Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

With the release of War for the Planet of the Apes, I have recently watched Dawn of the Planet of the Apes Again. It stars Jason Clarke, Gary Oldman, Keri Russell, Toby Kebbell, Andy Serkis and Kodi Smit-McPhee. It is directed by Matt Reeves and written by Mark Bomback, Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver.

It takes place a few years after The inadvertent release of the deadly Simian Flu ALZ 113 virus , and sees the human race pushed to the brink of extinction luckily The remaining human population develop a cure for the virus and are now living in a guarded tower within the ruins of San Francisco. Meanwhile the apes Caesar and Rocket have established a thriving colony of apes in Muir Woods just outside San Francisco. However, Caesar’s son Blue Eyes and Rocket’s son Ash encounter a human who panics and shoots Ash, wounding him. This leads to increased tensions between the Apes and the humans, who are subsequently banished from Muir Woods. Caesar later enters the city with a band of Apes including a mistreated Bonobo named Koba who holds a grudge against humans, and orders the humans not to enter ape territory again.

Later The humans attempt to reconcile with the apes in order to gain access to a hydroelectric dam in their territory, which could provide long-term power to the city. So Caesar allows work on the dam’s Generator and While fixing the generator they bond with the apes. Caesar’s ill wife Cornelia is also treated with antibiotics and the dam is eventually repaired, restoring power to the city. The humans then discover a hidden weapons cache and decide to arm themselves.

Unfortunately so does Koba, who steals an assault rifle and starts killing people before seriously wounding Caesar and taking charge of the apes. Koba then orders the apes to clobber all humans, so his followers raid the hidden armoury, overrun San Francisco and imprison all humans. However some humans manage to escape the carnage by going underground, and Some apes remain Loyal to Caesar, who is later discovered by the humans and given first aid for his wound. Blue Eyes then frees the caged humans and the other apes loyal to Caesar before they go off to confront Koba and his followers. The humans then learn that there are more human survivors at a Military Base who are on their way to help fight the apes, leading to an exciting conclusion…

Blade Runner

Blade Runner is a 1982 dystopian science fiction film directed by Ridley Scott and starring Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, Sean Young, and Edward James Olmos. The film, is a loose adaptation of the 1968 novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick. The film depicts a dystopian Los Angeles in which genetically engineered replicants, which are visually indistinguishable from adult humans, are manufactured by the powerful Tyrell Corporation to work in hazardous environments on off-world colonies. Those that escape and return to Earth are hunted down and “retired” by special police operatives known as Blade Runners.

The film won the prestigious Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation. The film’s soundtrack, composed by Vangelis, was also critically acclaimed and nominated in 1983 for a BAFTA and Golden Globe as best original score. The film brought the work of Philip K. Dick to the attention of Hollywood and several later films were based on his work. Ridley Scott regards Blade Runner as “probably” his most complete and personal film. In 1993, the movie was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress, being deemed “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”. Blade Runner is now regarded by many critics as one of the all-time best science fiction movies. Seven versions of the film have been shown for various markets as a result of controversial changes made by studio executives. A director’s cut was released in 1992 and In 2007, Warner Bros. released The Final Cut, a 25th anniversary digitally remastered version. A sequel, Blade Runner 2049, is scheduled for release in October 2017.

Blade Runner is set In bleak Los Angeles in November 2019, where ex-police officer Rick Deckard works as a “Blade Runner” tracking down bioengineered beings known as replicants which have gone rogue and “retiring them” (a euphemism for killing). He is informed by his supervisor Bryant that four Tyrell Corporation Nexus-6 Replicants have come to Earth illegally. Although these Replicants only have a four-year lifespan they are extremely dangerous and are seeking ways to extend their lifespan. Deckard watches a video of a Blade Runner named Holden administering the “Voight-Kampff” test designed to distinguish replicants from humans based on their emotional response to questions. The test subject, Leon, shoots Holden after Holden asks about Leon’s mother. So Bryant asks Deckard to retire Leon and the other three replicants: Roy Batty, Zhora, and Pris. Understandably Deckard does not want to be Leon’s next victim and refuses. Bryant however coerces Deckard and he reluctantly agrees.

Deckard begins his investigation at the Tyrell Corporation to ensure that the test works on Nexus-6 models. While there, he discovers that Eldon Tyrell’s assistant Rachael is an experimental replicant who believes herself to be human. Rachael has been given false memories to provide an “emotional cushion”. As a result, a more extensive test is required to determine whether she is a replicant.

While Deckard searches for the replicants, the Replicants themselves are searching for Tyrell. Roy and Leon investigate a replicant eye-manufacturing laboratory and learn of J. F. Sebastian, a gifted genetic designer who works closely with Tyrell. Rachael visits Deckard. meanwhile Pris locates J.F. Sebastian. Later While searching Leon’s hotel room, Deckard finds a photo of Zhora and a synthetic snake scale that leads him to a strip club where Zhora works. Deckard is then told by Bryant to retire Rachael, who has disappeared from the Tyrell Corporation. Deckard spots Rachael in a crowd, and is attacked by Leon, but Rachael kills Leon.

Arriving at Sebastian’s apartment, Roy tells Pris the others are dead. Sympathetic to their plight, Sebastian reveals that because of “Methuselah Syndrome”, a genetic premature aging disorder, his life will also be cut short. Sebastian and Roy enter Tyrell’s secure penthouse, where Roy demands more life from his maker. However Tyrell tells him that it is impossible. So Roy kills Tyrell and Sebastian. Deckard then arrives at Sebastian’s apartment but is attacked by Pris. Roy then arrives and chases Deckard through the building in an exciting finale, intent on killing him, however Roy does something unexpected which causes Deckard to question the replicants humanity….

Frederick Hawksworth CME

BR 2-6-0 1501pt

The last Great Western Railway Chief Mechanical Engineer Frederick William Hawksworth sadly died 13 July 1976. He was born 10 February 1884 in Swindon, and he joined the GWR in 1898, aged 15 where he worked Under George Churchward and C.B.  Collett before becoming Chief Mechanical Engineer of the Great Western Railway when he was 57, in 1941. Having been at the forefront of steam locomotive development under George Jackson Churchward, ideas at Swindon Works had somewhat stagnated under the later years of his successor C. B. Collett, whose reluctance to give up the CME’s post resulted in Hawksworth’s lateness in taking up this position. Hawksworth had been one of Churchward’s “Bright Young Men”, and was involved in Churchward’s designs: he worked on, for example, the general arrangement drawings for “The Great Bear”.

Hawksworth continued in the design tradition which he had been involved in throughout his career, but made some important improvements. In particular increased superheat started to be fitted to the larger classes under his regime, and the works started to make much more use of welded construction. Another prominent new concept was a tender with slab sides, using welded construction, giving a much smoother appearance than the traditional design with stepped sides and riveted plates. His first design to be built, from 1944, was the Modified Hall, a significant development of the Collett design with increased superheat and very different cylinder and frame construction.After the war there were four more new designs, mostly improvements of earlier types. The ‘County’ Class 4-6-0 was the last and most powerful GWR 2-cylinder 4-6-0, the culmination of a line that began with the ‘Saints’ 42 years before. The chassis was similar to the modified Hall, but the boilers were to a new design, larger in diameter than the Std 1 (Hall) boiler but smaller in diameter and appreciably shorter than the Castle boiler. This boiler used tooling which was available from LMS 8F 2-8-0 boilers which Swindon had built for the Railway Executive during World War II and was pressed to 280psi, higher pressure than any previous GWR boiler.

They used some of the names from the vanished Churchward County Class 4-4-0s. He also designed The taper boilered 9400 Class 0-6-0 pannier tank, which were similar to the 5700 class under the footplate but had a much larger boiler giving them more power and adhesive weight – and thus braking capacity. Only the first ten, built by the Swindon, appeared under the GWR. The last two designs were only seen in British Railways livery. Arguably his most radical design was the 1500 Class. This had the same boiler as the 9400 but an all new short wheelbase chassis with outside Walschaerts valve gear and no running plate, and made considerable use of welded construction, the only remaining 15xx class left, no.1501, can currently be seen on the Severn Valley Railway. They were designed for easy maintenance by the trackside. The last Hawksworth design was a very light conventional 0-6-0 pannier tank, the 1600 Class. This was a modernisation of the 2021 Class.

Hawksworth remained Chief Mechanical Engineer through the formation of the Western Region of British Railways in 1948, continuing to work on locomotive design until retiring at the end of 1949. He died in Swindon 27 years later in July 1976. His ashes are buried in St. Mark’s Church, adjacent to the former site of Swindon Works.

Harrison Ford (Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Blade Runner)

American film actor and producer. Harrison Ford was born July 13 in 1942. He is famous for his performances as Han Solo in the original Star Wars trilogy and as the title character of the Indiana Jones film series. Ford is also known for his roles as Rick Deckard in Blade Runner, John Book in Witness and Jack Ryan in Patriot Games and Clear and Present Danger. His career has spanned six decades and includes roles in several Hollywood blockbusters, including Presumed Innocent, The Fugitive, Air Force One, and What Lies Beneath. At one point, four of the top six box-office hits of all time included one of his roles. Five of his films have been inducted into the National Film Registry. In 1997, Ford was ranked No. 1 in Empire’s “The Top 100 Movie Stars of All Time” list. As of July 2008, the United States domestic box office grosses of Ford’s films total over US$3.5 billion, with worldwide grosses surpassing $6 billion, making Ford the third highest grossing U.S. domestic box-office star.

Ford is the husband of actress Calista Flockhart.His first known part was an uncredited role as a bellhop in Dead Heat on a Merry-Go-Round and he later worked for Universal Studios, playing minor roles in many television series throughout the late 1960s and early 1970s, including Gunsmoke, Ironside, The Virginian, The F.B.I., Love, American Style, and Kung Fu. He appeared in the western Journey to Shiloh and had an uncredited, non-speaking role in the film Zabriskie Point. He eventually landed his first starring film role. In 1975, after George Lucas hired him to read lines for actors auditioning for parts in his Star Wars. Lucas was eventually won over by Ford’s portrayal, and cast him as Han Solo. Star Wars became one of the most successful movies of all time worldwide, and established Ford as a superstar. He went on to star in the similarly-successful Star Wars sequels, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, as well as The Star Wars Holiday Special.Ford’s status as a leading actor was solidified when he starred as Indiana Jones in the George Lucas/Steven Spielberg collaboration Raiders of the Lost Ark. Though Spielberg was interested in casting Ford in the lead role from the start, Lucas was not, due to having already worked with the actor in American Graffiti and Star Wars, but he eventually relented after Tom Selleck was unable to accept.Ford reprised the role for the prequel Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom and the sequel Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. He later returned to his role as Indiana Jones again for a 1993 episode of the television series The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles, and for the fourth film, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

Ford has been in numerous other films, including Heroes, Force 10 from Navarone, and Hanover Street. Ford also co-starred alongside Gene Wilder in the buddy-Western The Frisco Kid, playing a bank robber with a heart of gold. He then starred as Rick Deckard in Ridley Scott’s cult sci-fi classic Blade Runner, and in a number of dramatic-action films: Peter Weir’s Witness and The Mosquito Coast, and Roman Polanski’s Frantic The 1990s brought Ford the role of Jack Ryan in Tom Clancy’s Patriot Games and Clear and Present Danger, as well as leading roles in Alan Pakula’s Presumed Innocent and The Devil’s Own, Andrew Davis’ The Fugitive, Sydney Pollack’s remake of Sabrina, and Wolfgang Petersen’s Air Force One. Ford also played straight dramatic roles, including an adulterous husband in both Presumed Innocent and What Lies Beneath, and a recovering amnesiac in Mike Nichols’ Regarding Henry. He also starred in Six Days Seven Nights, Random Hearts, K-19: The Widowmaker, Hollywood Homicide, Firewall, Extraordinary Measures, and also starred alongside Daniel Craig and Olivia Wilde in the science fiction Western film Cowboys & Aliens. Ford has also filmed corporate espionage thriller Paranoia, Directed by Robert Luketic and starringHunger Games/Avengers star Liam Hemsworth and Gary Oldman.

Ford Reprised his role as Han Solo alongside Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill in Star Wars Episode VII, The Force Awakens, directed by J.JAbrahams and starring John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, Max von Sydow, Lupita Nyong’o Crystal Clarke, Pip Anderson, and Gwendoline Christie, with Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew and Kenny Baker reprising their roles from previous films. Although he sustained a minor injury while filming When part of the Millenium Falcon fell on him. The Force is setapproximately 30 years after Return of the Jedi and sees a new threat called The First Order threatening to take over the Galaxy, led by the villainous Supreme Leader Snoke J. Abrams co-wrote the screenplay with Lawrence Kasdan, who acted as co-writer on The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. The film was released December 2015, with Episode VIII due for release in 2017.

Since 1992, Ford has also lent his voice to a series of public service messages promoting environmental involvement for EarthShare, an American federation of environmental and conservation charities. In 2006 He also received the Jules Verne Spirit of Nature Award for his ongoing work in preservation of the planet. In 1993, the arachnologist Norman Platnick named a new species of spider Calponia harrisonfordi, and in 2002, the entomologist Edward O. Wilson named a new ant species Pheidole harrisonfordi (in recognition of Harrison’s work as Vice Chairman of Conservation International). Following on his success portraying the archaeologist Indiana Jones, Ford also plays a part in supporting the work of professional archaeologists. He serves as a General Trustee on the Governing Board of the Archaeological Institute of America (AIA), North America’s oldest and largest organization devoted to the world of archaeology. Ford assists them in their mission of increasing public awareness of archaeology and preventing looting and the illegal antiquities trade. During his film career Ford has received many awards including Academy Award and Golden Globe nominations for Best Actor in Witness, He received the Cecil B. DeMille Award at the 2002 Golden Globe Awards and received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He has received three additional “Best Actor” Golden Globe nominations for The Mosquito Coast, The Fugitive and Sabrina, and also received the first ever Hero Award for his many iconic roles, including Han Solo and Indiana Jones, at the 2007 Scream Awards, and also the AFI Life Achievement Award in 2000.

Patrick Stewart (Star Trek, X-Men)

Best known as Captain Jean-Luc Picard in Star Trek: The Next Generation and its successor films English film, television and stage actor Patrick Stewart was Born 13th July 1940. He has had a distinguished career in theatre and television. He is most widely known for his television and film roles, such , Professor Charles Xavier in the X-Men film series, and as the voice of Avery Bullock in American Dad!. He attributes his acting career to an English teacher who “put a copy of Shakespeare in my hand and said, ‘Now get up on your feet and perform’”. In 1951, aged 11, he entered Mirfield Free Grammar School, where he continued to study drama. At age 15, Stewart dropped out of school and increased his participation in local theatre. He acquired a job as a newspaper reporter and obituary writer, but after a year, his employer gave him an ultimatum to choose acting or journalism, Stewart also trained as a boxer.

Following a period with Manchester’s Library Theatre, he became a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1966 where He appeared next to actors such as Ben Kingsley and Ian Richardson. In January 1967, he made his debut TV appearance on Coronation Street as a Fire Officer. In 1969, he had a brief TV cameo role as Horatio, opposite Ian Richardson’s Hamlet, in a performance of the gravedigger scene as part of episode six of Sir Kenneth Clark’s Civilisation television series. He made his Broadway debut as Snout in Peter Brook’s legendary production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, then moved to the Royal National Theatre in the early 1980s. Over the years, Stewart took roles in many major television series without ever becoming a household name. He appeared as Lenin in Fall of Eagles; Sejanus in I, Claudius; Karla in Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy and Smiley’s People; Claudius in a 1980 BBC adaptation of Hamlet. He even took the romantic male lead in the 1975 BBC adaptation of Mrs Gaskell’s North and South. He also took the lead, playing Psychiatric Consultant Dr. Edward Roebuck in a BBC TV series called Maybury in 1981. He also had minor roles in several films such as King Leondegrance in John Boorman’s Excalibur the character Gurney Halleck in David Lynch’s 1984 film version of Dune and Dr. Armstrong in Tobe Hooper’s Lifeforce.

In 1987 Stewart began his role as Captain Jean-Luc Picard in Star Trek: The Next Generation, and received a 1995 Screen Actors Guild Award nomination for “Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series”. From 1994 to 2002, he also portrayed Picard in the films Star Trek: Generations, Star Trek: First Contact , Star Trek: Insurrection, and Star Trek: Nemesis and in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine’s pilot episode “Emissary”. Stewart became so typecast as Picard that he has found obtaining other Hollywood roles difficult. The main exception is the X-Men film series. The films’ success has resulted in another lucrative regular genre role in a major superhero film series. Stewart’s character, Charles Xavier, is very similar to Picard and himself; “a grand, deep-voiced, bald English guy”. He has also since voiced the role in three video games, X-Men Legends, X-Men Legends II and X-Men: Next Dimension. Other film and television roles include the flamboyantly gay Sterling in the 1995 film Jeffrey and King Henry II in The Lion in Winter, for which he received a Golden Globe Award nomination for his performance and an Emmy Award nomination for executive-producing the film. He portrayed Captain Ahab in the 1998 made-for-television film version of Moby Dick, receiving Emmy Award and Golden Globe Award nominations for his performance. He also starred as Scrooge in a 1999 television film version, receiving a Screen Actors Guild Award nomination for his performance. (You may be able to find copies of these on Ebay)

In late 2003, during the eleventh and final season of NBC’s Frasier, Stewart appeared on the show as a gay Seattle socialite and Opera director who mistakes Frasier for a potential lover. In July 2003, he appeared in Top Gear in the Star in a Reasonably-Priced Car segment, he was cast as Professor Ian Hood in an ITV thriller 4-episode series Eleventh Hour, created by Stephen Gallagher. He also played Captain Nemo in a two part adaptation of The Mysterious Island andt also appeared in the television series Extras. For which he was nominated for an Emmy Award in 2006 for Guest Actor in a Comedy Series.Stewart is also a fairly frequent guest voice on Fox’s animated comedy American Dad! as Avery Bullock and also appeared with the rest of the cast of Star Trek: The Next Generation in the Family Guy episode “Not All Dogs Go To Heaven

Although he remained associated with the Royal Shakespeare Company, the lengthy filming for the Next Generation prevented him from participating in most other works. He instead began writing one-man shows that he performed in California universities and acting schools. Stewart found that one—a version of Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol in which he portrayed all 40-plus characters—was ideal for him because of its limited performing schedule which was performed on Broadway, receiving a nomination for that year’s Drama Desk Award for Outstanding One-Person Show it also had d a 23-day run in London’s West End. For his performances in this play, Stewart also received the Drama Desk Award for Best Solo Performance in 1992 and the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Entertainment for Solo Performance in 1994. Other Shakespeare roles during this period included Prospero in Shakespeare’s The Tempest, as well as in Rupert Goold’s 2006 production of The Tempest as part of the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Complete Works Festival. In 1997, he took the role of Othello with the Shakespeare Theatre Company (Washington, D.C.)

Surprisingly for a Shakespearean actor, he has not played notable roles such as Hamlet, Romeo, and Richard III He played Antony again opposite Harriet Walter’s Cleopatra in Antony and Cleopatra at the Novello Theatre in London in 2007 to excellent reviews. During this period, Stewart also addressed the Durham Union Society on his life in film and theatre. When Stewart began playing Macbeth in the West End in 2007, some said that he was too old for the role; however, he and the show again received excellent reviews, with one critic calling Stewart “one of our finest Shakespearean actors”. He was named as the next Cameron Mackintosh Visiting Professor of Contemporary Theatre based at St Catherine’s College, Oxford in January 2007. In 2008, Stewart played King Claudius in Hamlet alongside David Tennant. He won the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Supporting Actor for the part. When collecting his award, he dedicated the award “in part” to Tennant and Tennant’s understudy Edward Bennett, after Tennant’s back injury and subsequent absence from four weeks of Hamlet disqualified him from an Olivier nomination.Stewart has expressed interest in appearing in Doctor Who.

In 2009, Stewart appeared alongside Ian McKellen as the lead duo of Vladimir (Didi) and Estragon (Gogo), in Waiting for Godot. Stewart had previously only appeared once alongside McKellen on stage, but the pair had developed a close friendship while waiting around on set filming the X-Men films. “In 2011, Stewart appeared in the feature length documentary The Captains alongside William Shatner, who also wrote and directed the film. which is about actors who have portrayed captains within the Star Trek franchise and Stewart reveals the fear and personal failings that came along with his tenure as a Starfleet captain, but also the great triumphs he believes accompanied his role as Captain Jean-Luc Picard