Big Finish Productions‘ Stargate audio dramas are going to take a different direction for their third season, presently planned to premiere in Q3 2010.
Thus far, each season has had six episodes, three of them for SG-1 and three for Atlantis. The third season will see two SG-1 trilogies instead, meaning that there will be no Atlantis episodes for an entire year of the dramas’ run. What’s more, all six episodes of the two trilogies will have Dr. Daniel Jackson and Vala Mal Doran, voiced by Michael Shanks and Claudia Black, as the leads. Cliff Simon is also expected to voice System Lord Ba’al in the first trilogy. The storyline for the second trilogy hasn’t been revealed. (Source: Big Finish May Podcast, transcribed in part at MSOL)
Author and story editor James Swallow wrote in his LiveJournal about the additional change in format for the third season of Stargate stories, “The third series of Stargate audios are moving from the ‘narrated’ style of the first two series to full cast dramas. … The audios will be set during the last season of Stargate SG-1/prior to Ark of Truth.”
As far as who’ll be writing these six episodes, Swallow elaborated, “I’m writing episode one (entitled Half Life) as well as story editing. … Joining me are; Sally Malcolm, who has written several Stargate audios (Gift of the Gods, Perchance to Dream, Savarna) and Stargate novels (A Matter of Honor, The Cost of Honor, Rising); Steve Lyons, author of many excellent Doctor Who novels and audios (including The Fires of Vulcan, Colditz and Blood of the Daleks); Peter J. Evans, author of the Stargate Atlantis novel Angelus and the Durham Red novels; Sharon Gosling, writer on the Stargate series guides and audios (A Necessary Evil, Pathogen, The Kindness of Strangers, Lines of Communication); and Richard Dinnick, writer of Space 1889: The Lunar Inheritance and Sapphire & Steel: The Surest Poison.”
Swallow also visited the Gate Pages LiveJournal Community to “offer some perspective” to smooth over some of the hurt that Atlantis fans are feeling in reaction to a year without new stories. “Firstly, any suggestion that Big Finish have ‘given up’ on Stargate Atlantis is incorrect. A lot of factors affect the choices made for a production like the Stargate audio dramas, and these include the availability of actors, budget concerns (some Stargate cast members are just beyond our means), and interest on the part of actors/agents (some cast members aren’t interested in doing audio stories); but for a small company like Big Finish, the key ones are sales and audience support. The decision to make series three exclusively Stargate SG-1 and alter the format was not made lightly, and certainly not because of any ‘anti-Atlantis’ agenda.
“By far the best way for SGA fans to show interest for future Atlantis audio dramas is to support the six current SGA releases from series one and two of the Stargate audios, by purchasing CDs or downloads directly from BF’s website here – http://www.bigfinish.com/Stargate-SG-1-and-Atlantis.”
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