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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Sunday, 1 September 2013

Dr Who: The Dark Planet

 Try to remember the kind of September
When life was slow and oh, so mellow.
Try to remember the kind of September
When grass was green and grain was yellow.
Try to remember the kind of September
When you were a tender and callow fellow.
Try to remember, and if you remember,
Then follow...

Not a plea to fellow Twitter users, just the lyric of a song that popped into my head as I sat down to compose this first posting of September. Strange how associations in one's memory come together, because the nostalgic nature of the words above are in some ways entirely in keeping with the subject of this update. 


As any fan will know, we're currently celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the creation of  Dr Who on television. The first Doctor was played by William Hartnell and as a child of the 60's, he was 'my' Doctor. An original companion in that first series was a character called 'Ian Chesterton' played by William Russell and in 1965, Maureen O'Brien became another of the Doctor's companions, 'Vicki'.

If indeed you are a Dr Who aficionado, not much of what I've just written will be news. What is news is that this month, Big Finish are scheduled to release a three-disc audio-drama featuring William and Maureen reprising their original roles, with William also taking on the responsibility of  playing The Doctor. Additional cast members in this story include the brilliant Charlie Norfolk - and me.

To say that I'm keenly looking forward to listening to this release is something of an understatement, particularly as it's been quite a wait already. Recording began in February 2012 with my contribution to the story taking place in April. 

For all kinds of reasons, it's sometimes the case that when recording an audio-drama, not everyone is present at every session and in this particular instance, I worked exclusively in studio with William; Maureen and Charlie had already recorded their respective roles before I became involved. I've enjoyed working with Charlie on other stories including Dr Who: Rat Trap and Sherlock Holmes: The Hound of The Baskervilles and not only is she an amazingly talented and versatile actress, she's also great fun to work with. Similarly, I've had great pleasure working with Maureen O'Brien on subsequent Big Finish productions, further details of which are yet to be revealed. 
 
 I originally posted information about The Dark Planet last August, the essence of which is repeated below:

The Lost Stories, Big Finish’s audio productions of stories that were devised for television but never made, will return in 2013 for a fourth and final season.

“It’s been a hugely satisfying – and sometimes Herculean! – job reviving these previously lost adventures,” says producer David Richardson, “but we feel that with these last four stories that the line will have run its course. These new tales are for the first three Doctors and, like the hugely popular Farewell Great Macedon, they’ll be told with a mix of enhanced narration and dialogue.

“The first three stories all have a theme – they are all adapted from original paperwork submitted by Brian Hayles, who wrote The Ice Warriors, The Seeds of Death, The Curse of Peladon and The Monster of Peladon.” The series kicks off in September 2013 with The Dark Planet, which is six episodes long and has been adapted by Matt Fitton. The story is performed by William Russell and Maureen O’Brien with guest stars John Banks and Charlie Norfolk, and is set on a world where light and dark are at war. “It was an extraordinary experience to record this,” says David. “The script feels so authentic to the era that Maureen was convinced she’d actually filmed it back in the Sixties. She took quite some convincing that it hadn’t actually already been made!”

As a coda to that posting, I said of William:


"I'm old enough to remember Doctor Who from the very beginning and it was therefore a particular pleasure to have spent several days in the studio working with William on this adventure. A true legend to any Doctor Who fan and truly a gentleman, I feel proud to have been a part of this project and to have had the great honour of working with William Russell."

Since April 2012, I've had the great pleasure of working with William on other Dr Who adventures, which are still in the Big Finish pipeline. The sentiments I expressed about my first collaboration with him were confirmed on those subsequent occasions; a hugely talented actor, a gracious and modest man and a delightful colleague.




And so, after seventeen months of keen anticipation*, here it is: Dr Who: The Dark Planet


Somewhere far back in the early days of the universe the TARDIS lands on a world lit by a dying sun. Missing from the Doctor's star maps and dotted with strange crystalline statues, it is a world ripe for exploration. But it is also a world of destruction.



Venturing out onto its surface, the time travellers find themselves drawn into an age-old conflict between the two species residing on the planet - people of Light and Shadow. Proving a catalyst for the escalation of the conflict, the Doctor and his friends need either to create a peace or to pick a side.

Because in times of war, nothing is ever black and white.

William Russell Ian Chesterton Maureen O'Brien Vicki with John Banks and Charlie Norfolk

 Written by Brian Hayles Adapted by Matt Fitton
Directed by Ken Bentley

Dr Who: The Dark Planet is scheduled for release in September 2013

* * * * *


*Seventeen months does seem a long time to wait for a recording to be released; however, at the moment, I'm working on a story which I understand is scheduled for release sometime in 2016... 

No comments:

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.