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

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

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

The Herald of Sanguinius - short story

Echoes Of Revelation

Echoes Of Revelation
The Horus Heresy

The Carrion Throne

The Carrion Throne
Warhammer 40,000

Pharos - audio book

The War Doctor

The War Doctor
December 2015

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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!

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Scythes of the Emperor: Daedalus


The pace of work this year seems to have calmed a little, which, after the last couple of years of craziness, is perhaps, not such bad thing. At least now, I feel able to prepare properly for each upcoming event and I'm currently working on several projects, scheduled for recording over the next few months, which are certainly grabbing my attention. In their quite varied ways, each sets a particular challenge and any notion I might have had of working within a 'comfort zone' has long since been abandoned. That's ok; in fact, it's much more than 'ok', it's great fun and it's why I'm loving work so much at the moment.

Perhaps things are slightly less crazy than in previous years; nevertheless, I notice that Daedalus is my 16th audio recording to be released in the first 16 weeks of the year - and there are more audio books and dramas on the way.

Here are details of the latest from The Black Library:

Scythes of the Emperor: Daedalus

A Scythes of the Emperor audio drama

When a lone Apothecary is stranded with vital supplies of gene-seed that could secure new generations of the Scythes of the Emperor, a squad of his battle-brothers enact a daring mission to save him and safeguard their future.



Waging a bitter war of vengeance against Hive Fleet Kraken across Ultima Segmentum, the Scythes of the Emperor must continue to look to the future if the Chapter is to survive. In a distant system of the Sotharan League, a lone Apothecary has become stranded before a fresh tyranid invasion – and the stock of Space Marine gene-seed he bears is too great a treasure to abandon to the xenos.

Striking from the air, Assault Squad Cassander must push deep into enemy-held territory if they are to mount a recovery mission, facing all the winged spawned horrors of the hive ship Daedalus.


John Banks, Antonia Beamish, Robin Bowerman, Cliff Chapman, Steve Conlin, Toby Longworth & Luis Soto

Written by L J Goulding & Produced by Matt Renshaw

Running time approx. 63 minutes

 


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

Thursday, 20 April 2017

Doctor Who: Dethras

I think I'm losing all track of time; not especially a problem for me, but it obviously would be if I were a Time Lord like the good Doctor. Public Holidays, as we've just been having and are about to have again at the beginning of May, seem to throw my perception of time completely out of kilter, like an extended form of jet-lag. Strange - but true.

Moving on; another audio release this month*, this one from Big Finish Productions, a Fourth Doctor adventure, featuring Tom Baker and Lalla Ward and here are some details:

Doctor Who: Dethras

In the control room of a World War 2 submarine something strange has started to happen. As the ship runs out of control, its crew begin to fall unconscious...


Finding the submarine in the last place they'd have expected, the Doctor and Romana are confronted by a mystery. Once fully populated, there are now only three men on board. And there's now also a chimpanzee. 




What has happened to the rest of the crew? What are the strange noises they can hear outside the hull?

And most importantly, who, or what, is Dethras? 

Tom Baker The Doctor    Lalla Ward Romana    Alistair Petrie John    Shelia Ruskin Flague  
Josh Bolt Philip    Brian Vernel Robert    John Banks Franklin    Jane Slavin Xankari/ Teacher 

Written by Adrian Poynton
  Directed by Nicholas Briggs  
 

*This title was released in April 2017. It will be exclusively available to buy from the BF website until May 31st 2017, and on general sale after this date. 

Despite the fact that Dethras only became available today, there is already a review - and here is a link to it: Indie Mac User - Dethras Review 

...and a little later in the day, here is another: Red Rocket Rising - Dethras Review 

* * * * *

The next thing to mention in this update, is the Combat Phase Podcast that I recorded just over a month ago, during a week of recording at Games Workshop in Nottingham. The story, in a nutshell, is that I was approached by Kenny Lull, 'podcaster master' and Black Library aficianado, to record an interview about the process of acting in Black Library audio dramas and the recording of audio books with them. 

Suspecting that an hour of me blithering on about the intricacies of acting for audio and boring everyone to tears with gushing mentions of David Mamet and the significance of the Aristotelian Unities of Action, (see Aristotle On The Art of Poetry and David Mamet True and False), it occurred to me that it would be much more interesting to have ace BL producer Matt Renshaw join in too and that between the two of us, we might hopefully be able to give an idea of the recording process and include Matt's wider knowledge of the whole process of commissioning, casting and recording. Whether we've been successful or not is for you to decide by listening to the podcast, which can be found via this link:
 Combat Phase Podcast: Episode 190  Hope you enjoy!

There's more to come later in the month, but that's...

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

Saturday, 1 April 2017

Warlord: Fury of The God-Machine...

You'd be a bit of an 'April fool' not to give this latest audio book release from The Black Library a listen. Well, if you're a fan of Warhammer 40k stories that is; if you're not a fan, then you might not like it, you might prefer to spend your hard earned cash on something else and save nine hours of your life for something else... I don't know what else... don't ask me... what do I know?

Anyway, here are some details of this story, which I must say, I enjoyed working on very much. I'm looking forward to hearing it and if it's your kind of thing, (see above!), then I hope you'll enjoy it too.

Warlord: Fury of the God Machine

When the battered and bloodied Pallidus Morr demi-legio of the Adeptus Titanicus is assigned to defend a forge world from Chaos, they find their battle made more difficult by the allies they must fight alongside…


The Battle Titans of the Adeptus Titanicus are towering war engines, striding to war as holy effigies of the Omnissiah. Greatest of all are the mighty Warlord Titans, their weapons bringing righteous death to alien and heretic alike. Still reeling from a near disastrous battle against tyranids, the Pallidus Morr demi-legio is assigned to a new warzone, a nearby forge world which has fallen under the sway of Chaos.

Here their battered war-machines must fight alongside another Titan Legion, the Imperial Hunters. As city after city falls before the relentless tread of Chaos war machines, the Imperium’s only chance of victory lies in the two legios putting aside their differences and fighting as one.


 Written by David Annandale, Produced by Matt Renshaw & Narrated by John Banks

 Running time 9 hours

If you're really into the idea of these gargantuan warrior machines, like pretty much everything mentioned in the huge variety of Black Library stories, it's possible to build and 'game' with 'state of the art' models, which are available in Games Workshop stores around the world and directly from The Forge World - here's a direct link to the web site: Forge World

There's a Titan 'maniple' available should you wish to dedicate some time and money to building what will certainly be a hugely impressive kit, or set of kits. To give you some idea of the sheer scale of these amazing models, I have seen completed kits at Warhammer World HQ and the Titan is about half a metre tall!


I'm happily very busy in various recording studios at the moment and working on a number of projects, some very much 'trickier' and more challenging than others - but more of all that in due course. In the meantime, that's ...


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

Monday, 27 March 2017

Warhammer 40,000 Death Guard




Launched at Adepticon in March 2017, here's a short trailer I recently voiced for the new Warhammer 40k miniatures and a link to the Lexicanum for further information on the Death Guard:







...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


Further reviews and comments are included with specific postings throughout the site.