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Christopher Fowler
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I have started ranting at the TV. I never used to even watch it. As a result, I'm completely out of the loop. The last show I saw was 'Minder' on television in a hospital waiting room. I think they have it permanently tuned to the 1980s. I'd been looking forward to Alex Garland's SF TV series 'Devs'. The writer-director is an exciting, frustrating talent. 'Dredd', 'Sunshine' and 'The Beach' all…
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Christopher Fowler
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Isolation may last a year. Global warming is killing the world. Famine and flood approach. The US president has gone mad. What can we talk about that's more uplifting? How about the latest work from playwright James Graham? His TV version of 'Quiz' (download all three episodes now on Sky) proved much better than the earlier play version, and follows his terrific TV play meticulously taking apart…
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Christopher Fowler
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When I started this site in 1878 I never thought it would last thing long. A blog about books, how original. And we can use it to flog your tawdry output, said the publisher's PR. Oh, and we'll want full access to it. The result was the Bryant & May website, disastrous from Day One, peppered with plugs and content popping up from nowhere. I closed it down and set up this one, without worrying…
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Christopher Fowler
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In my old job we worked with a lot of screen legends and pretty soon you learn to keep your mouth shut about what they say or do, but a piece in the papers about Dame Judi Dench, now 85, being entirely unconcerned about how she was received in 'Cats', made me remember this tidbit. No, not from that production above - that's her as Sally Bowles in 'Cabaret'. Famously Dame Judi is nervous on sets…
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Christopher Fowler
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Over the last few days, to my mind one of the biggest disappointments has been the behaviour of the fourth estate. In a classic illustration of the Frog and the Scorpion fable, the British press, given a shining opportunity to show excellence and grow by informing and leading, turned tail and crept back into its slimy habitat. The Sun, the Mirror, the Mail and even the formerly intelligent…
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Christopher Fowler
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Looking at my research notes on 'War Of The Worlds' I found that if you take the key dialogue lines from the narrator in H G Wells' story you get an interesting synopsis of the main events - what comes through is the extraordinary clarity of the storytelling. Phillip Pullman's excellent book of essays on writing, 'Daemon Voices', reminds us that clarity of intent is the key to narrative. Here are…
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Christopher Fowler
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War of the worlds Click on the above and you'll find me banging on about this project. When it comes to science fiction my first question is always; Why aren't there filmed TV versions of books by Ray Bradbury, Christopher Priest, Arthur C Clarke and at least twenty other superb SF authors? Why are the only books that get made 'brands'? Videogames offer a further problem. The player decides where…
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Christopher Fowler
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...But just about everyone in it does. You probably already know the backstory to 'Gomorrah', the fictional TV adaptation of Roberto Saviano's 2006 real-life exposé of the Camorra, the Neapolitan crime syndicate, and how the writer has to live with bodyguards these days. It was turned into a hit gangster series and became the first Italian production to break in America. Why is the show that was…
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Christopher Fowler
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Reading today that Emilio Estevez says 'Brat Pack' will be carved on his tombstone, I'm reminded of Bette Midler's line that 'She started at the Continental Baths' will be stamped on hers. Everyone is cursed to have the origin of their success marked on their grave because people don't realise that when they're starting out on their careers the way they begin may stay with them forever. For years…
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Christopher Fowler
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Kindle, you know how our secret shame-ridden love affair began - years ago, when I first glanced away from my beloved print books. Seduced by the sleek lines of my first reader (a Kobo, sleekish, but it was no iPhone) I began to leave my books behind on the shelf. It was the hardback 'His Dark Materials' that caused my divorce. The book was overweight and ungainly, too heavy to hold - and to be…
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Years