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optimusskids
2012-08-05, 07:52 PM
I 've been enjoying listening to Big Finish's Audio Dramas for Doctor Who some more than others. What I wondered was whether there was room or even a market for full-cast audio drama's based on Transformers. There are lots of voice actors from the variuos cartoons out there.

They've been covered in most other media and I vaguely remember cassettes back in the day for I think it was the Ladybird stuff.

Terome
2012-08-05, 08:32 PM
I 've been enjoying listening to Big Finish's Audio Dramas for Doctor Who some more than others. What I wondered was whether there was room or even a market for full-cast audio drama's based on Transformers. There are lots of voice actors from the variuos cartoons out there.

They've been covered in most other media and I vaguely remember cassettes back in the day for I think it was the Ladybird stuff.

No reason why it couldn't work. I guess mostly the reason why it hasn't come up is that Transformers is, on the face of it, a very visual and colourful franchise.

What are the overheads on your average licensed Big Finish do? I've only taken a few cursory glances in that direction but they look/sound pretty lavish.

Cliffjumper
2012-08-05, 08:38 PM
Yeh, I think the thing stopping it is that most TF fans do like robots, fighting and robots fighting even if they aren't always big on admitting it. And - if we're talking using old VAs - a lot of the voices are really ****ing similar.

Didn't the Doctor Who ones more or less start out because there wasn't anything else apart from the books at the time, giving them enough time to build up a fanbase before the CBBC show started? I think the sheer amount of competing material now would nix TF ones; I mean which continuity would you follow to start with?

Terome
2012-08-05, 08:55 PM
Didn't the Doctor Who ones more or less start out because there wasn't anything else apart from the books at the time, giving them enough time to build up a fanbase before the CBBC show started? I think the sheer amount of competing material now would nix TF ones; I mean which continuity would you follow to start with?

Sounds about right. Mind, they did the Dredd ones while 2000AD was merrily going about its business. Though I imagine Transformers costs a lot more to licence than Judge Dredd.

Wouldn't be fussed myself to have a whole new cast of voice actors, though nowadays I suppose Hasbro would insist on Cullen and sink the budget.

Yeh, I think the thing stopping it is that most TF fans do like robots, fighting and robots fighting even if they aren't always big on admitting it.

Audio plays are a fun format though it is quite hard to do fights. There's only so much to be done with actors grunting and sound effects. An omniscient narrator helps but those are not in fashion.

Cliffjumper
2012-08-05, 09:12 PM
Plus for 2000AD there's not much apart from the comic. Transformers has 23 comics, a couple of TV series and a film every couple of years. Audio could make an interesting fan niche but I don't think Hasbro are missing much of a gap in the market. IIRC the main reason we got audio cassettes (not just TF, but lots of that sort of thing) was because kids TV was so spotty over here.

I mean, a lot of the interest comes down to cool looking robots that turn into cars... Can you imagine the exposition to cover that, say, Wheeljack and Jazz are driving along in car mode when a scene cuts to them?

That said, IIRC Karl Lynch at Transfans did a solo audio adaptation of "Distant Thunder" that was rather good.

Terome
2012-08-05, 09:17 PM
That said, IIRC Karl Lynch at Transfans did a solo audio adaptation of "Distant Thunder" that was rather good.

Have you got a link to that? I've got a soft spot for 'Distant Thunder.'


Plus for 2000AD there's not much apart from the comic. Transformers has 23 comics, a couple of TV series and a film every couple of years. Audio could make an interesting fan niche but I don't think Hasbro are missing much of a gap in the market. IIRC the main reason we got audio cassettes (not just TF, but lots of that sort of thing) was because kids TV was so spotty over here.



I did have a bunch of those tapes - MOTU, James Bond etc. etc. were they British or just peculiarly popular over here?

Cliffjumper
2012-08-05, 09:36 PM
There were a few tapes of Transformers in America IIRC but they seem to be something of an obscurity whereas they were a bit more mainstream over here - it was probably a lot easier to find the show in the USA and home video viable earlier over there.

Can't find a link for Distant Thunder; will try and have a dig through my archive discs as I'm sure I saved it at the time.

inflatable dalek
2012-08-06, 09:16 PM
The 2000 AD audios sold atrociously both times they tried them. When they started they were going to do all sorts of characters and some double CD's but-other than a couple of pre-Hollywood fame Simon Pegg staring Strontium Dog ones- they wound up being all Dredd and only went on for as long as they did (and came back briefly) because of a lot of love on the part of Big Finish and and Rebellion. Shame as they were good fun, I understand Bernice Summerfield only keeps going because of the love as well and they're constantly jumping through hoops to try and keep them viable. Understandable though as it's a spin off from a spin off of a spin off, that's niche alright.

I think a better comparison for a theoretical TF audio series than the Who ones are the stuff they do based on American series, like Stargate, Highlander and (the original) Dark Shadows.

Generally smaller scale productions, often taking the "Enhanced audio book" route of just having only two characters recounting a story they were involved in. One will usually be a member of the original American/Canadian cast recorded in their home city (either via Skype or totally separately from the rest of the play by a US based director), the other UK based playing a new guest character.

Their other ranges don't sell anything like as well as the Who stuff by their own admission but this is clearly a viable system for stuff based on Yank based franchises (and in all three of the above cases they've done well enough to have some full cast stuff done as well, albeit still with the US/UK recording divide).

Under that system it would be easy to see, say, Mark Ryan-who based on his AA web chat last year would be well up for it- playing Jetfire opposite one of the Big Finish rep actors (which is a fairly awesome number of regulars actually, if they were to do more than four TF based plays it's almost certain David Warner would be in one of them) about a pre-Revenge of the Fallen experience he went through on Earth.

Of course, it's whether enough people would buy it that it all boils down too even if it is workable within their standard buisness practice. That's a trickier question for the reason Cliffy says.

Plus you know Furman would write it.

Still, David Warner.


What I really want is to see James Roberts do some of their Blake's 7 stuff...

Cliffjumper
2012-09-17, 02:36 PM
Have you got a link to that? I've got a soft spot for 'Distant Thunder.'

https://rapidshare.com/files/1074798892/The_Transformers_Distant_Thunder.mp3

Six weeks - that's not actually a bad turnaround for me.

Cyberstrike nTo
2012-09-17, 02:56 PM
There were a few tapes of Transformers in America IIRC but they seem to be something of an obscurity whereas they were a bit more mainstream over here - it was probably a lot easier to find the show in the USA and home video viable earlier over there.

Can't find a link for Distant Thunder; will try and have a dig through my archive discs as I'm sure I saved it at the time.

I recall that they were easy to find in the USA (or at least in central Indiana) back in the day, but they were mostly sold as "help your kid learn how to read" type material. I think some kids were put off by having different VAs doing the voices and the characters speaking different ways. I remember Soundwave not at all sounding or talking how Frank Welker did in the show.

As for new ones I would love to hear them done like the Dr. Who audio dramas or even as an enhanced audio book like the audio adaption of Kingdom Come which is really great and really close to being more like an old time radio drama than audio book.