“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 Sewell.
The stories confirmed so far are: Voyage to Venus (Kurti/Doyle), The Red Moon Mystery (Swallow), Marooned on Mercury (Platt), Reign of the Robots (Guerrier), Operation Saturn (Chapman) and Prisoners of Space (Brake).
Keep watching Sci-Fi Bulletin for casting information.