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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

Producer and animator responsible for many projects linked to Doctor Who, Blake's 7 and The Hitch-Hiker's Guide To The Galaxy ...

 

Kevin Davies began his career as an animator, working on the BAFTA award-winning graphic sequences for The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and Blake’s 7 before designing the titles for Gerry Anderson’s Terrahawks. After joining the special effects team for Disney Animation’s Who Framed Roger Rabbit he worked on Spitting Image, the Warner Brothers feature Space Jam, and Event Horizon.

His writing and directing career began with The Making of the Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, which included new scenes for the characters and cast, the BBC1 documentary Doctor Who: Thirty Years in the Tardis and Dalekmania which covered the feature films starring Peter Cushing in the 1960s. Since then he has directed Shakedown, two episodes of Sky One’s drama Space Island One and the live-action segments for the Sci-Fi Channel’s manga-influenced Archangel Thunderbird.

Acting as a consultant on the Omnibus tribute to Douglas Adams, he directed both his own short tribute for the Sci-Fi Channel and new segments for the DVD release of The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, as well as producing the on-screen captions which detail the creation of the show.

After the inclusion of his short spoof, Unit Recruitment Film, on the DVD release of Doctor Who Spearhead from Space, and his interview with writer Nigel Kneale on the Quatermass DVD, he has produced the documentaries and extras to accompany each boxset of Blake’s 7 and prepared documentaries for the classic sitcom Dad’s Army.

Kevin has recently been working on the documentary for the brand new audio adventures of Blake's 7 from B7 Productions, as well as a documentary concerning the new radio series of the classic Douglas Adams story "Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency" (starring Harry Enfield, Olivia Colman, Andrew Sachs and Billy Boyd). We were delighted that Kevin came back to Cult TV in 2007.

 

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Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Star of Farscape, Adam-12, and Galactica 1980 - amongst a host of others - joined us for Cult TV in 2007 ...

 

Kent was born in downtown Los Angeles, California, and grew up in the San Gabriel Valley town of Baldwin Park, California. At the age of 12 he got a job at Brackett Field Airport in La Verne, California with the help of a family friend. Unable to be legally paid at that age, he instead was given flying lessons in exchange for his work. For the next five years Kent worked weekends and summers at the airport.

Kent starred on the football team at Baldwin Park High School. After graduation, he attended Citrus Junior College and then accepted a football scholarship to the University of Utah. It was during this time that perhaps the two most important events in Kent’s young life occurred.

A friend asked Kent if he would like to participate in a touch football game. This was no ordinary game, as Kent would be playing on a team captained by Ricky Nelson, and none other than Elvis Presley would lead the opposing squad. As a result of this game, Kent began a friendship with Ricky that quickly led to his first acting job on The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet. Kent soon became a regular on the show, and would appear as part of America’s favourite family for the next five years. Kent began to take acting seriously, and finally made the decision to pursue a career as an actor. During this time he worked on a mulitude of films and television shows doing bits, background and stunts.

The next big moment in Kent’s life took place on 14 July, 1962. This was the day that he married his high school sweetheart, Cynthia Lee Doty.

While working on The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet, Kent was asked to screen test at Universal Studios for a long term contract. While waiting for the studio to sign him, he continued working on other shows including several of Elvis Presley’s films – “Viva Las Vegas”, “Girl Happy”, “Kissin’ Cousins”, and “Roustabout”.

In November 1965, Universal put Kent under contract and immediately sent him to work. He appeared in shows such as McHale’s Navy, Ironside, The Outsider, Run for your Life and The Men from Shiloh as well as several appearances on Jack Webb’s Dragnet. It was these appearances that led to Kent being case as one the stars in Adam-12, playing Officer James A 'Jim' Reed alongside co-star Martin Milner. A worldwide phenomenon, the show aired from 1968-1975, clocking up 174 episodes, and the character even crossed over into a trio of episodes of the series Emergency!. Around this time he appeared as himself in Rowan and Martin’s Laugh In and The Dean Martin Comedy Hour

Appearing on a top rated television show offered Kent many tremendous opportunities. Among his favourites was being a guest at the Indianapolis 500 and being trackside for the race itself. A lifelong racing fan, this was a special moment for Kent and led to his continued involvement in the sport. He has competed as a driver in automobile races such as the annual Toyota Pro Celebrity Challenge in Long Beach, California, and Watkins Glen, New York. He has also competed in several professional racing series in the Sports Car Club of America and IMSA, in such events as the 12 Hours of Sebring. Another great moment was when legendary film director John Ford, who was a big fan of the show, visited the Adam-12 set. Being able to sit with the great director and hear his wonderful stories and fond memories was an incredible thrill for Kent, who grew up admiring Ford’s films.

After Adam-12, Kent played guest roles on Marcus Welby M.D and Black Sheep Squadron before landing another series gig – this time as Captain Troy alongside Barry Van Dyke in Galactica 1980.

Another starring role, this time alongside David Soul, was as Alan McWhirter in the 1989 series UNSUB, all about an expert FBI forensic team that investigates serial murderers and other unsolved violent crimes – very much a forerunner of the CSI franchise.

Kent has also appeared in recurring roles in Seaquest 2032 (as Commander Scott Keller), Renegade (as Marshal Jack Hendricks), Silk Stalkings (as DA Craig Alexander), and Pacific Blue (as Brolin Jorgenson)

He has also become well-known as Jack Crighton in Farscape - a role than spanned for whole of the series, as well as having a couple of roles in JAG.

Other television credits include The Love Boat, Monsters, MacGyver, Private Eye, The Highwayman, J.J. Starbuck, 21 Jump Street, Murder, She Wrote, Dark Skies, Lawless, and Diagnosis Murder.

Movies for television include “Dragnet 66”, “Shadow Over Elveron”, “Jigsaw”, “Breakout”, “Beg, Borrow or Steal”, “Telethon”, “Pine Canyon is Burning”, “For Heaven’s Sake”, “Dark Justice”, “Accidental Meeting” and “Nashville Beat” - a pilot for The Nashville Network, which Kent Executive Produced and Co-Created.

Kent’s film appearances include “The Young Warriors”, “Did you Hear the One about the Travelling Saleslady?”, “Airplane II: The Sequel”, “Predator II”, “Illicit Behaviour”, and “Return of the Living Dead III: Ashes”.

His last legitimate theatre appearance was on the famous Kenley Circuit in “Tunnel of Love” with Martin Milner. He has just completed roles in the movies “Run Ronnie Run”, “Megiddo: The Omega Code 2”, and stars with Erin Gray in “Woman’s Story”.

For ten years, Kent was a member of the Celebrity All Stars Basketball team that played throughout Southern California to help raise money to support various charities.

Kent has also worked for his fellow actors, having served on The Screen Actor’s Guild’s Board of Directors, as well as serving four years as its first Vice President. He chaired the Children’s Committee, which helped fashion protections for child performers throughout the world. In 1999, Kent received the prestigious Ralph Morgan Award, named after The Screen Actors Guild’s first President, which is given by SAG members to honour another member’s devotion to the cause of actors.

In 2000, Kent and Martin Milner received The Jack Webb Award, given by the LA Police Historical Society for their support of the LAPD and the community it serves.

Kent and Cynthia are the proud parents of daughters Kristen, and Megan, an actress, and their son, Michael. Kent continues to work, and still looks forward to the next great role or adventure to add to an already illustrious career and life.

We were delighted that Kent has agreed to join us for his first ever UK convention appearance, in 2007 at the Cult TV Festival Weekender.

 

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Wednesday, 20 February 2008

A regular guest in The Prisoner ...

 

Kenneth Griffith was born in Tenby, South Wales. He was the sidekick to Peter Sellers in most of Sellers' early films. He cannot give a precise figure for the number of films he's done, but the estimate is over 80.

Kenneth was well-known from The Prisoner where he appeared in the episodes "The Girl Who Was Death" (as "Schnipps") and "Fall Out" as "The President".

TV Guest Appearances included Danger Man (aka Secret Agent), Lovejoy, Callan, Jane Eyre (1971), The Zany Adventures of Robin Hood (1974), Spyder's Web, Minder, Colditz, Hancock, Some Matters of Little Consequence, Holby City and The Babysitter.

Films included "Love on the Dole" (1941), "The Forest Rangers" (1942), "Blue Murder at St Trinian's" (1958), "A Night to Remember" (1958), "I'm All Right Jack" (1959), "Expresso Bongo" (1960), "The Lion in Winter" (1968 - winner of three Oscars, nominated for four others), "The Assassination Bureau" (1968), "S*P*Y*S" (1974), "The Wild Geese" (1978), "The Sea Wolves" (1980), "Who Dares Wins" (1982 - aka "The Final Option"), "Shaka Zulu" (1987), "Four Weddings and a Funeral" (1994), "The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill but Came Down a Mountain" (1995), and "Very Annie Mary" (2001).

His non-acting interests were in the wrongs done by nations to nations, or nations to individuals. This interest gave him a new career as a producer of contriversial documentaries. He made one about Doctor Ambedkar, the Indian Untouchable leader, and was the President of the International Untouchable Society. He also published books about historical events and people, and was a recognised world authority on the Boer War.

Other documentaries included The Legend of George Rex (about the 200 year old rumour that the the Royal Family are not the rightful heirs to the British throne), Zola Budd: The Girl who Didn't Run (on the persecution of the athlete), The Public's Right To Know (the prevention of a film about Baden Powell and the supression of the "Michael Collins" movie), Hang Out Your Brightest Colours (the life and times of the Irish patriot Michael Collins), Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death (the causes of the American War of Independence), Bus to Bosworth (Henry Tudor's march from Mill Bay to Bosworth Field), and The Man on the Rock (Napoleon's final years spent on St Helena).

He was a strong supporter of Welsh Rugby Football (Union), and was often invited as a guest to their games. The Tony Hancock Appreciation Society had Kenneth among its honorary members, and he was also a member of Peter O'Toole's cricket club. BBC Wales produced a TV biography of Kenneth called The Tenby Poisoner.

Kenneth died at his London home in June 2006, aged 84.

 

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Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Jo Grant to Pertwee's Doctor Who ...

 

Katy Manning is the daughter of sports columnist J L Manning. At the age of eighteen she went to America and was offered a five-year contract with MGM. However, her father insisted that she return to England and study acting there. She trained at the Webber Douglas drama school for a year, then joined a Wolverhampton repertory company and made her debut on TV in 1970 in the series Man at the Top.

She made several commercials before appearing in an episode of Softly Softly. Later in 1970, Barry Letts cast her in the role of new Companion Jo Grant in Doctor Who, and she stayed for three years.

The role was described as follows: "Glamorous young female intelligence agent, newly attached to UNIT. Keen, professional, lots of charm. Works with The Doctor. Needs to be involved with the story in an active way, not just as a screaming heroine or passing The Doctor's test tubes. Not a scientist, but has enough basic background to know what's going on".

Katy was asked at her audition to be frightened of what her character thought was a monster, then to laugh in relief when she finds out it isn't. She has said that since this was very close to her own state of emotions at the time, she didn't have any problem auditioning!

Jo was a new recruit to UNIT who only got the job because her uncle had pulled strings for her. The Brigadier, not sure what to do about her, handed her over to the Doctor, pointing out that all he really needed was someone to hand him his test tubes and tell him how wonderful he is.

Trained in espionage and escapology, like all successful companions, the character draws upon the actress. Jo, while intelligent and resourceful, was somewhat accident-prone, definitely scatter-brained, and tended to act first and think later. It made her an excellent foil for Jon Pertwee's strong, action-hero Doctor, and it is no wonder that Jo's departure is one of the most poignant in the entire series.

Following Doctor Who she presented the BBC crafts programme Serendipity and appeared as Miss Damina in the film Don't Just Lie There, Say Something. She returned to the theatre in West End productions of Why Not Stay for Breakfast, There's a Girl in My Soup, and, with Colin Baker, Odd Man In. In 1975 she made a guest appearance in the series Target (episode "Joanna"). She also appeared in a Yorkshire Television production of Oliver Twist. Other TV roles have included Armchair Theatre, Roses for Me, Z Cars, and Are You Making Money?

Katy eventually moved to Australia where she has appeared in Educating Rita (as Rita), Blithe Spirit, Run for Your Wife, and The Odd Couple. She also wrote the TV series Private Wives, featured in The Magnificent Mellops, and wrote and starred in the television series Don't Call Us. Commericals include Vodafone Australia, and "Lamb Off the Bone" for the Australian Meat Marketing Board.

Recently she has returned to the worlds of Doctor Who, with The Plague Herds of Excelis by Stephen Cole - a Bernice Summerfield audio adventure with Lisa Bowerman, and Excelis Dawns by Paul Magrs - a Big Finish Doctor Who Audio Adventure also starring Peter Davison and Anthony Stewart Head.

 

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Wednesday, 20 February 2008

A true friend to Mr Chapel in Vengeance Unlimited ...

 

Kathleen York made her breakthough to a cult audience playing K C Griffin in Vengeance Unlimited. A multi-talented performer, Kathleen York's film credits include "Dead Man Can't Dance", "Cries Of Silence", "Dream Lover", "Wild Hearts", "I Love You To Death", "Flashback", "Cold Feet", "Checking Out" and "Winner Takes All".

On television, she had a recurring role on the series Murder One, and guest starred on The Practice. Kathleen also appeared in the telefilms "Nightjohn", "Lies and Lullabies", "Gregory K", "Thompson's Last Run", "Not My Kid", "This Child Is Mine" and "Chase", as well as the mini-series "A Season in Purgatory" and "Naomi And Wynonna: Love Can Build A Bridge".

Other television credits include "Tales From The Crypt", "Northern Lights", "Iceberg" and "The Player". A seasoned Broadway actress, York's theatre credits include "Gemini", "The Real Queen Of Hearts Ain't Even Pretty", "Home", "Bury The Dead", "The Glass Menagerie", "The Effects Of Gamma Rays", "Acme Improv" and "90 Days Without A Man".

 

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Wednesday, 20 February 2008

T-Shirt / Thomas in T-Bag joined us for the Cult TV Weekender 2007, courtesy of Fantom Films ...

 

As part of the celebrations surrounding the series T-Bag, Cult TV were proud to announce in 2007 that Fantom Films, who were bringing out a T-Bag Reunion documentary DVD, sponsored yet another guest – their fourth for us in 2007 – to help celebrate the series and their new title. The quartet was completed with the actor John Hasler, who played T-Shirt / Thomas in the series.

Back at the beginning of the show, in the season “Wonders in Letterland” in 1985, John was still only 7 or 8 years old. He ended up growing up on television, featuring in 93 of the total of 94 episodes – he missed out on being in the first episode – with the show bowing out in 1992.

John had previous acting experience from “Breakout”, a 1983 Children's Film Foundation production, and an uncredited role in Terry Gilliam’s “Brazil”. He went on to appear in various other television series, including Doctor At The Top (with Robin Nedwell), Against All Odds (with Roy Marsden and Melanie Kilburn), Renford Rejects for Nickelodeon, and Harry’s Mad for Carlton. In October 2003 he filmed a commercial for Roots Coffee in Japan, alongside Ewan McGregor.

In recent years John had a role in Casualty, but has mainly been seen in theatre, including the role of Peter in a national tour of “The Railway Children”; Sam in “Tarnished Angel” at the Finborough Theatre; Boult in “Pericles” for the Ludlow Festival; Eugene in “Brighton Beach Memoirs” for the English Theatre, Frankfurt; Edwin in “The Cub” at the Traverse Theatre; Stefano in “Miranolina”, Skinner in “Forty Years On”, and Young Charlie in “Conversations with My Father”, all at the Stephen Joseph Theatre in Scarborough. John has also played Arty in “Lost in Yonkers”, the Artful Dodger in “Oliver!”, Lampwick in “Pinocchio”, and the Son of McDuff in “Macbeth” for the RSC Barbican..

John does much voiceover and radio work, which includes the animated German film “The Adventures of Globi” (as the voice of Benji), “The Kingfisher Tailor” (as the voice of Coffee Sewell) and the 1996 Central Television version of The Legends of Treasure Island (as the voice of Jim Hawkins).

His many radio roles include Will in “With A Little Help From My Friends”, Masher in “A Fairly Secret Agent”, Stephen in “Travelling Light” and James in “Auntie Mame”, all for the BBC. He has also recorded several short stories for the “Together” programme for BBC Radio 4 including reading 12 episodes of “Black Beauty”. In the American radio drama serial “First Light” he played the role of Peniel.

John’s voice has also featured in many commercials and corporate assignments, including projects for LWT, BBC, Vodafone Live, NatWest, Microsoft, Homechoice, Dell, OUP, Pearsons, Hertz, Christian Aid and Tango. He dubbed the young Ben Wishaw in the new movie “Perfume” and other recent dubbing work includes Silent Witness, The Tudors, Ghostwatch, and Rome. Most recently he was involved in recordings for a new website on citizenship, partly sponsored by the BBC.

We were delighted that John has agreed to join in the T-Bag celebrations in 2007, appearing courtesy of Fantom Films.

 

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Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Director extraordinaire, from 007 to Space Precinct ...

 

John Glen is famous from his work on James Bond films, but he was also involved in TV series such as The Avengers, Man in a Suitcase, Danger Man and Space Precinct.

Back in the days before film schools became so prevalent, film directors started their careers as either an editor or a cinematographer. John Glen began work in the industry as a messenger boy in the editing studios at Shepperton, emptying the waste bins at first before graduating to rewinding and splicing the film. After working in the sound department as a dubbing editor and sound editor, he rose to the position of assistant editor putting inserts, such as car chases, into the films.

After editing episodes of ABC's The Avengers, and many of the ITC shows like Danger Man and Man in a Suitcase, as well as directing the episode 'Somebody Loses, Somebody... Wins?' for the latter show, John Glen was given the job of editing the James Bond film On Her Majesty's Secret Service. This outing was directed by Peter Hunt, who had created the editing style of the Bond films as editor of the first three, and supervising editor on 'Thunderball' and 'You Only Live Twice'. Once filming began, John found himself being flown out to Switzerland to shoot the famous "bobsled run" sequence. Completing the filming in three weeks from start to finish, he was given the task of directing the rest of the second-unit sequences, with the exception of the stock car race that had been shot by the previous unit.

After editing Gold, staring Roger Moore, and acting as second unit director on Shout at the Devil starring Lee Marvin and Roger Moore, John Glen returned to the 007 series as editor/second-unit director on The Spy Who Loved Me (filming the celebrated pre-credit sequence, when stuntman Rick Sylvester launched himself off Asgard Peak), and Moonraker. He worked as editor/second unit director on The Wild Geese, again staring Roger Moore, and second unit director on Superman: The Movie (without Roger Moore) in the year between these two Bond movies.

'Moonraker' had really reached the zenith of the gags and gimmickery that had crept into the James Bond films. Like 'The Spy Who Loved Me' before it the film's narrative was little more a virtual remake of 'You Only Live Twice'. After being in outer space it was decided to bring the long-running series back down to earth and return to a more minimalistic and realistic approach with the follow-up. After working as the editor on The Sea Wolves (yes, it starred Roger Moore!), John Glen was promoted to full director and was handed the reins of James Bond's return in For Your Eyes Only.

Returning back to basics, this entry in the series cut the fantasy elements short and returned to the more serious "00" action of the past. Plot twists were back in and invincible super-villains were out, making the bad guy much more on a level with Red Grant in 'From Russia With Love' and Largo in 'Thunderball'. While this experiment was not as warmly received by the cinema audience, the film was notable for bringing a sense of closure to the previous films in the series by showing the death of an aging character, who was supposed to represent the aging Ernst Stavro Blofeld, in the pre-credit action sequence.

Whilst the James Bond movies had used a rota of directors, most notably Terrance Young and Lewis Gilbert, John Glen is notable for directing all five James Bond movies that ran through the course of the 1980s. Octopussy followed two years later, returning to the more popular larger-than-life elements the fanbase demanded, and after that came A View to a Kill. By now the "Roger Moore as James Bond" era was coming to a close and the production team had to set their sights on a new actor to play the role. Although John screen tested James Brolin and Pierce Brosnan (who was unable to take the role then because of a contractual clause which dragged him back to further mid-season episodes of 'Remington Steele'), the part eventually went to the Shakespearean actor Timothy Dalton.

More in the style of Sean Connery, Dalton brought a darker intensity to the role, creating a ruthless character in line with the James Bond of Ian Fleming's novels. The Living Daylights and Licence to Kill, reflected that by replacing the humour with more dramatic situations. By now, though, James Bond wasn't the only action hero on the block. Although 'Licence ...' was a good movie with an engaging story and a killer performance from Timothy Dalton, who really nailed the part, the box-office returns were disappointing.

With the series put on hiatus, John Glen turned to directing the racing drama, Checkered Flag, and Aces: Iron Eagle III. In 1992, to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the discovery of the Americas, his movie Christopher Columbus: The Discovery set sail ahead of Ridley Scott's '1492: Conquest of Paradise'.

John Glen briefly returned to television in the 1990s, directing eight episodes of Gerry Anderson's Space Precinct, namely 'Protect and Survive', 'The Snake', 'Deadline', 'Illegal', 'Divided We Stand' (uncredited), 'Take Over', and the two-part 'The Fire Within'.

John was a special guest at Cult TV 2002.

 

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Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Writer and editor at large ...

 

John Freeman is a freelance editor, writer and creative consultant. His current work includes being the News Editor for Star Trek Monthly and feature writing for Dreamwatch and other Titan Magazines.

In the comics world he recently worked with Striker3D (publishers of the "Striker" football strip in "The Sun"), sourcing new artists for upcoming projects. He's also working with CJL Publishing in Italy on a variety of strips. The Grand Tour, drawn by Mike Collins, is now being published by them in their flagship title, Daisy Hamilton's English4Life.

Online he's maintaining the official Hammer Films web site at www.hammerfilms.com, and investigating other projects, including new comic strips and some new media stuff. John recently edited the Planet of the Apes licensed comic for Titan Magazines and contributed a "Clapperboard" column on new film and TV projects to Dreamwatch.

Between November 1999 until December 2000 he worked as Project Manager for the online community-based site VZSciFi (www.vzones.com). That job included the creation of the framework for a new "virtual chat zone" using avatar technology. It mixed editing SF magazines and comics with new media applications. Unfortunately, it seems the technology was ahead of its time and the parent Avaterra.com pulled the plug on many of its operations just as its European arm was about to secure some major media deals back in June 2001. VZones is now back up and running and has a new project, The Second Kingdom, on the way.

Until November 1999 John was Managing Editor at Titan Magazines in London, publishers of a wide range of licensed science fiction magazines. Managerial duties included the hands-on editing of Babylon 5 Magazine and Star Wars Comic, and overseeing the creation of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Star Trek Monthly, Star Wars Magazine, The X-Files, Xena, The Simpsons and Manga Max. Titan Magazines is part of the Titan Publishing Group, publishers of Titan Books and owners of many Forbidden Planet shops around the UK. John continues to work in a freelance capacity for Titan Magazines as a Creative Consultant, which means they can ask him all sorts of questions at any time of night and day!

Between 1987 and 1993 John was at Marvel UK and work there included being editor of Doctor Who Magazine and, later, several Marvel UK titles, including Death's Head, Warheads, Motormouth (its last few issues) Digitek and the weekly Overkill. He has also written a few comic strips for Marvel (among them, Warheads and Shadow Riders) and Fleetway (Judge Karyn); self-published a fanzine, SCAN, which counted comics luminary Alan Moore amongst its minuscule number of subscribers; and started writing a novel - and that's still a work in progress!

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Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Edward of Wickham in Robin of Sherwood and Bobba Fett in "Star Wars"...

 

Jeremy was born in Market Harborough, one of six children, and even at the young age of five was on stage in his school show enjoying acting and singing. After failing an exam at the age of eleven Jeremy seemed destined for the acting profession, and was soon attending a drama school called Corona Academy. He made his first television appearance at the age of twelve when he appeared in a commercial for a breakfast cereal.

Following many appearances on children’s television Jeremy’s big break came at the age of seventeen when he landed a major role in a musical film called "Summer Holiday" that starred Cliff Richard. He then went into a BBC soap called The Newcomers, which ran for three years and made him a household name in the UK. In 1969 Jeremy landed a leading role in a musical called "Las Leandras" which was filmed in Madrid, Spain. This was followed by two major films - "The Virgin and the Gypsy" and "Mary Queen of Scots".

During the 1970s he appeared in many other movies including three James Bond films – "The Spy Who Loved Me", "For Your Eyes Only" and "Octopussy" - first as an HMS Ranger Crewman, and the later two as Smithers, Q’s assistant. In 1977 Jeremy went to the Far East for six months where he was based in Singapore and travelled to the Philippines, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia, filming a BBC drama documentary called "The Sadrina Project". This documentary was designed to teach people in the Far East, mainly Chinese, the English language. On a trip to China in 1992, some fifteen years later where Jeremy was performing in a stage play, he was instantly recognised by hundreds of people who said they had learnt their English from "The Sadrina Project".

In 1978 he was starring in a hit television comedy series called Agony, co-written by American Len Richmond and real life Agony Aunt Anna Raeburn, which ran for three years. It was during this series that Jeremy got a small part in “The Empire Strikes Back”. This part of course was "Boba Fett", proving the old theatrical saying ‘there is no such thing as a small part’. Jeremy was asked to reprise his role as “Boba Fett” in "Return of the Jedi" some two years later. But that was not the end of his connection with the "Star Wars" saga - in the summer of 2004 Jeremy was contacted to play a small cameo in ‘Revenge of the Sith” as Captain Colton.

Jeremy has appeared in many TV series. He was a regular in Robin of Sherwood, where he played Edward of Wickham. Jeremy’s son Robbie was asked to play Matthew, Edward’s son, in the series.

Another favourite series was Doctor Who, where he played the part of Tor in "The Space Museum" with William Hartnell. He also played the part of Hal the Archer in "The Time Warrior" when Jon Pertwee was the Doctor.

Jeremy also voices various commercials, talking CDs and radio advertisements. He appeared in the debut Spooks season episode “One Last Dance” (the series is called M-I5 Stateside).

Other TV appearances have included Strange Report ("Grenade – What Price Change"), Public Eye ("John VII Verse 24"), Thriller ("Only A Scream Away"), Man About The House ("Three Of A Kind"), The Professionals ("Where The Jungle Ends"), George and Mildred ("Days of Beer and Rosie"), Boon ("Fiddler Under The Roof"), as well as Leave It To Charlie, Only When I Laugh, Chocky, Casualty, The Bill, and Sloggers. His latest television appearance was this year in the BBC medical drama Doctors.

Jeremy was also involved in the filming of the pilot of StarHyke, playing the lead role of Dr Yul Striker – this year the pilot for the series is receiving its premiere at the Cult TV Festival.

He has also appeared in an independent film called "Number One Longing, Number Two Regret" and has also worked on an interactive film called "Advanced Warriors" that is now out on DVD.

Since the re-release of "Star Wars" in 1997, the interest in the character of "Boba Fett" has meant that Jeremy has been invited to many conventions and events all around the world. His fan mail has increased five-fold and he manages somehow to reply to everyone. In the little leisure time he has left he has managed to write his memoirs "Flying Solo" which is a beautiful hardback book with its own slipcase, and limited to 2000 copies only. He enjoys playing cricket and golf and as his three sons have produced a total of nine grandchildren (seven girls and two boys) babysitting is also high on the agenda. He enjoys travelling and has collected an amazing amount of "Boba Fett" memorabilia; some given to him by dedicated fans, and some he cannot resist buying at toyfairs. His office at home resembles a "Boba Fett" museum.

We were delighted to welcome Jeremy to the 2006 Cult TV Festival, to talk about his career and help launch Starhyke.

 

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Wednesday, 20 February 2008

The star of TV's War of the Worlds, The Fantastic Journey and Dallas joined us for Cult TV in 2007 ...

 

Jared Martin is best known to Cult TV appreciators from a trio of starring roles across the years. He was: Varian, a man from the future in The Fantastic Journey, starring alongside fellow Cult TV 2007 guest Ike Eisenmann; Dr Harrison Blackwood in the 1988-1990 television version of War of the Worlds; and Steven ‘Dusty’ Farlow in 31 episodes of Dallas between 1979 and 1991.

Jared was born in Manhattan, New York, and his interest in acting began at the age of 10 when his parents gave him the choice of joining his local children's theatre group, or learning to play the piano. He excelled at sports whilst at school in Vermont, and graduated from Columbia University with a BA degree in English Literature and a minor in Art History. His roommate at Columbia University was future film director Brian de Palma, who cast him as the lead in his directorial debut, “Murder a la Mod” in 1968.

After graduation in 1965 Jared worked as a copy boy at the New York Times. Jared read galleys and helped select books suitable for review. He also wrote capsule reviews for the New York Times Sunday Book Review Section.

During the next few years Jared founded ‘Group 6 Productions’, a New York City film and stage production company, while also creating art history curricula for a prestigious art institute. It was at this time Jared began actively seeking professional acting roles, and for the next 25 years Jared starred in Hollywood movies, internationally known TV series, and acted on and off the Broadway stage.

He has many other Cult TV roles to his name, guest starring in Dan August, Rod Serling's Night Gallery, Nakia, Get Christie Love, Toma, Griff, Medical Center, The Partridge Family, The Bold Ones – The Lawyers, The Silent Force, Cannon, Columbo, Shaft, The Rookies, Logan’s Run, The Six Million Dollar Man, How the West Was Won, Project UFO, The Waltons, Wonder Woman (the “Phantom of the Roller Coaster” two-parter), ChiPs, The Incredible Hulk, Hart to Hart, Tales of the Gold Monkey, Fantasy Island, Aloha Paradise, Finder of Lost Loves, Scarecrow & Mrs King, Knight Rider (the “Knight of the Drones” two-parter), Airwolf, Magnum PI, The Love Boat, Murder, She Wrote, Big Shamus, Little Shamus, Hotel, Mike Hammer, Hunter, Silk Stalkings and LA Law.

In terms of cinema roles, Jared had a small part in the cult classic “Westworld”, playing one of the technicians who ran Delos, the futuristic amusement park, and the lead role in the psychedelic and moody “The Second Coming of Suzanne” opposite Richard Dreyfuss.

Jared himself highlights two films he shot in Italy in the 1980s for Lucio Fulci, who is best known for his directorial work on some of the most shocking horror films ever made. He has been cited by Quentin Tarantino as a major source of inspiration. The first was “Guerrieri dell'anno (2072)”, (filmed in 1984) aka “The New Gladiators” aka “Fighting Centurions” aka “Rome, 2072 AD” aka “Warriors of the Year 2072”. The plot concerns the type of television we can expect later this century, when two networks fight for ratings by producing a modern day version of Roman gladiators.

The other Fulci film was “Aenigma” (1987) where a girl in a coma, as a result of being hit by a car after a prank played on her by classmates, takes revenge from her hospital bed.

In 1987 Jared starred in “Il Ragazzo dal kimono d'oro”, aka “Karate Warrior”, aka “Fist of Power”, aka “The Boy in the Golden Kimono” for writer and director Fabrizio De Angelis, and it was during the filming of this in Hong Kong that he became fascinated with Chinese culture.

While producing and directing the movie “In Deeper”, commissioned by Mayor Edward Rendell of Philadelphia, Jared became aware of the plight of disadvantaged youth of the inner city. He knew his experience as an actor and producer could be translated into a film programme for at-risk youth as a way to both reach and teach them skills, and to become civically aware of community issues. This resulted in Jared’s co-founding of the non-profit organisation, the Big Picture Alliance, in 1994. Jared takes on many roles within this, including director, producer and scriptwriter.

Jared has received over 15 film industry awards for his student-produced films, including the 1998 Cine Eagle, has mentored over three dozen Big Picture Alliance young staff members, one of whom won the first-ever Sundance Film Award for film editing, created a film production company, Lost Dog Productions, which produces films for social service and cultural non-profits, and hosted “Philly Live”, an interview talk show series for WYBE-TV.

Currently he is senior lecturer at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia where he teaches a course in Acting for Film using a proprietary curriculum he designed. He also manages and provides technical direction for the career of Yu Wei, his wife, a well-known Chinese classical dancer. In 2006 he authored “Dazhengzhao: a 1,000 Year Old Chinese Village”, a book of pictures and text about his latest trip to China.

Cult TV were delighted to have Jared join us in 2007 for his first ever appearance at a convention anywhere in the world, and we were pleased to host something of a Fantastic Journey re-union between him and Ike Eisenmann, after almost 30 years. Watch out for the DVD documentary coming soon from Fantom Films!

 

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