Out of the Unknown

In the 1960s I can remember rushing to get to the TV to watch the BBC Science Fiction series, Out of the Unknown. The one-hour episodes, largely in black and white, contained drama based on short stories from many of the authors of the so-called Golden Age, including Isaac Asimov, John Wyndham, William Tenn, Frederik Pohl, John Brunner and Ray Bradbury. Though repeated a year or two later, since then they have never appeared on TV screens and unfortunately for various reasons only 20 of the original 49 episodes remain but the BFI has put all available material together, plus lots of extras, on a seven disc DVD package.

Gagarin: First in Space DVD

Just released on DVD, this is a Russian State sponsored movie about the first time a human went into space. The event occurred in 1961 and Yuri Gagarin, had he still been alive, would have reached his 80th birthday but he died aged only 34 following a plane crash in 1968.

Nosferatu the Vampire

Werner Herzog’s 1979 film has been remastered for this Blu-ray release by the British Film Institute and while it has some similarity to FW Marnau’s 1922 silent black and white original, it remains a world apart from that and from the world we live in today. Both are dated and both have become curiosities we can look back on with some amusement and horror. As will be explained, the true horror of Nosferatu was not in vampire but in the abysmal treatment of the animals used to make the scenes.

SQ Mag, Edition 14, Special Edition: Australiana, Edited by Sophie Yorkston

Australiana? The title conjured up images of aboriginal mysticism but that’s from somebody on the other side of the world. I’m not even sure if it’s politically correct to use the word “aborigine” and I imagine Native Australian is a safer term to use. Despite that, I wasn’t disappointed with the mag’s first story by Angela Rega. Entitled “The Bush Bride of Badgery Hollow”, it was steeped in weird bush stuff to the extent that I was not sure what was going on and maybe I was quite pleased about that.