TV review: Dirk Gently on Campus

With Macduff at his side, Dirk returns to St Cedd’s College Cambridge, from which he was expelled years ago. He’s been invited back by Professor Jericho (Bill Paterson), who may have been the only man to ever truly believe in our clever con artist. Lights go out. Security cameras fail. The professor’s experimental robot vanishes.

This second episode of the series focusses more on its single campus setting versus the dizzying array of urban locations seen previously. It remains full of ideas, nevertheless: online gaming, artificial intelligence, internet protocols and microchip implants are just some of what’s in store.

After an episode’s absence, Helen Baxendale is back as Susan Harmison, GP and girlfriend of Richard Macduff. It’s a credit to actor and production that Susan is realised as well as she is; there’s an undergraduate whimsy to Douglas Adams’ writing and his female characters often suffered at the hands of time, space, causality and drunken male camaraderie. Televised Dirk Gently is fun for the whole campus.

For the Dirk novels, the late Mr Adams reused a few elements of Shada, his unbroadcast script for Doctor Who. Most notable among these are the St Cedd’s college setting and its surprising professor. Showrunner Howard Overman deftly avoids the strictly Doctor Who elements in his adaptation of the books and this episode’s writer, Matt Jones, lends a rather personal touch to the zaniness. The result is another cracking episode: it takes the series into virgin territory and shows that this team can succeed Douglas Adams instead of merely honouring him.

This episode airs on BBC4 Monday, 12 March at 9 pm. There’s a clip here: Dirk Gently at BBC Four

TV review: Dirk Gently Returns

Aired just before the start of 2011, the late Douglas Adams’ novel Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency – and its sequel – were adapted as a television pilot. A number of liberties were taken but all served to drop a twenty-first-century freshness into the eighties stories. Steven Mangan’s intense, goofy performance of the dishevelled, slightly suspect detective was at the centre of this success; the programme’s outing on BBC Four earned itself a follow-up series handily.

With the novels entertainingly adapted, Howard Overman (creator of Misfits) set about spinning Adams’ franchise into a trio of fresh new mysteries. The first of these is more rewarding than many cinema films.

A certain Mr Edwards believes The Pentagon is trying to kill him. Not the building, of course, just some of the people who work there. Suddenly it’s spy satellites, earpieces, breath mints and dark glasses all over the place and Mr Edwards is dead before Dirk and his poor pal Macduff can get a word with him. Hm? Yeah, breath mints.

Doctor Who fans will find a refreshing take on the classic sidekick in Richard Macduff, played by Darren Boyle. Although Macduff is tasked mainly with reacting to Dirk’s manic crusading, Boyle makes an art of it and is given the chance to move from there into some rather amusing power struggles with his dodgy business partner.

The Fundamental Interconnectedness of All Things is a genius notion set inside a detective story and it’s part of why this series continues to delight. Once again we’re presented with a constant stream of bizarre nonsequiturs and its down to Dirk to put them together and perhaps get paid this time.

Dirk Gently returns tonight, Monday 5 March at 9 pm on BBC Four.

Star Steven Mangan has written an article on The Making of Dirk Gently.



Book review: Voodoo Histories by David Aaronovitch

I love non-fiction books. I have an unhealthy obsession with American politics dating back to lessons received through my school years. I love tragic real-life stories like the one of Bernie Madoff who stole $65 billion and almost single-handed started the worldwide recession we find our selves in as I write. But most of all I love a good conspiracy theory.

Now let me explain before you think I am one of those insane people that wants to fill your mind with ludicrous stories of aliens running the planet, I love a good conspiracy theory because I like the fact a ridiculous notion can have such an overwhelming effect on what you describe as normal everyday folk, and turn their irrational fears into a warped reality.



Continue reading Book review: Voodoo Histories by David Aaronovitch

Film review: The Woman in Black

What makes Woman In Black so refreshing is that it is old-school psychological horror,  complete
with an isolated, haunted mansion, rocking chairs, beheaded dolls, random screams, mysterious deaths, untold secrets, dangerous silence, suspiciously-hostile locals, a hallucination sequence and horrifying consequences.

A few eyebrows were raised when Daniel Radcliffe was announced as the leading man; other than the Harry Potter franchise he had only done one drama called The December Boys. Let’s start by saying Radcliffe is amazing: his performance is captivating. A lot of the film focuses on his character alone in a haunted mansion and he manages to hold your attention throughout. Continue reading Film review: The Woman in Black

Episode 46: Doctor Who The Wedding of River Song

Your trio of heroes return and try to discuss the Doctor Who episode ‘The Wedding of River Song’ but mostly end up talking about their favourite Nu-Who companions.

The podcast is available from all good podcast services, such as but not limited to Amazon Music, PodchaserPlayer FM, Stitcher, and Apple Podcasts.

Check out our Youtube.

If you’d like to support the show, then please shop via our Amazon link. A small percentage goes our way, at no extra cost to you.

Socials:

Twitter:

Martyn – @BadWilf

Gerrod –@InGerrodsMind

Pete – @BeeblePete

Sam-@Sammichaelcomic

Instagram:

Martyn-@BadWilf



Episode 44: Doctor Who-The Girl Who Waited

Martyn’s attempted retirement fails. Vodka is drunk and the reaction is given to Doctor Who: The Girl Who Waited and, the new Fantom Films radio comedy, Fight For The Remote.



The podcast is available from all good podcast services, such as but not limited to Amazon Music, PodchaserPlayer FM, Stitcher, and Apple Podcasts.

Check out our Youtube.

If you’d like to support the show, then please shop via our Amazon link. A small percentage goes our way, at no extra cost to you.

Socials:

Twitter:

Martyn – @BadWilf

Gerrod –@InGerrodsMind

Pete – @BeeblePete

Sam-@Sammichaelcomic

Instagram:

Martyn-@BadWilf

Fight for the Remote: fantomfilms.co.uk



Episode 14: Sarah Jane Series Four

A Sarah Jane filled episode in which Martyn looks at the vault of secrets, then Martyn and Gerrod look at Death of The Doctor.

Martyn and David Montieth from Geek Syndicate talking about Lost in Time.

The Sarah Jane Adventures is a British science-fiction television programme, that was produced by BBC Cymru Wales for CBBC, created by Russell T Davies starring Elisabeth Sladen. The programme is a spin-off of the long-running BBC science fiction programme Doctor Who and is aimed at a younger audience than Doctor Who. It focuses on the adventures of Sarah Jane Smith, an investigative journalist who, as a young woman, had numerous adventures across time and space.



The series debuted on BBC One with a 60-minute special, “Invasion of the Bane”, on 1 January 2007, and broadcast through till 2011, up until Sladen’s death. It was nominated for a British Academy Children’s Award in 2008 in the Drama category, and for a BAFTA Cymru in 2009 in the Children’s Drama category.[1][2] The programme won a Royal Television Society 2010 award for Best Children’s Drama

The podcast is available from all good podcast services, such as but not limited to Amazon Music, PodchaserPlayer FM, Stitcher, and Apple Podcasts.

If you’d like to support the show, then please shop via our Amazon link. A small percentage goes our way, at no extra cost to you.

Check out our Youtube.

Socials:

Twitter:

Martyn – @BadWilf

Gerrod –@InGerrodsMind

Pete – @BeeblePete

Instagram:

Martyn-@BadWilf

David-@GeekSyndicate

(we have a new explicit tag! Don’t worry, we don’t overly swear, we’re still good boys … ish)

Episode 12: The Wilfs of Fenric

In episode 12 of the podcast, we discuss The Doctor Who: The Curse of Fenric, The Star Wars 3D re-releases and much, much more.

They also check out Him & Her, Get Him to the Greek and, Sesame Street: True Mud.

The podcast is available from all good podcast services, such as but not limited to;

Podchaser, Player FM, Stitcher and Apple Podcasts.

If you’d like to support the show, then please shop via our Amazon link. A small percentage goes our way, at no extra cost to you.

Check out our Youtube.

Twitter:

Martyn – @BadWilf

Gerrod –@InGerrodsMind

Episode 11: Human Nature

In episode 11,  Gerrod and I stay the most on-topic we have ever been. We discuss Doctor Who: Human Nature.

Human Nature” is the eighth episode of the third series of the revived British science fiction television series Doctor Who, which was originally broadcast on BBC One on 26 May 2007. It is the first episode of a two-part story written by Paul Cornell adapted from his 1995 Doctor Who novel Human Nature. Its second part, “The Family of Blood”, aired on 2 June. Along with “The Family of Blood”, it was nominated for the Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form in 2008.[1]

In the episode, the alien time traveler the Tenth Doctor (David Tennant) hides from his pursuers, the Family of Blood, in 1913 England. He transforms himself into a human and implants the false persona of a schoolteacher called “John Smith” to avoid detection until the Family’s life runs out.

The podcast is available from all good podcast services, such as but not limited to;

Podchaser, Player FM, Stitcher and Apple Podcasts.

If you’d like to support the show, then please shop via our Amazon link. A small percentage goes our way, at no extra cost to you.

Check out our Youtube.

Twitter:

Martyn – @BadWilf

Gerrod –@InGerrodsMind