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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Wednesday, 27 April 2016

25 & 26...

...and still more audio stuff explodes onto an unsuspecting listening world! "Now what?" I hear you ask. Well, let me tell you! Two further releases from Games Workshop, namely, Fist of Mork, Fist of Gork, a full cast audio drama and The Path of Heaven, an unabridged audio book by Chris Wraight and narrated by me.

Here are some details and some fantastic artwork:

The Path of Heaven

The Khan returns! After the events of 'Scars', the White Scars Legion have chosen their loyalties. Now, after years of battle against the traitors, it's time to return to Terra and prepare for the inevitable invasion.

But first, Jaghatai and his warriors must brave a gauntlet of enemies and the terrors of the warp...



For too long had the Vth Legion ranged out beyond the sight of the wider Imperium, remaining ignorant of the Warmaster’s rebellion and the war that inevitably followed. Only once their primarch, Jaghatai Khan, had satisfied himself that the path before them was just and true did the White Scars choose a side, taking the fight to the traitors on every front.

But, four years later, the Legion’s unfettered spirit has been broken by relentless attritional warfare against the Death Guard and the Emperor’s Children – the Khan’s Stormseers must find a clear route to Terra if they are to take part in the final, apocalyptic battle.


  Narrated by John Banks

 Written by Chris Wraight and Produced by Matthew Renshaw

Audiobook running time 13 hours and 28 minutes

 * * * * *

Fist of Mork, Fist of Gork

 

Part 2 in the Knights of Vengeance audio drama series

The siege of Cartha is over, but the hunt for Mannfred von Carstein continues, and more savage enemies await the Stormcasts in the Carthic Oldwoods...

 
After a bloody triumph at the siege of Cartha, Lord-Relictor Ramus’ Hallowed Knights and the Astral Templars of Knight-Azyros Vandalus press on with their search for Mannfred von Carstein, but they soon learn that orruks, not ogors, hold sway in the Carthic Oldwoods. 

The Stormcast Eternals must overcome not only these brutish warriors, but also the will of their gods. Ramus and Vandalus must prevail against the fist of Gork and the fist of Mork if they are to forge a path to the Sea of Bones where their hated quarry awaits. 



Performed by Gareth Armstrong, John Banks, Ian Brooker, Jonathan Keeble and Luis Soto

Written by David Guymer and Produced by Matthew Renshaw


* * * * *

I think it 's about time to edit together some new audio samples, which, when completed, I'll post here and perhaps delete some of the older samples already posted below (scroll down, waaaay down). Many of the things I'd like to post are yet to be released, although that still leaves hundreds of hours of narration to consider. That's my work sorted out then! Speaking of work; I've had a few days 'off', but I'm delighted to be back with the Big Finish crew next week to record some more audio drama. A great story this one and a fabulous cast; but all top secret for the moment, which is why I will say...


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

Thursday, 21 April 2016

...pleased 'tau' meet you!

Ooo, maybe a pun too far; "pleased 'tau' meet you"? But what can it refer to I wonder? Well, let's see.

Before we get into that, I just want to take a moment to mention a couple of other things, which in the general scheme of things, may not be very important or even interesting, but I'm trying to 'take in' what I've been doing over the past several months, because the time has gone by in a flash.

Since recording of The Bible came to an end in mid-November 2015, work has really cracked on apace and there have been few occasions when I haven't either been recording or peparing something to be recorded. To put that into some kind of perspective, since mid-November of last year, I've recorded 16 full length audio books, 17 short stories, 6 audio dramas and two narrated audio dramas. In the last two weeks I've recorded two audio books, narrated an audio drama and performed three roles in an audio drama. Last week's book was almost 800 pages in length and had 187 named characters. In the 7 Malazan Empire novels alone, we recorded roughly 7,000 pages of text and I had to create individual and recognisable voices for 583 named characters.

And now, for the first time in many months and before my brain explodes, I'm taking a break. Although, having completed my last project only yesterday, it already feels very odd not to have something to be reading...

              ..."and the other thing?"

                                                        "mmm? oh, yes, the other thing."...

There's a photo of me in the May edition of Doctor Who Magazine. I haven't had a chance to look at it yet (see above as to why...) but I'm quite thrilled by it. I know, I know; for many of my Doctor Who and Big Finish pals, being in DWM is a regular occurrance and no big deal, but for me, it's a new thing and consequently, quite a thrill. Have to see what it's all about, although I suspect it has something to do with David Tennant and Catherine Tate recording some new adventures with Big Finish, which I'm also in. But more of that next month!

Back to this month and details of a couple of new audio releases, (24 so far this year!). The 'big release' for me this posting is the Games Workshop audio book Blades of Damocles by Phil Kelly.

I've done quite a bit of work now with Games Workshop and I'm beginning to get a grip on the worlds of the Space Marines and The Legions and how they function and relate. So just when I think I'm making progress with who's who, along comes an entirely new alien race that I've never heard of - The Tau! And here they are...




Blades of Damocles:

Setting out to exterminate the upstart Tau Empire before they become the threat, the Ultramarines under Captain Atheus discover that the xenos may be more of a menace than they originally believed…


It is the 41st millennium, and an upstart alien empire has emerged on the Eastern Fringe. After a few skirmishes to retake human worlds from these blue-skinned invaders, the time has come to strike against the so-called Tau Empire. At the forefront of the Damocles Crusade stand the Ultramarines, commanded by Captain Atheus, the Chapter’s Lord Executioner. With his loyal sergeants Numitor and Sicarius by his side, Atheus vows to exterminate the aliens…

But the cunning xenos commanders, Farsight and Shadowsun, have other plans.




Audiobook running time 11 hours and 30 minutes.
 
* * * * *

The second release to be mentioned in this posting, is a follow up to the Fourth Doctor adventure mentioned previously, The Paradox Planet, which is titled The Legacy of Death. Once again, I'm not credited in the cast list, but as I remember, I played the reprising roles of Varchak and Warden. I'll amend as necessary when I've received my copy and had time to listen to it.


The Doctor, Romana and K9 have found themselves trapped in a temporal war. On Aoris, the past battles the future - and the future fights back!

With both sides of the war now capable of time travel, the conflict is about to enter a deadly stage. As the pieces of history lock into place, there is little the Doctor can do.

With more Time Tanks moving into combat, the endgame is approaching. The people of Aoris risk extinction at their own hand.

Can even the Doctor save the same planet twice in the same day?

Tom Baker The Doctor   Lalla Ward Romana   John Leeson K9 & Machina

Written by Jonathan Morris
Directed by Ken Bentley  


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


Friday, 8 April 2016

Knives to Peel...?

The empire is named for the tiny island and city of Malaz, now a sleepy, seedy backwater port. Tonight however, a once-in-a-generation Shadow Moon brings demon hounds and darker beings. 

Also, a prophecy promises the return of long missing Emperor Kellanved to the contended imperial throne. This night will determine the fate of the world.

A-HA! Thought I'd start this most cryptically titled update (knives? peel? - geddit?) with a synopsis; never done that before! "A synopsis?" I hear you ask, "but of what?". Of the third novel in Ian C. Esslemont's Malazan series of novels to be given the audio book treatment from producer extraordinaire, Neil Gardner and myself, that's "of what?". Released yesterday on an unsuspecting and entirely innocent public from Audible.co.uk. One further novel to record in this seven book series which we start next week, so lots of prep this weekend!

Below: ...recording Blood and Bone from The Malazan Empire series by Ian C. Esslemont 


"Over 7 books recorded since December, John Banks has had to create unique voices for 583 characters. Quite amazing!"
                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                           Neil Gardner - producer





Because I've been so busy over these last several, days, weeks etc, a couple of other audio book releases from Fantom Films have so far gone un-mentioned; so now is a perfect opportunity to set that to rights - and here they are:

Ignored by his dad, bullied by the teachers at his posh school, and picked on by the gang of kids who roam the stairways of his tower block home, Roland Wright thinks he has it pretty bad. Then, a broken lift hurls him into a strange kingdom where fantasy and reality meet, and Roland finds that his nightmare has only just begun.


 
  “The Juganet is a circle. The circle is a machine. The machine is a cross-over point. The point is a paramagnetic intersection. That is where I must be. Not here...”


Sky is a mixture of ecological fable, science fantasy and good, old-fashioned peril. An ethereal boy called Sky materialises on an Earth that is as unprepared for him as he is for it. He soon realises that he’s been brought to the wrong time and must seek out the Juganet to return to his correct place in reality. With the help of tearaway Arby Venner, his sister June and friend Roy he must race against time as Nature rejects Sky and the Earth’s immune system creates the evil Goodchild, who is out to stop him at all costs...

Based on one of the most memorable television series of the 1970s 

* * * * *


 ...aaand finally for this posting; the release of a box set of adventures from Big Finish, featuring Steed and Mrs. Peel from my favourite era of, the one and only... The AVENGERS!!!


1. Return to Castle De'ath by Simon Barnard and Paul Morris

Steed is left hanging, Emma pays the piper.

Steed and Peel return to the scene of an earlier adventure to find it much changed. Now a ski-resort, Castle De'ath is playing host to many new visitors - including a wealthy Prince targeted by assassins.
Assigned as bodyguards, the Avengers have to keep the Prince alive and discover which of the Castle's guests are behind the murderous plot - before they succumb to it themselves.

2. The Miser by Simon Barnard and Paul Morris

Steed has a nasty scare, Emma has a pressing engagement 

When the phrase 'sleeper train' takes on a very literal meaning, Steed and Peel witness the first action of The Miser, a terrifying extortionist. The race is on to stop his ambitious scheme - but in this case, appearances can be deceptive.

3. The Golden Dresses by Paul Magrs 

Emma hits the heights of fashion, Steed plumbs the very depths. 

The ladies of society can't get enough of Madame Zingara's Golden Dresses. Especially now their husbands have gone missing. Steed and Peel look into the world of haute couture to discover the dark secret of this latest craze. Can they pull it off with style?

4. The Norse Code by John Dorney

Steed has the horns of a dilemma, Emma milks her moment.

An agent has gone missing whilst holidaying in the Norfolk Broads. With an American nuclear bomb being stored in the region, Steed and Peel can't take any risks. But the last thing they expect to find on their boating trip is a Norse longboat. What are Vikings doing in East Anglia?




Julian Wadham John Steed     Olivia Poulet Emma Peel
Sam Kordbacheh Prince Abdul Bey    Shelia Reid Morag McIntosh/Matron  
Allan Corduner James McTaggart/Murdoch/Crabtree   Ruby Thomas Countess Beatrice of Burgundy 
Simon Greenall Colonel Augustus-Smyth   Jeremy Clyde The Miser   Graham Seed Dick North  
David Acton Montague Pratt/Air Marshall Cuthbert Fortescue 
John Banks Dave/Squire Trevithick/Train Guard   Phillip Pope Derek/Reg the Trainspotter/Newsreader 
Jacqueline Pearce Madame Zingara  Becky Wright Bunty/Nurse  Christopher Naylor Emil/Sailor  
 Nick Underwood Anton/Rough Sailor/Announcer   
Timothy Speyer Oswald English/Captain Jolleye/Radio Presenter 
Ewan Bailey Ivan Stevenson/Venka/Newsreader   Francesca Hunt Ingrid Thornton/Brunhilda  
Jot Davies Wellington - other parts played by the cast

Directed by Ken Bentley 

I love The Avengers and particularly the stories with Steed and Emma Peel; I am of the generation where the series was required viewing and I'm still watching all these years later - albeit in much higher definition! Really can't wait to listen to this collection and I'm deeply grateful to producer David Richardson and director Ken Bentley, for inviting me to come and play...


...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