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An Expeditionary Force Audio Drama Special
Written by: Craig Alanson
Length: 5 hrs and 56 mins
4 out of 5 stars (4 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

A full-cast performance of a thrilling new episode in the New York Times best-selling Expeditionary Force series.

After the latest mission of the starship Flying Dutchman, Earth is safe not just for a year but for hundreds of years. The ship’s weary crew wonders what they will do with their lives in peacetime, but the enemy has other plans, and there is danger on the Homefront.

Starring Zachary Quinto, R. C. Bray, Kate Mulgrew, Robert Picardo, and everyone's favorite AI, Skippy the Magnificent, alongside a full cast. Includes plenty of pew-pew-pew, original sound composition, and maybe some singing by R. C. Bray.

Produced by Odd Origin Media and Dagaz Media
Executive Producer Greg Lawrence
Story by Craig Alanson
Script by Craig Alanson and Jack Bowman
Talent Director William Dufris
Sound Director Fred Greenhalgh
Associate Producer Casey Turner
Dialogue edited by Jack Bowman
Sound design by Jamie Mahaffey/The Mix Room and O'Shea Creative Media
Music by Jeroen Grommen 

Check out exclusive bonus content at homefrontaudio.com.  

Full cast includes Zachary Quinto, R. C. Bray, Kate Mulgrew, Robert Picardo, Peter Berkrot, Kym Dakin, Bill Dufris, Corey Gagne, Nimo Gandhi, Emily Grotz, Dalton S. Kimball, Austin Ku, Daniel Logan, John Dalton Logan, PJ Ochlan, Lisa Renee Pitts, Christopher Price, Michael Rafkin, Lisa Stathoplos, Casey Turner, Jennywren Walker, Marjolaine Whittlesey, Ashanti Williams, Jonathan Woodward, and Collin Young.

©2019 Craig Alanson, Dagaz Media, LLC, and Odd Origin Media Inc. (P)2019 Podium Publishing

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

quite bad dramatization

my first horrible book at audible. shame it had to be skippys. got a headache listening to this noise pollution.

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Rialtus
  • 18-06-19

Great effort with potential, not the best executed

There are many who are confused by this, so I feel I have to break it down, Barney style. Let's first start with the fact that this isn't an audiobook. It's a drama special. If you go into this with the understanding that this is more like a radio drama and not a book being read to you, then you would be correct. Not sure why some monkeys are having a hard time understanding that this isn't a book, but there you go.

The Good: Well, it's another ExForce story, and R.C. Bray is involved. If you've made it all the way up to this point of the series, you already know generally what to expect. If you thought this would be a great jumping on point for this series, you'd be seriously mistaken. Also, Podium is trying out something new with this audio drama. We have to given them credit for that. I think generally their work show promise, and would consider listening to their future audio dramas if it lines up with my interests.

The Bad: To be fair, some of the audio choices weren't the best. Especially at the beginning, some of the background audio was distracting music where is should (in my opinion) have been more ambiance noise. That seemed to thankfully taper down as the drama moved forward, but then pops up jarringly a few times later. Also, the over-dramatic voice work to emphasize action was ... well, over-dramatic.

The Meh: I guess I have to say this... I don't think they used all the guest actors to their full potential. I think the work that Zachary Quinto did was good. Kate Mulgrew was a daring choice for Nagatha, but with little voice change, it didn't pay off for me. It sounded too much like Captain Janeway, not like an old British woman... er, AI. The voice actor playing Smythe didn't quite do it for me. And Adams, while I think cast well, doesn't giggle as much as portrayed I think.

When I go through the series again, I'll listen to it. It wasn't offensive, but it wasn't the best. Will I go out of my way to specifically listen to this? Not likely. This was decent enough, any my six hours weren't wasted.

204 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Sean3576
  • 18-06-19

Good story but too much everything else.

I liked the idea of the story, but it got lost in all the audio effects. Sometimes it was hard to hear the narration over the noise.

I love the series and never tire of listening to them, I can't wait for the next installment.

103 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Ryan
  • 08-10-19

So bad... So, SO BAD.

I am a loyal fan of the Expeditionary Force series and this was PAINFUL to listen to. This series has a certain campy aspect to it, mostly revolving around Joe and Skippy. That is normally really well balanced by the rest of the characters and story being pretty serious. These two work well together in the books, creating a dichotomy where each makes the other better. The producers of this audio-drama seemed to apply the goofy/campy style to everyone and everything. Characters who normally provide the very strong serious balance to Bishop, like Major Smyth, instead were reduced to sidekicks. The acting, other than RC Bray who has done all the narration in audiobooks up to this point, was pretty bad.

The audio-effects served to detract from the story and ambiance, rather than enhance it. For example, the automated computer warning messages were like something you'd expect from a cartoon. They were silly and campy to the point that they actually detracted from the realism. It was like something out of Spaceballs.

The alien Krystang were not believable as another species as they are in the books, but were reduced to a ridiculous cliche. Lizard-like aliens making grand villainous pronouncements and then they all start hissing as a chorus of approval. Oye!

This whole thing was a hot mess and a waste of time for everyone involved. There were some very talented individuals working on this project and with a better production team it could have actually been good.

51 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Kindle Customer
  • 19-06-19

Sound mixing was quite poor.

I get that this is an audio drama and not an audiobook. I have spent many hours listening to old radio audio dramas and they can be wonderful.

But this? At several points, all I could hear was a cacophony. During those times I should have been hearing dialogue with backgound noise/music. What I got, upsettingly frequently, was noise with dialogue that I couldn't understand in the background somewhere. That should not happen.

I love Skippy. I genuinely enjoyed the story. Mulgrew as Nagatha really fit to me and I loved hearing her cut loose. RC Bray, as always, was fantastic. In fact, each of the actors performances was wonderful with a couple of notable exceptions.

But what can a performer do when their performance is drowned out after they gave it?

I, sadly, can only recommend this with warnings attached.

61 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Donald
  • 31-08-19

Couldn’t hear without backtracking

Background sounds made this difficult to listen to when in the car (my normal listening time). I prefer a narrator that I can tune the sound system to for the book. Good story; I know they worked hard on the performance but please refrain from doing an opera again

11 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Eric
  • 21-09-19

Stupid Old Time Radio Drama

Old radio dramas have gone the way of margarine and 8-track tapes for good reasons. This presentation is muddy, loud, difficult to understand, and basically stupid. Inane 8th grade humor seems even more out of place in an intense battle scene.
The previous audiobooks have all been narrated by R.C. Bray who has was exceptional in this entire series. I would have MUCH preferred skipping the amateur theatrics and just have R.C. Bray narrate the book.
The book is way too short. I'd recommend skipping this one.

16 people found this helpful

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  • Matthew S. Cyree
  • 19-06-19

great story to many sound fx

loved the story and performances. the background noises were a little too loud and at sometimes distracting from the story itself. still worth a listen if you can ignore the music and finger snapping haha.

43 people found this helpful

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  • Nick Krishcko
  • 22-09-19

TRASH!!!!!!GARBAGE!!!!

you ruined it.

WTF is this crap. ... I definitely will be getting my money back.... RC Bray did such a good job on his own, and now this. .. yup. I want my money back.

20 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Denae
  • 19-06-19

Overproduced

I have loved all of the books in this series and RC Bray has been amazing, which allowed me to develop the characters in my head. Unfortunately, I wasn’t really impresses with the format of this selection. It seemed like a lot of the detail was lost for me with all of the production sound effects and extra voices. Hoping that they go back to just Bray for the next one.

68 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • George Mitchell
  • 12-07-19

Yikes

Really proud that I powered through and finished this one. The cringe-worthy writing and production made me give up a couple of times, but in the end, I'm glad I finished it.
ExForce neophytes should probably skip(py) this lemon in an otherwise enjoyable (if a bit repetitive) series. I look forward to the story returning to its regular format and forgoing all the "special" effects and voice "talent". (Sorry voice actors, I know this wasn't your fault!)

8 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • on the kindle fire hd the screen keeps rotating upside down
  • 24-07-19

I love the rest of the books but this is a shmabe

I like that they tried something different however I don't think it worked. Over the top acting, effects and music makes it really hard to listen to. Love the rest of the books and can't wait for book 8.

15 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Simon
  • 18-06-19

Hit by the Awesomemess (Sic)!

Hard to know where to start with this. It has some good moments, as it started I really thought it might be something a bit special and so I settled down to enjoy it. I mean, Joe, Skippy and the Merry Band of Pirates boosted by a full quality cast could really have been something couldn't it?

Thing is, it comes across more that the team involved set out to have a good laugh rather than produce something of real quality. For such a good cast, and yes RC Bray is beyond reproach, it just comes across poorly. Some of the characters, especially Adams come across just plain wrong based on my listening to what's gone before. A lot of the acting and script really feels more caricature than character and it relies a little too much on recycling previously-used material such as embarrassing Joe about watching porn and spending time in the shower.

Unlike the high quality Audible large cast productions the sound design is very hit and miss. At times it really does add to what's going on but at others it just seems as though sounds and music are being played at random. I also would think that it needs listening to in quiet areas as sometimes the speech gets a bit muddied in all the sound effects.

So, in short, it has its moments but it's not up to the standards of other full-cast productions I've heard recently and it feels as much an opportunity missed as anything positive. For the first time with anything to do with this series, I feel I've been let down in trusting the awesomeness and this borders on an awesome mess instead.

45 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Roger
  • 19-06-19

Different.......

Its very different to the books. Struggled to get through the first hour due to there being a lot going on and the audio quality suffering as a result. Music, sound effects and dialogue at times clashing. Had it not been integral the Expeditionary Force series i may well have given up. It got better in parts but some passages had me pulling the headphones off due to extremely loud sound effects.
All in all the story is good. Smythe would not last 5 mins iin the SAS with that accent and im not sure he was well supported with his STAR team. Skippy was ........Skippy Joe was Joe. RC Bray was Mag MF'in nificent as always. Margaret Adams was not as I had immagined her to sound but Nagatha was almost spot on.
As an experiment it kind of works in the end. It was better than i expected it to be, but you have to concentrate and i was rewinding a lot to catch missed dialogue.
Looking forward to a return to normal in book 8 Armageddon and just one voice and having second thoughts about a TV series being a good idea.

14 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Vince Rogers
  • 23-07-19

whats the music for

i dont know what this is about why is there so much music when there is no need for it

9 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Paul
  • 17-07-19

Awful, Awful Awful.....Skippy fans, dont bother!

Oh my word...why oh why did you agree to this Craig Alanson. This is terrible in the story, the way it is dramatised and the sound effects. It is like the cheapest worst sci fi imaginable.

The first huge difference from previous books in the series is that there is a full cast, sound affects and music. This sadly detracts from what made the original series so successful and funny with just RC Bray doing the narrating. The second major change is that the story itself is appallingly weak - Yes this is a rushed write to milk the success and make money from the previous books and boy it does it feel like it. I would give this zero stars!

To accommodate the really weak story line, Craig Allanson has, for the first time, been forced to introduce lengthy narratives between aliens (without this the story line would not any sense at all) - their voices [aliens] are done with computerised distortion to make them sound sinister, cold and dangerous. Instead, they sound like daleks from a budget Dr Who episode and their narrative is long winded, boring and representative of the worst from sci fi audio stories.

In previous skippy books i have at least smiled and or laughed out loud. with this one i had to force myself to put this story back on ...in the end i gave up without finishing it. It truly is that bad.

Craig Alanson what were you thinking when you released this? I fear this has devalued your appeal as an author and i will hesitate to buy your next offering until i am confident that it is not a pile of dung like this effort!

9 people found this helpful

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  • Dustyfox
  • 21-06-19

mmmmmmmmm... not to the same standards!

Craig Alanson writes a lot of great stuff...RC Bray is a God when it comes to making great writing come to life in a audio book. If you have listened to all the others in the series, then you will end up getting this one as well - cool cleared that up.

Feel a bit let down after listening to it.

The attitude of the special forces troops in previous books is representative of how they are in real life (focused and professional). However in this book in this book they come across as complete bunch of idiots and Rambo wannabes.

Joe is made out to be some kind of deviant (repeated joke from another book but not delivered correctly).

A lot of the characters don't really fit and very different from previous books...didnt warm to them and in most cases they just seemed wrong.

There is a lot to be said for the power of our own imagination and RC Bray is awesome at sparking that into life but in this book he was screwed from the start.

Sound effects was wrong, music playing non-stop when there shouldn't have been any...not much flowed. Just sounded cheap. It wasn't a drama, it wasn't a play, it wasn't a audiobook...i don't think it knew what it wanted to be?

Craig Alansons books are at a very high standard, this one has let the team down. Just wondering how much of his writing got changed to make it work into a drama/play?

This book was pants...returning it.

24 people found this helpful

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  • Fraze
  • 12-09-19

Depressingly dreadful.

I just can’t believe how bad this is with so many talented people involved.
If your under 12 and easily pleased with B rated sci-fi then you may just about find it bearable.
‘Just’
It’s the most cringeworthy sci-fi audio book I’ve listened to in ages.
One for a return methinks.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 26-08-19

The narration is terrible

In the previous audiobooks there was one narrator reading the book giving everyone a voice and personality that over nearly 10 books I got to love. Now with whatever the hell this book is there is an endless amount of narrators who have brought there own voices to the party making it extremely difficult to know who is who having associated R C Brays voices with the characters for so long. This isn’t always bad however this far into a series such a radical change was a bad idea. Furthermore for some reason someone had the bright idea to insert background noice alarms and explosions making it hard to keep focused on what’s happening, which for me is already difficult considering I’m deaf. Going back the new voices the sound quality of the book is very low, at first I thought my settings were messed up but then I realised it was the book. This is particularly a problem for skippy who now has this robot voice (which on a tangent doesn’t make any sense because it is made very clear over the course of the books that he wants to be viewed as ‘just one of the crew’ and that he alters his appearance and voice to achieve this. Anyway back to the point) that is very electrical and made harder to understand by the narrator doing this bad robot impression on top of the dubbed voice. All in all this book is like listening to a low budget movie with your eyes closed. PLEASE CHANGE IT BACK OR AT LEAST DO A NORMAL VERSION MADE THE SAME WAY AS THE PREVIOUS BOOKS.

7 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Jay Matthews
  • 09-08-19

More disappointing than GOT season 8

For the love of God please go back to the original format. The sound effects and mixing ruined the story as it was near on impossible to keep track of what was going on.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Annabel
  • 10-07-19

Strange

I couldn’t bring myself to enjoy this. I wasn’t sure if it was some kind of joke for most of it but it was bad, really bad. I hope they never do that again. Please.

6 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Jay
  • 18-06-19

It grew on me.

This was certainly different in flavour, if not essence to what we've been used to expect in the series. It took me a little while to follow the story without narration and then to grow used to the actors in the roles previously performed by Bray. But once I did, the story became enjoyable and engrossing. I'm on my 2nd listen-thru and I'm really happy with it now. A great entry to the series and I certainly hope we see more of it in the future. Great work!

5 people found this helpful

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  • Kieren
  • 25-06-19

Why did you do this?

LOVE the Series, but this 'audio drama special' misses the mark.

All the sound effects are way too distracting, the backing music the beeping sounds, explosions make following the story very hard to concentrate on that I can't follow what is actually happening.

When R.C.Bray performs on his own as in the previous audiobooks in the series, he does such a fantastic job of doing all the characters and the pace is perfect and easy to follow. But this book is a difficult listen.

Previously I have always scored this series quite high, but for me this version is a no go sorry.
Please don't do this again - if you have to do it again, then please keep it to the short interim stories, not the main audio books.

14 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Brett D.
  • 24-06-19

Music tunes + sound effects

Not sure why all the theatrical sounds were introduced. Made it feel like a theme park ride.. not a fan as when I’m listening to this in the car, it was very much a sensory overload and a rude shock to the system after being a fan of this series. It’s a shame as the storyline was great, as was the performers.. just not the sound effects.

4 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Aaron
  • 25-06-19

Overdone performance

I've listened to a really enjoyed all the previous audiobooks from the series, this did not meet my expectations.

The drama theme of the book is way overdone even by Skippies standards.

I'll still look forward to the ongoing series but hope it is done in the same fashion.

7 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Hannah
  • 07-11-19

Great continuation of the story

There are some great performances in this audio drama (you should definitely listen until the very end of the recording, just trust me), and it's a very interesting addition to the Expeditionary Force saga. I've given this book five stars as I truly believe that's what this production deserves, but I really, really hope the series continues in the standard style of narration that's used in the previous books.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Scott L.
  • 01-08-19

MAKING OLD NEW AGAIN!

An audio drama that still paint with sound, I didn't need a visual, produced in this fashion made me feel like I was in every "scene". Also great to hear some great an familiar voices next to R.C. I wish all the Expeditionary Force books could be recreated in this fashion after the final chapter is concluded. GREAT WORK!

2 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 18-06-19

Different but still alright

Very different and a little hard to follow at times because of background noise but the voice actors done a good job. Voices matched the characters well. Only moves the story up a little bit so hoping for more depth in the next book.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 18-06-19

It's an audio drama

It's a great audio drama. But it if a huge depature from the style of the main books.
I do like the new characterization from the addition of new voice actors.

As for the story it's on par with the rest of the books in series, but with a more upbeat paceing.

if your not a fan of background noise or music this one will not be for you.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Sean Parangi
  • 21-09-19

Change and adjustment

Quite a change in listening style. I became accustomed to R.C. Beats style, the dramatic change of new voices took a little time to adjust. The background elevator music was distracting. Enjoyed the story.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-08-19

Let it grow on you!

The story is a good continuation of the series, the proformance took me a bit by suprise, but it did grow on me, and I found myself laughing and the extra production did help add to the immersion of the story.

1 person found this helpful