Sunday, 30 November 2008

Quantum of Solace posters

Although I am in two minds about the Quantum of Solace movie (better than I thought it would be, but not as good as Casino Royale) I would quite like to get my hands on some of the posters.

So far I have only seen the grey "teaser" poster in the shops. I've been doing a little bit of research on, and and I've "discovered" three poster designs that hopefully be available in the shops soon.

The first design is the standard poster art with Daniel Craig and Olga Kurylenko.

The second design is a "quartet" featuring Daniel Craig, Olga Kurylenko, Gemma Arterton and Mathieu Amalric.

Finally we have one with just Olga Kurylenko, who, I must add, is looking suitable sultry.

If they release one of Gemma Arterton I will be uber-happy, but I'll be pleased enough if I can find the three above!

Devil May Care paperback cover

I just found this image for the paperback cover of Devil May Care, the James Bond novel written by Sebastian Faulks in the style of Ian Fleming. The book was published in hardback this year to mark the centenary of Ian Fleming's birth.

So six months before the paperback comes out here's the cover design.

Given that the book is not out until May I would not be surprised if the cover art changes.

Saturday, 29 November 2008

Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles Episode 2.6

I will call this episode "the one with the child therapist".

Quite a good little episode with a lot going on.

Sarah and the gang work out that the resistance fighter from the future was trying to tell them about a therapist that Skynet was interested in. But do they need protect him or stop him?

Sarah, John and Cameron pose as a family that wants some therapy so they can bug his office. To Sarah's surprise John wants to go back for an individual appointment. The therapist tells John that he is exhibiting the behaviour of a war veteran. John tries to tell the therapist that he had to kill a man (in episode 2.1) but changes his mind.

Shirley Manson gets a big chunk of screen time as Catherine Weaver in this episode. It transpires that the T-1000 has taken Weaver's place and is using her company to further the research into the Turk computer from season 1. Weaver's small child is terrified of her "mother" but is too young to express it. (Frankly Shirley Manson scared the cr*p out of me!) Weaver hears that the therapist can "fix" the child and takes her to see him.

Derek recognises a girl and follows her to a hotel. Its one of his resistance soldiers who claims to have gone AWOL and run away to hide in the "past". Later we see surveillance photos of the gang under her bed so she must be telling fibs. (I think the actress played Kendra Shaw in the "Razor" episode of Battlestar Galactica.)

A scary lady terminator arrives from the future and goes to the therapist's office just as Cameron enters. They both realise what the other is at the same time and fight with some darkly comic consequences. Cameron is victorious but the gang don't know if the lady terminator was there to kill or protect the therapist.

The Turk is exhibiting some unusual behaviour and Weaver asks the therapist to take a look at it. He realises the computer is telling a joke: "Why is a math book so sad? Because its full of problems." Weaver asks him to help her as a consultant.

A Lena Headey gets a chance to emote as she listens to John's bugged session with the therapist.

One amusing moment comes as the therapist tells Sarah that he thinks her "daughter" might have Ashbergers Syndrome.

good solid episode that moves the plot along, gives an excuse for Summer Glau to have a girl fight and explore what the never ending war is doing to john's head.

Friday, 28 November 2008

Rebecca Hall Sunday Times scans

After writing my previous posts on Rebecca Hall I remembered that she had been featured in a copy of the Sunday Times Magazine last year and that I had saved it from the bin.

The magazine in question is from 4 February 2007 and had a cover feature on the 'young British stars of tomorrow'.

Here are three scans of Rebecca for your viewing enjoyment.

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Torri Higginson in The Eleventh Hour

Not too long ago there was a British fiction show about science called The Eleventh Hour. ITV were at pains not to call it "science fiction" mind you. Patrick Stewart and Maggie from Extras were in it but the show was lacking something and I just didn't get into it.

So imagine my surprise when I discover that there is a US remake. Not only that but Rufus Sewell is in it. I'm a big big fan of his movie Dark City and I've always thought that he's very underrated. Not only that but Marley Shelton is in it. You might remember her from 2007's Grindhouse movies Planet Terror and Death Proof. I have to admit I've a lot of time for Marley.

And this all comes to light because I read that Torri Higginson is guest staring in an episode. Torri played Doctor Weir in Stargate Atlantis. Well, until the writers or producers decided to get rid of her. I only started watching Atlantis in the first place because of Torri.

So if this US version of The Eleventh Hour makes it over here I will be keeping an eye on it. Who knows, it might even be better than the UK version!

The Kingdom Beyond the Waves by Stephen Hunt

I've just finished a book that I enjoyed very much so I thought I'd mention it here. (I read a lot and I'm hard to please. Normally my reaction is more akin to "meh" when I finish a book.) It's called The Kingdom Beyond the Waves and is by an author called Stephen Hunt.

The book defies easy description. It's a science fiction/fantasy/steampunk/alternative history novel that may be set in the distant past or the distant future. The action starts in the state of Jackals which seems to be based on a 19th Century Britain, only with computers called "transaction engines" and instead of the Royal Navy or Royal Air Force we have the RAN - the Royal Aerostatical Navy which uses giant airships to keep military superiority.

Except those are just side details. The novel deals with the quest to find the missing mythical city of Camlantis, a city that thousands of years before disappeared into the sky during the last dark age. Professor Amelia Harsh joins the mercenary crew of a u-boat to venture down a dangerous river in Heart of Darkness fashion to search for the city. Danger lurks outside the u-boat and inside it as well because some characters have their own agenda.

I don't want to say too much as discovering the details is as much part of the fun as the overall story. The novel is a long one at 556 pages but fairly rattles along packed with incident and cliffhangers aplenty.

Stephen Hunt has written a previous book set in the same world called The Court of the Air and next year he publishes the third book called The Rise of the Iron Moon. I will be reading both.

Saturday, 22 November 2008

Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles Episode 2.5

Mmmm... Another stand-alone episode.

A new terminator has turned up with a mission to kill one of John Conner's future resistance fighters. John and Derek head off to a military academy to protect one of the possible targets. Sarah and Cameron in turn protect another target who happens to be a young boy.

Sarah takes the young boy in for the weekend while they hunt the terminator. She bonds with him and helps him write a book report on The Wizard of Oz. Seriously.

John gets enrolled at the military academy and Derek gets a job as an instructor, one assumes without references. They manage to dispatch the terminator.

Sarah puts the kid on a bus, unconcerned that he'll probably tell the cops about the crazy ladies with guns.

This episode did not have the ring of truth somehow.

Meanwhile agent Ellison investigates the terminator fight at the power plant from a couple of episodes ago. He reports back to Shirley Manson and she then cleans up loose ends behind his back.

Oh well. At least Lena Headey and Summer Glau were looking well.

No Cromartie!

Friday, 21 November 2008

Rebecca Hall at the Frost/Nixon Premiere

Rebecca Hall has a role in the new Frost/Nixon movie. I beleive she plays David frost's girlfriend. The movie is based on the play of the same name which in turn is based on the interviews David Frost made with Richard Nixon in the 1970s.

Here's Rebecca at the premiere in New York earlier this week.


Wednesday, 19 November 2008

More Alistair MacLean reissues

I've just found a couple more of the new Alistair MacLean reissue covers on the Waterstones website. This time it's Goodbye California and Seawitch from the 1970s. The books will be reprinted in May 2009.

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Tess of the D'Urbervilles on BBC4

If you missed the recent broadcast of Tess of the D'Urbervilles on BBC1 you can now catch the whole thing again on BBC4 in all it's misery!

The first episode is on Saturday 22 November at 8:10pm.

Maybe I'm a glutton for punishment but I quite enjoyed it and I'll make the effort to see it again. By the end of it I was quite fond of Gemma Arterton and her Tess.

I quite liked her in Quantum of Solace too.

Here's the BBC 4 listings page for Tess:

Clive Cussler reissues

I read a few Clive Cussler novels back in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Lately I've 'rediscovered' the books and I intend to catch up with the many that I haven't read.

Sphere books in the UK are gradually reissuing their back catalog of his earlier books to match the cover art that the other publishers of his books are using. They are even using the Larry Rostant, the same cover artist that HarperCollins and Penguin use for their Cussler books.

Anyway, here are the next two covers for Deep Six and Cyclops from

Cussler's books tend to be a bit far-fetched. The Dirk Pitt character is a James Bond style agent who has maritime expertise. I do like the inclusion of an historical mystery that usually gets the story started.
In any event I'm quite partial for any thriller that manages to put a space shuttle on the cover so I'm sure I'll be picking up a copy of Cyclops!

Just for comparison here's the HarperCollins cover for Treasure.

Here's the link to Larry Rostant's website:
If you've bough a novel in the UK recently the chances are he did the cover art.
As a side note it interesting that Sphere books has made a comeback as an imprint. I bought a lot of their thrillers in the late 1980s so I noticed when they transformed into Warner Books in the early 1990s. Later they changed again and became Time Warner Paperbacks.

Monday, 17 November 2008

Rebecca Hall in Einstein and Eddington

A trailer for a new BBC drama caught my eye at the weekend. It's called Einstein and Eddington and is about the two scientists and the creation of Albert Einstein's general theory of relativity.

This caught my interest for a couple of reasons.

First of all I know a little bit about the background to this having read some John Gribbin books! Arthur Eddington went on an expedition to Africa in 1919 to photograph a star during an eclipse. The position of the star appeared to move and therefore proved that the sun's gravity could bend light therefore Einstein's theory held up.

The other point of interest is that Rebecca Hall is playing Winnie Eddington. Rebecca has caught my eye in a number of things including one of my favourite movies, The Prestige, and last years Joe's Palace on the BBC.

Rebecca Hall in The Prestige

Hopefully it will be as good as Copenhagen, another BBC science-inspired drama from a few years ago that started a pre-Bond Daniel Craig. That one looked at the WW2 meeting between the Danish Niels Bohr and German Werner Heisenberg who were working on the atomic bomb on opposite sides.

Einstein and Eddington is written by Stephen Moffat so it should be good. His Doctor Who scripts have been far superior to anything else on TV.

Oh, yes, that David Tennant fella plays Eddington.
Einstein and Eddington is on BBC2 at 9:10pm on Saturday 22 November 2008.

Friday, 14 November 2008

Terminator The Sarah Connor Cronicles Episode 2.4

An interesting, if somewhat subdued, episode.

Lots of Cameron in this one. Yay!

Cameron looses her memory in a supermarket and seems to be having flashbacks to the past/future where she's a human and has been captured by the machines. She is being asked questions from an unseen interrogator and says her name is Alison Young.

In the present Cameron hooks up with another girl and uses the Alison back story which she seems to believe is true.

Of course it turns out that Cameron was doing the interrogating in the future and was created as a replica of Alison to infiltrate John Conner's resistance base. Interesting she claimed to be from a faction of machines that wanted peace. (But then she said that just before she snapped Alison's neck so I guess that's unlikely.)

Summer Glau does her usual great job with both parts.

In the future Cameron's base was on board an old aircraft carrier and contained other human prisoners plus some animals like a tiger and a bear. Why, I wonder...

On the minus side this episode had no Cromartie!

Agent Ellison is thinking about his job offer and checks up on Catherine Weaver.

Finally Lena Headey has a subplot where she bonds with her pregnant neighbour. Where is that storyline going?

New Starship Enterprise

There's a new Star Trek movie coming out in 2009 and Entertainment Weekly have revealed what the new USS Enterprise is going to look like.


So far I like it well enough. My own favourite Enterprise would be the one from the early movies and this looks enough like it for me.

(To be honest I never did like the Enterprise-D from The Next Generation and I was more than happy to see it crash in Star Trek Generations!)

Saturday, 8 November 2008

Olivia Williams at BAFTA L.A. Britannia Awards

Yay! I finally get to do an Olivia Williams update.

Olivia news seems to be thin on the ground but here she is on 6 November 2008 attending the 17th Annual BAFTA L.A. Britannia Awards at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Hotel in Century City.

Sources: and

Lately she was in Flashbacks of a Fool with Daniel Craig and I understand that she is Joss Whedon's new on-again-off-again TV series Dollhouse.

Hopefully I'll have more content on Olivia in the future.

Friday, 7 November 2008

Terminator Episode 2.3

Again, beware of spoilers.

Quite a good episode this week.

Charlie and Mrs Charlie are on the road. He's fulling the car with gas in a desert location outside LA. While he is distracted someone else gets in the car and drives off. It's Cromartie! and he's taken Mrs Charlie prisoner. (The actress playing Mrs Charlie still looks like Linda Hamilton this week.)

Charlie contacts Sarah. She and Derek go to help without telling John. They track down Mrs Charlie who it appears has been wired to explode. But its a trick. Cromartie has tapped into a nearby cell tower and is listening to the phone calls. He blows up the cell tower, disables their car and calls John using Sarah's voice and arranges to meet him at the pier.

Sarah and the others have to make their way back on foot. To make matters worse Mrs Charlie is injured.

Meanwhile John is hanging out with his gal and tries to ditch Cameron. Bad move because Cromartie is on his way. John only survives because he jumps off the pier and terminator's can't swim. Cromartie's eyes glow red as he sinks into the dark.

Sarah picks up John in a stolen cell-phone repair van. John notices there is blood in the back. We learn that Mrs Charlie is dead.

Later at the funeral Cromartie scans the crowd looking for John.

In other developments Shirley Mansion offers Ellison a job.

In an amusing subplot the actor Laslo (that Cromartie killed) is seen on TV in an awful Conan-style movie.

Lena Headey gets lots of action and angst in this episode. However there is too little of Summer Glau. Boo! But what little we see of Cameron is good.

Monday, 3 November 2008

Victoria Pendleton

OK, I really couldn't care less about sport, but at the risk of being a typical male I will make an exception for Victoria Pendleton.

Victoria won a cycling gold medal at the Beijing 2012 Olympics. This weekend she's won three more golds at the Track Cycling World Cup in Manchester.

Obligatory photo follows.

Yep, typical male...

And two more Alistair MacLean reissues

Since my last post I've found another two covers for Alistair MacLean reissues. Here are the new covers for The Way to Dusty Death and Caravan to Vaccares.

Sunday, 2 November 2008

Alistair MacLean Reissues

Alistair MacLean produced 28 novels and one short story collection before his death in 1987. In the 1990s the books gradually went out of print but lately many of his thrillers have gradually been reissued in the UK.

I'm glad to see these reissues. Frankly a lot of modern thriller writers could learn a thing or two from the way MacLean wrote and constructed a story.

Here are covers that HarperCollins will be using for four books that will be released in the coming months. The books are River of Death, Athabasca, Bear Island and Circus.

It's also interesting to see how dramatically different the page count of novels has changed since the 1970s. Most of my old MacLean Fontana paperbacks had exactly 222 pages. That made me think they were very short compared with more recent books. Now the new editions have been reset to larger text more common in today's paperbacks and the page count has shot up to about 380 pages.

Saturday, 1 November 2008

Lena Headey "The Broken" poster

I've just discovered this striking poster image for Lena Headey's new suspense movie The Broken.