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.

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