Friday, August 31, 2012

#141 Star Wars: Smuggler's Gambit

With any luck Star Wars radio drama fans may have something new to look forward to. After months of writing, casting and other preparations Kyle Newman's Star Wars: Smuggler's Gambit was performed live at the Star Wars Celebration VI convention in Orlando, Florida over the weekend of August 23-26, 2012. The story is based on concepts from original Star Wars radio drama writer Brian Daley's Han Solo Adventure books and set just after the events of Star Wars: A New Hope. According to Newman Smuggler's Gambit was designed to be a fun, fast-paced story in the spirit of the classic Star Wars radio dramas written by Daley. The story not only incorporates original characters such as Han Solo, Chewbacca, Luke Skywalker, Leia Organa, R2D2, and Boba Fett but also a few new characters as well.

Newman's desire to create a quality production spurred him on to seek out a highly talented cast of actors. And he found one when he cast the actors from The Clone Wars Animated Series. In the cast are...
David Collins as Han Solo
Ashley Eckstein as Ryder Thorne – a conflicted upstart hustling her way through the outer rim who suddenly finds herself in way over her head on a deal…
Sam Witwer  as Ro Kurota – a brash, young smuggler turned bounty hunter eager to make a name for himself.
Matt Lanter as Luke Skywalker
Dee Bradley Baker  as Black Sun crime lord “Prince Xixor” and “Sweeper” – an unsavory face from Solo’s past.
Clare Grant as Princess Leia
Matthew Wood as Bib Fortuna
Daniel Logan as Boba Fett
Tom Kane Imperial Lieutenant Kane, the “Narrator” and the program’s “Announcer”

Jimmy Mac (Forcecast) Producer and Sound Effects. Over 100 sound cues were played during the production.

No doubt Star Wars fans will be waiting with eager anticipation to find out if last weekends live performance of Star Wars: Smuggler's Run radio drama was recorded for future release.

Script Intro from Kyle Newman:

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…
Several months have passed since the Rebellion’s surprise victory over the Empire at Yavin IV and the destruction of the DEATH STAR.  With the location of their secret base revealed, the Rebels are now on the run, dangerously adrift in space.

Realizing the Imperial armada is determined to quash the growing insurgency at all costs, PRINCESS LEIA, youthful leader of the Rebel Alliance, orders a covert galaxy wide search for a new hideaway to continue the Rebellion.

Spearheaded by former smugglers HAN SOLO and CHEWBACCA the Wookiee, a small reconnaissance team has been dispatched to ABROSSOS VI in hopes of securing new refuge.  But Han and Chewie, not exactly team players, are still unsure of their place in the Alliance…

For more Star Wars see also:

Star Wars: The Original Radio Drama (aka Star Wars: A New Hope)

Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back

Star Wars: Return of the Jedi

Star Wars: Dark Forces - Soldier For The Empire

Star Wars: Dark Forces - Rebel Agent

Star Wars: Dark Forces - Jedi Knight

Star Wars: Crimson Empire

Star Wars: Rebel Mission to Ord Mantell

Monday, August 20, 2012

#140 The Guns of Navarone (BBC)

World War II was not only a demonstration of the destructive force of human nature but also a testimony to the resilience of the human spirit and the will to survive. This global conflict, its many battles and multitude of personalities, has been the inspiration for a vast array of highly entertaining Hollywood movies: The Sands of Iwo Jima, The Longest Day, Patton, The Dirty Dozen, Tora-Tora-Tora, Where Eagle's Dare, The Great Escape, The Guns of Navarone, and many, many more.  However, in the nearly 70 years since the end of WWII it seems the audio drama community has failed to make use of the storehouse of potential stories from this era of history. What adventures could be had... What stories could be told... in this perfect medium for an action tale.

There is, however, one exception to the rule: the BBC's production of The Guns of Navarone. Based on the Alistar McLean novel this radio adaptation by the legendary Bert Coules tells the tale of a band of men who take on the impossible task of silencing The Guns of Navarone. Two huge German cannons protected by an impregnable fortress on the island of Kheros. Two huge cannons that destroy any allied ships that pass by in the Aegean Sea and that prevent 2000 British troops from being rescued from the island. The commando team's dangerous assignment begins almost immediately with trouble at sea as they attempt to land on Navarone. Their struggles continue upon reaching shore as they must overcome and outmaneuver the island's Nazi occupation force long enough to carry out their mission and survive. Gripping and intense this World War II tale is sure to please listeners who yearn for action and adventure.

Starring Toby Stevens, Michael Williams, David Rintoul.

From the BBC:
It is 1943. Two huge German guns in the grim, impregnable fortress on a huge beautiful island off the coast of Turkey are having a devastating impact on Allied shipping and preventing the evacuation of hard-pressed British troops from the nearby island of Kheros. The Germans are poised to overrun and unless the guns can be put out of action within a matter of days, a thousand men will die.
All previous attempts to attack the fortress of Navarone have failed. It is time for one last desperate throw of the dice. And so a select Subversive Operations commando unit, led by the famous pre-war mountaineer Captain Keith Mallory, launches a daring and very possibly suicidal raid.

This BBC Radio 2 dramatisation, starring Toby Stephens and Michael Williams, brings to exhilarating life one of the greatest adventure stories of World War II.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

#139 Anne of Green Gables (Focus on the Family)

Focus on the Family brings you Anne of Green Gables. Aging siblings Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert have decided to adopt an orphaned boy to help them work on their Prince Edward Island farm. However, the boy they are expecting to meet at the train station turns out, to their astonishment, to be a young redheaded girl. The Cuthbert's can't imagine how a young girl could be of any use on the farm and so Marilla decides the Anne must return to the orphanage. However, after a few days, pity and curiosity for Anne get the better of her and she decides to let her stay. Before long the Cuthbert's adopt Anne and with feisty determination this lively and spirited young girl sets out to win over new friends and the world as she grows up. And so begins the heartwarming and hilarious adventures of Anne Shirley.

Anne of Green Gables is delightfully produced wholesome entertainment for the entire family. It features fine acting and an original musical score.

Mae Whitman (Independence Day, Hope Floats) as Anne
Christina Pickles (Legends of the Fall) as Marilla.

From Focus on the Family:
This captivating new radio drama production based on the beloved book by Lucy M. Montgomery allows listeners to personally experience the world and characters presented in Anne of Green Gables in a whole new way! Anne of Green Gables is the story of a little girl's feisty spirit and strong determination that win over the hearts of the people of Avonlea, the love and commitment of family, and a poor orphan growing up into a distinguished young woman.