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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Wednesday 26 December 2012

Dr Who: Short Trips

Just to give you an idea of how generous those good folks at Big Finish really are, I've noticed, as perhaps you have too, that there are some free 'stocking fillers' for those who have taken out a regular BF subscription. Two of these recent releases are Dr Who: Short Trips Audiobooks that I had the great honour and pleasure of recording a little while ago. I haven't yet heard the finished recordings and so, as you can imagine, I'm very much hoping that I haven't made a complete hash of the whole thing....

Here's how Big Finish broke the news:

"As if you needed reminding that 'subscribers get more at'... 

Many main range Doctor Who subscribers may have noticed that there have been three, free Doctor Who downloads this Christmas.

There are no strings attached. These are just honest-to-goodness free downloads exclusive to our subscribers. Please consider them a thank you for your loyal support for Big Finish.

The three releases are as follows...

Short Trips Audiobook: Only Connect
Written by Andy Lane                                               
Read by John Banks

Short Trips Audiobook: Breadcrumbs
Written by James Moran
Read by John Banks

For both of these releases, post-production editing and sound design is by Robbie Dunlop.

They are directed by Ken Bentley and produced by David Richardson.

Additionally, you'll find...

The Fourth Doctor Adventures Retrospective Part 1 - A special documentary by regular Big Finish sound designer Martin Montague, packed with star and behind-the-scenes interviews and clips. It's Martin's Christmas gift to us and to all of you."

If you do get a chance to listen to these stories, I really hope you enjoy them. In the meantime, many thanks to everyone who has taken the time to visit this website over the last year; a very happy 2013 to all and fingers crossed that there'll be more to post as the new year gets under way  -  not long now... !

Friday 21 December 2012

Stargate SG-1

Breaking news from Big Finish is that after many months of keen anticipation, the box-set of the second series of Stargate SG-1 has now been released and is available for download. I'm guessing that the CD version of this release will be available very soon - that's what I'm now waiting for. At the moment, there's no further art work from BF, episode synopses or trailer, however I'm posting all I currently have.

Abducted by some less than savoury characters, Daniel Jackson and Vala Mal Doran are caught up in the investigation of a strange object in space. What does it do, who created it and why does it seem so familiar?

As they discover more about the object, Daniel and Vala realise that they’re taking on an enormously technologically advanced threat bent on rewriting the very foundations of the universe. Can they stop the disaster that’s about to occur, or is life as they know it about to change forever?

                                                          Michael Shanks Daniel Jackson           
Claudia Black Vala Mal Doran  
John Banks Surtr - Vey - Lop - Mansu         
Regina Reagan Wellan - Skadi - Ratatosk 
Andrew Collins Keto    
Andrew Whipp Zoder   
Stephen Hogan Olssen    
Harry Myers Soric 
Ken Bones Lerat   
Lisa Bowerman Ranne  
Paul Hyu Lt Colonel Yin   
Anna Tolputt Geror

 Written By: Peter Evans, Richard Dinnick and Sharon Gosling
Directed By: Lisa Bowerman and Jason Haigh-Ellery

Recorded in Los Angeles, London and Vancouver.

 The release features three stories, Duplicity, Excision and Time's Wheel.

Friday 14 December 2012

Counter Measures: Series 2

An update today from BF with news of the second series of Counter Measures:

Counter-Measures, the audio series centred upon an elite group that investigates dangerous technologies and alien incursions, will return in July 2013 for a second series of four brand new hour-long episodes. The spin-off from the Seventh Doctor TV tale Remembrance of the Daleks stars Pamela Salem as Rachel Jensen, Karen Gledhill as Allison Williams and Simon Williams as Group Captain Gilmore while Hugh Ross is the organization’s shady boss, Sir Toby Kinsella.

Episode one is Manhunt by Matt Fitton, in which Group Captain Gilmore is on the run and suspected of murder. The guest cast includes Lucy Fleming as Lady Waverly, as Captain Astor and Gemma Whelan as Emma Waverly.

The team heads underground for episode two, The Fifth Citadel by James Goss, investigating a hidden wartime bunker beneath London.
Celia Imrie plays Dr Elizabeth Bradley, whose long-standing friendship with Sir Toby might not be enough to save the country from disaster…

The third episode, Peshka by Mark Wright and Cavan Scott, takes Counter-Measures to Holland for an international chess championship, where the contest takes on a deadly significance.

The series ends with Sins of the Fathers by John Dorney, which follows the consequences of a tragic death at a funeral… one that will have major repercussions for Counter-Measures. Tom Price plays Father Ellard, while Philip Pope is Templeton, Sir Toby’s trusty assistant.

The five-disc box set includes an hour-long behind the scenes documentary, including interviews with cast and crew.

July 2013 does seem quite a way off at the moment, although I'm already allowing myself an early glimmer of anticipation for this second series, having thoroughly enjoyed the first. I'm sure there'll be much more to mention nearer the time of release, including details of my own involvement in the production.

Saturday 1 December 2012

'tis the season to be jolly!

...and for good reason.

This has been quite a week; Monday was taken up with the first day of rehearsals for Port at the NT (see last month for details) and what fun it was. It's been a while since I did any 'building based' theatre, for want of a better term; recent stage activity has been with independent companies essentially renting a theatre space. The contrast between my last theatre job at The Old Red Lion (a small, yet highly respected 'pub theatre' in Islington, London) and this one at The Royal National Theatre couldn't really be more extreme in terms of facilities, budget and sheer scale. Having said that, of course, the essential process is exactly the same; a bunch of people in a rehearsal room, willing to make utter fools of themselves when required, in order to serve the needs of a script and hoping that they can deliver a piece of work which will entertain and stimulate an audience.

So, on Monday, we gathered in a rehearsal room deep in the bowels of the NT to play games, get to know each other a bit, read the play together, look at a model of the set, meet other members of the production team, of whom there are something like seventy or eighty, all geared to getting our play from page to stage and began the paradoxically familiar yet uniquely new process of rehearsing a play.

I've spent most of my adult life in the theatre, most of my teenage life too come to think of it, and being in a theatre never fails to feel very special indeed; Jack Lemmon always referred to it as "magic time". Whether at The Old Red Lion or the NT, the sense of expectation, adventure, joy, fulfilment, challenge, triumph and impending disaster is the same intoxicating brew. Acting is a 'drug' so powerful, that one's senses can feel heightened and enhanced to an extraordinary degree. By comparison, much of what constitutes normal, regular every day activity feels like a waste of time. As The Great Wallenda* was quoted as saying: "Life is on the wire, the rest is just waiting".

Neatly seguing into the next part of the posting; hopefully, this month will see the end of waiting for the release of a new set of Stargate SG-1 adventures, which have been previously postponed a number of times. At some time or other, over a period of several months, I think I've played or 'read-in' every character in these stories and therefore feel like I've made quite an investment in them. Consequently, I'm looking forward to hearing the finished recordings very keenly indeed. There may be more to come, but until then, here's the existing artwork:

Next up this month is the CD release of Garro: Sword of Truth from The Black Library. Here are the details:

Nathaniel Garro, knight errant and agent of the Sigillite, returns from the battlefields of Calth to find a new mission already waiting for him – a ragged fleet of Space Marines from several Legions lingers at the edge of the Terran system. With the presence of World Eaters and Emperor’s Children causing concern among the loyalist defenders and drawing a grim parallel with his own frantic flight, Garro must look beneath the obvious if he is to determine friend from foe...

Online reviews & comments:

Fantastic production
Rated 5 out of 5 by Travis

This was the best drama I have heard so far, the story intense and the voice acting phenomenal. The sound effects were also very fitting, it was like listening to a Hollywood movie!

Garro: Sword of awesomesauce
Rated 5 out of 5 by John

Bloody marvellous. Wonderful set-up, good twists, amazing little fluff-bomb that drops towards the end.

Rated 5 out of 5 by Aleksi 

Words have a hard time describing how awesome Sword of Truth was. I cant praise it highly enough.

Theater of the mind, and artistic story telling for the ages. This audio drama does not disappoint.
Rated 5 out of 5 by Douglas

Simply put this is another outstanding audio drama in the Garro mini-series. The story is a wonderful tale that keeps the listener at the edge of their seat and thoroughly enthralled with the drama being played out as our hero Garro and his companion Rubio must decide the fate of would-be refugees of the Warmaster's heresy and betrayal. 

Rated 5 out of 5 by Duncan

Everything works about this audio-drama, the characters, the sound effects, the narration and the plot. I didn't want it to end. BL are onto a winner with Garro and co. More please!

Performed by John Banks, Toby Longworth and Ramon Tikaram. 

Written by: James Swallow
Directed by: Ken Bentley
Produced by Black Library & Big Finish.

Also during the very busy week just gone was the recording of a new Big Finish story in a series I haven't previously worked on, details of which are to follow. Next week, in addition to everything else, I'm back in the studio for a couple of days to work on a fascinating and very exciting new Dr Who story** - again, details to follow when BF release them. Frustrating I know; what was I saying a few months ago about the joys of deferred gratification? Just to crank up the teasing nature of all this, I have the script here in front of me and I'll be spending a large part of this sunny Saturday afternoon working my way through it - what fun!

All for now, but there may well be more to come this month, so do check in for further updates.

* Karl Wallenda (January 21, 1905 – March 22, 1978) was the founder of The Flying Wallendas, an internationally known circus act, remembered for performing death-defying stunts, often without a safety net.

** At the moment, the most I can say about next week's Dr Who story is that it's a 'Companion Chronicle'.

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