Friday, 1 October 2021

Episode 27 – HMS Defiant (1962)

In this episode of BERGCAST we take to the high seas as, rather than performing our usual deep dive, we stay afloat in the Kneale-scripted 1962 broadsides-and-sails spectacular HMS Defiant. Joined by film academics Prof. Melanie Williams and Dr. Mark Fryers, we investigate whether a ship is the best metaphor for the British class system, how Dirk Bogarde went from being known for light comedies to being a go to for faintly pervy villains, why the British don't do revolutions and ask the question: is the real villain always in middle management? 

You can find Sixties Cinema Reconsidered here, Celluloid Tales: Norfolk Film History here, and Invictawood: The Story of Kent and the Silver Screen here.

Friday, 17 September 2021

Episode 26b – Stephen Bissette on The Witches


(Illustrations from SR Bissette's Thoughtful Creatures)

In this special mini-episode of BERGCAST, Jon and I talk some more with legendary comics illustrator and horror expert Stephen R Bissette, about the 1966 Hammer film The Witches and its legacy and we go into what Steve’s doing these days.

Stephen’s book on The Brood can be found here.

Studio of Screams is here.

SR Bissette’s Thoughtful Creatures is here.

Friday, 20 August 2021

Episode 26 – First Men in the Moon (1964), with Stephen R Bissette


Talking with us about 1964's First Men in the Moon, we're honoured to have as our guest horror legend Stephen R. Bissette, who although perhaps best known one as of the primary collaborators with Alan Moore on the seminal 80s run of Swamp Thing, has produced a significant corpus of writing on the horror genre in all media over the space of several decades, including, most recently, an exhaustive study of David Cronenberg's early highlight The Brood.

We discuss the one time Nigel Kneale shared a credit with Ray Harryhausen, why these films have resonated with us since childhood, how stop motion animation takes us right into the uncanny valley, and whether First Men in the Moon is really the first fully realised alien culture in cinema. 

And by the way, you can find Jon's other podcast, Due Signori in Giallo, at

Monday, 12 July 2021

Episode 25 – The Abominable Snowman, with John J. Johnston

In this episode, the voices of Jon and Howard are joined by the mellifluous and delightful tones of Egyptologist and Horrified editor-at-large John J. Johnston. Join us as we explore the early career of Peter Cushing, the history of imperialism and the 50s craze for Yeti movies, Nazi practical jokes and the transcendent, formative power of the media we loved as children. 

As usual, you can listen here, or find us at all your favourite podcasting venues. 

Friday, 7 May 2021

Episode 24 – Stephen Volk

This time we're delighted to be joined by legendary screenwriter Stephen Volk, known for a list of great TV and film scripts including The Awakening, Midwinter of the Spirit, Afterlife and, of course, Ghostwatch. in a wide-ranging discussion of Stephen's career, we talk about the legacy of Nigel Kneale, how The Stone Tape changed Stephen's life, and how Stephen's own work has itself changed lives in turn.

Find us on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and all the other  usual places, and please like or subscribe. it means a lot.

Friday, 23 April 2021

Episode 23 – Stephen Gallagher

(We are very keen that you know that this isn't Stephen Gallagher. This is Chad.)

For this episode of BERGCAST, we were joined by veteran novelist and screenwriter Stephen Gallagher, who chatted with us about the trajectory of his career, and the influence of Nigel Kneale on his work. In a wide-ranging conversation, we talked about how a false memory of Quatermass and the Pit haunted Stephen for years, how Hollywood treats writer-creators, what Emma Peel and Bernard Quatermass would look like as a team, and whether more screenplays should be written using the Marvel Method.

You can find our podcast on Spotify and Apple, and on your favourite podcast app, or just listen below. 

Saturday, 26 December 2020

Holiday Special – The Witches (1966) live

Recorded as live? Surely not...

It's a special one-off episode here. On October 31st, Jon and Howard were able to do one off recording of an episode with a live audience, as part of the RURAL GOTHIC Samhain Surprise live online event. We were honoured to be joined by actor, critic and writer Jonathan Rigby, to talk, appropriately enough, about the Kneale-scripted 1966 Hammer movie The Witches. It's an unedited conversation where we tackle everything from why older Hollywood leading ladies wound up making horror movies in the 60s to the meaning of the word "stichomythia".

Jon and Howard will be returning to Rural Gothic in only a few short days, as we're going to be talking at the RURAL GOTHIC Christmas Ghosts event on 30th December (buy tickets here) on the subject of Christmas 1972, television's spookiest Christmas.