Monthly Archives: April 2009

Of Hedges And Hedgehogs

So what can I say about the new Star Trek movie?  Well, I’m seeing it again, for starters. That should tell you a few things. And it was funny, really funny, and at times I missed great chunks of dialogue because I was giggling so much. The cast were great – my love of Bruce Greenwood continues unapaced as his Christopher Pike was rather wonderful – and the only thing letting the film down, I think, if I want to be really picky, was the score… mainly because I wasn’t humming it by the end of the film. Should’ve been catchy, yes? No.

All other comments I’m saving for my next SFX column, in which I wax lyrical about the word  “Bones”. Weird, I know. Incidentally, the SFXers among you might have noticed that my column has been moved to the front of the magazine, which means that now not only do I get more exposure but I can also talk about things that aren’t TV – hurrah! My word count’s shrunk a little, though, but I don’t mind because it means I have no room to ramble. And, as anyone who reads this blog knows, I can ramble on rather well…

What have I been up to recently? My friends Pet Shop Anny and Matt paid me a visit last week and we spent (a rather rainy) day at Hever Castle, childhood home of Anne Boleyn:



Now there’s a nice place to grow up! I’d actually never heard of the castle in my life and didn’t recognise a thing as we were exploring, which just goes to show that Britain is full of wonderful, historical surprises and you should never take anything for granted.

However, another surprise was my discovery that I’m rather phobic of mazes – I walked two feet into Hever’s ancient yew maze and walked right back out again feeling rather ill. Last year I spent a while in the maze at Hampton Court and remember becoming a little panicky towards the end, so I can only assume my subconscious has taken that feeling and nourished it in the time in between.  Why thank you, brain! Much appreciated!

I blame Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire and this:


So now I have three hideous phobias: spiders, zombies and mazes. If ever I’m lost in a maze with zombie spiders chasing me I’m as good as dead. Fingers crossed it’ll never happen, eh?

I was also lucky enough to see Wolverine last week, though I can’t talk about it because I signed all sorts of scary forms saying I’m not allowed to discuss the film (and I can’t remember when the embargo runs out, either, so I may just stay tight-lipped forever). As you may recall, I was hoping to go to the press junket and sit in the same room as Hugh Jackman but due to events beyond my control it didn’t happen… bugger. However, I did get to interview Wolverine’s director in the room next to Jackman, which tickled me even if I never got a sniff of the guy. So near, and yet so far!

Gavin Hood, may I add, is a DUDE. We’d actually met on the set of Stargate SG-1 in 2004, back in the days when he was acting, and we had a casual ten-minute chat by a catering table as I waited to speak to Richard Dean Anderson and he waited to film a scene. The fact I still remember this chat four years on just goes to show how lovely he was back then, and he still is – he even recreated his Stargate character’s Russian accent for me! (For those interested, he played Colonel Vaselov in ‘Lockdown’, which means that the guy who directed Wolverine once shot Jack O’Neill. I love how freaky that is!)

Can I also add that when the interview was over, Hood gave me a massive hug? And that I’ve been a journalist for nine years and an interviewee has only ever hugged me once before?

Like I said, he’s a DUDE.

(For the record, the other hugger was Terry Gilliam, which was one of my favourite interviews ever because I’d been a fan of Gilliam since I my childhood self figured out that I should stop being scared of his Monty Python animations and start being amused by them. Seriously, to this day his giant hedgehog, Spiny Norman, freaks me out:


…although I do secretly wish he’d had a face-off with the giant kitten from The Goodies:

My money would have been on the ’hog.)

And would you look at that – I’ve rambled on! Must dash!



Filed under Uncategorized


I will be posting in the next couple of days with my thoughts on the new Star Trek movie, how I discovered I have a phobia of mazes and how I came within ten feet of Hugh Jackman and never saw him (DAMMIT!). Until then, have a video of a slow loris being tickled:

He’s no Wolverine though. Sigh.


Filed under Uncategorized

Easter’s no fun without the eggs. Just so you know.

Happy Easter, everybody! Although Easter really doesn’t seem to be much of a holiday these days; just an endless trudge along foggy motorways for your average Brit, followed by the disappointment of a rainy seaside, which is then followed by another trudge along another foggy motorway a few days later on the journey home.

(Still, even that sounds more fun than being locked inside your house catching up on endless housework while fretting over all those features you’re supposed to have written by Tuesday morning when all your editors are back in the office…)

But Easter did bring us one lovely thing this year: Doctor Who – Planet of the Dead, which I enjoyed very much indeed, oh yes; particularly Lee Evans (just the right balance of slapstick and mad boffin tomfoolery). It also brought home the fact that I will really miss David Tennant as Number Ten: he’s so brilliant in the role, from the tips of his tatty Converse All-Stars to his delightfully scribbly hair. When his Doctor dies over Christmas I fear I shall blub like a very blubby thing indeed. Not the least for the scribbly hair, which will hopefully be replaced by Matt Smith’s deliciously quirky hair instead. We shall see…

I’ve been working hard this weekend in preparation for a very busy week: all in all, I have one day in the office, a screening of Wolverine to attend (not exactly a hardship, that), friends arriving and many adventures to be had with them, a trip to the Royal Albert Hall to see the London Philharmonic Orchestra perform all the music from The Fellowship of the Ring live, a screening of Star Trek to attend (not exactly a hardship there, either) and there’s also a small possibility I’ll be sitting in the same room as Hugh Jackman for a little while as he talks about Wolverine. Which will be rather fabulous, should it happen, particularly if the film is as great as we all hope it is (I can’t discuss it here, however, as I have to sign an embargo on my review).

I do have a sneaky suspicion that this week will be fun. If it’s not, there’s something fundamentally wrong with the universe.

I’ll tell you what isn’t fun, though: Dollhouse. I’ve now seen the first eight episodes and I’ve only enjoyed one and a half of them. Please, please get better, Dollhouse, or I might not even make it to the end of the season… although it’s a moot point because chances are this season will be its last anyway. Oh dear.

Oh, and something else that isn’t fun? Being on a diet over Easter. No chocolate eggs for me. I can’t even look at one. Still, I’m losing weight and eating so healthily my body keeps whispering, “It’s about time, woman!” in my ear every night when I fall asleep. Hurrah!

But yes, a Cadbury’s Creme Egg would go down very nicely right now. Sigh.


Filed under Uncategorized

Praise Be!

As anybody who reads this blog – or my columns in SFX – no doubt already knows, I’m a huge fan of Supernatural. (And if you didn’t know, it’s probably because I try very hard not to enthuse too much because I don’t want to become a Winchester bore, although frankly I’m not sure my self-control is that impressive.) Not only do I love the show, I’m also lucky enough to write the odd piece for the official Supernatural Magazine, which is pretty much about as dreamy as a dream job could ever get, particularly because I do it on a freelance basis and thus can remain spoiler-free in the process.

This week’s episode of Supernatural, which I won’t spoil for anybody reading this who’s watching them on ITV2 and isn’t up to date with the US broadcasts, was like nothing I think I’ve ever seen before. I’ve watched it three times now and I am still stunned that the writers managed to pull it off – ‘audacious’ doesn’t really cut it. Without being too spoilery, we’re talking about an episode which effectively broke the fourth wall and mentioned Supernatural fandom – seriously, there was a scene in which Sam and Dean discussed FANFIC. And somehow, it worked. The writing team got away with it. It was silly, and then it got terribly serious, and by the end it all made absolute, perfect sense. What an amazing episode. And this, hot on the heels of ‘On The Head Of A Pin’ a few weeks ago, which was so exciting I tried to talk about it afterwards to a friend and actually ran out of words. Pigs? They flew.

Damn, season four has been astonishing.

But I’m not really here to big up Supernatural, because… well, I don’t really need to. The reason for this post is because I wanted to acknowledge the fact that Supernatural has been kicking ass. In the UK, it’s ITV2’s highest-rated show – last week’s episode, ‘Heaven And Hell’, got 678,000 viewers, which might not sound like a lot, but it’s on against Lost on Sky One and ITV2 is a pretty small channel. It’s a fantastic achievement!

In America this week, however, Supernatural managed to do this (according to a press release from The CW):



Facing E.R. Finale, SUPERNATURAL Posts Its Best Adults 18-34 Ratings in 2 ½ Years; Matches Its Best Men 18-34 Ratings EVER on The CW

The CW’s Matches its Best Thursday of The Season in Adults 18-34

Ignoring all the techno-speak (why are American ratings and shares so damn complicated, anyway?), essentially what this is saying is this:


…Not to mention the special 200th episode of CSI. I am so, so proud of my favourite television show right now. Go Team Winchester!

(And I might also mention that Issue 8 of Supernatural Magazine is in shops right now, and features the very amusing interview I did with this guy:


That’s Misha Collins as Castiel, if you don’t know, and yes, he’s dressed like John Constantine on purpose. Did I mention how much I love this show?)

And this concludes this month’s gratuitous Supernatural fangirling from your host. Thank you for listening. Drive carefully, now.


Filed under Uncategorized

Hamster in a wok. All you need to know.

…Although you should also turn the sound up to truly appreciate the awesome soundtrack.


Filed under Uncategorized