Friday 25 October 2019

Service Announcement

Problems this year meant that I fell way behind with publication of ST. Things have now stabilised a bit, and I am planning to publish another issue before the end of the year. It will be a 'Christmas edition' in that it will contain some stories of a seasonal nature. It's a Christmas cracker, in fact! I will keep you informed as to when it's available, as per usual.

In the meantime, don't forget issue 41, which is still hot off the presses. Buy it, read it, vote for your favourite story in it.

Supernatural Tales 41

Friday 18 October 2019

The Nightmare Worlds of H.G. Wells

I'm on a bit of a Wellsian roll at the moment (see previous post) but it's not necessarily a happy roll. This series produced for Sky Arts looked very promising, not least because the four adaptations of HGW stories are scripted by Graham Duff. Duff is a very good comedy scriptwriter - his radio series  Nebulous, starring Mark Gatiss as a futuristic boffin, is well worth seeking out. Like Gatiss, Duff seems to want to branch out into 'straight' genre fiction. But oh dear, what a career stumble this series represent.

For a start, we have Ray Winstone as H.G. Wells.

Ray Winstone.

Ray Winstone in The Nightmare Worlds of H.G. Wells (2016)

As H.G. Wells.

Image result for h.g. wells

So there's that. It's about as sensible as casting Sean Bean as Jane Austen. But it's the choice of stories and the liberties taken with then that really left me frustrated. The episodes are 'The  Late Mr Elvesham', 'The Devotee of Art', 'The Moth', and 'The Purple Pileus'.

The first is certainly the best, as Michael Gough gives a fine performance as the elderly genius who snares an unwitting young medical student into a bit of mind-swapping. It's nicely done, and the padding that Duff introduces to bulk out the story to a whole 22 minutes does not jar. The ending, however, goes against the spirit of the original story and seems rather clumsy.

Next up is a very obscure story that owes a lot to Poe's grotesque comedies. It's a bit forgettable, a tale of a devil's bargain that does not really surprise or entertain. 'The Moth' is a little better thanks to a fine central performance by Rupert Graves as the haunted entomologist. 'The Purple Pileus' is not a horror story at all, and Duff mangles the original text to try and make it one. Pity.

A missed opportunity? Certainly. Proof that Wells can't be successfully adapted for a modern TV audience? Not at all. I just hope that next time somebody with more respect for the source material is in charge, and chooses stronger stories. There are, after all, plenty of them.

Image result for the valley of spiders

Wednesday 16 October 2019

The Door In The Wall - Part 1 (1956)

An old-school adaptation of one of the greatest supernatural(?) tales of all time, by my favourite author! If you click through to YouTube you can see the second part.

Monday 14 October 2019

Nine Miles Down (2009)

Security expert Thomas 'Jack' Jackman (Adrian Paul) sets out into the Sahara to investigate loss of contact with an experimental drilling site. He finds the complex deserted, and signs of strange and disturbing events - including Arabic writing in blood on the walls, a jackal sacrificed inside a magic circle, and a flock of carrion birds circling a pit. Not surprisingly, he calls in an emergency. But personnel are stretched thin searching for the scientists involved in the project, so he'll have to wait a while. Then he encounters a young woman who claims to be the sole survivor - of what was officially a male-only project...

Friday 11 October 2019

Vote for your favourite story/stories in ST #41!

Best Story in Issue 41?
'That the Sea Shall Be Calm' by David Surface
'Petrichor' by Sam Dawson
'Old Habits' by Stephen Cashmore
'The Sea Man' by James Machin
'Sorrow is the Mother of the World' by Jeremy Schliewe
'The Inheritor' by Peter Kenny
'No Passage Landward' by Steve Duffy
Created with Poll Maker

Poll ends in the New Year.

Supernatural Tales 56 - contents

The next issue - due out in the autumn - will see a mixture of familiar names and some newbies. I hope, as always, that the stories find fav...