Friday, December 28, 2012

Day 04 - Audio Drama

I have a love/hate relationship with audio drama.

Done well it can transport you to a your own private cinema inside your head where the most ambitious science fiction stories imaginable can be played out. Productions which, if they were done for the TV or big screen, would cost a seven figure budget can be made for a pittance and delivered to you for free! It is the cinema of the mind and is akin to that place which a really good book will take you!

However it can only take a few slip-ups and the magic falters and becomes thin. You become confused trying to remember whose voice belongs to which character in a large cast or the voice quality of one particular character sounds like he phoned it in on his cell phone. A scene changes and you don't know where you are or who is in it, you hear scuffling and assume it is a fight, but is it?

I have the greatest respect for the writers of good audio drama. No, I would go so far as to say that I admire anyone who writes audio drama because it is incredibly hard! I admire the voice actors who can make you visualise a character. The ability to be able to play a Vulcan without sounding like a robot, getting just the right combination of lisp and whine to play a Ferrenghi, projecting as a charismatic ship's captain, a pompous admiral or a coldly calculating villain.

I especially admire those unsung heroes, the audio editors. I prefer to call them the director because it is their job to take the individual sound elements - the voice actor's lines, the sound effects and music - and literally mix them in such a fashion that you will believe that you are standing there watching the scene unfold! The cathedral echoes of a shuttle bay, the stereo magic of listening to someone move from your left to your right. And over it all lies the music that ties it together, setting and changing the mood as I mentioned yesterday.

Therin lies the challenge! Audio drama has to compete for attention with video productions for the attention of their audience. We live in a visually dependent world, where a picture can paint a thousand words! Its not that video is doing anything wrong, rather the audio drama community needs to identify what it can do better than video and work to its strength.

I believe that sound can feed more directly to our emotions than video. If you are in the right place, if the production has transported you to the cinema of the mind, it can be be more sinister, more uplifting or more  comedic... but it isn't easy and for that we should thank those who are trying to take us there.

Time has caught up with me and I must release this now. It is at the same time more complete than last year - I have included details of past productions - and yet still incomplete! I have particularly failed to fill in the section on new drama in pre-production, as I write this Star Trek: Equinox springs to mind. I can think of no better advice than to direct you to Barb Reader's Star Trek Reviewed which she keeps as up-to-date as possible with news about Star Trek fan-made audio dramas as well as film and animation. For the second year I am listing two levels of hiatus: short-term and long-term to help the browser to see the difference between those which are truly resting and those that might have a problem being revived.

Download something today, sit back in a quiet room, and let the cast and crew of a Star Trek audio drama take you to the 23rd century! 3D TV has nothing over a good pair of headphones!

New productions that should be going into production shortly

In Production
Productions that have released one or more episodes during 2012

Child-friendly audio drama from Misfits Audio: The adventures of Cpt Peter Rabbit in space!
1.05: Why
2.09: A Little Bit Of Chacha 5 11/03/12
Hidden Frontier Productions have revived the popular two episode run by Front Line Productions from 2008 with a new episode for 2012 and more to come.
1.1a: Rapprochment Part 1 14/04/08
1.1b: Rapprochment Part 2 14/04/08
1.2: Agrément 08/01/09
1.3: Accession 07/05/12
Unthinkable attrocities and secrets long buried are brought to life in a convoluted and gripping tale from Starship Excelsior
103: Wildfire
Darker Projects post-Nemesis / post-apocalyptic series that extended on, and gave closure to, their iconic audio drama series, The Section 31 Files.
00: Introduction Jul 1, 2007
01: Hope Jul 1, 2007
03: Prisoner Sep 1, 2007
04: Escape from Korsava 4 Oct 1, 2007
05: The Fallen Empire Nov 1, 2007
06: Remnant of the Klingons Dec 1, 2007
07: Resistance Jan 1, 2008
08: A Legend Falls Mar 26, 2008
09: Movement in Shadows May 1, 2008
10: Of Q and Women May 5, 2008
11: A Prophet Without Honor Nov 5, 2008
14: The Valiant, Part 1 Aug 22, 2009
15: The Valiant, Part 2 Sep 22, 2009
16: Caduceus Nov 02, 2010
17: The Rift Jan 31, 2012
Deep Space Three is a boring place... unless you include the pirates, the ferrengi, the ghosts, the mysterious, ancient archaeology... from Giant Gnome Productions. For a second year, Star Trek: Outpost has made it into the finals of the Parsec awards.
15: Ambush
31: Old Friends and Memories Dec 5, 2011
32: The Gathering Storm Jan 5 2012
33: The Telltale Ferengi  Feb 5 2012
34: The Eye of the Storm Apr 4 2012
35: Thunder and Lightning May 4 2012
35A: What Lies Hidden May 15 2012
36: The Eye of the Storm Jun 4 2012
37: Dark Dawn Jul 5 2012
38: Enemy in the Darkness Aug 4 2012
39: Half the Battle Sep 4 2012
Short-term Hiatus
Season not completed, nothing released in 2012 but production active or planned releases in 2013

By TWERPs, Time Well Electronic Recording,
1.1a: The Big Bang: Act 1 Nov 10, 2006
1.1b: The Big Bang: Act 2 Nov 21, 2006
1.1c: The Big Bang: Act 3 Jan 2, 2007
1.3a: Yours, Mines and Ours: Act 1 Nov 5 2007
1.3b: Yours, Mines and Ours: Act 2 Jan 28 2008
1.3c: Yours, Mines and Ours: Act 3 Oct 24 2008
1.4a: Tough Decisions: Act 1 Nov 14 2009
1.4b: Tough Decisions: Act 2 Nov 14 2009
1.4c: Tough Decisions: Act 3 Nov 14 2009
1.5a: Martini: Act 1 Aug 31 2010
1.5b: Martini: Act 2 Aug 31 2010
1.5c: Martini: Act 3 Aug 31 2010
1.6a: Deltan Trade: Act 1, Dec 30 2011
1.6a: Deltan Trade: Act 2, Dec 30 2011
1.6a: Deltan Trade: Act 3, Dec 30 2011
There is a suggestion that there are another three unreleased scripts that might be done of this series.
201: Intel Mar 22 2009
202: Family Jan 23 2010
203: Obligations Apr 22 2010
204: Analepsis Oct 22 2010
Series based on the popular character from the fan film series ST: Hidden Frontier. Three episodes ready but needs a composer.
HMD 1.01: Recalled To Life
HMD 1.02: Best Served Cold
HMD 1.03: Risk Factors
HMD 1.04: Good With Words
HMD 1.05: Profit Without Honor, Feb 22, 2011
HMD 1.06: Vector of Infection, Dec 5, 2011
A ship and crew from the past are the answer to a deadly threat. Quality audio drama by Totally Creative Media. Cover art released for next episode.
2.1: Earth Aug 27, 2011
Because of lost audio files that could not be recovered, Quindar Entertainment have decided to re-do their second episode from the ground up. Facebook
1.1 - Court Martial 6/03/2008

Long-term Hiatus
Season not completed, no audio drama episodes released during 2012 nor scheduled for the future

Star Trek: Defiant
Not listed at producer's request
Available on YouTube, from Shady Beach Productions, the same group that made the fan film, Star Trek: Requirius.
Mixed media project that released a pilot animation scene and five audio vignettes in 2011. Their Facebook page says that they have decided to release as a Star Trek Online game module and web comic
Vignette 1: Ensign Daniel Park
1: All The Kings Horses 16/05/2009
1: The Beginning 2/02/2008
1x1: Into The Breach 28/08/2009
1x2: Q Are You 28/08/2009
1x3: A World Made of Glass 28/08/2009
1x4: Shiver 31/08/2009
1x5: The Green Grass of Home 31/08/2009
1x6: Past Forward 31/08/2009
2x1: Nightfall 3/09/2009
2x2: Sunrise 7/09/2009
1.1: Motherhood 24/06/2008
1: Disunity Part 1 15/12/2007
2: Disunity Part 2 25/12/2008
Taking listeners to new worlds and a universe which has only barely been explored, from Giant Gnome productions.
1: Things Not Seen Part 1 Sep 12, 2011

Series Completed
Productions which have completed their season and they have announced that they will not be producing any more shows.
A spinoff from the Section 31 Files, the shuttle Enforcer finds itself in a galaxy far, far away.
1.1 - Untitled 23/04/2004
1.2 - Untitled 23/04/2004
1.4 - The Human Cost 27/12/2007
1.1 - Sacrifice 19/08/2008
1.2- Life Before The Mirror, part 1 – Frank Reeves 04/05/09
1.3 - Life Before the Mirror, part 2 – Cdr Tara Tarus 15/08/09
Star Trek: Foundation by Sigma Phi Kappa Productions
A very creditable series created by a group of Miami High School students - Not available online.
SPK2STF1 - Foundation And Imperium 7/07/2004
SPK2STF2 - Nemesis
SPK2STF3 - Lest We Remember
SPK2STF4 - A Choice of Catastrophes
1. - New Frontiers, Part 1 26/07/2004
2. - New Frontiers, Part 2 9/11/2004
3. - New Frontiers, Part 3 28/12/2004
4.1 - Bold Venture, Part 1 30/03/2005
4.2 - Bold Venture, Part 2 30/03/2005
5. - Fate & Sacrifice (Unreleased)
6. - The Forgotten War, Part 1 16/08/2005
7. - The Forgotten War, Part 2 1/01/2006
1.01 - Altered Reflection, Part 1 13/08/2004
1.02 - Altered Reflection, Part 2 23/10/2004
1.03a - Altered Reflection, Part 3a 1/11/2004
1.03b - Altered Reflection, Part 3b 1/11/2004
1.04 - Shades of Grey 13/12/2004
1.05 - The Sum of One's Memories 12/01/2005
1.06 - Crimson: The Key 5/02/2005
1.07 - The Awakening 14/03/2005
1.08a - Bold Venture, Part 1 30/03/2005
1.08b - Bold Venture, Part 2 30/03/2005
1.09 - Harbinger 20/04/2005
1.10 - In His Name 13/05/2005
1.11 - Distant Shores 15/06/2005
1.12 - Knowledge is Power 27/06/2005
2.01 - Dark Alliance 22/07/2005
2.02 - Absent Friends 11/08/2005
2.03 - The Gathering Storm 5/09/2005
2.04 - Storm Warning 27/09/2005
2.05 - Storm Break 28/10/2005
2.06 - Fallout 22/12/2005
2.07 - Reflections from the Gulf 11/01/2006
2.08 - Shattered Dominion 22/02/2006
2.09 - A God By Any Other Name 12/03/2006
2.10 - Korg 23/03/2006
2.11 - The Hour Of Judgement, Part 1 17/08/2006
2.12 - The Hour Of Judgement, Part 2 7/09/2006
3.01 - Escape from Rura Penthe, Part 1 25/10/2006
3.02 - Escape from Rura Penthe, Part 2 7/11/2006
3.03 - Escape from Rura Penthe, Part 3 30/11/2006
3.04 - Invasion, Part 1: The Gateway 7/12/2006
3.05 - Invasion, Part 2: Doomsday Unleashed 14/12/2006
3.06 - Invasion, Part 3: Warday 5/03/2007
3.07 - Invasion, Part 4: The Last Stand 3/05/2007

Internet Radio
A number of internet radio stations, web sites that 'stream' audio files continuously to simulate a radio station broadcast, have developed a niche broadcasting audio dramas.

Space Pirate Radio
The streaming audio station of the Star Trek fan club, the USS Blackheart, is dedicated to sharing classic science fiction radio programs from a bygone era, such as "X-1". All of the programming on Space Pirate Radio is completely commercial-free, and they broadcast at 64kbps for better audio quality.


1 comment:

  1. Thank you sooooo much for this amazing list and links! I'm currently in the middle of listening to Starship Excelsior and have been totally blown away by the amazing acting, production quality, and the rapture each episode induces! Never believed such awesomeness by dedicated volunteers to be possible! Top notch, storyline brings me to tears it is soooo real... I look forward to checking out others you've listed.