12 episodes

A critical look back at some British television's most interesting science fiction series. From cult favourites like "The Tripods" to obscurities such as "The Uninvited". Each episode, host Gareth Preston is joined by special guests to discuss a show, celebrating its achievements and appraising the mistakes.

Visit our website at https://18060801.webdevmmu.uk/
Follow us on Twitter @futuresvery
Visit uk.bookshop.org/shop/verybritishfutures for books related to the podcast and its contributors
Find out more about host Gareth Preston at https://garethpreston.blog/

Very British Futures Gareth Preston

    • Arts

A critical look back at some British television's most interesting science fiction series. From cult favourites like "The Tripods" to obscurities such as "The Uninvited". Each episode, host Gareth Preston is joined by special guests to discuss a show, celebrating its achievements and appraising the mistakes.

Visit our website at https://18060801.webdevmmu.uk/
Follow us on Twitter @futuresvery
Visit uk.bookshop.org/shop/verybritishfutures for books related to the podcast and its contributors
Find out more about host Gareth Preston at https://garethpreston.blog/

    Outcasts

    Outcasts

    Outcasts followed the trials of humanity's first, and it would seem, last colony on a new planet. A new frontier of hope for a better world, but dogged by human weaknesses of the oldest kind. A major new BBC adult science fiction series for the 21st century. At least that was the pitch.

    Kudos were one of the coolest TV companies around, with dramas like Life on Mars and Spooks under their belt. Writer and producer Ben Richards had made his name with the latter and had recently written cult drama Party Animals. The cast was filled with talents like Liam Cunningham, Eric Maibus and Hermione Norris and well-spent budget and South African location meant that this show looked glossy and impressive. However as soon as Outcasts hit the airwaves it received a critical drubbing and indifference from both the mainstream and SF genre audiences. What went wrong? How much went right?

    This episode Gareth Preston is joined by three returning voices Dr Rebecca Wray, John Isles and Nicky Smalley to discuss mysterious aliens, petulant teenagers and how much influence Battlestar Galactica had.

    Follow us on Twitter at @FuturesVery and at garethpreston.blog for more news and reviews.

    Find out more about the forthcoming podcasts Tripodscast by following @tripodscast and Unended by following @unended_podcast

    The interview with Ben Richards we reference several time can be read in full at Den of Geek.

    Music by Charti Art chatriart.bandcamp.com

    Produced by Gareth Preston

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    • 1 hr 38 min
    Kinvig

    Kinvig

    Des Kinvig's small world is turned upside when he discovers one of his customers, sexy Miss Griffin is in fact an alien from Mercury, fighting a secret war with the Xux. Is he really the only man who can help her save the Earth? Or is he just a desperate fantasist who's been listening to his UFO-mad friend Jim Piper for too long?

    Nigel Kneale, creator of Quatermass, writer of TV classics such The Stone Tape, 1984, and Beasts, took an unexpected turn into situation comedy for 1981's Kinvig. Starring Tony Haygarth, Patsy Rowlands, Prunella Gee and Colin Jeavons. A science fiction parody that mocked many of his fans, it has remained one of the curios of Eighties television. Could it ever have worked? Is funny now and was it even then?

    Taking a closer look at with Gareth Preston, in one person's case against their will, are Tim Reid and Charles Auchterlonie, hosts of The Randomiser podcast.

    Music by Chatri Art

    Produced by Gareth Preston

    Follow the podcast on twitter at @FuturesVery and for more information and reviews, visit garethpreston.blog 


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    • 54 min
    Out of the Unknown

    Out of the Unknown

    Deep space explorers encountering strange new dangers. Mutant powers hidden among us. Futuristic societies with surprising moralities. Cutting edge technology bringing unexpected dilemmas for the people who use it. Created by the pioneering television producer Irene Shubik and featuring some of the leading talents on television on both sides of the lens, Out of the Unknown remains one of the BBC's best science fiction series. Drawing on stories from SF masters such as Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury, John Wyndham and John Brunner, as well as original scripts, it remains one of television's most sustained attempts to adapt the mood of literary science fiction.

    Gareth Preston is joined by Stephen Hatcher and Dylan Rees to discuss the series, which sadly is missing half its episodes, yet what remains is still thrilling and challenging. Along the way they pay particular attention to three key episodes: The Dead Past, Some Lapse of Time and The Machine Stops.

    Music by Chatri Art chatriart.bandcamp.com
    Produced by Gareth Preston

    Follow us on Twitter @FuturesVery or visit garethpreston.blog for more information.


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    • 1 hr 33 min
    The Nightmare Man

    The Nightmare Man

    The tourist season is over and Inverdee Island is closing down and preparing for the winter. But when the body of Shelia Anderson is discovered, seemingly torn apart by a killer with inhuman strength, the islanders must join together to fight something terrifyingly unknown.

    Broadcast only once in 1981, The Nightmare Man has achieved cult status as rare but expertly made piece of primetime SF/Horror from the BBC. Looking into the roots of this drama and Child of Vodyanoi, the original novel it is adapted from, Gareth Preston is joined by writers Ian Taylor and John Isles. Can it be compared with Doctor Who of the time? How well does Cornwall stand in for Scotland? How scary is it for a modern audience?

    Produced by Gareth Preston
    Music by Chatri Art ( chatriart.bandcamp.com )

    Ian Taylor's book on the career of Jenny Agutter All Sorts of Things May Happen is available from We Belong Dead books.


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    • 57 min
    Threads

    Threads

    It's just another day in Sheffield, everyone going about their own affairs, when suddenly the unthinkable happens - a nuclear strike. When the survivors scrabble out of the rubble, that is just the beginning of a waking nightmare, as modern society quickly crumbles into starvation and suffering.

    The BBC2 TV play Threads was a television landmark that is still as powerful today as it was in 1982. Written by Barry (Kes) Hines and directed by Mick Jackson before he went to Hollywood, it is a polemic, extensively researched attempt to depict the true horror of life after a nuclear conflict.

    Joining Gareth Preston to discuss this memorable production are author Rik Hoskin and lecturer Andrew Roe-Crines.

    Follow Very British Futures on Twitter @FuturesVery and find out more at garethpreston.blog

    Bystander 27, Rik Hoskin's latest novel is available at all good bookshops.

    You can read Selecting Starmer, one of Andrew Roe-Crines' recent articles on left-wing politics, for free at tandfonline.com


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    • 59 min
    Star Cops

    Star Cops

    Mankind is busy colonising the solar system. Space stations in orbit, a busy moonbase, and pioneers on Mars. A new frontier however brings new opportunities for crime: industrial, political and personal. That's where the International Space Police Force (ISPF) come in, known sardonically as the Star Cops. Now career cop Nathan Spring has been reluctantly sent into space to shake up the volunteers and turn them into a real police service.

    Created by Chris Boucher, writer for Blake's 7 and Shoestring amongst other shows, Star Cops was broadcast to little acclaim in 1987, but has built up a cult following over the years and is widely regarded as one of great lost opportunities of British SF television. Taking an appreciative look back with host Gareth Preston are Peter Grehen, Kevin Hiley and Dr Rebecca Wray.

    Music by Chatri Art chatriart.bandcamp.com

    Produced by Gareth Preston

    Follow us on Twitter @FuturesVery or visit garethpreston.blog for more information

    For more information on Peter Grehen's novels and other writings visit petergrehanwriter.weebly.com

    For more information on Kevin Hiley and Westlake Films visit westlakefilms.blogspot.com


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    • 1 hr 8 min

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