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Kathy Tipping Photography (Devon, UK)

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Star Trek Fleet Captains Romulan Empire
Star Trek Fleet Captains Romulan Empire
Offered by Buy-For-Less-Online
Price: £33.05

5.0 out of 5 stars Cloak or Croak!, 14 Mar. 2015
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An essential addition to the master game!

Star Trek The Next Phase Deck Building Game
Star Trek The Next Phase Deck Building Game

5.0 out of 5 stars Great variety of cards, 8 Nov. 2014
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Great variety of cards, characters and scenarios. Every game has a different feel and outcome. Enjoyed very much by myTrekkie partner! Great game to accompany the Original Star Trek series deck building game and both welcome now the dark nights are closing in!

The Collected Poems of Wilfred Owen
The Collected Poems of Wilfred Owen
Price: £0.99

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars What a shame, 19 Feb. 2013
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Long having been acquainted with the incredibly moving work of Wilfred Owen, I bought this value for money collection of his works for my new Kindle.
I had read the former review of July 2012 which stated there was an error, by omission, of a whole line from Strange Meeting. Since this feedback was relayed 8 months ago, I had felt sure that the authors would have been quite capable of amending this digital file to the satisfaction of all, but no. A real shame as Strange Meeting is really one of his finest works and to leave out entire lines from a poem, murders it in a small way. I had thought that feedback via Amazon was taken seriously by producers of Kindle products, but it seems I was wrong. In that case.... why am I writing this??? 3 out of 5 - as it is a joy to read the correct versions of the poetry included for such a good price - lost 2 stars though, for the original mistake and then having ignored the 'heads up' given from its readers.

The Scarifyers: The Curse of the Black Comet
The Scarifyers: The Curse of the Black Comet
by Simon Barnard
Edition: Audio CD

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Curse of the Black Comet, 26 Sept. 2009
The Curse of the Black Comet


The release of a new Scarifyers Radio Play has now become an object of as much anticipation and excitement for me, as does a new Wallace and Gromit outing - I mean this as the highest possible compliment, by the way!

Both are productions which arose from an original and inspired idea and which never fails to meet, and then surpass the expectations of the loyal following and improve with finesse and polish with every subsequent release. The similarities don't stop there - both share a love of the utterly absurd, invent new characters possessing wonderful eccentricity and whose plot is a concoction of hilarious references to the wonderful genres of adventure, horror and intelligent slapstick.

The Curse of the Black Comet lives up to all the aforementioned criteria... and then some.

This episode features the welcome addition to the usual vocal talent of Nicholas Courtenay, Terry Molloy and David Benson, of our genre favourite, vocally mega phonic, love him or loathe him, Brian Blessed! Here we find him cast as a bumbling, privately schooled, self-taught explorer /archaeologist / anthropologist (and not averse to some weekend transvestism) - in fact, such a perfect ANTI-Indiana Jones you will never find! His adventures take him from the Arctic to Egypt via Africa and Scotland - but apparently we don't talk about Africa! Outcomes of such expeditions usually involve various forms of incarceration, the necessary survival by regular gourmet cannibalism of the bat men and/or colleagues and the utilisation of priceless artefacts as door-stops on return home. Blessed lives up to his character 100%, with volume turned on to 11, as expected, and gives it his all - in fact, most of the comedy in this episode flows naturally from the script for his character.

The Paranormal Investigating, ageing, Detective Duo, Dunning and Lionheart, are faced with Bubonic Plague, Ancient Egyptology and a sci-fi twist with some Nazi artefact acquisition thrown into the broth for a perfect scenario to exploit to the full, comedically speaking - a little like Indy and the Crystal Skull meets Blood From the Mummy's Tomb and Carry On just about Everything! An interesting scene in Scotland is reminiscent of the mechanised Dragon in James Bond's Dr No, only involving the ultimate removal of one's troozers!

The Scarifyers certainly deserves more attention. It has the capability of making this old cynical, depressive, laugh out loud, which is a major feat due to the excellent writing by Simon Barnard and Paul Morris. I felt this episode slightly lagged in pace initially in the first half, but warmed up into a real treat for the laughing gear. Terry Molloy is a joy with such a wonderful intellectual naivety, Nicholas Courtenay's's cynicism and dry wit cuts through the farce like a knife and David Benson's plethora of diverse vocal characters never fails to please.

In-joke genre references are there to be discovered. One of the characters DD Denham will be ringing bells from The Satanic Rites of Dracula, the character Sparrow may be a reference to its 'Curse of the Black...' cousin Curse of the Black Pearl - Pirates of the Caribbean and the Scottish component reminds one of an episode of Hamish and Dougal. The Matron is Hattie Jacques straight out of Carry On. I'm sure there are loads more I have missed but one of the characters is completely' lifted by hand' from Blood From the Mummy's Tomb.

Other points of note: The artwork for the CD covers is something very well conceived - you can clearly see that it is Terry Molloy, Nicholas Courtney and Brian Blessed that are cleverly caricatured - it almost makes one wish that these radio dramas could be translated into something visual - they said it could never be done with Hitch Hikers Guide, but that worked well, so why not Scarifyers too? Also, the musical scoring is wonderfully appropriate punctuation for the narrative.

Go on, give all the Scarifying Stories a listen to - they are a vastly underrated British Horror treasure which I hope will run and run with more new adventures for a long time to come.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 12, 2010 12:01 AM BST

The Scarifyers: The Nazad Conspiracy
The Scarifyers: The Nazad Conspiracy
by Simon Barnard
Edition: Audio CD
Price: £11.99

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Scarifyers: The Nazad Conspiracy Audio CD, 18 Aug. 2008

This is an 87 minutes duration radioplay which British Horror Fans should definitely check out. It has many popular elements in it which should appeal. A heavy smattering of M.R. Jamesisms, an ageing Morse-like Police Detective Inspector who still behaves like Jack Regan, a 1930's backdrop Britain, a Devil Rides Out-esque mystery, a fabulous cameo from the most wicked Aleister Crowley, the Rasputin mythos, Rune Casting, The Fly and a Russian "Night of the Demon".

The author has obviously been heavily influenced by all the very best of British horror and yet has still managed to create a highly original, blackly humorous, occult based play. Professor Dunning is essentially the epitome of M.R. James being dragged out of his complacent story-telling in front of the fire, to actually confront the elements contained from within his own imaginings. This is suitably voiced in an endearingly eccentric, intellectual, verging on dotty, Professor, by Terry Molloy - aka Davros from Dr Who! Dunning, of course, was the name of M.R. James' runic targeted victim.

Professor Dunning is perfectly paired with Inspector Lionheart - a nod to Theatre of Blood perhaps - who is voiced by Nicholas Courtney - also of Dr Who fame as the Brig. Alastair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart. He portrays the perfect cynical, non-believer who finds himself involved in things 'more than are dreamt of in his philosophy'!

The other vocal characters are all well done - but a special nod should go to the hilarious portrayal of Crowley and General Warlock by David Benson and I was also impressed by the small but excellent turn taken by Stuart Silver as the particularly creepy morgue attendant Dr Slither, and the incredibly jaded and bored Man Servant Pickering. The author has a very great talent for writing laugh out loud humour which he endows these characters with in buckets!

Also, the story is kept interesting with references to historical intrigue such as the Russian Czar and Rasputin scandal and murders at the start of the Russian Revolution, everyone's favourite nemesis - the clown - and upper class, closed membership, clubs indulging in the black arts. All very entertaining. There is even a female equivalent to a Karswellian/Moccata villain!

This is the first of The Scarifyers outings - there have been two subsequent stories, The Devil of Denge Marsh and a new story, For King and Country. I have not listened to these, but sincerely hope that the author has considered making his strongest characters have a more defined and integral part in the proceedings - I speak mainly of course, of Aleister Crowley's character. The humour potential for him is immense.

I think the author has chipped his way into a vastly underutilized niche - British horror comedy. I would never have thought it would work, but it has been pulled off with originality, and an obvious warm homage to classic British themed horror film , TV and Literature. The great thing is that the author has an obvious penchant for seeing humour in things usually considered very dark and disturbing. The banter between Crowley and an invoked Demon concerning how diabolically poor Dunning's supernatural writing is, was a very clever touch I thought.

All in all - an excellent play and I really do recommend you give it a listen. As soon as it finished I was wanting more - which in my book is a very good sign and I shall certainly be interested to see where the characterisations lead. It is as if we have the luxury of an M.R. James/Dennis Wheatley collaborative storyline, penned with the humour of the Abominable Dr. Phibes with the interest of a detective mystery and LOTS of Brit horror! Who could ask for more...?

Oh... and the Author/Director of this play...?

Horror comedy writer extraordinnaire, Simon Barnard.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 16, 2010 7:48 PM BST

The Scarifyers: The Devil of Denge Marsh
The Scarifyers: The Devil of Denge Marsh
by Paul Morris
Edition: Audio CD
Price: £10.99

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Scarifyers: Devil of Denge Marsh, 18 Aug. 2008
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This is the second exciting instalment of the Scarifyers - Professor Dunning and Inspector Lionheart, assisted in cameo once again by the wonderful Aleister Crowley, whom we discover that when not trolling the Astral Plane, makes his own honey!

Having now dispensed with the main character introductions and setting the scene in "The Nazad Conspiracy" we are launched straight away into the mystery of another inexplicable happening to investigate - an ex RAF flyer, now an aspiring new Government Minister, who walks into the sea and ....MELTS!

This story was penned by Paul Morris and the production ably directed by Simon Barnard. Nicholas Courtney and Terry Molloy once again sport the vocal mantle of our heroes.

This audiostory was a comical delight of an absurd concoction employing aspects of Lovecraftian Mythos, (notably "The Call of Cthulhu" , "The Shadow Over Innsmouth" and "The Dunwich Horror." - or should that be "The Dulwich Terror"!?!), strongly influenced by ... the Wickerman, with underlying Sci-fi Quatermas, east coast tones of the pre-WWII Audio Listening Concrete Sound Dishes, an abandoned old military site on lonely old marshes at Denge, with appropriate Ministry cover-ups and an isolated insular community with less than Christian inclinations! Fans of all these elements should glean intense hilarity from this odd amalgamation of stories. We are also introduced to a new comical element of Dunning's writers group - reminiscent of a parody of "The Inklings" with Tolkienesque and C S Lewis ribbing.

I promise you, after hearing this story you will NEVER view Brit Eckland's showpiece in the The Wickerman quite the same way again! Ilona MacDonald's portrayal of Mrs Willow has to be one of the productions highlights!

Once again, The Scarifyers is rich with material we all are drawn to by the genre. The humour is spot on with laughs being provided by the cleverly written characterizations and absurd circumstances they find themselves in.

My only slight disappointment was the characterization of Peter Vanguard aka Sebastian Malherbe, Crowley's nemesis. One would imagine such a character to have had a more mature, seasoned, darkly rich voice, portraying the likely background of such a man - the actual voice of Jack Fox just sounds far too young and normal! Maybe this is intentional to allay early suspicions but I craved the voice akin to Christopher Lee or Charles Gary for such a smoothly evil villain.

Highly recommended and am now anticipating the Third Story - "For King and Country"

9 /10
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 16, 2010 7:50 PM BST

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