In Review: Dan Dare Volume 2

Three further audio adventures based on the Eagle comic strip “Dan Dare” created by Rev. Marcus Morris and Frank Hampson

Description: Three further audio adventures based on the Eagle comic strip “Dan Dare” created by Rev. Marcus Morris and Frank Hampson

Review: Big Finish’s second release of B7 Media’s Dan Dare audio series continues in the vein that it started out as.

Giving us a straight ahead very British adventure series, which takes the best elements of the Dan Dare comics and updates them for the 21st century audience.

This series has been my first introduction to the character who I had only ever really read about in a passing fashion over the years.

The characters in this series are voiced wonderfully by all actors concerned. Ed Stoppard is superbly cast as the irrepressibly British and highly moral Dan Dare who has a very straight forward view of the world and always does the right thing.

In contrast to Dare we have the more cynical Digby who sees the world more in shades of grey. Voiced by Geoff McGivern Digby has a very important role to play in the first adventure in this set.

And finishing up the triumvirate of heroes is the scientific and highly logical Professor Peabody (Heida Reed)  provides a buffer between the two big male leads. Bringing a bit of balance to the proceedings.

The three stories provided in this set are all excellent fun.

Proceedings open up with ‘Reign of the Robots’ by Simon Guerrier.

This story sees Dan, Digby and Peabody landing on an Earth that has taken them 10 years into the future. It’s an earth that seemingly has been taken over by Robots, which happen to be immune to EMP’s given that the Earth’s defences tried nuclear weapons against them.

This invasion turns out to be the work of the Mekon who has been plotting his revenge against Dan Dare for some time. Mekon is once again voiced superbly by Raad Rawi who manages to do an awesome voice that would have Ming The Merciless feeling green with envy.

Geoff McGovern’s Digby has a wonderful role to play in this story. He basically seems to have betrayed Dan and Peabody by being the pragmatist of the piece by siding with the Mekon. It’s a jaw dropping performance that had me utterly convinced even though I knew it was a ruse deep down.

It’s a clever twist at the end that sees our Heroes win back the earth or do they?

The second story ‘Operation Saturn’ by Patrick Chapman takes things back into space.

Recovering from the Robot invasion. Earth is in the process of rebuilding and readying itself to defend against another attack by the Mekon.

While all of this is going on. A prototype space craft built by Earth turns up after being assumed lost. Dan, Digby and Peabody are sent up to investigate. When they arrive on board the Nautilus. They find that all hands have been destroyed by advanced alien tech.

Their investigation takes them to Saturn where they find that the source of the attack came from closer to home.

This was a fantastic story with great performances.

I really enjoyed that the villain of this was another human being who had quite obviously gone absolutely mad.

The soundscapes for this and indeed all the adventures was outstanding.

The third and final episode ‘Prisoners of Space’ by Colin Brake sees the team going up once again against the Mekon. Only this time things become more personal and Dan’s ultimate mental duel with Mekon uncovers some secrets that Earth’s political class have been hiding from the general public and even the military.

I really enjoyed this final adventure because of the conspiracy sewn with in.

It’s a story, which reveals Sir Hubert (Michael Cochrane) to be somewhat of a tricky dickie. In that he seems to have been playing a clever and long game.

I love the notion that in this universe of Dan Dare. The earth have known about aliens for over a century and made a pact with an Alien race to slow down their progression into space.

I’m hoping that this story thread gets picked at a little more as the series moves forward.

It was smartly written and done in such away that it did not take away from the action adventure element of the story. It gave us a conspiracy, but didn’t try to be overly clever in doing so. It also gives justification for Sir Hubert’s final action in the final act.

The introduction of new character Cadet Flamer Spry brought a lot of fun to this story in that he seems very much like a younger Dan Dare. I hope that we get to see more of him in future adventures.

I can’t really find fault with this set. All the stories are great as stand alone adventures, but you honestly get more from them is you binge listen to all three at once.

I really enjoyed the very British feel of Dare and the sense of pride that he imbues. Which is a rare thing in a day and age where a lot in the UK tends to cringe or feel ill at ease about being patriotic and proud of Britishness.

10
Dan Dare Volume 2
  • Stories
    10
  • Voice Acting
    10
  • Audio Production
    10
  • Art Work
    10

Ian Cullen is the founder of scifipulse.net and has been a fan of science fiction and fantasy from birth. In the past few years he has written for 'Star Trek' Magazine as well as interviewed numerous comics writers, television producers and actors for the SFP-NOW podcast at: www.scifipulseradio.com When he is not writing for scifipulse.net Ian enjoys playing his guitar, studying music, watching movies and reading his comics. Ian is both the founder and owner of scifipulse.net You can contact ian at: ian@scifipulse.net
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