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Disco Doctor Who theme, 1978
05:50 pm

Pop Culture

Doctor Who

This is actually a lot better than you’re expecting it to be. It’s really kind of good.

Via Disko Akademin

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
‘My Hobby’: Comedian Harry Hill’s secret life as an artist

An exhibition of artwork by comedian Harry Hill, has opened at the Edinburgh Art Festival.

Called My Hobby the exhibition includes Hill’s paintings of TV celebrities, such as Philip Schofield and Chris Tarrant, trapped in bizarre, nightmarish landscapes,  which Hill described tin an interview with the BBC as:

‘...depicting a parallel universe where nature, celebrity and surrealism collide.’

Some of the work is reminiscent of artist David Shrigley, who encouraged Hill to have the exhibition.

Best known for his multi-award-winning series TV Burp Hill claims he paints as a means of ‘winding down’, and has been painting in secret for 20-years. Over that time, Harry had amassed so many of his own artworks he thought it was time to get them out of the house.

My Hobby runs at White Stuff, 2nd Floor, 89 George Street, EH2 3ES, from 4 August – 2 September 2012, and includes a newly filmed interview between Shrigley and Hill.

Here is a selection of Harry Hill’s art, including some on show in Edinburgh.
A few more peaks at harry Hill’s art, after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
‘Quatermass and the Pit’: The original, classic TV series by Nigel Kneale

Workers at a building site in London excavate what appears to be human remains. On closer examination, these turn out to be something far more sinister, and when a space capsule is discovered, a series of disturbing events lead Professor Bernard Quatermass and his team to face a deadly martian threat and consider far darker origin to humanity.

This is the plot of Nigel Kneale‘s classic science-fiction series Quatermass and the Pit, which was originally shown on BBC Decemebr 22, 1958, to January 26, 1959.

Quatermass was an incredibly successful and influential series, which ran for 3 seasons from 1953-1959. Its success was in no way diminished by a change in lead actor - not once but 3 times.

Reginald Tate played the Professor in the opening series The Quatermass Experiment. and was about to film Quatermass II in 1955, when he dropped dead of a heart attack outside his London home. Tate was replaced by John Robinson, who proved quite successful, but due to other commitments he could not film Quatermass and the Pit in 1958. This allowed the man most associated with Quatermass, André Morell to take over.

All this proves is that a great character and a brilliant script can work with any number of different actors.

When the series moved to the big screen, it was believed an American star would guarantee box office success in the States, so Brian Donlevy was brought in to star in Hammer Film’s versions of The Quatermass Experiment and Quatermass II. By 1967, it was all change again as Scottish actor Andrew Keir played the professor in the first color version of Quatermass and the Pit.

And it didn’t stop there: Kneale revived Quatermass for a new TV series in the 1970s, with John Mills this time as the maverick scientist. While the BBC tried their hand with a live performance of The Quatermass Experiment, which starred Jason Flemyng in 2005.

Though I have great liking for Keir’s performance, this original TV version of Quatermass and the Pitt starring André Morell is, in many ways, the best. Part of the reason for this is the three-and-half hours of air time, which allowed Kneale far greater opportunity to develop ideas that a 90 minute film could not hold.

Understandably, Quatermass has cast a long shadow over TV, film and fiction for more than 50 years, and has inspired Stephen (Tommyknockers) King, John Carpenter (who wanted Kneale to write Halloween III), and series such as Dr Who and The X Files.

This was because Nigel Kneale was such a brilliant writer, who was sadly often side-lined by the idiotic snobbery of critics, who saw him as a mere scriptwriter of speculative science-fiction and pulp thrillers. But as Mark Gatiss rightly pointed out at the time of Kneale’s death in 2006:

‘Kneale is amongst the greats—he is absolutely as important as Dennis Potter, as David Mercer, as Alan Bleasdale, as Alan Bennett…’

Now here’s your chance to watch a master writer at his height, producing one the greatest TV dramas ever made, Quatermass and the Pit.


Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
The Thrill of It All: The Roxy Music Story

Hard to believe but it’s forty years since Roxy Music released their debut single “Virginia Plain” and made an unforgettable appearance on Top of the Pops. It was a moment that influenced a generation, the same way David Bowie had earlier the same year, when he seductively draped his arm over Mick Ronson’s shoulder as they sang “Starman” together. It was a moment of initiation, when millions of British youth had shared a seminal cultural experience by watching television.

Of all the programs on air in 1972, by far the most influential was Top of the Pops., and Roxy Music’s arrival on the show was like time travelers bringing us the future sound of music. 

Listening to “Virginia Plain” today, it hard to believe that it wasn’t record last week and has just been released.

This documentary on Roxy Music has all the band members (Ferry, Manzanera, MacKay, Eno, etc) and a who’s who of musicians (Siouxsie Sioux, Steve Jones, and Roxy biographer, Michael Bracewell), who explain the band’s importance and cultural relevance. Roxy Music have just released The Complete Studio Recordings 1972-1982 available here.

Previously on Dangerous Minds

Roxy Music live in 1972, the full radio broadcast

Bonus clip of ‘Virginia Plain’, after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Reality TV summed up in one perfect image
09:38 am


Reality TV

Nothing more to say, is there?


Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
When Iggy Pop guest-starred on ‘Star Trek: Deep Space Nine’

I’m having an “I did not know this” moment right now. Apparently Iggy Pop guest-starred on an episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine in 1998 as a Vorta overseer named “Yelgrun” from the planet Kurill Prime.

Again, I shall repeat, “I did not know this.”

Below, a video montage of Iggy’s most memorable scenes as “Yelgrun” from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode “The Magnificent Ferengi.”

With thanks to Dee Rollins for this gem!

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Jimmy Savile: Legendary DJ’s belongings auctioned off for charity

‘Now then now then… ‘

An auction of the late Sir Jimmy Savile’s belongings raised almost half-a-million dollars yesterday in Leeds, England. 700 on-line bidders competed with 350 buyers at the Savile Hall for an excess of gold lame suits, platform shoes, and a selection of the DJ’s bling.

549 lots were up for grabs in a sale organized by Dreweatts. These included gold lame suits, jogging gear, kilts, cigars, cigar boxes, shoes, trainers, furniture, records, record player, photographs, cartoons, numerous awards, assorted glasses, memorabilia, including Christmas cards from Royalty, and Jim’ll Fix It medallions, presentation gifts and the famous red-upholstered chair.

The auction lasted 13-hours, which saw the legendary DJ and broadcaster’s Rolls-Royce (nick-named “The Beast”) sold for $200,000, his famous red chair sold for $13,300, and individual items, such as one highly sought after Jim’ll Fix It medal reach $3,130.

All of the items reached over their original asking price:

Lot 174 - A pink satin padded bedspread with a gold J.S. monogram was sold for over $200.

Lot 185 - A novelty egg cup teapot with picture of Sir Jim holding it raised $60.

Lot 549 - Sir Jimmy’s favourite ashtray complete with a Romeo Y Julieta cigar - went for $220.

All money raised will be donated to charity.

The auction catalog can be seen here, and more on the story here.
Edinburgh Evening News front cover printing plate.
A photograph of Jimmy Savile with Elvis Presley.
More of Sir Jimmy Savile’s booty, after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
The Beatles Meet Star Trek: The first pop mash-up?

I wonder if anyone has ever seen this film, The Beatles Meet Star Trek, which opened November 5th, 1976 at the Uniondale Mini Cinema in Uniondale, N.Y. From what l can gather, over at Temple of Schlock, this was either a mix of Star Trek bloopers and Beatles’ performances; or a cartoon fest of clips from the Trekkies and Fab Four’s separate animated series. Whichever, it would be good to find out if anyone has seen The Beatles Meet Star Trek, whether it was any good? and was it the first pop cultural mash-up?
Bonus: fan made slash clips of Beatles and Star Trek, after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Time Ladies: Doctor Who imagined as women

This is lush. 11 Doctor Whos imagined and drawn as women by Gladys - an artist who herds “unicorns and draws nauseatingly cute things for Glee and Hetalia”. See more of Gladys’ work here.

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Ayn Rand meets Johnny Carson on ‘The Tonight Show,’ 1967
10:51 am


Ayn Rand
Johnny Carson

Many videotapes of Johnny Carson’s 1960s episodes were lost in the fire of NBC’s archives, but at least part of Ayn Rand’s first appearance on The Tonight Show (she was on three times over the years, clearly Carson was a fan) has survived and has been posted on YouTube.

Apparently, Carson snubbed his other guests that evening and kept Rand on for the entire 90 minute show. Topics include raising children, religion, the military draft and the Vietnam War.

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
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