New Science Fiction TV Channel in UK

Why A New SciFi TV Channel?

With the HUGE amount of choice for our screens a little curated content is still desired. Yes the on demand services (Netflix, Amazon Instant Video and their ilk) are great, but still lack that communal feel of people watching the same program at the same time allowing for a watercooler moment in discussion or a live discussion via social media during. A channel showing a consistent level of content with a specific target in mind that people can either follow all day, or dip into at specific times during the day knowing that they will be entertained or informed about things that are of interest to them.

What Is It About?

Obviously being to afford the likes of Star Trek, Doctor Who et all would be well beyond the first stage of this new UK SciFi Channel. But there are a lot of classic shows that have widely been ignored by the likes of (UK) Netflix and Amazon Prime.

I have a fairly specific timetable of shows in mind

Weekdays

Morning

10am – 12 noon
– well no one is up before 10am are they? then are they? This time of day would see a mix of ‘Daytime TV’ classics. Top, Sci-Fi tie in epoisodes of lifestyle programs like Pawn Stars, Toy Hunter, Auction Hunters etc.

Noon to 1pm
You have got to have your lunch time news. Pulled from the entertainment section and relayed by a mixture of the best Scifi vloggers and news and interviews from the producers themselves.

Afternoons

1pm to 3pm
Classic afternoon drama. Favouring TV programs like The Prisoner, Blakes 7, The Survivors, Randle and Hopkirk (Deceased), The Invisible Man (David McCullum version)

3pm to 5pm
Childrens TV. Starting with classics like He Man, Classic Spider-Man and Hulk, along with 1990s X Men. And a good dose of Gerry Anderson Supermarionation with Captain Scarlet Sting Ray and Joe 90 leading the pack. This would be followed with more drama, a mix of things like Chockey, Kappatoo, Archers Goon, Demon Headmaster, Dark Season and the often excellent Australian childrens SciFi dramas like Girl From Tomorrow.

5pm to 6pm
Tea Time Game Show.
Obviously we are not talking the likes of ‘Tipping Point’ or ‘Pointless’ (though there might be place for Scifi themed celebrity specials). But we are talking about things like Go 8 Bit from DAVE and our first possible original production of a comedy scifi panel show. Possibly a reboot of the 1997 TV Game Show Space Cadets starring Greg Proops, Bill Bailey and Craig Charles.

Evenings

6pm to 9pm

Evening Drama. Ideally would be programs like The Prisoner, Sapphire and Steel, The X Files, Buffy The Vampire Slayer etc. More likely though would be a mix of quality web series like Cops And Monsters.

9pm  to Close 

Evening Movie – would be a movie with Science Fiction connections, from the 50s, 60s and 70s ( inclusing the likes of Ray Harry Hausen, Hammer and Amacus) a big splash of the 1980s scifi movies and other cult movies up to the present day.

 

Saturdays

The weekends would have a different feel to the week, though blocks of the same sort of programs may appear.

Possibly starting even later on a Saturday. Firstly – classic Saturday Morning cartoons, Dungeons and Dragons etc.

This would be followed by an omnibus of the weeks news and comment.

After noon game.  This would be a table top game coverage. Either of particular Tournaments or events or a full 2 hour battle rep from one on the amazing Table Top gaming youtubers like Ash Barker, The BattleHammer, Beasts Of War or T&G Productions

Following that there would be highlights and results from events all around the country.

In the evening there would be family drama (The A Team anyone?) and a movie.

Ideally there would be another original production in the 7-9pm slot with a family friendly TV show. Hard not to say things like SciFi takes on Saturday Night Takeaway or The Generation Game.

 

Sundays.

Sports in the morning, though we are not talking the likes of Trans World Sports (from the 90s) or Ski Sunday.

Sundays would be a day of eSports action.

For those not in the know, eSports refers to competitive Video Games. As with the table top aspect there are a huge number of events to be covered and there are tousands of Twitch and Youtube games that pull in thousands of viewers.

A personal preference would be to see Go8Bit’s Steve McNeil host a show that pulled in both his own twitch streams and introduces the best of the rest.

Afternoon would be a similar though incorperate the worlds of Cyber Sports and other geekery events. This would be thinks like Drone Racing. Robo Sports and most importantly Robot Wars (which we have just found out has lost it’s home at the BBC).

 

Conclusion?

So this is just bunch of random thoughts. Something I would love to see done, but even on  relying on Youtubers, repeats and other low cost content provision would be a much more demanding bill that I would hope to raise using Crowd Funding.

Setup costs would obviously include equipment, broadcast licence, legal fees, program acquisition, staffing, etc.

A (very) brief look at the state of independent TV in the UK shows very few real independent TV channels, as often even the niche channels are owned by much bigger companies.

I would be interested to know an ballpark figure on what this would cost – I will update this post if I ever get any further in looking.

I would also be interested in your thoughts on this. You can send them to @scifind on twitter.

 

 

Featured Image Credit.

Tina Rataj-Berard

Spiderman, Star Trek and SG1 Head This Weeks UK Freeview Scifi Viewing

The weekend starts here! So without ado we’ve got our pick of the freeview channels science fiction offerings for the weekend ahead! Get your popcorn at the ready guys!

Friday 6th September 2013

Friday kicks off bright and early on Pick TV with Star Trek: Enterprise and Stargate SG1 at 7pm and 8pm respectively. Then 5* offers up Spiderman 3, alongside M Night Shyamalan’s scifi horror The Happening on More4, both at 9pm.

Treat of the evening is The Tempest (2010) on BBC2 at 11pm – all star cast in this classic Shakespearean fantasy with Helen Mirren at the centre of a gender twist; and including small parts for Alan Cumming and Russell Brand.

Saturday 7th September 2013

Its Wolfbound Catch up weekend on the CBBC channel, with series one episodes one to seven being shown from 10am to 2.55pm Saturday, and the remaining episodes 8-13 shown on Sunday from 11.35am to 4.30pm. Aiming to spend your weekend on the sofa doesn’t get much better than this, definitely *not* ‘childrens tv’. Series two starts on CBBC next week. Its worth following the shows writing team on twitter, as they have been known to live tweet along

Classic cgi heritage shows up on Challenge at 11.30am. Perfect post friday night viewing, whilst you get yourself together for the day.

Our evening picks are:

Android Apocolypse – Movie Mix, 9pm. Dystopian future run by robots, check. Penal colony escape, check. Man and machine work together to defeat a plan to wipe out all human life, check! This was a ‘limited release’ in 2006, but undeservedly so. Rambunctious saturday nachos and pizza film.

Hellboy II:The Golden Army. ITV1/HD 10.15pm. Enjoy!

Sunday 8th September 2013

To be honest, I’m probably going to be watching the Formula one Grand Prix from Monza (BBC1 from 12.10pm, with the highlights show on bbc3 at 7pm). But there is still a dose of less, well loud, television in the offing. If you would rather you could try Channel 4; with Stardust at 5.20pm or the Gary Oldman remade Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, at 9pm.

Review: The Returned Episode 1

The Returned
The Returned
The Returned – The Movie That Came Before The TV Series – Available on DVD and Blu Ray

The Returned opens quietly, as we’re walked around a small mountain town in France. We see a bar, filled with the usual teenage drinkers and an older man, Jérôme, who’s come to see one of the waitresses. She apologises and he says he’ll try again and leaves. He arrives at a support group meeting and it becomes clear that something truly awful happened here recently. Many of the residents who were touched by these events have been able to get past it. Jérôme, played by Frédéric Pierrot isn’t even close to it. He’s tired and politely broken by grief, made all the worse by the fact that the man leading the group, Pierre, played by Jean-François Sivadier, is now living with Jérôme’s wife, Claire, played by Anne Consigny. Their surviving daughter, Lena (Jenna Thiam) is barely present, and spends her days getting drunk in the local bar. This is a family, and a town, that’s quietly broken in two, nursing wounds that will never heal, despite the best efforts of Pierre and the support group.

Then, a blackout walks its way across the valley.

When it lifts, the dead start to return.

There is a constant air of otherworldly menace to the first episode of The Returned, whether it’s the offhand way Camille (Yara Pilartz) makes a sandwich or Victor (Swann Nambotin) and his silent, relentless presence in the life of town nurse Julie (Céline Sallette). Each arrival is met, not with the tears and relief that you’d expect, but a tight-jawed acceptance, the terror that the living feel betrayed by their eyes or hushed conversations out of earshot. This is an event so unprecedented, so viscerally wrong that everyone locks in place, unsure whether to embrace their dead or run as far and fast away from them as they can. It makes for a profoundly unsettling hour of TV, made more so by the fact the town is hunched underneath the black, featureless mass of the mountains. There’s an air of Picnic at Hanging Rock to the episode, that same sense of living on the boundary of the normal world and being spotted, and reached out, by something on the other side.

That sense of menace is heightened by some remarkably smart story choices. We’re dropped into the middle of these people’s lives and have to swim to the edges ourselves. The ghosts of the last four years haunt the Returned as much as the people they’ve returned to, with Jérôme and Claire’s relationship, or lack of it, at the centre of this episode.  As we work out more about them, it becomes clear there’s huge emotion behind everything they do, especially the natural way they fall back into speech patterns and mannerisms when they’re around each other. But that familiarity is  swamped, like the town itself, by the sheer enormity of what’s happened. Orbiting around them, Pilartz does great work as the supernaturally calm Camille whilst Thiam’s Lena is a rolling ball of rage, grief and horror. The fact that Camille is the same age as she was when she died four years previously, revealed late in the episode, is one of the episode’s best moments and leads to even more questions about the girls. There’s something else going on with them in particular, with the end of the episode implying that they either share a psychic bond of some sort, switched places on the day of the accident or Camille had a premonition of what was about to happen.

Elsewhere in town, the direction is as subtle. The reveal on Mr Costa’s wife returning, and his actions, are both horrifying as is the sudden, brutal (And I suspect temporary) murder of another character. In both cases questions abound; what did Mr Costa do? How did Mrs Costa die the first time? Who committed the murder in the underpass? It’s a deliberately ambiguous, and horrific scene, with the camera looking on unflinchingly as Lucy, one of the waitresses at the bar, is stabbed again and again. There’s an implication that there’s something more to it though, a suggestion that other people in the town may know what’s happened (And perhaps that it’s happened before) and have chosen Lucy as a test case. Again, just enough answers to keep you interested and lead you on to even more questions.

Then there’s Victor, played by Swann Nambotin. The youngest Returned, Victor is silent this episode but his presence draws lines of tension across every scene he’s in. Attaching himself to Julie, the town nurse played by Céline Sallette, Victor’s glacial calm is the point that the entire episode orbits around. He’s involved in the accident that killed Camille and seems to have no one to return to. His relationship with Julie is muted, calm and, thanks to great work by both Nambotin and Sallette, sweet. Whether it stays that way remains to be seen.

The Returned is menacing, gripping television. Anyone doubtful about spending time with a foreign language show really shouldn’t be, the script is so well balanced that you get swept along in the plot and instinctively follow the subtitles. This is a fiercely smart, unsettling debut and I can’t wait for the second episode. Even if I’m not sure I want to watch it in the dark…

The Returned airs on Sundays in the UK on Channel 4 at 9pm. More details, including MASSIVE face-melting spoilers can be found at the show’s Wikipedia page.

A Town Called Eureka – Season 3.5

Eureka 3.5 DVD

The Emmy-nominated cult smash A Town Called Eureka returns from 17th January, 2011 as Season 3.5 arrives on DVD courtesy of Universal Playback.

A normal town on the far side of reality, A Town Called Eureka is home to an electrifying array of inventors, scientists and general genii, all of whom are looked over by reluctant sheriff and non-genius, Marshal Jack Carter (Colin Ferguson). A satisfying blend of comedy and sci-fi, A Town Called Eureka: Season 3.5 sees Carter reeling from the apparent loss of his job and the profound effect it will have on the rest of his life. But when catastrophe strikes, Carter is inevitably pulled back into the heart of the town and must then face a whole new range of challenges including magnetic disturbances and the birth of a brand new resident.

With a cast that also includes Jo Morton (House M.D., Warehouse 13), Edward Quinn (True Blood, CSI), Erica Cerra (Battlestar Galactica, Warehouse 13) and Salli Richard-Whitfield (House M.D., CSI, Bones), A Town Called Eureka: Season 3.5 continues to engage with its brilliant mix of sci-fi mystery and day-to-day hilarity of the kind that can only be produced by a town of mad scientists!

Extra features included in the DVD of Season 3.5 include insightful audio commentaries and a truly fascinating featurette called Finishing Touch: The Visual Effects in Eureka, a programme that really underlines the programme?s status as a top-notch sci-fi comedy.

Release information:

Discs: 3

Cert: 12

Extras: Audio Commentaries, Deleted Scenes, Finishing Touch: The Visual Effects In Eureka

? 2009 Universal Studios. All Rights Reserved.

2 Exclusive HAVEN Videos

UK premiere series HAVEN, inspired by Stephen King?s The Colorado Kid, is set to launch in the UK in October ? making its debut on Syfy and Syfy HD.

scifind.com has 2 exclusive video clips of HAVEN right now:

[pro-player]https://www.scifind.com/video/HAVEN EP1 SCENE 1_Lg_50.flv[/pro-player]
[pro-player]https://www.scifind.com/video/HAVEN EP1 SCENE 3_Lg_1.flv[/pro-player]
Clips exclusive to scifind until 29th September 2010
Deep in the heart of Maine, Haven is a place where the cursed have gathered for generations to lead normal lives. Only now those curses have started to come back. Enter FBI agent Audrey Parker (Emily Rose). Each week, her investigations will try to keep these supernatural forces at bay as she slowly unravels the many mysteries of Haven ? including her own roots to this extraordinary place. Among the people who cross Audrey?s path along the way are local cop Nathan Wuornos (Lucas Bryant) and the mysterious and charming Duke Crocker (Eric Balfour).

Each suspense-filled episode focuses on Audrey?s investigation of a single afflicted individual. It?s a rollercoaster ride as Audrey and Nathan make new discoveries about the people in the town and come up with unexpected solutions.

The 13 x one-hour episodes kick off at 10pm on Thursday 7th October, airing weekly. Syfy is available on Sky 129 & HD 214, Virgin 135 & HD 165 and TalkTalk 22.

Warehouse 13 DVD

Warehouse 13 DVD
Warehouse 13 DVD

Warehouse 13 is a quirky and actually quite enjoyable TV series and is available on DVD from 28th June 2010, courtesy of Universal Playback.

Refreshingly and wickedly funny and packed with top-notch sci-fi action, Warehouse 13 comes from the mind of Jane Espenson, one of American television?s top writers who has steered shows as diverse and popular as Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Battlestar Galactica and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.

For the show think more ‘A Town Called Eureka’ thank the X Files.

Debuting on SyFy in the States in 2009, the first season of Warehouse 13 immediately went on to become one the channel?s biggest successes and now the first collection of adventure is coming to DVD, allowing UK fans to follow the adventures of Secret Service Agents Peter Lattimer (Eddie McClintock, TV?s Bones and Desperate Housewives) and Myka Bering (Joanne Kelly, TV?s Vanished, Supernatural) as they are tasked with overseeing the mysterious Warehouse 13. The government?s secret hiding place for all manner of supernatural and extra-terrestrial artefacts, the warehouse becomes the agents? base of operations as they are charged with the job of retrieving missing objects and investigating alleged new ones.

The cast is rounded out by the brilliant Saul Rubinek (TV?s Frasier, Stargate SG-1) and CCH Pounder (TV?s The Shield), adding a fantastic acting pedigree to an already brilliantly high-concept show that should keep sci-fi and comedy fans equally happy.




The Demonic Britain Report

  • Over 900 reports of demonic activity in the past 25 years
  • Top ten sightings by county revealed
  • Yorkshire named as Britain ?s most demonic county in the UK with 74 reports of sinister activity!

Encounters with devils, demons and evil spirits of various forms are as widespread today as they were in medieval times ? that?s the verdict of a compelling new study released today which looks in detail at the spooky sightings that have been reported in Britain over the last 25 years.

The Demonic Britain Report was specially commissioned to celebrate the release of Supernatural Season 5 Part One on DVD and focused on demonic activity in Great Britain . The research was led by the UK?s leading authority on the unexplained, Lionel Fanthorpe and involved the study of multiple archives and websites as well as his own reports to identify all sightings and recordings of supernatural beings with satanic qualities.

The study found that despite being an age of ever-accelerating technology, our scientific 21st century has not yet turned its sceptic back on ghouls, boggarts, hell-hounds, witches, wizards, banshees and black magic curses, with a whopping 968 reports of demonic activity in the past 25 years.

The report indentifies Yorkshire as a hotbed of demonic activity with 74 reports of demons, including Uncabus and Succubus (male and female demons that make sexual attacks on sleeping victims), instances of demonic possession and sightings of hell hounds, water demons and demons with repulsive forms (ghouls, werebeasts etc).

Sightings of demons in Yorkshire have included a hideous shadow-like hell-hound with no discernible facial features which collided with a car between Northallerton and Leeming Bar on the A684.? A sea-going water demon has also been reported off Filey Brigg.? Witnesses have commented on a long neck, a vast serpentine body and frighteningly glowing eyes.

Devonshire rated second in the study with 57 reports of sinister activity, mainly from encounters with or sightings of demons with devil like qualities.? In Dartmoor there have been reports that the demonic shade of a man named Stephens who committed suicide still appears and bodes ill for those who encounter it at Stephens’ Grave.? It is described as hideously skeletal and dressed in the ragged remnants of a grey robe.

The county was closely followed by Somerset , which hosts the highest number of monsters and comes in third in the UK with 51 sightings or reports of demonic entities, with Wiltshire coming in fourth with 46 sightings of demons.? Wiltshire is one of the most popular areas for sightings of phantom dogs, shucks or hell-hounds.? At Black Dog Hill near Black Dog Woods in Chapmanslade, there are reports of a huge black hound with eyes like red hot coals.

Inverness has seen 13 water ghosts in the last 25 years, which refer to dangerous evil spirits whose main purpose is to lure their victims into dangerous water and then drown them. The water ghosts contribute to the county?s overall total of 39 demonic beings and one of the most notorious water ghosts resides in the area of Boat of Garten, which lies on each side of the River Spey, near Chapeltown and Tulloch Moor.? The paranormal reports from Boat of Garten involve an ancient, inscribed stone visible when the river is at its lowest.? According to legend, the stone is cursed and guarded by a malevolent water-demon, or kelpie-type entity, who protects it savagely.? Anyone touching it or attempting to move it is said to become prey to this aquatic, demonic being.

Top Ten Reports / sightings by county

Location Number of reports / sightings
1 Yorkshire 74
2 Devonshire 57
3 Somerset 51
4 Wiltshire 46
5 Inverness 39
6 Dorset 37
7 = Norfolk 32
7 = Lancashire 32
8 = Sussex 30
8 = Derbyshire 30
9 = Essex 29
9 = Suffolk 29
10 Lincolnshire 24
Demonic Activity Highest number across the UK
Reports of Uncabus and Succubus (male and female demon?s that make sexual attacks on sleeping victims) Yorkshire – 2
Reports of demons with devil like qualities Devonshire – 15
Reports of monsters Somerset – 16
Reports of Hell Hounds Wiltshire – 25
Reports of water demons Inverness – 13
Reports of satanic power with geological impact Dorset – 14
Reports of demon possession Yorkshire ? 2
Reports of water demons Inverness ? 13
Reports of demons with repulsive forms (ghouls, werebeast etc) Yorkshire ? 5
Reports of Miscellaneous evil Devon ? 5

Lionel Fanthorpe comments:? ?The Demonic Britain Report clearly shows that we are a nation still rich in sightings and reports of devils, demons and evil spirits of various forms. The present human population is many times greater than it was in the past. Therefore the more people that there are, statistically, the more potential encounters they might have with these unpleasant, non-human entities.?

Samples of individual cases by County

Yorkshire

A council flat in Stockton where a 19 year old girl reported an encounter with an incubus.? Her terrified screams woke her parents and the entity vanished before it could harm her.

Reports from Kirkby Malham Churchyard involve a macabre annual feast at which the devil allegedly invites any mortals who are foolish enough to listen to him to join him in a sumptuous feast that he provides in the graveyard.? To escape from Satan?s clutches at the end of the meal, the guest has to ask him for salt.? Because salt is traditionally sacred, the devil and the food vanish together, allowing the guests to escape.

Derbyshire

In the vicinity of the Ladybower Reservoir by the A57 road there are reports of a frightening, demonic figure among the trees.? It is said to be 8 or 9 feet tall and covered in hair.? Strange reports of paranormal activity are reported from time to time from Renishaw House including one manifestation that seems to have been an incubus.? A guest in the house during the 19th century left a frightening report of having been woken by a paranormal entity that was kissing her in bed.? When she broke free and lit the lamp, the room was empty and the door was locked.

Devonshire

Dartmoor – Tunhill Kistvaen? – was the site of a report that a demon ? perhaps the devil himself ? had made a deal (Faust style) to buy a man?s soul ? which he duly collected.? The site is still said to be dangerous because of potential encounters with Satan or one of his minions.? The Globe Inn at Chagford is reportedly frequented by the demonic ghost of a witch who died while being tried for witchcraft.? Her shade is reported there as though bent on revenge.

Dorset

There are numerous reports of paranormal sightings from Banbury Rings, including a repulsive, dwarf-demon that peers into the windows of parked cars and frightens the occupants.

The Blue Pool at Furzebrook near Wareham (once a clay pit) is remarkable for its colour changes, and is reportedly the home of evil water demons who attempt to drown the unwary.? One legend maintains that it is Satan himself who pushes victims into the pool.

Durham

A case of reported demon possession dates back to the mid-17th century, but echoes of it still continue in modern times.? In 1683 at what was then called Brass Farm, now known as High Hill House Farm, in Ferryhill, Merrington, a man named Andrew Mills, who was reported to have been simple-minded, murdered a family with an axe and then claimed that the devil had possessed him and ordered him to commit the atrocities.? There are various reports that he still haunts the area.

Essex

Canewdon village has more than its fair share of reported paranormal events, but is also said to be the traditional headquarters of a full coven of witches, who practise their strange magical arts involving, demons and familiars.

An area of Cranham known variously as ?The Brickfields? or as ?Frank?s Wood? is the site of a report concerning an evil, threatening, demonic figure said to be nearly ten feet high.? There were no clearly discernible features, but the demonic thing ?whatever it was ? actually gave chase to a group of friends in the wood.

Inverness

An interesting case from Inverness concerns an area near Chapeltown and Tulloch Moor called Boat of Garten, which lies on each side of the River Spey.? It gets its name from a ferry crossing at that spot.? The paranormal reports from Boat of Garten concern an ancient, inscribed stone visible when the river is at its lowest.? According to legend, the stone is cursed and guarded by a malevolent water-demon, or kelpie-type entity, who protects it savagely.? Anyone touching it or attempting to move it is said to become prey to this aquatic, demonic being.? Boleskin House was once the property of Aleister Crowley the black magician and occultist, who was frequently concerned with demons.? There are numerous reports that his influence ? and the things he conjured up ? are still there!

Lancashire

A weird demonic entity was reported on several occasions from Hobstone?s Farm in Colne.? One terrifying feature of this repellent demonic entity was a bleeding, severed arm.? It was accompanied by violent poltergeist-type activity.

Norfolk

Shuck?s Lane in Overstrand has been the scene of so many reports of a Hell-Hound, or Shuck, that the lane has been named after the demonic dog.? This particular hell-hound ? big and black with blazing red eyes — is accompanied by a stench of sulphurous brimstone.? The path leading to Cromer lighthouse which is in this area, is also a site where the Shuck has often reportedly been witnessed.

Somerset

A witness in Chard High Street reported seeing an enormous flying creature with a wing span estimated at 4 or 5 metres, which flew away rapidly over the tops of the shops.

In the area known as Dolebury Hill, near Clevedon, not far from the famous Cadbury Camp, there?is still a widely held belief that a monster?- perhaps even a dragon – guards a hidden underground treasure in the vicinity.

Suffolk

The area around Dunwich, a mediaeval town that more or less vanished into the sea, is the site of reports of small, mischievous demons similar to the Will o? the Wisp.? Witnesses have reported encountering their misleading lights, as they attempt to lure their victims into danger.

Sussex

The myths and legends surrounding the Squire of Brightling, who was known as Mad Jack Fuller, are concerned with the pyramid tomb that contains his mortal remains after his death in 1834.? Traditionally, Jack is supposed to be embalmed and buried sitting upright at a table with a glass of wine in his hand.? When renovation work was done on his pyramid, however, doubts were cast on how the interior was arranged.? It was also part of the tradition that the floor was covered in broken glass to prevent Satan from getting at Jack?s body!? Despite his eccentricities, Jack was a good and generous man who provided a lifeboat for Eastbourne .

In the Kempton area of Brighton , it was reported that a couple were driven from their flat by strange, evil entities.

Wiltshire

Wiltshire is for some reason one of the most popular areas for sightings of phantom dogs, shucks, or hell-hounds.? At Black Dog Hill near Black Dog Woods in Chapmanslade, reports tell of a huge black hound with eyes like red hot coals.

SCI FI becomes Syfy

The UK SCI FI Channel rebrands to Syfy on the 13 April with the launch of two new exciting premieres. The first is V (Tuesdays at 10pm from April 13) ? a spectacular, effects-laden re-imagining of the iconic ?80s series which debuted to 14 million viewers in the USA.

The show stars LOST?s Elizabeth Mitchell, Scott Wolf (of PARTY OF FIVE fame) and sci-fi favourites JOEL GRETSCH (THE 4400) and Morena Baccarin (Joss Whedon?s FIREFLY and SERENITY).

Also launching is HUMAN TARGET (Wednesdays at 10pm from April 14). It attracted over 10 million viewers across the pond and looks set to do great guns for SCI FI in the UK, too.

The action-packed series is based on the DC Comic book character and stars MARK VALLEY (THE 4400 and BOSTON LEGAL), CHI MCBRIDE (PUSHING DAISIES) and the future Mr. Freddy Kruger himself? JACKIE EARLE HALEY (LlTTLE CHILDREN, WATCHMEN and the soon to be released A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET re-make).

Both shows will launch with a double-bill and continue weekly in single episode instalments.

Ian Somerhalder Interview: The Vampire Diaries

INTERVIEW WITH IAN SOMERHALDER

Ian Somerhalder
Ian Somerhalder

Tell us about your character Damon.
?Damon is a vampire who is approximately 150 years old, stuck in a 23 year old?s body. Essentially, he comes back to Mystic Falls to find out why his brother Stefan is there.

Stefan and Damon have found an individual in the town who bears a striking resemblance to someone in their past who was very very important to them. So he comes back to find out why she?s there.

He also feels as if he?s been very wronged by his brother and has promised Stefan an eternity of misery – so he just wants to keep his word.?

What is the most challenging aspect of playing a vampire?
?The most challenging aspect of it is living the life of someone who is 150 years old. Imagine the amount of knowledge and cynicism you would have developed by that point in your life.

You would be walking around, living in a normal society, blending in as a normal person. However, every sense that you have; sight, sound, smell, hunger and emotions are heightened by 10,000 per cent. Imagine how difficult that would be. Communicating that and experiencing that on a real level is interesting. It?s a challenge, but its fun!?

Are there are a lot of special effects used to turn you into an evil bloodsucker? Do you spend much time in make up?
?At the beginning of the season we were in make up quite often but now we?ve decided it?s easier to use CGI. The effects level and the value of it are just amazing. They?re doing such an incredible job. They put dots on our face for the effects and it saves a lot of make up time. It?s very convenient!?

You are best known for your role as Boone in Lost who was one of the good guys. Do you find playing an immoral character like Damon more fun?
?So much more fun, so much more fun! I get better lines and that?s the beauty of it, it?s the role I?ve always wanted.?

If you had to pick one thing you and Damon have in common what would it be?
?We both have impeccable style.?

Do you think Damon has the potential to seek redemption like Stefan has or is he purely evil?
?Without a shadow of a doubt there is potential. There is plenty of room for the tables to turn and the pendulum to swing the other way. What we?ve seen of Damon so far is just the tip of the iceberg. These characters are very layered, when you start delving into someone who is more than 150 years old, you get into some very deep, very cool stuff.?

If you could choose to have one vampire attribute (ageless/mind manipulation/being able to move fast/disappear, what would it be?)
?Mind manipulation ? that would come in so handy!?

Damon?s a very intense character. Do you find it hard to shake him off at the end of a long day?s filming?
?I get into major Damon mode and I have to excuse myself and relinquish any responsibility for some of my actions on set. It?s good to have an excuse!?

What has been your highlight of the series so far?
?There are so many of them. There?s a highlight around every corner, there?s something new and interesting and fun and amazing. Just being on the show in general is a highlight.?

What?s it like filming in Atlanta?
?I think it works out really well for us to be in Atlanta because when you?re in LA or New York there?s so much access to everything. There are people and fans and so much going on that it can distract from the work.

Being down in Atlanta really lends itself to focusing us. Plus you are forced to forge really deep bonds with each other.?

Who or what were your influences when deciding on how to play the character of Damon?
?Three big ones. Josh Holloway, (Sawyer in Lost) Cary Grant and Dionysus. The marriage of a crazy crass redneck with the class of an eloquent man like Cary Grant is an interesting way to play a crazy well rounded 150 year old guy who likes a dance and the finer things in life ? like blood, wine and Beethoven. Then you add in Dionysus ? Damon is essentially Bacchus, he is that figure.?

Why should ITV2 viewers tune in to The Vampire Diaries?
?Because it?s a great ride. It?s a lot of fun, it?s beautiful, it?s scary and it?s sad. It has all of the elements we use to escape and really go to another place. The storytelling is beautiful, it?s shot beautifully and it?s directed beautifully. Every actor steps up to the plate and really pours their heart out on screen. It?s steamy ? there?s hot boys, hot girls, this show has got it all!?

The Avengers Series 3 DVD

Avengers Series 3 DVD
The Avengers Series 3 DVD

The seminal classic The Avengers was at the height of the Cathy Gale era when Series 3 was broadcast to UK audiences. Starring Patrick Macnee as John Steed and Honor Blackman as Dr Cathy Gale, the show?s popularity was such that the producers bestowed a very healthy budget to ensure the series? success and maintain its position as one of the nation?s favourite shows.

With the release of The Complete Series 3 on 15th February 2010 by Optimum Home Entertainment, and featuring the first full restoration of all episodes, we can relish the expanded wardrobes, lavish sets, top notch scriptwriting and stories that benefit from the combined input of writers, directors and actors.

Telling highly imaginative stories of secret agents in 1960s Britain, The Avengers is also an early example of the spy-fi genre combining as it does secret agent storylines with science fiction and fantasy elements.

Although the writers were not allowed to let characters go beyond first base, Series 3 did establish a level of sexual tension between the characters, which was progressive for 1962-1963. The series revealed that Gale lived in Steed?s flat, and whilst the explanation was that it was a temporary arrangement whilst Gale looked for a new home, and that Steed slept in a hotel, the innuendo was there for all to see.

The Gale era also saw Steed transformed from a trenchcoat-wearing run of the mill agent into a stereotypical English gentleman in Savile Row suit, bowler hat and umbrella ? a traditional English Gent, though his attire concealed all manner of tricks and gadgets. Gale, on the other hand, was clad in black leather with high-heeled ?kinky boots?, an outfit necessary for her high-kicking fighting style.

The longest running espionage series produced for English-language television, The Avengers eventually reached audiences in 120 countries, a record that still stands to this day. Now, with the release of The Complete Series 3 on 15th February 2010

Series 3 (1963-1964) Episodes:

Disc 1 Concerto
Brief for Murder
The Nutshell
The Golden Fleece

Special Features Audio commentary by Brian Clemens on Brief for Murder
Series 3 promotional brochure
Stills gallery for featured episodes
PDF material (4 x scripts, 3 x TV Times features and ?Meet the Avengers?
book)

Disc 2 Death a la Carte
Man with Two Shadows
Don?t Look Behind You
The Grandeur That Was Rome

Special Features Audio commentary by Don Leaver on Man With Two Shadows
Stills gallery for featured episodes
PDF material (4 x scripts)
Filmed introduction to Don?t Look Behind You taken from the Avenging
the Avengers interviews that went with the Channel 4 repeats of episode

Disc 3 The Undertakers
Death of a Batman
Build a Better Mousetrap
November Five

Special Features Stills gallery for featured episodes
Behind the scenes shots from The Undertakers
PDF material (5 x scripts, including 2 x versions of Death of a Batman)
Filmed introductions to The Undertakers, Death of a Batman and
November Five taken from the Avenging the Avengers interviews that
went with the Channel 4 repeats of episode

Disc 4 Second Sight
The Secrets Broker
The Gilded Cage
The Medicine Man

Special Features Stills gallery for featured episodes
PDF material (4 x scripts and Psychology Magazine)
Episode Reconstruction ? Double Danger
Filmed introductions to the Second Sight, The Gilded Cage and Medicine
Man taken from the Avenging the Avengers interviews that went with the
Channel 4 repeats of episode

Disc 5 The White Elephant
Dressed to Kill
The Wringer
The Little Wonders

Special Features Stills gallery for featured episodes
PDF material (4 x scripts)
Episode Reconstruction ? A Change of Bait
Filmed introductions to The Wringer and The Little Wonders taken from
the Avenging the Avengers interviews that went with the Channel 4
repeats of episode

Disc 6 Mandrake
The Trojan Horse
The Outside-In Man

Special Features Audio commentary by Roger Marshall for Mandrake
Audio commentary by Jonathan Alwyn for The Outside-In Man
Armchair Theatre ? The Importance of Being Earnest ? starring Patrick
Macnee ? Act 3 only (only surviving footage) 18 mins
Stills gallery for featured episodes
PDF material (4 x scripts)

Disc 7 The Charmers
Esprit de Corps
Lobster Quadrille

Special Features Avenging the Avengers (main programme ? 25:03)
Avenging the Avengers ? Extended Interviews: (Macnee/ Blackman/
Thorson (09:43) ? on Avenging the Avengers VHS release
Newsreel footage (Honor Blackman?s Judo book)
Gale Force part 2 (Honor Blackman interview)
Filmed introductions to The Charmers and Esprit de Corps taken from
the Avenging the Avengers interviews that went with the Channel 4
repeats of episode
Stills gallery for featured episodes
PDF material (4 x scripts)

Fight the Apocalypse

Supernatural Fight The Apocalypse
**update Wednesday 27th 2010** The new season comes to LIVING with a double bill on Wednesday 10th February 2010 at 9pm (and Wednesdays at 9pm thereafter).

In 2009, Emmy Award nominated US drama Supernatural found a new home in the UK ? LIVING. To raise awareness for the UK premiere of series five starting early Feb, LIVING is launching one of the UK?s most complex alternate reality games (ARG) ever, which will offer one viewer the ultimate Supernatural prize ? a chance to appear in the show.

Supernatural season four ended in suspense as Lucifer was freed from hell and on LIVING season five follows Sam and Dean Winchester as they face their toughest battle yet; the apocalypse.? To promote the new series, LIVING?is creating the Fight the Apocalypse ARG, which calls on Supernatural fans to mobilise their armies and join the fight against Lucifer.

The ARG is based around collecting hidden symbols – ?Enochian Sigils? – which players must locate, photograph and send via MMS to a shortcode,. One of the first truly cross-platform campaigns of its type, the ARG?utilises online, mobile, print and real world elements.

Enochian Sigils have been hidden online and at real world locations throughout the UK?and clues to the Sigil locations will be delivered by Castiel (Misha Collins) in specially filmed sequences on the Fight the Apocalypse website (http://www.Luciferiscoming.com). Once located, Sigils are photographed on any mobile device and using Image recognition technology ? which recognises any image taken on a mobile phone camera ? are uploaded to the player?s profile.
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In the ARG?players have two ways of making it to the top: locating and photographing Enochian Sigils, and building an online army of support.?Players can invite friends to join their army via email and through Facebook. On the luciferiscoming.com website, Supernatural fans can create their own profile and contact friends to join their army, manage their game playing and collection of Enochian Sigils, as well as view other contestants? profiles and join forces with other players. For fans who want to play on the move, all core game functions will be available on the mobile site.?

Online media partners are collaborating in the game, with some sites creating their own bespoke mini challenges for gamers to find sigils. Twitter is the social hub for Fight the Apocalypse and will countdown to the start of the game, as well as announcing new clues, and creating a community around the game and the new series of Supernatural. Followers of the Fight the Apocalypse Twitter feed will be given tips and additional mini challenges quick challenges to win extra prizes. Fans can follow the Fight the Apocalypse Twitter at www.twitter.com/fightapocalypse.

The first clue to start the hunt will be released on the 20th January. Fans can pre-register for the game now at www.luciferiscoming.com.