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Join us for the latest on the best in extraordinary fictional television and film from the past, present and future, and analysis on its cultural impacts.

Find out about the amazing facts in fiction, and discover the truth about what's really going on in the World around us...



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Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Writer and researcher ...


After graduating from Goldsmiths' College, University of London, Steven Paul Davies joined Virgin Radio, becoming the youngest ever news presenter on national radio in the UK. He is the author of "Alex Cox: Film Anarchist" and "A-Z Cult Films and Filmmakers" and the co-author of "Brat Pack: Confidential" (all published by Batsford).

Steven's book, "The Prisoner Handbook", published by MacMillan has been described as "a fantastic guide to an amazing television series" ("The Guardian") and Patrick McGoohan's co-star Alexis Kanner recently wrote - "It amazes me how Davies the things he knows! Reading 'The Prisoner Handbook' was like reliving my time spent on the original series. I loved it!"

His book 'Get Carter and Beyond: The Cinema of Mike Hodges' was published in 2002.


Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Acclaimed screenwriter and author ...


Stephen is a novelist, screenwriter and director, specialising in contemporary suspense, and was born in Salford, Lancashire.

Initially working for Yorkshire and Granada TV, Stephen's aim was always to be a TV Drama Director. During his early years in the business, he wrote a number of radio plays and having gained confidence from these, soon his first novel "Chimera". After writing several "Saturday Night Theatres" for BBC Radio 4, his first TV work was the Doctor Who serial, "Warrior's Gate" in Tom Baker's final season. He later contributed "Terminus" during Peter Davison's second year in the title role.

As his career progressed from the mid 1980s onwards, he released a novel a year with all of them optioned for film and TV adaptation. "Chimera" was adapted initially for Radio and then as a successful four part ITV series.

Stephen was involved in "Bugs", writing 10 of the 30 episodes and acting as a script consultant on the second and third seasons. He also adapted and directed a version of his novel "Oktober" for ITV starring Stephen Tomkinson, as well as helping set up Yorkshire TV's short lived horror anthology series "Chillers".

More recently he contributed "The Kingdom of Bones" to the second series of "Murder Rooms - The Dark Beginnings of Sherlock Holmes", starring Ian Richardson.

For further information, visit Stephen's website at http://www.stephengallagher.com/


Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Voice of Scott Tracy, and associate of James Bond ...


From providing the voice of Thunderbird 1 pilot, Scott Tracy, in all 32 episodes of Thunderbirds and both feature films, Shane Rimmer has been one of the most prolific contributors to the series of Gerry and Sylvia Anderson.

In addition to lending his voice to their next series, Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons, Joe 90 and The Secret Service he also wrote a number of the scripts for the shows.

Following different roles in three episodes of UFO, he scripted and appeared in The Protectors as well as writing and starring in the episode Zeke's Blues.

He wrote the story and voiced the character John for the Supermarionation pilot, The Investigator, then appeared as Alan Carter's co-pilot, Kelly, in the Space: 1999 episode Space Brain.

After playing Lieutenant Chuck Brogan in the pilot Space Police, which acted as the forerunner to Space Precinct, he voiced the animated lead in the private eye parody, Dick Spanner.

Outside of the Anderson shows, Shane Rimmer has guest-starred in such shows as Doctor Who, Danger Man and The Persuaders!. He played the American Secretary of State in the drama A Very British Coup along with roles in Dennis Potter's Lipstick on Your Collar and the American miniseries Oppenheimer and Space.

Among numerous film roles, Shane Rimmer has appeared in the Bond movies You Only Live Twice, Diamonds are Forever and The Spy Who Loved Me, the blackly comic Dr Strangelove and Whoops Apocalypse, Ghandi, Reds and the recent Spy Game.

His official website can be found at www.shanerimmer.com.


Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Star of Garrison's Gorillas, Planet of the Apes, and Land of the Lost joined us for Cult TV 2007 ...


Ron Harper starred as Lt Craig Garrison in Garrison’s Gorillas in 1967, a single season series about a group of commandos recruited from jail to use their assembled special skills against the Nazis in WWII. With their headquarters in a sleepy corner of England, they often found themselves all across Europe and behind enemy lines.

Two of his other best known roles were as astronaut Alan Virdon in Planet of the Apes, the spin-off TV series from the movie franchise, and as Uncle Jack in the third season of Land of the Lost.

Ron was born in Turtle Creek, Pennsylvania, a small town just east of Pittsburgh. He won an academic scholarship to Princeton University after becoming valedictorian of his senior class.

At Princeton he appeared in a number of plays and musical comedies during two seasons of performances with the Princeton University Players. Following his graduation, Ron turned down a fellowship to the Harvard Law School and headed to New York to study with Lee Strasberg.

After appearing in such production as “Studio One” and “The Armstrong Theatre”, Ron enlisted in the US Navy. Subsequently, he returned to New York where he appeared on Broadway in “Night Circus” and “Sweet Bird of Youth”. He toured the country in the latter production as Paul Newman's understudy.

His first television appearance was in Tales of Wells Fargo in 1960. Other roles soon followed, including 87th Precinct, The Deputy, The Tall Man, Laramie, and Wagon Train.

He was as a regular on Wendy and Me in 1964 - which starred George Burns as an apartment block owner – Ron played Jeff Conway, the airline pilot husband of Wendy (Connie Stevens), who were two of the building’s tenants - and The Jean Arthur Show in 1966, in which he played Paul, the lawyer son of Patricia Marshall (played by the star, Jean Arthur).

Ron can also be seen in such shows as The Big Valley, Cannon, Love American Style, Another World, Mike Hammer (1984), Remington Steele, Beverly Hills 90210, Melrose Place, Night Man, Boy Meets World, Walker Texas Ranger, and The West Wing.

Film roles include “Below Utopia”, “The Odd Couple II”, “Pearl Harbor”, “Venomous” and “Touched”.

We were delighted that Ron agreed to join us exclusively in the UK for the Cult TV Weekender 2007, to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Garrison’s Gorillas.



Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Co-found of '6 of 1' - The Prisoner Appreciation Society ...


Roger Goodman founded "Six of One" in 1976, the long running appreciation society dedicated to Patrick McGoohan's enigmatic TV series, The Prisoner.

In 1979 he interviewed McGoohan on the last day of his filming The Hard Way in Ireland. Initially released in an edited format on cassette in 1981, it was subsequently reissued in full on CD in 2002. This landmark conversation between McGoohan and Goodman has long been regarded as the best Patrick Mcgoohan interview ever.

In 1982 Roger organised McGoohan's only ever personal appearance amongst his fans at the recording of the TV show Greatest Hits 1968. During the mid -1980s he discussed "The Prisoner" as Ludovic Kennedy's guest on Did You See? and appeared with McGoohan, George Markstein, David Tomblin, and Jack Shampan in the Channel 4 Documentary Six Into One: The Prisoner File.

Roger retired from Six of One in 1985, but emerged in 2000 as the founder of PRIZBIZ (www.priz.biz). Projects include Prisoner related recordings, publications, roadshows, seminars, and rousers. Most recently he assisted with material on the Carlton Prisoner 35th Anniversary DVD.

Originally from Herefordshire, he now lives in North Wales, not too far from Portmerion, the location for much of The Prisoner's 1966 and 1967 filming.


Wednesday, 20 February 2008

The true star of the series Lost in Space joined us for the 2007 Cult TV Weekender ...


Ten years ago, in the year 1997, a covert space mission that for some reason has fallen off the radar of contemporary history, saw the ultimate mechanical assistant, so much the definite article that he is now only know as “Robot”, hurled off into deep space.

The goal was to explore Alpha Centauri, colonising a planet there on what was anticipated to be a five year mission. He was accompanied by the Robinson Family – John, Maureen, Judy, Penny and Will, as well as pilot Don West, and reluctant stowaway Doctor Zachary Smith. The first three years of this quest were catalogued in a reality series called Lost In Space - for some reason the programme has been wrongly remembered as a fictional show from producer Irwin Allen!

Seven feet tall, and unhappy about being constantly described as a ‘bubble-headed booby’ by Doctor Smith, his gargantuan intellect meant that it was the Robot, and the Robot alone, who a decade later has managed to find his way back to Earth.

The temporal displacement saw Robot appear unexpectedly in Slough, and Cult TV Production Team member Mark Withall was one of the first people to encounter it as it looked for supplies of “3 in 1” oil in the local branch of B&Q. Reluctant to make a fuss, Mark managed to persuade Robot that the ideal location to reveal its escapades of the last few years would be at the 2007 Cult TV Festival Weekender.

Following a full refit, thanks to the boys at “Hi-Q”, Robot was ‘pressing the metal’ with Cult TV attendees across the weekend at Heythrop Park!


Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Carrying On his career as a serious expert on comedy ...


Robert has written a library of best-selling books on the stars and history of British comedy including The Complete Sid James, The Carry On Companion, The Monty Python Encyclopedia, The Complete Terry-Thomas, Steptoe and Son, Benny Hill - Merry Master of Mirth, Last of the Summer Wine - The Finest Vintage, The Complete Frankie Howerd and Fawlty Towers - Fully Booked.

Terry Jones has said that "I learnt more about the Pythons from reading his book than from being one!" Jim Dale considers him "a one man encyclopedia of the very best of British comedy" while Phil Collins believes his "knowledge of English comedy is formidable."

His book The Complete Goodies was launched at a sell-out event at the National Film Theatre with Tim Brooke-Taylor, Graeme Garden and Bill Oddie. Later Robert interviewed The League of Gentlemen, Jeremy Dyson, Mark Gatiss, Steve Pemberton and Reece Shearsmith, at another NFT hit. A regular guest broadcaster on radio and television, he has made appearances in such shows as What's A Carry On?, Top Ten: Comedy Records, Will the Real Basil Fawlty Please Stand Up?, Legends: Terry-Thomas and even several cameo roles in Last of the Summer Wine.

A prolific comedy consultant he was a judge at the 2004 British Animation Awards. Robert has also moderated over thirty DVD audio commentaries working with such comedy favourites as Leslie Phillips, Norman Wisdom, Brian Murphy, Jack Douglas and June Whitfield. His first commissioned script, the Big Finish Doctor Who adventure Medicinal Purposes starring Cult TV 2004 guest Colin Baker, was released in August 2003.

Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Apollo from the original Battlestar Galactica (as well as a cameo in the reimagined one!) and known from a whole host of other shows ...


Born in Santa Monica, California, Richard Hatch had no aspirations to become an actor. Though curious about the performers he saw in high school plays, his dream was to compete as a pole vaulter in the Olympics.

Going nowhere during his college years, Richard enrolled in an oral interpretation class where, though shy and introverted, he found his voice, and after graduating joined a Los Angeles repertory company.

He began his television career playing Philip Brent in the soap opera All My Children. After guest roles in Cannon, Kung Fu, Hawaii Five-O, and The Waltons he starred as Inspector Dan Robbins in the final year of The Streets of San Francisco.

He played Harmon Farinella in Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman, retitled Forever Fernwood after the show’s star left, and Steven Slade in the daytime serial Santa Barbara. Taking the recurring role as Dean Caldwell in Dynasty, he guest-starred in episodes of Murder, She Wrote, TJ Hooker and MacGyver.

With roles in numerous television movies, including The Hustler of Muscle Beach and Prisoners of the Lost Universe, Richard appeared on the big screen as Lee Chan Jr opposite Peter Ustinov and Angie Dickinson in Charlie Chan and the Curse of the Dragon Queen. Further movie roles include Delta Force Leader Brett Haskell in Delta Force Commando II: Priority Red One and Colonel Nelson in Iron Thunder.

Best known for playing Captain Apollo in Battlestar Galactica, which earned him a Golden Globe nomination, Richard has campaigned to see the show return to television. In 1999 he self-financed a three-minute trailer for Battlestar Galactica: The Second Coming, based on his novels Warhawk and Armageddon, to generate interest in a new series.

During the past decade, Richard began lecturing on such topics as overcoming fear, and success strategies for business and life. Having formed Su-Shann Productions in 1980 to create workshops and seminars dedicated to help people maximise their potential, he created the Breakthrough Success Bootcamps to inspire people to a higher level of fulfilment.

Further details at the official RICHARD HATCH website.


Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Media consultants who work with prisoners, persuaders, saints and sinners ...


Directors of Popco, a media consultancy specialising in classic television, music and film, since the company’s formation in 2001 Robert Fairclough and Mike Kenwood, along with fellow director Jaz Wiseman, have been involved in producing CDs, books and DVD packages.

Having received universal critical acclaim for their 1998 book Fags, Slags, Blags & Jags: The Sweeney, co-written with George Williams, which analysed Ian Kennedy Martin’s seminal police drama, the pair were commissioned to write Sweeney! The Official Companion which contains exclusive interviews with many of the series’ cast and crew including Ted Childs, Dennis Waterman and Garfield Morgan. In addition they put together the best-selling original soundtrack album Shut It! The Music of The Sweeney for the Sanctuary Records Group.

Alone, Rob has written The Prisoner: The Official Guide to the Classic TV Series, described in one of many critical notices as the definiive, and most authoritative study of Patrick McGoohan’s classic series. He also acted as consultant on Carlton Visual’s special 35th Anniversary The Prisoner DVD release which featured the first commercial release of the alternate edit of the episode Arrival.

Jaz co-produced the special features for the DVD boxsets of The Persuaders!, Space: 1999 and UFO for TF1 in France. He also produced the DVD extras and commentaries for boxsets of Minder, Department S and The Saint for Umbrella Entertainment in Australia.

More recently the company has had a hand in producing the newly released DVD/magazine partwork Inspector Morse: The Complete Collection.

For more information, check out their website: www.pop-co.com


Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Writer who's worked from Gangsters to Doctor Who ...


Born in Liverpool, Philip is an experienced television writer who is probably best known for creating the ground breaking "Cult" series Gangsters which ran for two series following a successful "Play For Today" in 1975 and is just coming out on DVD.

Such is the longevity of this series it has been shown at the National Film Theatre as part of a season of significant TV films.

Philip has also contributed to many other well known TV series including Hetty Wainthrop Investigates, Shoestring, Virtual Murder, Star Cops, The Good Guys, Crossroads, Thirty Minute Theatre, New Scotland Yard, The Bill and two Doctor Who stories namely "Vengeance on Varos" and Parts 5 - 8 of "The Trial of A Timelord", both of which featured the villainous slug-like "Sil".

A third story featuring the return of "Sil" along with the "Ice Warriors" was scheduled for the ultimately postponed season 22 of Doctor Who in 1985, although Philip did complete a novelisation of this story based on his draft scripts.

Philip has also worked as a Writer, Producer and Director in Radio Drama for the BBC and was voted Best Director at the New York Radio Festival in, 1990.Other work includes the film "Valentina" and his plays have been performed at, amongst other venues, The National Theatre London, The Royal Court and Liverpool Playhouse.

As well as novelising his two televised "Doctor Who" novels he also wrote a "Choose Your Own Adventure" book and two novels based on Gangsters.


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