Strangeness in Space is Back On Kickstarter

strangeI cannot believe that it has been 18 months since we first spoke about this but Strangeness in Space , the fan-funded sci-fi audio comedy, is about to get even strangerer!

Starring Dr Who’s Sophie Aldred and Saturday Morning TV legends Trev and Simon, the first four episodes are already available for free via www.strangenessinspace.com , produced by Clare Eden (Exec. Producer of Parsec Award winning, and BBC Audio Awards nominated, Minister of Chance). Already listed in The Guardian’s Top 50 Podcasts You Need to Hear , and also now nominated by fans for a second time in the Audio Verse Awards, Strangeness in Space is approaching its Season Finale and plans are underway to bring you another hilarious adventure… in two parts!

Trev, Simon and Sophie recording a previous episode in classy black and white
Trev, Simon and Sophie recording a previous episode in classy black and white
Regular cast members include Doon Mackichan (The Day Today, Smack the Pony,Toast of London, Plebs) as the show’s narrator Bounty Flightingale and Barnaby Edwards (Dr Who, Big Finish) as LEMON.

Previous episodes have featured anumber of guest stars including Alexei Sayle, Paterson Joseph and Rufus Hound. We suspect this Season Finale of this surreal and silly space saga will not be without it’s guest stars. You will have to stay tuned to find out.

Strangeness in Space is crowdfunded. It can only happen with the support of its wonderful fans
This episode’s funding cycle will start on Kickstarter on the 1st November 2016.
Rewards will see the return of old favourites (such as having your name read out at the end of an episode, or cast signed – goodies ) and will see a number of new rewards.

Please support Strangeness in Space using the hashtag #TeamStrange and spread the word! (share buttons on right of this page).

Voting for the next round of the Audio Verse Awards will open shortly at http://www.audioverseawards.net/ Strangeness is nominated by fans in THREE categories: Best Series, Best Actress for Sophie, and Best Script for Trev & Simon so check this out and make it happen!

Strangeness in Space Is Like A Strange Dream I Once Had

strangeA dream that 1980s Saturday morning TV comedians Trevor and Simon teamed up with Ace from Doctor Who and made a Scifi Comedy.

Well I wish it was my dream, but this new project between the pant swinging duo that don’t do duvets (real names Trevor Neal and Simon Hickson), the ever gorgeous Sophie Aldred and the amazingly talented Clare Eden (producer of crowd funded Minister Of Chance, Doctor Who spin off audio).

Even the logo and associated comic book artwork is pure brilliance created by Lee Sullivan (top comic book artist).

Today they announced the fact Rufus Hound (various comedy panel shows) and Doon Mackichan (great actress) are to be involved the dream team got stronger.

Trev, Simon and Sophie are unwittingly rocketed into the extraordinary, surreal world of space! They’re racing into the future with a foot in the past (the nostalgic 1980s to be precise). Along the way, fuelled by a diet of indigestible powdered space food, they will encounter a whole host of unusual space dwellers and aliens, all played by an exciting parade of cult actors and celebrities, in as many episodes as we can fund through this campaign with your help!

They’ll bump into the flocking Featherheads, or encounter the hairy scary Rhinocerbikers; shake hands with the sinister Dr Scarifium or be shook up by a Space Ghost!

Currently the project is over the 2/3 mark of its ambitious £15,000 crowdfunding target. Check it out over on Kickstarter or on the project’s official page http://strangenessinspace.com/

The Lazarus Machine – Starring Timothy West & Sophie Aldred – Possibly

The Lazarus Machine - Voidship
The Lazarus Machine – Voidship
Directed by Chris Payne. Written and produced by Steve Turnbull.

The Lazarus Machine is a dark steampunk story told in eight episodes, set in an Edwardian Britain on the verge of war.

Talia Winter is an impoverished Russian emigree trying to fend for herself and her dying father, a brilliant scientist. They are stalked by criminals and feted by the British army, who are desperate to get their hands on the Professor’s inventions. But Talia’s family harbours dark secrets and her father has his own agenda – one that takes priority over Talia’s happiness and the needs of the British military effort. When Talia falls in love with a young army officer, she must make an impossible choice between her father and the man she loves.

The Lazarus Machine features everything that’s iconic about steampunk: Tesla machines, airships, brass goggles, automata, steam powered heavy infantry… and Venusian brain mold.

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That’s the plot of The Lazarus Machine, but its story starts with a pitch for a TV show…. Here’s how it all began, in the words of The Lazarus Machine’s director, Chris Payne:

“Steve and I met via the http://www.ShootingPeople.co.uk film networking site – Steve was after a director, I really liked his script, and so we collaborated on a mini-pilot for a SF TV show, to help Steve sell the script. That got a lot of great feedback but no bites from the TV gatekeepers, so we decided to bypass them entirely and go direct to a web audience. Steve had a script he’d been working on, and I had a vague idea for a steampunk setting – so we combined the two, and Steve fleshed
out the world into a fully-fledged alternate history. We decided to shoot on greenscreen because it freed us to take the story anywhere – not just places we could get locations for.”

And how does he propose to do that? In the first of a series of videos on the making of The Lazarus Project, Chris explains how to shoot on greenscreen:

The Lazarus Machine – Behind the Scenes of a Steampunk Webseries

But what set Steve off in the first place?
“As a screenwriter generally regarded as ‘competent’ I wanted to move beyond being the bridesmaid in every screenwriting competition I entered. Then I ran into Chris on the Shooting People website and it turned out we have very similar tastes. We produced our Monsters – the SF mini-pilot Chris mentioned – which went well and then decided to do the impossible and produce our own webseries with 100% CGI backlot – the equivalent of one hour of TV. It’s exciting.”

The Lazarus Machine – Steampunk Webseries KickStarter pitch

Doctor Who: Protect and Survive Bigfinish Audio Drama

Doctor Who: Protect and Survive CD Cover
Written by Jonathan Morris

Published by Big Finish

This audio drama, the first in a new trilogy for the Seventh Doctor, Ace and audio-only companion Hex, takes us to 1980s Britain, when the threat of nuclear war hung heavy over the country.

When the Doctor mysteriously disappears from the Tardis mid-flight, and the ominous Cloister Bell begins to toll, Ace and Hex land on Earth to seek help. What they find are married couple Albert and Peggy Marsden, busily constructing a fallout shelter in the grounds of their remote cottage. For Russian troops have seized American bases in West Germany, and this version of the world stands on the brink of World War Three.

The first half of this drama is totally gripping, as Ace and Hex join the Marsdens in their shelter when the bomb finally drops. For those of us who remember the period, as writer Morris clearly does, the scenes of the aftermath are visceral and superbly acted by the cast.

It is only at the mid-point that the Doctor really appears, and his attempts to rewind history and prevent the apocalypse take this tale in a completely different direction, distinctly lighter in tone despite what has come before. This then heralds a twist filled third act, ?which while benefitting from excellent work by Sophie Aldred and Philip Oliver, cannot the sustain the tension that precedes it.

A cliffhanger ending ensures that anyone hearing this drama will want to buy next month’s release Black and White. This arc promises major challenges for the Doctor and his companions, and I feel it will not end well for at least some of them.