How COVID Is Changing Us

A Bit Too Real A walk through Central London is a shock. For the past four months it has been like a quiet country village – and despite a half-hearted effort to get people into offices, it still is. A great many of the shops remain shut. There’s a cat asleep in the middle of St […]

Sunday In The Pub With…

It appears Britain survived the easing of the Lockdown over the weekend without drunken gangs terrorising the nation. Sky News and the Daily Mail decided to run with their pre-prepared headlines of ‘brawls in Soho’ in spite of the fact that there were none and police said people generally behaved themselves. Sunday, then, a time […]

Bingewatching: ‘Veep’

While I loved the political spin comedy series ‘The Thick Of It’ I always suspected that the show was built around a single repeating plot; confirm, reverse, panic, deny, lacing the events with Malcolm Tucker’s potty-mouth asides. The US reboot ‘Veep’ began the same way with Selina Meyer (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) failing to understand the basic principles […]

‘Devs’ – Technobabble Gets A Glamorous Makeover

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 […]

‘Quiz’: Looking For Answers

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 […]

A Site For All Ages

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, […]

A Cheery Showbiz Anecdote

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. […]

Press Could Have Risen To Occasion; Sinks Lower Instead

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 […]

War Of The Worlds In The Narrator’s Own Words

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 […]

What Happened To War Of The Worlds?

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 […]