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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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John Payne

John Payne

Sunday, 22 November 2015 00:00

Robinson Crusoe on Mars: Blu-ray

Robinson Crusoe on Mars - Out now in a Dual Format Blu-ray and DVD set“Robinson Crusoe on Mars” is a sci-fi spin on the classic novel by Daniel Defoe. After their spacecraft narrowly evades a collision with a meteor, Colonel Dan McReady (Adam West – Batman) and Commander Christopher Draper (Paul Mantee – Cagney & Lacey) are forced to eject down to the surface of Mars. Their escape pods are separated by miles of unforgiving terrain, and supplies of air, water and food are dwindling rapidly.

The film, made in 1964, follows Draper’s search for resources, shelter and his colleague, who he soon learns has perished in a crash landing. Draper is not left entirely alone however, because Mona, their pet woolly monkey also gets down safe and sound. Every time the survivor thinks he has overcome all the challenges the red planet can throw at him, a new and even more deadly peril arrives, be it environmental or otherworldly.

Monday, 16 November 2015 00:00

A Traveller in Time on DVD

A Traveller in Time - out now on DVDA Traveller in Time is a children’s mini-series from the 1970s about Penelope Taberner (Sophie Thompson – Detectorists, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1”), a teenage girl who discovers she can travel back through time to the late 16th Century. Sent to her Aunt and Uncle’s farm in Derbyshire to recuperate from pneumonia, Penelope becomes entangled in a Tudor plot to rescue Mary Queen of Scots.

Penelope’s own ancestors, the Babingtons, are hatching the high-risk plot to free Mary before Queen Elizabeth I and those loyal to her can have Mary executed. Well aware of history’s path, Penelope is not sure if she can influence events but her uncertainty will not sway her from trying. Matters are complicated by our heroine not knowing how to trigger her time slips back and forth, and the distrust and suspicion that meets her in the past.

Wednesday, 11 November 2015 00:00

Undercover Brother on DVD

Undercover Brother - out now on DVD“Undercover Brother” is a high-energy comedy about a team of black agents striving to overcome a shadowy mega-corp headed by The Man, a Blofeld-esque super-villain. Penned by John Ridley (“Three Kings”) and Michael McCullers (“Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me”), the film stars Eddie Griffin (“Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo”) as the titular all-action crusader, whose ample afro and sharp 70s outfits define him.

The movie co-stars Aunjanue Ellis (“Ray”) as the high-kicking Sistah Girl, Denise Richards (“Starship Troopers”) as blonde bombshell White She Devil, Chris Kattan (Saturday Night Live) as The Man’s conflicted flunky, Chi McBride (Lou Grover in Hawaii Five-0) as the B.R.O.T.H.E.R.H.O.O.D. team’s irascible boss and Dave Chappelle (“Block Party”) as the rather nervy Conspiracy Brother. The director is Malcolm D Lee (“Scary Movie 5”).

Tuesday, 27 October 2015 00:00

The Skull - dual-format DVD/Blu-ray

The Skull - out now on dual format Blu-ray and DVDBased on a short story by “Psycho” author Robert Bloch, “The Skull” is a dark, gothic horror film about a skull with the power to compel murder. The picture stars Peter Cushing (“Dracula”, “The Curse of Frankenstein”) as Christopher Maitland, a rather starchy collector of occult relics, with Christopher Lee (“The Wicker Man”, “The Mummy”) in the supporting cast as a fellow collector who has somehow evaded its influence.

The skull was severed from the neck of none-other than the Marquis de Sade, the infamous 18th-19th Century French aristocrat with a penchant for sadism and other morally dubious behaviour. On its own, the skull is able to control the weak-willed but when combined with other satanic artefacts, its power could overwhelm even the strongest and most devout minds. Incredulous, Dr Maitland pursues the object with potentially deadly results.

Tuesday, 27 October 2015 00:00

Seconds - Dual Format DVD/Blu-ray

Seconds - out now on dual format Blu-ray and DVD“Seconds” is a thriller from director John Frankenheimer (“The Manchurian Candidate”, “Ronin”) about a bored banker who is drawn into shady scheme to dole out new identities. Not only does the man undergo extensive plastic surgery to change his entire appearance, but he is handed a new and luxurious house (complete with servant), a ready-made career and a carefree lifestyle. His old body and life, family included, is jettisoned.

The aging, overweight banker, Arthur Hamilton (John Randolph – “Serpico”, “Prizzi’s Honor”), is transformed into Antiochus ‘Tony’ Wilson (Rock Hudson – “Ice Station Zebra”, The Martian Chronicles), a younger and more handsome figure. He quickly strikes up a relationship with a beautiful woman (Salome Jens – the Female Shapeshifter in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine) and seems to be living the dream, but appearances can be deceptive.

Tuesday, 20 October 2015 23:00

The Naked Prey Dual Blu-ray/DVD

The Naked Prey - Dual Format Blu-ray and DVD released“The Naked Prey” portrays one man’s struggle for survival as he is hunted by an African tribe after the rest of his safari party is tortured and killed. Cornel Wilde (“The Greatest Show on Earth”, “Leave Her to Heaven”) stars as ‘Man’ in a film he wrote, produced and also directed. The story is loosely based on the real-life experiences of American frontiersman John Colter, and set in the 19th Century.

The arrogant sponsor of Man’s expedition refuses to offer up a gift to pay respect to a tribe that crosses their path, triggering the rather savage response. Engaging in what they anticipate will be a bit of simple sport, the tribe decide to give the white explorer a small head start before they send one of their warriors to kill him. The plan backfires and they soon realise that their prey may present more of a challenge than they anticipated.

Tuesday, 13 October 2015 23:00

We Are Still Here - DVD and Blu-ray

We Are Still Here - out now on Blu-ray and DVD“We Are Still Here” is a haunted house horror starring Barbara Crampton and Andrew Sensenig. The Sacchettis are a middle-aged couple who leave the city and some terrible memories behind, moving into an isolated country abode in New England in the midst of a bitter winter. It does not take long after the pair settle in before they discover that their new home is not altogether empty, and that the locals are harbouring a rather nasty secret.

Paul (Sensenig – “Upstream Colour”) is a sceptic, but Anne (Crampton – “You’re Next”, “Re-Animator”) immediately senses something off in the house, wondering whether it might be the spirit of their recently-departed son. She contacts a couple of spiritualist friends who might be able to help. Something supernatural is lurking in the basement, whilst the townsfolk provide a rather frosty welcome that reinforces the sense of dread.

Tuesday, 13 October 2015 23:00

Pompidou out now on DVD

Pompidou - out now on DVDMatt Lucas of Little Britain and Come Fly with Me fame is the star, co-creator, co-writer and co-director on this six-part comedy series about a pompous aristocrat who has lost virtually everything and now lives in a decrepit caravan on the grounds of his old mansion. Pompidou Pompidou (Lucas) shares his humble abode with his man-servant Hove (Alex Mcqueen – “Four Lions”, “Cinderella”) and his Afghan hound Marian.

Like the whacky offspring of Mr Bean, Pingu and Worzel Gummidge (as Lucas describes it), there is no dialogue to speak of in this predominantly visual comedy, but rather the characters speak in gibberish mixed in with the odd intelligible word of English. Each episode sees Pompidou and co trying to solve one crisis after the next, be it their lack of money, food, heat or female companionship. Needless to say, things do not go according to plan.

Sunday, 04 October 2015 23:00

Wilfred Seasons 1-4 DVD review

Wilfred Seasons 1-4 - Out now on DVDDark, anthropomorphic comedy Wilfred finally arrives as a complete DVD box set, and you could have won a copy with Cult TV - worth £99.99 - with three runners-up bagging prizes worth £24.99 each. This is the American remake of an Australian original series, staring Elijah Wood ("The Lord of the Rings" trilogy) as Ryan Newman, an ex-lawyer suffering from chronic depression. Ryan is befriended by the neighbour's dog Wilfred, who bizarrely he perceives as a man in a dog-like onesie.

Wilfred (Jason Gann, reprising his role from the Oz version) is a normal dog to everyone else including his cute owner Jenna (Fiona Gubelmann - "Don't Blink"), but to Ryan he is a boisterous and very mischievous bloke who behaves like a spoilt and sexually-charged adolescent. The two characters form a strong bond but there is a constant psychological tussle between them for supremacy.

Sunday, 04 October 2015 23:00

Dark Matter Season One on DVD

Dark Matter - Season One out on DVD nowDark Matter is an intriguing, futuristic new series from the Syfy channel. A small crew awaken from stasis in a damaged ship drifting through space. They do not know who they are, or how they got there. The six individuals face a steep learning curve as they struggle to survive in a hostile galaxy, unsure if they can even trust one-another. Drawing from the likes of Firefly, Blake's 7, Stargate Universe and Andromeda, the series is hoping to keep the flickering flame of space sci-fi alight.

The six passengers decide to name themselves by the order they awaken. One (Marc Bendavid - Bitten) is a handsome all-rounder, Two (Melissa O'Neil) is a sassy, kick-ass natural leader, Three (Anthony Lemke - The Listener) is a self-interested, slightly shifty arms expert, Four (Alex Mallari Jr - True Justice) is an introverted martial artist, Five (Jodelle Ferland - "The Cabin in the Woods") is a teenage electronics genius and Six (Roger R Cross - 24, Continuum) is a gentle giant.

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