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Thursday, November 6, 2014 - 21:21

I know I said that Beth didn't really have much of a character last season, but there really wasn't any need to devote an entire episode to her. Because, as it turns out, she still doesn't have much of a character. But, for the sake of completeness, here's my recap of Beth's story.

It looks like we're back at the beginning. Rick's beginning anyway. I'm fairly sure this is the same hospital where Mr Grimes started the whole thing off five seasons ago. We're introduced to a bunch of potential red shirts. Head of the gang of hors d'oeuvres is the incredibly creepy Janis from FlashForward who has obviously been demoted from the FBI to a simple cop/sheriff. I wonder momentarily whether they are Rick's colleagues, but then realise that I don't actually care. They are pretty much exclusively arseholes who deserve whatever grisly fate will soon befall them... Very soon... Before they bore me even more...

It jumps around a bit between our one-dimensional wonders doing odd...

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Wednesday, November 5, 2014 - 20:40

It finally arrived. We've been waiting for what seems like an eternity to see whether the small screen adaptation lives up to the pure awesomeness that existed between the covers of the much revered Hellblazer series, which ran for an epic 300 issues between 1988 and 2013. 

This version sees John brought bang up to date with a contemporary setting, although the storyline comes straight out of the very early issues of the comic. As a long time fan of the comic I was more than happy that they seem to be winding up to deal with the whole Newcastle/Astra/Zed/Nergal plotline from the off. Although a lot of it has been toned down for the TV audience it still looks pretty promising.

There are more than a few nods to the comic book audience with easter eggs such as Doc Destiny's helmet being casually picked up and waved around. Yup, one the most powerful objects in the DC universe had its very own cameo. Nice.

As for the characterisation of Constantine himself?...

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Wednesday, October 29, 2014 - 13:41

It is my considered opinion that Gareth from Terminus talks too much. Seriously... A couple of minutes with this guy and even a zombie's brains would be dribbling out of its ears. After another diatribe as to why eating people is good, interspersed with lots of unneccessary shots of people eating their Bob Burgers, we discover that we were right last week and Bob did indeed get bitten. Perhaps we'll now get to see what happens when cannibals eat zombies.

Back with Rick and the gang we're all getting a bit concerned about Bob, Carol and Darryl being AWOL. Suspicion falls initially on the preist who, after very little persuasion reveals his dark secret. Which is a bit of a let down if I'm honest. He didn't open the doors and a bunch of people died. Boo hoo.

After Bob is unceremoniously dumped on the lawn, tensions begin to mount between Abraham and Rick as the former wants to get gone to Washington and the latter wants to stick around and patch his group back together....

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Tuesday, October 21, 2014 - 07:59

After last week's explosive opener, it looks like this week we've hit the brakes. Some arty slow mo shots and double header scenes skirt over a few of details from the end of last season including Lizzie and Mika, Carol's actions at the prison and a bunch of other stuff including the extra stragglers we gained after The Governor's eradication attempt. We get the first hints that all may not be well as Darryl's Spidey sense goes off while catching up with Carol. My money is on it being Morgan Jones hunting the group for whatever reason he's come up with.

We get a new character this week in the form of a priest who I recognised immediately as Watkins from Starship Troopers, so I immediately expect him to detonate himself at some point to save the group and take out a bunch of walkers. However, over the episode, his character turns out to be pretty much a non-combatant and, in all fairness, a bit of a wuss. There's a hint at something darker under the surface of the priest, but...

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Thursday, October 16, 2014 - 20:14

I've said it before and I'll say it again. The O2 Islington is one of my favourite venues. I love that you can choose whether you want to be down in the pit at the front, or take the calmer option of the mezzanine bar and watch the proceedings from on high. For me, it's the perfect venue for Skillet's first ever London headline show.

Tonight's sold out crowd is a good reflection of Skillet's popularity here in the UK. It's surprising that it's taken these guys so long to book a headlining tour of our fair isle, but, talking to lead vocalist, songwriter and bassist extraordinaire John Cooper before the gig, it's clear that they were of the opinion that they only had a small, hardcore following. This is, most definitely not the case.

The lights go down and we get a soothing violin and cello introduction before the rest of the band hit the stage to rapturous applause and launch headlong into a blistering rendition of Whispers in the Dark. The band are a whirlwind of...

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Monday, October 13, 2014 - 19:02

Previously on AMC's The Walking Dead...

We saw some very harsh events at the end of last season and we are reminded of one of the worst ones in this season's opening with a recap of the deeply unsettling fates of Lizzie and Mika. Then there's that line again that made me cringe at the end of the last episode and I'm dubious now as to how this is going to pan out.

I must admit to being a bit confused by the whole Then and Now mechanic and spent most of the episode thinking it was a flash forward to after Rick and the gang have escaped and are punishing their previous captors. Perhaps this was intentional, but I suspect it was just down to me being dim until it was made abundantly clear when the second flashback happened at the end of the episode.

After a brief 'Tooling up' scene is interrupted by a smoke grenade, we switch to the Grimes-Cam and feel Rick's confusion and pain first hand as he is dragged out of the trailer and stomped in the face. What follows is...

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Sunday, August 10, 2014 - 22:31

This past weekend saw the Raddisson Blu Edwardian Heathrow Conference Centre taken over by this year's NineWorlds Geekfest. Unlike most other UK conventions, NineWorlds is a multitrack residential convention that covers a ridiculous number of fandoms over the course of a weekend. There truly is something for everyone whether you're into Cosplay or Comics, Game of Thrones or Doctor Who, LARP or Board Games, Food or Knitting, Future Tech or Podcasting there are panels and activities for you.

One of the first things that strikes you about NineWorlds from the moment you arrive is exactly how hard they've worked to make people feel included and comfortable in their surroundings. The Communication Preference Clips are a fantastic idea that I'd love to see implemented at other conventions to give you a great indication of whether or not to approach people for a chat. As well as the comprehensive Code of Conduct and Anti-...

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Wednesday, July 30, 2014 - 21:50

Reading's Sub89 is a fantastic venue. I've had the pleasure of attending several gigs there of late and I've always had a great evening. Granted the majority of the gigs I've been to have been nowhere near sold out, but there have always been enough people there to make it a good night. Tonight is no exception. As Nordic Giants take the stage, there's probably about seventy or so people there who quickly fill up the dance floor and prepare themselves to be blown away.

Having not seen Nordic Giants before, I was interested to see what they had to offer. The dual screens on the stage flicker into life and begin to weave a futuristic tale concerning the collapse of society accompanied by an intricate score from the heavily costumed duo that comprise the band. What follows is a phenomenal show from an obviously incredibly talented pair of performers who play all manner of instruments between them including trumpets and an intriguing guitar / violin bow combination. The pairing...

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Saturday, July 12, 2014 - 11:22

It's the perfect day for a gig at the Bowl, warm, slightly overcast and, most importantly, not raining. Just as the first band is due to hit the stage all the early birds who have staked a claim to their spot for the day recieve a surprise treat as Mr Vedder performs a solo, acoustic version of Porch to rapturous applause. This sets the over-riding tone for the day that, despite the size of the venue, the band manage to inject a wonderful feeling of intimacy into the proceedings.

Eddie calls up the first act of the afternoon, hardcore punk supergroup, Off! who rattle through a barrage of short, punchy numbers which easily get the crowd fired up for what is to come. Mike McCready then introduces Black Rebel Motorcycle Club to the stage, who present an impeccable, if slightly lacklustre performance. Don't get me wrong, they're a great band and the performance was flawless, I just felt that their level of audience interaction was a bit too low as a support act and that they...

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Friday, June 20, 2014 - 09:49

Wow, so... That season went by pretty fast then. Before we begin the long, harsh winter before the arrival of Season 5 let's take a look at this year's finalé episode, The Children.

Picking up immediately where we left off last episode, we follow Jon Snow leaving The Wall on his way to to deal with Mance Rayder. It all seems remarkably civilised given recent events and I can't help but wonder what the Proper Northern Drink was with which they toasted they dead. Snakebite and Black? Maybe a BlastAway? Or a bottle of Dog perhaps? Regardless it all suddenly goes to shit as a massive army appears out of nowhere and trounces the wildlings. I've got absolutely no clue how they got there, but it seems to be Stannis and The Onion Knight fresh from their recent trip to the Iron Bank. I can only imagine that they bought some kind of teleportation device with the money to have gotten there so quickly when every other journey on the show takes months to travel even the smallest of...

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