After being away for frankly far too long, superlative long-running purveyor of ‘sideways looks’ at the latest happenings in cult television This Way Up is back at last with its blockbusting 22nd issue, containing features on The Sarah Jane Adventures, Merlin and Arthur C. Clarke, as well as my own thoughts on series two of Heroes (mainly “yawn yawn yawn bloody Maya and Allejandro, that Matt’n'Nathan storyline is pretty ace though”) and extended overview of those sci-fi/fantasy-tinged children’s serials that the BBC used to be in the habit of running in the weeks leading up to Christmas, including The Box Of Delights, The Children Of Green Knowe, The Phoenix And The Carpet, The Enchanted Castle, The Moon Stallion and – of course – Codename: Icarus. This particular piece has become something of a personal favourite, so the more people get to read it the better really! You’ll find full details of how to get hold of an issue on this page, though if you’re really quick you can download it for free as one of those new-fangled PDF thingy whatnots. And that’s FREE in capital letters, so you have no excuse really. Unless you really, really, really hated Monica from Heroes.
And speaking of personal favourite articles, the accompanying This Way Up website has now been updated to include loads of features culled from long out-of-print back issues by loads of great writers (I personally recommend John Connors’ thoughts on the 1985 Doctor Who ‘Cancellation Crisis’, Dave Rolinson’s look at the Doctor Who stories of Robert Holmes, Bob Stanley’s review of Tooth & Claw, and Ben Baker trying not to mention Catherine Tate’s knockers), and some of my own stuff, the more standing-up-to-re-reading of it including:
Diamond Life – the story of a quite frankly insane quest to discover the identity of the music used to accompany the BBC Schools Diamond.
Withnail & Brian – an epic-length overview of the entire output of George Harrison’s Handmade Films, most of it, erm, disagreeing quite dramatically with opinions expressed in TV Cream Films On TV That Are Films (Films).
Back Once Again With The Renegade Master – an ever so slightly overexcited review of possibly the single greatest episode of Doctor Who ever made.
A load of features based on the revisiting of ‘classic’ albums, all of which unfortunately have ended up with awful titles that I didn’t choose myself!! It was Assaulted Pepper, in case you were wondering…
Billy Lyre – one of my favourite things I’ve ever written, casting a wryly psuedo-academic eye over the ‘historical’ stories that were such an important fixture of the very early days of Doctor Who.
The Daleks’ Masterplan – stay off the drugs, Mr Nation.
I Love… 1973 – why Life On Mars was the best television series ever to have a totally rubbish ending.
Full Of The Joys Of String – were Andy Pandy and his Watch With Mother chums a load of clanky patronising visibly-stringed basts? Find out just in time for the Coming Soon follow-up feature…