The random witterings of Jonathan Morris, writer.

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Smile Away

Another blog. Last week saw the surprise early release of my audio adaptation of the novel Damaged Goods by Russell T Davies. A very welcome surprise, and having given it a listen, it’s turned out extremely well. All the performances are great, the sound design and music is magnificent, I couldn’t be more happy with it. Or proud of it, given my contribution. If you haven’t yet bought it, you must rush in, log onto your computer and do so. At the moment, it’s exclusively available from Big Finish.

I’m not sure what I can say about it, as I’ve done interviews about it for a forthcoming edition of Vortex and (I think) Doctor Who Magazine, as well as (different) writer’s notes for the box set and CD editions so anything I write here will be pre-empting that, and probably repeating myself. The main thing about it is that it was a great thing to be asked to do, and it was a lovely challenge, to adapt a novel which (even before this release was announced) people were saying would be impossible to adapt. That’s what made it interesting and enjoyable to do, to make a story written very much in the form of a novel work as an audio; while it would be easy and fun to adapt one of the novels written as novelisations of imaginary TV stories (such as my own Festival of Death and Touched by an Angel!), maybe doing something just because it’s easy and fun isn’t a good enough reason for doing it.

The response to it has been almost universally favourable, almost overwhelmingly so in some cases, which is a relief, it would’ve been awful to have fucked up a Russell T Davies story! One or two people have been a little annoyed that it’s been ‘toned down’ - I’d argue that it hasn’t, it’s just that the emphasis of the story has been changed in order to make it work on audio – while one or two others have worried that it is too dark, too adult. I’d argue against that too; I’d say that if there is a line, this story is on the right side of it, even if it is pretty close to it too.

One day I may go into more detail about the process of adaptation (if I can still remember), about which bits were changed from the novel and why, but today is not that day.

Instead, here are a few quotes/reviews that have been posted online.

“The absolute best audio EVER! I loved it, loved it!” – Carefulsilly12, Big Finish forum

“Without a doubt, Damaged Goods from Big Finish is one of their greatest Doctor Who releases. Funny, dramatic and heartbreaking.” - Kenny Smith, twitter

Damaged Goods is in my opinion the single greatest Doctor Who story in any format.” – Ed Watkinson, twitter

Beautifully adapted and acted, this is one of the strongest releases from Big Finish so far this year.” - Alasdair Stuart, Sci-FiBulletin

Damaged Goods might be one of the best BF productions ever.” – DavidJGallagher, Big Finish forum

“Mix Big Finish with Russell T Davies and added Jonny Morris and you get the astonishing brilliance of Damaged Goods. Just perfection.” – Andrea, twitter

“I wholeheartedly recommend this audio adaptation. It’s not only a great audio on its own, but it’s a lovely piece of Doctor Who history.” – Chris Swanson, Kasterborous

Damaged Goods brought tears to my eyes. One of the best releases ever.” – Xavier Granville, twitter

“I found the audio drama far more appealing [than the novel]. Big Finish emphasized the interesting parts and made it feel much more like Doctor Who... The rejuvenation of the story was quite remarkable!” – bdoob, Big Finish forum

Doctor Who: Damaged Goods by Russell T Davies is the best Big Finish CD released in years.” – Alex Fitch, twitter

“This is one of the best two hours of BF I've heard for a while - possibly ever.” – DavidSpofforth, Big Finish forum

“Congratulations Big Finish on Damaged Goods. Dark, complex, and moving. Absolutely stunning. Best Doctor Who audio for YEARS!” – Richard Unwin, twitter

“Big Finish reborn... I honestly feel this is one of the best bits of Doctor Who ever, it's up there with the greats in any medium. It is everything I ever wanted.” – Apple Sauce, GallifreyBase

Damaged Goods is beyond amazing, I'm floored. Great RTD tale, brilliant performances.” – TAGAP, twitter

“Absolutely stunning. Best thing Big Finish have done for years!” – Riccy987, Big Finish forum

Damaged Goods is the best audio Big Finish have released over the last year or so. A brilliant blend of classic and new Who.” – David Weller, twitter

“More than any Big Finish audio I've listened to, I could SEE everything that was described in here. Now, this may be down to me reading the book and remembering the descriptions there, but I found it flowed really, really well.” - reech, Big Finish forum

“Big Finish ‘s version of RTD's Damaged Goods a triumph for all concerned.” – Jonathan Barnes, twitter

“*Really* enjoyed Big Finish's version of RTD's Damaged Goods.  Two or three proper "punch-the-air" moments.  Great adaptation!” – Si Hodges, twitter

Damaged Goods was perfect! I may have let out more than a few 'squees' of delight on a few occasions too.” – DavidOrSomfink, twitter

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