Thursday, 9 December 2010

Merry Christmas!

Season's Greetings, Ghostwatchers! Yes, another year has almost passed, and we are edging closer and closer to the 20th anniversary of Ghostwatch.

Who knows what next year might bring? Well, National Séance 2011, for one thing! What a great night, the last event turned out to be - thanks to everyone who participated, and roll on October!

Whilst we're still hard at work on the doc, we thought it might be fun to ask what questions YOU might put to the makers/stars of Ghostwatch? Try and think of at least one question for any of the cast/crew from the original film and leave them in the comments box below, in our forum, or on Facebook. The best entries might even be included in the final cut.

Do get writing, and we look forward to hearing from you!

And don't forget to check out the upcoming special live episode of Coronation Street on Thursday the 9th at 20:00 in honour of the show's 50th Anniversary. So far, during the soap's recent tram crash storyline, Craig Charles' character, cabbie Lloyd Mullaney, has been confronted with exploding doorways and collapsing viaducts - in fact, events on The Street have been so intense that Stephen Volk's wife Patricia was heard to remark how Craig surely hasn't had a more worrying time on screen since that fateful night he co-presented Ghostwatch(!) (...Well, not counting all those times he's dodged crazed Simulants, ravenous GELFs and Mutton Vindaloo Beasts on Red Dwarf, of course..!)

Be sure to visit Patricia's website @ www.patriciavolk.co.uk where you can check out her online art gallery and maybe even find a unique gift for someone this Xmas...

Oh, and for anyone who has wondered what phone-in caller Kevin Tripp looks like in the flesh ("Cheese and pickle sandwich, it was..!"), here's an interview featuring actor, Brendan O'Hea, discussing a recent production of Waiting for Godot.




As always, many thanks for your continued support, and we hope you all have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Can you hear this..? Are you-are you hearing..?

Have precisely twenty-seven minutes, nine seconds to spare? Then, why not check out this fantastic Halloween Mix Tape by Galaxy Manchester's very own Andi Durrant. Featuring spooky snippets from such classics as The Ring, The Omen, Stephen King’s It, Halloween, The Exorcist, The Mummy, The Blair Witch Project, The Fog, The Twilight Zone, Dracula, Frankenstein, Ghostbusters and of course... Ghostwatch.

And straight from Andi himself via Twitter: Glad you like the mixtape.. I couldn't hang a dressing gown on the back of my bedroom door my entire childhood because of Pipes!

Saturday, 30 October 2010

We've created a séance... a massive séance!


Happy Hallowe'en, Ghostwatchers! In anticipation of our 'live' National Séance 2010 event set to take place later this evening, here's a special treat courtesy of filmmaker and Behind the Curtains supporter, Gary Mancini.

Back in 1992, the popular TV Times listings mag reported the then-impending arrival of Ghostwatch with this great two-page spread - featuring a rare alternate publicity still of Parky, Sarah and Smithy.

What a great way to help mark the show's 18th birthday. Thanks again to Gary for sharing it with us!


Don't forget to send us your photos and reports from National Séance 2010. Cheers to everyone who has got in touch to say they'll be taking part, and we look forward to seeing how your events turn out!

Monday, 25 October 2010

Let's take our first caller...


On Sunday Night, White Noise Paranormal Radio interviewed Stephen Volk live and asked a plethora of questions covering, among other topics, Afterlife, The Awakening and some Hallowe'en drama called, 'Ghostwatch'.

For anyone who missed it, or would like to hear it again, click here to check out over an hour of audible joy...

Sunday, 24 October 2010

SFX #202

Many thanks to all our subscribers who pointed out the latest issue of SFX features a brief mention of Ghostwatch in the article, 'Is There Anything On The Other Side? - The Classic British TV Ghost Story' written by Alistair McGown.

The section on Ghostwatch can be found on Page 96. All in all, the feature is a great read and well worth checking out if you can find a copy. Quite amazing to see a 'December' issue for sale in October. Maybe Pipes has found his way into the printing presses, too..!




 

Thursday, 21 October 2010

Parareminder

Just a quick heads-up that October 22nd heralds the arrival of Paranormal Activity 2 - the sequel to Oren Peli's surprise 2009 hit about a seemingly ordinary couple terrorised by spooky goings-on in their new home. Good reviews have already started pouring in, so be sure to catch this Hallowe'en treat before the spoiler wave hits you head-on... and from what I hear, there are more than a few surprises to be found in this chilling new story.

If you're a Ghostwatch fan, the chances are you'll enjoy this flick too. Least of all, if you might remember, as it sounds like Oren Peli might be a fan too... :)


Friday, 8 October 2010

Nurieek, Rotut, Hernunger, Sqweloookle..!

Many thanks as always to the wonderful Red Dwarf Fan Club team for their latest and greatest issue of Back To Reality - the occasionally regular, but always fun and informative magazine on all things Dwarfy.

Yes, Red Dwarf and Ghostwatch have collided once again, this time on Page 10 in an article entitled, 'Ghostwatching: My Wonderful Obsession'. And if that wasn't enough, Behind the Curtains supporter and graphic designer extraordinaire, Arfon Jones' work is featured not once, but twice - after winning the logo design contest for the next convention! Congrats, Arfon!

For anyone who has yet to take the plunge, Dimension Jump is essentially a three-day party for anyone who has enjoyed even just a single episode of the popular interstellar sitcom. With rumours that a brand-new Red Dwarf series could soon be with us, the chances are, DJ XVI will be a very special event indeed...
   
Getting a great response for our upcoming National Séance event, by the way - cheers for all the support, everyone! One of these days, we really should all get together and hold a Ghostwatch screening for real...

Oh, and if you still don't get the title of this article, do check out the Series VII episode, Duct Soup, in which these words are (possibly) delivered by Mr. Pipes. For the rationally-thinking/continuity-minded amongst us, just use your imaginations and think Jason X.

Thursday, 7 October 2010

It's Hallowe'en Night, homebrew time...

Believe it or not, on October 31st 2010, Ghostwatch will turn eighteen years old. Sadly, this will also mean that during that time, we'll have yet to see a repeat screening of the show on UK television.

In response to this, and inspired by what has become something of an annual tradition for many fans, we hope that you will join us by taking part in the first-ever 'live' simultaneous repeat viewing, to take place later this month!

So, how will this work? Well, all you have to do is synchronise your watches and play your personal copy of Ghostwatch at precisely 21:25 on Hallowe'en Night!

And to help you host your very own Ghostwatch Birthday Party, here are ten simple-to-follow suggestions to help make yours a night to remember:

1. ALL day, in response to any unexpected/strange sound, say with a wry grin, "Maybe our poltergeist, eh, Dr. Pascoe?"

2. In advance of the show starting, all curtains in the room should be drawn closed, and the lighting set as low as you like (don't forget to check inside the cupboard under the stairs while you're at it).

3. If hosting a before/after party, appropriate background music should be played (i.e. Dick Limerick Academy's 'Ghostwatch' track).

4. Your personal DVD/VHS copy of Ghostwatch must start at 21:25pm precisely - just like in 1992.

5. Shortly before 'transmission', play the video that accompanies this article for added effect/authenticity (thanks to BtC supporter, Stephen for uploading!)

6. Before/during/after the show, you and your guests should talk about how great TV was back in the early nineties, and how we'll surely never see shows of this calibre again.

7. Ghostwatch munchables should include the Early Family Special: orange juice, cola and "plenty of crisps".

8. Every Pipes Sighting should be acknowledged and more importantly, appreciated for its technical merit.

9. After the show has finished, all breathe a sigh of relief/resign yourself to not getting much sleep (credit to Lil for that one!)

10. Get in touch with us at Behind the Curtains to let us know how your screening went! Send us pics, messages, or tweet about the show live while it happens with the tag #ghostwatch.

Looking forward as ever to hearing from you, Ghostwatchers! As always, many thanks for your continued support, have the happiest Hallowe'en... and try not to have sleepless nights.


Saturday, 25 September 2010

...To Show Them!

...Anyone catch The One Show last night on BBC One? Just in case you didn't, here's Kim Newman's very own '60 Second Guide To Huge Hoaxes'! Shame they spelt 'Ghostwatch' wrong though... ;)

On an interesting side-note, this may very well be the first time since 1992 that even part of Ghostwatch has appeared on BBC One. Mark that date in your calendars, Ghostwatchers..!

Fangoria #297

Many thanks to Phil Brown and everyone at Fangoria magazine for getting in touch regarding their new October issue!

If you haven't done so already, be sure to pick up a copy of the legendary horror mag at your local newsagents and flick through to page 68 where you will find a two-page spread on Ghostwatch.

The article also features an exclusive BtC photograph taken at a GW screening that took place at The Invisible Dot, and a special never-before-seen still of soundman, Mike Aiton post-mirror smashing at The House in Foxhill Drive...


 

Thursday, 9 September 2010

And if you can, take a photograph...

Yesterday, Stephen Volk pointed me in the direction of a photo set he'd stumbled upon via the aptly-named, 'BBC's Ghostwatch was the scariest f**king thing I have ever seen.' Facebook group.

The brainchild of Ghostwatch super-fan, Adam Hart and his friends, the following photographic evidence was recovered shortly after the incident (also known as Adam's 29th birthday party)...


 
Many thanks to Adam for sharing these fantastic pics! For more, be sure to click one of the links above.

Thursday, 12 August 2010

31/10

Greetings, Ghostwatchers!

Set ten years after the original programme's broadcast date, '31/10' - the sequel to Ghostwatch - follows screenwriter, Stephen Volk as he revisits the haunted BBC studio in which Parky once became possessed, along with a group of fellow individuals whose lives were somehow affected by the show back in 1992.

The short story from the collection, Dark Corners (Gray Friar Press, 2006) was nominated for the Horror Writers' Association Bram Stoker Award and also for the British Fantasy Award, 2006.

The PDF file is available to read here, hosted on Stephen's official site. Check it out... just try not to have sleepless nights.

Monday, 26 July 2010

B-E-A-S-T... Beast..!

...This has to be heard to be believed.

It's hard to imagine Pipes the Poltergeist reinvented as a rap artist, but Dick Limerick Academy seems to have made the impossible possible with this impressive mix from their new album, Merseycide.

Give it a listen over at SoundCloud. You won't be disappointed.

Thursday, 22 July 2010

This picture we're seeing now isn't live...

Greetings Ghostwatchers, and behold this truly phenomenal piece of artwork created by Behind the Curtains supporter, Arfon Jones.

Is is just me, or does this kind of work scream out for a Ghostwatch graphic novel in some shape or form? What would you like to see? Cheers, Arfon!

Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Paranormal-ier Activity

The simple and yet engaging premise of Paranormal Activity, released in 2009, focused on a couple terrorized by a malevolent spirit in their new home.

After generating a huge following thanks to some impressive filmmaking/performances and not to mention unstoppable word of mouth, (or, perhaps 'word of email'?) the inevitable sequel is now just months away.

 Something truly remarkable in both the run-up and fallout of the film's release was just how many people started drawing comparisons with Ghostwatch. The director of the first film, Oren Peli, was even heard to remark in the April 1-7 2010 edition of Time Out magazine...

Q: What currently unavailable films or TV shows would you love to see on DVD?

A: Ghostwatch (1992) isn't available in the US, although I've already seen it.

So, with that in mind, do check out this first trailer for PA2. And try not to have sleepless nights...


Saturday, 5 June 2010

081 811 8181

Do you happen to own an iPhone or iPod Touch? If your answer to that question is an ever-so slightly smug 'Mm-hmm', then here are two further Behind the Curtains-inspired haunted wallpapers to add to your collection!

There are two ways you can upload the pics to your relevant device - either save them directly to your 'pod whilst connected to the Internet, or to your computer and then upload later through iTunes.

Either way, just navigate to your personal Photo Library and hit 'Use as Wallpaper' for whichever pic you'd like to use.

The files are being hosted on the GhostwatchBtC DeviantArt page - a great online art community that's well-worth checking out if you get the chance.

Thursday, 3 June 2010

Not only can this gentleman hear an ant scratching its back legs at fifty yards...

If Sir Michael Parkinson's much-rumoured 1992 Best Actor nomination for Ghostwatch wasn't enough, now the Channel 4/Clover Films production 'Afghanistan: Behind Enemy Lines (Dispatches)' has been shortlisted for the Current Affairs category at this Sunday's Bafta Awards - mixed at Mikerophonics - the sound studio run by Ghostwatch's very own soundman, Mike Aiton. Here's wishing Mike and his team the best of luck for this Sunday!

Saturday, 29 May 2010

Weekend - 29th May 2010

Thanks to everyone who recommended I check out the May 29th edition of the Daily Mail's Weekend magazine - in particular, Robin Wiggs' brief article 'Are They For Real? The rise of the spoof documentary'.

For anyone who didn't catch it, you can click the pic below to see it in full. Cheers!






Saturday, 15 May 2010

Screening at The Invisible Dot - Update

In short, The Invisible Dot proved the perfect venue to host this week's rare public screening of Ghostwatch.

Superbly organised by Simon Pearce, and boasting a special Q&A from director Lesley Manning and writer Stephen Volk, the reaction to the film was both terrific and unique in equal measure - with almost certainly more laughs and yelps than I've personally ever heard before -at some points, people were literally jumping out of their seats..!

Topics in the hour-long Q&A ranged from pre-broadcast controversy to post-broadcast analysis, and perhaps most notably, the mind-bending revelation of which unlikely crew member provided the voice of Pipes the poltergeist...

Many thanks again to Simon and everyone who attended. Cheers!

Saturday, 8 May 2010

I should say that this tape is completely undoctored...

A big shout-out to the fine folks from Ganymede & Titan - the world's premier Red Dwarf fan-site - for helping put together the first ever Ghostwatch: Behind the Curtains podcast. ...Sorry, make that 'PipesCast'.

Actually, with this being the pilot episode, in a sense, it's more a DwarfCast, really (G&T's very own podcast for all things Red Dwarf-related). But why G&T, I hear you say...

Well, there seems to be an interesting correlation between Dwarfers and Ghostwatchers - due partly, I'm sure, to the spot-on performance by last surviving human Craig Charles as Ghostwatch's very own 'Interviewer'.

As a lifelong fan of the sci-fi comedy classic, the prospect of discussing both productions with my fellow Smeg Heads proved irresistible, and I'm happy to report that (in spite of the booze) some truly insightful observations and opinions have been preserved for prosperity.

Again, let me offer my sincerest thanks to Cappsy, Danny, Ian, Jo, Joey, Karl, Liam, Lisa, Marleen, Tanya and Seb for all their hard work and boundless f***ing generosity. Cheers, dudes!

 

Thursday, 6 May 2010

Screening at The Invisible Dot

If you're in the Camden area on the 11th May, then why not pay a visit to The Invisible Dot where you can catch a rare screening of Ghostwatch followed by a Q&A with director, Lesley Manning and writer, Stephen Volk?

Part of the Swiss Spaghetti Harvest Festival of fact/fiction line blurrers, Ghostwatch will screen at 19:30 with a Q&A to follow.

...Trust me when I say that you haven't seen Ghostwatch until you've seen it on the big screen. Tickets cost £9.50. For more information, check out The Invisible Dot's Ghostwatch page by clicking here.

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

"The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, But in ourselves."

About as close to a contemporary US version of Ghostwatch as you can get (it even went out on October 31st!), Without Warning is another wonderful 'live' TV event from 1994 that depicts a special news bulletin covering the aftermath of a sudden, unexpected meteorite impact.

As the story progresses, it transpires that the seemingly calculated trajectory of this rogue asteroid may not have been a naturally-occurring event as first thought, but in fact directly influenced by extraterrestrials.

Hosted by veteran American journalist and news anchorman, Sander Vanocur and Malcolm in the Middle regular, Jane Kaczmarek, this one-off drama special cleverly begins with a fake murder-mystery show entitled Without Warning which is then interrupted by a special news bulletin. Reporters from all over the globe cover the event as it happens, while Pascoe/Silvestri-like experts exchange theories and insults over live tele-link in the studio.

Overall, Without Warning is wonderfully melodramatic, over-the-top, and fun to watch. With a cast much larger than Ghostwatch (featuring guest appearances from scientist/author, Arthur C. Clarke and popular Star Trek: The Next Generation actor, John de Lancie), understandably, there are times when some of the acting falls short of perfection, but like our very own Parky, Sander Vanocur skillfully holds the whole thing together - bringing a reliable, warm voice of reason to the increasingly-spectacular proceedings.

Intriguingly, at first glance, the plot seems to have been inspired by the real-life Shoemaker Levy 9 event which occurred roughly around the same time the film was released- when a huge fragmented comet slammed into Jupiter, creating some impact zones that were larger than the Earth itself. I remember, back in the day, the BBC ran some great short films on the subject - featuring an array of fantastically spooky music as provided by The Orb.

Believe it or not, this film is even more difficult to track down on VHS/DVD than Ghostwatch..! However, you might be able to track down a copy online if you look hard enough. I recall first catching the film on Sky Movies many years ago, having been trailed using next to nothing but micro-snippets of footage. Spooky, but effective!

Monday, 26 April 2010

Shivers #29

"The gullibility of the Great British Public comes under the microscope as we look back at BBCtv's Ghostwatch..."

Did you know the May 1996 edition of Shivers magazine featured a three-page article on Ghostwatch? Well, you do now!

Written by Jonathan Rigby, the article explores the unique and unprecedented reaction from viewers who believed the show was happening for real, interspersed with thoughts from writer/co-creator, Stephen Volk, and other members of the cast and crew. If you can track down a copy, I highly recommend it.

For all you Vans out there, there's also a further four-pages focusing on Stephen Volk's other work - notably Gothic, The Guardian and Ghosts - also made for BBC TV. To close, here's a classic quote from Sir Michael Parkinson where he discusses people's reactions to the 'live' drama's surprisingly realistic impact.

 Parkinson himself was quite unfazed by the strange demands made on him and the furore that followed. With typically pawky North Country good humour, Parky observed that, "It just shows what a capacity television has for delusion. I have no concerns whatsoever about the show. It was designed to frighten people, not to make them sit back in their armchairs and laugh... You always get a certain percentage [of people] who believe everything on television is real. Some people even believe all-in wrestling is real. The great majority of people who watched that programme would have realized it was a drama. But if it does for my career what it did for Orson Welles', I shall be delighted."

Thursday, 22 April 2010

"...They see us."

E.T.'s back, and this time... it's personal.
Alien Abduction: The McPherson Tape (also known as Alien Abduction: Incident in Lake County) is a first-person horror film similar in style to The Blair Witch Project, first broadcast on UPN back in 1998.

A remake of a lower-budget production that gained a viral-like notoriety in the late eighties, the story centres on a fractured American family who have gathered to celebrate Thanksgiving on the family farm. When all power to the house is mysteriously cut, three of the justifiably-spooked household venture out into the surrounding woodland to investigate...

On stumbling upon a landed UFO and two alien beings dissecting a cow with a precision laser, the guys inadvertently startle the Greys, who upon noticing them, quickly abandon their cosmic barbecue and track the terrified trio back to the house - where they use their supernormal abilities to gain entry and terrorise the family into submission.

The film, I'm happy to say, is still as creepy to watch today as it was when first broadcast. Stylistically, it's very similar to the first theatrical Blair Witch feature (released the following year) and also, the companion Sci Fi Channel mockumentary, Curse of the Blair Witch (which I strongly urge you to check out if you haven't done so already).

Sandwiched in between the 'discovered' footage of the McPhersons' harrowing ordeal, we are treated to snippets of interviews with various experts (also portrayed by actors) who give their opinions on the legitimacy of the content of the found tapes. The theory that the family were indeed attacked by aliens is not exactly a popular one, and is usually dismissed as being some kind of hoax or publicity stunt - a cunning narrative device to help paint an 'impartial' picture that appears to point to the constructed/fake portions of the film as being The Undisputed Truth. Clever stuff.

If you're feeling brave, the entire docudrama can currently be found on Google Video. More Ghostwatch-like reviews coming soon!

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

"...Only fools are positive."

In a similar vein to Ghostwatch, Fail Safe is a remake of a classic 1964 TV movie of the same name that discussed the threat of nuclear annihilation.

Broadcast on CBS in 2000, the film features an impressive cast list - including George Clooney, Richard Dreyfuss, Harvey Keitel, Don Cheadle, James Cromwell, Hank Azaria, Brian Dennehy and Noah Wyle to name but a few.

The story takes place in decades past. Clooney is a fighter bomber pilot sent on a routine patrol who, due to a technical mishap, is mistakenly ordered to bomb Moscow instead of return to base.

What follows is a tense and moving power struggle as both the US and Russian military leaders reluctantly join forces in a desperate attempt to call back the planes, having already crossed their point of no return... or failing that, shoot them down.

With a powerful, anti-nuclear message, Fail Safe is definitely worth checking out. The script and acting are both superb, and it is even more impressive that the film went out live on US TV back in 2000.

Its simplicity, or perhaps efficiency, is key to its success. Depicted in black and white, the film almost plays more like a stage drama than a TV movie. The dialogue is tight and gets the message across without ever becoming stale. In short, if you can, check it out. And be sure to stay tuned for more Ghostwatch-like reviews coming soon!


Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Ghostwatch: The Animated Series... sort-of.

Yep, it's official - writer, Stephen Volk is to put pen to paper for an upcoming episode of The Simpsons!

Set to air sometime in October, Treehouse of Horror XXI will feature the lovable yellow family from Springfield, USA confronting the shadowy spectre of Mr. Pipes - having escaped across the Atlantic thanks to Professor Frink's terrifying new invention... the TeleSoul Transmitter 2000.

But it doesn't end there, as Ghostwatch writer & creator Stephen is set to cameo as himself at some point during the (almost) annual Hallowe'en TV special too! For more info on the upcoming episode, be sure to highlight the 'invisi-text' below...

--SPOILERS BEGIN-- ...April Fools', Ghostwatchers! --SPOILERS END--