Tumanbay, BBC Radio 4's answer to Game of Thrones, has hit its ninth episode this week. War looms as an invasion of the empire is now unstoppable as the huge cast of characters go about their business, pursuing their agendas, with mystics, prophecies and betrayals abound.
Alexander Siddig has played Dr. Julian Bashir on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and gone on to intense roles on Spooks and most recently Game of Thrones. In Tumanbay, he plays Commander Wolf, the ruthless, ambitious and cunning military commander with an eye on the big picture and his own endgame.
"I am Alexander Siddig and I get to play Commander Wolf. Who is this amazing guy really. He's a lot gruffer and smarter than I am. He walks with a swagger and he's a tribal cavalry Hillman; a sort of Corsair of the desert.
Tumanbay is a wondrous, fabulous heart of a rich byzantine, hedonistic empire that is very close to being at its end, which is vulnerable to an insidious attack.
When I first looked at the script it evoked ideas of 15th century, byzantine Constantinople. Teeming rich City. The very centre of the world.
I am quite new to radio, I find myself in the car a lot and cooking a lot, so I find myself listening to the radio a lot more and more. And one of the things I really love about it is it's something you can do while you're doing something else. There is really very little else that doesn't demand your complete attention. It's up to us: actors, directors and producers to demand your attention. It is not a tyranny like television or a theatre where we the actors demand your attention or you get thrown out. There is a lovely Egalitarianism about radio.
Making this drama is so much like a film process. We are wearing costumes, incredible details to what kind of shoes we are wearing, we're walking up and down the studio spaces. It's geographically correct, there could easily be a camera here. Microphones are following us around from room to room, sometimes we go through doors. We'll go outside, we'll come back in, all the while talking. Yes, It's film making on radio.
This could easily be one of the worlds in Game of Thrones. My world in Game of Thrones is this world. Tumanbay could easily be the capital of Dawn for example."
Episodes of Tumanbay can be downloaded after their broadcast premiere on Wednesdays.
There is also a dedicated iPhone app for downloading the episodes on your iOS device.
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