Sunday, 31 May 2015

Tartan Noir = Scottish Gore!

Wikipedia describes ‘Tartan Noir’ as a form of crime fiction particular to Scotland and Scottish writers. It has its roots in Scottish literature (notably Robert Louis Stevenson), and the term was coined by American novelist James Ellroy in the 1990’s.
The genre is typified by its “hard-boiled” and dark-humoured style. The first landmark TN title was Laidlaw by William McIlvanney (1977), which in turn inspired the “king of Tartan Noir” Ian Rankin.
Other noted genre authors include Lin Anderson, Tony Black, Gordon Ferris, Alex Gray, Allan Guthrie, Quintin Jardine, Val McDermid, Stuart MacBride, Peter May, Denise Mina, James Oswald, Craig Robertson, and Craig Russell.

Friday, 29 May 2015

Date With History: 1914


May 29th, 2.00 am: The Canadian Pacific steamship RMS Empress of Ireland collided with the Norwegian collier SS Storstad in heavy fog on the St. Lawrence River near Quebec, and sank in just 14 minutes.
Of the 1,477 passengers and crew on board, only 465 survived.

Sunday, 24 May 2015

Doctor Who Vs. Coronation Street, Part 5: 1970-1972

Corrie ended the Sixties with the broadcast of its first colour episode (in November 1969) and a brand new title sequence. As the programme approached its tenth anniversary and thousandth episode, it was hit by strike action at Granada which kept the show off the air for most of June 1970. ITV's Colour Strike later in the year meant that Corrie was recorded in monochrome again from November 1970 to February 1971. 
The troubled early 1970's therefore resulted in the first major fall in ratings since the show's formative years.
These three years on the Street featured Elizabeth Sladen (pictured here in a publicity shot from the Daily Mirror) as barmaid Anita Reynolds (in six installments in January 1970), and twenty-three other Doctor Who 
cast and crew connections:

  • prolific BAFTA winning television writer Brian Finch penned 150 episodes for Corrie, and provided an ultimately unused script for season 23 - Leviathan was adapted by Big Finish in 2010
  • director (of 22 episodes from 1971 to 1987) Paul Bernard later helmed Day of the DaleksThe Time Monster and Frontier in Space
  • Ian Barritt (Policeman here; and Forshaw, 1973) was Professor Peach in The Unicorn and the Wasp
  • Rosalind Ayres (Jasmine) voiced Miriam Rochester for Jubilee (BF, 2003)
  • June Brown (Mrs. Parsons) and Ray Dunbobbin (Clarke) both appeared in The Time Warrior, as Lady Eleanor and Irongron's Soldier
  • Maggie Steed (Ellen) voiced Rana Zandusia for Mission to Magnus (BF, 2009)
  • Richard Steele (DS Jones) was Commandant Gorton in (episode 2 of) The War Games, Sergeant Hart in (episodes 4 and 6 of) The Silurians, and a Guard in The Mark of the Rani
  • William Lucas (Maxwell here; and Judge Parrish, 1996) was Range in Frontios
  • Talfryn Thomas (Dirty Dick) was Mullins in (episode 1 of) Spearhead from Space and Dave in The Green Death
  • Gareth Thomas (Ryan) voiced Lord Tamworth for Storm Warning (BF, 2001) and Kalendorf for Return of the Daleks (BF, 2006) 
  • Luan Peters (Lorna) was Chicki (as Karol Keyes) in (episode 4 of) The Macra Terror, and Sheila in Frontier in Space (3)
  • George Layton (Shelton) was Technician Penn in The Space Pirates, and voiced Louis Markell for upcoming release, The Third Doctor Adventures: The Havoc of Empires
  • Del Henney (Duncan) was Colonel Archer in Resurrection of the Daleks
  • John Stratton (Crabtree) was Shockeye of the Quawncing Grig in The Two Doctors
  • William Simons (Bates) was Mandrel in The Sun Makers
  • Ivor Roberts (Silcock) was Mogran in Genesis of the Daleks (part 3)
  • Brian Glover (Henshaw) was Griffiths in Attack of the Cybermen
  • Jeremy Young (Lewis) was Kal in 100,000 BC, and Gordon Lowery in Mission to the Unknown
  • Alec Sabin (Lomax) was Ringway in Earthshock
  • Paul Copley (Photographer here; and Priestley, 2007) was Clem McDonald in Torchwood: Children of Earth, and voiced Dad for Spare Parts (BF, 2002)
  • Robert Keegan (Jacko) was Sholakh in The Ribos Operation
  • Thelma Barlow (Mavis Wilton/Riley, 1971-1997) was Lady Thaw in The Lazarus Experiment

Saturday, 9 May 2015

Doctor Who Vs. Coronation Street, Part 4: 1967-1969

By the late 1960's, critics were again suggesting that 
Corrie no longer reflected contemporary Britain, and Granada sought to update the programme. Plans to showcase hard hitting topics like drug addiction, homosexuality, illegitimate birth and the introduction 
of a black family were however ultimately rejected.
Two of the show's biggest storylines to date occured during this time. A train crashed from the viaduct onto the Street in May 1967, and Steve Tanner was murdered at Christmas 1968.
These three years on the Street featured John Levene 
(as a Drinker in The Rovers Return, in episode 939
in 1969, and pictured here as UNIT Sergeant, John 
Benton), and thirty-three other Doctor Who cast and 
crew connections:

  • Gabrielle Drake (Inga here; Vanessa, 2009) was considered for the role of Victoria Waterfield
  • Clifford Cox (Hale) was the Sergeant in (the third episode of) Spearhead from Space
  • Derrick Gilbert (Reporter here; and Ballantyne, 1989) was Armand Vallance in The Wheel in Space
  • Callan Angelo (Strauss) was Terry Cutler in The Tenth Planet
  • Jonathan Newth (Hesketh) was Orfe in Underworld
  • John Challis (Naylor here; and DS Phillips, 1977) was Scorby in The Seeds of Doom
  • Bill Lyons (Johnson) was a Guard in (episode 3 of) The Enemy of the World
  • Angela Pleasence (Monica) was Queen Elizabeth in The Shakespeare Code
  • Michael Mundell (Les) was Jasko in The Invasion of Time
  • Brian Peck (Barton here; and Ball, 1979) was Dervish in The Space Pirates
  • Geoffrey Palmer (Registrar) was Edward Masters in The Silurians, the Administrator in (episode 1 of) The Mutants, and Captain Hardaker in Voyage of the Damned
  • Nigel Humphreys (Fleming, 1968-70) was Bulic in Warriors of the Deep
  • George Waring (Wilde here; and Swain, 1980) was Arden in The Ice Warriors
  • David Grey (Nicholas) was Rinchen in The Abominable Snowmen
  • Annette Robertson (Pamela) and Eric Thompson (Searle) both appeared in The Massacre, as Anne Chaplet and Gaston de Levis, Viscount de Leran respectively
  • Sean Caffrey (Riley) was Lord Palmerdale in Horror of Fang Rock
  • Derek Newark (DI Sharp) was Za in 100,000 BC, and Greg Sutton in Inferno
  • Eric Dodson (Reverend) was the Headman in The Visitation (part 3)
  • Shane Rimmer (Donnelli here; Reid, 1988) was Seth Harper in The Gunfighters
  • Peter Childs (Policeman here; Braddock, 1971; Mortam, 1978; Emery, 1980; and Tyler, 1984) was Jack Ward in The Mark of the Rani
  • David Daker (Griffin) was Irongron in The Time Warrior
  • Heather Emmanuel (Nurse here; and Doctor, 2005) was Tessa in (part 4 of) The Android Invasion
  • director (of episodes 869 and 875) Gerry Mill helmed The Faceless Ones too
  • Sandra Bryant (Sandra) was Kitty in The War Machines, and Chicki (in episode 1 of) The Macra Terror
  • Alan Gerrard (Blakeley here; and Scully, 1973) was Bovem in The Dominators
  • John Moore (Pilling) was a Trojan in The Myth Makers: Small Prophet, Quick Return, and a Prisoner in (episode 3 of) Frontier in Space
  • Kenneth Cranham (Roy) voiced Tom Cardwell in Blood of the Daleks (Big Finish, 2007)
  • Colin Spaull (Stranger) was Lilt in Revelation of the Daleks, Mr. Crane in the two-part Cybermen adventure for Series 2, and voiced Henrik for Grand Theft Cosmos (BF, 2008)
  • future Blake's 7 actor Paul Darrow (Doctor) was Captain Hawkins in The Silurians, Tekker in Timelash, and voiced Guidance for The Next Life (BF, 2004)
  • Michael Hawkins (Palmer) was General Williams in Frontier in Space
  • John Bailey (Dr. Grant) was the Commnder in The Sensorites: A Desperate Venture, Edward Waterfield in The Evil of the Daleks, and Sezom in The Horns of Nimon (4)
  • Alan Bennion (Fielding) made three appearances as an Ice Warrior - Slaar in The Seeds of Death, Izlyr in The Curse of Peladon, and Azaxyr in The Monster of Peladon

Friday, 8 May 2015

Doctor Who Vs.The Moonraker

This 'swashbuckler' film was released by Associated British
Pathé in 1958, and depicts the fictional account of the escape of Charles II from the Battle of Worcester - the final showdown of the English Civil War in 1651. The Earl of Dawlish leads a double life here as the outlaw, the 'Moonraker' (a contemporary term for a smuggler), who rescues Royalists from Oliver Cromwell's New Model Army. 
Shown again yesterday on Film4, the feature starred Patrick 
Troughton (pictured as Captain Wilcox) and eleven other future Doctor Who cast connections:

  • George Baker (Dawlish) played Login in Full Circle
  • Sylvia Syms (Anne) was Mrs. Pritchard in Ghost Light
  • Marius Goring (Beaumont) was Theodore Maxtible in The Evil of the Daleks
  • Clive Morton (Harcourt) and Edwin Richfield (Trooper) both appeared in The Sea Devils, as Trenchard and Captain Hart respectively - the latter was also Mestor in The Twin Dilemma
  • Richard Leech (Strangeways) was Gatherer Hade in The Sun Makers
  • Paul Whitsun-Jones (Parfitt) was Squire Edwards in The Smugglers, and the Marshal in The Mutants
  • Edward Dentith (Lieutenant) was Major General Rutlidge in The Invasion 
  • Jack May (Villager) was General Nicolai Hermack in The Space Pirates
  • fencing coach Bob Anderson was a Guard in (episode 4 of) The Enemy of the World
  • Peter Arne (Tyler) had been cast as Range in Frontios - he had just returned to his London home from a costume fitting when he was murdered - the role then went to William Lucas

Friday, 1 May 2015

Doctor Who Vs. The Thirty Nine Steps

This British thriller, starring Robert Powell (as fugitive Richard Hannay) and Sir John Mills (Scudder) was the third, and most faithful cinematic adaptation of John Buchan's adventure novel (the first of five books to feature his hero), although the famous climax atop Big Ben is the biggest deviation from the original story.
Robert Donat played Hannay in the first film version, directed by Alfred Hitchcock in 1935, then Kenneth More took the lead role for the 1959 remake.
A fourth, television production was broadcast on BBC One in 2008, with Hannay now portrayed by Rupert Penry-Jones.
The Thirty Nine Steps first appeared in Blackwoods Magazine in 1915 and depicts Europe on the edge of war. The book quickly became popular reading both in the trenches and on the home front.
The story was first dramatised for radio by Orson Welles in 1939, and more recently for theatre. Radio 4 first transmitted a two-part rendition in 2001, which starred Tom Baker and David Robb.
Powell later reprised his film role for Thames TV's spin-off series, Hannay 
(1988/89). Released by Rank in 1978, the film was shown on More4 today, 
and featured these seventeen Doctor Who guest actors:
  • veteran screen actor and prolific Big Finish artist David Warner (Appleton) finally made an appearance in the TV series as Professor Grisenko (pictured) in Cold War, but had previously voiced Lord Azlok for Dreamland, and portrayed an Unbound Doctor for both Sympathy for the Devil (2003) and Masters of War (2008), then voiced Sir Isaac Newton for Circular Time: Summer (2007), Co-ordinator Angell for Empathy Games (2008), Professor Boston Schooner for Deimos and The Resurrection of Mars (both 2010), Autarch Siris for The Children of Seth (2011), Biggs for The Rosemariners (2012), and Cuthbert for the Fourth Doctor adventures, The Sands of LifeWar Against the LaanThe Dalek ContractThe Final Phase (all 2013), and the upcoming releases, Casualties of War and The Pursuit of History (both 2016)
  • George Baker (Bullivant) was Login in Full Circle
  • Ronald Pickup (Bayliss) was the Physician in The Reign of Terror: The Tyrant of France - his TV debut
  • Donald Pickering (Marshall) played Eyesen in The Keys of Marinus, Blade in The Faceless Ones, and Beyus in Time and the Rani
  • Timothy West (Porton) voiced Turvey for Cuddlesome (BF, 2008), and Dr. Magnus Soames in House of Blue Fire (BF, 2011)
  • Andrew Keir (Lord 'R') was Wyler in the second Dalek film
  • William Squire (Harkness) was the Shadow in The Armageddon Factor 
  • David Collings (Tillotson) was Vorus in Revenge of the Cybermen, Poul in The Robots of Death, the titular role in Mawdryn Undead, and also voiced another Unbound Doctor for Full Fathom Five (BF, 2003)
  • Edward de Souza (Woodville) was Marc Cory in Mission to the Unknown
  • John Normington (Fletcher) was Morgus in The Caves of Androzani, and Trevor Sigma in The Happiness Patrol
  • Michael Bilton (Vicar) was Charles de Teligny in The Massacre, Collins in (part 1 of) Pyramids of Mars, and a Time Lord in The Deadly Assassin (part 1)
  • Harry Fielder (Policeman) a veteran of fifteen 'classic' era appearances, was a Guard (in serials PP, ZZZ, 4L, 4P, 5A, 5F, 5Z), a Crewman (SS, 4T), a Vogan (4D), an Assassin (4Q), a Tigellan (5Q), and a Krarg in Shada 
  • Paul Jerrico (Scott) was the Castellan in The Five Doctors
  • Prentis Hancock (Perryman) was a Reporter in Spearhead from Space, Vaber in Planet of the Daleks, Salamar in Planet of Evil, and the Captain in The Ribos Operation
  • James Garbutt (Miller) was Ronson in Genesis of the Daleks
  • Andrew Downie (Stewart) was Willie Mackay in The Highlanders
  • Oliver Maguire (Martins) was a Shrieve in The Ribos Operation
The 39 Steps (1959) featured future Doctor Who guest stars Duncan Lamont,
Leslie Dwyer, James Copeland, John Harvey, William Mervyn and Harry Towb.
The 39 Steps (2008) was directed by James Hawes, and starred David Haig.