Thursday, January 28, 2016

New podcast thing

I seem to have made a podcast by accident.

Recently I was chatting on Twitter about how much I loved the new Star Wars movie, and how much it made me want to talk about it in detail. Andrew Ellard, a friend and fellow writer, joined in, saying he felt the same.

We joked about doing a podcast, someone said they'd like to hear it, and my immediate instinct was to say “oh, I don’t have a podcast” - but then I stopped. My commitment to trying new, weird things compelled me to try it and see what happened. So we did. Look how excited we are!

“Not Guilty Pleasures” is a very irregular series where I and a guest talk about something we love. There’s plenty of stuff on the internet about what people don’t like, 47 things wrong with this, here’s everything wrong with that, why this thing sucks and why you do too - but unashamedly loving stuff seems to be scoffed at. There’s nothing wrong with loving things. And as our lord Dave Grohl said, there are no such things as guilty pleasures. Hence the title.

This one is all about Star Wars: The Force Awakens. What we loved about it, from a writing point of view, from an emotional point of view, with lots of random silliness. There’s clever analysis, but also swearing and bad jokes. It’s sort of an experiment to see if the format works. If enough people like it, I’ll do another one with another guest, talking about something else. Possibly. Who knows?! Try new, weird stuff, it’s fun!

I’ve tried to keep it as close to 30 minutes as possible, because for a new podcast - or even existing ones - it can be a bit much to see that you’ve got to commit an hour or more to something, and for things like this, short and snappy is always better.

Important Note! The podcast contains MAJOR spoilers for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. If you haven’t seen the movie yet, this podcast will (a) ruin the surprises, and (b) make very little sense, and (c) why would you do that to yourself, life is too short. Also Important! This is NOT safe for work, there’s some swearing in it - some fucks, some shits, one or two pricks, possibly a piss, and I suspect some bollocks. Be aware! Words can kill! Probably!

I've gone with Podbean for hosting, and will have to upgrade from the basic account soon - I'd rather this project didn't put me out of pocket, but I won't charge for a podcast, so if anyone has any suggestions on what I should do - sponsors or otherwise - give me a shout.

iTunes version! You can find the podcast on the iTunes Store here, where you can subscribe if you want to be alerted when the next one appears.

Non-iTunes version! This is the Podbean link, where you can listen in the browser, download, or grab the RSS feed. It's also up on Soundcloud for this episode, but future episodes won't be on there due to space limitations. I might also start putting them on YouTube as well if people want that.

By the way, if you listen and enjoy the show, please leave us a review on iTunes, it would really help a lot. Thank you, and have at it!


Show notes/links:

Andrew Ellard’s website:
http://www.andrewellard.com/

Andrew’s Twitter:
twitter.com/ellardent

Andrew’s Tweet Notes:
https://storify.com/ellardent

Buy or rent Afterdeath now on FrightFest Presents:
http://www.frightfestpresents.com/after-death

The snooty article we briefly discuss:
http://www.latimes.com/business/hiltzik/la-fi-mh-star-wars-the-force-awakens-stinks-20151226-column.html

The Making of Star Wars books:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Making-Star-Wars-Definitive/dp/1781311900

Star Wars Cheestrings:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=afBHs6oMSKg
http://www.wholesalenews.co.uk/news/cheestrings-feels-the-force-in-new-star-wars-promo.html

Star Wars Helmets:
https://www.deagostini.com/uk/collections/star-wars-helmets/

Update! Thanks to Ridley from Twitter, we now know there actually are Star Wars apples! This will only make sense if you've listened to the podcast:
http://forums.thebothanspy.com/index.php?threads/collectible-of-the-day-283-star-wars-apples.42940/


Tuesday, January 19, 2016

GeekyCon 2016

GeekyCon, or The Convention Formerly Known As LeakyCon (TCFKALC - pronounced TaCUFFkalc), has made YET ANOTHER terrible administrative error, and I've been invited back AGAIN, for my third visit!

I went last year (and made a video about my experiences here), and the year before (and made a video back then too), and for some reason, they haven't learned their lesson. Perhaps they were fooled by my lipsync battle stylings. Perhaps they admired my snazzy jacket. Perhaps their brains overheated in the Florida sun. Who knows?? All I know is, I'm going back. And I have a lipsync title to defend.

There's a post about it here on the GeekyCon site, where I'm listed as one of the "fan favourites", so clearly there has been some vote rigging (I deny all accusations, I wasn't even there, and certainly wouldn't know how to use my vote rigging machine which I totally don't have).

But Weird Uncle Jimbo, you cry, how can I get to this event? Good question, imaginary internet people! It's on Friday 29th to Sunday 31st July 2016, at the Orange County Convention Centre North, Orlando, Florida. Tickets and details are available here, and you'll want to keep an eye on their social media feeds, because they always have a special evening lock-in at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, which goes on sale at a later date.

Surely they won't make this silly mistake again, and will delete me from their records, so catch me while you can at the 2016 event!

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Being weird

Last year I wrote about my regular writing career stock-take, which you can read here if you want to remind yourself. I’ll wait. Okay, you're taking too long, I'm carrying on. This particular stock-take went on slightly longer than usual, as it turned out there were some big decisions to make, due to various life and career changes. In a way, it’s still happening now, as I still have some decisions left over. I’m trying to refocus certain areas of my career, and it all takes time to work out.

One thing I’ll definitely be doing, however, is More Weird Stuff.

It’s important to try something that scares you every once in a while, to keep yourself sharp, to challenge yourself. And sometimes you need to jump off the path entirely, and try something random and weird. I’ve already done some weird stuff, things I didn’t expect to be doing - YouTube videos, tutorials, interviews, silly Vines, Instagrams - but I keep getting the urge to do more. It's sort of a hobby, now that my original hobby has become my job.

You probably don’t know - because I rarely mention it - that I have a Tumblr page. That’s for random things, Instagram reposts, links, etc. I also made a few other Tumblr pages - Loki as Withnail (a collaboration with James Henry with some NSFW words), Unhelpful Game Messages, and Unhelpful Product Reviews.

None of these are of any help to my career, none of them will help me pay the bills, they’re just weird things I felt like doing, to amuse myself and hopefully amuse anyone else that stumbled across them. I haven’t updated them for ages, and have now opened them up so people can submit posts. Go be weird there, if you like. We can be weird together.

I’m doing a new weird thing next week, but I’m not even sure what it is, yet. Maybe I’ll do more of it. Maybe not. I don’t know what it would be if it continued, or how it would work. But I just feel like doing it, and that’s good enough for me right now. It'll be online as soon as it's ready, which shouldn't take more than a week.

Weird is good. Different is good. Whatever you do this year, do something weird.

Tuesday, January 05, 2016

Eve, series 2

Happy New Year! And welcome to the first blog post of 2016! Well, *my* first blog post of 2016, not *the* first blog post of 2016. Unless everyone else is still asleep.

And what a way to kick off my year, with the excellent news that... I’ve written an episode of series 2 of Eve, for CBBC!


Eve is an advanced robot in human form who ends up living with a human family, trying to find her purpose in the world and stay one step ahead of those who would destroy her. The show is created by Emma Reeves and David Chikwe, and Emma is the brilliant head writer on the show.

Series 1 aired last year, and series 2 has just kicked off. But! There was also a Christmas special episode, which you should watch before you start episode 1 of series 2, because it’s hilarious.

You can watch the Christmas special on iPlayer here, and episode 1 of series 2 here. Series 1 is still available online here, so if you can catch up before jumping into series 2, then you'll get to see even more robot hijinks.

And if you’d like to find out if you’re a human or a robot - which I would recommend, as a matter of personal security - take this handy quiz here.


Twitter folk! You can follow co-creator and head writer Emma Reeves here, co-creator David Chikwe here, and the amazingly talented and funny lead actress Poppy Lee Friar here. Go and be nice to CBBC here too, because they make wonderful shows and deserve our love.

There’s also a great, in-depth interview with Emma at the BBC Writersroom here, talking about her journey towards making Eve a reality.

I’ve written episode 10 which, if my calculations are correct, will air on CBBC on Monday 7th March 2016, at 4.30pm. That’s two days after my birthday, which makes it a lovely birthday present - although you should still give me cash and booze and sweets, because I said so.

Obviously I can’t say anything much about my ep, because it hasn’t been on yet, but you can expect excitement, dramatic twists, jokes, and possibly the odd explosion or two. And a cheeky DW reference if you listen closely enough...


They’re a superb, creative, smart, fun team on the show, and I’m incredibly grateful that they let me play with their toys for a while. And it’s a mini reunion for me, as it’s the first show Joe Lidster and I have been on the same team for since our very first TV gig back on series 2 of Torchwood! It was also my first set visit to one of my TV episodes since Children of Earth back in 2008, as I wasn’t able to get to the filming of The Sparticle Mystery or Crossing Lines, so it's been loads of fun.

Anyway, please catch up on the show if you’ve missed any of it, it’s fantastic fun and you need all of it in your life. Pass it on!

Photos © Leopard Drama 2016, used with permission.