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REALITY CHECK with Alex Fitch
Alex Fitch looks at Doctor Who comic strips in the 50th anniversary week of the TV show. In a panel discussion recorded at SCI-FI-LONDON, artists Adrian Salmon and Mark Buckingham plus writers Scott Gray and Andrew Cartmel (also the TV script editor from 1987-1989) discuss the various adventures of the Doctor in sequential art, including the ‘wilderness years’ when the show was off air in the 1990s and comics were the only continuing visual adventures of the Time Lord. Recorded May 2013 in front of a live audience at SCI-FI-LONDON, Stratford Picture House.
(More info: Doctor Who comics website - www.alteredvistas.co.uk)
In this edition we hear how ancient gods have been brought to modern audiences. First we speak to Indian author Amish about his Shiva trilogy, which retells the story of Hinduism's god of destruction in a different light, as a man becoming a god. Amish's Shiva trilogy is out now from Jo Fletcher Books and available from all good book sellers. The first part, The Immortals of Meluha, is available for Kindle from Amazon for 69p.
This is followed by excerpts from the recent press conference with the cast and crew of Thor: The Dark World, which sees the Norse god of Thunder fighting ancient dark forces, and the underworld that is London's tube system. Thor: The Dark World is in cinemas now.
To coincide with this week's Oktoberfest, we have a pair of Q&As from the Spring SCI-FI-LONDON festival, in which Alex Fitch talks to the directors of a couple of the more cerebral SF films that screened at the Stratford Picturehouse. Kristina Buozyte discusses her erotic techno thriller Vanishing Waves in which a scientist travels into the mind of a coma patient to try and revive her consciousness. Also Shazad Darwood talks about his feature film Piercing Brightness where cultures and alien encounters collide in an elliptical film shot on the streets of Preston, Lancashire.
Alex Fitch looks at the science-fiction sub genre of Alt. History, talking to three novelists about their works in the sub-genre: Charles Stross discusses his parallel worlds series Merchant Princes plus his collaboration with Cory Doctorow on Rapture of the nerds; Max Brooks talks about his popular zombie epic World War Z and spin-off titles; and Ken MacLeod discusses his novella The Human Front and novel Intrusion. (More info: www.antipope.org/charlie / www.maxbrooks.com / www.kenmacleod.blogspot.co.uk)
In advance of his appearance at Edinburgh BookFest, Alex Fitch talks to Robbie Morrison about his career in comics so far, from his fifteen year tenure as the writer of Nikolai Dante in 2000AD, working with artists such as Simon Fraser and John Burns, to his new graphic novel DrownTown, published by Jonathan Cape.
(For more info: www.2000ad.org / www.randomhouse.co.uk)
Roger Christian is probably best known as director of Battlefield Earth, the oft-ridiculed Travolta sci-fi vehicle. However, he won an Oscar for Best Art Direction on the original Star Wars, and was also nominated in the same category for Ridley Scott's Alien. His directorial debut, a short film called Black Angel, was chosen by George Lucas to show in cinemas before Return of the Jedi. His 1994 film on the life of Nostradamus was well received internationally. His latest sci-fi film, Stranded, starring Christian Slater, is out now on DVD and Blu-ray.
In a panel discussion recorded at SCI-FI-LONDON, Alex Fitch talks to producer Stephen Woolley, writer Moira Buffini and star Daniel Mays about the new British vampire movie Byzantium, directed by Neil Jordan, which depicts the back story and current lives of a pair of female vampires living in modern day Hastings.
(Byzantium is released in the UK on 31st May - more info at: www.studiocanal.co.uk/Film)
In a pair of Q and As recorded at the London Science-Fiction and Fantastic Film Festival (SCI-FI-LONDON), Alex Fitch talks to the creators of two new low budget portrayals of the apocalypse on screen. Stars Alan Bagh and Thomas Favaloro, writer / director James Nguyen and producer Jeff Gross discuss the B movie spoof Birdemic II: The Resurrection and co-writer / star Vera Miao talks about her excellent mid-apocalyptic road movie Best Friends Forever.
Alex Fitch talks to graphic designer turned film-maker Sam Harris about his short silent film Arthur Sleep, a half hour Stygian odyssey that mixes elements of The Cabinet of Doctor Caligari and Eraserhead, as a trip on the London Underground takes a traveller into more mysterious destinations than he envisioned. Also, in a Q and A recorded at last year’s SCI-FI-LONDON, Alex talks to the writers and producer of True Love, an SF thriller that tests a couple’s devotion to each other as a set of innocuous questions in a surrealist prison turn to torture.
Arthur Sleep is premiering at New Cross Film Festival, Deptford Old Town Hall, London SE14 6AF on 28 April at 4pm with a live score performed by members of the Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and London art-rock bands / True Love is released in Japanese cinemas on 27th April
In a panel discussion recorded at SCI-FI-LONDON 10, guest presenter Matt Badham talks to comic creators David Hine, Al Davison, Tom Humberstone and Tony Lee about starting their careers in independent comics, how that influenced their style and choices when breaking into the ‘mainstream’ industry and the advice they have to give creators starting out now. Recorded and edited by Alex Fitch
(Websites: Tony Lee, Tom Humberstone, David Hine, Al Davison)