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Big Finish to adapt Diana comic strips for audio!
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Lhbizness
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2015 3:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Alan wrote:
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.


As far as I am concerned, there is only one Steed full stop. But that is my opinion - I've yet to see (or hear) it disproven. I don't find Wadham charming, interesting, or even remotely Steed-like, while I can hear Macnee's voice in reading the scripts - so you might hear charisma in his voice, but I hear none. Steed was built by Macnee, not by some writers who had only the sketchiest view of the character. Wadham does not have charisma. He's dull. That is my opinion.

So it is not a matter of "well, anyone can play Steed." Certainly they can, just as anyone can play Bond or Shylock or Hamlet. But I might say "Well, MY Bond is Sean Connery and I don't like the way Roger Moore does the part." And you might say "Well, MY Bond is Roger Moore and I don't like Timothy Dalton." Or you might say "I like both Sean Connery AND Roger Moore." Which of us is correct?

My Steed is Patrick Macnee and I don't like Julian Wadham. His spin is to make Steed into just another boring toff - an uninteresting fop. If that is his interpretation, I reject it, just as I would reject an actor who chose to shout all his lines in Hamlet. So another series with the very Steed I don't like does not fill me with joy and anticipation. It reminds me that Big Finish has taken these things over and we'll probably never see anything more, of either the lost episodes or anything else.

The Avengers, with few exceptions, is not Shakespeare. But even with Shakespeare, there are bad productions and there are good ones. They're all still Shakespeare, but that does not make them GOOD.
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Alan
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2015 3:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lhbizness wrote:
As far as I am concerned, there is only one Steed full stop. But that is my opinion - I've yet to see (or hear) it disproven. I don't find Wadham charming, interesting, or even remotely Steed-like, while I can hear Macnee's voice in reading the scripts - so you might hear charisma in his voice, but I hear none. Steed was built by Macnee, not by some writers who had only the sketchiest view of the character. Wadham does not have charisma. He's dull. That is my opinion.


As you say, we'll have to agree to differ. I have an open mind as to who can play Steed. Macnee is definitive, no argument there, but that doesn't mean that the character cannot be recreated or reinterpreted.

Quote:
So it is not a matter of "well, anyone can play Steed." Certainly they can, just as anyone can play Bond or Shylock or Hamlet. But I might say "Well, MY Bond is Sean Connery and I don't like the way Roger Moore does the part." And you might say "Well, MY Bond is Roger Moore and I don't like Timothy Dalton." Or you might say "I like both Sean Connery AND Roger Moore." Which of us is correct?


I have never once said that anyone can play Steed. Indeed I did not give my opinion of Messrs. Monat, Oates or Fiennes in this thread. I was just saying that each went their own way with the part. For the record, I think Monat is just as fine a Steed as Macnee, but in a different way. Again, it is not a copy - nor is Fiennes' performance, but in that instance I don't think it works. Wadham works for me and his portrayal grows on me with each episode.

On the subject of Bond, I think it's immaterial what my personal opinion of Connery, Lazenby, Moore, Dalton, Brosnan and Craig is, the point is they are all valid interpretations - and the fact that they are all in the main different is something to celebrate, and this is one of the reasons that I enjoy the alternative Steeds.

Quote:
My Steed is Patrick Macnee and I don't like Julian Wadham. His spin is to make Steed into just another boring toff - an uninteresting fop. If that is his interpretation, I reject it, just as I would reject an actor who chose to shout all his lines in Hamlet. So another series with the very Steed I don't like does not fill me with joy and anticipation. It reminds me that Big Finish has taken these things over and we'll probably never see anything more, of either the lost episodes or anything else.


The audio CDs have no bearing over whether lost episodes are found or new visual versions are produced. The audio license is completely separate from other media.

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The Avengers, with few exceptions, is not Shakespeare. But even with Shakespeare, there are bad productions and there are good ones. They're all still Shakespeare, but that does not make them GOOD.


I agree wholeheartedly, but then I do think the Big Finish adaptations are excellent.
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Lhbizness
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2015 3:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would like to think that if a good actor was playing Steed, I would enjoy these audios. Admittedly, I do not view Steed as a character open to reinterpretation by anyone who cares to try. As many have pointed out, Macnee all but created the character out of his own background and his own mannerisms. If Wadham had succeeded in actually playing a part, rather than a caricature, perhaps I'd be interested.

I never said Wadham's wasn't a valid interpretation, however. I said it was a BAD interpretation, in my opinion.

I mean that it is now set in the minds of the fans: I doubt anyone else will try to do an adaptation of those episodes ever again. Unless, of course, the lost episodes are found and we actually get to see Macnee's Steed and not some other character.
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2015 4:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can't imagine any other company having the faith in those lost episodes to even consider tackling them. They'd be making a beeline for the Steed-Peel era which is far simpler to market.

In my opinion, this was a one-off opportunity, and only Big Finish would have seen the potential.
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2015 4:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, which is why I wish I enjoyed it more/it was better.
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jaz
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2015 10:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I must admit I find the idea a little strange and can't quite work out how it might turn out as a comic is so visual and usually the speech bubbles contain very little text. A surprising addition but until we hear the results it would unfair to judge it.
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2015 10:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jaz, I agree, it's really curious.
And that is what fuels the interest to new project.
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2015 11:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One imagines that Big Finish will flesh the comic book stories out a little in adapting them, but who knows? Generally the quality of the BF product has got better and better over the years so I for one am hopeful.
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 20, 2015 1:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would imagine that the comic strips will be expanded upon for audio as there's not, say, fifty minutes' worth of audio play in each comic strip story.

It will be fascinating to see how they approach this. The fact that they are also issuing the graphic novel will give everyone the chance to do their very own "script to screen" (or "comic to speaker") comparisons. Dead cool.
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 20, 2015 2:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lhbizness wrote:
Yes, which is why I wish I enjoyed it more/it was better.


As someone who has spent more than five years researching Series 1, I think I'm pretty au fait with the subject material, the scripts and what was likely to have been seen on screen - and I think Big Finish has done a superb job with these releases.

I'd be the first person to complain if I thought these adaptations were not a creditable attempt to bring these stories back to life.
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 20, 2015 3:43 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.
You don't have to buy them or like them, and they're not going to tarnish "The Avengers legacy" in any way. The majority of people who like audio plays and The Avengers seem happy, so the "point" that you can't see is that people will be entertained. And isn't entertainment what "The Avengers" is for? You're not losing anything by ignoring them.
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 20, 2015 7:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Alan wrote:
I would imagine that the comic strips will be expanded upon for audio as there's not, say, fifty minutes' worth of audio play in each comic strip story.

It will be fascinating to see how they approach this. The fact that they are also issuing the graphic novel will give everyone the chance to do their very own "script to screen" (or "comic to speaker") comparisons. Dead cool.


I'm not certain how the mediums are going to transfer. They're very different after all.
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 20, 2015 9:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm just delighted by the fact that the strips themselves will be published as a collection. The artwork on the strip was so stylish, colourful and vibrant and the stories are gorgeously bonkers a la the 1967 run of episodes. So pleased that this will become available again after all these years!

All the best

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 20, 2015 11:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Alan wrote:
Lhbizness wrote:
As far as I am concerned, there is only one Steed full stop. But that is my opinion - I've yet to see (or hear) it disproven. I don't find Wadham charming, interesting, or even remotely Steed-like, while I can hear Macnee's voice in reading the scripts - so you might hear charisma in his voice, but I hear none. Steed was built by Macnee, not by some writers who had only the sketchiest view of the character. Wadham does not have charisma. He's dull. That is my opinion.


As you say, we'll have to agree to differ. I have an open mind as to who can play Steed. Macnee is definitive, no argument there, but that doesn't mean that the character cannot be recreated or reinterpreted.

Quote:
So it is not a matter of "well, anyone can play Steed." Certainly they can, just as anyone can play Bond or Shylock or Hamlet. But I might say "Well, MY Bond is Sean Connery and I don't like the way Roger Moore does the part." And you might say "Well, MY Bond is Roger Moore and I don't like Timothy Dalton." Or you might say "I like both Sean Connery AND Roger Moore." Which of us is correct?


I have never once said that anyone can play Steed. Indeed I did not give my opinion of Messrs. Monat, Oates or Fiennes in this thread. I was just saying that each went their own way with the part. For the record, I think Monat is just as fine a Steed as Macnee, but in a different way. Again, it is not a copy - nor is Fiennes' performance, but in that instance I don't think it works. Wadham works for me and his portrayal grows on me with each episode.

On the subject of Bond, I think it's immaterial what my personal opinion of Connery, Lazenby, Moore, Dalton, Brosnan and Craig is, the point is they are all valid interpretations - and the fact that they are all in the main different is something to celebrate, and this is one of the reasons that I enjoy the alternative Steeds.

Quote:
My Steed is Patrick Macnee and I don't like Julian Wadham. His spin is to make Steed into just another boring toff - an uninteresting fop. If that is his interpretation, I reject it, just as I would reject an actor who chose to shout all his lines in Hamlet. So another series with the very Steed I don't like does not fill me with joy and anticipation. It reminds me that Big Finish has taken these things over and we'll probably never see anything more, of either the lost episodes or anything else.


The audio CDs have no bearing over whether lost episodes are found or new visual versions are produced. The audio license is completely separate from other media.

Quote:
The Avengers, with few exceptions, is not Shakespeare. But even with Shakespeare, there are bad productions and there are good ones. They're all still Shakespeare, but that does not make them GOOD.


I agree wholeheartedly, but then I do think the Big Finish adaptations are excellent.



valid points. from bond to Steed....
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2015 11:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Now that they've announced three more boxed sets of Lost Episodes (the original plan was for just three), we'll clearly be into territory where no scripts for the episdoes survive. Will be very interested to see how that goes... Anyone here know anything about who is writing these?
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 01, 2015 3:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For the role of Mrs Peel I would nominate two outstanding actresses for consideration. They both have marvellous broadcast voices and their work on recent BBC radio thrillers has been absolutely superb: RSC actress Lisa Dillon who played Honey Rider and Contessa Teresa (Tracy) di Vicenzo (Diana Rigg connection) in the highly acclaimed BBC Radio 4 adaptations of Dr No and On Her Majesty’s Secret Service and Daphne Alexander who played Modesty Blaise in the excellent BBC Radio 4 adaptations of A Taste For Death and Modesty Blaise.
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 01, 2015 3:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm as excited as a small child at Easter! Or is it that it's Easter?

This would be the book that was mooted but never delivered as part of the 50th anniversary DVD 'book' set.

I'd love to hear then adapted, I recently saw an episode of Foyle's War which had both of the current audio leads in it and they were great together; it would be interesting to see him with Mrs Peel, it might remove some of his frostiness (they can just give him a photo of a tasty, young Diana Rigg to look at while recording, that'd do the trick).

Having said that, Julian plays the stiff upper lip thing frequently, I suspect it's what he was cast for in the first place, and he does a first-rate job.
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 01, 2015 7:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lisa Dillon would be a good choice. I remember her in Cranford, and I can definitely hear her voice as Emma.
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 02, 2015 5:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I guess I don't particularly view the requirements of John Steed to be "stiff upper lip." Macnee has much greater warmth in his voice.
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 02, 2015 1:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes Lauren, but he's not paying Macnee, he's playing Steed.
Every actor (and his or her director) will have his or her own interpretation of a character. I'm heard Julian imparting the twinkle in the eye in his delivery before so he's definitely capable of it - remember that Steed was much more hard-boiled in series 1 compared to the Emma Peel years.
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