Two Old Farts Talk Sci-Fi
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episode 2

Season 5, Episode 02—SK-Tours

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Troy in front of the Standpipe.

Did you ever want to visit the sites in Stephen King novels? King set a number of his novels and short stories in the fictional town of Derry. Many feel that Derry is, in actuality, Bangor Maine, where Stephen has lived most of his life. Stephen King also believes that.

Troy Harkin and his wife Christie went on the SK-Tours in October of 2022. TOF welcomes the couple that run the tour, to talk about it.

Jamie Tinker and Jennifer Millar

Jamie Tinker and Jennifer Millar own and operate SK Tours of Maine out of Bangor. The three hour long tours are an authoritative celebration of Stephen King in general, as well as his fictional town of Derry.

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Season 4, Episode 02—Doctor Who 101 – An Introduction

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Doctor Who may be the greatest sci-fi adventure of all time. The show focusses on a timelord from the planet Gallifree. The main character is Doctor Who, and is often referred to as, “The Doctor.” The doctor goes through regenerations, where he or she can come back as someone else. He or she travels in a machine, called the Tardis, that can travel through space and time.

Doctor Who was first launched in 1963, and is looking forward to a 60th anniversary special in 2023. It began as something of a show for children, but became much more than that. Consider for a moment all the science fiction and fantasy and horror shows that have come and gone in the last 60 years. The only shows that can compete are Star Trek and Star Wars. One may also consider the James Bond films, that began in 1962 with Dr. No, and continues today, as another series that has longevity. And the change in actors during the various Bond films, and the British sense, makes one think of Dr. Who. And Bond, like Dr. Who, was an expert on many things.

One can also think of Sherlock Holmes and John Watson, as characters that have stood the test of time. The connection here, beyond the British one, is that Watson is the character that humanizes Holmes, and is a lens, the connection we have to Holmes is through Watson, and the same can be said for the various companions that have assisted the various Doctors through the years.

Doctor Who has made it into lore, where there are iconic images associated with it, that many recognize, even if you are not a Whovian. Many know that the machine the Doctor travels in is a blue police box, that is larger on the inside. The TARDIS (short for, Time and Relative Dimensions in Space) is iconic. You do not have to watch Doctor Who to be aware of it.

One of the Doctor’s adversaries, The Dalek, are also iconic. There is a wonderful moment in Mr. Bean’s Christmas, where Mr. Bean has a small toy Dalek, and puts it in a manger scene.

Doctor Who had a great run, which ended with Silvester McCoy, and there was a gap, perhaps about 8 years or so, before Doctor Who came back as a TV movie starring Paul McGann. Then there was another long break, of about 8 or 9 years, and then the series was rebooted in 2005, starring Christopher Eccleston, and has basically been going non-stop ever since, with small breaks between seasons, and sometimes breaks between new Doctors. The first episode of the reboot, with Christopher Eccleston and Billie Piper, was the most watched Dr. Who episode of all time.

At one point Dr. Who had an annual Christmas episode, which was something many looked forward to.

Troy and David will do their Dream Cast and Schrödinger’s Cast. The Dream Cast is where they take the best actors/actresses of all time, either living or dead, to play the roles. The Schrödinger’s Cast takes the same six roles, but has very unusual casting to fill the roles. Here are the six roles they look at, and the actors that first portrayed them.

CharacterOriginal Star
Dr. WhoWilliam Hartnell
Companiongranddaughter Susan (Carole Ann Ford);
Susan’s schoolteachers
Ian Chesterton (William Russell) and Barbara Wright (Jacqueline Hill)
The Brigadier
[Sir Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart]
Nicholas Courtney
The MasterRoger Delgado
DavrosMichael Wisher
CybermanRoy Skelton, Peter Hawkins – Cybermen Voices
Harry Brooks, Reg Whitehead, Gregg Palmer – Cybermen

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Season 3, Episode 2—”Folk Horror – pt. 1: The Wicker Man (1973 Film)”

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In 1973 a film was released called “The Wicker Man.”
In this podcast episode, we look at folk horror in general and The Wicker Man in particular.

This is from Troy Harkin’s introduction:


Man loves order. Moreover man loves the order that he cultivates.

As much as we claim to love the great outdoors we love a garden even more because we are the ones who dictate the order. We fear the wilderness. We fear the threat of the untamed. Because we want to see ourselves as enlightened, and civilized, we fear our pagan roots.

Folk Horror explores these fears. Often it examines a return to ancient rites and rituals that for the most part have been forgotten. But Folk Horror reminds us we can never truly leave our past behind. 

In his series The History of Horror, Mark Gatiss refers to the Unholy Trilogy of British Horror. These three films include Witchfiner General from 1968, The Blood on Satan’s Claw from 1970, and 1973’s The Wickerman.

THE WICKER MAN (history)

Inspired by David Pinner’s 1967 novel, Ritual, The Wickerman is ostensibly a detective story about a devout Christian police officer who is searching for a missing girl on Summerisle, an island off the west coast of Scotland, a community that is sustained by its production of apples. The Island is ruled by Lord Summerisle played by Christopher Lee. Police Sergeant Howie is played by Edward Woodward.The film features supporting actors Ingrid Pitt and Britt Eklund as well as actual Scottish locals as the inhabitants of Summerisle.

In the book 1001 Movies You Must See Before You DieThe Wickerman is described as “a highly original combination of horror movie, murder mystery, pagan ethnography, and folk musical…”

Cinefantastique once described it as “The Citizen Kane of horror movies”., 

Total Film magazine named The Wicker Man the sixth greatest British film of all time. 

Christopher Lee considers The Wicker Man the best film he ever appeared in.

Troy Harkin and David Clink will look at the film, with special guest Sandra Kasturi. She is also the guest for Folk Horror part 2, which will look at MidSommar (2019).

Sandra Kasturi

Sandra Kasturi is an award-winning poet, writer, and editor, with work appearing in many places including ON SPEC, several Tesseracts anthologies, and 80! Memories & Reflections on Ursula K. Le Guin.

Her two poetry collections are: The Animal Bridegroom (with an introduction by Neil Gaiman) and Come Late to the Love of Birds (both from Tightrope Books).

Sandra recently won second prize in The New Quarterly’s Nick Blatchford Occasional Verse Contest. She is also the winner of the Sunburst Award for her story “The Beautiful Gears of Dying” and ARC Magazine‘s Poem of the Year Award for “Old Men, Smoking.”

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Season 2, Episode 2—”The Exorcist – pt.2″

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Regan MacNeil, played by Linda Blair.

From the 1973 film, The Exorcist

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The infamous stairs.

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This is the second episode of our two-part Exorcist episode.

We will continue our look at The Exorcist (the book by William Peter Blatty and the film by William Friedkin).

We will do our Dream Cast and Schrödinger’s Cast for the 1973 film. We will look at six key characters in the movie, and pick the actor/actress that would have best fit that role, and also an outside-the-box cast:

Regan MacNeil | Linda Blair
Chris MacNeil | Ellen Burstyn
Father Damien Karras | Jason Miller
Father Lankester Merrin | Max von Sydow
Lt. William Kinderman | Lee J. Cobb
Burke Dennings | Jack Macgowran

Troy Harkin and David Clink will continue to look at the book and the movie, and talk about the impact that they have had.

Our special guest, from episode 1, is back for episode 2. Valentino Assenza will have a lot to add about the 1973 film. See author photo and bio below.

Valentino Assenza

Valentino Assenza has been a published poet and performing spoken word artist for over the last two decades.

In that time he has released four chapbooks and performed all over Canada and the US.

Valentino has been a co-host and co-producer of HOWL on CIUT 89.5FM, where he has interviewed names such as George Elliott Clarke, Anne Michaels, Denise Donlon, Ron Sexsmith, and Margaret Atwood.

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Season 1, Episode 2—”The 1968 Planet of the Apes Film”

Season 1
Episode 2
“The 1968 Planet of the Apes Film”
April 17, 2021

The 1968 Planet of the Apes film brought Pierre Boulle’s 1963 novel to the big screen, and nothing has been the same since. From the first appearance of apes, right up to the final climactic scene, Troy Harkin and David Clink, with special guest Robert J. Sawyer (see author bio below), will talk about the film, its importance, its legacy, and where it fits in with the ACE (Ape Cinematic Universe). Spoiler alert: specific plot points in the film, the novel, the TV series, and other ape films will be discussed.

Robert J. Sawyer
(photo by Carolyn Clink)

Robert J. Sawyer has won the best-novel Hugo Award (for Hominids), the best-novel Nebula Award (for The Terminal Experiment), and the John W. Campbell Memorial Award (for Mindscan), plus over 60 other writing awards. The ABC TV series FlashForward was based on his novel of the same name, and his 24th novel, The Oppenheimer Alternative, is now out. Rob holds honorary doctorates from the University of Winnipeg and Laurentian University, was one of the initial inductees into the Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame, and is a Member of the Order of Canada, his country’s highest honour.

Listen to the 2of podcast online, or download the episode to your computer using the Download icon!

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