1950s COMIC ACTION HERO DAN DARE MAKES A COMEBACK IN BOLD, NEW ADVENTURES FOR THE 21ST CENTURY
Star studded cast includes film and TV star Ed Stoppard and Poldark’s Heida Reed
Before Quatermass and Doctor Who came an all action sci-fi hero who explored the wonders of space, battled with aliens and captured the imagination of a post-war Britain. Now, 67 years after he first appeared in the popular Eagle comic book, Dan Dare is back protecting the earth from the villainous Mekon and ready to thrill a new generation in a series of action packed audio adventures.
With a stellar cast including Ed Stoppard [The Pianist, Cilla, Joy Division, Youth] as Dan Dare; Heida Reed [Poldark] as Professor Peabody, and Geoff McGivern [Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Plebs, Grantchester] as Digby, the new series is inspired by the original 1950s Eagle comic strips but is Dan Dare for a modern age, brought back to life and bang up to date with an array of fast paced, exciting new stories.
Available over two volumes both as a digital download and CD box set, the new series has retained the character and energy of the original Dan Dare with his courage, idealism, indomitable sense of humour and the same spirit of adventure which has inspired millions across the decades.
There are the same captivating characters, gripping storytelling and plot – Dan and his crew are still exploring the solar system and battling with Dan’s arch enemy The Mekon – and sci-fi fantasy is still at its core.
At the same time the series reflects the many advances in science and technology since the 1950s and today’s increased knowledge of space travel and planets such as Venus and Mars.
Dan Dare was originally created by Manchester born artist Frank Hampson and his editor the Reverend Marcus Morris. The character first appeared in the Eagle comic story ‘Dan Dare, Pilot of the Future, from 1950 to 1967 and was dramatised on Radio Luxembourg between 1951-1956.
Described as Biggles in Space, the original incarnation was seen by some as the British equivalent of Buck Rogers and Flash Gordon. He was a post war hero at a time of austerity and global uncertainty.
Since then Dan Dare has returned in various guises to suit different generations but this new series retains the heart of the original.
It begins as brilliant test pilot, Dan Dare, is chosen to fly the Anastasia – a new experimental spacecraft – on its maiden voyage to Venus.
Dan, who has a healthy disrespect for authority, is always willing to take a risk but who retains his sense of humour and optimism at all times, is joined by the disparaging Digby along with the super intelligent Professor Peabody.
Digby’s character is in sharp contrast to Dan’s – his military career has made him cynical and he plays his cards close to his chest – making for a fractious relationship. His connection to people in high places makes him something of a mystery, but once you have earned his loyalty and trust you will never lose it. Prof Peabody is an ultra-smart scientist and canny corporate animal who believes freedom and profit are what motivate people, much to Dan’s distaste. He can’t quite believe the space programme has been privatised and his role, aside from being a great pilot, is as an ‘easy on the eye marketing gimmick’.
As the unlikely trio embark on their mission it soon becomes clear that it isn’t just about space 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 Prof Peabody find on Venus isn’t goodwill, but a terrifyingly intelligent, cold-hearted ruler – The Mekon – a creature destined to become Dan’s nemesis and Earth’s greatest threat….
Series star, Ed Stoppard, says: “It’s very exciting to play Dan Dare. He’s an intrinsically morally upright man. Hero is too simple a term to describe him – he’s got a complexity to him. It’s nice to be doing something that isn’t overly earnest and is great fun at the same time – although I am learning a lot about cosmology, quantum mechanics and plasma drives!”
Playing Professor Peabody’s long-suffering foil to Dan’s Dare’s action man has says, Heida Reed, been ‘a great challenge and very different to Poldark’. “It’s great playing a character that is both intelligent and challenging,” she says.
It has been a long held ambition of producer/director Andrew Mark Sewell to bring Dan Dare back to the airwaves. He says: “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 have created a truly cinematic audio series that recaptures the spirit, wonder and heroic adventure that characterized the original Dan Dare.”
The all new Dan Dare audio adventures are made by B7 Media [Blake’s 7, The Martian Chronicles, I, Robot] produced/directed by Andrew Mark Sewell and published by Big Finish Productions.
Dan Dare – The Audio Adventures Volumes One and Two (from April 7) are available as both a CD Box set and digital download via dandareaudio.com price from £20.
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Official Dan Dare: dandareaudio.com
For more information:
Jo Clayton, J&J Communications
Preview copies, images and various digital assets, including audio and video clips and interviews, along with character and episode synopses are available.