A little while ago, Bafflegab Productions announced the launch of Hammer Chillers, a series of weekly audio horror plays produced in conjunction with Hammer. Each week, a new play – lovingly priced at a mere £2.99 per halfish-hour episode – was released. The authors were pretty impressive, too, with Stephen Gallagher (Eleventh Hour), Stephen Volk (Ghostwatch), Paul Magrs (Vince Cosmos) and comedian Robin Ince in the line-up.
But you know me. Finding the time to listen to all these and write a review of them. Surely that would be impossible?
Well it's not, and now that all six episodes have been made available and are now available to buy en masse as a download or on CD come next Friday, it's time to review all of them: the good, the bad and the ugly.
So here's something interesting and new. Bafflegab Productions, which recently launched the Vince Cosmos audio play series, has developed a new series of horror plays for Hammer, which feature the likes of Stephens Gallagher and Volk. Here's a press release:
Hammer has announced a partnership with audio specialist Bafflegab Productions to launch 'Hammer Chillers', a series of original audio dramas, which will be available as six weekly downloadable episodes from June 2013.
Continuing Hammer's expansion into the development of original content, the first series of the all-new material comes from a host of acclaimed writers including Stephen Volk (The Awakening), Stephen Gallagher (ITV's Eleventh Hour), Doctor Who and young adult novelist Paul Magrs, stand-up comedian and writer Robin Ince and award-winning horror novelists Christopher Fowler and Mark Morris.
Episodes are available to pre-order now at www.hammerchillers.com ahead of the 7th June release and are priced at £2.99 per episode. From the end of July, fans can also download the entire series as a package and order the series on CD which will include bonus material.
Writer Stephen Volk said: “Hammer films have been a massive influence on my writing from the days when I sneaked into the White Palace cinema in my home town of Pontypridd to see the likes of The Devil Rides Out and The Vampire Lovers. Now to be writing an audio drama under the Hammer banner is a dream (or nightmare!) come true."
Simon Oakes, CEO and President of Hammer Films and vice-chairman of Exclusive Media commented: "Hammer Chillers are a fantastic addition to the range of quality original content that we strive to produce and we're excited to welcome such celebrated authors to the Hammer family."
Bafflegab Productions Executive Producer Simon Barnard added: "Hammer Chillers will be every bit as terrifying as their celebrated cinematic counterparts. We are proud to partner with Hammer and hope that our tales take listeners on supernatural journeys that will make them afraid to turn off the lights afterwards."
You may have noticed that because I'm operating at my normal speed, that means the first episode, The Box, is already available to download. Nevertheless, review after the jump
My lovely and esteemed wife has recently introduced me to the joys of Cabin Pressure, a Radio 4 comedy series set aboard the fictitious MJN (My Jet Now) Air, a tiny little outfit run by the crabby Carolyn Knapp-Shappey (Stephanie Cole from Waiting for God) that has only two pilots - the by-the-book captain Martin Crieff (Benedict Cumberbatch from Sherlock, Star Trek et al) and the ever-superior first officer Douglas Richardson (Roger Allam from The Thick Of It and Endeavour) - and an air steward, Cole's simple but eternally upbeat son Arthur (John Finnemore, who also writes the show).
Featuring guest stars including John Sessions, Anthony Head (playing the fabulously named Hercules Shipwright), Prunella Scales and Alison Steadman, it's an award-winning comedy with surprising depths that largely revolves around the games the pilots play to stave off boredom on long flights, the schemes they need to concoct to deal with difficult customers, mechanics and other airlines, and the tensions between Crieff and Richardson, Crieff always wanting to have been a pilot but having no real aptitude, while Richardson has never found anything hard but after a distinguished career, now finds himself first officer to Crieff at MJN thanks to his crossing certain legal lines at his previous job.
As well as being very funny, well written and well acted, it's also capable of pathos and drama, so I recommend you catch up as best you can via Amazon, iTunes or other avenues.
The show is also a creator of some great memes. Here, for example, is the birth of the 'Hey, Chief ' meme, which my wife and I find a constant source of hilarity when we use it on each other (yes, we're a fun pair):
If you're a Cabin Pressure fan already, though, please enjoy the following encapsulation of a whole bunch of Cabin Pressure memes in a manner similar to the current Nikon ads. Do you recognise them all?
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A UK media blog focusing on the best scripted TV from around the world, with daily news, views, exclusive reviews and good conversation. There's a bit of a bias towards the latest and greatest US TV, but we also cover Scandinavian, Canadian, European and Antipodean TV, as well as UK TV ranging from new Doctor Who to old Z Cars, and BBC4 to S4C.
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"For most of us watching the telly of an evening is a way to wind down and relax, but for Rob Buckley it’s his blogging bread and butter. With reviews of cult classics and up and coming US and Brit television shows, The Medium is Not Enough is fast becoming essential reading for TV buffs, with over 50,000 hits a month."
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I'm Rob Buckley, a freelance journalist who writes for UK media magazines that most people have never heard of, although you might have heard me on Radio 5 Live's Saturday Edition or Afternoon Edition. I've edited Dreamwatch, Sprocket and Cambridge Film Festival Daily; been technical editor for trade magazine Televisual; reviewed films for the short-lived newspaper Cambridge Insider and the equally short-lived Death Ray and Filmstar magazines; written features for the even shorter-lived newspaper Soho Independent; and was regularly sarcastic about television on the blink-and-you-missed-it "web site for urban hedonists" The Tribe. I'm freelance now and have contributed to the likes of Broadcast, Total Content + Media, Action TV, Off The Telly, Action Network and TV Scoop.