Archive | Featured articles

Some of the best articles on the blog. Typically, these have a picture. It's a low entrance requirement, I know.


May 27, 2011

Review: The Dark Angel

Posted on May 27, 2011 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

A painting of Peter O'Toole in The Dark Angel

Starring: Peter O'Toole, Beatie Edney, Jane Lapotaire, Charlotte Coleman and Barbara Shelley
Writers: Don MacPherson (based on Uncle Silas by Sheridan Le Fanu)
Director: Peter Hammond
Price: £14.99 (Amazon price: £11.20)
Released: May 30th 2011

Sheridan Le Fanu is something of a neglected author. Although influential in his day with classics of the horror and gothic genres, such as Through a Glass Darkly, Carmilla and Uncle Silas, he's now overshadowed by the likes of Poe, Collins and Stoker. Movie and TV adaptations of his work are few and far between.

Back in 1987, the BBC adapted Uncle Silas as the three-part mini-series, The Dark Angel. Directed by Peter Hammond (who directed many of Granada's Sherlock Holmes episodes as well as 18 episodes of The Avengers and a whole lot more), it faithfully sticks to the book in seeing young Maud Ruthyn (Beatie Edney) having to live with her uncle Silas (Peter O'Toole), a noted wastrel and alleged murderer, even though if she should die, he would inherit from her one of the largest fortunes in England.

Cue the trailer:

Continue reading "Review: The Dark Angel"

May 26, 2011

Lost Gems: Children of the Dog Star (1984)

Posted on May 26, 2011 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

Children of the Dog Star

Did you know there's this tribe in Africa called the Dogon? There really is - this is true. What's particularly interesting about the Dogon is that they have this weird relationship with the star, Sirius - aka the Dog Star - which is the brightest star in the Northern Hemisphere. Exciting astronomy fact of the day: Sirius is actually a binary star - there's a great big star and around it orbits a tiny white dwarf star that's impossible for the naked eye (and even most telescopes) to detect: its presence was only inferred mathematically in 1844.

And the Dogon knew that there was a second star there. In fact, they reckon there's a third star there, too. And in 1995, some evidence emerged that there might well be a brown dwarf in orbit around the two main stars.

Freaky, huh?

Now there are various explanations for this that I won't go into, but back in in 1984, enterprising New Zealand TV station TVNZ created a six-part children's TV series, Children of the Dog Star, in which it was suggested the Dogon know all this because they were visited by an alien probe from Sirius thousands of years ago that told them all this. That wasn't the only probe, however, and out in a New Zealand swamp, the remains of another probe might still exist, waiting to be reactivated.

Here's the title sequence:

Continue reading "Lost Gems: Children of the Dog Star (1984)"

May 23, 2011

Review: Doctor Who - 6x5 - The Rebel Flesh

Posted on May 23, 2011 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

The Rebel Flash

In the UK: Saturday 21st May, 6.45pm, BBC1/BBC1 HD. Available on the iPlayer
In the US: Saturday 21st May, 9pm/8c, BBC America

Erm, yes. Doctor Who. It's running up and down corridors, while threatened by a bad special effects enemy generated through odd science and with poor motivation, isn't it?

Sigh. I wasn't expecting much from Matthew Graham after Fear Her, and given the last non-Moffat Moffat-years two-parter was the dreadful The Hungry Earth/Cold Blood, I wasn't expecting too much from this either. And there were some nicely creepy bits, some decent direction, some decent acting and some good ideas underneath it all. Unsurprisingly, given this was Matthew Graham (co-creator of Life On Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus So I Won't Have Any Good Ones In My Show), Rory actually came out of this quite well and didn't come across as a total sponge for once – he didn't even die once – while Amy got precisely bugger all to do except scream.

But largely, this was an extremely boring episode where not much happened except people running up and down corridors in a slight homage to The Thing/The Clonus Horror. Worse still, come 20 minutes, I'm not just looking at the clock thinking "Oh, God, we've got another 25 minutes of this", I'm looking at it thinking "Oh, God, we've got another one of these next week as well."

Expectations: met.

However, your mileage may vary, so leave a comment or a link to a review on your own blog.

PS Is it just me or if you're going to have a story arc that runs across an entire season, it doesn't count having the same reference in every single week: yes, Amy is both pregnant and not pregnant; there's a woman with an eye-patch behind every wall; and the Doctor's going to die and Rory and Amy are wondering whether to tell him. We remember that from episodes 2, 3 and 4. Is anything else going to happen?

  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 114 115 116 117 118 119 120 121 122 123 124 125 126 127 128 129 130 131 132 133 134 135 136 137 138 139 140 141 142 143 144 145 146 147 148 149 150 151 152 153 154 155 156 157 158 159 160 161 162 163 164 165 166 167 168 169 170 171 172 173 174 175 176 177 178 179 180 181 182 183 184 185 186 187 188 189 190 191 192 193 194 195 196 197 198 199 200 201 202 203 204 205 206 207 208 209 210 211 212 213 214 215 216 217 218 219 220 221 222 223 224 225 226 227 228 229 230 231 232 233 234 235 236 237 238 239 240 241 242 243 244 245 246 247 248 249 250 251 252 253 254 255 256 257 258 259 260 261 262 263 264 265 266 267 268 269 270 271 272 273 274 275 276 277 278 279 280 281 282 283 284 285 286 287 288 289 290 291 292 293 294 295 296 297 298 299 300 301 302 303 304 305 306 307 308 309 310 311 312 313 314 315 316 317 318 319 320 321 322 323 324 325 326 327 328 329 330 331 332 333 334 335 336 337 338 339 340 341 342 343 344 345 346 347 348 349 350 351 352 353 354 355 356 357 358 359 360 361 362 363 364 365 366 367 368 369 370 371 372 373 374 375 376 377 378 379 380 381 382 383 384 385 386 387 388 389 390 391 392 393 394 395 396 397 398 399 400 401 402  

Featured Articles

The Bold Type

Journalism for people who can't read more than a Tweet