H. P. Lovecraft

Prolific American horror, fantasy and Science Fiction author Howard Phillips Lovecraft tragically died on March 15, 1937, in Providence. He was born August 20, 1890, known as H. P. Lovecraft he wrote mostly horror, fantasy, poetry and science fiction, especially the subgenre known as weird fiction. Lovecraft’s guiding aesthetic and philosophical principle was what he termed “cosmicism” or “cosmic horror”, the idea that life is incomprehensible to human minds and that the universe is fundamentally inimical to the interests of humankind. As such, his stories express a profound indifference to human beliefs and affairs. Lovecraft is the originator of the Cthulhu Mythos story cycle and the Necronomicon, a fictional magical textbook of rites and forbidden lore.

Some of Lovecraft’s work was inspired by his own nightmares. His interest started from his childhood days when his grandfather would tell him Gothic horror stories. Lovecraft’s biggest influence was Edgar Allan Poe and forbidden knowledge Is often a central theme in many of Lovecraft’s works.Many of his characters are driven by curiosity or scientific endeavor, and in many of his stories the knowledge they uncover proves Promethean in nature, either filling the seeker with regret for what they have learned, destroying them psychically, or completely destroying the person who holds the knowledge. Some critics argue that this theme is a reflection of Lovecraft’s contempt of the world around him, causing him to search inwardly for knowledge and inspiration. The beings of Lovecraft’s mythos often have human (or mostly human) servants; Cthulhu, for instance, is worshiped under various names by cults amongst both the Eskimos of Greenlandand voodoo circles of Louisiana, and in many other parts of the world.

These worshippers served as inspiration for Lovecraft. Many beings of the Mythos were too powerful to be defeated by human opponents, and so horrific that direct knowledge of them meant insanity for the victim. When dealing with such beings, Lovecraft needed a way to provide exposition and build tension without bringing the story to a premature end. Human followers gave him a way to reveal information about their “gods” in a diluted form, and also made it possible for his protagonists to win paltry victories. Lovecraft, like his contemporaries, envisioned “savages” as closer to supernatural knowledge unknown to civilized man. Another recurring theme in Lovecraft’s stories is the idea that descendants in a bloodline can never escape the stain of crimes committed by their forebears, at least if the crimes are atrocious enough. Descendants may be very far removed, both in place and in time (and, indeed, in culpability), from the act itself, and yet, they may be haunted by the revenant past, e.g. “The Rats in the Walls”, “The Lurking Fear”, “Arthur Jermyn”, “The Alchemist”, “The Shadow Over Innsmouth”, “The Doom that Came to Sarnath” and The Case of Charles Dexter Ward.

Often in Lovecraft’s works the protagonist is not in control of his own actions, or finds it impossible to change course. Many of his characters would be free from danger if they simply managed to run away; but are being prevented by some outside force, such as in “The Colour Out of Space” and “The Dreams in the Witch House”. Often his characters are subject to a compulsive influence from powerful malevolent or indifferent beings. As with the inevitability of one’s ancestry, eventually even running away, or death itself, provides no safety (“The Thing on the Doorstep”, “The Outsider”, The Case of Charles Dexter Ward, etc.). In some cases, humanity itself is doomed and no escape is possible (“The Shadow Out of Time”). Lovecraft was also familiar with the work of the German conservative-revolutionary theorist Oswald Spengler, whose pessimistic thesis of the decadence of the modern West formed a crucial element in Lovecraft’s overall anti-modern worldview. Spenglerian imagery of cyclical decay is present in At the Mountains of Madness. The book H. P. Lovecraft: The Decline of the West, places Spengler at the center of his discussion of Lovecraft’s political and philosophical ideas.

H. P. Lovecraft’s writing, particularly the so-called Cthulhu Mythos, has influenced fiction authors including modern horror and fantasy writers such as Stephen King, Ramsey Campbell, Bentley Little, Joe R. Lansdale, Alan Moore, Junji Ito, F. Paul Wilson, Brian Lumley, Caitlín R. Kiernan, and Neil Gaiman, have cited Lovecraft as one of their primary influences. Beyond direct adaptation, Lovecraft and his stories have had a profound impact on popular culture. Some influence was direct, as he was a friend, inspiration, and correspondent to many of his contemporaries, such as August Derleth, Robert E. Howard, Robert Bloch and Fritz Leiber. Many later figures were influenced by Lovecraft’s works, including author and artist Clive Barker, prolific horror writer Stephen King, comics writers Alan Moore and Mike Mignola, film directors John Carpenter, Stuart Gordon, Guillermo Del Toro and artist H. R. Giger.

Japan has also been significantly inspired and terrified by Lovecraft’s creations and thus even entered the manga and anime media. Chiaki J. Konaka is an acknowledged Lovecraft disciple and has participated in Cthulhu Mythos, expanding several Japanese versions. Anime scriptwriter Cascade also tends to add horror elements and is credited for spreading the popularity of Lovecraft among anime base. Manga artist Junji Ito is also inspired by Lovecraft.

Although Lovecraft’s readership was limited during his lifetime, his reputation has grown over the decades, and he is now regarded as one of the most influential horror writers of the 20th century. According to Joyce Carol Oates, an award-winning author, Lovecraft—as with Edgar Allan Poe in the 19th century—has exerted “an incalculable influence on succeeding generations of writers of horror fiction”. Science fiction and fantasy authorStephen King called Lovecraft “the twentieth century’s greatest practitioner of the classic horror tale. King has made it clear in his non-fiction book danse Macabre that Lovecraft was responsible for King’s own fascination with horror and the macabre, and was the single largest figure to influence his fiction writing. Sadly though in 1936, Lovecraft was diagnosed with cancer of the small intestine, and as a result he suffered from malnutrition and lived in constant pain until his death. However Lovecraft’s legacy lives on and his stories have been adapted into plays, films and games, such as Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth and id Software’s Quake.


Willis O’Brien (King Kong, Valley of Gwangi

American motion picture special effects and stop-motion animation pioneer, Willis O’Brien was born in Oakland, California on March 2, 1886. When he was eleven he left home to work on cattle ranches, and at thirteen he took on a variety of jobs including farmhand, factory worker, fur trapper, cowboy, and bartender. He also competed in rodeos and developed an interest in dinosaurs while working as a guide to palaeontologists in Crater Lake region. He spent his spare time sculpting and illustrating and his natural talent led to him being employed first as draftsman in an architect’s office and then as a sports cartoonist for the San Francisco Daily News. During this time he also became a professional boxer, winning his first nine bouts but retiring after an unsuccessful tenth. He subsequently worked for the railroad, first as a brakeman and later a surveyor, as a professional marble sculptor, and was assistant to the head architect of the 1915 San Francisco World’s Fair, where some of his work was displayed. He also made models, including a dinosaur and a caveman, which he animated with the assistance of a local newsreel cameraman. San Francisco exhibitor Herman Wobber saw this 90-second test footage and commissioned O’Brien to make his first film, The Dinosaur and the Missing Link: A Prehistoric Tragedy.

Willis O’Brien was subsequently hired by the Edison Company to animate a series of short films with a prehistoric theme, these included R.F.D. 10,000 B.C. and Prehistoric Poultry. He also worked on Sam Loyd’s The Puzzling Billboard and Nippy’s Nightmare which were the first stop-motion films to combine live actors with stop motion models. These films led to a commission from Herbert M. Dawley to write, direct, co-star and produce the effects for another dinosaur film, The Ghost of Slumber Mountain. However Herbert Dawley claimed credit for O’Brien’s pioneering effects work, which combined realistic stop-motion animated prehistoric models with live action. Dawley used the cut effects footage in a sequel Along the Moonbeam Trail (1920) and the documentary Evolution (1923), but again O’Brien received little financial reimbursement from this success.

Willis O’Brien then worked on Harry O. Hoyt’s The Lost World. For his early, short films O’Brien created his own characters out of clay, although for much of his feature career he employed Richard and Marcel Delgado to create much more detailed stop-motion models (based on O’Brien’s designs) with rubber skin built up over complex, articulated metal armatures. The models contained a bladder inside the skeleton model that could be inflated and deflated to give the illusion of breathing. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, showed a reel of O’Brien’s animation from the film to his friends, claiming it was real footage of living dinosaurs And try to convince them that his story was based on fact.

O’Brien also worked with Hoyt on a number of other projects included Atlantis, Frankenstein, and Creation. However The studio’s head of production, Merian C. Cooper, cancelled O’Brien’s projects, although he was impressed by the effects work and saw great potential in O’brien’s Giant gorilla and dinosaur models which were later used for the film King Kong. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) awarded O’Brien an Oscar for his technical effects on King Kong but Willis insisted that each of his crew receive an Oscar statue also, which the AMPAS refused to do, so O’Brien refused to accept the Oscar award for himself. However This act of refusing his Oscar hurt O’Brien’s reputation in the Hollywood establishment, forever making him a semi-“outsider” in the industry. The success of King Kong led to the studio commissioning a hurried sequel Son of Kong (also 1933), which O’Brien described as cheesy. With a limited budget and a short production schedule O’Brien chose to leave the animation work to his animation assistant, Buzz Gibson, and asked the studio not to credit him on the project.

In 1925 O’Brien married Hazel Ruth Collette and had two Sons However O’Brien was reportedly forced into and rebelled against with drinking, gambling, and extra-marital affairs. The couple divorced by 1930 and the two boys remained with their mother. Sadly By 1931 Hazel had been diagnosed with cancer and tuberculosis, then O’brien son William also contracted tuberculosis resulting in blindness in one eye and then the other. O’Brien, remained close to his two sons after his separation from his estranged wife, invited Willis Jr. and the now completely blind William with him to handle the Kong and dinosaur models. A few weeks after this visit O’Brien’s ex-wife, Hazel Ruth Collette, shot and killed William and Willis Jr. before turning the gun on herself. The suicide attempt failed and by draining her tubercular lung actually extended her life by another year. A publicity photo of O’Brien taken around this time shows the anguish on his face. Hazel Ruth Collette remained in the Los Angeles General Hospital prison ward until her death in 1934. On November 17 that same year O’Brien married his second wife Darlyne Prenett with whom he would remain until his death.

O’Brien continued to work with Merian C. Cooper at RKO on a number of projects including the epic The Last Days of Pompeii, Dancing Pirate and War Eagles which features a race of Vikings riding on prehistoric eagles fighting with dinosaurs. However this project was cancelled when Cooper re-enlisted as a colonel in the U.S. Army Air Forces at the outset of World War II. O’Brien went on to do some special effects work, re-using one of the mattes from Son of Kong, on Orson Welles’ Citizen Kane (1941) and George Pal’s Oscar-nominated animated short Tulips Shall Grow (1942), as well as developing his own project, Gwangi, about cowboys who encounter a prehistoric animal in a “lost” valley,

O’Brien then worked as Technical Creator, on The film Mighty Joe Young (1949), which won an Academy Award for Best Visual Effects in 1950. O’Brien was assisted by his protege (and successor), Ray Harryhausen and Pete Peterson on this film. O’Brien and his wife then unsuccessfully developed Emilio and Guloso (aka, Valley of the Mist), about a Mexican boy and his pet bull who save their town from a dinosaur called “Lagarto Grande”. O’Brien then went to work at the new Cinerama corporation on a remake of King Kong using the new wide-screen techniques but ended up contributing a matte for the travelogue This Is Cinerama (1952) when this project also fell through. O’Brien also worked with Harryhausen on the acclaimed dinosaur sequence for Irwin Allen’s nature documentary The Animal World. O’Brien’s story ideas for Gwangi and Valley of the Mist were developed into Edward Nassour and Ismael Rodríguez’s The Beast of Hollow Mountain, for which O’Brien wrote the script. This combined stop-motion and live-action in a color film. O’Brien also worked with Peterson again on The Black Scorpion (1957) and Behemoth, the Sea Monster (aka “The Giant Behemoth”). Irwin Allen hired O’Brien as the effects technician on his remake of The Lost World, but he was given little to do as the producer opted for live lizards instead of stop-motion animation for the dinosaurs. One of his story ideas King Kong vs. Frankenstein was developed into Ishirō Honda’s King Kong vs. Godzilla but O’Brien was once again not involved in the production. Shortly before his death, he animated a brief scene for Linwood G. Dunn’s “Film Effects of Hollywood” company in It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World featuring some characters dangling from a fire escape and ladder.

O’Brien died in Los Angeles on November 8, 1962. He was survived by his second wife, Darlyne. In 1997, he was posthumously awarded the Winsor McCay Award by ASIFA-Hollywood, the United States chapter of the International Animated Film Society ASIFA (Association internationale du film d’animation). The award is in recognition of lifetime or career contributions to the art of animation. His interment was located at Chapel of the Pines Crematory.

The 1969 film The Valley of Gwangi, was completed by Ray Harryhausen seven years after O’Brien’s death. O’Brien’s work was celebrated in March 1983 with the appearance of his wife, Darlene at a 50th anniversary event commemorating the day of the first screening of the film at Graumann’s (later Mann’s) Chinese theater on Hollywood Blvd, complete with a screening of a new print of King Kong and a new recreation of the full-scale bust of Kong that appeared 50 years apart at both events in the outdoor lobby of the theater. Ray Harryhausen also continued to keep the memory of O’Brien films and life alive for fantasy-cinema fans around the world until his death in 2013.

King Kong

The original classic American monster movie King Kong opened 2 March 1933. Based on the novel by Edgar Wallace. It stars Fay Wray, Bruce Cabot and Robert Armstrong, and has been ranked as the greatest horror film of all time. King Kong is especially noted for its stop-motion animation by Willis O’Brien and a groundbreaking musical score by Max Steiner. In 1991 it was deemed “culturally, historically and aesthetically significant” by the Library of Congress and selected for preservation in the National Film Registry. It has been remade twice: in 1976 and in 2005 by Peter Jackson and a sequel Skull Island is also being released in March 2017.

The film starts with renowned wildlife film-maker, Carl Denham, chartering Captain Englehorn’s ship Venture for his new project, however he cannot find an actress for a female role he reluctantly added. Denham searches the streets of New York for a suitable woman. Then He meets penniless Ann Darrow and convinces her to join him for the adventure of a lifetime. The Venture quickly gets underway. The surly first mate, Jack Driscoll, gradually falls in love with Ann. After weeks of secrecy, Denham finally tells Englehorn and Driscoll that their destination is Skull Island, an uncharted island shown on a map in Denham’s possession. Denham speaks of something monstrous there, a legendary entity known only as “Kong”.

When they find the island and anchor off its shore, they can see a native village, separated from the rest of the island by an enormous stone wall. A landing party, including the filming crew and Ann, witnesses a group of natives about to sacrifice a young maiden as the “bride of Kong”. The intruders are spotted and the native chief offers to trade six of his women for Ann. The crew refuse and return to the Venture. However later that night, a band of natives secretly kidnap Ann from the ship and sacrifice her to Kong during a ceremony.

The crew of the Venture realise Ann is missing and set off in pursuit encountering the angry natives and many prehistoric hazards including a Stegosaurus and a Brontosaurus Before eventually finding Kong, who tries to stop them from crossing a ravine by shaking them off a fallen tree leaving only Driscoll and Denham, alive. Then A Tyrannosaurus attacks Ann, but is confronted by an angry Kong who is becoming increasingly protective and has started to develop feelings for Ann. Then Upon arriving in Kong’s lair in a mountain cave, Ann is nearly killed by a snake-like Elasmosaurus, then a Pteranodon tries to fly away with Ann. Driscoll finally reaches Ann and tries to rescue her. However this enrages Kong who pursues them through the jungle back to the natives village where Denham, Englehorn and the surviving crewmen are waiting. However this does not stop Kong, who then breaks open the gate and rampages through the village.

Denham suddenly realises that making a film about Kong could make him a fortune, so despite everyone else’s serious misgivings Denham, then decides to bring Kong back alive to New York and present him to Broadway theater audiences as “Kong, the Eighth Wonder of the World”. However Once back in New York Kong Understandably decides he doesn’t particularly like Captivitity and decides to break loose causing absolute Carnage as he rampages through the city in pursuet of Annie Darrow. Then after finding Ann he Carries her While looking for a place of safety, he then decides the Empire State Building is a safe place with tragic results…

Night Watch/ Good Omens

BBC Studios are currently developing a live-action six-part Discworld series Entitled The Watch, Fans have speculated that the show could be an adaptation of City Watch, which features the adventures of Commander Sam Vimes of the Ankh Morpork city watch. The Ankh Morpork city watch feature in eight of the Discworld novels that the late great author Terry Pratchett wrote. There is also a Television adaptation based on the novel Good Omens by the late, great Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaimen, which is due to premiere on Amazon and BBC in 2018. The series will star David Tennant and Michael Sheen with Neil Gaiman as showrunner.

Strike Back and The Musketeers writer Simon Allen is handling the script for the new Discworld series, which will be co-produced by BBC and Narrativia, the production company founded by Pratchett. The BBC is said to be looking for an outside partner to help bring it to life So It’s likely that an American network or streaming service will also join this production.

Discworld frequently parodied the various tropes of high fantasy works by other authors, such as J. R. R. Tolkien and Robert E. Howard. So it’s more of a comedic fantasy than a standard tale. Terry Pratchett wrote his first Discworld novel The Colour of Magic in 1983, before going on to write approximately 40 additional books within the series before his death in 2015. This gives a lot of material to chose from, so it’s unclear which characters or settings that Allen will focus on. Although a series with Commander Vimes of the Ankh Morpork city watch, The Witches, Tiffany Aching and the Nac Mac Feegle or the misadventures of the hilariously daft wizard, Rincewind and his carnivorous luggage all sound equally entertaining to me.

So far The British television network Sky 1 has already adapted a number of Discworld Stories including The Colour of Magic, The Hogfather and Going Postal, and there is also an animated version of Wyrd Sisters featuring the witches Nanny Ogg and Granny Weatherwax.

Alan Rickman

English actor and Director Alan Sidney Patrick Rickman was Born 21 February 1946 in Acton, London. Rickman attended Derwentwater Primary School, in Acton, a school that followed the Montessori method of education. He excelled at calligraphy and watercolour painting. From Derwentwater Junior School he won a scholarship to Latymer Upper School in London, where he became involved in drama. After leaving Latymer, he attended Chelsea College of Art and Design and then the Royal College of Art. This education allowed him to work as a graphic designer for the radical newspaper the Notting Hill Herald.

After graduation, Rickman and several friends opened a graphic design studio called Graphiti, but after three years of successful business, he decided that if he was going to pursue acting professionally, it was now or never. He wrote to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) requesting an audition and was awarded a place at RADA, which he attended from 1972-74. While there, he studied Shakespeare and supported himself by working as a dresser for Nigel Hawthorne and Sir Ralph Richardson. He left after winning several prizes, including the Emile Littler Prize, the Forbes Robertson Prize and the Bancroft Gold Medal.

After graduating from RADA, Rickman worked extensively with British repertory and experimental theatre groups in productions including Chekhov’s The Seagull and Snoo Wilson’s The Grass Widow at the Royal Court Theatre, and appeared three times at the Edinburgh International Festival. In 1978, he performed with the Court Drama Group, gaining parts in Romeo and Juliet and A View from the Bridge, among other plays. While working with the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) he was cast in As You Like It. He appeared in the BBC’s adaptation of Trollope’s first two Barchester novels known as The Barchester Chronicles (1982), as the Reverend Obadiah Slope. He portrayed the Vicomte de Valmont, in the 1985 Royal Shakespeare Company’s production of Christopher Hampton’s adaptation of Les Liaisons Dangereuses, and received both a Tony Award nomination and a Drama Desk Award nomination for his performance.

He also played romantic leads like Colonel Brandon in Sense and Sensibility and Jamie in Truly, Madly, Deeply (1991); numerous villains in Hollywood big budget films, like German terrorist Hans Gruber in Die Hard (1988) and the Sheriff of Nottingham in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves; the very occasional television role such as the “mad monk” Rasputin in an HBO biopic Rasputin: Dark Servant of Destiny for which he won a Golden Globe and an Emmy. He was the “master of ceremonies” on Mike Oldfield’s album Tubular Bells II, released in 1992, on which he read off a list of instruments on the album. His role in Die Hard earned him a spot on the AFI’s 100 Years…100 Heroes & Villains as the 46th best villain in film history, His performance as the Sheriff of Nottingham in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves also garnered praise. He also portrayed Severus Snape, the potions master in the Harry Potter series.

During his career Rickman has also played comedic roles, sending up classically trained British actors who take on “lesser roles” as the character Sir Alexander Dane/Dr. Lazarus in the science fiction parody Galaxy Quest, portraying the angel Metatron, the voice of God, in Dogma, appearing as Emma Thompson’s foolish husband Harry in Love Actually, providing the voice of Marvin the Paranoid Android in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and the egotistical, Nobel Prize-winning father in Nobel Son. He was nominated for an Emmy for his work as Dr. Alfred Blalock in HBO’s Something the Lord Made (2004) and also starred in the films Snow Cake with Sigourney Weaver and Carrie-Anne Moss, and Perfume: The Story of a Murderer. He also appeared as the evil Judge Turpin in the critically acclaimed Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street directed by Tim Burton, alongside Harry Potter co-stars Helena Bonham Carter and Timothy Spall. Rickman also appeared as Absolem the Caterpillar in Burton’s film Alice in Wonderland.

He performed onstage in Noël Coward’s romantic comedy Private Lives, and In 1998 He appeared in Antony and Cleopatra as Mark Antony with Dame Helen Mirren as Cleopatra, in the Royal National Theatre’s production at the Olivier Theatre in London. Rickman also appeared in Victoria Wood with All The Trimmings (2000), a Christmas special with Victoria Wood, playing an aged colonel in the battle of Waterloo who is forced to break off his engagement to Honeysuckle Weeks’ character. Alongside Harry Potter co-star Imelda Staunton.

Rickman also directed The Winter Guest at London’s Almeida Theatre in 1995 and the film version of the same play, released in 1997, starring Emma Thompson and Phyllida Law. He compiled the play My Name Is Rachel Corrie, and directed the premiere at the Royal Court Theatre, London in 2005 for which he won the Theatre Goers’ Choice Awards for Best Director. In 2009, Rickman was awarded the James Joyce Award by University College Dublin’s Literary and Historical Society. In October and November 2010, Rickman starred in the eponymous role in Henrik Ibsen’s John Gabriel Borkman at the Abbey Theatre, Dublin alongside Lindsay Duncan and Fiona Shaw.

In 2011, Rickman again appeared as Severus Snape in the final installment in the Harry Potter series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 and earned his first award nominations for his role as Snape at the 2011 Alliance of Women Film Journalists Awards, 2011 Saturn Awards, 2011 Scream Awards and 2011 St. Louis Gateway Film Critics Association Awards in the Best Supporting Actor category. On 21 November 2011, Rickman opened in Seminar, by Theresa Rebeck, at the John Golden Theatre on Broadway. Rickman, won the Broadway.com Audience Choice Award for Favorite Actor in a Play and was nominated for a Drama League Award.Rickman starred with Colin Firth and Cameron Diaz in a remake of 1966’s Gambit by Michael Hoffman. In 2013, he played Hilly Kristal, the founder of the famous East Village punk-rock club CBGB, in the CBGB film with Rupert Grint. Alan Rickman sadly passed away 14 February 2016 at the age of 69 however He has left behind a large number of great films and will be sadly missed.

Christopher Eccleston

English actor Christopher Eccleston was born 16 February 1964 in Langworthy, Salford, The family lived in a small terraced house in Blodwell Street, before moving to Little Hulton when Eccleston was seven months old. Eccleston attended Joseph Eastham High School, where he became head boy.

At the age of 19, he was inspired to enter the acting profession by such television dramas as Boys from the Blackstuff. Eccleston completed a two-year Performance Foundation Course at Salford Tech before going on to train at the Central School of Speech and Drama. As an actor, he was influenced in his early years by Ken Loach’s Kes and Albert Finney’s performance in Saturday Night and Sunday Morning, but he soon found himself performing the classics, including the works of Shakespeare, Chekhov, and Molière. At the age of 25, Eccleston made his professional stage debut in the Bristol Old Vic’s production of A Streetcar Named Desire. Underemployed as an actor for some years after graduating from school, Eccleston took a variety of odd jobs at a supermarket, on building sites, and as an artist’s model.

Eccleston first came to public attention as Derek Bentley in the film Let Him Have It (1991) and an episode of Inspector Morse, “Second Time Around” (1991). In 1992, he played the role of Sean Maddox in the BBC drama miniseries Friday on my Mind. He garnered A regular role in the television series Cracker (1993–94) which brought him recognition in the UK. Eccleston also appeared in the episode “One, Two, Buckle My Shoe” of the Poirot series adapted from mysteries by Agatha Christie. He also appeared in the low-budget Danny Boyle film Shallow Grave (1994), with Ewan McGregor. The same year, he won the part of Nicky Hutchinson in the epic BBC drama serial Our Friends in the North, Alongside Mark Strong, Gina McKee and Daniel Craig. In 1996, he took the part of Trevor Hicks—a man who lost both of his daughters in the 1989 Hillsborough disaster—in the television drama film Hillsborough, penned by Jimmy McGovern. In real life, he was the best man to Trevor Hicks at his wedding in March 2009.

His film career has since taken off with a variety of roles, including Jude (1996), Elizabeth (1998), eXistenZ (1999), Gone in 60 Seconds (2000), The Others (2001), 24 Hour Party People (2002) and 28 Days Later (2002). He played a major role as the protagonist of the 2002 Revengers Tragedy, adapted from Thomas Middleton’s play of the same name.[14] He starred in the independent films A Price Above Rubies (1998) and The Invisible Circus (2001). He starred in the car-heist film Gone in 60 Seconds, but did not take his driving test until January 2004. He said on BBC’s Top Gear that his licence restricts him to vehicles with automatic transmission.

He has appeared in a variety of television roles, especially in British dramas. These have included Hearts and Minds (1995) for Channel 4, Clocking Off (2000) and Flesh and Blood (2002) for the BBC and Hillsborough (1996), a modern version of Othello (2001), playing ‘Ben Jago’, (the Iago character); and the religious telefantasy epic The Second Coming (2003) for ITV, in which he played Steve Baxter, the son of God. He has made guest appearances in episodes of the comedy drama Linda Green (2001) and macabre sketch show The League of Gentlemen (2002). Eccleston appeared in a stage role in Hamlet in the 2002 production at Leeds’s West Yorkshire Playhouse. March–April 2004 saw him return to the venue in a new play, Electricity.

Eccleston has been twice nominated in the Best Actor category at the British Academy Television Awards. His first nomination came in 1997 for Our Friends in the North, but he lost to Nigel Hawthorne (for The Fragile Heart). He was nominated in 2004 for The Second Coming; Bill Nighy won for State of Play. Eccleston won the Best Actor category at the 1997 Broadcasting Press Guild Awards for Our Friends in the North. In 2003 he won the RTS Best Actor award for a second time, for his performance in Flesh and Blood. In July 2004, a poll of industry experts, conducted by Radio Times magazine, voted Eccleston the “19th Most Powerful Person in Television Drama.”

Eccleston also portrayed the ninth incarnation of the Doctor in the 2005 revival of the BBC science fiction television series Doctor Who, Eccleston was the first actor to play the role who was born after the series began, albeit by less than three months. However Eccleston decided to leave the role after just one series, because he feared becoming typecast. Other newspaper reports state he was “overworked” “exhausted” and “didn’t enjoy the environment that the cast an crew had to work in”. Following his appearance in Doctor Who Eccleston was voted “Most Popular Actor” at the 2005 National Television Awards for his portrayal of the Doctor.

In July 2012, Eccleston spoke positively of his time on Doctor Who during a talk at the National Theatre This led to speculation he was considering making a return appearance as the Ninth Doctor for the show’s 50th anniversary special, “The Day of the Doctor”, in 2013. The 11th Doctor, Matt Smith, stated that he would have loved Eccleston to return. However Eccleston declined following talks with executive producer Steven Moffat. In 2005, Eccleston appeared on stage at the Old Vic theatre in London in the one-night play Night Sky alongside Navin Chowdhry, Bruno Langley, David Warner, Saffron Burrows and David Baddiel. Eccleston sat on the 2nd Amazonas International Film Festival Film Jury in November 2005. The director Norman Jewison was chairman of the Jury. In December 2005, Eccleston travelled to Indonesia’s Aceh province for the BBC Breakfast news programme, examining how survivors of the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami were rebuilding their lives.

In 2006, Eccleston appeared in the ITV documentary special Best Ever Muppet Moments and appeared as the narrator in a production of Romeo and Juliet at the Lowry theatre in Salford. The theatre company with which he performed, Celebrity Pig (of which he is patron), is made up of learning disabled actors. In August 2006, Eccleston filmed New Orleans, Mon Amour with Elisabeth Moss which was directed by Michael Almereyda and shot in post-Hurricane Katrina New Orleans. In 2006 he also starred in Perfect Parents, an ITV drama written and directed by Joe Ahearne, who had directed him in Doctor Who. Eccleston joined the cast of the NBC TV series Heroes in the episode “Godsend”, portraying the character Claude who has the power of invisibility, and helps Peter Petrelli with his powers. Eccleston appeared as the Rider in a film adaptation of Susan Cooper’s novel The Dark Is Rising.

In 2008 Eccleston appeared on the BBC Four World Cinema Award show arguing the merits of five international hits such as The Lives of Others and Pan’s Labyrinth with Jonathan Ross and Archie Panjabi. In 2009, Eccleston starred opposite Archie Panjabi in a short film called The Happiness Salesman. He also appeared as the villainous Destro in the G.I. Joe film, G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra. Eccleston also appeared in an episode of The Sarah Silverman Program as science fiction hero named Doctor Laser Rage. In 2010 Eccleston appeared as John Lennon Alongside Naoko Mori, who had previously appeared with him in Doctor Who, as Yoko Ono in “Lennon Naked”. Eccleston starred in the first episode of BBC One anthology drama Accused. He won an International Emmy Award for his role. In May 2011, he starred as Joseph Bede in BBC2’s seven part drama The Shadow Line and also played the role of Pod Clock in an adaptation of Mary Norton’s children’s novel The Borrowers on BBC One. In 2012, he starred in the political thriller Blackout and portrayed Creon in an adaptation of Antigone at the Royal National Theatre. In 2013, Eccleston portrayed the villainous Malekith in Thor: The Dark World, the sequel to Thor and the eighth instalment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe And also portrayed The Reverend Matt Jamison on the HBO drama series The Leftovers. In 2016 Eccleston began appearing as the eccentric but lovable granddad Maurice Scott in the BBC drama The A Word. Eccleston is also portraying Macbeth in the Royal Shakespeare Company’s production of Macbeth during 2018. (Damn i’ve just written Macbeth twice…er three times- it’s supposed to be bad luck)

Jurassic World

I have recently watched the exciting dinosaur film Jurassic World again. It features Brothers Zach and Gray Mitchell who visit their Aunt Claire Dearing who works at Jurassic World as the park’s operations manager. Claire assigns her assistant Zara to be their guide, but the boys decide to explore the resort on their own. They watch the huge Marine reptile Mosasaur in the Lagoon before going on a Gyrosphere ride round the park where they see Triceratops, Ankylosaurs, stegosaurs, brontosaurs and parasaurolophus

Meanwhile Owen Grady, a Navy veteran, is researching the intelligence of the park’s four Velociraptor which InGen Security chief Vic Hoskins believes could be trained for military use. Meanwhile Masrani the Park’s owner has the scientists under Doctor Henry Wu, secretly create a genetically modified Dinosaur . Unfortunately, the animal dubbed “Indominus Rex”, turns out to be far more intelligent, adaptable and dangerous than anyone previously thought and it manages to escape form its enclosure clobbering everyone and leaving carnage in it’s wake. Masrani tries to hush it up to avoid causing panic and sends a specialist unit to recapture Indominus Rex, however they are also killed by Indominus Rex. Owen suggests killing it, but Masrani refuses, meanwhile Claire orders the evacuation of the island.

Elsewhere Zach and Gray continue exploring the park in a gyrosphere ride, but enter a restricted area where they are attacked by The Indominus Rex before finding the ruins of the original Jurassic Park visitor center where They repair an old jeep and escape to the main resort. Claire and Owen are not far behind also encounter the Indominus. Meanwhile Masrani and two troopers track the Indominus by helicopter, which escapes into the park’s aviary releasing a flock of flying Pteranodon and Dimorphodon which attack the crowd, killing Masrami, Zara and the troopers. Gray and Zach eventually find Owen and Claire at the resort. Hoskins suggests that the Raptors be used to track Indominus Rex unfortunately this goes wrong and more carnage ensues.

Later Hoskins arranges for Dr. Henry Wu to leave the island by helicopter with the dinosaur embryos, in order to protect his research and he reveals a sinister plan to use hybrid dinosaurs like Indominus as superweapons. However he is killed when Indominus reappears and The raptors and Tyrannosaurus rex attack the Indominus, by the Lagoon in an exciting showdown.

Paleontologists will point out that, going by fossil records, that there are a number of inaccuracies: neither velociraptors or Mosasaurs were actually as big as portrayed in the film. velociraptors were Turkey sized (which is still frightening enough if you being chased by a pack of them, and they can all run faster than you) and Mosasaurs were about forty feet long (13 Metres approx) which again is still terrifying. Dimorphodon had relatively short wings and could probably only fly short distances and may have only eaten insects  like guinea fowl or woodpeckers do today.