Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Old Hammer Films That Are Lost Forever and Ever

Here's a couple of manky old movies you won't have seen before. 

Dick Barton Versus the Atomic Vampire (Dir. Val Guest - 1954)

Abbott and Costello Meet Quatermass (Dir. Val Guest - 1956)

Doctor Who and the Blue Moon - not available in bookshops!

This rather epitomises the way I work. I was on Twitter over the weekend and a certain photo of Peter Capaldi suddenly started showing up in my feed. 

Taken on location over the weekend, he was holding an iconic prop from the original series - namely the Metebelis Three crystal that featured in both The Green Death and Planet of the Spiders

I instantly had one of my inspirational "if-only" moments and set to work creating a Target cover from scratch to reflect the acute fanboy nature of the image. 

Before you ask, I have no idea what "Doctor Who and the Blue Moon" is about. I could use the excuse 'spoilers' to cover that up but honestly, I have no idea why the Doctor is holding a blue crystal on the banks of the Thames opposite the Houses of Parliament whilst a giant moon hangs ominously in the sky. It just looks cool doesn't it? 

My thanks to David Bickerstaff who took the original picture on location over the May Bank Holiday when he presented Peter with his own souvenir from the planet Metebelis Three. 

Hopefully, the good Doctor can put it to good use during the next giant spider invasion! 

Saturday, 23 May 2015

This Week - The New Adventures!

I don't usually do requests but those nice people on Twitter goaded me into this one.

In the absence of the popular light entertainment BBC politics show this week (which is also called This Week), it was suggested that the series could continue in the form of Virgin New Adventures novels - telling stories too 'something' and too 'something else' for television.

I said a firm 'no' at first.

But then I got pissed and my guard was down... 


Friday, 22 May 2015

Great Moments in Doctor Who Eurovision History - part one*

It will soon be the 2015 Eurovision Song Contest where the nations of Europe (and Australia) will gather in Vienna to camp it up something rotten. 

I am reminded of a 1960s Kellogg's cereal promotion that coincided with the re-launch of their savory breakfast cereal brand - Porky Pops. (See also here.) 

One of the few - in fact, the only - successful side of the original Porky Pops launch was its distinctive Doctor Who branding. Indeed, empty boxes are still much sought after collector's items. (Collectors prefer them empty as stale Porky Pops not only contravene many international chemical weapon agreements, they also smell a bit like rank semen.) 

In 1968, to coincide with that year's Eurovision Song Contest, Kellogg's chose to relaunch Porky Pops with a special offer. Collect 47 packet tops and the customer could send off for 'Patrick Troughton's Book of the 1968 Eurovision Song Contest'. 

This was a paperback publication with over a hundred pages of information about the popular music festival written by the famous actor Patrick Troughton - himself a longtime devotee of good music. Despite this, he produced a worthy tome that is still recognised today as the definitive work on the subject of the 1968 Eurovision Song Contest. 

Sadly, problems with the Porky Pops themselves meant that the product was quickly withdrawn when it was discovered that the cereal in fact contained more than the regulation vegetable substitute pork rind than was legally allowed by the British Crunchy Snack Board. 

Unsold boxes ended up in China where they were used to plug gaps in The Great Wall making them it the only breakfast cereal that could be seen from space.  

* Actually, it's the only part.

Sunday, 3 May 2015

What's this thing for badly drawn Jon Pertwees on advertising stuff?

Jon Pertwee's face appeared on quite a few products during his tenure as the Doctor.

 Some - like the one on the left - are quite disturbing. 

One wonders what the marketing bods back then thought when they gave the go ahead for this artwork for Kellogg's Sugar Smacks... 


Pertwee also appeared on a recipe book for the Co-op - everyone's favourite local supermarket. I've not seen a complete copy since the 70s but images of the grinning actor extolling the virtues of good food abound on the internet. 

And, whilst it's a more jovial improvement on the 'bogey man' Sugar Smacks artwork, it's still not exactly a Frank Bellamy Radio Times cover is it?

Bank Holiday television isn't what it used to be...

Given it's a bank holiday and given that the weather is usually shit, you'd expect something a bit more special on telly. 

But these days, there's often very little if anything. 

The BBC still has its standard fare of Homes Under the Hammer and Bargain Hunt episodes that might as well be repeats for all the originality each 'new' edition contains.

ITV meanwhile has replaced This Morning with episodes of Murder She Wrote and Columbo in an effort to extend their 'classic' weekend scheduling. 

As for the other Freeview channels....

Whatever happened to Disney Time, Billy Smart's Circus and Holiday Star Trek??? 

Rant over...

Friday, 1 May 2015

The Other Doctor Who Armada Books

Back in the sixties, Armada Books published a paperback edition of 'DrWho in an Exciting Adventure with the Daleks'. 

They toyed with the idea of producing some more. 


They did. 

But in the end, they didn't. 

Did they...