Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Firewall, the spinoff novel by James Swallow, is being turned into a BBC Radio 4 drama, due to premiere on Friday, December 2nd. The landmark adaptation will see the Splinter Cell universe – previously portrayed in the hugely popular video game series and novels by Swallow – brought to life on the airwaves for the first time. That's right, while fans of the Splinter Cell video games are waiting for a new game in the series and getting a remake of the first game from Ubisoft, everyone will be getting an audio drama series of a new story from a novel that's free without the need to get killed failing at a sneaking level in the game.
The eight-part series, dramatised by Sebastian Baczkiewicz (creator of the BBC Radio 4 supernatural series Pilgrim) and Paul Cornell (arguably the most underrated and innovative writer of Doctor Who, whose ideas in the Virgin novels have been assimilated into the new show), follows veteran Fourth Echelon agent Sam Fisher on a new mission, recruiting and training the next generation of Splinter Cell operatives for the National Security Agency's covert action division. When a lethal assassin from Fisher's past returns from the dead on a mission of murder, he is thrust into a race against time as a sinister threat to global security is revealed. So basically, for Sam Fisher, it's another Friday.
Splinter Cell: Firewall – From Game to Radio Drama
The iconic character of Sam Fisher from the Ubisoft video games series is played by Andonis Anthony of The Archers, and he will not be talking about farming quotas or rural health and safety issues for a change. The role of his daughter Sarah, who teams up with her dad on his latest secret missions, is played by Daisy Head, who won the Best Debut Performance Award in the BBC Audio Drama Awards in 2019. Other cast members include Rosalie Craig, Sacha Dhawan (who will not be playing The Master from Doctor Who here, alas) and Nikesh Patel, as well Will Poulter (whom we best remember as the douche-y bro who gets ritually sacrificed in Midsommar) in his first radio drama role.
Will says: "I really hope fans of the Splinter Cell game enjoy this, as not only does it have all the action, tension and excitement that the game is famous for, but it also has more elements – there is a lot of comedy, the drama is expanded and horizons broadened by the characters and what they get up to. It is taking the best of Splinter Cell and building on that to make something really well-rounded," Poulter said. "I love this cast too – Andonis does such an amazing job of Sam Fisher, and it is chock full of really great performances."
The series is a joint commission between Alison Hindell, Commissioning Editor for Radio 4 Drama, and Rhian Roberts, Commissioning Editor for Podcasts, Formats, and Digital, Radio 4, 3, and 4 Extra.
"I am really thrilled to be bringing to Radio 4, and BBC Sounds this innovative and exciting series, and feel sure it will have listeners hooked from the start," Hindell said. "We have a great team working together to bring this world to life for audio listeners, familiar as it is in another form to its millions of game fans. We hope they will enjoy hearing situations and characters that they love, given added layers and dimensions through this new interpretation of the story, and the binaural element is an added bonus."
Splinter Cell: Firewall is a BBC Audio Drama North Production for BBC Radio 4, co-produced by Lorna Newman, Jessica Mitic, and Nadia Molinari. The series has been recorded in 3D binaural audio, meaning listening on headphones will give a more immersive experience, so you can feel like you're stealthing like Sam Fisher.
Splinter Cell: Firewall will broadcast on Fridays on Radio 4 from 2 December at 2:15 pm. All eight episodes will go live as a boxset on BBC Sounds in the Limelight podcast feed on December 2nd and free to listen to worldwide (and you can check out the teaser trailer here).