London, 1 February 2016: Inspired by the original Eagle comic strips the writers for B7 Media’s dramatic new audio version of DAN DARE have been announced.
“Space is back! After years languishing in the backwaters, suddenly the romance of space has ignited the public imagination again,” say lead writers Richard Kurti and Bev Doyle. “Nothing captures this feeling better than the original Dan Dare comic strips, which ran from 1950 to 1967, when being an astronaut was the coolest thing on the planet.”
Joining Richard Kurti and Bev Doyle (Going Postal, The Martian Chronicles) are: James Swallow (Star Trek, Doctor Who, 24), Simon Guerrier (Doctor Who, Sapphire and Steel), Marc Platt (Doctor Who, Oz) and Patrick Chapman (The Martian Chronicles). Series script editor Colin Brake (Bugs, EastEnders) will write the Season One finale.
“From Chris Hadfield’s rendition of Space Oddity on the international space station, which clocked up 26 million hits on YouTube, to the 200,000 volunteers for a one-way ticket to Mars, people now see space exploration as something daring and romantic,” Kurti & Doyle believe.
Tim Peake’s six-month mission for the European Space Agency, becoming the first Briton in space since Helen Sharman travelled on a Soviet spacecraft for eight days in 1991, and the first to do so under a British flag, has also captured many imaginations, inevitably prompting nostalgia for Britain’s fictional hero, Dan Dare.
“The challenge for us was to strip away the stiff-upper-lip, old fashioned, class-ridden heroics,” Kurti & Doyle continue, “while retaining the courage, idealism and spirit of adventure that is at the heart of Dan Dare.”
Inspired by the original Eagle comic strips, the all-new Dan Dare audio adventures will be directed by Andrew Mark Sewell (The Martian Chronicles, Blake’s 7) and produced by Simon Moorhead (Luna, Mirrormask). Former Marvel Comics editor John Freeman is attached as consultant to the series.
“We’ve assembled a great team that has respect but not reverence for the original comics, and a real passion for sci-fi and space exploration. Together we aim to bring you a truly cinematic audio series that recaptures the spirit of wonder and heroic adventure that characterized the original Dan Dare,” says director, Andrew Mark Sewell.
The Season One stories are confirmed as:
Voyage to Venus
Written by Richard Kurti and Bev Doyle
Brilliant test pilot, Dan Dare, is chosen to fly the Anastasia – a new experimental spacecraft – on its maiden voyage to Venus. This isn’t exploration – it is to make first contact with a mysterious civilisation that has sent technological secrets as a goodwill gesture. However, what Dan, Digby and Professor Peabody find on Venus isn’t goodwill, but a terrifyingly intelligent, cold-hearted ruler, the Mekon. A creature destined to become Dan Dare’s nemesis – and Earth’s greatest threat…
The Red Moon Mystery
Written by James Swallow
Unable to return to Earth, Dan Dare and the crew of the Anastasia head to the desolate planet Mars, where Dan’s estranged Uncle Ivor is part of a research team working on a top-secret archaeological dig; but when they find the base wrecked and the scientists missing, Dare, Digby and Professor Peabody soon discover that the Red Planet is not nearly as dead as everyone thought and that Ivor’s expedition has woken an army of deadly insect-creatures that threaten to swarm and engulf the Earth… Dare must stop the aliens, but can he really resort to genocide in order to save the human race?
Marooned on Mercury
Written by Marc Platt
When a distress call summons the crew of the Anastasia to the burning wilderness of Mercury, they are reunited with their old ally, Sondar. He tells them of the beleaguered Mercurians who are held in thrall to a cruel new taskmaster – the Mekon! The exiled Mekon is rallying his forces, plotting a desperate revenge against his former homeworld of Venus and his hated enemy, Colonel Dan Dare!
Reign of the Robots
Written by Simon Guerrier
Dan Dare and his crew finally return to Earth. Landing in central London, they find the city deserted – or that’s how it seems at first. But soon Dare faces an army of ruthless machines, robots who have conquered the planet and placed the surviving humans in slave camps. The robots are too powerful and too numerous to be resisted, and their invasion is complete. With limited resources, Dare, Digby and Peabody face their greatest challenge yet – to liberate planet Earth. But the task becomes more desperate than ever when Dan discovers the alien force behind the robot invasion…
Written by Patrick Chapman
As work begins to rebuild planet Earth after the devastation of the robot invasion, Dare and his friends in Space Fleet remain vigilant, certain that it is only a matter of time before the Mekon launches a fresh attack. When the wreck of the Nautilus – an experimental ship lost over a decade before – appears in orbit of the moon, Dare, Digby and Peabody are sent to investigate. They find the ship and its crew were destroyed by advanced alien weapons. All clues lead them to Saturn’s moons. With Earth still vulnerable our heroes must journey to an unknown world – to discover who sent the Nautilus back, not realising that for once the source of their latest conflict comes from a lot closer to home. Not all would-be conquerors of planet Earth are alien…
Prisoners of Space
Written by Colin Brake
After a sequence of near non-stop adventures Dare, Digby and Peabody find themselves in a strange limbo of paranoid calm. Whilst there’s been no sign of the Mekon anywhere in the solar system, Dare is certain Earth hasn’t seen the last of the evil alien. Mysterious spaceship disappearances near Venus, an Academy student accidentally launching a prototype new spacecraft, and a floating prison cell in space… reveal themselves as all part of the Mekon’s latest plan to defeat his arch-enemy Dan Dare once and for all. The first season of Dan Dare concludes with daring space action, fearless heroics and the revelation of devastating secrets concerning Space Fleet…