ASSASSIN'S CREED

ASSASSIN'S CREED
January 2017
"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."

audible.co.uk 2018

Coming in November...

Coming in November...

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 more than 250* audio-drama stories for Big Finish Productions and The Black Library/Games Workshop, details of which can be found in the postings below.


There are also details listed here of the 150* audio books I've recorded since March 2013,
including the unabridged New Revised Standard Version of The Bible, for companies including audible.co.uk, Hachette, RNIB, W.F. Howes, Little Brown Group, Penguin Random House, Games Workshop, Orion, Fantom Films & Ladbroke Audio.

(*figures at October 2018)

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

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Sunday, 30 November 2014

...and finally

...in the last hour of November 2014, a couple of late updates. I recorded an audio book a few months ago which became available via publisher W.F. Howes Ltd on 1st November and here are the details:


Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2014

How to be both is a novel all about art's versatility. There's a renaissance artist of the 1460s. There's the child of a child of the 1960s. Two tales of love and injustice twist into a singular yarn where time gets timeless, structural gets playful, knowing gets mysterious, fictional gets real - and all life's givens get given a second chance.

And secondly, as previously mentioned, the final Big Finish release for me this month is the fifth story in the Pathfinder Legends series, Rise of The Runelords: Sins of The Saviors, in which I play a slightly demented character known as The Scribbler:

Ezren, Merisiel, Harsk and Valeros discover that Karzoug, an ancient wizard from the long-dead empire of Thassilon, has returned to life. 

From his city fortress of Xin-Shalast high in the mountains, he has been using the giants to harvest souls to reclaim his lost power. 

The secret to defeating him before he can reclaim his realm and enslave the region lies hidden in a deadly dungeon called Runeforge.

Kerry Skinner Merisiel    Stewart Alexander Valeros 
Trevor Littledale Ezren   Ian Brooker Harsk    
Yuriri Naka Ameiko Kaijitsu  
Toby Longworth Belor Hemlock - Giant Voice  
John Banks The Scribbler  Annette Badland The Voice  
Nicholas Rowe Karzoug  
Mark Donovan & Harry Myers The Guards

 Written by Mark Wright & Directed by John Ainsworth 


...all for now, more to come next month!

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

here we go two, three, four...

And so, a few newsy updates as I have a bit of a 'day off' from recording. It's not really a day off at all as there is much to prepare for further Big Finish adventures this week and next and I must also practice a Suffolk accent, from which I have to slip effortlessly (and hopefully convincingly!) into Glaswegian, for a forthcoming audio-book.

Meanwhile, I'm delighted to say that Dark Eyes 3 has now been released and initial reaction seems to be very positive. I know a lot of fans have been keenly anticipating this third series, amongst whom I include myself; so shall I download or wait for the box set to arrive?



Good news too with regard to Survivors. The first episode from Series One, Revelation, written by Matt Fitton, has been nominated for a 2015 BBC Audio Drama Award.

My congratulations to all involved, including fellow cast members Caroline Langrishe, Chase Masterson, Terry Molloy, Adrian Lukis, Camilla Power, Louise Jameson, Sinead Keenan, San Shella, Lucy Fleming, Ian McCulloch, Carolyn Seymour, Phil Mulryne, John Dorney, Lisa Bowerman - director Ken Bentley and producer David Richardson.

  Fingers crossed!

And just in case appetites need whetting for Survivors Series Two, cover art for the new box set, by Tom Webster, was revealed yesterday:



It begins with just a few people falling ill. Another flu virus that spreads around the globe. And then the reports begin that people are dying…

When most of the world's population is wiped out, a handful of survivors are left to pick up the pieces.
Cities become graveyards. Technology becomes largely obsolete. Mankind must start again…

1: Dark Rain by Ken Bentley
Introducing: Tim Treloar as Russell, Bernard Holley as Ridley
Months after the plague, storms batter the country. As Abby resumes the search for her son, Jackie and Daniel fight for their lives.

2: Mother’s Courage by Louise Jameson
Introducing: Fiona Sheehan as Molly
The search for Peter leads to Aberystwyth, and a community of women who have cut themselves off from the outside world. But what appears to be a safe haven could be nothing of the sort…

3: The Hunted by Ken Bentley
Introducing: Tim Bentinck as Irvin Warner
Greg, Daniel and Russell need the help of survivalist Irvin Warner, who is hiding out in the Brecon Beacons. But predators are roaming in the barren countryside too…

4: Savages by Matt Fitton
Wounded, split apart and fighting for their lives, the survivors discover that survival isn’t everything…

Lucy Fleming Jenny Richards   Ian McCulloch Greg Preston   Carolyn Seymour Abby Grant  
Louise Jameson Jackie Burchall   John Banks Daniel Connor   Bernard Holley George Ridley 
Tim Treloar Russell Baines   Chris Finney Hargreaves/Jenkins   Fiona Sheehan Molly 
Rachel Atkins Charlotte   Jane Slavin Jane   Tim Bentinck Irvin Warner 
Allison McKenzie Patricia Gallagher

 Directed By: Ken Bentley 

Survivors Series Two is scheduled for release in June 2015

...all for now, more soon!

Monday, 10 November 2014

Coming soon...

...from Big Finish Productions:

Sherlock Holmes had many secrets. This is the greatest of them.

Our knowledge of the life and career of Mr Sherlock Holmes is necessarily partial and inexact. Riddled with lacunae and ambiguities, its parameters are defined chiefly by what his friend and colleague, Dr John Watson, saw fit to record. One era in particular – those enigmatic years in which, believed dead at the Reichenbach Falls, the Great Detective roved the world incognito – has been shrouded in obscurity and doubt, the particulars of that time too terrible and too strange to be set down in full.
 
At least, that is, until now…




Doctor Who: Dark Eyes 3

In his quest for universal domination, the Master plans to exploit the terrifying Infinite Warriors of the mysterious Eminence. The Doctor's friend, Molly, is key to that plan's execution, and now, aided by corrupted genius Sally Armstrong, the Master is close to success.
 
Paranoid and perplexed after his recent experience, the Doctor skirts the fringes of the fifty-year conflict between humanity and the Infinite Armies. Wary of changing the course of history, he fears that to fight the Eminence would be to do the Daleks' bidding. But when Time Lord CIA agent Narvin provides the impetus for the Doctor to act, Liv Chenka joins him in a desperate race to save their friend and stop the Master.
 
As the Doctor goes head to head with his oldest and deadliest rival, this war is about to get very personal indeed...



Friday, 7 November 2014

Blake's 7: The Liberator Chronicles Volume 10


Released today from Big Finish Productions:


Retribution by Andrew Smith

A distress call leads Avon and Vila to an old tracking station on the moon of Lorean. It was sent by Ragnus Lang, formerly Vila’s partner-in-crime. And now Lang needs Blake’s help.




Sunday, 2 November 2014

November 2014

My apologies for the recent lack of updates, but what a busy time it's been.

Apart from being busy in the studio recording another audio book, the main reason for not updating for such a long time is that like many BF customers, I've been waiting for the release of October's Sixth Doctor story, The Widow's Assassin. I think a download version of the recording was released on 31st, just scraping into the dying embers of October. Anyway, I can now 'safely' mention it here:



Once, long ago, in a land of monsters and corridors, a fair maiden was captured, and placed in a deep sleep. She was used to being captured, and she had a hero who rescued her on just such occasions. But this time the hero never came.
And the fair maiden slept on.
Eventually, a King rescued the maiden, and made her his bride, which many wise old women might tell you is just another way of capturing fair maidens.
And still the fair maiden slept on.
Then, the hero had another stab at rescuing the maiden from her prison, but he was too late. And, more importantly, he had forgotten the rules of fairy tales.
He didn’t slay the dragon.

 
Colin Baker The Doctor     Nicola Bryant Peri   
         Tim Chipping Constable Wolsey - Mandrake            
   John Banks
            Baron Pteratrark - Guard Two - Prince Most-Deepest-All-Yellow               
Andrew Dickens Reverand Flitamus - Guard One  
Fiona Sheehan Princess Dirani      
Glynn Sweet Harcross The Ever-Patient - Pheen-Tu - Flunkey


 Written by Nev Fountain
                                  
Directed by Ken Bentley                                   



A Nev Fountain story is always a treat to work on, even if it's completely mind bending at times. As Dr Who aficionados will be aware, Peri has a huge history which needs some degree of resolution; perhaps this tale will satisfy some who have been waiting many years for such a resolution - or just open a whole new can of worms instead. I'm sure the BF Forum will be awash with informed debate! Wherever the story takes us, I can assure you that fun was had during the recording and once again, I'm keenly looking forward to hearing the finished production: by the way, that's a feathery faced me on the cover - nice...                     

And now it's November!

So, what's new and what's happening in November? Quite a lot actually! I'm in studio every day this week to finish recording an unabridged audio book of Alwyn W. Turner's chronicle of the 1990's, A Classless Society and there are a number of other pipeline projects throughout the rest of the month - more details to follow.

In terms of this month's audio releases, there's quite a variety to come. I've no idea when or in what order things will be released, so I'll start by mentioning this month's Blake's 7 release:


Gareth Thomas Blake  Paul Darrow Avon  Michael Keating Vila  Jacqueline Pearce Servalan  
Stephen Greif Travis John Banks Ragnus Lang

Velandra by Steve Lyons
Blake is having bad dreams: a swamp, wolves, a woman called Velandra… and Travis. Could this be a memory that was erased by the Federation?

Retribution by Andrew Smith
A distress call leads Avon and Vila to an old tracking station on the moon of Lorean. It was sent by Ragnus Lang, formerly Vila’s partner-in-crime. And now Lang needs Blake’s help.

Ministry of Peace by Una McCormack
The Liberator crew are on the planet Speranza to assist its new interim government.  But is the planet a beacon of hope in the fight against the Federation – or is Speranza’s history about to take a darker path?



Written by Steve Lyons, Andrew Smith, Una McCormack
Directed by Lisa Bowerman, Ken Bentley


 My second Pathfinder Legends story is next on the list of releases:


 

Ezren, Merisiel, Harsk and Valeros discover that Karzoug, an ancient wizard from the long-dead empire of Thassilon, has returned to life.
 From his city fortress of Xin-Shalast high in the mountains, he has been using the giants to harvest souls to reclaim his lost power. 
The secret to defeating him before he can reclaim his realm and enslave the region lies hidden in a deadly dungeon called Runeforge. 

Kerry Skinner Merisiel Stewart Alexander Valeros Trevor Littledale Ezren Ian Brooker Harsk  Yuriri Naka Ameiko Kaijitsu Toby Longworth Belor Hemlock / Giant Voice  John Banks The Scribbler Annette Badland The Voice Nicholas Rowe Karzoug Mark Donovan and Harry Myers The Guards

 Written by Mark Wright
Directed by John Ainsworth


And finally, for the moment at least, I played a variety of 'under the radar' characters in Dr Who: Dark Eyes Series 3 - a project I particularly wanted to be a part of and which the boys at Big Finish were kind enough to allow me to take part in:




"Molly O'Sullivan? Hello you."

In his quest for universal domination, the Master plans to exploit the terrifying Infinite Warriors of the mysterious Eminence. The Doctor's friend, Molly, is key to that plan's execution, and now, aided by corrupted genius Sally Armstrong, the Master is close to success.

Paranoid and perplexed after his recent experience, the Doctor skirts the fringes of the fifty-year conflict between humanity and the Infinite Armies. Wary of changing the course of history, he fears that to fight the Eminence would be to do the Daleks' bidding.

But when Time Lord CIA agent Narvin provides the impetus for the Doctor to act, Liv Chenka joins him in a desperate race to save their friend and stop the Master.

As the Doctor goes head to head with his oldest and deadliest rival, this war is about to get very personal indeed...


 
                                                                                                            
 










 
Paul McGann The Doctor Nicola Walker Liv Chenka Ruth Bradley Molly O'Sullivan Alex Macqueen The Master Natalie Burt Dr Sally Armstrong David Sibley The Eminence Sean Carlsen Narvin

1: The Death of Hope
Georgie Fuller Hope Gardner Geoffrey Breton Leo Gardner
2: The Reviled
Sacha Dhawan Jaldam Sarah Mowat Gajeeda Laura Riseborough Sharma
3: Masterplan
David Sibley Professor Markus Schriver John Banks Captain/Lieutenant
4: Rule of the Eminence
Jonathan Forbes Walter Vincent Beth Chalmers Casey Carraway Georgia Moffett Engineer Tallow

Written by Matt Fitton
Directed by Ken Bentley


Also, on the 19th October, I was delighted to have been invited to help celebrate Big Finish's 15th Birthday; here's a photo from the party:

Anthony Howell - me - Rachel Illingworth

It was a very festive evening and fantastic to meet up with so many friends and colleagues; thanks to Jason Haigh-Ellery and to all at Big Finish - here's to the next fifteen years!





















As a coincidental 'PS' to this posting, recorded in July 2010:
 Lucie Miller was broadcast last week on BBC Radio 4 Extra and To The Death is being broadcast as I started to write.

A quick check reveals that having played a 'pivotal' role in Lucie Miller, ie Seb Andrews, in To The Death, I appear to be playing Crewman. Can't wait to discover what Crewman does, although I suspect - not much!

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

Fabius Bile

Fabius Bile
WARHAMMER 40,000

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

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.

The War Doctor

The War Doctor
December 2015