And we’re back! You’ve sent in lots more letters and we have carefully and cunningly put together answers for them. Considering we didn’t expect this letters page to take off, we might just be lumbered with it now.
Details of how you can get involved are down at the bottom. In the meantime, here’s the latest postbag….
I have just watched 28 Weeks Later, and I was wondering if there were any other underappreciated sequels. Especially ones with random future stars in e.g. Jeremy Renner and Walt’s dad from Lost.
Simon writes: John Locke from Lost was blown up by a vending machine in the original X-Files movie. Does that count?
Further underappreciated sequels? I’d go for A Very Brady Sequel (one of the best comedies of the 1990s full stop), My Girl 2 (genuinely!), Fortress 2 (And?), the last ten minutes of Terminator 3, and lots of films on this list from earlier in the week.
Ryan writes: For what it is, The Fly II (the 1989 one directed by Chris Walas) is a lot of schlocky fun, because it doesn’t even try to be as intelligent and gloomily philosophical as David Cronenberg’s earlier classic. Instead, it has goo, and lots of it, as Eric Stoltz turns into a heap of bug eyes and latex. I’ve always had a soft spot for Halloween III: Season Of The Witch, a horror sequel where what made it unsuccessful also made it really interesting to watch: no Michael Myers and no kitchen knives, just a maniacal factory owner, a stolen chunk of Stonehenge, mind-control Halloween masks and robot assassins. If you’re into Hong Kong action movies, Police Story II is, for me, among the best films Jackie Chan ever made.
Was wondering who gets to decide which TV shows to start reviewing? Is there a choice or do you get to pick and choose at will?
Louisa writes: Often, DoG writers will suggest a new show they want to cover and if we all agree it’s worth a punt, they get the go-ahead. Making the choice writer-led helps to match reviewers with shows they’re likely to enthuse over rather than snark about (though, as you’ll have seen, we can’t do much about a promising-looking series turning out to be a load of bum).
Obviously, we cover a lot of sci-fi, fantasy, and horror, but there’s no hard and fast rule when it comes to choosing which shows we review. If a writer can be geeky about it, then we’ll cover it.
There is a master wish-list of shows we’d like to cover that’s circulated amongst the writers every so often from which they can pick and choose. If no-one chooses a show/season, it simply doesn’t get weekly coverage (Person Of Interest and Lost Girl are two such series). It’s a big juggling game really, and this autumn’s influx of new US comic book and sci-fi shows is about to chuck a load of extra balls at us.
[This letter starts with nice things written about us, but we’re still quite shy, so we’ve cut them out. But thank you. It also explains why this letter now starts mid-sentence. Ahem]… the messageboard is filled with lovely people………but I have a complaint.
Why oh why oh why, whenever I include a link in a post, does my post get relegated to ‘approval’ purgatory forever? Presumably there is someone at DoG HQ with the official job title of ‘Approver’, and I hate to tell you this, but they are having a massive skive. They are sitting there having a laugh at all those interesting links, and refusing to share them with the community.
Seems a very old fashioned to need approval just to include a link. What’s next? Do I need a certificate to include a page number from Teletext?
Disgruntled of Didsbury
Simon writes: Bonus points for a Teletext reference. You’d have got double points for Oracle.
Here’s the serious answer, then.
Readers who have been with us a long time may remember our old comments system. As well as giving you a 17% chance of being able to even submit your comment, it also struggled to deflect spam.
Even today, sadly, we get dozens of people a day trying to send us links to illegal movie downloads, miracle beauty cures (we clicked on those ones), opportunities to get rich quick (ditto) and homoerotic pictures of Jason Statham (no comment). Hence, we brought in the Disqus comments system, which has freed up an awful lot of time to write articles, and generally seems a better way to do things.
One consequence of the amount of rubbish people still try and post though is that if you put a link to somewhere else, embed a video etc, it gets flagged as needing approval. We hate this, but don’t have much choice. And yep, sometimes it takes us long than ideal to get to the backlog.
A genuine apology, then. You never used to get this problem with Bamboozle on Teletext.
Remember The Show?
This has been driving me mad for years – can you help?
I remember a kids UK TV drama from the late 80s/early 90s, where it was set at the coast. Smugglers etc. Present day. A woman had a child (in a cloak?) locked up in a coastal watery cave which had a metal spherical globe-like cage in the centre (for some magical significance, possibly the child had ’the sight’). There was also a man with a big, bushy beard who was a baddie too.
IIRC some other children wanted to rescue the trapped child (as per most 80s trapped child kids TV shows) but one of them ended up with their arm trapped in the metal cage. as the water came rushing in.
I remember being freaked out by that particular scene.
Any help where I can relive this haunting memory?
Simon writes: Don’t think it’s the same show, but I remember Sea View, where the main character made the wise decision to not buy a 16k Spectrum, and save up the extra for a 48k version. That’s proper educational telly.
Can someone write in about Mr Bronson from Grange Hill soon too? Dying to talk about whether he was really responsible for Danny Kendall’s death.
Louisa writes: Doesn’t ring any bells I’m afraid, and nothing we can look up appears to match that particular childhood trauma. The metal spherical globe-like cage sounds a lot like Joe 90’s BIG RAT, which was set on the Dorset coast, but obviously – puppets, not children, and twenty-odd years too early. Can anyone else help Chris out on this one?
Dear Den of Geek,
You complete me.
Ryan writes: I love lamp.
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