Archive | Featured articles

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


July 1, 2008

Lost Gems: The Adventure Game

Posted on July 1, 2008 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

The Adventure Game 

Way back at the end of the 70s and the early 80s, there were two interesting trends. One was the arrival of the micro-computer. And with the arrival of the micro-computer came games. Screw work, hey?

Most important of all the new computer games, given the graphics of the time, were adventure games. These were commonly text-based: you got a load of text chucked at you – "You are in a small room. In the room is a chest of drawers" – to which you typed in a load of two word commands – "OPEN CHEST" – in order to solve all sorts of puzzles that had been set for you.

At the same time, role-playing games were taking off. In these, you had someone read out the words – "You are in a small room. In the room is a chest of drawers" – to which you responded as some kind of made up medieval character/spaceman/whatever "Doest the chest containeth anything usefuleth?" 

Some people got a bit tired by that and decided they'd do it for real – imagine Michael Douglas in The Game or Steven Dillane in The One Game, except with someone rolling dice as you wandered round a deserted lunatic asylum dressed as a wood elf.

And then someone had a cracking idea. "Why," asked TV producer Patrick Dowling, "don't we do something like that on tele for kids?" And thus, The Crystal Maze was born.

Hang on. That's not right. 

No, wind back a decade or so and switch channel. Because back on the BBC, someone had the idea of something more cerebral and a touch more sci-fi, in which celebrities and brainy members of the public would travel to a far off planet (the BBC studios), interact with shape-changing dragons, and try to solve puzzles that would allow them to go home.

It was The Adventure Game, it lasted for four series. It's never been repeated or released on DVD. It's a Lost Gem. Which is ironic because the pesky dragons kept nicking the gems every week.

Here are the titles to get you in the mood.

Continue reading "Lost Gems: The Adventure Game"

June 29, 2008

Review: Doctor Who - 4x12 - The Stolen Earth

Posted on June 29, 2008 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

The Stolen Earth

So what are we reckoning: biggest double-bluff in Who history or the most elaborate, best kept secret in television history?

Continue reading "Review: Doctor Who - 4x12 - The Stolen Earth"

Read other posts about:

June 27, 2008

Today's Joanna Page: Love Actually

Posted on June 27, 2008 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

Joanna Page as Judy in Love Actually

Today's Joanna Page is Richard Curtis's Love Actually.

Curtis has dominated British comedy, whether it's been on television or in the cinemas, for nearly three decades now. Following an early stint writing for Not the Nine O'Clock News in the 70s, he started to bestride us like a laughing, Islington-loving colossus the following decade with The Black Adder, its three sequel series and a couple of one-off spin-offs. Within a few years, he became the moving force behind Comic Relief and managed to notch up a couple of movies, including The Tall Guy, starring Jeff Goldblum and Emma Thompson.

In the 90s, he stormed through again, first unleashing Mr Bean on us all, before choosing to take over the world and introduce Hugh Grant to us all with Four Weddings and a Funeral. He went on to write Notting Hill and the screenplay for Bridget Jones's Diary. He also spent 13 years laughing at country folk for the mysteriously successful The Vicar of Dibley.

Love Actually, released in 2003, was his first attempt at directing a movie. It's kind of a composite rom com version of Crash (or a sicklier version of This Year's Love, which also featured Jo Page) in which just about every possible facet of love is explored through the inter-connected lives of various people around the world. With an incredible cast of stars, it is occasionally touching, sometimes funny, and usually irritating. But it has Joanna Page in it - provided you don't buy the censored DVD - so we'll forgive it.

Continue reading "Today's Joanna Page: Love Actually"

Read other posts about: , , ,

  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  

Featured Articles

Snatch

Not properly pukka