Foreign Countries #27: The Woman in Black (1989)

Nigel Kneale had an impressive career. Interviewed by the BBC when he died, Mark Gatiss referred to him as the man who invented popular television and it’s a sentiment that’s hard to argue with. His collaborations with Rudolph Cartier brought about the first proper serial for television with The Quatermass Experiment (1953), The Year of … Continue reading Foreign Countries #27: The Woman in Black (1989)

Land of weather forecasts and breakfasts that set in #5: HOST (2020)

I’ve mentioned before that the way we consume TV/film/any other format of ‘content’ shapes expectation. Streaming services have only accelerated the osmosis between television and film, and the COVID pandemic may see the film industry and the theatrical release model irrevocably altered. This doesn’t have to be all bad news and innovative indie filmmakers can … Continue reading Land of weather forecasts and breakfasts that set in #5: HOST (2020)

Enter freely and of your own free will! #2: Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1974)

Two of my more recent discoveries on Amazon Prime were a selection of the BBC anthology series Play for Today (1970-84), (sadly no A Photograph), and ABC’s gothic daytime melodrama Dark Shadows (1966-71). This unique and unlikely hit gave its creator Dan Curtis the chance to successfully pitch some classic horror adaptations to the U.S. … Continue reading Enter freely and of your own free will! #2: Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1974)

Enter freely and of your own free will! #1: Mystery and Imagination: Dracula (1968)

Four weeks into lock down, and while we all try and remember the last time we went this long without setting foot in a pub, we also marvel at how quickly we adapt to the new normal and wonder if things will ever truly return to how they were, or if they even should. The … Continue reading Enter freely and of your own free will! #1: Mystery and Imagination: Dracula (1968)

Foreign Countries #26: Quatermass and the Pit (1958/9)

This is a revised version of a post that first appeared on Room 207 Press in 2018. I originally wrote this as the Windrush scandal enveloped the United Kingdom. The controversy of the deportation of British citizens who emigrated from the Caribbean brought down the then Home Secretary, although many lay the blame at the … Continue reading Foreign Countries #26: Quatermass and the Pit (1958/9)

Foreign Countries #25: Dramarama: Spooky: The Keeper (1983)

I'm writing this post in the shadow of Orford Castle on the Suffolk coast. Built sometime between 1165 and 1173 to consolidate Henry II's power in East Anglia, it's probably best known these days for its uniquely designed keep but readers with an interest in such matters may know it more from the climax of Witchfinder … Continue reading Foreign Countries #25: Dramarama: Spooky: The Keeper (1983)

Foreign Countries #23: Mystery and Imagination: Sweeney Todd (1970)

Anyone who watched the recent series The Yorkshire Ripper Files: A Very British Crime Story (2019) will know how misogynistic assumptions can hamper an investigation and an obsession with the killer can reduce their victims to statistics and social judgement that puts part of the blame on to themselves. After all, society says, what were … Continue reading Foreign Countries #23: Mystery and Imagination: Sweeney Todd (1970)

M4 Death Trip #6: Apostle (2018)

Bram Stoker Award Finalist Howard Ingham and I discuss Gareth Evans' (The Raid) Netflix Original Apostle and look at messy plots, undisciplined editing and atrocious dialogue. Along the way we discuss the London Film Festival, Korean missionaries and that time I bumped into Donald Sumpter after a West Ham game. Enjoy. https://www.podbean.com/media/player/83k6e-aaac8b?from=site&vjs=1&skin=1&fonts=Helvetica&auto=0&download=1

Crossing Miller’s: Re-evaluating Whistle and I’ll Come to You (2010)

I’ve previously talked about how any adaptation must serve the strengths of the medium ahead of a slavish retelling of the source text. But the elastic that connects Neil Cross’s adaptation to M.R. James’s most famous tale is stretched pretty much to breaking point. I was largely dismissive of this production upon initial broadcast; too … Continue reading Crossing Miller’s: Re-evaluating Whistle and I’ll Come to You (2010)

Foreign Countries Christmas Special: A Ghost Story for Christmas: The Dead Room (2018)

The latest effort in the on/off revival of the BBC's A Ghost Story for Christmas turns back to another original piece by Mark Gatiss. A slightly hammy, over-the-hill actor, Aubrey Judd (Simon Callow) reads ghost stories for the radio in the style of Appointment with Fear (1943-55) and its various successors. As he reads the … Continue reading Foreign Countries Christmas Special: A Ghost Story for Christmas: The Dead Room (2018)