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Saturday, June 15, 2024

The BBC’s new Splinter Cell radio drama features a soap opera star and ‘a lot of comedy’

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BBC Radio 4, which UK readers might remember from childhood car rides, and which US readers might regard as a beautiful and exotic mystery, is getting into videogame adaptations. A Splinter Cell drama, to be specific: An eight-part series that will tell a tale of what happens “When a lethal assassin from Fisher’s past returns from the dead on a mission of murder”. 

The only characters from the show that have been named so far are Sam himself and his daughter, Sarah, “who teams up with her dad on his latest secret missions”. I wouldn’t be surprised if a few of Splinter Cell’s more memorable characters put in an appearance, though, by which I mostly just mean Lambert, the guy who shouted “Dammit Fisher, I’m pulling you out” at you every ten minutes.

Apart from the fact that the show will be brought to the airwaves by a radio station I mostly associate with sedate academic discussions and a million panel shows that all somehow star David Mitchell, it’s also funny that Fisher himself is being played by Andonis Anthony. Anthony is most famous for starring in BBC Radio 4’s The Archers, a soap opera that’s aired since 1951, whose entire vibe you can surmise from its jaunty, old-timey theme tune

To be fair, The Archers has been known to tackle some weighty topics, but I still hope Anthony brings some of that enhanced interrogation know-how back to the soap opera with him. Pep things up a bit.

The series will start airing on December 2, and has been “recorded in 3D binaural audio” for extra immersion. Each episode will last 30 minutes and promises “all the action, tension and excitement that the game is famous for,” alongside “a lot of comedy” (which is an unexpected move for a show based on Splinter Cell) and heightened drama.

After a long period of dormancy since 2013’s Splinter Cell: Blacklist, Ubisoft’s trademark stealth series has begun twitching back to life in recent years. Not only are we getting a radio play, but Ubisoft is remaking the first Splinter Cell and was recently showing off concept art for it. To be honest, though, all I really want to know is if Michael Ironside (or a convincing soundalike) will be returning to play Sam.

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