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Welcome To Night Vale – a fiction podcast – E91 – The 12:37


August 1, 2016 – The 12:37 train has arrived. Plus a crowd gathers on Somerset and the return of Laser Tag.

Welcome to “Welcome to Night Vale”, a twice-monthly fiction podcast from the town of Night Vale, where every conspiracy theory is true.

Want to jump into Night Vale but are a little freaked out by the fact that we have over 100 episodes, not to mention seven recorded live shows, two novels, and two script collections?

Don’t be! You can start listening to Welcome to Night Vale with any episode, and you should feel free to skip around, or move backwards. Time is weird, so your listening experience can be, too.

Plus, the novels and live shows are completely standalone stories, so you can go read, watch, or listen to any of them without having to know anything about the show. We recommend our new novel, It Devours!, a thriller about science, romance, and sand monsters.

We also just launched a brand new recap show called Good Morning Night Vale. Hosted by cast members Meg Bashwiner, Symphony Sanders, and Hal Lublin, each episode is a deep dive into one episode of Welcome to Night Vale, starting with the very first episode from 2012. It’s a great audio companion for a first time listener,

Classic TV Crime: Strangers – S03 E04 – Racing Certainty


Series 2 seems to be unavailable



Strangers is a British television crime drama series, principally written and created by Murray Smith, first broadcast on ITV on 5 June 1978. The series, featuring the characters of Detective Sergeant George Bulman (Don Henderson) and his assistant Detective Constable Derek Willis (Dennis Blanch), was a spin-off from the 1976 TV series The XYY Man, adapted from the novels of Kenneth Royce . The series was first suggested by Granada Television executives, who in 1977, outlined their plan to devise a new series to feature the regular characters of Bulman and Willis.

The series began life as a fairly standard police drama, with Bulman positioned as its eccentric lead. The series’ premise centred around a group of police officers, including Bulman and Willis, known as ‘Unit 23’, who are brought together from different parts of the country to Manchester to infiltrate areas and investigate crimes that familiar local detectives could not. Five series were broadcast, with the final episode airing on 20 October 1982. Following the series, a further spin-off, simply entitled Bulman, ran for two series on ITV. The series follows Bulman, again played by Don Henderson, as he continues to dabble in private detective work after retiring from the police force. All five series of Strangers were released on DVD via Network Distributing as a complete box set on 19 October 2009.

Initially, the ‘Unit 23’ team consisted of Bulman, Willis and WDC Linda Doran (Frances Tomelty). Their local liaison was provided by Detective Sergeant David Singer (John Ronane), while their superior officer was Detective Chief Inspector Rainbow (David Hargreaves). Despite being based around a comparatively small team of detectives, a regular feature of the programme in its early years was that few episodes featured the entire team, with most using just two or three of the regulars in any major role. The second series, shown in early 1979, introduced the character of WDC Vanessa Bennett, played by Fiona Mollison, who replaced the outgoing Frances Tomelty. David Hargreaves would also depart the show following this series.

For the third series, Bulman, Willis, Bennett and the newly promoted Detective Inspector Singer became members of the ‘Inner City Squad’, under the command of Detective Chief Superintendent Jack Lambie (Mark McManus). The basic premise was similar, but rather than covering just the north west of England, the team’s remit now extended to the whole country. By the fourth series, Bulman had also gained promotion to Detective Chief Inspector. This series also re-introduced the semi-regular character of William ‘Bill’ Dugdale (Thorley Walters), a member of the British Foreign Office and Secret Services who would become involved when there was a political or intelligence aspect to the investigation. His role was not necessarily to help the detectives; that would only happen when it was in the government’s interest for them to succeed.

Classic TV Comedy: Newhart – S02 E09 – Bob Newhart,Mary Frann,Tom Poston – The Looks Of Love



Newhart is an American sitcom that aired on CBS from October 25, 1982 to May 21, 1990 with a total of 184 half-hour episodes spanning over eight seasons. The series stars Bob Newhart and Mary Frann as an author and his wife who own and operate an inn in a small, rural Vermont town that is home to many eccentric characters. TV Guide, TV Land, and A&E named the Newhart series finale as one of the most memorable in television history. Newhart was recorded on videotape for Season 1, with the remaining seasons shot on film. The theme music for Newhart was composed by Henry Mancini.

Bob Newhart plays Dick Loudon, an author of do-it-yourself and travel books. He and his wife Joanna move from New York City to a small town in rural Vermont to operate the 200-year-old Stratford Inn. Although the town’s name was never specified in the show, some media sources identified it as Norwich The outside shot of the house is the Waybury Inn in East Middlebury.

Dick is a sane, mild-mannered everyman surrounded by a community of oddballs in a town that exists in an illogical world governed by rules that elude him. Near the end of the second season, Dick began hosting a low-rated talk show on the town’s local television station. As the series progressed, episodes focused increasingly on Dick’s TV career and the quirky townsfolk.

Hello from the Magic Tavern – a fiction podcast – #34 – Chunt for Red October


The Chunt for Red October is finally here! What better way to celebrate than to interview a pair of vampires in need. At least I think they’re in need.

If goofy comedy gems like Comedy Bang Bang! and My Brother, My Brother and Me are must-haves on your weekly downloads list, then you’re in for a real treat with Hello from the Magic Tavern. This addictive adventure takes the improv podcast to new heights, with the story of Arnie Niekamp, a Chicagoan who falls through a portal behind his local Burger King and finds himself stranded in the magical, D&D-like world of Foon. Every week, alongside his newfound boon companions Chunt (a sex-induced shapeshifter who most frequently takes the form of a badger) and Usidor (a long-winded, eccentric wizard with a close friend named Pizza Skull), Arnie broadcasts a podcast back to the land of Earth using remnants of Burger King’s Wi-Fi that seep through the portal. The show features a rotating parade of guests, each of whom take on their own magical identity and engage in a ridiculous game of improvisational world-building. The deeper you dive in, the more compelling and hilarious the storyline becomes as you listen to series regulars and repeat guests try to one-up one another’s insane tangents while trying to remain true to the established cannon.



Arnie: Arnie Niekamp
Chunt: Adal Rifai
Usidore: Matt Young
Mysterious Man: Tim Sniffen

Producers: Arnie Niekamp, Evan Jacover, Ryan DiGiorgi
Editor: Ryan DiGiorgi
Theme Music: Andy Poland
Magic Tavern Logo: Allard Laban
Audio Assistance: Jason Knox

Sponsored by: Jackbox Games and The Chicago Podcast Cooperative

Classic TV: Alec Guinness in Tinker,Tailor, Soldier, Spy by John le Carre (BBC) – #6/7


Classic dramatisation with a superb cast led by Alec Guinness, who to me personified Smiley


Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy is a 1979 seven-part drama spy miniseries made by BBC TV. John Irvin directed and Jonathan Powell produced this adaptation of John le Carré‘s novel Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (1974). The mini-series, which stars Alec Guinness, Alexander Knox, Ian Richardson, Michael Jayston, Anthony Bate, Ian Bannen, George Sewell and Michael Aldridge, was shown in the United Kingdom from 10 September to 22 October 1979 and in the United States beginning on 29 September 1980.

In the United States, syndicated broadcasts and DVD releases compressed the seven UK episodes into six,[1] by shortening scenes and altering the narrative sequence. In the UK original, George Smiley visits Connie Sachs before Peter Guillam‘s burglary of the Circus; the US version reverses the sequence of these events, in line with the time sequence of the novel


George Smiley (Guinness), deputy head of the British Secret Intelligence Service, is forced into retirement in the wake of Operation Testify, a failed spy mission to Czechoslovakia. Veteran British agent Jim Prideaux (Bannen) had been sent to meet a Czech general, having been told the general had information identifying a deep-cover Soviet spy planted in the highest echelons of British Secret Intelligence Service—known as the Circus, because of its headquarters at Cambridge Circus in London.

The mission proves to be a trap, and Prideaux is captured and brutally tortured by the Soviets. Britain’s chief spymaster, known only as Control, is disgraced and soon replaced for his role in Testify by Percy Alleline (Aldridge). Control’s obsession with the Soviet mole was not shared by others in the Circus. On the contrary, the British believe they have a mole, Merlin, working for them in Moscow Centre, passing them secrets code-named Operation Witchcraft.

Fears of a mole are revived when Ricki Tarr (Hywel Bennett), a British agent gone missing in Portugal, turns up in England with new evidence backing up Control’s theory whilst not identifying the mole. Control had narrowed the list of suspects to five men – Roy Bland, Toby Esterhase, Bill Haydon, Percy Alleline, and George Smiley – all of whom occupied high positions in the Circus. Knowing the Soviet spy is highly placed in the Circus, the British cannot trust the Circus to uncover its own mole or even to let its leaders know of the investigation; Smiley, who had been ousted along with Control while Control’s other four suspects were promoted, is recalled to expose the mole.

Under instruction from Oliver Lacon, the civil servant responsible for overseeing the intelligence services, Smiley begins a secret investigation into the events surrounding Operation Testify, believing it will lead him to the identity of the mole, who Moscow Centre has given the cover name Gerald. With the help of his protégé Guillam, who is still in the Circus, he gradually uncovers an ingenious plot, as well as the ultimate betrayal—of country, of the service and of friendship


Saturday Night at the Movies


An interesting group of films this evening

1 The Scapegoat (1959) – Alec Guinness,Bette Davis,Nicole Maurey – dir: Robert Hamer

The Scapegoat is a 1959 crime film based on the novel of the same name by Daphne du Maurier, and starring Alec Guinness, Nicole Maurey and Bette Davis

John Barratt (Alec Guinness), a lonely, discontented teacher of French at a British university, vacations in France. There, by chance, he meets his double, French nobleman Jacques De Gué (Guinness again). They become acquainted. Barratt becomes drunk and accepts De Gué’s invitation to share his hotel room. When he wakes up the next morning, Barratt finds himself alone in the room, with his clothes and passport missing. De Gué’s chauffeur Gaston (Geoffrey Keen) shows up to take his master home, and Barratt is unable to convince him that he is not the nobleman. Gaston calls Dr. Aloin (Noel Howlett), who diagnoses the Englishman as suffering from schizophrenia.

A bewildered Barratt allows himself to be taken to De Gué’s chateau, where he meets “his” family: daughter Marie-Noel, wife Françoise (Irene Worth), sister Blanche (Pamela Brown) and formidable mother, the Countess (Bette Davis). None of them believe his story – it appears that De Gué is a malicious liar – so Barratt resigns himself to playing along. As time goes on, he feels needed, something missing in his sterile prior life. MORE AT LINK

2 The Visitors (1972) – James Woods,Patrick McVey dir: Elia Kazan

The Visitors is a 1972 American drama film directed by Elia Kazan and starring Patrick McVey. It was entered into the 1972 Cannes Film Festival. Kazan used an article written by Daniel Lang for The New Yorker in 1969, and Lang’s subsequent book Casualties of War, as a jumping-off point for this film

Bill Schmidt and his long-term girlfriend Martha Wayne and their young son Hal live in a small Connecticut farmhouse owned by Martha’s overbearing father. One snowy winter Sunday, two of Bill’s ex-army buddies, Mike and Tony, arrive. A few years ago, they had all served together in Vietnam in the same platoon but later ended up on opposite sides of a court-martial. Bill has never told his girlfriend what happened in Vietnam nor at the court-martial. The story slowly unfolds. Under orders in Vietnam not to take any prisoners, and faced with potentially hostile civilians who might attack them if left behind, Mike kills a civilian. Bill testifies against him and Mike is sent to the stockade (military prison) for two years. He is angry. There is sexual tension between Mike and Martha. The tension builds and culminates in a fight and a rape.MORE AT LINK

3 Of Human Bondage (1934) – Leslie Howard, Bette Davis

Of Human Bondage is a 1934 American pre-Code drama film directed by John Cromwell and is widely regarded by critics as the film that made Bette Davis a star. The screenplay by Lester Cohen is based on the 1915 novel Of Human Bondage by W. Somerset Maugham.

Sensitive, club-footed artist Philip Carey (Leslie Howard) is a Briton who has been studying painting in Paris for four years. His art teacher tells him his work lacks talent, so he returns to London to become a medical doctor, but his moodiness and chronic self-doubt make it difficult for him to keep up in his schoolwork.

Philip falls passionately in love with vulgar tearoom waitress Mildred Rogers (Bette Davis), even though she is disdainful of his club foot and his obvious interest in her. Although he is attracted to the anemic and pale-faced woman, she is manipulative and cruel toward him when he asks her out. Her constant response to his romantic invitations is “I don’t mind”, an expression so uninterested that it infuriates him – which only causes her to use it all the more. His daydreams about her (her image appears over an illustration in his medical school anatomy textbook, and a skeleton in the classroom is transformed into Mildred) cause him to be distracted from his studies, and he fails his medical examinations. MORE AT LINK

4 A Shriek In The Night (1933) –  Ginger Rogers

A Shriek in the Night is a 1933 American pre-Code comedy horror film directed by Albert Ray and starring Ginger Rogers, Lyle Talbot, and Harvey Clark.

Rival newspaper reporters Pat Morgan (Rogers) and Ted Rand (Talbot) find themselves unravelling the mystery behind the death of a millionaire philanthropist who fell from his penthouse balcony. When it is discovered that the plunge was not an accident, the building’s residents come under suspicion. Soon, the body count begins to mount as three more murders occur by strangulation. MORE AT LINK

5 The Road to Ruin (1934) – Pre-Code

Road to Ruin is a 1934 Pre-Code, exploitation film directed by Dorothy Davenport, under the name “Mrs. Wallace Reid”, and Melville Shyer, and written by Davenport with the uncredited contribution of the film’s producer, Willis Kent. The film, which is in the public domain, is about a young girl whose life is ruined by sex and drugs.MORE AT LINK

Classic TV: When The Boat Comes In – James Bolam,Susan Jameson – S02 E12 – In The Front Line You Get Shot At


Great series



When the Boat Comes In is a British television period drama produced by the BBC between 1976 and 1981. The series stars James Bolam as Jack Ford, a First World War veteran who returns to his poverty-stricken (fictional) town of Gallowshield in the North East of England. The series dramatises the political struggles of the 1920s and 1930s and explores the impact of national and international politics upon Ford and the people around him.

The majority of episodes were written by creator James Mitchell, but in Series 1 north-eastern writers Tom Hadaway, Sid Chaplin and Alex Glasgow contributed episodes, and in Series 3 Jeremy Burnham and Colin Morris shared writing duties with Mitchell. Mitchell also wrote three tie-in books to the T.V. show: When the Boat Comes In, When the Boat Comes In: The Hungry Years and When the Boat Comes In: Upwards and Onwards. The final book brings the reader up to date with the end of the second series of the TV show.

The traditional tune “When The Boat Comes In” was adapted by David Fanshawe and sung by Alex Glasgow for the title theme of the series. Fanshawe also composed the incidental music. The BBC revived the series in 1981, with the fourth series telling the story of Jack Ford as he returns to Britain penniless, after six years spent bootlegging in the United States, and follows him as he sets up in London

Core Cast

  • James Bolam as Jack Ford (1976–77,81 / Series 1-4 / 48 episodes)
  • James Garbutt as Bill Seaton (1976–77 / Series 1-3 / 39 episodes)
  • Jean Heywood as Bella Seaton (1976–77 / Series 1-3 / 39 episodes)
  • John Nightingale as Tom Seaton (1976–77 / Series 1-3 / 39 episodes)
  • Edward Wilson as Billy Seaton (1976–77, 81 / Series 1-4 / 35 episodes)
  • Malcolm Terris as Matt Headley (1976–77 / Series 1-3 / 34 episodes)
  • Susan Jameson as Jessie Ashton née Seaton (1976–77, 81 / Series 1-4 / 30 episodes)
  • Madelaine Newton as Dolly (1976–77 / Series 1-3 / 30 episodes)
  • Basil Henson as Sir Horatio Manners (1976–77 / Series 1-3 / 25 episodes)
  • Geoffrey Rose as Arthur Ashton (1976–77 / Series 1-3 / 18 episodes)
  • Rosalind Bailey as Sarah Headley née Lytton (1977, 81 / Series 2-4 / 23 episodes)
  • William Fox as the Duke of Bedlington (1976–77 / Series 2-3 / 13 episodes)
  • Lois Baxter as Lady Caroline #2 (1977, 81 / Series 3-4 / 15 episodes)
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