Patrick Troughton

Actor Patrick Troughton was born on 25 March 1920 in Mill Hill, Middlesex, England. Troughton attended Mill Hill School and continued to live in Mill Hill for most of his life. While at Mill Hill School, he acted in a production of J.B. Priestley’s Bees on the Boat Deck in March 1937. His brother A.R. (‘Robin’) Troughton shared the 1933 Walter Knox Prize for Chemistry with the future Nobel Prize winner Francis Crick, who also attended Mill Hill School Troughton later attended the Embassy School of Acting[1] at Swiss Cottage, studying under Eileen Thorndike. After his time at the Embassy School of Acting, Troughton won a scholarship to the Leighton Rallius Studios at the John Drew Memorial Theatre on Long Island, New York. In 1939, he joined the Tonbridge Repertory Company.

When the Second World War began, he returned home on a Belgian ship which struck a sea mine and sank off the coast of Great Britain, Troughton escaping in a lifeboat. In 1940, he joined the Royal Navy and was commissioned as a lieutenant with the RNVR, being first employed on East Coast Convoy duty from February to August 1941, and then with Coastal Forces’ Motor Gun Boats based at Great Yarmouth from November 1942 to 1945. During his service with the M.G.B.’s, he was on one occasion involved in an action against Kriegsmarine E-boats which resulted in one of the enemy craft being destroyed by ramming, whilst Troughton’s boat and another destroyed two more with their gunfire. His decorations included the 1939-45 Star, and Atlantic Star, and he was mentioned in dispatches. He used to wear a tea cosy on his head in cold weather in the North Sea.

After the war, Troughton returned to the theatre. He worked with the Amersham Repertory Company, the Bristol Old Vic Company and the Pilgrim Players at the Mercury Theatre, Notting Hill Gate. He made his television debut in 1947. In 1948, Troughton made his cinema debut with small roles in Olivier’s Hamlet, the Joseph L. Mankiewicz directed Escape (one of the stars of which was William Hartnell), and a pirate in Disney’s Treasure Island. In 1953 he became the first actor to play Robin Hood on television, His grandson Sam Troughton played one of Robin’s colleagues in the 2006 BBC TV series of the same name, and Patrick himself made an appearance in The Adventures of Robin Hood starring Richard Greene. He appeared as the murderer Tyrrell in Olivier’s film of Richard III (1955). He was also Olivier’s understudy on the film and appears in many long shots as Richard.

Troughton’s other notable film and television roles included Kettle in Chance of a Lifetime, Sir Andrew Ffoulkes in The Scarlet Pimpernel, Vickers in the episode entitled “Strange Partners” in The Invisible Man, Phineus in Jason and the Argonauts (1963), Quilp in The Old Curiosity Shop, Paul of Tarsus, Dr. Finlay’s Casebook. He voiced Winston Smith in a 1965 BBC Home Service radio adaptation of Nineteen Eighty-Four and appeared in numerous TV shows, including The Count of Monte Cristo, Ivanhoe, Dial 999, Danger Man, Maigret, Compact, The Third Man, Crane, Detective, Sherlock Holmes, No Hiding Place, The Saint, Armchair Theatre, The Wednesday Play, Z-Cars, Adam Adamant Lives! and Softly, Softly. Troughton was offered the part of Johnny Ringo in the Doctor Who story The Gunfighters but turned it down.

In 1966, Doctor Who producer Innes Lloyd looked for a replacement for William Hartnell in the series’ lead role. Lloyd chose Troughton because of his extensive and versatile experience as a character actor. After he was cast, Troughton considered portraying the Doctor as a “tough sea captain”or a piratical figure in blackface and turban before Doctor Who creator Sydney Newman suggested that the Doctor could be a “cosmic hobo” in the mould of Charlie Chaplin. In the story The Enemy of the World, Troughton played two parts – as the protagonist (The Doctor) and the antagonist (Salamander).

Troughton gave away the secret of what Jamie (Frazer Hines) wore underneath his kilt – “khaki shorts”. Troughton was popular with both the production team and his co-stars. Producer Lloyd credited Troughton with a “leading actor’s temperament. He was a father figure to the whole company and hence could embrace it and sweep it along with him”. Troughton also gained a reputation on set as a practical joker. Unfortunately Many of the early episodes in which Troughton appeared were among those discarded by the BBC however some missing episodes have been replaced by animation- such as The Invasion.

Troughton found Doctor Who’s schedule gruelling, and was afraid of being typecast so he decided to leave in 1969, after three years in the role. However he returned to Doctor Who three times after formally leaving the programme, firstly in The Three Doctors, then For the 20th anniversary special The Five Doctors in 1983 following the request by producer John Nathan-Turner and finally in The Two Doctors alongside sixth Doctor Colin Baker. He also attended many Doctor Who conventions including the show’s 20th anniversary celebrations at Longleat in 1983. In 2013, the BBC commissioned a docudrama about the early days of Doctor Who, as part of the programme’s fiftieth anniversary celebrations. Troughton appears as a character in the production, called An Adventure in Space and Time, portrayed by actor Reece Shearsmith. In 2014’s “Robot of Sherwood”, a still image of Troughton from 1953 appears among the future depictions of Robin Hood displayed by the Twelfth Doctor to the outlaw.

After Troughton left Doctor Who in 1969, he appeared in various films and television roles. Film roles included Clove in Scars of Dracula, a bodysnatcher in Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell, Father Brennan in The Omen and Melanthius in Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger. Television roles included the recurring role of Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk in five of the six episodes of The Six Wives of Henry VIII, the villainous Nasca in The Feathered Serpent. He also appeared in The Goodies, Paul Temple, Dr. Finlay’s Casebook, Doomwatch, The Persuaders!, A Family at War, Coronation Street, Softly, Softly: Taskforce, Colditz, Play for Today, Z-Cars, Special Branch, Sutherland’s Law, The Sweeney, Jason King, Survivors, Crown Court, Angels, Warship, Van der Valk, Space: 1999, The Onedin Line, All Creatures Great and Small, Only When I Laugh, Nanny and Minder The Box of Delights and the Two Ronnies” Christmas Special. He featured in the 1974 radio adaptation of Evelyn Waugh’s Sword of Honour. He also appeared In in 1986, sitcom The Two of Us alongside Nicholas Lyndhurst and guested in an episode of Super Gran. Troughton also appeared in the first episode of Inspector Morse “The Dead of Jericho”. His final television appearance was in Knights of God,

Troughton’s health was never entirely robust and later in his life he refused to accept his doctor’s advice that he had developed a serious heart condition through overwork and stress. He suffered two major heart attacks, in 1979 and 1984. Then On 27 March 1987, two days after his 67th birthday, Troughton was a guest at the Magnum Opus Con II science fiction convention in Columbus, Georgia, USA. Although he had been warned by his doctors before leaving the UK not to exert himself because of his heart condition, Troughton appeared to be in good spirits and participated vigorously in the day’s panels,and was looking forward to a belated birthday celebration, as well as screenings of all of his surviving complete Doctor Who stories, including The Dominators, which Troughton was particularly eager to see again. Sadly Troughton suffered a third and final heart attack and was certified dead at the Midwest Medical Centre in downtown Columbus. From the Medical Centre he was transferred to the Striffler-Hamby Mortuary & Funeral Home on Macon Road, which is about 4.8 miles away. After resting there he was then transferred to the Southern Cremations Services, at Dothan in Alabama (about 119 miles away). His ashes were then shipped back to the UK . In true ‘Doctor Who mystery’ style, Patrick’s ashes got mislaid on the transit home, delaying his funeral by a few weeks. They finally made it home with little time to spare. Having found his ashes His second wife, Sheila, scattered his ashes beneath a newly planted tree in his favourite Bushy Park in Teddington, London.

The Girl in the Spider’s Web

The Girl in the Spiders Web is out on DVD on 25 March. It based on the novel of the same name by David Lagercrantz and is a sort of sequel to David Fincher’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and the second installment in the American produced Millennium film series. The movie stars Claire Foy, taking over the role of Lisbeth Salander from Rooney Mara, it also stars Sverrir Gudnason, LaKeith Stanfield, Sylvia Hoeks, and Stephen Merchant.

It concerns a Computer scientist named Frans Balder who suddenly abandons a prestigious job in Silicon Valley and returns to Sweden to take custody of his autistic son August. Balder is then informed by several law enforcement agencies that he is also in danger from a criminal organization who call themselves the “Spider Society”, however he dismisses their warnings. Meanwhile A former associate of Frans Balder’s named Linus Brandell, informs investigative journalist Mikael Blomkvist about Balder and his tumultuous history, mentioning that some of his activities were aided by Lisbeth Salander.

Lisbeth Salander herself is attempting to track down someone from her past, this leads her to the mysterious and rather sinister Spider Society. She helps a group of hackers gain access into NAtional Security Agency servers, much to the fury of the agency’s top cyber security agent, Ed “The Ned” Needham. So NSA agent Alona Casales and FRA agent Gabriella Grane are given the task of pursuing Salander and the evil Spider Society and their leader “Thanos”.
So Grane calls Balder who hires Milton Security for protection and Blomkvist contacts Salander, hoping to harness her talents to the investigation.

Eventually August’s mother finds herself unable to cope with his disorder and remands him to a care facility. However, Blomkvist realizes that August could help identify his father’s killer. Unfortunately sinister forces are trying to silence August and he is almost assassinated, however Salander rescues August from the Care Facility and Tries to contact Blomkvist and Millennium editor Erika Berger for assistance. Grane, a friend of Berger’s, also offers her beachfront vacation property as a safe house. Blomkvist learns from Balder’s former associates that he had hired Salander to confirm that someone had robbed him, Her investigations implicate executives inside Solifon, the company he worked for, in the theft.

Upon further investigation Balder discovers a sinister conspiracy linking Solifon, the NSA and the Spider Society. Which Needham and the NSA attempt to cover up. Balder then learns of a mysterious individual known as “Wasp”. Elsewhere, a woman calling herself Rebecka Mattson attempts to seduce Blomkvist. However Salander’s former guardian, Holger Palmgren, has some rather worrying news concerning Rebecka. Meanwhile August and Salander find themselves in grave danger at the safe house ….

Jules Verne

Best known for writing the novels Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea (1870), Journey to the Center of the Earth (1864), and Around the World in Eighty Days (1873),and sometimes referred to as the “Father of Science Fiction”, French Science Fiction Author Jules Gabriel Verne sadly passed away on 24th March 1905. He was Born February 8, 1828 in Nantes France, and attended the lycée. After completing his studies he went to Paris to study law. Around 1848, he wrote five libretti for operettas with Michel Carré, for his friend the composer Aristide Hignard, who also set Verne’s poems as chansons. For some years, he divided his attentions between the theater and work. However, some travelers’ stories he wrote for the Musée des familles revealed his true talent: describing delightfully extravagant voyages and adventures with cleverly prepared scientific and geographical details that lent an air of credibility.

When Verne’s father discovered that his son was writing rather than studying law, he promptly withdrew his financial support. Verne was forced to support himself as a stockbroker, which he hated despite being somewhat successful at it. During this period, he also met Victor Hugo and Alexandre Dumas, who offered him writing advice. Verne’s situation improved when he met Pierre-Jules Hetzel, one of the more important French publishers of the 19th century, who also published Victor Hugo, George Sand, and Erckmann-Chatrian, among others. They formed an excellent writer-publisher team until Hetzel’s death. Hetzel helped improve Verne’s writings, which until then had been repeatedly rejected by other publishers. Hetzel read a draft of a Verne story about balloon exploration of Africa; the story had been rejected by other publishers for being “too scientific”. With Hetzel’s help, Verne rewrote the story, which was published in 1863 in book form as Cinq semaines en ballon (Five Weeks in a Balloon). Acting on Hetzel’s advice, Verne added comical accents to his novels, changed sad endings into happy ones, and toned down various political messages and was able to make the science fiction genre successful in Europe

Verne published two or more volumes a year. The most successful being : Voyage au centre de la Terre (Journey to the Center of the Earth, 1864); De la Terre à la Lune (From the Earth to the Moon, 1865); Vingt mille lieues sous les mers (Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, 1869); and Le tour du monde en quatre-vingts jours (Around the World in Eighty Days), which first appeared in Le Temps in 1872. The series is collectively known as the Voyages Extraordinaires (“extraordinary voyages”). Verne could now live on his writings. But most of his wealth came from the stage adaptations of Le tour du monde en quatre-vingts jours (1874) and Michel Strogoff (1876), Many of his novels involve elements of technology that were fantastic for the day but later became commonplace. He is the second most translated author in the world (after Agatha Christie). Many of his novels have also been adapted into films, animations and television shows numerous times. Verne is also sometimes referred to as the “Father of Science Fiction”, a title he shares with Hugo Gernsback and H. G. Wells.

William Shatner

Canadian actor, author, producer, and director William Shatner OC ( was born March 22, 1932 in the Notre-Dame-de-Grâce neighbourhood of Montréal, Québec, Canada. Shatner attended two schools in Notre-Dame-de-Grâce, Willingdon Elementary School and West Hill High School and is an alumnus of the Montreal Children’s Theatre. He studied Economics at the McGill University Faculty of Management in Montreal, Canada, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce degree. In June 2011, McGill University awarded him an honorary Doctorate of Letters.

After graduating from McGill University in 1952, Shatner became the business manager for the Mountain Playhouse in Montreal before joining the Canadian National Repertory Theatre in Ottawa, where he trained as a classical Shakespearean actor. Shatner began performing at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival in Stratford, Ontario, beginning in 1954. He played a range of roles at the Stratford Festival in productions that included a minor role in the opening scene of a renowned and nationally televised production of Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex directed by Tyrone Guthrie, Shakespeare’s Henry V, and Marlowe’s Tamburlaine the Great, in which Shatner made his Broadway debut in 1956. In 1954, he was cast as Ranger Bob on The Canadian Howdy Doody Show. Shatner was an understudy to Christopher Plummer;

His film debut was in the Canadian film Butler’s Night Off (1951). His first feature role came in the MGM film The Brothers Karamazov (1958) with Yul Brynner, in which he starred as the youngest of the Karamazov brothers, Alexei. In 1958, he appeared opposite Ralph Bellamy, playing Roman tax collectors in Bethlehem on the day of Jesus’ birth in a vignette of a Hallmark Hall of Fame live television production entitled The Christmas Tree, which featured in other vignettes such performers as Jessica Tandy, Margaret Hamilton, Bernadette Peters, Richard Thomas, Cyril Ritchard, and Carol Channing. Shatner had a leading role in the Alfred Hitchcock Presents episode “The Glass Eye. He also received good reviews when he played the role of Lomax in the 1959 Broadway production of The World of Suzie Wong. Shatner also portrayed detective Archie Goodwin in the cancelled Nero Wolfe series, and appeared twice as Wayne Gorham in NBC’s Outlaws (1960) Western series with Barton MacLane, he also appeared in another episode of Alfred Hitchcock Presents “Mother, May I Go Out to Swim?”

In 1961, he starred in the Broadway play A Shot in the Dark with Julie Harris and directed by Harold Clurman. Walter Matthau (who won a Tony Award for his performance) and Gene Saks were also featured in this play. Shatner featured in two episodes of the NBC television series Thriller (“The Grim Reaper” and “The Hungry Glass”) and the film The Explosive Generation. Shatner was considered the Stratford Festival’s most promising actor, alongside Steve McQueen, Paul Newman, and Robert Redford. In 1962 Shatner had the lead role in Roger Corman’s movie The Intruder and appeared in the Stanley Kramer film Judgment at Nuremberg plus two episodes, of the science fiction anthology series The Twilight Zone “Nick of Time” and “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet,” In 1963, he starred in the Family Theater production called “The Soldier” and received credits in other programs of The Psalms series.

He also guest-starred in Route 66, in the episode “Build Your Houses with Their Backs to the Sea.” In 1964, Shatner guest-starred in The Outer Limits episode “Cold Hands, Warm Heart” as an astronaut returning from a mission and discussing a planned mission to Mars called “Project Vulcan”. He also appeared in an the drama The Reporter (“He Stuck in His Thumb”) and co-starred with Laurence Harvey, Claire Bloom, Newman, and Edward G. Robinson in the Western feature film The Outrage. In 1965, Shatner guest-starred in 12 O’Clock High as Major Curt Brown in the segment “I Am the Enemy” and in The Man from U.N.C.L.E. in an episode that also featured Leonard Nimoy (who would soon portray the above-referenced Mr. Spock). He also starred in the critically acclaimed drama For the People in 1965, as an assistant district attorney alongside Jessica Walter. In 1966 Shatner starred in the gothic horror film Incubus And also starred in an episode of Gunsmoke as Fred Bateman. He appeared as attorney-turned-counterfeiter Brett Skyler in a 1966 episode of The Big Valley, “Time To Kill.” In 1967, he starred in White Comanche as Johnny Moon and his twin brother Notah.

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Shatner was cast as Captain James T. Kirk for the second pilot of Star Trek, titled “Where No Man Has Gone Before” and remained in the role for three seasons until 1969. In his role as Kirk, Shatner famously kissed actress Nichelle Nichols (Lt. Uhura) in the episode, “Plato’s Stepchildren”. In 1973 He also voiced Captain Kirk, in the animated Star Trek series. Shatner Appeared as the lead prosecutor in a 1971 PBS adaptation of Saul Levitt’s play The Andersonville Trial and also appeared in “schlock” films, such as Roger Corman’s Big Bad Mam, the horror film The Devil’s Rain and the TV movie The Horror at 37,000 Feet. Other television appearances included a starring role in the western-themed secret agent series Barbary Coast during plus guest roles on The Six Million Dollar Man, Columbo, The Rookies, Kung Fu, Ironside and Mission: Impossible. Shatner appeared on The $10,000 Pyramid and The $20,000 Pyramid once opposite opposite Leonard Nimoy billed as “Kirk vs. Spock”. Other appearances included The Hollywood Squares, Celebrity Bowling, Beat the Clock, Tattletales, Mike Stokey’s Stump the Stars and Match Game. Shatner was original choice to host the Family Feud pilot in 1976, but gave the job to Richard Dawson instead

A revised Star Trek television series was planned in the 1970’s, tentatively titled Star Trek: Phase II. However, the phenomenal success of Star Wars (1977) led the studio to instead consider developing a Star Trek motion picture. Shatner and the other original Star Trek cast members returned to their roles when Paramount produced Star Trek: The Motion Picture, released in 1979. He played Kirk in the next six Star Trek films, ending with the character’s death in Star Trek Generations. He made Some later appearances in the role are in the movie sequences of the video game Starfleet Academy and the 2013 Academy Awards, as CaptIan Kirk during a comedic interlude with host Seth MacFarlane. Trekkies resurrected Star Trek after cancellation, in a 1986 Saturday Night Live sketch about a Star Trek convention. In 1998 Shatner also appeared in the film Free Enterprise and also parodied the cavalier, almost superhuman, persona of Captain Kirk in films such as Airplane II: The Sequel (1982) and National Lampoon’s Loaded Weapon. In 1994, he starred in the Columbo episode “Butterfly in Shades of Grey”.Shatner landed a starring role on television as the titular police officer T. J. Hooker, which ran from 1982 to 1986. He then hosted the popular dramatic re-enactment series Rescue 911 from 1989 to 1996 which won a People’s Choice Award for the Favorite New TV Dramatic Series. Shatner also directed numerous episodes of T. J. Hooker and the feature film Star Trek V: The Final Frontier. Shatner also appeared in 3rd Rock from the Sun as the “Big Giant Head” for which he earned an Emmy award and also starred as attorney Denny Crane in The Practice and Boston Legal, which earned him two more Emmy Awards. Shatner is currently filming the second season of the comical NBC real-life travelogue “Better Late Than Never.”

William Shatner has also written a series of books chronicling his experiences playing Captain Kirk and being a part of Star Trek, and has co-written several science fiction novels set in the Star Trek universe. He has also written a series of science fiction novels called TekWar published in 1989 Which became popular and were adapted into four TekWar television movies, in which Shatner played the role of Walter Bascom, the lead character’s boss. In 1995, a first-person shooter game named William Shatner’s TekWar was released. He also played as a narrator in the 1995 American documentary film Trinity and Beyond: The Atomic Bomb Movie directed by Peter Kuran. He narrated a television miniseries shot in New Zealand A Twist in the Tale (1998)

William Shatner has also appeared in a number of television commercials and adverts for many companies and products including Ontario-based Loblaws and British Columbia-based SuperValu supermarket General Motors, Oldsmobile and Promise margarine. He has also endorsed the Commodore VIC-20 home computer and done a series of commercials for the travel web site priceline.com. Shatner was also the CEO of the Toronto, Ontario-based C.O.R.E. Digital Pictures, a special effects studio that operated from 1994 to 2010. In May 1999, Simon & Schuster published Shatner’s book, Get a Life!, which details his experiences with Star Trek fandom, anecdotes from Trek conventions, and his interviews with dedicated fans, in particular those who found deeper meaning in the franchise.

In 2000 Shatner co-starred in the movie Miss Congeniality as Stan Fields alongside future Boston Legal co-star Candice Bergen. He reprised the role in the sequel Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous (2004), in which Stan Fields was kidnapped in Las Vegas along with the winner of the pageant of the previous year. (Shatner hosted the Miss USA Pageant in 2001 as a real presenter in Gary, Indiana.) In the live-action/animated film Osmosis Jones (2001), he voiced Mayor Phlegmming, the self-centered head of the “City of Frank”. In 2003, Shatner appeared in Brad Paisley’s “Celebrity” and “Online” music videos along with Little Jimmy Dickens, Jason Alexander, and Trista Rehn. Shatner also had a supporting role in the comedy DodgeBall: A True Underdog Story starring Ben Stiller and Vince Vaughn.

Shatner also appeared in the final season of the legal drama The Practice portraying the eccentric but highly capable attorney Denny Crane, for which he won an Emmy. He then portrayed Crane in Boston Legal, and won a Golden Globe, an Emmy in 2005, and was nominated again in 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2009 for his work. With the 2005 Emmy win. Shatner became one of the few actors (along with co-star James Spader as Alan Shore) to win an Emmy Award while playing the same character in two different series. Shatner and Spader each won a second consecutive Emmy while playing the same character in two different series. Shatner made several guest appearances on The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien, including cameos reciting Sarah Palin’s resignation speech, He also appears in the opening graphics of the occasional feature “In the Year 3000”. He also played the voice of Ozzie the opossum in DreamWorks’ 2006 feature Over the Hedge. In 2007, Shatner launched a series of daily vlogs on his life called ShatnerVision on http://www.LiveVideo.com which was renamed “The Shatner Project. Shatner also starred as the voice of Don Salmonella Gavone on the 2009 YouTube animated series The Gavones. Shatner did not appear the 2009 film Star Trek as Director J. J. Abrams could not think of a plausible reason for him to appear

Shatner had invented his own idea about the beginning of Star Trek with his 2007 novel, Star Trek: Academy — Collision Course. His autobiography Up Till Now: The Autobiography was released in 2008. He was assisted in writing it by David Fisher. Shatner has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (for television work) at 6901 Hollywood Boulevard. He also has a star on the Canada’s Walk of Fame. Shatner was the first Canadian actor to star in three successful television series on three different major networks (NBC, CBS, and ABC). He also starred in the CBS sitcom $#*! My Dad Says, and is also the host of the interview show Shatner’s Raw Nerve on The Biography Channel, and the Discovery Channel television series Weird or What. Shatner also appeared in Psych in The he episode, “In For a Penny” on the USA Network as the estranged father of Junior Detective Juliet O’Hara (Maggie Lawson).

In 2011, Shatner starred in The Captains, a feature-length documentary which he also wrote and directed. The film follows Shatner as he interviews the other actors who have portrayed starship captains within the Star Trek franchise. Shatner’s interviewees included Patrick Stewart, Avery Brooks, Kate Mulgrew, Scott Bakula, and Chris Pine. In the film, Shatner also interviews Christopher Plummer, who is an old friend and colleague from Shatner’s days with the Stratford Shakespeare Festival.

Shatner has also worked as a musician and began his musical career with the spoken-word 1968 album The Transformed Man, delivering exaggerated, interpretive recitations of “Mr. Tambourine Man” and “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.” He performed a reading of the Elton John song “Rocket Man” during the 1978 Science Fiction Film Awards that has been widely parodied. Ben Folds, who has worked with him several times, produced and co-wrote Shatner’s well-received second studio album, Has Been, in 2004. His third studio album, Seeking Major Tom, was released on October 11, 2011. The fourth, Ponder the Mystery, was released in October 2013. Shatner also has done a concert tour with CIRCA:, which includes an ex and current member of Yes, Tony Kaye and Billy Sherwood.

Shatner also recorded a wake-up call that was played for the crew of STS-133 in the Space Shuttle Discovery on March 7, 2011, its final day docked to the International Space Station. Backed by the musical theme from Star Trek, it featured a voice-over based on his spoken introduction from the series’ opening credits: “Space, the final frontier. These have been the voyages of the Space Shuttle Discovery. Her 30-year mission: To seek out new science. To build new outposts. To bring nations together on the final frontier. To boldly go, and do, what no spacecraft has done before.” William Shatner is also an author; screenwriter and director; celebrity pitchman; and a passionate owner, trader, breeder, rider, and aficionado of horses.

Sir Arthur Charles Clarke, CBE, FRAS, Sri Lankabhimanya

British science fiction author, inventor Sir Arthur Charles Clarke, CBE, FRAS, Sri Lankabhimanya, sadly passed awa on 19th March 2008, born 16 December 1917. He was famous for his short stories and novels, among them 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), Profiles of the Future, Rendezvous with Rama and The Fountains of Paradise. He was also a host and commentator in the British television series Mysterious World. For many years, Robert A. Heinlein, Isaac Asimov, and Clarke were known as the “Big Three” of science fiction. Clarke served in the Royal Air Force as a radar instructor and technician from 1941 to 1946. In 1945, he proposed a satellite communication system—an idea that, in 1963, won him the Franklin Institute Stuart Ballantine Gold Medal. He was the chairman of the British Interplanetary Society from 1947–1950 and again in 1953.

Between 1937 and 1945, Clarke had a few stories published in fanzines, his first professional sale appeared in Astounding Science Fiction in 1946: “Loophole” was published in April, while “Rescue Party”, his first sale, was published in May. Along with his writing Clarke briefly worked as Assistant Editor of Science Abstracts (1949) before devoting himself to writing full-time from 1951 onward. Clarke also contributed to the Dan Dare series published in Eagle, and his first three published novels were written for children.Clarke corresponded with C. S. Lewis in the 1940s and 1950s and they once met in an Oxford pub, The Eastgate, to discuss science fiction and space travel. Clarke, after Lewis’s death, voiced great praise for him, saying the Ransom Trilogy was one of the few works of science fiction that could be considered literature.

In 1948 Arthur C.Clarke wrote “The Sentinel” for a BBC competition. Though the story was rejected, it changed the course of Clarke’s career. Not only was it the basis for 2001: A Space Odyssey, but “The Sentinel” also introduced a more cosmic element to Clarke’s work. Many of Clarke’s later works feature a technologically advanced but still-prejudiced mankind being confronted by a superior alien intelligence. In the cases of The City and the Stars (and its original version, Against the Fall of Night), Childhood’s End, and the 2001 series, this encounter produces a conceptual breakthrough that accelerates humanity into the next stage of its evolution. In Clarke’s authorised biography, Neil McAleer writes that: “many readers and critics still consider Childhood’s End Arthur C. Clarke’s best novel.”


Clarke lived in Sri Lanka from 1956 until his death, having emigrated there when it was still called Ceylon, first in Unawatuna on the south coast, and then in Colombo. The Sri Lankan government offered Clarke resident guest status in 1975. He was an avid scuba diver and a member of the Underwater Explorers Club. In addition to writing, Clarke set up several diving-related ventures with his business partner Mike Wilson. In 1956, while scuba diving in Trincomalee, Wilson and Clarke uncovered ruined masonry, architecture and idol images of the sunken original Koneswaram temple — including carved columns with flower insignias, and stones in the form of elephant heads — spread on the shallow surrounding seabed. Other discoveries included Chola bronzes from the original shrine, which were described in Clarke’s 1957 book The Reefs of Taprobane. In 1961, while filming off Great Basses Reef, Wilson found a wreck and retrieved silver coins.

Plans to dive on the wreck the following year were stopped when Clarke developed paralysis, ultimately diagnosed as polio. A year later, Clarke observed the salvage from the shore and the surface. The ship, ultimately identified as belonging to the Mughal Emperor, Aurangzeb, yielded fused bags of silver rupees, cannons, and other artefacts, carefully documented, became the basis for The Treasure of the Great Reef. Living in Sri Lanka and learning its history also inspired the backdrop for his novel The Fountains of Paradise in which he described a space elevator. This, he believed, would make rocket based access to space obsolete and, more than geostationary satellites, would ultimately be his scientific legacy.

Arthur C.Clarke made many predictions about science in the future and in 1958 he began a series of magazine essays that eventually became Profiles of the Future, published in book form in 1962. A timetable up to the year 2100 describes inventions and ideas including such things as a “global library” for 2005. The same work also contained “Clarke’s First Law” and text that became Clarke’s three laws in later editions. Clarke Sadly passed away on 19th March 2008 in Sri Lanka. He was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1998 & was awarded Sri Lanka’s highest civil honour, Sri Lankabhimanya, in 2005.

Edgar Rice Burroughs

Prolific Adventure & Science Fiction Novelist Edgar Rice Burroughs sadly passed away on March 19, 1950 after suffering a Heart Attack. He wrote almost seventy novels during his career and created many popular enduring characters but he is perhaps best known for his creation of the jungle hero Tarzan and the heroic Mars adventurer John Carter.

Edgar Rice Burroughs was born on September 1, 1875, in Chicago, Illinois (he later lived for many years in the suburb of Oak Park). he was educated at a number of local schools, and during the Chicago influenza epidemic in 1891, he spent a half year at his brother’s ranch on the Raft River in Idaho. He then attended the Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts, and then the Michigan Military Academy. Graduating in 1895, and failing the entrance exam for the United States Military Academy (West Point), he ended up as an enlisted soldier with the 7th U.S. Cavalry in Fort Grant, Arizona Territory. After being diagnosed with a heart problem and thus ineligible to serve, he was discharged in 1897. Some drifting and ranch work followed in Idaho.

In 1899, Burroughs found work at his father’s firm and married childhood sweetheart Emma Hulbert (1876-1944) in January 1900. In 1904 he left his job and found less regular work; some in Idaho, later in Chicago.By 1911, after seven years of low wages, he was working as a pencil sharpener wholesaler and began to write fiction. By this time, Burroughs and Emma had two children, Joan (1908–72), who would later marry Tarzan film actor James Pierce, and Hulbert (1909–91).During this period, he had copious spare time and he began reading many pulp fiction magazines. In 1929 he recalled thinking that …if people were paid for writing rot such as I read in some of those magazines, that I could write stories just as rotten. As a matter of fact, although I had never written a story, I knew absolutely that I could write stories just as entertaining and probably a whole lot more so than any I Read in those magazines.

So he wrote The exciting science-fiction exploits of Barsoom which debuted in 1912 and featured a Confederate American Civil War veteren from Virginia named John Carter, who inexplicably finds himself transported to the planet Mars and discovers that far from being dead, Mars, which is known as “Barsoom” by the locals) is actually inhabited by 12-foot tall barbarians called Tharks, Intelligent & scientifically minded red skinned people from the neighbouring City of Helium, villainous Warlords, Pirates, Giant White Apes and vicious thugs named Warhoons. Carter discovers that the land is in turmoil and the various inhabitants are at war with each other over th planets dwindling resources and the situation is being manipulated by shadowy forces. So he undertakes a perilous journey across Barsoom, encountering many dangers along the way, in order to unite the population against a common enemy and fairly soon he finds himself in the midst of all-out war between the forces of civilization on Mars and those of destruction and the outcome will determine the fate of everyone on Barsoom.

Burroughs also produced works in many other genres including The Land That Time Forgot (1918),and had his first story, “Under the Moons of Mars”, serialized in All-Story Magazine in 1912. Burroughs soon took up writing full-time and by the time the run of Under the Moons of Mars had finished he had completed two novels, including Tarzan of the Apes, which was published from October 1912 and which went on to become one of his most successful series. Burroughs also wrote popular science fiction and fantasy stories involving Earthly adventurers transported to various planets (notably Barsoom, Burroughs’ fictional name for Mars, and Amtor, his fictional name for Venus), lost islands, and into the interior of the hollow earth in his Pellucidar stories, as well as westerns and historical romances. Along with All-Story, many of his stories were published in The Argosy. Many of his novels have also been adapted from film including Tarzan of the Apes, Land that time Forgot and John Carter (which was made by Disney but did not do as well as I thought it would for some reason, I still think it is possible to do an Epic Barsoom series of films

Thanks to the enduring popularity of the Barsoom and Tarzan series of novels Burroughs set up his own company, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc In 1923 and began printing his own books throughout the 1930s.Then In 1941 At the time of the attack on Pearl Harbor, Burroughs was a resident of Hawaii and, despite being in his late sixties, he applied for permission to become a war correspondent. This permission was granted, and so he became one of the oldest war correspondents for the U.S. during World War II. After the war ended, Burroughs moved back to Encino, California, where, after many health problems, he died of a heart attack on March 19, 1950, having written almost 80 novels.

Doctor Who (Season 18)

Doctor Who Season 18 was released on Blu Ray on 18 March 2019. It stars Tom Baker, Lalla Ward, Sarah Sutton, Matthew Waterhouse and Anthony Ainley and was Tom Bakers final season as the The Doctor before Peter Davison took over the role. Some might say It is nowhere near as good as previous series, although i think it still has it’s moments although it goes a bit ropey towards the end.

The Leisure hive
The Doctor (Tom Baker)and Romana (Lalla Ward) journey to Brighton beach. They then travel to the leisure planet Argolis in search of more excitement, however all is not right. Then a man is found dead, strangled by the Doctor’s scarf, so the Doctor is put on trial and as per Argolis archaic law, he’s made to “prove” his innocence by becoming a test subject in a new tachyon experiment with time. The result of which will prove his innocence or guilt, however This has a rather alarming affect on the Doctor. Then it is discovered the Tachyonic Generator has been part of many illicit schemes. Then an ambitious Leader tries to take over Argolis and uses it to create an even bigger threat….

Meglos
The Doctor, Romana and K-9 arrive on the hostile forest planet Tygella, where the native Tygellans now live in the safety of a underground city, due to the carnivorous plants on the surface. The structure of Tigellan society is based on two castes: the scientific Savants, led by the earnest Deedrix; and the religiously fanatical Deons, led by Lexa. The latter worship the Dodecahedron, a mysterious twelve-sided crystal which they see as a gift from the god Ti and which powers the City and their entire civilization. However Once he arrives of Tygella the Doctor finds he has been wrongly accused of stealing the Dodecahedron, the city’s power source and is sentenced to be sacrificed to the god Ti for stealing the dodecahedron.

Meanwhile a villainous cactus-like alien named Meglos, who is last survivor of the hostile desert planet Zolfa-Thura disguises himself as the Doctor and with help from a band of dodgy space pirates called Gaztaks led by Grugger and Brotadac, lands on Tygella, and infiltrates the city in order to the steal Dodecahedron.

Without the Dodecahedron the energy levels of the city soon start to fail and both Savants and Deons start to panic. Meanwhile Lexa uses the situation to her own ends. The Doctor discovers that Meglos’s race perished in a civil war over the control of the Dodecahedron, which can power a weapon strong enough to destroy planets. Now Meglos is plotting a deadly scheme concerning Zolfa-Thura and Tigella which needs the power of the Dodecahedron. So Doctor must prove his innocence, escape, rescue Romana, return the Dodecahedron, confront Meglos and stop his evil plans….

Full Circle
The Doctor is summoned to Gallifrey by the Time Lords, however they land on the planet Alzarius instead where they discover a Terradonian space ship which accidentally crash landed there. They also encounter a deadly phenomenon called Mistfall, which coincides with the emergence of dangerous creatures including venomous marsh spiders and Marshmen, during which the Terradonian community takes refuge. Outside the ship, Marshmen track the Doctor, then Romana is bitten by a Marsh Spider and is discovered by a Marshman. Having reached the ship The Doctor learns disturbing about the Terradons and the Marshmen….

State of Decay
While trying to escape E-Space, K-9 locates a habitable planet. Upon landing they discover a tower overlooking a single village, no fauna other than bats, and a band of rebels in hiding. The Doctor and Romana are escorted to the tower to meet the royal leaders and get some answers. However The Doctor discovers something alarming. Meanwhile One of the towers inhabitants Councilor Aukon senses intelligence in Adric and bestows a great honour upon him. Then the Doctor makes an even more alarming discovery concerning his hosts and it’s not long before The Doctor, Adric and Romana find themselves in deadly peril at the hands of hosts who are actually far more hostile than they first appear to be….

Warriors Gate
The Doctor and Romana attempt to escape E-Space, However Time Winds strike the TARDIS, damaging it and K-9. They encounter an alien Tharil named Biroc. The TARDIS is found by a damaged bulk freighter commanded by Commander Rorvik, who Romana begrudgingly assists and learns more about Biroc and the damaged freighter. Meanwhile the Doctor learns more of the Tharil’s past from Biroc and also discovers a gateway, guarded by deadly robot soldiers named Gundans. Then Commander Rorvik, endangers everyone by making a rather questionable decision and it is up to the Doctor and Romana save the Freighter and the Tharil race.

Keeper of Traken
Returning to N-Space, The Doctor and Adric are summoned to Traken, a planet of peace and harmony. The Keeper of Traken is nearing the end of his 1000-year-old reign and one of the Traken consuls is to become the next Keeper. Meanwhile the Melkur, a calcified figure believed to be a “Source of Evil” is trying to control the Source of Trakens Power and destroy the Traken Union. So The Doctor, Adric, Tremas (the Keeper Nominate) and Nyssa (his daughter) set about to stop the merciless Melkur from seizing control of Traken…

Logopolis
The Doctor lands on Earth meanwhile A mysterious figure in white is following him. The Doctor and Adric then visit Logopolis unaware that they have inadvertently picked up a stowaway whilst they were on Earth. Nyssa from Traken rejoins them and Adric assists the Monitor of Logopolis.

Elsewher a villainous renegade Timelord called The Master plots to ensnare the Doctor in a diabolical trap before revealing his latest evil scheme, unfortunately this has a catastrophic effect on the entire universe which begins to collapse …