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Blake's 7 Reviews: Redux - The Way Back

(Screencaps copyright, BBC)   Way back (ha ha) in 2009, I received my first freelance assignment: take over the Blake's 7 story guides and reviews at the Den Of Geek website. While they didn't pay the bills, writing the reviews was still a welcome route into the world of doing something that I actually enjoyed scribbling about. There's only so much you can write about builders merchants and franchising before it goes as stale as month-old bread. I'm eternally grateful for that first gig – but ye gods, those early attempts at reviewing are cringeworthy. When you're as self-critical as me, reliving the early days of sci-fi reviewing is a painful experience. It's like reading the amateurish ramblings of a...

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Now That's What I Call John's Reviews: Now 10

Smash Hits. Readers of a certain age may remember the indispensable pop magazine that would hit the newspaper shelves on a fortnightly basis. It featured interviews with the cream of the pop charts, lyrics to the biggest hits (with details such as 'Oh yeah, ooh hoo hoo – repeat x 3), and frequent pot shots against crumbly old fogies who were too past it to make it to number one. For fogies, read anyone over the age of 30, which would make me some geriatric old codger who's misplaced his false teeth again. Anyhow, what's this got to do with Now 10? Two things. One, the magazine had reached a pinnacle of success that it teamed up with the Now...

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Angel Reviews: Somnambulist

Now here's a question that's the sort to get The Beast on The Chase rubbing his chubby hands in delight as a browbeaten contestant faces a wrong answer: What is a somnambulist? It's not the sort of word that crops up in everyday patter. “Hello, I saw a somnambulist last night. Did you?” The only time I've come across this word was when I bought the CD version of XTC's splendid Black Sea album which features a hypnotic, ambient B-side extra song called The Somnambulist. In fact, it's another term for a sleepwalker – so if by some minute chance, you read this and find yourself faced with this question on a big money quiz show, remember – you read...

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Buffy The Vampire Slayer Reviews: Doomed

Being a freelance journalist can have equal amounts of ups and downs. On the down side, it's a profession that tends to keep you awake at night, especially when the bank balance hovers near the danger zone. No pension. The annual chore of filling out the tax form. The life of a freelancer can be a Greek Tragedy all of its own. But on the glass half full side, at least freelancers like me don't need to endure the tedium of the dreaded meeting any more. Well, I could if I wanted to, by discussing my plans with my reflection in the mirror – except that that would be a bit weird, and also the mirror glass would shatter into...

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Angel Reviews: Parting Gifts

If you thought that Angel Investigations had hit new levels of bad luck at the start of Hero, then Parting Gifts makes it look like Christmas morning. For alas, Angel Investigations is not only broke, client-less (the last paying client seems to have been Melissa Burns) and now one man down. Poor old Doyle has fallen victim to the evil Scourge's deadly light ray, and neither Angel nor Cordelia are taking this too well. Giving Angel some credit though – at least he knows that he's in a fantasy drama. Paying another trip to the Oracles, he's desperate for them to work their mojo to somehow bring Doyle back or reverse time. It's too much like hard work for these...

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