Letters: TV debates, Scottish independence, and facial hair

The Letters Page returns! Here's the latest selection of reader correspondence...

And we’re back. After a longer than expected letters page break for the holidays, our ongoing mission to be as low-tech as possible continues, with our reasonably non-interactive correspondence round-up. Details of how you can write in are at the bottom. We still don’t have any letters asking us questions about Grange Hill in the 1980s though, so if you want your letter to reach the top of the pile, that’s not a bad place to start. Without further ado…


Empty Review Articles

I know that it’s not always possible to review all the episodes of a series, or that in some cases the first season may be covered, but not others. Is there any chance that you could still put up an empty article for the episodes giving us somewhere specific to discuss (argue) about the episodes?


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Richard Worthington

Simon writes: We’ve experimented with debate posts for big films, with differing degrees of success, and in truth, it’s a puzzle to know how best to do this. Personally, I’d rather we wrote something, at least as a starting point for a debate.

How would you all feel if we picked a TV show and opened up a spoilers-welcome page for debate about a particular season of a show? Say perhaps Doctor Who series 8, or the new run of The Walking Dead? Would that work?


Mystery Show Identified

I was just catching up on your Letters page this month (5th August) and I actually have the answer to the question asked in the ‘Remember the Show’ letter.

I give you Eye Of The Storm (IMDB link here). I too remember it being pretty creepy!

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I hope you can somehow let Chris know. 

Wouldn’t want him racking his brain any longer.

Darrell Rees

Simon writes: Thank you! The appropriate information will be relayed to Chris. Unless Chris reads it here first.


Scottish Independence

First off, usual redacted bit, but really [nice things taken out in line with our policy on keeping our head from getting too big] website. I work in the cinema here in Gibraltar, and as I get to watch most great films out there, I do find I agree with your reviews in general (apart from your Statham love!), and it gives me a great insight into what’s coming up.

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My question is, we’ve only recently gone digital here in Gibraltar and are finding we are ‘close’ to UK release dates now as digital distribution is a lot easier, obviously! However we still end up behind on a few, as although we are supposed to be in sync with UK release dates some studios sometimes forget us!

So, if Scotland does stop moaning and bugger off, will they also find themselves ending up out of sync with the UK proper release dates? If Scotland is independent and a much smaller territory (like Gibraltar), why should studios bother getting new releases to them as rapidly as the main UK? Will we have Scottish movie fans having to sneak across the rebuilt Hadrian’s Wall (it’s coming…) to catch the latest Michael Bay ear assault? 


Lots of love and kisses from Gibraltar.


Aged 40 and 3 months

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Simon writes: We see your plan there, Ian. You’re trying to drag us into a political debate. We have rumbled your cunning attempt for us to ignite digital civil war. Mwahahaha, etc.

To answer your point: the fundamental difference between Scotland and Gibraltar in the example you gave is that there is not a lot of sea and travelling between England and Scotland. Whether Scotland votes for independence or not, we’d genuinely be staggered if it meant that cinema releases suddenly veer out of kilter.

One note on that, though. Cinema releases between England and Scotland aren’t always in tandem anyway. Because school holiday times fall slightly differently, many family films in particular are released in Scotland a good week or so ahead.


Game Of Thrones Alternative

Long term reader, first time writer (unless you count Disqus comments, Tweets and the odd electronic mail as writing – in which case this is about the 17th time I’m writing.) [Redcated, appreciated nice things written about us, leading to an awkward bit where a sentence will now start half way through] and your enthusiasm for all things Statham (speaking of which do you think his impressive move from Commonwealth Games competitor in 1990 to fine thespian will inspire other athletes to follow the same route? eg do you think Mo Farah will ever star in a remake of The Running Man?)

The real reason I wanted to write was if any of your staff writers could point me in the direction of an epic fantasy series that is in the vein of A Song Of Ice And Fire, (by which I mean one that is complex, deals with mature themes and blurs the lines between good and evil). Preferably it should be one where the series is complete – I don’t want to have to wait two or three years between books. I do remember that you did a feature on a similar issue, but I’ve forgotten what books and series were on it. Even a simple link to that article would suffice.

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May the Stath be with you.Kind regards,

Tahmeed Zaki

Simon writes: I do not think that Mo Farah will ever star in a remake of The Running Man.

Louisa writes: Hello! Here’s a link to the original article, which suggested Joe Abercrombie’s The First Law trilogy, Steven Erikson’s Malazan: Book Of The Fallen, Robin Hobb’s Farseer series, and Tad Williams’ Memory, Sorrow And Thorn, all of which come highly recommended.

In addition, our US chums wrote this, which also recommends Clive Barker’s Weaveworld, Weis and Hickman’s Dragonlance series, Brandon Sanderon’s Mistborn books, Stephen King’s The Dark Tower and of course, Ursula Le Guin’s Earthsea cycle.

As well as those, we’d say you couldn’t go far wrong with Patrick Rothfuss’ The Kingkiller Chronicles, or Tad Williams’ Shadowmarch, or indeed Robert Jordan’s enormous Wheel Of Time series. If it’s an historical, rather than fantasy saga you’re after, then The Last Kingdom by Bernard Cornwell is also a favourite (and if you get in early, you can polish it off before the BBC’s adaptation comes out).

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Lots Of Questions In One

Forgive my lack of formalities, but I would like to get straight into the top 10 questions burning in my soul that require a response from Den of Geek

• Where has ‘The Really Hard Picture Quiz’ gone? I need it in my life on a Friday and I miss it

• Why don’t you have a ‘spoiler hide’ function in comments?

• Why don’t you have separate comments for the book/TV adaptations so people can comment without me shouting at them?

• Coke or Pepsi?

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• What is the best 80s horror film franchise?

• Do any of your writers sport facial hair? Describe it or provide a drawing

• Is 50 Shades Of Gray really worthy of geek reporting?

• What superpower would you have? I’d control space and time like Hiro Nakamura

• Will you ever put on any events for Northerners? I don’t like being left out and it makes me want to cry when everything is in Nodnol (That’s ‘London’ backwards)

• Who is the best crew member aboard Red Dwarf?

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Fond regards,

Craig (aged 10942 days)

Simon writes: here are ten answers…

* Now that goes back. The Really Hard Picture Quiz was the work of the wonderful Gaye Birch, an amazing human being who the planet really misses. When we lost Gaye, we decided to retire the Picture Quiz.

* We’ve never had one requested in truth. No plans at the moment though I’m afraid.

* Gin or coffee.

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* Ah, we’re fond of lots of them. So how about a random recommendation for the film Cat’s Eye instead?

* Yes. Said facial hair looks hairy.

* Well, it span out of fan fiction, so probably. But as many spotted, our last 50 Shades story had a bit of an ulterior motive to it.

* The ability to write logically at three times the speed. Actually, scrub that. The ability to write logically.

* We’re doing a special screening in Birmingham this December, so we’re edging up the motorway. But again: when we’ve tried to gauge demand outside of London, we’ve not had too much. We’ll see how our festive treat at Christmas goes down…

* They are all marvellous.

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That’s it for another letters page. More of your correspondence next time!

Send your letters to denofgeek@yahoo.com. Or write to Den Of Geek, Dennis Publishing, 30 Cleveland Street, London W1T 4JD. Please enclose a stamped addressed envelope if you want us to send you your letter back once we’ve read it.

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