ATA Girl, the first of our Big Finish Originals series, is out today. Created by Louise Jameson and produced by Helen Goldwyn, ATA Girl is a drama inspired by the real women of the Air Transport Auxiliary during WWII.
From the UK and beyond, a hundred and sixty-eight female pilots, alongside the men, transported a vast range of aircraft from the factories to the squadrons, sometimes flying in perilous weather conditions and without radios or instrument instruction.
Told as a series of reminiscences from former pilot Amelia Curtis (played by Alicia Ambrose-Bayly – Darklight, Mongrel Country), the stories in this new series aim to honour these unsung heroes of WWII, whose shared passion for flying contributed so much to the war effort and who represented one of the first examples of equality in the workplace for women in the UK.
ATA Girl consists of four tales by four female writers. Big Finish listeners will recognise the names of Helen Goldwyn and Jane Slavin, and we have two new writers, Gemma Page and Victoria Saxton.
1.1 Up in the Air by Gemma Page
1.2 Dancing with a Spitfire by Victoria Saxton
1.3 Flying Blind by Helen Goldwyn
1.4 Grounded by Jane Slavin
“I first heard of these brave women a decade ago, and the potential that lay in their untold stories fired my imagination,” says creator of ATA Girl, Louise Jameson. “Big Finish invited me to pitch for a series, mixing fact with fiction, so we could bring these World War II pilots to life. The very next day they came back to me with a 'yes'.
“Four one-hour dramas (all by female writers) and a host of marvellous actors later, we have a breathtaking, moving, dynamic series, affectionately known as ATA Girl. These unsung heroines have finally been given a voice.”
This project pays homage to its pioneering roots with a predominantly female cast and production team. Producer Helen Goldwyn explains: “As the themes throughout each episode were so resolutely female and embedded in the experience of ‘being a woman’, director Louise Jameson and I agreed that it would be interesting to work with an all-female production team on this occasion. The only exception was our script editor, John Dorney, who shall henceforth be known as an honorary woman!
“And what a joy the process has been. There’s definitely something magical about the energy in a roomful of creative women, all focused on the same goal.” Louise and Helen have provided more details behind the project in last month’s Vortex magazine, available for free here.
And you can get a free extract from Episode 1, Up in the Air, here.
ATA Girl is available now at £17 on download, only from Big Finish. The complete Big Finish Originals range is also available in a pre-order bundle of £120, as well as each series being available as individual downloads.
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 the first series of our Big Finish Originals range on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.