Monday, 30 April 2012

Countering the enemy - any way we can!

I seem to be flavour of the month for interviewers at present. Not, I hasten to add, because I’m looking for another job aside from writing, but because all of a sudden editors and publishers throughout the genre seem to want to know my opinions on stuff.

Well, okay … that’s an exaggeration. Basically, part two of my in-depth interview with THIS IS HORROR is now up and can be read by following the link. In addition, you’ll also be able to assess my views on various aspects of horror and science-fiction when another lengthy interview appears in the DOCTOR WHO MAGAZINE in June this year.

This latter chat comes in advance of the new Quartermass type full-cast audio drama from Big Finish, COUNTER MEASURES (pictured above), the first four episodes of which will be released on CD this summer. COUNTER MEASURES tells the tale of a fledgling intelligence outfit which forms in London in the early 1960s, in response to perceived threats from extraterrestrial and other non-conventional sources. The unit is headed up by Doctor Rachel Jensen and Group-Captain Ian Gilmore, two non-regular Dr Who characters who first appeared in the classic story, REMEMBRANCE OF THE DALEKS way back in 1988. The original actors, Pamela Salem and Simon Williams, reprise their roles in this new series.

I was very flattered indeed to be asked to write the pilot episode for COUNTER MEASURES, called THRESHOLD. But no, I’m not going to say any more about it – except that it comprises horror, sci-fi and mystery in equal measure, and that it, hopefully, will have you reaching quickly for the next disc in the series.

On a slightly different matter, if anyone follows the link at the top of this column to THIS IS HORROR, they’ll see references to the first movie script I wrote (co-wrote in that case, or rather ‘script-doctored’ to use a real Hollywood phrase), which was actually made and got a cinematic release. That was SPIRIT TRAP, which hit the cinemas in 2005, and starred Billie Piper (in pre-Dr Who mode, and Sam Troughton (later of ROBIN HOOD fame). I mention it now because the film has gone on to gain some cult status, and a few people have asked me about it.

SPIRIT TRAP tells the tale of an old house in London, where a bunch of disparate students wash up in anticipation of their first year at college. Needless to say, there are all kinds of weird disturbances, the epicentre of which appears to be an old Russian spirit-clock. And yet again, no, I won’t be saying any more, because this time I’d much rather you went out and watched it. If it’ll help persuade you, this too has got some neat grisly and ghoulish moments (even if I do say so, myself).

And now, on a totally unrelated matter, I’m going to finish off with some more totally gratuitous images of the lovely Gina Varela. It hasn’t gone unnoticed by moi that many Internet surfers arrive at this site looking for pictures of the delectable Gina, who of course portrayed the gorgeous, naked, shape-shifting demoness in THE DEVIL’S ROCK.

So here are a few more: a stage-by-stage on-set portrait of Gina getting plastered (in other words, having her extensive make-up applied). Enjoy …


  1. Didn't realise you were involved with Spirit Trap, I re-watched it recently and enjoyed it a lot. Full marks to Gina Varela as well, beautiful and brave to be encased in that stuff!

  2. yeah, BA - SPIRIT TRAP was someone else's concept, but I was brought in to co-write the script, which I enjoyed immensely, though I thought the pre-production schedule was a little tight. Strange - but I enjoy that movie a little bit more each time I watch it.