George Lucas

American Producer screenwriter, director and Entreprenuer George Lucas was born May 14th 1944 in Modesto California. He is best known as the creator of the space opera franchise Star Wars and the archaeologist-adventurer character Indiana Jones and is one of the American film industry’s most financially successful directors/producers.Lucas grew up in Modesto and his early passion for cars and motor racing would eventually serve as inspiration for his USC student film 1:42.08, as well as his Oscar-nominated low-budget phenomenon, American Graffiti. Lucas originally wanted to be a race-car driver. However, a near-fatal accident on June 12, 1962, changed his mind and he attended Modesto Junior College instead and got accepted into a junior college where he developed a passion for cinematography and camera tricks.After George Lucas graduated from USC in California he met an experimental filmmaker who toured local coffee houses and screened the work of underground, avant-garde 16 mm filmmakers. Lucas regularly went to San Francisco to hang out in jazz clubs and find news of these screenings. Already a promising photographer, Lucas became infatuated with these abstract films and transferred to the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts. where he became very good friends with fellow acclaimed student filmmaker and future Indiana Jones collaborator, Steven Spielberg. Lucas was also deeply influenced by the Filmic Expression course taught at the school & saw many great films, which inspired him to make many 16 mm nonstory noncharacter visual tone poems and cinéma vérité concentrating on camerawork and editing, defining himself as a filmmaker as opposed to being a director.

After graduating with a bachelor of fine arts in film, Lucas re-enrolled as a USC graduate student in film production. and directed the short film Electronic Labyrinth: THX 1138 4EB, which won first prize at the 1967–68 National Student Film Festival, and was later adapted into his first full-length feature film, THX 1138. Lucas was also awarded a student scholarship by Warner Brothers.Aside from the nine short films he made in the 1960s, he also directed six major features. His work from 1971 and 1977 as a writer-director, which established him as a major figure in Hollywood, and consists of just three films: THX 1138, American Graffiti, and Star Wars. Lucas acted as a writer and executive producer on another successful Hollywood film franchise, the Indiana Jones series.

In addition, he established his own effects company, Industrial Light and Magic (ILM), to make the original Star Wars film. Lucas also co-founded the studio American Zoetrope with Francis Ford Coppola—whom he met at Warner Brothers, and then created his own company, Lucasfilm, Ltd. His new-found wealth and reputation enabled him to develop a story set in space – Star Wars, which quickly became the highest-grossing film of all-time, displaced five years later by Spielberg’s E.T.the Extra-Terrestrial. Due to the overwhelming success of Star Wars George was able to finance the sequel “Empire Strikes Back” himself. Since Star Wars, Lucas has worked extensively as a writer and/or producer, on the many Star Wars spinoffs made for film, TV, and other media, and was also executive producer for the next two Star Wars films as well as as executive producer and story writer on all four of the Indiana Jones films.

For the 20th anniversary of Star Wars, Lucas was able to enhance the trilogy and add certain scenes using newly available digital technology, which were released as the Star Wars Trilogy: Special Edition. In 1994, Lucas began work on the prequel Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, which was released in 1999, beginning a new trilogy of Star Wars films. Lucas also directed Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones and Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. In 2008, he also reteamed with Spielberg for Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. The American Film Institute awarded Lucas its Life Achievement Award on June 9, 2005, shortly after the release of Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, and On June 5, 2005, Lucas was named among the 100 “Greatest Americans” by the Discovery Channel,and was also nominated for four Academy Awards: Best Directing and Writing for American Graffiti, and Best Directing and Writing for Star Wars.

He received the Academy’s Irving G. Thalberg Award in 1991. He appeared at the 79th Academy Awards ceremony in 2007 with Steven Spielberg and Francis Ford Coppola to present the Best Director award to their friend Martin Scorsese. In 2006, the Science Fiction Hall of Fame inducted George Lucas and three others and On August 25, 2009, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver announced that Lucas would be one of 13 California Hall of Fame inductees in The California Museum’s yearlong exhibit. Then On September 6, 2009, Lucas, along with the the Pixar team was presented with the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at the 2009 Biennale Venice Film Festival. George Lucas was also involved in Star Wars episode VII The Force Awakens, directed by J.J.Abrahams and starring Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Adam Driver, Harrison Ford, and Carrie Fisher and Episode IX The Rise of Skywalker the final part of the Star Wars saga which also stars Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Adam Driver, Harrison Ford, and the late great Carrie Fisher.

H.R.Giger

Swiss surrealist painter, sculptor and set designer Hans Rudolf “Ruedi” Giger sadly passed away 12 May 2014. He was born 5 February 1940 in Chur, capital city of Graubünden, the largest and easternmost Swiss canton. His father, a chemist, viewed art as a “breadless profession” and strongly encouraged him to enter pharmaceutics, Giger recalls. Yet he moved in 1962 to Zürich, where he studied Architecture and industrial design at the School of Applied Arts until 1970. Giger Started with small ink drawings before progressing to oil paintings. For most of his career, Giger has worked predominantly in airbrush, creating monochromatic canvasses depicting surreal, nightmarish dreamscapes.

Gradually he abandoned large airbrush works and Stated working with pastels, markers or inks. His most distinctive stylistic innovation is that of a representation of human bodies and machines in a cold, interconnected relationship, he described as “biomechanical”. His paintings often display fetishistic sexual imagery His main influences were painters Ernst Fuchs, Salvador Dalí and the American horror fiction writer H.P. Lovecraft, particularly his first compendium of images Necronomicon, he was also a personal friend of Timothy Leary. Giger suffered from night terrors and his paintings are all to some extent inspired by his experiences with that particular sleep disorder. He studied interior and industrial design at the School of Commercial Art in Zurich (from 1962 to 1965) and made his first paintings as a means of art therapy.

Giger’s style and thematic execution have been influential. His design for the Alien was inspired by his painting Necronom IV and earned him an Oscar in 1980. His books of paintings, particularly Necronomicon and Necronomicon II (1985) and the frequent appearance of his art in Omni magazine continued his rise to international prominence. Giger is also well known for artwork on several music recording albums.In 1998 Giger acquired the Château St. Germain in Gruyères, Switzerland, and it now houses the H. R. Giger Museum, a permanent repository of his work and was inducted to the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame in 2013. During the 1960s and 1970s, Giger directed a number of films, including Swiss Made (1968),Tagtraum (1973), Giger’s Necronomicon (1975) and Giger’s Alien (1979). Giger has created furniture designs, particularly the Harkonnen Capo Chair for a movie of the novel Dune. Many years later, David Lynch directed the film, using only rough concepts by Giger. Giger had wished to work with Lynch. Giger has also applied his biomechanical style to interior design and a “Giger Bar” sprang up in Tokyo, Sadly though Within a few years, the establishment was out of business. However two more Giger Bars were built in Gruyères and Chur, under Giger’s close personal supervision and reflect his original concepts for them accurately.

At The Limelight in Manhattan, Giger’s artwork also decorates the VIP room, the uppermost chapel of the landmarked church, but it was never intended to be a permanent installation and As of 2009 only the two authentic Swiss Giger Bars remain. His art has greatly influenced tattooists and fetishists worldwide. Under a licensing deal Ibanez guitars released an H. R. Giger signature series: the Ibanez ICHRG2, an Ibanez Iceman, features “NY City VI”, the Ibanez RGTHRG1 has “NY City XI” printed on it, the S Series SHRG1Z has a metal-coated engraving of “Biomechanical Matrix” on it, and a 4-string SRX bass, SRXHRG1, has “N.Y. City X” on it. Giger is often referred to in pop culture, especially in science fiction and cyberpunk. William Gibson (who wrote an early script for Alien 3) seems particularly fascinated: a minor character in Virtual Light, Lowell, is described as having New York XXIV tattooed across his back, and in Idoru a secondary character, Yamazaki, describes the buildings of nanotech Japan as Giger-esque. Giger’s artwork continues to inspire film makers and artists alike and his work can be seen at the Château St. Germain in Gruyères, Switzerland, which houses the H. R. Giger Museum, a permanent repository of his work. Giger was also inducted to the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame in 2013

Douglas Adams

Best known as the author of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, the English author Douglas Adams sadly died 11 May 2001. He was born 11th March 1952 in Cambridge, England, and attended Primrose Hill Primary School in Brentwood. At nine, he passed the entrance exam for Brentwood School, an independent school whose alumni include Robin Day, Jack Straw, Noel Edmonds, and David Irving. Griff Rhys Jones was also a year below him. He attended the prep school from 1959 to 1964, then the main school until December 1970. He became the only student ever to be awarded a ten out of ten by Halford for creative writing, Some of his earliest writing was published at the school, such as reports or spoof reviews in the school magazine Broadsheet He also designed the cover of one issue of the Broadsheet, and had a letter and short story published nationally in The Eagle. in 1965, he was awarded a place at St John’s College, Cambridge to read English, Which he attended from 1971, though the main reason he applied to Cambridge was to join the Footlights, an invitation-only student comedy club that has acted as a hothouse for some of the most notable comic talent in England. he graduated from St. John’s in 1974 with a B.A. in English literature.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Doctor Who

Following months of speculation, 29 year old Rwandan-Scottish actor  Ncuti Gatwa has officially been announced as the next star of Doctor Who after Current Time Lord Jodie Whittaker bows out following a regeneration episode this autumn

Gatwa rose to fame as Eric Effiong in the Netflix teen comedy series Sex Education, Which has earned him much critical acclaim including, three BAFTA award nominations and a BAFTA Scotland Award for Best Actor in Television. In addition to Sex Education and Doctor Who, Gatwa is due to appear in director Greta Gerwig’s Barbie film opposite Margot Robbie, Ryan Gosling and his Sex Ed co-stars Emma Mackey and Connor Swindells. Meanwhile Queer As Folk and It’s A Sin writer Russell T. Davies is also returning as Doctor Who showrunner/Writer after leaving in 2009, for the 60th anniversary celebrations in 2022 and a  BBC’s Centenary Special in 2023. Ncuti’s new role will mark the show’s second portrayal of a black doctor, following Jo Martin’s starring role in January 2020 episode, Future of the Judoon, as Ruth Clayton.

Ray Harryhausen

American-British artist, designer, visual effects creator, writer, and producer Ray Harryhausen sadly died on May 7, 2013. He was born June 29, 1920 in Los Angeles, California. He spent his early years experimenting in the production of animated short films and was greatly inspired by the stop-motion animation of pioneer model animator Willis O’Brien on the film King Kong. So a friend arranged a meeting with O’Brien for him. O’Brien critiqued Harryhausen’s early models and urged him to take classes in graphic arts and sculpture to hone his skills. Meanwhile, Harryhausen became friends with an aspiring writer, Ray Bradbury, with similar enthusiasms. Bradbury and Harryhausen joined the Los Angeles-area Science Fiction League formed by Forrest J. Ackerman in 1939, and the three became lifelong friends. Harryhausen secured his first commercial model-animation job, on George Pal’s Puppetoons shorts, based on viewing his first formal demo reel of fighting dinosaurs from a project called Evolution of the World which was never finished.

During World War II, Harryhausen served in the United States Army Special Services Division under Colonel Frank Capra, as a loader, clapper boy, gofer and later camera assistant, whilst working at home animating short films about the use and development of military equipment. During this time he also worked with composer Dimitri Tiomkin and Theodore Geisel (“Dr. Seuss”). Following the war he salvaged several rolls of discarded 16 mm surplus film from which he made a series of fairy tale-based shorts, which he called his “Teething-rings”.

One of Harryhausen’s most long-cherished dreams was to make H.G. Wells’ The War of the Worlds. After World War II, he shot a scene of an alien emerging from a Martian cylinder showing the fearsome being from Mars fatally succumbing to an earthly illness, contracted from the air. It was part of an unrealized project to adapt the story using Wells’ original “octopus” concept for the Martians. In 1947 Harryhausen was hired as an assistant animator on what turned out to be his first major film, Mighty Joe Young (1949). O’Brien ended up concentrating on solving the various technical problems of the film, leaving most of the animation to Harryhausen. Their work won O’Brien the Academy Award for Best Special Effects that year.

Ray Harryhausen first film featuring his technical effects was The Beast from 20,000 Fathom based on a story by The writer Ray Bradbury, who was a long-time friend of Harryhausen. This was about a dinosaur drawn to a lone lighthouse by its foghorn. Because the story for Harryhausen’s film featured a similar scene, the film studio bought the rights to Bradbury’s story to avoid any potential legal problems. To film Beast from 20,000 fathoms Harryhausen used a technique called “Dynamation” that split the background and foreground of pre-shot live action footage into two separate images into which he would animate a model or models so seemingly integrating the live-action with the models. The background would be used as a miniature rear-screen with his models animated in front of it, re-photographed with an animation-capable camera to combine those two elements together, the foreground element matted out to leave a black space. Then the film was rewound, and everything except the foreground element matted out so that the foreground element would now photograph in the previously blacked out area. This created the effect that the animated model was “sandwiched” in between the two live action elements, right into the final live action scene.

In most of Harryhausen’s films, model animated characters interact with, and are a part of, the live action world, with the idea that they will cease to call attention to themselves as only “animation.” Most of the effects shots in his earliest films were created via Harryhausen’s careful frame-by-frame control of the lighting of both the set and the projector. This dramatically reduced much of degradation common in the use of back-projection or the creation of dupe negatives via the use of an optical printer. Harryhausen’s use of diffused glass to soften the sharpness of light on the animated elements allowed the matching of the soft background plates far more successfully than Willis O’Brien had achieved in his early films, allowing Harryhausen to match live and miniature elements seamlessly in most of his shots. Harryhausen managed to save money, by developing and executing most of this miniature work himself, while maintaining full technical control.

Harryhausen then began working with color film to make The 7th Voyage of Sinbad, experimenting with color film stocks to overcome the color-balance-shift problems. Ray’s producer/partner Charles H. Schneer coined the word Dynamation as a “merchandising term” (modifying it to “SuperDynaMation” and then “Dynarama”. Harryhausen was always heavily involved in the pre-production conceptualizing of each film’s story, script development, art-direction, design, storyboards, and general tone of the his films, as much as any auteur director would have on any other film, which any “director” of Harryhausen’s films had to understand and agree to work under. Only the complexities of Director’s Guild rules in Hollywood prevented Harryhausen from being credited as the director of his films, resulting in the more modest credits he had in most of his films.

Harryhausen’s often worked with his family His father did the machining of the metal armatures (based on his son’s designs) that were the skeletons for the models and allowed them to keep their position, while his mother assisted with some miniature costumes. After Harryhausen’s father died in 1973, Harryhausen contracted An occasional assistant, George Lofgren, a taxidermist, assisted Harryhausen with the creation of furred creatures. Another associate, Willis Cook, built some of Harryhausen’s miniature sets. Other than that, Harryhausen worked generally alone to produce almost all of the animation for his filmsThe same year that Beast was released, 1953, fledgling film producer Irwin Allen released a live action documentary about life in the oceans titled The Sea Around Us, which won an Oscar for best documentary feature film of that year. Harryhausen then worked on Allen’s sequel. He also met producer Charles H. Schneer, Their first tandem project was It Came from Beneath the Sea (aka Monster from Beneath the Sea, 1955), about a giant octopus attacking San Francisco. followed by Earth vs. the Flying Saucers. In 1954, Irwin Allen began work on a second feature-length documentary film, about animal life on land called The Animal World Needing an opening sequence about dinosaurs, Allen hired premier model animator Willis O’Brien and Harryhausen to animate the dinosaurs, many agreed that the dinosaur sequence of Animal World was the best part of the entire movie. (Animal World is available on the DVD release of O’Brien’s 1957 film The Black Scorpion).

Harryhausen then made 20 Million Miles to Earth (1957), about an American spaceship returning from Venus. The spaceship crashes into the ocean near Italy, which releases an on-board alien egg specimen that washes up on shore. The egg soon hatches a creature that, in Earth’s atmosphere, rapidly grows to gigantic size running amok and terrifying the citizens of Rome. He refined and improved his animation techniques still further for the Venusian Ymir alien. Harryhausen then developed a technique to maintain proper color balances for his DynaMation process, resulting in The 7th Voyage of Sinbad (1958) The Three Worlds of Gulliver (1960), Mysterious Island and Jason and the Argonauts (1963). Among the film’s best sequences is an exciting fight between three actors and seven living skeletons, And the confrontation with Talos the bronze giant. Harryhausen next made First Men in the Moon (1964), his only film made in the 2.35:1 widescreen (AKA “CinemaScope”) format, based on the novel by H. G. Wells.

Harryhausen was then hired by Hammer Film Productions to animate the dinosaurs for One Million Years B.C. (1966) featuringRaquel Welch in her second film. Harryhausen next went on to make another dinosaur film, The Valley of Gwangi. This is Set in Mexico, and features cowboys who discover a forbidden valley inhabited by dinosaurs and manage to capture a living Allosaurus and bring him to the nearest Mexican city for exhibition. However the creature, escapes and wreaks havoc on the town. Harryhausen’s next film wasThe Golden Voyage of Sinbad, featuring a sword fight involving a statue of the six-armed goddess Kali this was followed by Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger. Harryhausen and Shneer’s next film was Clash of the Titans featuring stars such as Laurence Olivier Ursula Andress, Burgess Meridith and Harry Hamlin and for which he was nominated for a Saturn Award for Best Special Effects. This features Perseus and his efforts to save the beautiful princess Andromeda from being sacrificed to the fearsome Kraken by undertaking a perilous journey to the Isle of the Dead Where he confronts the equally fearsome gorgon Medusa. sadly more sophisticated computer-assisted technology developed by ILM and others began to eclipse Harryhausen’s production techniques, with MGM and other studios refusing to fund his planned sequel, Force of the Trojans, sO Harryhausen and Schneer Retired from filmmaking.

In the early 1970s, Harryhausen also published a book, Film Fantasy Scrapbook (produced in three editions as his last three films were released) and supervising the restoration and release of his films to video, laserdisc, DVD, and Blu-ray. A second book followed, An Animated Life, written with author and friend Tony Dalton which details his techniques and history. This was then followed in 2005 by The Art of Ray Harryhausen, featuring sketches and drawings for his many projects. In 2008 Harryhausen and Dalton published a history of stop-motion model animation, A Century of Model Animation and to celebrate Harryhausen’s 90th birthday The Ray & Diana Harryhausen Foundation published Ray Harryhausen – A Life in Pictures. In 2011 the last volume, called Ray Harryhausen’s Fantasy Scrapbook, was also published. Harryhausen continued his lifelong friendship with Ray Bradbury until Bradbury’s death in 2012. Another long-time close friend was “Famous Monsters of Filmland” magazine editor, book writer, and sci-fi collector Forrest J Ackerman, another friend was long-time producer, Charles H. Schneer, who lived next door to him in a suburb of London until Schneer moved full-time to the USA. Harryhausen and Terry Moore appeared in small comedic cameo roles in the 1998 remake of Mighty Joe Young, and he has also provided the voice of a polar bear cub in the Will Ferrell film Elf. He also appears as a bar patron in Beverly Hills Cop III, and as a doctor in the John Landis film Spies Like Us. In 2010, Harryhausen had a brief cameo in Burke & Hare, a British film also directed by Landis.

In 1986 Harryhausen formed The Ray & Diana Harryhausen Foundation, a registered charity in the UK and US, which preserves all of his collection and promotes the art of stop-motion animation. In 2002, young animators Seamus Walsh and Mark Caballero helped Harryhausen complete The Story of the Tortoise and the Hare. This was the sixth and final installment of the Harryhausen fairy tales. The film was started in 1952 and completed in 2002, 50 years later and went on to win the 2003 Annie award for best short film and gained worldwide attention. Ray Harryhausen was also given a special tribute at The BFI Southbank theater which was attended by all the top visual effects directors and technicians and was hosted by director John Landis. At this event he was presented by Peter Jackson with a special BAFTA award from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts. In 2009, he released colorized DVD versions of three of his classic black and white Columbia films: 20 Million Miles to Earth, Earth vs. the Flying Saucers, and It Came from Beneath the Sea, and of She (1935), in tribute to its producer Merian C. Cooper.In June 2010, it was announced that the Ray and Diana Harryhausen Foundation had agreed to deposit the animator’s complete collection of some 50,000 pieces with the National Media Museum in Bradford, England.

The work of Ray Harryhausen was celebrated in an exhibition at London’s Museum of the Moving Image (MOMI) in 1990. In 2010 A theater at Sony Pictures Digital Productions was named in honor of Harryhausen. The Science Fiction Hall of Fame inducted Harryhausen in 2005, He also received the annual British Fantasy Society Wagner Award in 2008 for his lifetime contribution to the genre and in 2003, Harryhausen was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

In 2013, the RH foundation and Arrow Films released a feature-length biography of Harryhausen and his films called “Ray Harryhausen – Special Effects Titan” on Blu-Ray. Featuring photos, artifacts, and film clips culled directly Harryhausen’s estate and never before seen by the public. A major exhibition of Ray Harryhausen’s models Entitled “Ray Harryhausen – Mythical Menagerie” was held at the Science Museum Oklahoma and another exhibition took place at Tate Britain in 2017 featuring work from the Harryhausen collection and short film made by John Walsh on the restoration of a painting owned by Harryhausen which influenced his work. In 1992 The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences awarded Ray Harryhausen a Gordon E.Sawyer Award to acknowledge His “technological contributions to the industry. He also made” A long series of appearances at film festivals, colleges, and film seminars around the world. Harryhausen also met many film makers with luminaries; Steven Spielberg, James Cameron, Peter Jackson, George Lucas, John Landis and Nick Park citing Harryhausen As an influence whose work inspired their own creations. Peter Lord of Aardman animation also said that Harryhausen was “a one-man industry and a one-man genre”. Shaun of the Dead director Edgar Wright said “I loved every single frame of Ray Harryhausen’s work … He was the man who made me believe in monsters.” George Lucas also said, “Without Ray Harryhausen, there would likely have been no Star Wars”. Terry Gilliam said, “What we do now digitally with computers, Ray did digitally long before but without computers. Only with his digits.” James Cameron also paid tribute by saying, “I think all of us who are practitioners in the arts of science fiction and fantasy movies now all feel that we’re standing on the shoulders of a giant. If not for Ray’s contribution to the collective dreamscape, we wouldn’t be who we are.”

Ray Harryhausen left his collection, which includes all of his film related artefacts to the Ray & Diana Harryhausen Foundation, set up in 1986 to look after his extensive collection, to protect his name and to further the art of model stop-motion animation. The trustees are his daughter Vanessa Harryhausen, Simon Mackintosh, actress Caroline Munro who appeared in The Golden Voyage of Sinbad and film maker John Walsh who first met with Ray Harryhausen in 1988 as a film student of the London Film School and made a documentary entitled Ray Harryhausen: Movement Into Life narrated by Doctor Who actor Tom Baker (who also appeared in the Golden Voyage of Sinbad. The Foundation’s website charts progress on the restoration of the collection and future plans for Ray’s legacy. In 2016 the foundation launched The Ray Harryhausen Podcast. This included never before heard audio from Ray Harryhausen. Hosted by Collections Manager Connor Heaney and John Walsh.

Star Wars Day👽🤖🌖🪐🛸🚀

Star Wars takes place annually on May 4th to celebrate Star Wars culture, books and honour the films. The date was chosen because of the popularity of a common pun “May the fourth be with you”. (If you wanted To prolong the celebrations you could also try Revenge of the 5ith, The la5t Jedi, Ro6ue One or Revenge of the Si(x)th).The original quote is derived from the famous quote ‘May the Force be with you” and was first used in an advertisement placed in the London Evening News when Margaret Thatcher was elected Britain’s first female Prime Minister on May 4, 1979, and The Conservative political party placed an advertisement in The London Evening News which read “May the Fourth Be with You, Maggie. Congratulations.” The line was also recorded in the UK Parliament’s Hansard. Star Wars creator George Lucas was also asked to say the famous sentence “May the Force be with you” during a 2005 interview on German news Channel N24 and the interpreter simultaneously interpreted the sentence into German as Am 4. Mai sind wir bei Ihnen (“On May 4 we are with you.”). The first organized celebration of Star Wars Day took place in Toronto, Ontario, Canada at the Toronto Underground Cinema in 2011 festivities included an Original Trilogy Trivia Game Show; a costume contest with celebrity judges; and the web’s best tribute films, mash-ups, parodies, and remixes on the big screen. The second annual edition took place on Friday, May 4, 2012. In 2013, Disney’sHollywood Studios celebrated the holiday with several Star Wars events and festivities.

Phantom Menace

The first film in the Star Wars saga “the Phantom Menace” takes place during a trade dispute between The greedy Trade Federation and the Galactic Federation Over the Taxation of Trade Routes, and the Trade Federation blockade many trade routes. So two Jedi Knights Qui Gonn Jinn and Obi Wan Kenobi are despatched to negotiate. Meanwhile the evil Darth Sidious, a Sith Lord and the Trade Federation’s secret adviser, uses the situation to his advantage and orders Federation Viceroy Nute Gunray to kill the Jedi and invade Naboo with an army of battle droids.  The Jedi escape and flee to Naboo. During the invasion, Qui-Gon encounters a Gungan outcast who leads the Jedi to an underwater Gungan city. The Jedi unsuccessfully try to persuade the Gungan leader, Boss Nass, into helping the people of Naboo. So They journey to Theed, and rescue Queen Amidala, the ruler of the Naboo people, before escaping on her royal starship,

Amidala’s ship lands on the desert planet Tatooine. Qui-Gon, Jar Jar, astromech droid R2-D2, and Amidala visit Mos Espa where they meet the shop’s owner Watto and his nine-year-old slave, Anakin Skywalker. Qui-Gon senses a strong presence of the Force within Anakin and is convinced that he is the “chosen one” of Jedi prophecy who will bring balance to the Force.  Anakin wins his freedom in a Podrace, And joins the group to be trained as a Jedi. Before leaving Tattooine, Qui-Gon is attacked by Darth Maul, Darth Sidious’s apprentice,

Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan escort Amidala to the Republic capital planet of Coruscant so that she can plead her people’s case to Chancellor Valorum and the Galactic Senate. Qui-Gon asks the Jedi Council for permission to train Anakin as a Jedi, Naboo’s Senator Palpatine persuades Amidala to make a vote of no confidence in Valorum and to elect him instead. Amidala then decides to return to Naboo accompanied by Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan and persuades the Gungans To join the Naboo and fight against the droid army of the Trade Federation on the ground.

Attack of the Clones

The Second film “Attack of the Clones” takes place Ten years after the Trade Federation’s invasion of Naboo, now peace in the Galactic Republic is threatened by a Separatist movement organized by former Jedi Master Count Dooku. Senator Padmé Amidala comes to coruscant and narrowly avoids being assassinated. So she is placed under the protection of Jedi Knight Obi-Wan Kenobi and his apprentice, Anakin Skywalker.  a second attempt is made on her life by the assassin, Zam Wesell so The Jedi Council assigns Obi-Wan to investigate further, while Anakin is assigned to escort Padmé back to Naboo. Obi-Wan’s investigation leads him to the remote ocean planet Kamino, where he discovers an army of clones is being produced for the Republic. Obi-Wan follows the bounty hunter Jango Fett and his clone son, Boba, to the desert planet Geonosis. Meanwhile, Anakin becomes troubled by premonitions of his mother, Shmi, in pain, and travels to Tatooine with Padmé to save her. 

They meet Owen Lars, Anakin’s stepbrother and the son of Shmi’s new husband, Cliegg Lars. Cliegg tells Anakin that Shmi was abducted by Tusken Raiders weeks earlier and is likely dead. Determined to find her, Anakin ventures out and finds Shmi at the Tusken campsite, where she dies in Anakin’s arms. Enraged, Anakin massacres the Tuskens and returns to the Lars homestead with Shmi’s body. On Geonosis, Obi-Wan discovers a Separatist gathering led by Count Dooku. Obi-Wan is captured. With knowledge of the droid army, Supreme Chancellor Palpatine is voted emergency powers to send the clones into battle. Anakin and Padmé journey to Geonosis to rescue Obi-Wan, but are also captured. The three are sentenced to death. However procedings are interrupted by a battalion of Jedi and clone troopers led by Mace Windu and Yoda who battle the Droid army. Then Obi-Wan and Anakin pursue Dooku, then Yoda arrives, however Dooku escapes to Coruscant… 

Revenge of the Sith

Three years after the start of the Clone Wars between the Galactic Republic and the Confederacy of Independent Systems, Jedi Knights Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker lead a mission to rescue the kidnapped Supreme Chancellor Palpatine from Separatist commander General Grievous during a battle over the skies of Coruscant. After infiltrating Grievous’s flagship, the Jedi battle Count Dooku meanwhile Grievous flees. Later Padmé Amidala, reveals some unexpected news

Palpatine appoints Anakin to the Jedi Council as his representative, but the Council declines to grant Anakin the rank of Jedi Master and orders him to spy on Palpatine, shaking Anakin’s faith in the Jedi Meanwhile Palpatine encourages Anakin to follow revealing that he is a Sith Lord. Elsewhere Obi-Wan travels to the planet Utapau to deal with General Grievous, and Yoda travels to Kashyyyk to defend the planet from invasion. Anakin is torn between loyalties between his friend Palpatine and the Jedi Order. Things come to a head when Mace Windu, confronts the Sith Lord and Anakin makes a fateful life changing decision to join Palpatine meanwhile the clone troopers massacre the rest of the Jedi. The remaining Separatist leaders hiding on the volcanic planet Mustafar meet a similar grisly fate while Palpatine addresses the Galactic Senate, transforming the Republic into the Galactic Empire and declaring himself Emperor. Obi-Wan and Yoda return to Coruscant and learn of Anakin’s treachery. So Padmé and Obi-Wan travel to Mustafar however this ends in tragedy. On Coruscant, Yoda battles Palpatine before fleeing with Bail Organa. 

On the asteroid Polis Massa, Obi-Wan rejoins Yoda and Padmé gives birth to twins Luke and Leia before dying. A funeral is held for Padmé on Naboo. Palpatine rescues Anakin from Mustafar, who recieves medical treatment for his injuries. Obi-Wan and Yoda decide to conceal the twins from the Sith. Bail Organa adopts Leia as his own daughter and takes her to Alderaan, while Obi-Wan delivers Luke to his step-family Owen and Beru Lars on Tatooine. Yoda exiles himself to the planet Dagobah.

Rogue One

Rogue one sits between trilogies. It features An Imperial technician named Galen Erso who has a crisis of concience leaves the evil Empire and goes AWOL with his family Jyn and Lyra to the the remote planet Lahmu. Sadly though the Empire eventually locate him, catch up with him and take him prisoner and send his daughter Jyn to Wobani Labour Camp. However She is rescued by Guerrilla leader and Rebel extremist Saw Gerrera who teaches her to become a fighter with his militia as well as a smuggler and criminal.

However Jyn is abandoned by Gerrera, luckily though she is rescued by a Rebel named Ruescott Melshi and taken to the rebel base where she meets Mon Mothma and Cassian Andor. Meanwhile an Imperial Pilot Defector named Bodhi Rook is being held by Saw Gerrera at the holy city of Jedha having been sent by Galen Erso to warn the rebels that the Empire Is constructing a superweapon of unimagineable power called the Death Star, which is capable of destroying whole planets

So The Rebels send Jyn Erso and rebel pilot Cassian Andor to Jedha where they encounter two Mystic Warriors Chirrut Imwe and Baze Malbus battling the Imperial Invaders. They also encounter Saw Gerrera who is also waging his own guerrilla warfare on the Empire. Meanwhile the Empire led by Grand Moff Tarkin and Scientist Orson Krennic decide to demonstrate the Death Star’s destructive capacity on Jedha. And Cassian, Jyn, Bodhi Rook, Chirrut Imwe and Baze only just manage to escape the subsequent carnage. They are then sent to an Imperial Research Facility on the windswept, inhospitable planet Eadu on a mission to find and extract Galen Erso and are followed bth rebel fighters. Whilst on Eadu Jyn, Cassian, Bodhi Rook, Chirut Imwe and Baze Malbus discover that the technical blueprints for the Empire’s superweapon are being stored in another Imperial Facility on the planet Scarif. So they set off, unbeknownst to the Rebels, on an unsanctioned and very dangerous mission to Scarif to recover the technical blueprints for the Death Star…

Star Wars

Star Wars is The first film in the original Star Wars Trilogy and was originally released 25 May 1977. (Technically it is the fourth film, and chronologically the prequels take place before Star Wars, but were released sixteen years after this date). Star Wars features a young farm boy named Luke Skywalker who finds himself thrust unwittingly into a Rebellion to rid the galaxy of an evil empire after acquiring two droids C3POandR2D2, who have escaped from a spaceship which has come under attack from the Empire and landed on the desolate planet Tattooine. Along the way He meets an old Jedi Knight named Obi Wan Kenobi and discovers that one of the droids is carrying the technical data for the Empire’s terrifying new weapon ‘The Death Star’ which is capable of destroying whole planets. Luke also learns that he has a special power and asks Obi Wan to teach him to master it. On Tattoine he also meets charismatic smuggler Han Solo and his wookiee first mate Chewbacca, who are asked to take them to the planet Alderaaan, home of Princess Leia to help mount an attack on the Death Star. However Princess Leia has been captured by the evil Empire, led by The Evil Sith Lord Emperor Palpatine and his sinister apprentice Darth Vader and taken to theDeath Star and Alderaan has been destroyed. so the rebels mount a daring rescue attempt to free Princess Leia and Luke gets swept up in the battle to destroy the Death Star

Empire Strikes Back

Empire Strikes Back takes place Three years later, and sees the Rebels attacked by the Empire on the ice world of Hoth and Luke traveling to find Jedi Master Yoda, who is living in exile on the swamp-infested world Dagobah, to begin his Jedi training. The Rebels manage to escape Hoth hotly pursued by the Empire. However, Luke is interrupted from his training when Vader lures him into a trap by capturing Han and the others who have journeyed to Cloud City on Bespin seeking help from Han’s old acquaintance Lando Calrissian. During a fierce lightsaber duel, Vader reveals that he is in fact Luke’s father and used to be Anakin Skywalker, and attempts to turn Luke to the dark side.

Return of the Jedi

Return of the Jedi sees, Luke journeys to Tattoine to save Han from the clutches of the vile gangster Jabba the Hutt and then return to Yoda to complete his training. However, now over 900 years old, Yoda is on his deathbed. Before he passes away, Yoda confirms that Vader is Luke’s father; moments later, Obi-Wan’s spirit tells Luke that he must face his father before he can become a true Jedi, and that Leia is his twin sister. The Rebels then attempt to destroy a second Death Star which is being built near the forest moon of Endor and manage to pursuade the local inhabitants to help them. Meanwhile Luke confronts Vader as Palpatine watches; both Sith Lords intend to turn Luke to the dark side and take him as their apprentice. During the subsequent lightsaber duel, Luke succumbs to his anger and brutally overpowers Vader, but controls himself at the last minute; realizing that he is about to suffer his father’s fate, and he spares Vader’s life and declares his allegiance to the Jedi. An enraged Palpatine then attempts to kill Luke with Force lightning. However Darth Vader Redeems himself at the last moment, switching loyalties from the Empire to his Son, but pays the ultimate price. Subsequently Luke becomes a full-fledged Jedi, and the Rebels destroy the second Death Star.

The Force Awakens

Thirty years have passed since the Death Star was destroyed and Emperor Palpatine defeated, however a new evil power has risen in the form of the First Order led by the Sinister Supreme Leader Snoke and his acolyte Kyle Ren. (Adam Driver). Meanwhile on the remote planet of Jakku a young woman named Rey (Daisy Ridley) eeks out a meager living by scavenging parts from obsolete space ships in exchange for food, she finds a droid BB-8, which contains a top secret map. Then a defector named Finn (John Boyega) crash-lands on Jakku, where he meets Rey (Daisy Ridley), Together, the young duo try to escape theFirst Order who are in hot pursuit and encounter Han Solo (Harrison Ford) before finding themselves drawn into the fight against the evil First Order, led by Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) and the search for Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), the last of the Jedi Knights, who mysteriously vanished after a former pupil turned evil.

The Last Jedi

Rey locates Luke and begins training as a Jedi, meanwhile the First Order led by Supreme Leader Snoke and Kylo Ren continue to pursue the Resistance led by Princess Leia. Kylo Ren lures Rey into a trap and After capturing Her, Kylo Ren also decides he has finally had enough of Supreme Leader Snoke and resorts to drastic action before fleeing. Kylo REN then pursues the remnants of the resistance to a remote planet where they face a desperate battle against Kylo Ren and the First Order before somebody unexpected turns up and manages to buy them enough time to escape…

The Rise of Skywalker

Rey continues her Jedi training under the tutelage of Princess Leia. Meanwhile Kylo Ren ventures to the uncharted planet of Exegol where he discovers an ancient evil has been biding it’s time and building up a massive army ready to take over the galaxy. Elsewhere the Resistance follow clues which they hope will also lead them to Exegol. However Chewbacca gets captured by the Knights of Ren, so they set off to rescue him, while Rey confront Ren. Then Poe Dameron makes a suggestion and they venture to the planet Kimaji where he finds himself reacquainted with an old flame Who may be able to help them. Unfortunately the First Order are not far behind. Meanwhile After hearing some unsettling news from Kylo Ren, Rey decides to confront the ancient evil herself and ventures into the unknown regions….

George Takei

Best known for his role as Hikaru Sulu, helmsman of the USS Enterprise in the 60′s television series Star Trek and numerous Star Trek Movies Amercan Actor George Takei was born 20th April 1937. Takei began his career in Hollywood in the late 1950s, His first role was providing voiceover for several characters in the English dub of Japanese monster films such as Godzilla Raids Again and Rodan, followed by an appearance in the Emmy award winning television series Playhouse 90 and Perry Mason The Case of the Blushing Pearls. He originated the role of George in the musical Fly Blackbird!, but when the show traveled from Los Angeles to Broadway the west coast actors were forced to audition and the role went to William Sugihara instead. Eventually Sugihara had to give up the role and Takei closed out the show’s final months.Takei subsequently appeared alongside such actors as Frank Sinatra in Never So Few (uncredited), Richard Burton in Ice Palace, Jeffrey Hunter in Hell to Eternity, Alec Guinness in A Majority of One, James Caan in Red Line 7000 and Cary Grant in Walk, Don’t Run. He featured in a lead role in “The Encounter” (1964), an episode of The Twilight Zone He had an uncredited role in the film PT-109 (1963) and also guest-starred in an episode of Mission: Impossible (1966). He also appeared in two Jerry Lewis comedies, The Big Mouth and Which Way to the Front? In 1969 Takei narrated the award winning documentary The Japanese Sword as the Soul of the Samurai.

In 1965, producer Gene Roddenberry cast him as Hikaru Sulu in the second Star Trek pilot and eventually the Star Trek television series. It was intended that Sulu’s role be expanded in the second season, but Takei’s role as Captain Nim, a South Vietnamese Army officer, alongside John Wayne’s character in The Green Berets meant that he only appeared in half the season, with Walter Koenig as Pavel Chekov substituting for him in the other episodes. When Takei returned, the two men had to share a dressing room and a single episode script. Takei also appeared in the first six Star Trek motion pictures, and today he is a regular on the science fiction convention circuit throughout the world. He has also acted and provided voice acting for several science fiction computer games, including Freelancer and numerous Star Trek games. In 1996, in honor of the 30th anniversary of Star Trek, he reprised his role as Captain Hikaru Sulu on an episode of Star Trek: Voyager, appearing as a memory of Lt. Tuvok, who served on the USS Excelsior under Sulu, during the events of Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. He appeared alongside Shatner on the 2006 Comedy Central Roast of William Shatner in which the two mocked each other in good humor and embraced, Takei is also one of six actors (the other actors being Jonathan Frakes, Kate Mulgrew, Michael Dorn, Avery Brooks and Majel Barrett) to lend his voice to Star Trek: Captain’s Chair, reprising his role of Captain Hikaru Sulu when users visit the bridge of the original Enterprise in the computer game. In 2007, Takei also reprised his role of Sulu in the fan-made Internet based series Star Trek New Voyages: Phase II.

Aside from his film and television career with Star Trek, He also has a lengthy record of public service through his involvement with organizations such as the Japanese American Citizens League and the Human Rights Campaign.He is a proponent of gay rights and active in state and local politics as well as continuing his acting career. He has won several awards and accolades in his work on human rights and Japanese American relations, including his work with the Japanese American National Museum. In 2004, the government of Japan conferred the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette, which represents the fourth highest of eight classes associated with the award. This decoration was presented in acknowledgment of his contributions to US-Japanese relations. George Takei also has an Asteroid named after him.

Andy Serkis

English Actor, Director and Author Andy Serkis, was born April 20th 1964. Serkis is known for his performance capture roles comprising motion capture acting, animation and voice work for such computer-generated characters as: Gollum in The Lord of the Rings film trilogy (2001–2003) and The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012), King Kong in the eponymous 2005 film, Caesar in Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011), Captain Haddock in Steven Spielberg’s The Adventures of Tintin (2011) and Snoke in Star Wars the Force Awakens.

Serkis’ film work in motion capture has been critically acclaimed, earning him recognition from many associations that do not traditionally recognise motion capture as “real acting”. Serkis has received an Empire Award, a National Board of Review Award, two Saturn Awards and a Screen Actors Guild Award for his motion capture work. Serkis also earned a Golden Globe Award nomination for his portrayal of serial killer Ian Brady in the British television film Longford (2006); and he was nominated for a BAFTA Award for his portrayal of New Wave and punk musician Ian Dury in the biopic Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll (2010). Serkis also reprised his role as the villainous Gollum in Peter Jackson’s three part Tolkien film adaptation “The Hobbit” – An unexpected Journey, The Desolation of Smaug and “The Battle of Five Armies”.

The Earth dies screaming

I have recently watched the classic 1964 British science fiction horror film, the Earth dies screaming. It begins when A returning American jet test pilot, named Jeff Nolan discovers dead bodies scattered around an English village,. He discovers that a sudden cataclysmic gas attack has killed off most of the Earth’s population. Then Mysterious Figures in space suits appear in the streets; local resident Vi Courtland thinks they have come to rescue them however they turn and kill her. So A small group of survivors led by Nolan, gather in the local hotel bar, Before going to a local Territorial Army drill hall to look for weapons. The group arm themselves and struggle for survival against the alien invaders

Alarmingly they discover that Vi isn’t actually dead when she suddenly rises as a zombie with white eyes and tries to clobber them. Meanwhile Quinn Taggart knocks out Jeff and heads north with Peggy Hatton, however She runs off when he stops for petrol. unfortunately she gets trapped in a house pursued by invaders and zombies, so she hides in a wardrobe before being saved by Jeff who is looking for her. He runs down a space suited creature In his vehicle revealing it is a robot.

 They go back to the drill hall where young Lorna Brenard is about to give birth to a daughter. Meanwhile the strain is beginning to get to another resident Ed Otis who cannot face it and he starts drinking himself into an alcoholic stupor. In the Drill Hall Jeff and Mel Brenard use a short wave radio and triangulation to work out from where the aliens are transmitting their control signals to the robots. They manage to locate the transmitter tower and set off on a deadly mission to try and destroy it, however they find themselves in grave danger as they are pursued by many Robots and Zombies…

Doctor Who -Legend of the Sea Devils

The second of three special  DOCTOR WHO episodes, Legend of the Sea Devils, is being broadcasted 7:10pm on Sunday 17th April 2022.(Easter Sunday). It sees The Doctor (Jodie Whittaker) Yaz (Mandip Gill) and Dan (John Bishop) journey to a 19th century China village, where they run afoul of a fearsome pirate queen named Madame Ching (Crystal Yu) who is searching for the Lost ship of Ji Hun which is said to contain vast amounts of treasure. 

Unfortunately in the process she has unwittingly unleashed the monstrous Sea Devils. So The Doctor journeys back in time to when and where the ship sunk and discovers a that Ji Hun’s ship fell victim to a legendary sea monster called Hua Shen. However things are not what they seem. The Doctor soon meets the Sea devils themselves and learns that they are looking for something which will grant them everlasting power and have a sinister agenda concerning the fate of the Earth, unless the Doctor, Ji Hun, Yaz and Dan can stop them