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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Thursday 24 March 2016

Knights of Vengeance & The Horus Heresy...

There seems to be no let up in the current frequency of audio releases - 18 of mine so far this year; surely such a pace can't be maintained???

Well, we'll see.

In the meantime, this week sees the release of two further Games Workshop productions; an audio drama, The Beasts of Cartha and an anthology of stories (a recording briefly mentioned in the March 4th posting) which I have narrated, under the umbrella title Eye of Terra. The production process on this anthology has been super speedy; we only completed recording on March 10th and the finished product was released just over a week later - quite amazing! In comparison, I've recorded a number of stories for Big Finish with a scheduled release date of several years hence...

Anyway; without further ado, here are some production details and some great artwork:

 Eye of Terra

The galaxy burns at Horus’s command, and the Imperium will never be the same again. This anthology gathers together tales of the primarchs and their sons, and the lengths to which their bitterness may yet drive them…

The galaxy burns at Horus’s command, and a billion more lives are lost with each passing moment – though it was not always so. Once, the title of Warmaster stood for honour, loyalty and a fierce pride in the strength of the Space Marine Legions. But perhaps by following the myriad lines of destiny and defiance that were already woven around the primarchs and their sons, we may yet come to understand the bitterness that can eat away at even the most steadfast of souls…

Eye of Terra includes:

The Wolf of Ash and Fire by Graham McNeill

Aurelian*, The Long Night and Massacre by Aaron Dembski-Bowden

Brotherhood of the Moon by Chris Wraight

Inheritor and Master of the First by Gav Thorpe

Vorax by Matthew Farrer

Ironfire by Rob Sanders

Red-Marked and Stratagem by Nick Kyme

Sins of the Father and The Herald of Sanguinius by Andy Smillie

The Eagle's Talon by John French

Iron Corpses by David Annandale

The Final Compliance of Sixty-Three Fourteen by Guy Haley

 *Aurelian is read by Toby Longworth

I was delighted to have been given the opportunity to work with producer Matt Renshaw on these stories, some of which, we had previously recorded as full cast audio dramas; slightly odd to narrate and play all the characters of a story one has already worked on in a different format, but an interesting challenge to play such a variety of characters. It was also a privilege to narrate scripts from such a fabulous team of writers and I can only hope that I've done justice to their work. Performing these stories is one thing, to write them and integrate them into the vast world of Warhammer is quite another and my admiration goes out to all of these hugely talented people.

* * * * *

The Beasts of Cartha

Part one of the new Knights of Vengeance audio drama series:

After their disastrous search for the Supreme Lord of the Undead, the Hallowed Knights are reforged and tasked with a new mission: to find and capture the vampire that betrayed them, Mannfred von Carstein…

After being reforged, Lord-Relictor Ramus of the Hallowed Knights is sent by Sigmar to capture the betrayer, Mannfred von Carstein. The quest brings Ramus to the Carthic Oldwoods of Ghur where he comes to the aid of the Astral Templars against a massive ogor horde. Victorious, but at great cost, Ramus discovers Mannfred is finally close at hand. Only with the help of the Astral Templars will the Lord-Relictor catch his quarry, but there are deadlier things in the woods than ogors, a fact the Stormcast Eternals soon discover.

Gareth Armstrong, John Banks, Jonathan Keeble, Stephen Perring and Luis Soto

Written by David Guymer
Directed by Matthew Renshaw

All four stories of this new series are also available as a subscription download: 

Following on from the previous series and the Hallowed Knights' confrontation with Nagash, they've been reforged and we get to see something we've never seen before in the Stormcasts: a very personal thirst for revenge...

At the end of The Bridge of Seven Sorrows, I was naturally concerned that Ramus had met his end and that would be the end of his story line. I had enjoyed playing him and although I've lost count of the number of audio dramas my characters have 'died' in, I was particularly sorry to see him go. How foolish of me; the clue is really in the series title "Stormcast Eternals"... "eternals"!

So, after a quick, if painful, re-forging, Ramus returns in better form than ever for these four new adventures and has even been 'promoted', now languishing under the splendid title 'Lord-Relictor Ramus of the Hallowed Knights' - how fab is that!?! Can't wait to give these stories a listen, although I'm finding it hard to keep up with the current glut of 'must hear' audio stuff - need more time!

* * * * *

After a few days away from the recording studio, I'm currently preparing four audio books to be recorded over the next four weeks; two further titles in Ian C. Esslemont's Malazan series and two more adventures with the Space Marines for Games Workshop; so, it's back to work for me!

Before I go, there's just enough time to wish you a very Happy Easter!

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

Friday 18 March 2016

The Paradox Planet

"ahhh, yeaahhhss, The Paradox Planet, ha-ha!" Tricky to pull off a written impersonation of Tom Baker, as you can see.

A quick update this week to mention this latest Fourth Doctor release from Big Finish and here are some details:

Whilst travelling in the vortex, the TARDIS is struck by an advanced war machine - a Time Tank! Losing Romana, the Doctor and K9 pursue the Tank to Aoris, a world quite literally at war with itself.

Soldiers from the future are attacking the past of their own planet - gathering resources and stealing endangered species. But the past is not without weapons of its own - leaving deadly devices ready to trigger many years ahead after their enemies have been born.

Trapped at opposite ends of a temporal war, the Time Lords have two time zones to save. But who is in the right, and who in the wrong? And when history itself is against you, can anybody actually win?

Tom Baker The Doctor   Lalla Ward Romana   John Leeson K9/Machina  
Simon Rouse Drang Tom Chadbon Embery Paul Panting Fyrax Emma Campbell-Jones Shola Laura Rees Tyrus   Bryan Pilkington Lostar   Jane Slavin Medea   John Banks Valchak

Written by: Jonathan Morris
Directed by: Ken Bentley  

The story continues next month with  The Legacy of Death. Although uncredited on the BF web site, rest assured that Valchak and the Warden will be back!

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

Saturday 12 March 2016

The Heart of The Pharos

Good afternoon! And what a beautiful warm, sunny and calm afternoon it is. Calmness is an interesting state of being for me at the moment, as I'm now into my first 48 hours of calm since the last week of November 2015 and trying to come to terms with the fact that I actually have some 'free time'. "Why so?" I hear you ask.

Well, since 26th November to Thursday of the week just gone, I've recorded 13 audio books, 17 'short' stories, 5 audio dramas and a few other bits 'n' pieces that don't really fit into any specific category. Some of the audio books were over 800 pages long and one, over 1,000; even some of the 'short' stories have been the equivalent of a full cast audio drama. So far, five books into the Malazan series of novels, I've attempted to create voices for something like 450 characters and for Games Workshop, I think we must now be approaching the 70 to 80 mark in terms of character voices.

So; calm now, as I've got a gap over Easter, which will hopefully be time enough to allow my brain to slip back into neutral before preparing the next three audio books scheduled for recording in late March - early April.

Alongside all this frenetic activity, quite a few recordings are now being released and the latest from Games Workshop is the audio drama The Heart of The Pharos, which I narrated and played the part of Holguin. In some ways, it's a dramatised adjunct to the full length audio book Pharos, which became available a few weeks ago. Here are some details from The Black Library:

Young Oberdeii and Tebecai, Scouts of the Ultramarines 199th Company, descend into the depths beneath Mount Pharos in search of a dark truth... though it may haunt them for all time.

The Pharos stands as a beacon of light in the darkness, a whisper of hope in the silent void, a bastion of defiance in the face of treachery. Without it there could be no Imperium Secundus – why, then, do the masters of Ultramar know so little about its operation, or the dangers it could present?

    Gareth Armstrong, John Banks, Jim Barclay, Ophir Burton, Cliff Chapman & Steve Conlin

Written by L J Goulding
Produced by Matthew Renshaw 

There's much more to mention about things already done, things in the pipeline and exciting things to come, but as usual, I'll have to 'calmly' wait until I'm allowed to give specific details; and so that's...

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

Friday 4 March 2016

We're doomed!

March! Can't believe it's already the third month of 2016; the time has zipped by in a flurry of audio drama and audio book recordings. Such has been the pace of recent events, (ie barely able to remember what I've done!) that I'm sure, when the opportunity comes to listen to these various recordings, they'll all sound quite new and fresh, which is how it should be I suppose.

I'm currently listening to Pharos and the two stories I contributed to the War Without End anthology, namely, All That Remains and The Harrowing. I have to say, I'm really enjoying the story of Pharos and if you choose to invest in a copy, all 13 hours and 22 minutes of it, I hope you'll enjoy it too.

Now, as we're into a new month, there are a number of new recordings scheduled for release and the first to mention this month is the second box set of stories from Big Finish, collectively referred to as Doom Coalition 2.

Here are some details and a bit of an audio-visual treat:

Doom Coalition 1 saw the travellers defeat the Eleven's first terrible scheme – but the battle's not over yet. An encounter with a group of invading Voord places the TARDIS on the trail of the next threat against reality, concealed within the Time Vortex! But this may be the least of the Doctor's worries; because River Song (Alex Kingston) needs the Doctor’s help on a distant planet…

Continuing on from the explosive opening box set, Doom Coalition 2 pits the TARDIS team in another battle against the Eleven (Mark Bonnar); an insane Time Lord whose previous incarnations still exist in his head.

2.1 Beachhead by Nicholas Briggs
In an attempt to recharge his batteries after his confrontation with the Eleven, the Doctor takes Liv and Helen to the sleepy English seaside village of Stegmoor. But they find the village in turmoil and, to make matters worse, their arrival uncovers a mystery from the Doctor’s past which threatens the future safety of the planet. Can the Doctor prevent the Voord from invading Earth? And more importantly why have they come in the first place?

2.2 Scenes from her Life by John Dorney
Investigating the appearance of the Voord on Earth, the Doctor, Liv and Helen follow a trail which takes them to the other side of the universe. There they discover a mysterious and almost deserted gothic city lost in space and time, in which the grotesque inhabitants are conducting a vile and inhumane experiment. The Doctor and his companions must hurry to save the lives of those in danger before the experiment is a success and the unimaginable consequences become all too real.

2.3 The Gift by Marc Platt
The TARDIS deposits its crew on Earth in San Francisco, 1906. There they find an actor-manager desperate to stage his definitive production of King Lear. But a real storm is headed their way when he becomes the possessor of a mysterious psychic ‘Gift’ which is hungry for power and intent on wreaking havoc and destruction. But exposure to so much psychic activity has the Doctor becoming increasingly erratic. Can he battle his demons and save the world?

2.4 The Sonomancer by Matt Fitton
On the other side of the galaxy a mining company is exploiting the already unstable planet of Syra for every precious mineral it contains. River Song is attempting to save the native people. She needs the Doctor’s help, but she also knows he mustn’t yet discover her true identity. The final confrontation sees the Doctor once again face his enemy the Eleven in an attempt to prevent the destruction of Syra and the genocide of its inhabitants.

Paul McGann, Nicola Walker, Hattie Morahan, Alex Kingston, Rebecca Night, Julia Hills, Kirsty Besterman,
Andrew Dickens, Emma Cunniffe, Vincent Franklin, 
Jacqueline King, Hamish Clark, James Jordan, Paul Marc Davis, Cory English, Laura Harding, 
Enzo Squillino Jnr, Derek Ezenagu, Janet Fullerlove, John Banks & Mark Bonnar

Written by Nicholas Briggs, John Dorney, Marc Platt & Matt Fitton

Directed by Ken Bentley 

* * * * *

Last week saw the completion of the fifth book to be recorded in Ian C. Esslemont's Malazan series of novels and this week I've recorded two audio books for Fantom Films. Next week, I'm once again off to Games Workshop HQ to record an audio drama and a really fascinating and quite challenging audio book with ace producer Matthew Renshaw. 

I look forward to sharing details of all these projects when they become available - and when I'm allowed to!

...all for now, more just as soon 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