John Barrowman

Famous for being Captain Jack Harkness in the Science fiction television shows Doctor Who and Torchwood, the Scottish-American actor, singer, dancer, presenter and writer John Scot Barrowman, MBE was born 11 March 1967 in Glasgow, Scotland, he moved to the United States with his family in 1975. Encouraged by his high school teachers, Barrowman studied performing arts at the United States International University in San Diego before landing the role of Billy Crocker in Cole Porter’s Anything Goes at London’s West End.

Since his debut in professional theatre, Barrowman has played lead roles in various musicals both in the West End and on Broadway, including Miss Saigon, The Phantom of the Opera, Sunset Boulevard and Matador. After appearing in Sam Mendes’ production of The Fix, he was nominated for the 1998 Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actor in a Musical and, in the early 2000s, returned to the role of Billy Crocker in the revival of Anything Goes. His most recent West End credit was in the 2009 production of La Cage aux Folles.

Aside his theatrical career, Barrowman has appeared in various films including the musical biopic De-Lovely (2004) and musical comedy The Producers (2005). Before venturing into British television, he featured in the American television dramas Titans and Central Park West but he is better known for his acting and presenting work for the BBC that includes his work for CBBC in its earlier years, his self-produced entertainment programme Tonight’s the Night, and his BAFTA Cymru-nominated role of Captain Jack Harkness in the science fiction series Doctor Who and Torchwood. Barrowman has also had a number of guest roles in television programmes both in the US and the UK. He appeared as a contestant on the first series of celebrity ice skating show Dancing on Ice while his theatrical background allowed him to become a judge on Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical talent shows How Do You Solve a Problem like Maria?, Any Dream Will Do and I’d Do Anything. In 2006, he was voted Stonewall’s Entertainer of the Year. Starting in 2013, he hosts the BBC One quiz show Pressure Pad. Barrowman now stars in the CW’s Arrow as Malcolm Merlyn, the show’s version of the DC villain Merlyn and one of the series’ main antagonists.

Barrowman is also featured on more than a dozen musical theatre recordings including cover tunes found on his 2007 album, Another Side, and 2008’s Music Music Music. Both albums accrued places on the UK Albums Chart, as did his self-titled John Barrowman (2010), which reached number 11, his highest chart placing to date. Barrowman has also published two memoirs and autobiographies, Anything Goes (2008) and I Am What I Am (2009), with his sister Carole as co-author. The siblings also teamed up to write a novel, Hollow Earth (2012). The second book in the series, Bone Quill, has been released in the UK and was released in the US in July 2013.

John Wyndham

English Science Fiction Author John Wyndham sadly died 11 March 1969. He was born 10 July 1903 in the village of Dorridge near Knowle, Warwickshire (now West Midlands), England, the son of George Beynon Harris, a barrister, and Gertrude Parkes, the daughter of a Birmingham ironmaster. His early childhood was spent in Edgbaston in Birmingham, but when he was 8 years old his parents separated and he and his brother, the writer Vivian Beynon Harris, spent the rest of their childhood at a number of English preparatory and public schools, including Blundell’s School in Tiverton, Devon, during World War I. His longest and final stay was at Bedales School near Petersfield in Hampshire (1918–21), which he left at the age of 18, and where he blossomed and was happy.

After leaving school, Wyndham tried several careers, including farming, law, commercial art and advertising, but mostly relied on an allowance from his family. He eventually turned to writing for money in 1925 and, by 1931, was selling short stories and serial fiction to American science fiction magazines, most under the pen names “John Beynon” and “John Beynon Harris”, although he also wrote some detective stories including The Secret People (1935), as John Beynon, Foul Play Suspected (1935), as John Beynon and Planet Plane (1936), as John Beynon (a.k.a The Space Machine and Stowaway to Mars).

During World War II, Wyndham first served as a censor in the Ministry of Information, then joined the British Army, serving as a Corporal cipher operator in the Royal Corps of Signals. He participated in the Normandy landings, although he was not involved in the first days of the operation. After the war, Wyndham returned to writing, inspired by the success of his brother, who had four novels published. He altered his writing style; and, by 1951, using the John Wyndham pen name for the first time, he wrote the novel The Day of the Triffids. His pre-war writing career was not mentioned in the book’s publicity, and people were allowed to assume that it was a first novel from a previously unknown writer.

Novels published by John Wyndham include The Day of the Triffids (1951), also known as Revolt of the Triffids, The Kraken Wakes (1953), published in the US as Out of the Deeps, The Chrysalids (1955), The Midwich Cuckoos (1957), filmed twice as Village of the Damned, The Outward Urge (1959), Trouble with Lichen (1960) and Chocky, the Web and Plan for Chaos. Wyndham also published many Short story collections including Jizzle, The Seeds of Time, Tales of Gooseflesh and Laughter, Consider Her Ways and Others, The Infinite Moment, Sleepers of Mars, Worlds to Barter, Invisible Monster, The Man from Earth, the Third Vibrator, Wanderers of Time, Derelict of Space, Child of Power, The Last Lunarians, The Puff-ball Menace (a.k.a. Spheres of Hell), Exiles on Asperus, No Place Like Earth, The Lost Machine, The Venus Adventure” (1932), The Stare, The Moon Devils, The Cathedral Crypt, The Perfect Creature, Judson’s Annihilator and The Trojan Beam

In 1963, he married Grace Isobel Wilson, whom he had known for more than 20 years; the couple remained married until he died. He and Grace lived for several years in separate rooms at the Penn Club, London and later lived near Petersfield, Hampshire, just outside the grounds of Bedales School. He died in 1969, aged 65, at his home in Petersfield, survived by his wife and his brother.[5] Subsequently, some of his unsold work was published; and his earlier work was re-published. His archive was acquired by Liverpool University. On 24 May 2015 an alley in Hampstead that appears in The Day of the Triffids was formally named Triffid Alley as a memorial to him.

Alex Kingston

English actress Alex Kingston was born 11 March 1963 and brought up in Epsom, Surrey. Kingston was inspired to pursue acting by one of her teachers at Rosebery School for Girls. Kingston auditioned and performed in the Surrey County Youth Theatre production of Tom Jones as Mrs Fitzpatrick, alongside Sean Pertwee as Captain Fitzpatrick and Thwackum played by Tom Davison. She later completed a three-year programme at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and went on to join the Royal Shakespeare Company.

Since then Kingston has appeared in a number of British-produced television dramas, including Grange Hill, Crocodile Shoes, The Fortunes and Misfortunes of Moll Flanders, The Knock and various guest roles on The Bill. Kingston’s film credits include The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover (1989), A Pin for the Butterfly (1994), The Infiltrator (1995), Croupier (1998), Essex Boys (2000), Boudica (Warrior Queen in the USA) (2003) in which she played the eponymous Boudica, Sweet Land (2005) and Crashing (2007). In September 1997, Kingston gained North American television fame after being cast on the long-running medical drama ER as British surgeon Elizabeth Corday. Kingston played this role for just over seven seasons, leaving in October 2004 with the season 11 episode, “Fear”. In spring 2009, Kingston returned to ER during its 15th and final season for two episodes, “Dream Runner” and the two-hour series finale, “And in the End…”.In November 2005, Kingston guest-starred in the long-running mystery drama Without a Trace in the season 4 episode, “Viuda Negra”. She also portrayed Lucy Costin, a wealthy vacationer from the U.S. whose husband is kidnapped by a Mexican street gang during their honeymoon. In 2006, Kingston starred as Nurse Ratched, opposite Christian Slater as Randle Patrick McMurphy, in the Garrick Theatre’s West End production of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.

In 2008, Kingston guest-starred in the fourth series of the science fiction television programme Doctor Who in the two-part story “Silence in the Library”/”Forest of the Dead” as River Song. She reprised the role in fifteen episodes in 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2015. Kingston says she thought her role was simply a one-off, but was delighted that she would be a returning character. Kingston returned as the character in the 2015 Christmas special, “The Husbands of River Song” alongside Peter Capaldi’s Twelfth Doctor. In September 2008, Kingston took the part of Mrs. Bennet in ITV’s acclaimed four-part production Lost in Austen which is based on Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice and also appeared in the police procedural drama CSI: Crime Scene Investigation in the season 9 episode, “Art Imitates Life” as Patricia Alwick, a psychiatrist and grief counsellor. In 2009, Kingston portrayed Miranda Pond, a defence attorney in two episodes of the legal drama Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. Kingston also starred as the lead character Ellie Lagden, one of four former convicts in the BBC One drama series Hope Springs And Had a recurring role in FlashForward, playing Inspector Fiona Banks.In 2010, Kingston returned to Law & Order: Special Victims Unit in the season 12 episode, “Trophy”,

In 2011, Kingston appeared in the British supernatural series Marchlands, portraying Helen Maynard and also guest-starred in the Grey’s Anatomy spin-off Private Practice as Marla Tompkins, a psychiatrist who writes book reviews for newspapers. Kingston appeared in Friedrich Schiller’s Luise Miller at the Donmar Warehouse in London. In 2013, Kingston appeared in Arrow, playing Professor Dinah Lance, the mother of Laurel and Sara Lance and also played Lady Macbeth opposite Kenneth Branagh in Macbeth at Manchester International Festival. Her performance was broadcast to cinemas on 20 July as part of National Theatre Live.She reprised the performance with Branagh at the Park Avenue Armory in New York in 2014. She also starred as Ruth Hattersley, an analyst working for the Missing Persons Bureau on the ITV mini-series drama Chasing Shadows.

Douglas Adams

Best known as the author of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, English author Douglas Adams, was born in 11th March 1952 in Cambridge, England, and attended Primrose Hill Primary School in Brentwood. At nine, he passed the entrance exam for Brentwood School, an independent school whose alumni include Robin Day, Jack Straw, Noel Edmonds, and David Irving. Griff Rhys Jones was also a year below him. He attended the prep school from 1959 to 1964, then the main school until December 1970. He became the only student ever to be awarded a ten out of ten by Halford for creative writing, Some of his earliest writing was published at the school, such as reports or spoof reviews in the school magazine Broadsheet He also designed the cover of one issue of the Broadsheet, and had a letter and short story published nationally in The Eagle. in 1965, he was awarded a place at St John’s College, Cambridge to read English, Which he attended from 1971, though the main reason he applied to Cambridge was to join the Footlights, an invitation-only student comedy club that has acted as a hothouse for some of the most notable comic talent in England. he graduated from St. John’s in 1974 with a B.A. in English literature.

After university Adams moved back to London, determined to break into TV and radio as a writer. The Footlights Revue appeared on BBC2 television in 1974 and also performed live in London’s West End which led to Adams being discovered by Monty Python’s Graham Chapman. The two formed a brief writing partnership, earning Adams a writing credit in episode 45 of Monty Python for a sketch called “Patient Abuse”, which plays on the idea of mind-boggling paper work in an emergency, a joke later incorporated into the Vogons’ obsession with paperwork. Adams also contributed to a sketch on the album for Monty Python and the Holy Grail. During this time Adams also continued to write and submit other sketches elesewhere, though few were accepted. In 1976 his career had a brief improvement when he wrote and performed, to good review, Unpleasantness at Brodie’s Close at the Edinburgh Fringe festival.Some of Adams’s early radio work included sketches for The Burkiss Way in 1977 and The News Huddlines. He also wrote the 20 February 1977 episode of the Doctor on the Go,television comedy series, with Graham Chapman, and later became the script editor for Doctor Who.

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy was a concept for a science-fiction comedy radio series pitched by Adams and radio producer Simon Brett to BBC Radio 4 in 1977. Adams came up with an outline for a pilot episode, as well as a few other stories (reprinted in Neil Gaiman’s book Don’t Panic: The Official Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy Companion) that could potentially be used in the series. It started life in 1978 as a BBC radio comedy and a after the first radio series became successful, Adams was made a BBC radio producer, working on Week Ending and a pantomime called Black Cinderella Two Goes East. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy was also developed into a series of five books that sold over 15 million copies in his lifetime, a television series, several stage plays, comics, a computer game, and in 2005 a feature film. Adams’s contribution to UK radio is commemorated in The Radio Academy’s Hall of Fame.

Adams also wrote Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency (1987) and The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul (1988), and co-wrote The Meaning of Liff (1983), Last Chance to See (1990), and three stories for the television series Doctor Who. A posthumous collection of his work, including an unfinished novel, was published as The Salmon of Doubt in 2002. Adams sent the script for the HHGG pilot radio programme to the Doctor Who production office in 1978, and was commissioned to write The Pirate Planet . He had also previously attempted to submit a potential movie script, which later became his novel Life, the Universe and Everything (which in turn became the third Hitchhiker’s Guide radio series). Adams then went on to serve as script editor on the show for its seventeenth season in 1979. Altogether, he wrote three Doctor Who serials starring Tom Baker as the Doctor: The Pirate Planet, City of Death and Shada Adams also allowed in-jokes from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to appear in the Doctor Who stories he wrote and other stories on which he served as Script Editor. Elements of Shada and City of Death were also reused in Adams’s later novel Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency, Adams is also credited with introducing a fan and later friend of his, the evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins, to Dawkins’s future wife, Lalla Ward, who had played the part of Romana in Doctor Who.

Adams also played the guitar left-handed and had a collection of twenty-four guitars when he died in 2001 and also studied piano in the 1960s with the same teacher as Paul Wickens, the pianist who plays in Paul McCartney’s band (and composed the music for the 2004–2005 editions of the Hitchhiker’s Guide radio series). The Beatles, Pink Floyd and Procol Harum all had important influence on Adams’s work. Adams included a direct reference to Pink Floyd in the original radio version of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, in which he describes the main characters surveying the landscape of an alien planet while Marvin, their android companion, hums Pink Floyd’s “Shine on You Crazy Diamond”. This was cut out of the CD version. Adams also compared the various noises that the kakapo makes to “Pink Floyd studio out-takes” in his nonfiction book on endangered species, Last Chance to See.

Adams’s official biography shares its name with the song “Wish You Were Here” by Pink Floyd. Adams was friends with Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour and, on the occasion of Adams’s 42nd birthday (the number 42 having special significance, being the Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe and Everything and also Adams’s age when his daughter Polly was born), he was invited to make a guest appearance at Pink Floyd’s 28 October 1994 concert at Earls Court in London, playing guitar on the songs “Brain Damage” and “Eclipse”. Adams chose the name for Pink Floyd’s 1994 album, The Division Bell, by picking the words from the lyrics to one of its tracks, namely “High Hopes”.

Gilmour also performed at Adams’s memorial service following his death in 2001, and what would have been Adams’ 60th birthday party in 2012. Douglas Adams was also a friend of Gary Brooker, the lead singer, pianist and songwriter of the progressive rock band Procol Harum. Adams also appeared on stage with Brooker to perform “In Held Twas in I” at Redhill when the band’s lyricist Keith Reid was not available. Adams was also an advocate for environmental and conservation causes, and a lover of fast cars, cameras, and the Apple Macintosh, and was a staunch atheist. Biologist Richard Dawkins also dedicated his book, The God Delusion, to Adams, writing on his death that, “Science has lost a friend, literature has lost a luminary, the mountain gorilla and the black rhino have lost a gallant defender.

Frankenstein

Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley’s classic science fiction novel, Frankenstein; or The modern Prometheus, was published 11 March 1818 It contains elements of the Gothic novel and the Romantic movement and is also considered to be one of the earliest examples of science Fiction due to the use of modern experiments in the laboratory” to achieve fantastic results. It has had a considerable influence across literature and popular culture and spawned a complete genre of horror stories, films, and Television adaptations.

Frankenstein, starts with Captain Robert Walton, a failed writer who sets out to explore the North Pole and expand his scientific knowledge in hopes of achieving fame. During the voyage the crew spots a dog sled mastered by a gigantic figure. A few hours later, the crew rescues a nearly frozen and emaciated man named Victor Frankenstein. Frankenstein has been in pursuit of the gigantic man observed by Walton’s crew. As Frankenstein starts to recover from his exertion he recounts a story of his life to Walton.

He was Born into a wealthy Geneva family, where he and his brothers, Ernest and William, were encouraged to seek a greater understanding of the world through science. As a young boy, Victor became obsessed with studying outdated theories on simulating natural wonders. When Victor is five years old, his parents adopt an orphan, Elizabeth Lavenza, with whom Victor later falls in love. Sadly Weeks before he leaves for the University of Ingolstadt in Germany, his mother dies of scarlet fever, creating further impetus towards his experiments. At university, he excels at chemistry and other sciences, soon developing a secret technique to impart life to non-living matter using electricity, and he creates a grotesque but sentient being from the parts of other recently deceased people scavenged from Morgues. Because of the difficulty in replicating the minute parts of the human body, Victor is forced to make the Creature roughly eight feet tall. As a result, the beautiful creation of his dreams is instead hideous, with yellow eyes and skin that barely conceals the muscle tissue and blood vessels underneath. Repulsed by his work, Victor flees. Saddened by the rejection, the Creature disappears. Victoria falls ill and is nursed back to health by his childhood friend, Henry Clerval. After a four-month recovery, he returns home when he learns of the murder of his brother William. Justine, William’s nanny, is hanged for the crime after William’s locket is found in her pocket. Upon arriving in Geneva, Victor sees the Monster at the crime scene, But he doubts anyone would believe the Creature was responsible.

Ravaged by grief and guilt, Victor retreats into the mountains. The Monster locates him, pleading for Victor to hear his tale. Now intelligent and articulate, the Creature tells how encounters with people led to his fear of them and drives him into the woods. While living near a cottage, he grew fond of the family living there. The Creature learned to speak by listening to them and he taught himself to read after discovering a lost satchel of books. When he saw his reflection in a pool, he realized his physical appearance was hideous. Despite this, he approached the family in hopes of becoming their friend, but they were frightened and fled their home. The Creature then burned the cottage in a fit of rage.The Monster then demands that Victor create a female companion like himself, arguing that as a living being, he has a right to happiness. The Creature promises he and his mate will vanish into the South American wilderness, never to reappear, if Victor grants his request.

Fearing for his family, Victor reluctantly agrees. Clerval accompanies him to England, but they separate in Scotland. Victor suspects that the Monster is following him. Working on the female creature on the Orkney Islands, he is plagued by premonitions of disaster, and has serious misgivings about creating a mate for the Creature which might lead to the breeding of a race that could plague mankind.  So He destroys the female enraging the creature  who nearly kills him. The Monster then vows to disrupt Victor and Elizabeth on their upcoming wedding night. He then kills Clerval and Victor is subsequently imprisoned for Clerval’s murder and suffers another mental breakdown in prison. After being acquitted, he returns home with his father.

In Geneva, Victor prepares to marry Elizabeth and confront the Monster. Wrongly believing the Creature threatened his life, the night before their wedding Victor asks Elizabeth to stay in her room while he looks for “the fiend”. While Victor searches the house and grounds, the Creature murders Elizabeth. From the window, Victor sees the Monster, who taunts Victor with Elizabeth’s corpse. Grief-stricken by the deaths of William, Justine, Clerval, and Elizabeth, Victor’s father dies. Seeking revenge, Victor Frankenstein pursues his creation to the North Pole, however this also ends in tragedy…..