Tuesday, October 31, 2017

The following is the commentary for my Gnomic Projections Cinema 1 live screening of "Shadows: The Witch's Bottle" on plug.dj

Trying to figure out the best way to publish this -- we'll do this at first until I can come up with something better.

Watch the full episode playlist at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=42-c8nOOsfA&list=PLmxepQdp5_0FS2XqWM22TosDev2iW4fF6 and it will be just like you were there!

0:06 *THAMES TELEVISION is a regional franchisee of the first non-government owned television network ITV. All regional franchisees produced their own content for the network, and it is from these regional stations that we get some of the most fondly remembered and strangest shows ever to appear on British television.*
*THAMES TELEVISION is also known for bringing shows like “Danger Mouse” and the Science Fiction show “The Tomorrow People” to screens, and in fact the producer of “The Tomorrow People” Ruth Boswell was the script editor for this episode, and became the producer for  SHADOWS for  Series 2.*
*This was the 3rd episode of Series 1.*
1:07 *Jill was portrayed by Georgina Kean, who did not have a long television acting career, despite acting in cult television series “King of the Castle” and a horror movie about escaped mental patients high on LSD, “Killer’s Moon.” Her last credit was in 1983. I believe she went to nursing school and retired from acting at that point.*
1:15 *The actor who played Steve was Jasper Jacob, who has had a long career in film and television. Real Star Wars aficionados will know that he played a bit part in Return of the Jedi – that of Captain Yorr, Imperial Pilot of Darth Vader’s shuttle ST321, though his scene was cut down to only a few lines.*
1:30 *Sadly, after much research I could find no information about the cool jacket that Jill is wearing.*
2:01 *Sounds clearly made by slide whistle – incidental music for Thames productions like “The Tomorrow People” often came from collections of library music.*
2:19 *Now that’s some lonely water.*
3:55 *Those circular items in the back are “Horse Brasses.” Originally intended for the decoration of horse harness gear, they later became popular as house decoration. Some may have believed they were good luck charms, or wards against “the evil eye.” There is even a National Horse Brass Society for collectors.*
4:43 *Catherine Woodleigh was portrayed by Wendy Gifford, Royal Shakespeare Company actress, who had a long career in acting that lasted through the 90s. She played “Miss Garrett” in the Doctor Who story “The Ice Warriors” In 1967.*
5:42 *A little bit of a flub here as a crew member moving around is both audible and visible in the reflection of the glass.*
7:50 *Uncle Mark is portrayed by Nevill Barber, who had a long career in television, including in supernatural drama “Ghost in the Water,” “K-9 and Company,” an episode of Shadows called “Time Out of Mind,” and as Dr. Cook in Doctor Who: The Time Monster. Yes, Doctor Who credits must ALWAYS be included.*
8:12 *Marmalade! From the jar and lid, I’m going to assume it’s James Keiller & Son Dundee Orange Marmalade.*
8:33 *Matthew Hopkins was the wicked self-proclaimed Witchfinder General, famously portrayed by Vincent Price in , yes, “The Witchfinder General” one of the three key films to folk horror enthusiasts. He is believed to have caused the deaths of 300 women between 1644 and 1646, though this story of a girl burned beneath an oak was probably manufactured for this episode.*
9:42 *Unsure what Catherine is making here, sun tea? Couldn’t find any reference to an actual Agnes Beuly, though there was an Agnes Finnie who was found guilty of witchcraft at Edinburg Castle in 1644.*
11:45 *Jill, then why did we find this hidden under your bed?*
12:43 *The shape behind Jill is a carpet beater, or “wicker slapper” for cleaning fabric. I had a dream about witches using carpet beaters on laundry in my backyard when I was quite young
12:47 *Skeptical outsiders coming to a rural setting with different beliefs, is a common trope used in works of folk horror.*
13:09 *You’re probably familiar with chamomile, but eyebright, aka Euphraisa, has been known to herbalists for years for treating eye infections like pink eye, sometimes in combination with chamomile.*
13:16 *60/60 vision seems to be the conversion of the phrase 20/20 vision to the metric system, since 20/20 refers to feet which is roughly 6 Meters. The term 6/6 vision is used nowadays by metric-minded optometrists.*
13:18 *Most people can hear up to around 20 kHz, unless you’re stupid like me and have damaged your hearing with headphones on all the time.*
13:53 *Colchester is a historic market town in Essex (East England), and possibly the place of origin for the nursery rhymes “Old King Cole,” “Humpty Dumpty” and “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.” Thanks Wikipedia! 
14:13 *There’s Jill reading her paperbacks again, wish I could see the title. The music they are listening to is Arthur Rubinstein performing Chopin’s “Minute Waltz”*
15:20 *I wonder if the clock playing “The Westminster Chimes” was intentional, or a hazard of using real working clocks on set.*
16:11 *”The Ritual Fire Dance” is by Spanish composer Manuel de Falla – it’s part of a ballet entitled “El Amor brujo” (The Bewitched Love) in which gypsies perform a fire dance to exorcise a ghost.*
16:48 *The ritual that she performs, down to the incantation she speaks, is an actual Wiccan ceremony known as “Casting the Circle.” I conjure thee, o circle of power . . .*
17:27 *Diana is the ancient roman goddess of the moon and the hunt. There is a branch of Wicca named for her. Unclear why she seems to be saying “Hen.” Perhaps she is saying “Herne,” the horned hunter of Welsh mythology?*
18:55 *Jill is an old name – the phrase “Jack and Jill” goes back to at least the 16th century.*
20:17 *Many witches bottles were made using Bellarmine jugs, named after Catholic Inquisitor Robert Bellarmine, and featuring a bearded face.*
21:01 *As you probably know, black cats were often depicted as witch’s familiars. This 1903 painting “The Love Potion” by Evelyn De Morgan depicts a witch with a black cat familiar.*
21:51 *In a remarkable coincidence, I realized after picking this episode that the latest Fortean Times magazine had Witches Bottles as their current issue cover story!*
24:33 *Bill Palmer had a long career as a production/set designer, including working for Ace of Wands, The Agatha Christie Hour, and 57 episodes of The Bill.*
24:37 *Pamela Lonsdale was the creator of the popular children’s show Rainbow.*

24:41 *Vic Hughes directed many episodes of weird British television, including Ace of Wands, Chocky, and my favorite episode of Tomorrow People, “The Heart of Sogguth.”

Saturday, April 22, 2017

The book is now available. Go to www.candle-ends.com if you'd like to buy it (you'll be redirected to a secure site). Or https://www.amazon.com/dp/B071YFPS3G for an e-book version.


Wednesday, March 29, 2017

The Druid of Royal Oak by Neil Paananen

Here's the book cover. Hopefully I can get this site up and running soon. The book will be available April 22nd!