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    In September 2017 we look forward to having Andrew Mark Sewell and Richard Kurti speaking about their passion; science fiction. Andrew recently launched Dan Dare, an audio drama. Inspired by the growing interest in Science Fiction, Dan Dare the audio drama was a revival. Beloved by readers of Eagle comics, the original stories ran from 1950-67. So enduringly popular were the adventures of Colonel Dare that he has returned several times since the original run ended.

                One of George Lucas’ principle influences when writing Star Wars was “The Hero with a Thousand Faces” by Joseph Campbell. In the book, Campbell describes the concept of a mono-myth, the hero’s story that is found in all human civilisation:

    “A hero ventures forth from the world of common day into a region of supernatural wonder: fabulous forces are there encountered and a decisive victory is won: the hero comes back from this mysterious adventure with the power to bestow boons on his fellow man.”

    Listening to the first episode of Dan Dare – The Audio Adventures: Voyage To Venus I was struck by how Colonel Dare’s adventures are a superb example of Campbell’s mono-myth.

                The director of the series and driving force behind Dan Dare’s audio revival, Andrew Mark Sewell, described these new adventures to me as, “Indiana Jones in space!” It’s a very apt description. Lucas and Steven Spielberg recognised that their love for the serials of the 1950s could be reimagined for a modern audience with Raiders of The Lost Ark. Indy is at once an old-fashioned hero and a modern 1980s film icon. Colonel Dare, as a “pilot of the future” is perfectly placed to unify our sense of the traditional and the modern in the same way when we are thrust into his new 21st century adventures. This enduring verisimilitude on the part of Andrew and the whole superb cast and crew of Dan Dare – The Audio Adventures not only brightly reflects Campbell’s mono-myth but also provides a fresh and genuinely exciting take on a venerated character.

                Andrew has a background in film and he likes to describe his audio dramas as, “films that you listen to instead of watch”. I would describe this quality as the new series secret weapon. Film as spectacle has always held the power to amaze and astonish. But you are always a viewer at a film and never an audient, because the director has decided what you will see and how it will look. What works so well with the meticulous sonic production of Dan Dare – The Audio Adventures is that you have all the atmosphere of a big budget film but your imagination is left to decide exactly what it all looks like. As an audiobook narrator, I understand this power to guide but not define an audiences’ imagination well. In Voyage to Venus though I have never heard such a well realised soundscape. It is spectacularly immersive and as clothing for the voice artists’ excellent performances it creates a quite brilliant listening experience.

                I am truly grateful that I could be part of the launch of Dan Dare – The Audio Adventures. It’s a superb production. The script is a wonderful blend of the traditional and the modern, the sound design is perhaps the best I have ever heard and Andrew has done a truly outstanding job of bringing the whole thing about. Order from the Big Finish website here. I strongly advise you to grab a copy and join the Interplanet Space Fleet today, it’s shaping up to be quite an adventure. 

    We look forward to hearing their talk at the Living Planet Centre on 21st September at 7.30pm. Tickets Available.


    Many thanks to Sam Devereaux for this blog post. Sam is a professional Voice Actor specialising in Audiobook narration, Video Games voice over and Animation characters. To find out more, listen to demos or contact Sam about bringing character to your story please visit:

  2. Wells’ contemporary reputation reflects the enduring impact of his writings, especially of such books as The War of the Worlds, but it results also from the way in which his pioneering stories have been taken, and continue to be taken, to new audiences across the world on film, music, radio and television.

    His publications, alongside ongoing audio-visual adaptations thereof, reaffirm Wells’s prominent place in contemporary popular culture. Indeed, Wells’s role as an influential popular cultural figure was highlighted by his inclusion on the cover of The Beatles’ iconic ‘Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’ (1967) music album. Released fifty years ago, the Grammy Award-winning album, whose cover was designed by PeterBlake and Jann Haworth from an initial sketch by Paul McCartney, has sold over thirty million copies.

    Reportedly a list of “heroes” – they included Wells - to picture on the album cover was drawn up by Paul McCartney, John Lennon, George Harrison, Peter Blake and Jann Haworth. Ringo Starr said he would go along with what the other Beatles agreed.

    What a great way to be featured.