Good afternoon - and what a beautiful hot summer's day it is here in the UK; a weekend complete with the British Grand Prix at Silverstone and the final stage of this year's incredible Tour de France. I'm very much looking forward to some excellent racing on two wheels and four and maybe, just a bit of history will made on the Champs-Élysées, if Mark Cavendish takes his 35th Stage win; fingers crossed! The climax of the sporting action comes tomorrow afternoon and I shall miss it all, as I'll be driving to a hotel some distance away from home, in order to start work on an audiobook recording on Monday morning; but more of that later.
Checking my diary, I note that in June of last year, I recorded a Doctor Who audio drama from my brand new home studio; only the second time I'd used it and only a few weeks since it had all been set up. Remote recording can be tricky at the best of times and linking up multiple home studios to perform a drama, is an adventure into the unknown and continually offers the possibility of jumping head first into a technological abyss. Mercifully, I stayed hooked up to everyone else and didn't have any problems, although other cast members weren't so lucky and we did have a few enforced 'time-outs' to re-connect.
By the strangest of coincidences, at the beginning of our recording day, as we chatted amongst ourselves and went through a series of checks on the various bits of gadgetry we were all using, David T, asked why he recognised my voice. I reminded him that we'd worked together before and met a number of times. In fact, he knew all that of course and said that he'd just been listening to my audio version of H.G. Wells' The War of The Worlds and suddenly, there I was, in his ears again. It would have been awkward if he hadn't liked the recording, though he was kind enough to say that he had enjoyed it, which was lovely to hear and kicked things off in a very good way.
So the end result of all our fun and games is this latest box-set release of 10th Doctor stories called Dalek Universe 2 and here are some details:
These tales take the Tenth Doctor, Anya Kingdom and Mark Seven deeper into family histories, aboard the strangest of space stations and to a truth that might tear them apart...
2.1 Cycle of Destruction* by Roy Gill
After Mark starts behaving oddly, the Doctor and Anya find themselves on a strange planet with their friend missing. Searching for him they find their way to an isolated research base. The corridors show signs of animal incursions and the scientists are behaving strangely. But a big surprise is waiting for them.
Because this is where Mark Seven came from. They’re about to find out who he is. But is that information too dangerous to know?
*This is the cover art for Cycle of Destruction, which is the episode I'm performing in.
2.2 The Trojan Dalek by John Dorney
The Doctor, Mark and Anya head for an SSS space station searching for the missing temporal scientist, Arborecc. But the officer in charge denies all knowledge of his presence and demands their departure.
Unwilling to leave so easily, the group split up to investigate... and uncover a heinous plot involving the Doctor’s oldest foes. Or do they?
2.3 The Lost by Robert Valentine
When the Doctor’s latest scheme to get back to the future fails, the team’s ship crashes on a strange world, potentially trapping them for ever.
Searching for replacement parts, they find their way to a building where heart-breakingly familiar faces await them.
Lies are about to be exposed. Everyone will learn the truth. And nothing will be the same again.
This boxset release contains all three stories, plus additional behind the scenes interviews.
John Banks (Crispin Torr / Jason Four) Pippa Bennett-Warner (Fliss Keeley)
Nicholas Briggs (The Daleks) Barnaby Edwards (Arborecc)
Avita Jay (Moran Kez / Hera) Kevin McNally (Merrick Kingdom)
Leighton Pugh (The Lost ) Blake Ritson (Major McLinn)
Directed by Ken Bentley & Produced by David Richardson
4 discs - 240 minutes
* * * * *
Other than Dalek Universe 2, work continues apace and as I mentioned above, I'm about to spend a week in a professional studio, recording a densely written and extremely challenging audiobook. I confess to feeling a little nervous about launching in on it, as I often do with the trickier stuff; on the one hand, it offers huge opportunities to have fun as a narrator/performer and on the other hand, a terrific opportunity to screw it up spectacularly! Full details will be available in due course, probably quite soon I would have thought, so I'll go into the particular challenges of the book, once it's done and dusted and I have had the experience of wrestling it into submission...
In the meantime, I hope you enjoy the new Who adventures, if that's your kind of thing and as usual, I'll wrap up by saying...
...that's all for now; more just as soon as it happens!