Children of the Stones (1977) - News Poster

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Dark Season and Century Falls: looking back at Russell T Davies' children's dramas

Alex Westthorp Jan 23, 2017

We revisit Dark Season and Century Falls, two children's dramas that established Russell T. Davies' early screenwriting career...

Russell T. Davies, a man synonymous with the successful revival of Doctor Who, was initially a graphic artist for Why Don't You? but he did several jobs on the show, eventually writing, directing and producing the programme. He showed his versatility when he presented an edition of Play School in its final year. Saturday morning summer filler On The Waterfront made its reputation in part due to Davies' own unique take on the classic serial The Flashing Blade. Next came Breakfast Serials, which Davies both wrote and produced. When Tony Robinson decided to take a break from making Maid Marian And Her Merry Men, an afternoon drama slot opened up and Rtd's first major breakthrough in Children's television drama began with the 1991 science fiction thriller Dark Season.

See
See full article at Den of Geek »

R.I.P. Gareth Thomas (1945 – 2016)

Some sad news this morning as Welsh actor Gareth Thomas – who was best known for his role as Roj Blake in the classic sci-fi series Blake’s 7, has passed away at the age of 71 having suffered heart failure, it has been announced.

“It is with deep sadness that we have to announce that Gareth Thomas passed away this morning, 13 April 2016, from heart failure,” reported the official fan website Blake’s 7 Online last night. “Our thoughts are with his wife Linda, and his family and friends.”

The Rada-trained actor made his debut in the 1965 TV movie Romeo and Juliet, and went on to appear in the likes of The Avengers, Coronation Street, Z-Cars and Children of the Stones before securing his role in Blake’s 7. Later credits included London’s Burning, Heartbeat and Torchwood, while he also reprised the role of Blake in 2012 for Big Finish’s audio series Blake’s 7: The Liberator Chronicles.
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Gareth Thomas, Blake's 7 actor, dies aged 71

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Welsh actor Gareth Thomas, the star of Blake's 7 and much, much more, has sadly passed away...

Some sad news. 

Gareth Thomas, an actor perhaps best remembered in these quarters for his role as the titular Blake in late seventies BBC sci-fi series Blake's 7, has died aged 71.

The Welsh actor's long career stretched all the way from the 1960s to the current decade, making Thomas a fondly familiar face on the small screen. Celebrated for his role as the lead in Blake's 7, he also made appearances in Torchwood, Heartbeat, London's BurningChildren Of The Stones and countless other productions over the decades.

The news of his death was reported last night on the Blake's 7 website with the following statement:

"It is with deep sadness that we have to announce that Gareth Thomas passed away this morning, 13th April 2016, from heart failure."

Rest in peace, Gareth Thomas, our thoughts
See full article at Den of Geek »

like if George Orwell wrote Life on Mars

Or if Monty Python wrote 1984. [image] With a touch of Doctor Who and Children of the Stones. [image] Prepare to lose hours at Scarfolk Council. [image] Scarfolk is a town in North West England that did not progress beyond 1979. Instead, the entire decade of the 1970s loops ad infinitum. Here in Scarfolk, pagan rituals blend seamlessly with science; hauntology is a compulsory subject at school, and everyone must be in bed by 8pm because they are perpetually running a slight fever. "Visit Scarfolk today. Our number one priority is keeping rabies at bay." For more information please reread. Quite possibly the funniest, scariest, most demented site on the Net. Seriously.
See full article at FlickFilosopher »

The Doctor Who Column: Child's Play?

If you've ever seen the classic 1973 Christmas Special of The Goodies (called The Goodies And The Beanstalk), then you'll probably remember that bit at the end when the down and out trio come across an abandoned lamp in the street. As soon as they rub the lamp – bingo! A puff of smoke and then John Cleese in a turban. Cleese then bellows “Kids' Show!” after the Goodies tell him to clear off.

I suppose that some people regarded The Goodies as the crazy younger brother of the more adult Monty Python's Flying Circus – on the surface, with its speeded-up action sequences, giant kittens, Dougals and Zebedees, I suppose you could say it's a show that's targeted towards younger ones. But then how do you explain the satirical swipes at the Royals, advertising commercialism, talent shows or apartheid?

Which neatly brings me on to Doctor Who. I was wondering this the
See full article at Shadowlocked »

Brian Morgan obituary

My former husband Brian Morgan, who has died aged 69, was a distinguished cameraman and director of photography. He worked on numerous major network television series such as Robin of Sherwood (1986), Love Hurts (1993, with Zoë Wanamaker and Adam Faith), five series of the popular Wycliffe drama, starring Jack Shepherd, and McCallum, starring John Hannah, for which Brian was nominated for a Bafta in 1996.

A war baby, born in Cardiff, to Edith and Norman, Brian developed a passion for photography after he received a Brownie box camera for his 11th birthday from his parents. He left school at 16 and went to work for Tempest School and Aerial Photographers as an apprentice. At 21, he got a job at the newly created Harlech television company as a camera assistant, working with the talented Tony Impey, who taught him so much about the skills of lighting for film. They worked with the poet John Betjeman
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Halloween horrors: new DVD and Blu-ray releases

'Tis Halloween, and many film companies are observing the not-so ancient tradition of releasing plenty of horror DVDs. All pagan man could manage was sticking candles into hollowed-out pumpkins, whereas we get the full widescreen, HD and surround sound Halloween experience. In your face, pagan man.

There are two things horror has taught us. Firstly, there will always be new horror films. Secondly, most of them will be rubbish. Thankfully, enough will take a chance or try a few different moves to keep the genre in rude health. Stake Land (Metrodome) is one such plucky newcomer. A road movie with the road paved with vampires, it's a strange, often sedate journey, on which the peaceful passages impress more than the frenzied attacks.

The Dead (Anchor Bay) offers an unlikely setting for a zombie movie. Brit directing brothers Jonathan and Howard J Ford took their undead project to gorgeous Burkina Faso
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Preview: 9th Fantastic Films Weekend

Starting tomorrow at the National Media Museum, the Fantastic Films Weekend is the UK’s fastest growing festival dedicated to horror, fantasy and sci-fi cinema and television. This dynamic annual celebration of old, new, bloody and obscure is hosted by the National Media Museum in Bradford, a unique site that can screen all film formats including widescreen 70mm, 3-strip Cinerama and IMAX.

This years 9th Fantastic Films Weekend will take place from Friday 4th – Sunday 6th June 2010, and looks set to be a great mix of films and television, old and new. Highlights include a midnight screening of James Nguyen’s Birdemic, Q&A’s with British directing veterans Stanley Long and Michael Armstrong, and screenings of The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue, Witchfinder General, and the notorious cult classic Mark of the Devil – all of which haven’t been seen on the big screen in years! There will also
See full article at Blogomatic3000 »

Exclusive: Adrian Smith Interviews The League Of Gentlemen

  • CinemaRetro
That's Cinema Retro London correspondent Adrian Smith (center) with the crazy lads who comprise The League of Gentlemen.

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Ten years ago a show appeared on British TV that was so strange, so grotesque, so dark, yet so utterly hilarious that it quickly developed a cult following and a number of popular catchphrases. It ran to three series and eventually a feature film. This was the League of Gentlemen, a weird combination of sketch show and sitcom which clearly took inspiration from old horror movies, detective dramas, sexploitation comedies, to name but a few. I took the opportunity to pin down the gents in order to unravel just what their influences were. The conversation immediately turns to Take an Easy Ride, described by Mark as almost being a snuff film. This leads to my first question:

Have seventies snuff films been an influence on you?
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