Coming June 6th…

Coming June 6th…
The Mercy Chair
"John Banks is one of the UK's most prolific audiobook narrators, working for the likes of Big Finish, Audible, Random House and Games Workshop.

He is a true multi-voice, creating everything from monsters to marauding aliens.

He is also an accomplished stage and TV actor." 2018


...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 more than 270* audio-drama stories with Big Finish Productions, together with The Black Library/Games Workshop, details of which can be found in the postings below.

There are also details listed here of the 214* audio books & stories I've recorded since March 2013,
including the unabridged New Revised Standard Version of The Bible, for companies including, Hachette, Audible Studios, Podium Audio Publishing, HarperCollins, RNIB, W.F. Howes, Little Brown Group, Penguin Random House, Games Workshop, Orion, Fantom Films & Ladbroke Audio.

(*figures at April 2021)

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...

The Runewar Saga: Book 2

The Runewar Saga: Book 2
The Crown of Fire & Fury

The Botanist

The Botanist
Washington Poe Series: Book 5

Skaven Deathmaster

The Babel Books

The Babel Books
The Fall of Babel - click image above for link to audible

Doctor Who: Back To Earth

Throne of Light: Dawn of Fire Book 4

Throne of Light: Dawn of Fire Book 4
Release Date: 13th November 2021

Soul Wars

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Friday 19 October 2012

Oh Vienna !

A few days ago, I posted an update about next month's Dr Who story, The Shadow Heart, in which Chase Masterson plays a character by the name of Vienna Salvatori - and in which I play a variety of diverse and (hopefully) interesting characters. As previously mentioned, there will be much more on that release in November.

However, in the meantime, Big Finish have just announced that Chase and Vienna are to have a story line of their own, which I must say, I find incredibly exciting and very good news indeed. Here's the gist of this morning's breaking news...

' Big Finish is delighted to announce that Chase Masterson, best known to science fiction fans for her role as Leeta in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, will be getting her own audio series as the impossibly glamorous bounty hunter Vienna Salvatori.'

Vienna makes her first appearance in the upcoming Doctor Who full cast audiobook The Shadow Heart, which stars Sylvester McCoy as the Seventh Doctor.

Titled simply Vienna, the new series launches with a pilot episode in February 2013 called The Memory Box, in which Vienna is on the run from the law, standing accused of murdering a rich industrialist – a crime she may or may not have committed. But is anything quite what it seems?

Chase Masterson says: "The Memory Box is a great romp. As with The Shadow Heart, writer Jonathan Morris takes us on a ride packed with twists and turns and farce - it's big fun.

“And Vienna is one of my favourite characters ever: the endearingly incorrigible killer we loved to hate in The Shadow Heart - completely unapologetic, even charming about her day job as a mercenary assassin. Plus, she usually manages to land on the side of justice. Vienna's quite a turn-on - I think you'll like her as much as I do."

So there we have it - more on this and other stories just as soon as they happen!

Tuesday 16 October 2012

October update: Counter Measures

As autumn turns darker and even wetter, why would anyone feel the need to actually go out, especially when its much better to stay in and listen to this pod-cast recorded by Alex Fitch?

Counter Measures:
In the second of a pair of pod-casts about Doctor Who audio spin-offs, Alex Fitch talks to actor John Banks, producer David Richardson and director Ken Bentley about Counter Measures, a new Nigel Kneale influenced audio drama that continues the story of the supporting cast from Doctor Who: Remembrance of the Daleks.

Here's a link and some information relating to what's in store: Counter Measures Interview

PS: Apologies for 're-posting' this update. For reasons unknown, the last three October postings haven't shown up properly on internet searches. Indeed, the entire site listing vanished for a while, so I've re-posted to give search engines a chance to re-index the updates; fingers crossed that it'll work! 

Sunday 14 October 2012

Thrill of The Chase: Masterson Meets Doctor Who

Just how big is the universe I wonder - and how many others are actually out there? A quick internet search or an email to Professor Brian Cox would probably be a good place to start in answering such a question. All I know at the moment is that the Doctor Who universe recently collided with the Star Trek universe....  and the results will be available on CD & download next month!

In the meantime, Chase Masterson, Leeta in Star Trek: Deep Space 9, has written a fascinating article for the Star Trek web site about the two series and her forthcoming role as Vienna Salvatori in Dr Who: The Shadow Heart.

Here's the link: Chase Masterson Meets Doctor Who

Much more on this in November!

The Horus Heresy: Burden of Duty

Here's an update from The Black Library, which has come as a bit of a surprise. I last mentioned the trilogy of Horus Heresy stories in August and suggested then that the release schedule was a bit of a mystery. My guess now is that the information I had then about the CD version of this story was accurate and that it will be released in April 2013, although I hadn't realised that this mp3 version would be available for download now...

Having listened to the extract, my contribution seems to consist of possibly yelling a bit at the beginning (?), with the majority of the clip featuring Ramon (basso) and Toby (basso profundo). The artwork also seems to be the same as the image used for Grey Angel, although it's possible that neither will be used as the actual CD cover.

Anyway, here's a synopsis, a link to the clip and some artwork to look at: 

As the renegade forces of the Warmaster storm across the galaxy, a very different kind of war rages in the shadows of the Imperium – the Knights Errant, chosen of Malcador himself, move quietly in the dark places where others cannot. Battle-captain Nathaniel Garro makes his way to the Imperial Fists’ mighty starfort Phalanx, seeking out another kindred soul for his elite band of warriors.

Performed by John Banks, Toby Longworth and Ramon Tikaram. 

Written by James Swallow & Directed by Ken Bentley

Online reviews & comments:

Rated 5 out of 5 by Mark-Anthony

Bought it and listened to it, I liked the 'twist' at the end, well done :) Toby Longworth does an excellent job when it comes to narrating, John Banks seems to have an affinity when it comes to voicing Librarians whilst Ramon Tikaram's voice was superb for Rogal Dorn. James Swallow has created an unforgettable character in Nathaniel Garro and together with John French's Grey Angel, Burden of Duty makes for a great listen.

Monday 1 October 2012

The Acheron Pulse

It's tempting at the beginning of a new month, especially a new month which has a much anticipated Big Finish release - well, much anticipated by me at least - to think that things are 'back to normal'. Last month of course, there wasn't a BF release to talk about. But what constitutes 'normal'? For a freelance actor like me, there isn't really a 'normal', as anything could happen at any time or, as was the case in September, nothing could happen at any time. That's not strictly true of course, but after a very busy year so far, last month was a bit of a damp squib - damp indeed!

September therefore became a time to concentrate on putting out feelers and making applications in the hope that, at some point, more work would materialise as a result. I've always found work to be utterly addictive and there's never enough; however busy I am, I'm never busy enough, there's always more I could be doing and more I want to do.

Speaking of which, in last month's posting, I mentioned that my friend Rachel Illingworth was busy directing a new play, Boards, for this year's Off Cut Festival at The Riverside Studios and assisting on Women Laughing, which opens this week at The Old Red Lion in Islington.

In addition to those two productions (and holding down a regular job!) Rachel has also started work on another production at The ORL which starts rehearsals next week - a busy time indeed!
Details on this e-flyer > > >

I saw Boards last week and thought Rachel had done a fantastic job of directing her three young actors and getting the most out of an interesting and quirky script. I'm now very much looking forward to seeing the next two productions in her 'autumn season'.

And so, October is upon us and what's new?  

Doctor Who: The Acheron Pulse is what's new and here are the details: 

The planet Cawdor. Deep in the heart of the Drashani Empire.

The Doctor lands thirty years after the Succession of Blood brought Empress Cheni to the throne. For most of her reign there has been peace and prosperity. The Empire flourished. But five years ago, the War came. And nothing was ever the same again. Now the Drashani are at war with the mysterious alien race known as the Wrath, led by the Warlord Tenebris.  As more and more planets fall to their advance events are rushing to a head.

What exactly does Tenebris want? What is the secret of the Wrath's weapon, the terrifying Acheron Pulse? As the Doctor races to save an Empire, he may not like the answers he finds.

Colin Baker The Doctor                                     James Wilby Tenebris 
Joseph Kloska Dukhin           Jane Slavin Teesha  Chris Porter Vincol            John Banks Boritz  
Chook Sibtain Athrid             Carol Noakes Olerik
Kirsty Besterman 

Written By: Rick Briggs      Directed By: Ken Bentley

Nick Briggs        Colin Baker         James Wilby
Jason Haigh-Ellery    Jane Slavin    John Banks    Chris Porter

Once again, I had a hugely enjoyable time working on this production and I'm really looking forward to listening to it, not least because Moat Studios recording engineer supreme, Mr. Toby Hrycek-Robinson, has created the sound design and composed the music - a first in my experience and I can't wait to hear it.

I also thoroughly enjoyed working with such a distinguished company of actors. Headed by the brilliant Colin Baker, the cast also includes James Wilby, well known from numerous high profile film & television appearances and Jane Slavin, who, as well as being fantastically good at her job, was also wickedly funny throughout our time together.  Joseph Kloska was great fun to work with and is a vastly experienced voice actor; I was delighted to work with Chris and Chook again and equally delighted to work, for the first time, with Kirsty Besterman.

                 Colin                   James                   ... and Carol

It was a particular pleasure to work with Carol Noakes again - after a gap of twenty-five years! In 1987, we toured together in a stage production of  Much Ado About Nothing and became good pals. But the nature of the business meant that, after a while, we lost touch with each other and so it was just great to catch up with Carol and work with her again after so long. 
                                                                                                Having now mentioned just about everybody involved in the production, it would be unfair not to also congratulate Rick Briggs for such a fine script and to thank 'semi-mythical directing legend' Ken Bentley, who always creates such a wonderfully conducive working environment. What fun!

All for now - more news as it happens!

Dalek Universe 2

Kragnos Broken Realms

Age of Sigmar Dominion

The Moggotkin of Nurgle

Kragnos Broken Realms

Dawn of Fire Book 1: Avenging Son

The Lore of Direchasm


A C'tan Shard Rises 3

Indomitus: Necrons 2

A Lord Among the Stars 1

Angels of Death Preview


Psychic Awakening

Warcry: Death or Glory

Warhammer 40,000

Flight. Redefined.

Reviews & comments:

The Malazan Empire

Over the course of this 8 book series, the amazing John Banks has had to create and voice 648 distinct characters!

Neil Gardner - producer

The Door In The Wall & War of The Worlds

Not often I buy another version of an audiobook I own, but after hearing John Banks' narration of The Door in the Wall by Ladbroke Audio, I had to buy their version of The War of the Worlds. Banks has a great reading voice.

Andy Frankham-Allen - writer

The Books of Babel: Senlin Ascends, Arm of The Sphinx & The Hod King

Mr. Banks does superb work, and I recommend the audiobooks wholeheartedly!

Josiah Bancroft - writer

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


...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


...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

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.

The War Doctor

The War Doctor
December 2015