The BIG PAIR Podcast – Ep 4 – Dr Whooooo, Ooh, Dr Who!

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You can now listen to the podcast by clicking the play button above!

The BIG PAIR Podcast is back with episode 4, and this time we are giving up most of the show to a chat and Q&A session with Kate Thomas, Dr Who Audio director & producer from BBC Audiobooks. She talks about her favourite Who stories, making Who audio adventures, what’s coming up next and much more.

There is also a kick-ass competition in which YOU could win a signed copy of “Doctor Who – The Last Dodo” 2xCD audio adventure from BBC Audio. Signed by Kate who directed it, and read by Freema Agyeman.

Also in this episode:

* The Adventures of Dave Crampon
* Dr Hill’s Cabinet of Curiosity
* Real People
* Jingles a go go!
* Shameless pimping

Places, people and things worth checking out:

THE BLOG – https://hokusbloke.wordpress.com
TWITTER – http://www.twitter.com/hokusbloke
FACEBOOK – http://www.facebook.com/radiobloke

THE BRIGHTONOMICON – http://tinyurl.com/yzz4qs9
DR WHO HORNETS’ NEST Ep 1 – http://tinyurl.com/yjbqnny
DR WHO HORNETS’ NEST Ep 2 – http://tinyurl.com/yhdn9ub
DR WHO HORNETS’ NEST Ep 3 – http://tinyurl.com/yj4gwvy
DR WHO HORNETS’ NEST Ep 4 – http://tinyurl.com/yh4hjyd
DR WHO HORNETS’ NEST Ep 5 – http://tinyurl.com/yzzkacp
Dr WHO THE FOREVER TRAP – http://tinyurl.com/yg2rgll
SARAH JANE ADVENTURES THE SHADOW PEOPLE – http://tinyurl.com/ygsu8ky
SARAH JANE ADVENTURES THE WHITE WOLF – http://tinyurl.com/ylex8ee

THE INSIDEOUTCAST – http://insideoutcast.mevio.com/
BOXROOM PODCAST – http://theboxroom.mevio.com/

Enjoy, share the links and enter the competition!!

N 🙂

Editing Doctor Who – an audio adventure!

Hornets' Nest - The Circus of Doom by Paul Magrs

The Circus of Doom (c)BBC

What a job, eh?  Editing together the latest audio adventures of the fourth Doctor, Tom Baker.  It is, I am happy to admit, a childhood dream come true!  I’ve been a Doctor Who fan since, well, since forever.  And Tom was/is MY Doctor.  My first experience of Doctor Who was in the mid to late 1970s and there he was, Tom “The Doctor” Baker…larger than life, with scarf-a-flappin, a mile-wide smile and a manic approach to being a hero.  According to my mum, I was watching Doctor Who on a Saturday evening from the age of 2…no wonder Tom Baker has such a power over my childhood memories!

As I grew up, I always knew that I wanted to work in radio and what is now referred to as audio.  And I always knew I wanted to make science fiction.  But to be making Doctor Who…and Tom Baker Doctor Who?!  Wow wow wow!

So what is it I am doing?  A few people have asked what my role actually is in the Hornets’ Nest production crew?  First off, the producer/director is the uber-talented  Kate Thomas from BBC Audiobooks.  Kate has made pretty much all of the many, many BBC Audio Dr Who audio adventures…she is a goddess of Doctor Who.  So I’m not the producer or director (unusual for me nowadays!). I certainly didn’t write it or script edit it.  The writer is the mighty Paul Magrs, a man with much Doctor Who writing experience! I’ve done my fair share of writing for radio over the years, and will continue to do so, but I don’t think I’ll ever be good enough to write for Doctor Who!  Simon Willey and Wolfgang were the recording engineers for the drama scenes, so again, that’s not my job (also unusual for me, as I have recorded most things I produce!). So what the heck is it I am doing?

In the voice-over studio

In the voice-over studio

Part of my job was to bring my experience of BBC Radio drama directing/producing…in this role I advised on various aspects of the series, organised recording studios and engineers and ensured all the audio was recorded exactly as would be required to deliver the end result.

As part of this process, I also engineered the recording sessions with Tom and Richard Franklin, these were done in a radio studio rather than a drama studio (Electric Airwaves if you are interested – we used Motivation Sound Studios for the drama sessions).

The Stuff of Nightmares

The Stuff of Nightmares (c)BBC

Once everything was recorded my BIG job began.  It is my role to edit everything together, much like a film editor.  I have all the raw audio, and working alongside my script notes, I piece together each episode, using the best takes, making sure everything balances in terms of pace and style.  Once this is done I then layer in the music (supplied by the BBC), re-time everything to fit what the composer has in mind, and re-balance the volumes.  Finally I go back through the whole episode and add in sound effects (such as the wonderful original 1970s BBC Tardis SFX) and atmospheres.  With these three processes finished I have to listen through a few more times to check there are no mistakes, the pacing is right, the volumes are correct, the FX are in the right place, etc…  At this stage I send the episode to Kate at the BBC, and she, along with the commissioning editor Michael Stevens, listen through and send back a list of small changes they think need to be made.

Kate, Tom, me and Richard

Kate, Tom, me and Richard

You might think I would be annoyed by this short list of changes – after all, I’ve done all this hard work (something like 36 hours per ep) and these two people tell me to make alterations!  But actually it is a very useful and much appreciated stage – being so close to the audio for so long, I find that I end up missing a few things.  Plus, my opinion of pacing and style, may not suit others, and so Kate and Michael play the part of ‘first listeners’.  It is a vital and very positive stage of the production.

So, I take these notes, work through the episode to make the changes, and then master the episode.  Mastering pulls all the many audio files together into one single broadcast quality wav file.  At this point I listen through on headphones to check nothing has gone awry during the mastering process.  If everything is OK, I send an mp3 file of the episode to Kate for her to sign off on.  Once that is done I send a DATA CD and AUDIO CD of the episode to the chaps at BBC Audiobooks in Bath…they then send it through their duplication and distribution system and eventually the episode turns up as a CD and download all over the world – huzzah!

Mastering A DW Episode

Mastering A DW Episode

I’ve done this 3 times so far – ep 1 “The Stuff of Nightmares” is in the shops now; ep 2 “The Dead Shoes” comes out at the start of October; ep 3 “The Circus of Doom” is released along with ep 4 at the start of November.  Ep 5 comes out at the start of December – all in time for Xmas 🙂

Today I finished all the stages of ep 3 – so the master discs head off in the post tomorrow.  Ep 4 is already with Kate & co for notes, so not much left to do with that one.  Just ep 5 now needs to be built and edited…so I am very nearly there.  This production started back in Feb/March and is coming to a close in Oct…6 months for 5 CDs, not a terrible amount of time at all.

Tom does some 'acting'!

Tom does some 'acting'!

And through it all I’ve been getting to edit Doctor Who, Tom Baker, the fourth Doctor.  I’ve loved this job.  It’s been a dream come true, and one I’ve been able to share with friends all around the world through the blog and Twitter and Facebook.  For those of us who grew up with Tom as the Doctor, having him return has been a very special time.  Whether you enjoy the series or not, I hope you’ll agree that Tom coming back is a great thing.  Where he goes next, what he does next, whether it be more with the BBC or with someone else, I think we can all agree that Tom is a legend and a one-off and for me, he still exerts a ridiculous amount of control over my imagination…what a joy it has been working with him.

I just wish I could share with you the out-takes 🙂

The Dead Shoes

The Dead Shoes (c)BBC

“Doctor Who: Hornets’ Nest” is available via the BBC Shop, Amazon, Play, iTunes and other retailers.  There are 5 CDs in the series.

Some great places to visit:

Paul Magrs blog

BBC Shop

Tom Baker’s new website

The BIG PAIR Podcast – Ep 3 – Nobody Puts Baby In The Muller Corner!

There’s a whole new episode of THE BIG PAIR PODCAST now available for you fine folks to take a gander at.

http://bigpairpodcast.mypodcast.com/2009/09/The_BIG_Pair_Podcast_Ep_3_Nobody_Puts_Baby_In_The_Muller_Corner-240145.html

Click to jump to the podcast site

Click to jump to the podcast site

In this ep:

*An exclusive chat with Dr Who audio director/producer KATE THOMAS
*NEW Jingles!
*Some Tom Baker treats
*More comedy skits
*A rant about scifi literature & awards
*EXCLUSIVE first listen of HP Lovecraft short horror story
*More Real People
*More Cabinet of Curiosities
*LONGER running time!
*Part one of surreal audio reading “Roughcheese Came Riding”
*More more more, how do you like it?!

It’s getting longer too! Thanks to Agent manny’s intervention and a jam incident (don’t ask!) the episode is just shy of an hour long…so you get MORE for your MONEY (except you’ve not paid anything…so it’s an even BETTER deal!!)

Have a listen, send some thoughts, feedback, whatever…and please help spread the news and big up the subscriptions.

Next episode I hope to have more from the mighty Paul Kent, a special famous guest, and a whole load more toot…PLUS, chapter 2 of “THe Wonderful Wizard of Oz” read by the gorgeous Sarah Douglas.

Woot!

N 🙂

Stuff Wot I Made You Can Buy!

It’s quite extraordinary but some of the radio and audio productions I have produced are available to purchase from the luminaries at the BBC.  So, in the spirit of wanting to make some cash to pay for the cats’ food, I thought I might introduce you to some of these rather wonderful audio products, and offer you links to where you can buy them…please buy them, many many of them, and then buy some more for your friends and families…all the oney goes to a good cause (well, the BBC and then a little to me, sort of!)

The Brightonomicon 7 CD box-set

The Brightonomicon 7 CD box-set

THE BRIGHTONOMICON by Robert Rankin

13 half hour episodes / full-cast audio drama / award winning production / as heard of BBC Radio 7

starring David Warner, Andy Serkis, Rupert Degas, Sarah Douglas, Martin Jarvis, Jason Isaacs & many more

written by Elliott Stein & Neil Gardner / music by Jeremy Paul Carroll / edited, produced & directed by Neil Gardner

a Ladbroke Productions / Hokus Bloke co-production for BBC Audio

“A stellar cast including David Warner, Rupert Degas, Andy Serkis, Mark Wing-Davey, Michael Fenton-Stevens & Martin Jarvis bring Robert Rankin’s extraordinary fantasty tale to life! This is the tale of two incredible people – one who knows he is incredible and the other who learns to be incredible. Set in 1960 in Brighton, self-styled guru and magus Hugo Rune rescues a young man from drowning and persuades him to become his assistant and partner in solving 12 mysteries. Rizla (for such is the young man’s assumed name) agrees to help as he has lost his memory and has nowhere else to go. There then follows 12 of the most baffling, surreal, exciting, head-scratching and downright far-fetched mysteries ever written…all based in and around the suburbs of Brighton. Across the mysteries Rizla and the audience learn about the Brighton zodiac, the chronovision, time travel, centaurs, a dastardly plot where the NHS kidnap vagrants for body parts, space pirates, the real history of Victorian Britain, Brighton pirates and the fate that awaits mankind should Hugo Rune fail in his task. And of course, there’s a very bad man involved indeed – Hugo Rune’s arch-nemesis of the ages, Count Otto Black – who wants to rule the world (what else!) You will never hear anything else quite like this in your lifetime. Yet another slice of far-fetched fiction in the Rankin tradition.”

CLICK HERE TO BUY FROM THE BBC SHOP

CLICK THE ICON TO BUY & DOWNLOAD FROM iTunes The Brightonomicon (Unabridged)

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The Stuff of Nightmares

The Stuff of Nightmares

DOCTOR WHO: HORNETS’ NEST (1): THE STUFF OF NIGHTMARES by Paul Magrs

1hr 12mins enhanced reading

starring Tom Baker & Richard Franklin

recorded & edited by Neil Gardner / produced & directed by Kate Thomas

a BBC Audio production

“Tom Baker reprises the role of the Fourth Doctor in the first of five thrilling brand new audio adventures, with Richard Franklin as Mike Yates. ‘Wanted: retired army Captain for light household duties and fireside companionship. Must tolerate mild eccentricity and strong scientific advice. Knowledge of Giant Maggots, Super Intelligent Spiders and Prehistoric Monsters a positive boon.’

Responding to an advert apparently worded for him alone, Captain Mike Yates (retired) is reunited with a ghost from the past. But why has the Doctor, that mysterious traveller in Time and Space, sent for his former UNIT acquaintance? Trapped by a horde of vicious creatures in an apparently innocuous English country cottage, the two old friends are on the brink of an enormous adventure. As the Doctor relates his recent escapades, it becomes clear to Mike that they – and the Earth at large – are facing an enemy of unimaginable power and horrific intent.

The nightmare is only just beginning… With Tom Baker as the Doctor, Richard Franklin as Mike Yates, Susan Jameson as Mrs Wibbsey and Daniel Hill as Percy Noggins, The Stuff of Nightmares is the first of five linked stories written by the acclaimed Paul Magrs.”

CLICK HERE TO BUY FROM THE BBC SHOP

CLICK THE ICON TO BUY & DOWNLOAD FROM iTunes  Doctor Who: Hornets' Nest 1 - the Stuff of Nightmares (Unabridged)

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The Dead Shoes

The Dead Shoes

DOCTOR WHO: HORNETS’ NEST (2): THE DEAD SHOES by Paul Magrs

1hr 05 mins enhanced reading

starring Tom Baker & Richard Franklin

recorded & edited by Neil Gardner / produced & directed by Kate Thomas

a BBC Audio production

“Tom Baker reprises the role of the Fourth Doctor in the first of five thrilling brand new audio adventures, with Richard Franklin as Mike Yates. What is so special about a pair of ballet shoes on display in Cromer’s Palace of Curios? When the Doctor meets Ernestina Scott there in 1932, they discover the horrific truth together. The second of five linked stories written by the acclaimed Paul Magrs, The Dead Shoes also features Susan Jameson, Clare Corbett and Christian Rodska.”

CLICK HERE TO BUY FROM THE BBC SHOP

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The Year of the Flood 14 CD box-set

The Year of the Flood 14 CD box-set

THE YEAR OF THE FLOOD by Margaret Atwood

14hrs 30 mins unabridged reading

read by Lorelei King

recorded, edited & produced by Neil Gardner

a BBC Audio production

“Adam One, the kindly leader of the God’s Gardeners – a religion devoted to the melding of science and religion, the preservation of all species and the tending of the Earth – has long predicted the Waterless Flood. Now it has occurred, obliterating most human life. Two women have avoided it: the young trapeze-dancer, Ren, locked into the high-end sex club; and former SecretBurgers meat-slinger turned Gardener, Toby, barricaded into a luxurious spa. Have others survived? And what are the odds for the human race? By turns dark, tender, violent, thoughtful and uneasily hilarious, The Year of the Flood is Atwood at her most effective.”

CLICK HERE TO BUY FROM THE BBC SHOP

CLICK THE ICON TO BUY & DOWNLOAD FROM iTunes  The Year of the Flood (Unabridged)

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6000 Postcards radio feature

6000 Postcards radio feature

6000 POSTCARDS

27mins 30secs radio documentary / as heard on BBC Radio 4

presented by Chris McManus

produced by Richard Bannerman / executive produced by Neil Gardner

a Ladbroke Radio production for BBC Radio 4

“Chris McManus uncovers the secrets of a collection of 6000 dusty old postcards that turned up in a forgotten cupboard in the Psychology Department of University College London. It started with two medium-sized cardboard boxes. When Richard Rawles of the Department opened them, he found the cards, with postmarks dating from August 1953. They were addressed to the BBC Television Service, and the search was on to find out how they came to be there and what information they contained.”

CLICK THE ICON TO BUY & DOWNLOAD FROM iTunes  6000 Postcards

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Bridging The Gap radio feature

Bridging The Gap radio feature

BRIDGING THE GAP

27mins 30secs radio documentary / featured on “Pick of the Year” / as heard on BBC Radio 4

presented by Simon Fanshawe

produced by Tamsyn Challenger / executive produced by Neil Gardner

a Ladbroke Radio production for BBC Radio 4

“Simon Fanshawe visits an ambitious community project in Bridging the Gap at 1100 on Monday 7th August. The gap in question is the cavernous void between young and old that breeds mistrust and anxiety. Pat Stewart and Rob Burley run the On the Streets project in Gorton, Manchester. Their aim is to develop in young teenagers a sense of their community and show them there is more to life than spiralling from ASBO to serious crime.In the programme, the 15- and 16 year-olds talk frankly about a life they feel has little to offer them – with few or no facilities, threats from gangs, and nothing to occupy their time.The programme attends an events day run by Pat and Rob at the Angel Community Centre, where one highlight is the hand massage session that not only gives the over-60s a chance to relax and enjoy a bit of pampering, but more importantly, a chance for young and old to talk and exchange stories from their very different lives.The campaign itself has won awards for breaking down barriers and helping to develop communication and common interest across generations, and Pat and Rob are determined to “take young people out of the thug mode and elderly people out of the victim mode”. As one of the documentary’s producers, Tamsyn Challenger, says, “To hear a 14-year-old talking about 80-year-old Lou on his estate is heartening when there is little positive coverage of 14-year-old Manchester lads living in depressed areas.” Simon Fanshawe discusses the project both with the scheme’s leaders and also with the police, and guides us through the On the Streets story.”

CLICK THE ICON TO BUY & DOWNLOAD FROM iTunes  Bridging the Gap (Unabridged)

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Giants On Our Hands radio feature

Giants On Our Hands radio feature

GIANTS ON OUR HANDS

27mins 30secs radio documentary / featured on “Pick of the Week” / as heard on BBC Radio 4 and BBC World Service

presented by Adam Fowler

produced by Adam Fowler & Anna Scott-Brown / executive produced by Neil Gardner

a Ladbroke Radio production for BBC Radio 4/WS

“For 5,000 years and more, elephants have served humanity, as a living tractor, pile driver, fork-lift, tank, and 4WD. But the working elephant is now at the end of its economic usefulness. Adam Fowler explores the plight of thousands of captive elephants in Asia and their historic and changing relationship with man.”

CLICK THE ICON TO BUY & DOWNLOAD FROM iTunes  Giants On Our Hands: The Unemployed Elephants of Asia (Unabridged)

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Rembrandt 400 radio feature

Rembrandt 400 radio feature

REMBRANDT 400

43mins 30secs radio documentary / as heard on BBC Radio 3

presented by Neil MacGregor

produced by Richard Bannerman / executive produced by Neil Gardner

a Ladbroke Radio production for BBC Radio 3

“Neil MacGregor, the director of the British Museum, marks the 400th anniversary of Rembrandt’s birth. He visits Amsterdam, where Rembrandt made his home for the major part of his creative life, and where he painted the masterpieces that hang in galleries around the world. Rembrandt’s birthday is on July 15, and Amsterdam has marked the year with all kinds of events, from a new musical on Rembrandt’s life to exhibitions looking at every aspect of the artist’s work, from the epic painting of The Night Watch to small-scale etchings and drawings. Neil MacGregor, a longtime enthusiast for Rembrandt’s work, begins the programme in the house where Rembrandt lived in Amsterdam from 1639 to 1658, when bankruptcy in his later years forced him to move. Here, from the basement to the attic, are the everyday objects that Rembrandt would have known, from his box-bed to the huge collection of antiques and curios from all corners of the Dutch-traded world, which Rembrandt made use of to bring the excitement of the exotic into his work. Nearby in the Rijksmuseum, an exhibition puts Rembrandt’s major paintings against those of his slightly earlier Italian counterpart Caravaggio, showing the play of light and dark which gave both artists’ work that gleaming, arresting quality, and which lent a powerful drama to the Biblical or classical scenes they often depicted. In Rembrandt’s case, he turned away from images of beauty or flattery to depict people in all their human frailty – their tenderness, uncertainty, pain, and mortality. It is these qualities, as Neil MacGregor says, that make his paintings reach out so directly to us today, as well as impressing the spectator with their mastery of skill and often dazzling richness.”

CLICK THE ICON TO BUY & DOWNLOAD FROM iTunes  Rembrandt 400 (Unabridged)

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The Forever Trap 2 CD exclusive

The Forever Trap 2 CD exclusive

DOCTOR WHO: THE FOREVER TRAP by Dan Abnett

2hrs 20mins reading / exclusive adventure from the BBC

read by Catherine Tate

recorded & edited by Neil Gardner / produced & directed by Kate Thomas

a BBC Audio production

“Catherine Tate reads this exclusive thrilling story, in which the Doctor and Donna are imprisoned on the Edifice – and become neighbours to a terrifying assortment of aliens.  When the TARDIS is invaded by a holographic marketing scam, the Doctor and Donna find themselves trapped on the Edifice, a purpose-built complex of luxury apartments in space. Their new environs leave much to be desired: millions of beings from across the Universe have been gathered to live side by side in similar apartments. Instead of creating neighbourly affection, it’s led to terrible battles being waged in the corridors and on the stairwells.   The Doctor and Donna must cross the paths of deadly alien mobs as they search for the Edifice’s ultimate authority. Who – or what – lies at the heart of the incredible complex? What destructive scourge is eating away at the Edifice itself? And are the Doctor and Donna trapped forever in this living hell?   The Forever Trap features the Doctor and Donna, as played by David Tennant and Catherine Tate in the hit BBC Television series Doctor Who. Written specially for audio by Dan Abnett, it is read by Catherine Tate.”

CLICK HERE TO BUY FROM THE BBC SHOP

CLICK THE ICON TO BUY & DOWNLOAD FROM iTunes  Doctor Who: The Forever Trap (Unabridged) (Unabridged  Fiction)

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