Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Audio Drama's

Audio Drama's....

Today I purchased a Games Workshop Audio Drama.  Curiosity was killing me.  I grew up listening to radio drama's and wanted the same experience that I had when I was a kid.   This post is a review and comparison of two audio drama's.

The one I purchased today is from Games Workshop's Black Library division Red & Black, written by James Swallow and performed by Beth Chalmers and Lisa Bowerman.

When I read the cover, that it was performed by only two people, I was skeptical of how well it would be produced.  I'm pretty sure that the production quality would have been good as far as sound quality, etc., after all it is a Games Workshop production.  My concern was with it actually not being a radio drama or radio play that I remember from my childhood.

I will be comparing this radio drama to the radio drama produced by Noise Monster Productions series, based on the RPG Space 1889. Unfortunately I cannot provide a link, as their site is down and they are no longer available for purchase (that I can find except for eBay). The production value on these was phenomenal. It was like listening to your radio back in the 1930’s and 40’s. Before TV ruined it all.

The drama starts off with a narration of how the Sisters of Battle came into being. Not sure who Games Workshop thought their target audience is for these, but I would think that people who play or at least read about Warhammer 40,000 would also be picking this item up as well. But then if someone who is not fan picks it up, then having the intro gives the listener a reason for why the Sisters of Battle “Are”.....

The Narrator talks through 80% of the story, with only about 20% being actual “acting”.

I was very disappointed by this. What I would really like for Games Workshop to do is to create a real, and I mean 1930’s type real audio drama. I want a movie without the visuals, I want to hear feet running and actors/characters speaking like they would in the book and the Narration should only take up 10-15% of the actual speaking. EVERYTHING ELSE should be sound effects, etc. I remember when I collected comic books and actually met Stan Lee 30 years ago, he stated that the writer of the comic AND the artist working together should allow the reader to understand the story without reading a word….

That was very powerful and is what made Marvel a powerhouse, dwarfing DC for years.

That is what I want in an Audio drama. I want a 2 hour movie without the visuals and be able to “see” the action in my mind just from the character interaction and the sound effects should tell the whole story.

I also have purchased The Ascension of Balthasar.. and again was sorely disappointed. It states two disks, so I thought, 2 disks worth of audio drama… NOPE!

So fool me once Games Workshop, shame on you… fool me twice, shame on me.

I won’t be purchasing ANY more Audio Drama’s from Games Workshop.

I do hope that one day they actually do what I want in an Audio Drama and I get some really good “radio” to listen to while I’m painting their miniatures.


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