Thursday, 29 November 2012

It could all be done with wires, for all we know...

Greetings, Ghostwatchers!

Before our big annual news update arrives later this month, we thought you might like to check out the latest special issue of SFX that just hit newsstands nationwide...

On sale from the 27th of this month, the SFX A-Z of Sci-Fi TV comes complete with 6 free gifts (including badges, postcards and a poster) and a four-page cover article by Steve O'Brien on Ghostwatch. Not only that, but we hear there's also a very special mention for Behind the Curtains...

A full 124 pages of the best TV from past, present and future can be yours for only £7.99 in print form - with digital versions available too. For more info, click here to visit sfx.co.uk!


Thursday, 1 November 2012

So... last night went alright.

Since yesterday, I must've said 'Thank-You', 'Cheers' or 'Ta' several dozen times (at least!) to everyone who joined in last night's festivities, so I promise, this is absolutely the very last time I'll say it again... THANK YOU!

 

In short, NS12 went astronomically well. We always have a great time, but BLIMEY - this year, the response was huge..! The comments were amazing. And the atmos was indefinably palpable. And thanks to the efforts and hard work from Twitter legends, @vixxxster @jamesgrime @farzey (and Indie Mae and Daniel Ford on Facebook) the stats are now available for all to see:

  • 1,467 tweets
  • 755,738 impressions
  • 191,449 followers reached within the past 24 hours


And not only that, but at one point, we were trending on the nationwide UK Twitter list - at least, sixth from the top with several hundred messages all coming through at once (though BtC supporter Daniel Ford has reported at one point, we reached as high as fourth place!).

  • #TalkLikeYourBestFriend
  • #JackLaugherFollowSpree
  • #Mention20PeopleYouWantToMeet
  • #Scotlandhour
  • Michael Keane
  • #ghostwatch
  • Liverpool 1-3 Swansea
  • Wooton
  • Lee Mason
  • Daniel Sturridge
 

For the first time, we also had a plethora of fan photos come through to mark the event. A selection of which, you can check out below. ABSOLUTELY LOVE THESE. WOW.

@GameplayJenny
@lovejoyhatesyou
@RICH_DUNDAS
@patriciavolk
@megaloz1111
@jonfrmhants
Ash's Arthole
Ash's Arthole
It's pointless me trying to explain how the evening went. You simply had to be there. Last night was my Woodstock, man. So, I'll leave you by simply saying - same time next year? And thanks, everyone!

...Damn, I said it again.

Thanks!

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

What big eyes you have...


631,238,400 seconds. 10,520,640 minutes. 175,344 hours. 7306 days. 1043 weeks. 20 years.

Happy Hallowe'en, Ghostwatchers - and also, Happy Twentieth Anniversary to Ghostwatch! To mark this momentous occasion (and also National Séance 2012 which kicks off at 9:25pm tonight), our new Gloryhole page has been updated with practically EVERY Ghostwatch Story ever sent in to the BtC project - from our humble beginnings on YouTube around 2007(ish), onward.

Many thanks as always to everyone who sent in a message! Ghostwatch Stories are one of the defining aspects of the show's legacy and have helped keep the old 'Hallowe'en Hoax' firmly in the public consciousness now for *just* over two decades. At some point, most of us have felt compelled to share our experiences (or even make a film!) concerning the show, and when combined, I think you'll agree, they make for some pretty fascinating reading. We've really enjoyed checking them out and hope to see many more in years to come.

Looking forward to seeing you all at NS12 later on! Quick update re: the doc - work is still ongoing, and all things permitting, it shouldn't be too long before we're completely, wholly, totally locked and ready for release sometime later this year. We had a truly phenomenal response following the premiere of our new trailer on SFX.co.uk - with lots of new followers and messages coming in thick and fast. Thanks again to everyone for all the kind words and re-tweets. Intriguingly, for some reason, more than a few Tweeters seem to be under the impression that the doc is a BBC production and is set for imminent release on BBC Four(!) Just to set the record straight, the doc has been solely produced by Lawman Productions (Rich Lawden and Ghostwatch director, Lesley Manning's production company) and currently, there is no word on any potential broadcast date (at least, for the near future). Should any news come through on that front, we'll be sure to update the blog, as per usual.

Also, be sure to check out the close of The Culture Show on BBC Two at about 22:25. Yes, it'll eat into NS12 for a few mins, but it might just prove to be an interesting diversion, even so. :)

Happy 20th Birthday, Ghostwatch! Many Happy Returns and thanks for the sleepless nights...

Friday, 26 October 2012

Ghostwatch back on... CBBC?


During today's Hallowe'en edition of popular, kids' TV, nostalgia fest, 12 Again, a few of the interviewees discussed their experiences with spooky TV - ranging from The X Files to Most Haunted, 999 to Worzel Gummidge, and even Ghostwatch.

It's truly remarkable how clips from one of the most infamous British Horrors can wind up being broadcast during the CBBC time-slot (how times have changed..!). Least of all when you consider the twenty year long (to date) gap between initial broadcast and now (which has yet to see a single repeat in full). Still, nice to see the show getting a mention in time for Hallowe'en.

To check out the Spooky Special for yourself, click the image below and head to the 22:10 mark. Just be sure to shake your head incredulously when the "zombie" line comes up.

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Oh, hang on... we're on!

Here we go...

Be sure to head on over to SFX.co.uk if you want to catch the exclusive premiere of the trailer for Ghostwatch: Behind the Curtains - the upcoming retrospective documentary that's been five... actually, make that, twenty years in the making..!

Release date is currently 2012 (in time for the show's 20th Anniversary) with more news on that front hopefully coming very soon indeed.

Yes. If you can believe it, the finish line is finally in sight. Thank you so much for your support. Lesley Manning and I can't wait to show you what we've made together. Special thanks goes to Arfon Jones who created the wonderful original artwork for our announcement poster!

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

What's going on, like..?

Another little gem here, sent in from Rear Admiral Lieutenant General Symes of G&T Towers. In fact, it's something of a revelation...

LITTLE KNOWN FACT: Craig Charles did not star in Ghostwatch. His role, was in fact, entirely portrayed by on-screen double, Lloyd Mullaney. And that's a hundred-percent true, that.

It seems that during last night's episode of Coronation Street (specifically, the 7.30pm episode on Monday 1st Oct), a handful of old photographs were presented as undeniable proof that lovable character, Lloyd is father to a long-lost daughter, or something. And wouldn't you know it, one snapshot clearly shows old Doormouse Cheeks at the house in Foxhill Drive (specifically, the Early Family's kitchen), grinning away into camera with his own inimitable brand of chirpy, gerbil-faced optimism.

Not only that, but this strangely-reminiscent image appears to bear a striking resemblance to the very same informative screen-grab headlining Craig's bio in the blog's Cast Section (minus the watermark, naturally).

"Get out the way a minute, you're in the middle of my close-up..."

Hamstergrams.

Incredible coincidence, or just 'faces in the fire'? You decide... No, wait, I'll decide for you. It is the same picture. There you go. Seven-seconds of thinking-time saved. Now, feel free to savour in the blissful insanity of this staggeringly-quaint revelation - GHOSTWATCH WAS FEATURED IN CORRIE LAST NIGHT.

And if you'd like to see the scene for yourself, head on over to the ITV Player and skip ahead to the 15:30 mark for the start of the scene.

Monday, 1 October 2012

Welcome to Fright Night..!

C U R T A I N S

That special time of year, which brings a chill to your skin
Has at long last arrived, twenty-twelve, ten months in

Particularly unsettling, if by fortune, you are
A fan of the show Ghostwatch, which left many a scar
On the trusting minds of millions, both youthful and old
And which, naturally, led to tall tales being told
Some true, some false, but most of them, thrilling


Like that man under the stairs, his face always grinning
From behind jagged scars, crimson cuts and deep wounds
Torn open by felines whom he obsessively groomed
Fastidiously, hypnotically, as if in a trance
 

Hold up, wait a tick! What was that I just glanced?
Swathed in a dark robe, buttoned up to the neck

Look what I've become - a near-nervous wreck
There's nothing there now, likely neither before

My mind just playing tricks, as I open the door
To my bedroom, oddly cold, with crisp frost on the floor

My ears pick up a snarl, a meow and a hiss
My hand starts to tremble, then tightens to a fist
I look to the window, eclipsed by red drapes
An impossible blackness from which light cannot escape

The light-bulb starts to flicker, the walls start to rap
The pipes start to knock, the ceiling starts to crack
He's here, I just know it, that presence I most fear
The man-woman figure who delights in visiting, each year
 

Staring me down strongly, it tries in vain just to speak
Vocal cords damaged
A stench of damp rotten cabbage
He's missing an eye, and half his neck, too
I try to run away but the floor's turned to glue

The Evil advances, heavy head slumped to one side
And reaches out towards me, no place I can hide
"Round and round the garden...", he/she groans with a rasp
And then without warning, before I can gasp

I awake in my bed, just seven years old
Tucked up under covers, more precious than gold
Look up at the clock, it's quarter to five
Couldn't care less, thank God I'm alive
What a horrible nightmare, a feverish dream
Which has taught me that sometimes, things are not what they seem
But if there's one thing I do know, and that much is certain
You can never quite tell, what might be lurking behind the curtains.


...And I'm spent.

Greetings, Ghostwatchers! Fire up your Twitter engines and dust off those serial port keyboards, it's almost time for National Séance 2012!

Pretty straightforward as usual. We will be hosting a live Twittercast at precisely...


...at which time, we'd like to ask you to join us in playing your very own personal copies of Ghostwatch (whether on DVD, VHS, Laserdisc, Betamax, Printed Circuit, Symphonium, etc) and join the worldwide community of Ghostwatchers/Pipes-Phobes in celebrating the Twentieth (yes, 20th!) Anniversary of everyone's favourite Hallowe'en Hoax. You never know, between now and the end of the evening (at the latest), there may even be a small surprise in store...

As per usual, the hash-tag for the event will rather conveniently be #Ghostwatch. Do try to remember adding this to the end of every Tweet you send (something easy to forget - even for us!) and that should keep all the comments nice and easy to keep track of. After logging into Twitter, head on over to the following page...


...which should hopefully update and display all new Tweets as they come in. Keep your eyes peeled for the ever-bashful, Pipes the Poltergeist - if you see him, be sure to mention when and where, and add the #PipesWatch hash-tag alongside the #Ghostwatch tag.

As is tradition around these here parts, to fully complete the effect of a repeat viewing, you can also watch the BBC Continuity Announcement and Screen One Ident first:


...But depending on which version DVD of Ghostwatch you might be using, it may be necessary to start your copy slightly earlier.

If you're watching from the BFI DVD, you can start playing the video above at about 21:24:14 and then start Ghostwatch immediately after.

If you're watching from the newer 101 FILMS release, you can do the same as above, but only need to watch the Continuity Announcement. As soon as you see the blue-ish TV Screen that heralds the start of the classic Screen One ident, that's the moment to start playing your DVD.

Looking forward to seeing you there, as always! And remember, as you can well see below, There Is No Excuse Not To Join Us..! ;)


Monday, 24 September 2012

Is this happening live, I think it is..?

Host, Jimmy Carr
Greetings, Ghostwatchers!

So... last night, just as I was falling head over heels for the girl in the new Ikea advert (...ahem), this message came through from BtC supporter, @Snarglepip via Twitter:

Ooo nice @Ghostwatch question on big fat 90s quiz there!

...And just like that, +1 channels suddenly make a whole lotta sense.

About an hour later (on C4+1, naturally), presenter Jimmy Carr asked his three teams of celebrity panelists on The Big Fat Quiz of the 90s the following question... again.

"Sarah Greene was 'killed' in a basement, and Michael Parkinson was 'possessed' by an angry ghost called 'Pipes' in which "legendary" TV show?"

Okay, let's get the nitpicking right out of the way. Technically, Sarah 'disappeared' into The Gloryhole (not counting the revelation of her eventual fate in '31/10'). Also, The Gloryhole itself isn't a basement, rather an under-stairs cupboard. Plus, within the context of the story, was Sir Michael Parkinson truly 'possessed' at the film's climax or was the Ghost simply still in the machine..?

"WHO CARES?!", you ask? Right-oh, onto the next section, then.

Straight in with the correct answer was Buzzcocks stalwart, Phill Jupitus (doffs cap, accordingly).

Phill Jupitus & Alan Davies
Though despite getting the answer right, Dara O'Briain and Claudia Winkleman just couldn't help but say 'Ghostwatch Live' which of course, was an unrelated BBC show hosted by Claudia Christian in 2001.

Dara O'Briain & Claudia Winkleman
 ...But still, it could've been worse. Jake Whitehall and Denise Van Outen's answer was:

Quiz legends, Jack Whitehall & Denise Van Outen, there
And then, just at that very moment, a f***ing power cut plunged the entire house into darkness and I had to become a qualified electrician overnight, by way of candlelight. Fun as it may sound, traversing miles of creaky floorboards in the pitch black (following a torrent of Twitter comments concerning GW, no less!), suffice it to say, it wasn't until earlier today that I was able to summon the courage to start delicately tapping away at the keyboard for fear of somehow drawing attention to myself in the dead of night...

Here's a link to the show on 4OD - just skip ahead to about the 43:00 mark for you know what. :)

http://www.channel4.com/programmes/big-fat-quiz/4od

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Get a flannel...*

I'm not a sceptic. I'm not a believer. I'm open-minded. Sometimes, things can be explained. Sometimes, they cannot. Any true-life oddity that, despite all efforts, remains intangibly inexplicable suggests to me that the average human mind is either somehow incomplete or deeply flawed in its problem-solving capacity.

Now, I'm cool with that (being unavoidably ignorant). It's not like everything needs explaining, anyway. To paraphrase our old pal, So'crates, "The only true wisdom comes from knowing you know nothing". But saying that...

...HOW DO YOU EXPLAIN THIS SUDDENLY APPEARING ON THE BACK OF MY SHIRT WHEN NO-ONE HAS TOUCHED MY BACK ALL DAY?


Genuinely spooked by this one, dear readers. Even stranger is that the mystery mark staunchly refuses to come off. Unless someone recently dipped their fingertips in bleach and snuck up behind me with the silent grace of a ninja-trained xenomorph, I truly cannot see how this came to pass - not to mention, remain undetected for so many hours.

...Oh, you might think this is viral marketing for the doc, or something. It isn't. Not directly, anyway. :)

*Special Mention - The name of this article is one of many gems contributed by BtC supporter, Arfon Jones. We've been looking for an excuse to use it as a blog title for about five years..!

Friday, 7 September 2012

Five years later.

Well, now.

Yesterday, Lesley Manning, Stephen Volk, Richard Broke and I convened somewhere in London to watch a near final cut of a certain retrospective documentary project...

It went well.

Very well.

More soon!



Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Faces in the fire..?

Greetings Ghostwatchers!

As if fact hasn't crossed over into fiction enough around these here parts, check out this spooky scene recently caught on camera by writer/creator, Stephen Volk - who admits to being "genuinely terrified" at the time of taking it. Irrefutable proof of life after death? Some kind of intense psychomagnatheric disturbance? Or perhaps just indicative of a distinct lapse in essential window maintenance?

You decide...

Sunday, 29 April 2012

No, no, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait... wait..!

Greetings, Ghostwatchers! Another quick heads-up here in case you missed Stephen Volk's interview earlier today on BBC Radio Bristol's The Sunday Show (in anticipation of his upcoming CineMe event at The Tobacco Factory, Bristol this Tuesday). The interview is currently available to check out in all its audible glory - just head on over to the site, hit LISTEN NOW and forward to the 1.07.15 mark. Enjoy!

Thursday, 12 April 2012

CineMe - An Evening with Stephen Volk

Greetings, Ghostwatchers!

Just a quick heads up that CineMe will be hosting an entire evening with Ghostwatch screenwriter, Stephen Volk, on Tuesday, May 1st starting at 20:00 at The Tobacco Factory, Bristol.

Topics in the Q&A will likely touch upon The Awakening, Afterlife and apparently, some 'Hallowe'en hoax' he wrote back in the nineties...

Doors open at 19:30. For more info, click on the flyer, left, or visit Stephen's site here.

Sunday, 1 April 2012

This is an extraordinary assembly of...


Greetings, Ghostwatchers!

Thanks to increasing popular demand over the years, we are proud to announce the opening of our brand-new Ghostwatch Merchandise Store! Be sure to head on over to our new SHOP page for all manner of Hallowe'en-related goodies, including exclusive to this site:

Mr. Pipes™ Collector's Figure - £19.92

As seen on the BBC's notorious Hallowe'en spoof, Ghostwatch!

Fully-poseable 12-inch collector's figure. Features authentic feline scratches, silk-effect robe and built-in sound FX - push the button on Pipes'™ back for realistic flesh-eating cat sounds or turn the figure upside down to hear the classic nursery rhyme, "Round and round the garden" in Mother Seddons'™ voice!

Comes complete with highly-detailed base, spring-loaded 'Gloryhole' cupboard door to surprise your friends, and 1/8 scale favourite pet cat, Fluffy™ - plus miniature Hallowe'en pumpkin and apples on string for full "poltergeist" effect!

Batteries not included. Accessories sold separately.

WARNING: Toy must not be used by those of a gullible disposition.

To check out our full range of truly f*****g terrifying merchandise, click here!

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Smegazine #9

If our recent Series X article wasn't enough (before you ask, no we're not slowly turning into a Red Dwarf fan site...), the notoriously modest Rear Admiral Lieutenant General Symes from Ganymede & Titan recently stumbled upon this gem from Issue 9 of the classic Smegazine collection from 1992.

For those not in the know, two volumes worth of Smegazines, originally entitled The Red Dwarf Magazine, were published between 1992 and 1994, and are now considered to be serious collector's items among merchandise-hungry fans. Often showcasing rich and varied content, articles ranged from original & adapted comic stories, sneak peaks of upcoming episodes, and reports covering related cast projects, etc.

Funnily enough, this particular issue is dated, 'November 1992', but I've been reliably informed that Issue 9 was actually published in late October - just in time for broadcast. Enjoy!



Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Space. The funniest frontier.

Last December, I was fortunate enough to be part of the live studio audience for the very first episode of Red Dwarf X to be filmed at Shepperton Studios. Neatly bookending my experience (to say the least!), on Friday, I attended the final show, too.

Since 1988, thanks largely to strong viewing figures and an impossibly loyal and dedicated fan-base, this acclaimed sci-fi/comedy series has proven itself to be more resilient than a lump-hammered Talkie Toaster.

Famously, during rehearsals on the first series, an electricians' strike very nearly pulled the plug on the entire project before it even had chance to air. A three-year hiatus between later series would also keep fans guessing as to the programme's future and possible change in direction - culminating with the BBC rather tactlessly admitting they were "no longer interested in the audience [the show] used to attract". But ultimately, and thankfully, these setbacks did little to dissuade digital channel, Dave from taking the plunge and commission six, brand-new episodes for us to check out later this year. 

Without giving too much away, the core cast-members are all back and kicking bottom. Plus, the up... sorry, downgraded sets are truly gorgeous in that grubby, lived-in kind of way that certainly feels more in line with the show's earlier, more textural, Cyberpunk-centric leanings. Another big plus was the inclusion of a varied and largely spot-on guest cast who help keep things moving at an altogether, brisk pace. Many of these new faces were, for my taste, nothing short of terrific and are surely destined to become future, fan favourites, on broadcast.

Not content with 'mere' HD images, writer/director, Doug Naylor has successfully furthered his quest to push for a more filmic look (a hallmark of the show since Series III), by utilising the maddeningly-sophisticated RED cameras to help bring a new kind of clarity, not seen since the recent three-part special, Back To Earth (which itself played to record viewing figures back in 2009). 

During filming, monitors were strategically placed in front of the audience to display pre-recorded footage or live sets that were just out of our peripheral vision. Strangely enough, the images looked so good that at times, I often found myself staring at the screens even when the cast were performing in plain sight.

But despite the undeniable leaps and bounds in technical dexterity this new series has to offer, much of its success can, and simply must be attributed to the indispensable ensemble cast, headed by Ghostwatch's very own 'Interviewer', Craig Charles - who effortlessly returns as self-confessed, 'Space Bum/Curry-Lover', Dave Lister. Annoyingly, he hasn't aged a day since we last saw him and is clearly enjoying performing in front of a live studio audience again. It's great to see Craig back doing what he does best and we had a blast recording his interview for the doc earlier this week.


Simply put, I genuinely enjoyed the shows I attended - particularly as they were fascinating to watch from a behind the scenes perspective. On the whole, they felt like a much-welcome return to the glory days of Red Dwarf, back when the show was an all-too-often unsung world leader in comedy, design and production. Bearing in mind its notoriously unpredictable filming pattern, where the series goes from here is anyone's guess. Above all, I just hope The Powers That Be continue to realise and respect Red Dwarf's potential. It's not every day you get a cast and crew this good (or for that matter, hardworking) in the same place at the same time. And I for one, hope to be attending a 'Series XI' recording very soon, indeed. Until then... hit the retros!

ADDITIONAL: 

At around the 24 second mark on the following YouTube clip (courtesy of Dave), yours truly can be seen as one of at least two people not performing the requisite Mexican Wave when instructed to by that night's warm-up. Why? Because I was so engrossed by the stunning new set design, obviously. Either that, or I was just *slightly* tispy - I can't quite recall.