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.

Thursday, 24 December 2020

Episode 21 – The Quatermass Conclusion, Part Two

Pictured: 2020 in retrospect

Once again we're joined by James Cooray Smith, journalist, expert and lovely bloke, for the final part of our discussion of the last televised Quatermass story, which makes this the Quatermass Conclusion Conclusion.

As we talk about the bleakest and most apocalyptic story of a pretty bleak canon, we also explore the links the 1979 ITV Quatermass has with Blood on Satan's Claw, compare Nigel Kneale with George Lucas and Charles Dickens, and what “aging well” really means.

Wednesday, 23 December 2020

Episode 20 – The Quatermass Conclusion, Part One

Time Out, 1979; artwork Mick Brownfield.

It took us four tries and the better part of a year finally to get a podcast about the final televised Quatermass story, 1979's ITV Quatermass, given a limited cinema release as The Quatermass Conclusion. We're joined by the endlessly patient and thoroughly lovely James Cooray Smith, journalist and cultural commentator, whose take on what is possibly the most 2020 of Quatermass stories is going to bring us to Christmas. 

And you won't have to wait too long for part two – we're posting it tomorrow. 

Monday, 14 December 2020

Episode 19 — Nigel Kneale and Woodfall, featuring Samira Ahmed

We were very excited to welcome the simply amazing Samira Ahmed to talk about the somewhat overlooked contribution Nigel Kneale made to the early Woodfall films, Look Back in Anger and The Entertainer. On the way we’ll examine the influence of Judith Kerr on Kneale’s work, what sets Kneale apart from writers like John Wyndham and Dennis Potter, and if Donald Pleasence ever looked young. 

Once again, you can find us on all your favourite podcast outlets. Hope you enjoy! 

Monday, 16 November 2020

Episode 18 – Beasts, Part 2

Artwork: Ash Loydon

Once again, the people at BERGCAST are  delighted to welcome Andrew Screen, writer of a forthcoming guide to Beasts, Nigel Kneale's terrifying 1976 anthology series. 

What was Our Nigel’s beef with the Hammer Family? How did a toy poodle play a part in one of the most chilling scenes ever shown on broadcast telly? Was there really a time when Bernard Horsfall strangled two beloved TV scientists in a single week? Which Hellraiser movie was the one with the spaceship?

Tap the play button to find out. 

We'd like to say a big thank you to Caroline Champion, Johnny Mains and Andy Murray for their help on this one. 

Friday, 23 October 2020

Episode 17 – Beasts, Part 1

For this episode, Jon and I are joined by Andrew Screen, writer of a forthcoming book about Nigel Kneale's anthology series Beasts to talk about that, and its predecessor, the Against the Crowd episode Murrain, which is for obvious reasons very close to my heart. 

Join us for a discussion of how great a terse character description can be, the truth about the farmer's name in Murrain, and what Pauline Quirke has to do with a talking Mongoose called Gef. 

Andrew was also kind enough to send us pictures (taken by Julian Jones) of the locations from Murrain as they are now. a few of which you can see here. 

All photos were taken by Julian Jones

As ever, you can find BERGCAST in all the usual podcast places, but for your convenience feel free to liten below. And remember that you can find us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter as @BERGCASTcalling

This is also a good time to point out that we're going to be recording a live BERGCAST on October 31st as part of the RURAL GOTHIC online symposium, a day-long event full of spooky goodness and we'll be talking about The Witches (the Hammer one, not the Angelica Huston one or the Anne Hathaway one) with film historian and actor Jonathan Rigby. Tickets are still available here.

Friday, 21 August 2020

Episode 16 – The Stone Tape with Una McCormack


(Jane Asher, having read the ending)

It's another very special episode of BERGCAST, as we're joined by our second-favourite Doctor in media, the tremendous Dr Una McCormack, with whom we're talking about the 1972 Kneale play The Stone Tape. In a discussion where we talk about the history of British manufacturing, the surprising role of Boromir, the value of fanfiction and parallels with classic Japanese horror, Una raises the very pertinent point of whether the story of a man's downfall really needs to be presented over the corpse of a woman, and we speculate as to what The Stone Tape would look like if it were feminist... and in space. 

 As ever, find us in all your favourite podcast venues. And remember that you can find us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter as @BERGCASTcalling.