Lead Actors Revealed For Missing Avengers Episodes RemakeBookmark and Share

Friday, 26 July 2013 - Reported by John Bowman
The actors playing the characters of Dr David Keel and John Steed in an audio re-creation of missing episodes from the first season of The Avengers were revealed today.

Anthony Howell
has been cast as Keel while Julian Wadham will play his sidekick Steed for the three volumes comprising 12 episodes. Only two of the season's 26 episodes exist in their entirety, with just 20 minutes of the first episode - Hot Snow - having survived as well.

Big Finish has signed a licensing deal with Studio Canal to produce full-cast audio dramas of a dozen of the missing episodes, including a full re-creation of Hot Snow.

Howell is probably best-known for his role as Sgt Paul Milner in 21 episodes of the ITV detective drama series Foyle's War, and he has recently filmed for the American series Dracula. His other work includes Dirk Gently - based on the books by Douglas Adams - and Dungeons and Dragons: The Book of Vile Darkness.

Wadham, meanwhile, can count Downton Abbey, Midsomer Murders, Middlemarch, and Blind Justice among his TV pedigree. He has also appeared in the films The Iron Lady (as Francis Pym), War Horse, Maurice, The English Patient, The Madness of King George, and Exorcist: The Beginning.

Volume 1 of The Avengers: The Lost Episodes will be released in January 2014, with Volumes 2 and 3 following in July 2014 and January 2015 respectively.




Survivors - The Audio SeriesBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 9 July 2013 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Survivors - Big Finish (Credit: Big Finish)

Big Finish have announced an audio series based upon the classic television series Survivors, originally devised and written by Terry Nation.

SURVIVORS: THE AUDIO SERIES
Terry Nation’s classic drama comes to Big Finish

Big Finish has signed a licence with the estate of the acclaimed writer Terry Nation to make the 1970s post-apocalyptic drama Survivors on audio. The series ran for three seasons between 1975-77 and told the story of a small group of people who survive a plague that wipes out most of the world’s population.

Producer David Richardson says:
Survivors made a huge impact on me when I first saw it – as it did on many people of my generation. It’s long been a dream of mine to bring it back on audio, exploring the human drama and the many challenges in a world where the
majority of people have died and most technology is useless.
Executive producer Jason Haigh-Ellery adds:
I am very proud to have another Terry Nation series associated with Big Finish. His influence on British television in the 60s and 70s was massive and I grew up knowing that any show with his name on it was going to be both exciting and thought-provoking. Survivors is one of the seminal series of the 70's, with themes that have been visited again and again over the years, most recently by series such as The Walking Dead. We all look forward to working on what we know will be a fantastic new audio series for Big Finish.
Executive producer Nicholas Briggs:
Over the years, so many people have asked us about the possibility of doing Survivors on audio, and now, with the right team in place and agreements signed, we can finally deliver yet another series that our loyal listeners have been waiting for. My early teens were haunted by Terry Nation's stark depiction of a world decimated by a virus, and I'm looking forward to being terrified all over again!

Like Nation’s TV show and novel of the same name, the audio series will begin with the terror and torment as a global pandemic breaks out, and gradually the very fabric of society falls apart. These terrible events will be told through the eyes of a handful of characters whose lives are changed forever...

A number of actors from the original TV series Survivors will be reprising their characters for the audios. These will be announced once recording commences later in the summer. Terry Nation’s impact on British culture is beyond measure – he famously created the Daleks for Doctor Who (for which he wrote 66 episodes), devised the enduringly popular Science Fiction series Blake’s 7, wrote the much-loved children’s novel Rebecca’s World, and contributed acclaimed scripts to successful series including The Avengers, The Protectors, The Persuaders and The Champions.




Original Blake's 7 Cast Reunite For More Audio DramasBookmark and Share

Monday, 8 July 2013 - Reported by John Bowman
The surviving original TV cast of Blake's 7 are being brought back together again in six new audio plays.

The Big Finish dramas will launch in January 2014 with Fractures by Justin Richards, in which an escape from a Federation pursuit ship leaves the crew of the Liberator licking their wounds. As the dust settles, realisation gradually dawns that the trust and camaraderie that has built up between them is dissolving - and one of the crew is working against the rest.

The audios see the return of Gareth Thomas as Roj Blake, Paul Darrow as Kerr Avon, Michael Keating as Vila Restal, Sally Knyvette as Jenna Stannis, Jan Chappell as Cally, and Brian Croucher as Travis, while Alistair Lock voices the computers Zen and Orac.

The writers for the rest of the season are Andrew Smith, Marc Platt, Peter Anghelides, Mark Wright, and Cavan Scott.

The news follows the release earlier this year of Anghelides' audio drama Warship, which first saw the original surviving Liberator team reunited. David Jackson, who played crew member Olag Gan, died in 2005, while Peter Tuddenham - the voice of Zen and Orac on TV - died two years later.

Producer David Richardson said:
I was delighted that our first full-cast Blake's 7 audio, Warship, received such glowing reviews and a rapturous reception. I'm therefore thrilled that we're able to continue with more full-cast stories, which are set during the second season of the TV show, as a worrying revelation forces Blake to interrupt his search for the Federation control centre Star One.
The series is being released in a licence deal with B7 Media, and Andrew Mark Sewell, the executive producer of B7 Media, said:
It's great to be working with Big Finish on more full-cast Blake's 7 stories. Given this year marks the 35th anniversary since the TV series first aired, these epic-sounding audio adventures are a great way for fans to celebrate Blake's 7 enduring legacy.
After Fractures comes out, the other stories - whose titles are yet to be revealed - will be released monthly until June.

The TV series, created by Terry Nation, ran on BBC1 between 1978 and 1981.




Missing 1960s Avengers Episodes To Be Remade On AudioBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 26 June 2013 - Reported by John Bowman
Twelve of the missing episodes from the first series of classic TV show The Avengers are to be turned into full-cast audio productions by Big Finish, it was announced today.

Created by Sydney Newman and starring Ian Hendry as Dr David Keel and Patrick Macnee as John Steed, the show began airing on Saturday 7th January 1961 with the episode Hot Snow. However, only the first 20 minutes of that story plus two full instalments from the rest of the 26-episode run - Girl on the Trapeze (which did not feature Steed) and The Frighteners - have survived.

But now, after signing a licensing deal with Studio Canal, Big Finish is to work from the surviving scripts to present adaptations of a dozen of those lost episodes in three four-disc box sets. The scripts will be adapted, with minimal changes, by John Dorney. The director will be Ken Bentley, with executive producer duties going to Nicholas Briggs and Jason Haigh-Ellery.

Producer David Richardson said:
We are absolutely thrilled to add this wonderful series to our catalogue and we look forward to faithfully re-creating those classic lost episodes.
The roles of Keel and Steed have already been cast, with "two brilliant, high-profile actors" playing them, he added. A casting announcement will be made once recording begins next month.

John Rodden, the general manager for home entertainment at Studio Canal, said:
This opportunity confirms the enduring appeal of this classic TV series and the resonance of the Studio Canal collection in the context of British film and pop culture.
Volume 1 of The Avengers: The Lost Episodes, which will include a full re-creation of Hot Snow, will be released in January 2014, with Volumes 2 and 3 following in July 2014 and January 2015 respectively.

The titles of the episodes selected for recording are yet to be announced.




Early Release For Blake's 7 Reunion AdventureBookmark and Share

Friday, 25 January 2013 - Reported by John Bowman
An audio drama that reunites the original surviving Blake's 7 TV cast members has been released by Big Finish - a month ahead of schedule.

Set during the Galactic War, Warship - written by Peter Anghelides and directed by Ken Bentley - is a two-disc special, with the adventure on one disc and a behind-the-scenes documentary on the other.

It brings together Gareth Thomas as Roj Blake, Paul Darrow as Kerr Avon, Michael Keating as Vila Restal, Jan Chappell as Cally, Sally Knyvette as Jenna Stannis, and Jacqueline Pearce as Servalan, with Alistair Lock as Zen and Orac.

Peter Tuddenham, who originally provided the voices of Zen and Orac, died in 2007 and David Jackson, who played crew member Gan in the first two seasons of the TV show, died in 2005.

An alien fleet stands poised to invade Federation space. The only vessel available to hold it back is the Liberator, commanded by Roj Blake and his crew.

As an intergalactic war breaks out, old enemies become allies, friends will become separated, and Blake will be forced to leave behind all that matters to him . . .

It can be bought as a CD and download. The tie-in novelisation, expanding on the story's events and developments, will be published next month as planned as an e-book.






Blake’s 7 Cast ReunitedBookmark and Share

Sunday, 10 June 2012 - Reported by Marcus
The original cast of Terry Nation’s acclaimed series Blake’s 7 are reuniting for a special audio episode that will be released in February 2013.

The audio is being released by Big Finish in a licence deal with B7 Enterprises.

Written by Peter Anghelides, Warship finds the spaceship Liberator acting as the sole line of defence against a massive alien invasion fleet, while Blake and his crew desperately await the arrival of help from the most unlikely of sources – President Servalan and her Federation forces…

“This is the Blake’s 7 episode that we’ve always wanted to hear,” says producer David Richardson. “It fills in the missing gap in the mythology, following the Galactic War, and ultimately to Blake and Jenna’s departure as members of the Liberator crew. And it tells a whole lot more too – that alien attack force is actually far more destructive than expected, but the Federation may just have a surprise line of defence…”

“I’m delighted to see Big Finish tackle their first full cast Blake’s 7 story,” says Andrew Mark Sewell, Executive Producer of B7 Media, “and it’s great that Peter’s script so perfectly captures the spirit of the original to tell (and complete) such a significant – but previously unseen – part of the whole mythos.”

Warship stars Gareth Thomas as Roj Blake, Paul Darrow as Kerr Avon, Michael Keating as Vila Restal, Sally Knyvette as Jenna Stannis, Jan Chappell as Cally, Jacqueline Pearce as Servalan and Alistair Lock as Zen and Orac.

The hour-long story will be released in February 2013 as a double disc set, with the second disc comprising interviews and behind the scenes material from the historic cast reunion at the recording session. It will retail for £12.99 on CD and £9.99 on download from bigfinish.com.

A novelization of the episode will also be released in February 2013, in ebook form only. The book will retail at £4.99, and expand upon the cataclysmic events and key developments in the story.