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Big Finish to adapt Diana comic strips for audio!
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DerekD
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2015 4:16 am    Post subject: Big Finish to adapt Diana comic strips for audio! Reply with quote

The Diana comic strips to get the audio treatment

http://www.bigfinish.com/news/v/the-avengers---steed-and-mrs-peel
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MikeR
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2015 5:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Big Finish appear to have found a new source of material in adapting comic strips for audio releases.

They might have a little more trouble adapting the giant ants story from the Tara King TV Comic strips, should they want any additional material, but then again problems like this can always be got around by the use of a narrator.
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DerekD
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2015 5:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've greatly enjoyed the missing episodes so I'm looking forward to these too. I hope they get the casting of Mrs Peel right....
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Lhbizness
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2015 5:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is horrifying. I really don't know what Big Finish is accomplishing by taking things from one medium and throwing them onto another - though, really, it all about how truly awful Julian Wadham is as Steed. I shudder to think who they'll miscast as Emma Peel.
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Alan
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2015 8:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

On the contrary, Lauren, this is fabulous news. I think Julian Wadham is excellent as Steed and getting better all the time.

I'm sorry that you don't enjoy the Big Finish releases, but calling this developing "horrifying", Julian Wadham "truly awful" and fearing who they'll "miscast as Emma Peel" is a truly depressing reaction to exceptionally good news.
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2015 8:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll amend my original statement: I don't think this is a good idea because I do not like Wadham's performance or the adaptations as they've been done thus far. He is, in my view, badly miscast and does not give me hope for the quality of these future productions or the casting of Emma Peel. I'm not sure why this is even necessary or needed.

I think he's an embarrassment to the character, so we'll have to agree to disagree.
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Alan
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2015 8:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I am very pleased that they're doing these. I am, in fact, more interested in adaptations of contemporary works such as these comic strips than I would welcome original plays based on the series.

I don't understand why your reaction is so vehement (even though you have revised it). If you don't like it, that's fine, but other people do, so please allow them to revel in good news - all you need do is not buy them.
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peabody
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2015 8:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow, this is certainly very good news. This must mean that the Lost Episodes are selling well... And I see they're also doing The Prisoner! Bring 'em on, I love 'em!
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Lhbizness
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2015 8:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Simply put, it's a revision of the original characters for the purposes of profit. I don't particularly see the point. Just as many dislike and find the film objectionable (myself among them), I find these productions and their casting just the same. Maybe these will be better if they can find someone to play Emma Peel and Wadham manages to make his Steed less one-dimensional and caricaturish. But I am not hopeful.

Beyond my negative reaction, though, I would be interested in knowing and seeing how they manage to adapt comic strips to radio - perhaps an even greater media spread than that of TV scripts to radio dramas. That in itself is a daunting task.
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2015 9:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lhbizness wrote:
Simply put, it's a revision of the original characters for the purposes of profit. I don't particularly see the point. Just as many dislike and find the film objectionable (myself among them), I find these productions and their casting just the same. Maybe these will be better if they can find someone to play Emma Peel and Wadham manages to make his Steed less one-dimensional and caricaturish. But I am not hopeful.


None of us has to watch the film, none of us has to buy the CDs. I can understand people not finding either to their tastes, but I fail to see the outraged reaction afforded to the movie or yours to the CDs.

What is wrong about something being for profit? Was the original series made for charity??? These are being made with love and affection by a company that has a proven track record going back to 1999, and which has been behind highly regarded revamps of a growing number of television series. They have always been done with care, an attention to detail and a respect for the source material.

To disregard the releases as purely for profit is missing the point entirely. They are not that sort of company. They are all fans of the series they produce. I know many of them personally, have met them, and to be honest, I can think of no-one better to bring The Avengers back into the marketplace.
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2015 9:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm sorry but none of that makes for a quality of the production. It's all right - I simply don't like them, I severely dislike Wadham's casting and think he's as bad a choice for Steed as Ralph Fiennes was. That's OK, but it does not make me happy. The original characters, in my view, should be left alone. But I have no control over it. I simply don't like it and I'm not obliged to. I apologize for my initial kneejerk response to this news (and would delete it if I was allowed to), but it's a legitimate opinion.

I think it is a sense that something that we love or enjoy has been taken and twisted to become something else, something that doesn't work for us as fans. Wadham's performance has put me off because it's not even close to the Steed that I know and love; it's hollow. That's my perspective. Is it all right for me to dislike this as a fan, with as much right to dislike or like something as the fans who run Big Finish, and say that I dislike it, with reasons that I have explained elsewhere?
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DerekD
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2015 9:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't mind his Steed too much at all and as has been said, he's getting better (more relaxed) as the series goes along. It's all good news in my book and shows there's an audience out there
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paulpdjh
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2015 10:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I love Big Finish's Lost Episodes series, so I'll be interested to hear how they adapt these for audio. I've got quite into the various Avengers and New Avengers comic strips recently, so it's great that Big Finish are planning to publish a graphic novel with all 8 stories from the Diana strips too.
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Alan
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2015 10:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lhbizness wrote:
I'm sorry but none of that makes for a quality of the production. It's all right - I simply don't like them, I severely dislike Wadham's casting and think he's as bad a choice for Steed as Ralph Fiennes was. That's OK, but it does not make me happy. The original characters, in my view, should be left alone. But I have no control over it. I simply don't like it and I'm not obliged to. I apologize for my initial kneejerk response to this news (and would delete it if I was allowed to), but it's a legitimate opinion.


You may not approve of the audio series, but many (indeed a majority of listeners) do. That's not to belittle your opinion, and at least you have heard some of the plays. Some people criticise without seeing, hearing or reading. However, I still maintain that there is nothing "horrifying" about something being produced that you or I don't like. Maybe I've got to a stage in my life where I say live and let live, and maybe you haven't, but my perspective on things I'm not crazy about is to ignore them. If other people like those things, then that's reason enough for them to exist. That is certainly the case here.

(As an illustration, I have absolutely no love whatever for the recent Steed and Mrs Peel comic series, but who am I to rain on the parade of those that do?)

Quote:
I think it is a sense that something that we love or enjoy has been taken and twisted to become something else, something that doesn't work for us as fans. Wadham's performance has put me off because it's not even close to the Steed that I know and love; it's hollow. That's my perspective. Is it all right for me to dislike this as a fan, with as much right to dislike or like something as the fans who run Big Finish, and say that I dislike it, with reasons that I have explained elsewhere?


I'm quite taken aback that you think that the audios represent a "twisting" of the series we all love. They are as authentic and true as it's possible to get without Macnee, Hendry and Hafner in those roles.

Of course, you are entitled to an opinion - my original comment was regarding the way in which you presented it. If you hate the audio series as much as you obviously do, why don't you just concentrate your attention on something else that you do enjoy?
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paulpdjh
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2015 10:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lhbizness wrote:
I severely dislike Wadham's casting and think he's as bad a choice for Steed as Ralph Fiennes was. ?


Hi Lhbizness, I was wondering if you've heard Donald Monat's performance as Steed in the South African Avengers radio serials - and is so what you thought of him?
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denis rigg
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2015 10:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good news of the day.
The enthusiasm of the company definitely rejoices me. The team is working to develop their ideas with The Avengers in audio.

Personally, I think the audio series is made very well for the listener (it creates the need atmosphere and the right style), choice of performers does not cause complaints. Julian Wadham sounds confident as Steed, even more convincing than Anthony Howell as Dr. Keel.

Wonder how will eventually adapted these short comics from magazine Diana.
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Lhbizness
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2015 10:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

And I disagree with you that they are quality productions or particularly true to the characterizations, at least of Steed (as I've said elsewhere, Hendry/Howell is a bit harder to analyze as so little is left of his performances). Wadham himself seems to view Steed as James Bond, not John Steed. As has been pointed out about the use of scripts on The Avengers, merely doing the scripts is not going to mean anything about truth to the characterizations. Hendry and Macnee built their characters from the ground up, as has been reiterated numerous times on this board and elsewhere. Why should we assume that these performers are even close to approximating what they would have done? Perhaps someone else could have given a better performance than Wadham, but I think he's dreadful casting. He has no charm, no charisma, no laughter in his voice.

However, I do not believe that the "majority of listeners" means anything to my personal opinion.

I'm not going to spend more energy on this though. I hope everyone who listens to these enjoys them immensely.
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Spaceship Dispatcher
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2015 1:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I'm really excited about them! As a collector of hundreds of Big Finish titles since 1999, the Avengers audios are my favourite range of them all. They fit my vision of the early years completely, with sound design and direction that seem to match the style of the ABC era note for note to my ears. Though it was odd at first, I'm warming to Julian as Steed very much and no longer think about the original cast when listening to the new productions - only when watching old episodes; these are something special in their own right, and revisiting classic characters like Sherlock Holmes or familiar plays and movies from the past has been a foundation of the dramatic art since the days of Shakespeare. Where would the world be if old Will had refused to let his plays be performed more than once because it might upset the original cast. We would be several thousand interpretations of Hamlet down for starters! Just because plays are recorded for repeated viewing in the modern era, different actors playing the same roles and exploring them in new ways for new audiences is still imo part of what drama is all about. I'm very interested to see who gets to play Emma Peel, because in a way it's an even more iconic role than Steed; ask many casual viewers (rather than Avengers fandom) if they recall the show and Mrs Peel is usually the first thing on their lips. The comic strips should transfer to audio okay, though I have never seen them myself, because the actors will mostly read out the speech bubbles I guess with the usual elaborate Big Finish soundscape for the pictures. Looking forward to them very much!
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2015 1:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We have only one episode showing Steed in Series 1, so it was always going to be a guessing game to an extent as to exactly what his character *was* in those early days. It will be interesting to see how a fresh dynamic with a female partner will affect Wadham's approach.

Of course Julian Wadham has not attempted to carbon-copy Macnee (which is an eminently sensible approach), he has taken his own memories of the series and put his own spin on them, to make the part his own.

Any actor worth his salt would do this in taking on a role like Steed. Donald Monat did this, Ralph Fiennes also, and by all accounts so did Simon Oates. The fact that people compare the performances of these actors is inevitable, but ultimately fruitless. They are best enjoyed taking the same approach as the actors, viewed in isolation as a fresh creation. All are Steed, but only one is Macnee's Steed. Surely a copy would be far worse than someone finding their own inspiration?

As for Wadham, you complain he has "no charm, no charisma, no laughter in his voice", and yet I can hear all those things in his portrayal.

I'm sorry that you don't enjoy the Big Finish productions, I really am.
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2015 2:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Spaceship Dispatcher wrote:
these are something special in their own right, and revisiting classic characters like Sherlock Holmes or familiar plays and movies from the past has been a foundation of the dramatic art since the days of Shakespeare. Where would the world be if old Will had refused to let his plays be performed more than once because it might upset the original cast. We would be several thousand interpretations of Hamlet down for starters! Just because plays are recorded for repeated viewing in the modern era, different actors playing the same roles and exploring them in new ways for new audiences is still imo part of what drama is all about.


People argue that Shakespeare, Bond, Holmes etc are fair game for new versions as they all have a literary source which actors use as a starting point (though in the case of Bond and Holmes, actors' choices ultimately influenced the writers!). They then argue that television series are literary source + the original actor's interpretation, and therefore not suitable for revamping.

As BF are going back to the scripts, they are in a way replicating the idea of going back to the source material and treating that as gospel. What we are listening to is essentially "the lost scripts" rather than "the lost episodes" (despite the billing) and I wholeheartedly approve of their approach.
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