have to do it. Consequently, I can actively savour the prospect of the various projects I know are coming up over the next few months. There are still quite a number of 'scripts' to arrive for me to prepare - hot off the press stuff! - so, at the moment, I'm not feeling buried by the demands of work and can properly enjoy each project as it comes along - joy!

* * * * *

...all for now, more just as soon as it happens!

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Doctor Who: The Movellan Grave

And so, a short lull in activity after a very busy time in a variety of recording studios; time to prepare for another very busy phase at the end of the month and on throughout August and into September. At this rate, I'll soon have to start taking Vitamin D supplements to compensate for a lack of sunlight!

A few days ago, Big Finish released a new fourth Doctor adventure, written by Andrew Smith. Andrew is a writer I have a particular admiration for and not only is he a regular contributor to Big Finish's audio output, but he's also written for the Doctor Who series on television. It's always a treat to work on one of his scripts and I'm very much looking forward to listening to The Movellan Grave. My character, Robin Lyon, has a Scottish accent - as does Andrew; it's just that he was born into his and I did my best not to offend him by getting it wrong!

Here are some details of the story:

Doctor Who: The Movellan Grave

When an archaeological dig in 1980s England finds a Movellan power pack buried amongst Iron Age artefacts, the Doctor and Romana have no choice but to investigate. And what they discover worries them very much indeed.



A Movellan ship is buried under the ground. Soon the robotic enemies of the Daleks are making their way to the surface, but they are not the biggest threat humanity faces.

Because on board this ship is the greatest weapon the Movellans have ever devised. A weapon that could stop the Daleks forever... and anything else that gets in their way.


Tom Baker  The Doctor      Lalla Ward  Romana  
Camilla Power Carrie Pierce   Polly Walker Commander Narina   Chris Jarman Chenek   
John Banks Robin Lyon   Jane Slavin Mary
 
Written by Andrew Smith
Directed by Nicholas Briggs 


Some further thoughts and reflections from Andrew via the Big Finish web site:

We caught up with writer of The Movellan Grave, Andrew Smith, who originally wrote for Doctor Who, Tom Baker and Lalla Ward on TV back in 1980, with the story Full Circle, “It was a thrill to write for Tom and Lalla again after so very many years, and to again put words into the mouths of that excellent Tardis pairing. When I introduced myself to Tom at the recording and pointed out that I'd written one of his TV stories in 1980, he said, "Oh I was terribly grumpy back then," and then proceeded throughout the day to be as sweet and funny as you could imagine. It remains one of my happiest Big Finish recording days. I look forward very much to hearing the final product."

"I approached writing the Movellans by re-watching Destiny of the Daleks with a notebook in hand. It's a story I have great fondness for, and I have clear memories of watching it in 1979. The Movellans had been trailed quite prominently in the press, especially actress Suzanne Danielle as Agella, and their appearance didn't disappoint."

"I found their vulnerabilities in that story a little problematic, particularly the fact that they could be immobilised by having their power pack snatched from their belt. So I've addressed that in my story."

"The Movellans have been great fun to write. It's been a pleasure to - quite literally, as you'll hear - resurrect them."

 

* * * * *

I recorded an audio book last week; it was quite a 'full on' experience and I very much enjoyed working with a fabulous producer, who I hadn't worked with before. The book and audio book are scheduled for release in September - quite a quick production process - and my fingers are firmly crossed that our intentions have been properly realised. There are occasions when I get a bit of a 'tingle' about a work project and if all has gone as hoped with this particular project, it should be worth listening to. Not long to wait till publication, so I'll talk more about it in September.


* * * * *

Alas, I must end on a sad note. Trevor Baxter died a couple of days ago and I wanted to mention him as he was such a lovely man and was so beloved as 'Professor George Litefoot' in the long running Big Finish series, 'Jago & Litefoot'. I was fortunate to be in the first series of J&L stories - in fact, I'm listening to it now as I write - and I'm sure that Trevor will be greatly missed by all who knew and worked with him, as well as those who love the stories he recorded for Big Finish.

Again, some thoughts from the Big Finish team:

Trevor Baxter will always be a familiar name to fans of Big Finish and Doctor Who as Professor George Litefoot. His first unforgettable appearance was in The Talons of Weng-Chiang, the Doctor Who serial from February 1977, alongside Tom Baker, Louise Jameson and his partner-in-crime Christopher Benjamin.

After graduating from RADA in 1951, alongside names such as Joan Collins and Gerald Harper, Trevor Baxter has had an illustrious career on stage and screen, as well as behind the mike at Big Finish. Notable stage performances include David Mamet’s A Life in the Theatre, performing with the RSC, and touring Shakespeare in South America.

Trevor was also a playwright as well as actor, his plays Lies, Office Games and Undertaking all opening in London. He also adapted greats from Oscar Wilde, with a national tour of Dorian Gray in 2003 and Lord Arthur Savile’s Crime touring in 2005.

He continued to perform past a typical retirement age and to write and perform on stage, screen and the mike. Trevor has been an invaluable part of Big Finish and since May 2009 the Jago and Litefoot series has delighted listeners and remained a fan favourite, the last volume to be recorded was released just this year. With 13 series in 8 years, Trevor and Christopher have been some of our most prolific and joyful performers.

Trevor will be greatly missed. Our thoughts are with family and friends at this tragic time.

David Richardson: “In the nine years that I knew and worked with him, Trevor Baxter never stopped laughing. Even when he first joined Big Finish for the Companion Chronicle The Mahogany Murderers, he was not a well man, but his illness never seemed to dampen his joy of life. He loved reading - he didn’t own a TV but read books on his Kindle voraciously. He loved classical music, and could talk about it with passion and at length. He was a hugely intelligent man with great taste, and yet he never made you feel uncomfortable if you didn’t match his intelligence or taste. It was simply a joy to listen to him talking passionately."

"He also loved Jago and Litefoot, which kept him busy in the final years of his life, and he would listen to every single episode in every single release off the press, and write to me and tell me what he loved (which was usually everything). He adored working with Big Finish, but most of all he adored his co-star Christopher Benjamin, who he would tease mercilessly throughout every hour of every recording day. Those precious days (I think there might have been 60 of them) that I spent in their company were some of the happiest of my working life."

"Sometimes we would be crying with laughter, tears streaming down our faces, at the glorious
badinage between takes. I will always remember Toby, our studio engineer, turning towards me during a break and saying, ‘I absolutely love Trevor. I’ve never met anyone else like him. He’s unique’ That’s how we all felt, and feel."

"Such a sad day. Doctor Who has lost one of its legends, and we’ve lost a dear friend.”



* * * * *


...all for now, more just as soon as it happens!

Friday, 7 July 2017

The Island of Dr Moreau

Good afternoon - and what a hot and sunny afternoon it is! I'm now getting into a very busy phase of recording activity, which means I have been and will continue to be, tucked up in 'warm' and windowless studios; how fab!

As a result of all this studio time, I'm afraid that this update is going to be more of an information 'blurt' than a proper posting; I need to be travelling very soon and I'm already on the foothills of lateness! And so, without further etc etc, here are some details of the latest audio release:

The Island of Dr Moreau

Shipwrecked in the South Pacific, Edward Prendick finds unlikely salvation in the company of Montgomery – a disgraced medic bound for distant shores, in charge of an unusual cargo.





Their destination is a mysterious jungle isle where the night is split by terrible cries, and where inhuman creatures walk upright on two legs. When Prendick meets the man who lays down the law, he realises that his nightmare is only just beginning.

For this is… The Island of Doctor Moreau.





Ronald Pickup (Doctor Moreau), John Heffernan (Edward Prendick), Enzo Cilenti (Montgomery),
David Shaw-Parker (Captain/ Constans), John Banks (Mate-LV/ M'Ling/ Satyr-Man),  
Tim Bentinck (Helmar/ Captain John Davies/ Ape-Man), Daniel Goode (Seaman/ Mate-I, Dog-Man).


Written by HG Wells

Dramatised and Directed by Ken Bentley 

 * * * * *

As a slight afterthought: if you are a Wells fan and would like to hear some of his best known novels, unabridged and read by me, scroll down this blog for further information and details of how to obtain copies (should you wish!) from Fantom Films, who published the stories earlier this year.


...all for now, more just as soon as it happens!

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Scions of Elysia

In a vague 'homage' to Ed Murrow and the manner in which he concluded his radio broadcasts, I usually sign off by saying "...all for now, more just as soon as it happens!". Alas, this week, that has not been the case and the story I want to mention was released last Saturday - several days ago!

The cd cover for Scions of Elysia is quite a beautiful thing. The numerous audiobooks I've recorded for The Black Library are download only and it seems a bit of a shame that the amazing artwork created for the book covers couldn't also adorn cd covers. I like the convenience of downloads, but I still love to own the physical object. Anyway, moving on, here are some details of this latest release:

Scions of Elysia


An Astra Militarum audio drama


"The 158th Elysian regiment of the Imperial Guard make one of their infamous drop assaults – in their home system. But when disaster strikes, it falls to Sergeant Zachariah to save the campaign from failure.


The Elysian Drop Troops are famed throughout the Astra Militarum for their rapid deployment tactics, utter fearlessness and expertise at grav-chute assaults. The 158th Elysian are once such regiment, ordered to pacify piratical warbands at large in their native system. But as the campaign commences, disaster strikes, the regiment's inexperienced and arrogant captain the cause. Only through the ingenuity of Sergeant Zachariah is a victory salvaged, but at a terrible cost."

Performed by:

            Cliff Chapman  Steve Conlin  Jonathan Keeble  Stephen Perring  Melvyn Rawlinson

Narrated by John Banks

Written by Chris Dows and Produced by Matt Renshaw

Running time 57minutes


For the next few days and weeks, I'll be preparing a variety of scripts and texts to be recorded throughout July. In their different ways and for different reasons, I'm very much looking forward to recording these stories and preparation is well underway, although one of the scripts hasn't arrived yet. I'm quite pleased that it hasn't arrived to be truthful, I've got plenty to be getting on with already!

Thanks as ever for dropping in; at some point soon, I'll be re-visiting the CBS tv job I last mentioned when it was broadcast a couple of months ago and hope to post a few images from the show. In the meantime, that's...

...all for now, more just as soon as it happens!

Friday, 16 June 2017

Doctor Who: Subterranea

A very quick update to mention that this latest Fourth Doctor story is now available from Big Finish. We recorded it some time ago; certainly, enough time has elapsed between recording and release for me to have forgotten the details, which is another good reason to look forward to hearing it!

Here are some details and the official trailer:

Doctor Who: Subterranea 


Tom Baker and Lalla Ward go deeper in exploring the cosmos with their most gripping adventure yet!




The TARDIS is going underground. When the Doctor and Romana find themselves buried beneath the surface of an alien world, they're soon swallowed up by a giant burrowing machine. This is where the inhabitants of this planet live - in huge, constantly moving, Drill-towns, chewing up the fuel and resources of the planet in order to survive.

But something else lurks in the earth. Something that feeds on the Drill-towns. Something that is relentless and will not stop.

The Silex are hunting.






Tom Baker (The Doctor), Lalla Ward (Romana), Matthew Cottle (Mr Maxwell Wilberforce Bell), Abigail McKern (Mrs Lucretia Bell), Robbie Stevens (Mr Jelicho Wigg/ Mr Wilfer Wagstaff),
Jane Slavin (Miss Arabella Wagstaff/ Mrs Betsy Wagstaff), John Banks (Silex/ Mr Stoker). 


Written by Jonathan Morris
Directed by Nicholas Briggs 




...all for now, more just as soon as it happens! 

 

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Champions of The Eternal War

Good morning and welcome! After a couple of weeks of inactivity in the posting department, although a very busy couple of weeks in the recording studio - which is often the way of things - the first of June's audio releases is now available from The Black Library. There are further announcements to come before the end of the month and hopefully, some of them will come as a bit of a surprise; we shall see!

And so, here are some details:

Champions of the Eternal War


A Warhammer 40,000 audio drama collection

Enjoy three full-cast audio tales of heroes and villains from the Dark Millennium: the doughty Iron Hands warleader Kardan Stronos, the sinister blademaster Lucius the Eternal, and the mischevious Space Wolf Lukas the Trickster.



Three tales of the Champions of the Eternal War…

 

 

The Calculus of Battle by David Guymer

As the defenders of Varasine battle a tyranid invasion, Warleader Kardan Stronos and the Iron Hands come to their aid, measuring the Chapter's cold logic and strategy against the cost in human lives.

The Embrace of Pain by Ian St Martin

When blademaster Lucius the Eternal is challenged by a champion of the Death Guard, he accepts without hesitation… but could a daemonhost of Nurgle, or the voices inside his own head, be the undoing of his Slaaneshi curse?

The Art of Provocation by Josh Reynolds

When orks amass on Polix Tertius, Lukas the Trickster decides to play a dangerous game. Risking the ire of the Wolf Lords, he turns his attentions to the planetary vox, and begins to broadcast…



John Banks, Antonia Beamish, Robin Bowerman, Cliff Chapman, Steve Conlin, 

Jonathan Keeble, Toby Longworth and Luis Soto. 

Produced by Matt Renshaw


This is the first time on CD for these three tales of adventure: running time approx: 60 minutes


...all for now, more just as soon as it happens! 

Saturday, 20 May 2017

Echoes of Revelation

Good afternoon! You know, you have to keep an eye on those good folks at The Black Library; blink for an instant and they've gone and released something new!

Today's release is an audio drama anthology of stories from The Horus Heresy and here are some details:

Echoes of Revelation


A Horus Heresy audio anthology

From internecine war between the Emperor's Children to what might be a final battle for Marcus Valerius and his Therion Cohort, and further, into the depths of space and time where Oll Persson seeks his destiny, this trio of audio dramas explores new avenues of the Horus Heresy.


For more than two hundred years, the armies of the Emperor of Mankind fought to reconquer the galaxy – led by the superhuman primarchs, the Space Marine Legions brought countless worlds back under the rule of ancient Terra.

Now Horus, once honoured Warmaster and favoured son of the Emperor, has been corrupted by the whispered promises of Chaos. At his command the Imperium is torn apart by a terrible and bloody civil war, the likes of which the galaxy has never seen...

There are some who whisper that Horus’ rebellion was not of his own devising, but orchestrated by more sinister powers. While such thoughts are tantamount to heresy, they pale next to the notion that many noble heroes and champions of Terra are in some way blessed by a higher power still.

Yet the war still rages across the Imperium, and all eyes now fall towards the Throneworld itself... This anthology CD features three short audio dramas following the half-understood destinies of some of the most important individuals in the galaxy.



This audio drama anthology includes the following stories:

Perpetual by Dan Abnett The Soul, Severed by Chris Wraight Valerius by Gav Thorpe



Performed by:

Gareth Armstrong, John Banks, Ian Brooker, Cliff Chapman, Steve Conlin, Penelope Rawlins, Saul Reichlin,Toby Longworth and Luis Soto

Produced by Matt Renshaw

* * * * * *

"So", I hear you asking, "what have you been up to lately?" Well, that's kind of you to ask. The last few weeks have involved quite a bit of preparation for a flurry of recording and studio activity, which I'm now in the middle of. On Monday, I should finish recording a 'cook book' for RNIB, which will complete a busy 'three audio books recorded in six days' phase. Also on Monday and also for RNIB, I'll be recording a current affairs magazine and a radio voice over. Speaking of voice overs; I've just recorded a trailer for... oops, sorry, can't talk about that just yet!



I must now interrupt myself to say that my second ever audio drama for Big Finish has just started on BBC Radio 4 Extra - yes, it's on the radio now; Episode 1 with Episode 2 at the same time next week, 6pm!

Just in case you have no idea what I'm talking about, here are some details...







LEVIATHAN

"No one lives to old age in the village. When their Time is come, they are taken and never seen again. That is The Way. And, should anyone try to break with the established order of things, then the fury of Herne the Hunter is unleashed...




When the TARDIS materializes near a castle in this mediaeval society, the Doctor and Peri befriend Gurth, a terrified youth who is attempting to flee his fate. And Herne is closing in...

Why does the local baron impose the culling? What is the secret of Zeron? And who are the Sentinels of the New Dawn? The answers lie within a cave... "

Colin Baker The Doctor   Nicola Bryant Peri   Howard Gossington Gurth  
John Banks Herne the Hunter  Beth Chalmers Althya  Jamie Parker Wulfric  Derek Carlyle Siward

Written by Brian & Paul Finch & Directed by Ken Bentley

* * * * *

As you can see, I'm credited with playing 'Herne the Hunter', the creature with antlers on the cover artwork. Having just had a quick look at the script, I'm reminded that I also played 'Osbert, Chandris and The Baron'. Beth Chalmers also played a handful of characters and it occurred to me at the time, that if I was in any way serious about audio drama, I should closely observe everything Beth did and attempt to emulate her astonishing versatility; she was and is amazing.


Howard, Del, Nicola, Colin, Jamie, me & Beth - 28/29 April 2009 

As I mentioned above, this was my second story for Big Finish and my first time working with Ken Bentley; the next recording Ken and I do ( coming soon ), will be our 99th together, from a total of nearly 180 further stories I've done with BF since 2009.

It was a great experience; we had a lot of fun with all our voices and it was lovely to work with Colin Baker again ( having recorded my first story, 'Paper Cuts', with him just before Leviathan ) and Nicola Bryant of course, who originally recommended me to Nick Briggs and to whom I owe a great deal - thanks Nicola! 

...all for now, more just as soon as it happens! 

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

October: The Story of the Russian Revolution

Released by audible.co.uk yesterday, this fascinating book was a delight to read and quite a challenge to record - those Russian names don't always trip easily off an English speaking tongue!

It's a fabulous book and here are some details:

October: The Story of the Russian Revolution 


"The renowned fantasy and science fiction writer China Mieville has long been inspired by the ideals of the Russian Revolution, and here, on the centenary of the revolution, he provides his own distinctive take on its history. 


In February 1917, in the midst of bloody war, Russia was still an autocratic monarchy: nine months later it became the first socialist state in world history. How did this unimaginable transformation take place? How was a ravaged and backward country, swept up in a desperately unpopular war, rocked by not one but two revolutions?

This is the story of the extraordinary months between those upheavals, in February and October, of the forces and individuals who made 1917 so epochal a year, of their intrigues, negotiations, conflicts and catastrophes. From familiar names like Lenin and Trotsky to their opponents Kornilov and Kerensky; from the byzantine squabbles of urban activists to the remotest villages of a sprawling empire; from the revolutionary railroad Sublime to the ciphers and static of coup by telegram; from grand sweep to forgotten detail.

Historians have debated the revolution for 100 years, its portents and possibilities: the mass of
literature can be daunting. But here is a book for those new to the events, told not only in their historical import but in all their passion and drama and strangeness. Because as well as a political event of profound and ongoing consequence, Mieville reveals the Russian Revolution as a breathtaking story."

©2017 China Mieville (P)2017 Audible, Ltd


Written by China Mieville, Produced by Neil Gardner & Narrated by John Banks

Unabridged audio book length: 11 hours and 37 minutes

October: link to audio sample 



...all for now, more just as soon as it happens!

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

The Carrion Throne

...a title that doesn't in fact, refer to an elaborate seat, classed as 'hand baggage' by an airline!

Instead, The Carrion Throne is an audio book released from The Black Library, which I have narrated and which is currently available in a variety of listening and reading formats. I must say how much I enjoyed recording this adventure; not only does it have its fair share of action, but also has the intriguing feel of a detective story, populated by some fascinating and very well developed characters. For me, the fact that the narrative takes place on Terra provides the story with even more interest, as I've never previously encountered such a detailed description of the 'home-world'.

Here are some details:

Vaults of Terra: The Carrion Throne 

 

Inquisitor Crowl, who serves on Holy Terra itself, follows the trail of a conspiracy that leads him to the corridors of the Imperial Palace itself…

 
In the hellish sprawl of Imperial Terra, Ordo Hereticus Inquisitor Erasmus Crowl serves as a stalwart and vigilant protector, for even the Throneworld is not immune to the predations of its enemies.


In the course of his Emperor-sworn duty, Crowl becomes embroiled in a dark conspiracy, one that leads all the way to the halls of the Imperial Palace. As he plunges deeper into the shadowy underbelly of the many palace districts, his investigation attracts the attention of hidden forces, and soon he and his acolyte Spinoza are being hunted – by heretics, xenos, servants of the Dark Powers, or perhaps even rival elements of the Inquisition itself.

Soon they discover a terrible truth, one that if allowed to get out could undermine the very fabric of the Imperium itself.



Written by Chris Wraight    Produced by Matt Renshaw    Narrated by John Banks 

Running time: 10 hours 25 mins


...all for now, more just as soon as it happens!

Fabius Bile

Fabius Bile
WARHAMMER 40,000

Reviews & comments:

The Malazan Empire

Over 7 books recorded since December, John Banks has had to create unique voices for 583 characters. Quite amazing!

Neil Gardner - producer

Mervyn Stone: The Axeman Cometh


John Banks is a voice genius...

Nev Fountain - writer

Mervyn Stone... played by the note-perfect John Banks.

Matt Hills - Reviews in Time and Space

Dr. Who: The Sleeping City

I also must draw attention to John Banks who is an exceptional voice artist and in this one story performs more characters that I can count. ... it is listening to episodes like this one that really do let his talents shine through.

Tony Jones - Red Rocket Rising

Highlander:

...playing several parts, was the brilliant Big Finish regular John Banks - it was as if there were about 40 different actors in the other booth.

James Moran - writer

I went for the best of the best and brought in voice artiste extraordinaire John Banks.

Paul Spragg - producer

Vienna:

...also features the mind - bogglingly versatile and reliable John Banks

Jonathan Morris - writer

Dead Funny:

The acting is first rate… wonderfully played by John Banks as Richard – his impersonation of Eric Morecambe is worth the admission money alone.

Beverly Greenberg: Bolton Evening News

A Spy Like No Other:

This is the best audio book ever.

The Cult Den

Mr. Happiness:

This early and unfamiliar play by David Mamet is a character study of a 1930s radio counsellor, dispensing suave advice to his devoted listeners. John Banks brings out the wry comedy of this – comedy quite unappreciated by the character – with a clever range of gesture and vocal tone.

Jeremy Kingston: The Times


All My Sons:

This is a beautifully crafted piece ...and it affords a wonderful opportunity for John Readman* to do his All-American Boy act as Chris Keller. This most polished and well observed performance as the blighted son of a blighted father must rank as one of his finest accomplishments yet. ( * see Profile)

The Stage

The Ordeals of Sherlock Holmes

Kudos should also go to John Banks. Lestrade can be a thankless part, but Banks rose to the challenge, playing a pivotal role in this decades long arc.

Raissa Devereux - SciFiPulse

The Judgement of Sherlock Holmes

John Banks is multi-tasking, both as the superb Lestrade and also the villainous and no doubt moustache twirling Sebastian Moran. They sound completely different and I bow to his talent.

Sue Davies - SFcrowsnest


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