News Picard Audio Drama Announced - No Man's Land

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by Tuskin38, Jan 12, 2022.

  1. thribs

    thribs Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The full TNG cast? That would be fun.
     
  2. GaryH

    GaryH Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    A two hour audio play free with an audible trial sounds perfect for next drive to visit the parents
     
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  3. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Really, the Sulu audios were more like audiobooks than full dramas. They had multiple actors, but they apparently weren't allowed to have actual interactive dialogue between them; rather, they each performed separate monologues that were presented as log entries or the like. So they were only sort of half-dramatized, trying to fake being dramas as closely as they could come within what was technically a narrated format. So it sounds like No Man's Land is going to be something we've never had before in Trek, a real audio drama with a full interacting cast.

    Also, I'd quibble with the assertion that audiobooks and dramas are mutually exclusive categories. GraphicAudio, the company that's publishing my Tangent Knights trilogy and adapted my novels Only Superhuman and Spider-Man: Drowned in Thunder, uses a format that's a hybrid of the two, full-cast dramatizations with novelistic narration and description. So they're basically audio novels and audio dramas at the same time. Which I consider the best of both worlds. I've heard a bunch of Big Finish's Doctor Who audio dramas, which usually try to mimic the format of TV episodes and thus have no narration, and I often find it hard to tell what's going on just from sound effects alone -- and the alternative is to have the characters narrate what they see in a very unnatural way.
     
  4. Starbreaker

    Starbreaker Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    There might be a Patrick cameo, but the dude has so much money that I doubt he wants to sit around and record an audio drama during the off-season.
     
  5. Paul Weaver

    Paul Weaver Rear Admiral Premium Member

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  6. Allyn Gibson

    Allyn Gibson Vice Admiral Admiral

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    You never know. Ten years ago Stewart did two audio plays for the BBC in which he played Raymond Chandler. One paired him with Clive Swift as Alfred Hitchcock, who wanted to hire Chandler to write the script for Strangers on a Train. It was hilarious. I haven't listened to either in a while.
     
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  7. hbquikcomjamesl

    hbquikcomjamesl Commodore Commodore

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    Home phonograph lathes are nothing new; one was featured prominently in the 1941 Marx Bros. film, The Big Store (one of their more underrated outings, IMHO). Tony Martin is a singer and department store heir, who cuts and autographs a record for an adoring fan. (In many ways, his role is sort of a Zeppo-surrogate).

    And before Ampex had invented a practical tape recorder, guitarist-inventor Les Paul was doing overdub recordings using phonograph lathes. As I recall, he'd built his own.

    Personally, I've always regarded this whole "vinyl is better than digital" bit as pure bovine scat, promulgated by snobs and by manufacturers of snob-appeal audio equipment: while it's true that the CD is a compromise medium -- just enough capacity to hold Beethoven's 9th (there's some debate whether that was intentional) on a 10cm piece of plastic that could be read with an infrared laser diode (the only kind that was both reliable in continuous operation and readily available at the time) -- and that theoretically, a top-quality vinyl record played under ideal conditions can deliver higher fidelity on the first few plays, it does deteriorate rapidly under real world conditions, and to actually hear it, you'd need something akin to the "googolphonic stereo with the moon-rock needle" from an old Steve Martin standup routine. With CDs, by contrast, as long as you have an oversampling-based digital filter, the most you'll get by spending more money on hardware is a few more bells and whistles.

    And unfortunately, the people who came up with higher-quality DVD-based audio formats (at least two, if I remember right, SACD and one other, I think) got really, really greedy, with the result that neither the hardware nor the media ever got much market penetration.

    On the other hand, I regard MP3s, with their lossy compression, as the same sort of "convenience/capacity before quality" bovine scat that gave us extended-play VHS. And anybody who spends a fortune on premium vinyl and the equipment to rip it to MP3 is a fool.
     
  8. Csalem

    Csalem Commodore Commodore

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    You can listen to stuff through the Audible website. Don't need the app or a smartphone. I signed up to Audible with their free Thirty Day Trial and got my first Doctor Who audio drama that way. I then stayed on with my monthly subscription to listen to more Big Finish prodductions.* I also used by subscription to get the first Picard book too as I didn't have time to read it.

    *Should point out I am not being paid by Audible to advertise their services :D
     
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  9. thribs

    thribs Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Audible had some Alien and x files audio plays. They were good but the voice acting isn’t the best.
     
  10. Brendan Moody

    Brendan Moody Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I would imagine Stewart would cost more for a project like this than Ryan and Hurd put together, so this was probably a safer option while they test the market for something that’s a little new for Star Trek.
     
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  11. ATimson

    ATimson Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I'm not sure there's one accepted set of formal definitions. Big Finish labels anything with narration as an "audiobook", regardless of the number of cast members; they reserve "audio drama" for titles with no narration.

    Black Library, on the other hand, uses "audiobook" and "audio drama" as James Swallow did (no surprise given the number he's written for them) - audiobook for single reader, audio drama for multireader. Their audio dramas are in the same style as GraphicAudio's audiobooks; I don't believe they've done any Big Finish-style, narrationless work.

    I normally solve the problem by using three categories instead of two. Although I've never come up with a formal name for that middle group before; I like GraphicAudio's "full cast audiobook" term so I think I'll use that.
     
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  12. Leto_II

    Leto_II Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Yup, Stewart's reportedly making a million-per-episode right now on Picard, so I don't see him lowering his asking-price anytime soon for a project like this, unless maybe some in the cast manage to sweet talk him into participating.
     
  13. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Holy moly. Without correcting for inflation, that's about 2/3 the budget of an entire typical TNG episode.
     
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  14. Brendan Moody

    Brendan Moody Vice Admiral Admiral

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    At least some of the hybrid releases, which mix narration with full-cast, unnarrated scenes, are labeled “audio drama.” The Third Doctor Adventures are a case in point.
     
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  15. thribs

    thribs Vice Admiral Admiral

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    They stopped doing that thank god. They’re proper audio dramas now
     
  16. ATimson

    ATimson Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Huh, I missed that. While I believe that only the first series of The Third Doctor Adventures is actually hybrid, even that one has the "full cast audio drama" line on the cover. My mistake.
     
  17. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    As I said, I prefer it when audio dramas do have narration to fill in the visuals. BF's attempt to make their Who dramas seem like the soundtracks of TV episodes is clumsy sometimes, often having long bits of nothing but sound effects where it's very hard to understand what's supposed to be happening.

    And what's wrong with audio plays having narration? It was done all the time in the golden age of radio, at least to set up the scenes, though not quite like GraphicAudio's approach of having novel-style descriptive narration within scenes.
     
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  18. ATimson

    ATimson Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    That seems like a flaw in the writing to me, rather than something inherent in the format.

    I wonder how much Big Finish owes their approach to the off-air recordings of Doctor Who episodes that circulated in lieu of the wiped episodes? If the BBC had kept a complete archive, would Big Finish have ended up with a different approach?

    I can understand not having a taste for one or the other. I used to be a "no narration, please" snob; narration in a full-cast format just seemed like padding. If you wanted to write prose, why not just do a single-reader audiobook?

    But I've come around. For an adapted work, narration almost certainly is the cleanest and easiest way to communicate the source material. For an original work, while I still prefer narration-free as a default, I'll give it a go either way.
     
  19. Turtletrekker

    Turtletrekker Admiral Admiral

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    I never had any problem figuring out what was going on with the Star Wars radio plays, which are without narration, but then I knew the story so intimately that it was probably easy to fill in the blanks.
     
  20. Brendan Moody

    Brendan Moody Vice Admiral Admiral

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    This is why I’m not wild about narration in Big Finish stories specifically; despite doing professional audio drama for lo these twenty years and more, the company still struggles to produce stories that are structured toward the format and that avoid crude expository dialogue. They need to get better, not rely on a different crutch.
     
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