With two of our Big Finish Originals now released, here are some of the amazing reviews for the first release, ATA Girl. What did you make of this tale of the forgotten flying heroines of World War Two?
Blogtor Who gave a sterling write-up for ATA Girl, the first release in our Big Finish Originals range, which (apart from a predominantly female cast, writing and production team) is unlike any other Big Finish release:
“Do not expect a hero riding a white horse; the men in these stories are few in supporting roles. The harsh realities faced in the war are not sugar-coated: there is death, grief and regret but also joy, independence and joie de vivre. While these emotions are common to other tales from WWII, here it’s treated with a difference. These women are afraid less of losing their lives than losing their hard-won independence and purpose. They dread a future where they become invisible and lose their voice again. For many, their wartime experience was both the worst and best times of their lives.
“ATA Girl surprised me with the depth of honesty and grit. It is a beautiful homage to the brave women of the ATA. The fictional characters created for these four dramas reflected the determined, brave and capable women, but as with all great characterisations, they are also flawed and imperfect. Amelia’s memories, just as this series, end on a poignant and a tragic note. These stories honour and remember the real women of the ATA. In the end, we are all just stories that are remembered.”
The Time Scales had high praise indeed for the narrator and star of all four tales in the ATA Girl series: “Throughout the four stories of ATA Girl, Alicia Ambrose-Bayly has been a presence throughout; either as part of the framing narrative for the story, or as a background player, as in Dancing with a Spitfire and Flying Blind, or as part of the action in a supporting role, as in Up in the Air, but with this story, she really takes the lead and proves her mettle as an actor.
“Ambrose-Bayly commands the story from the word go as Amelia; she injects a humanity and a humour into her character that makes her all the more engaging and interesting, and really does a fine job conveying the emotions of the various scenes. She’s at her finest in the story when she’s comforting Matt Barber’s Walter.”
Tin Dog gave a very emotive and powerful review of all the stories with a breakdown of each episode: “I’m listening to ATA Girl one story at a time and I’m blown away. This is pure 100% fabulous drama. It’s got emotional range it’s got tremendous characterisation. It’s got a multinational cast.. Of course it’s got great acting… it’s got tremendous directing.
“There’s also tremendous attention to detail. It’s sort of attention that even if it isn’t true, it feels true. Have Big Finish chosen well as their first independent release (not counting Cicero’s pilot), of the Originals? I could see this on TV. But here you’ll get an unaltered script, you’re going to get drama that is purer on audio. If you want something hard-hitting, interesting, something out of your comfort zone but close enough to what you know to love it, then this is a brilliant starting point.
“Big Finish have managed to produce a simply marvellous, marvellous set… The idea that this won’t get another series is beyond me. ATA Girl has a unique feel. As it has been predominantly written, cast and created by women, it does have a different feel to it, something I’m completely welcoming of.”
And The Digital Fix praises director Louise Jameson for her outstanding work: “One suspects Jameson has led some kind of ‘1940s boot camp’ for her female leads, so expertly do they adopt the delivery and idioms of the time while always sounding like real people (and not actors imitating the style of other actors from decades ago); or perhaps more plausibly that this consistency, as well as the believable workplace interplay of the pilots, was a result of the mostly-female, multi-rolled nature of the production team (all of the writers, except Victoria Saxton, also appear in acting roles).
“What is undoubtedly true about this series as a whole is that it does what all good drama is meant to do: make you care.
“ATA Girl is not just a history lesson, but a fine drama that feels searingly alive, and it’s among the best work that Big Finish have done for some time. I would wholeheartedly encourage anyone to give it a listen.”
ATA Girl is available now at £17 on download only from Big Finish.
Keep checking the Big Finish website for more details on this and other upcoming Big Finish Originals. And let us know what you think of this first series of our Big Finish Originals range on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.