Television. Film. Music. Books.

Digitally Restored: The Fallen Idol (1948) on Blu-ray

Robert Henrey in The Fallen Idol

The young son of the French ambassador is left all alone in the embassy when his father goes away. With nobody but a pet snake for company, it is no surprise that he gets under the feet of the servants. His favourite companion is the household butler Baines who entertains him for hours with tales of his exploits in Africa.

When Baines has a terrible argument with his wife, who later falls to her death from a balcony, the boy Phillipe becomes convinced that the butler is at fault. Yet no matter how he tries to steer suspicion away from his idol, Phillipe’s clumsy attempts at lying only sink Baines deeper into a web of guilt and culpability.

With no witnesses to the crime, can the police sift through Phillipe’s lies and discover the truth before a second tragedy occurs?

Walter Fitzgerald, Bobby Henrey, Ralph Richardson in The Fallen Idol

Starring Robert Henrey as Phillipe and Ralph Richardson (Doctor Zhivago) as Baines, The Fallen Idol is the critically acclaimed first collaboration between Oscar-winning director Carol Reed and writer Graham Greene who later went on to work on The Third Man (1949) and Our Man in Havana (1959) together. The Fallen Idol  won the BAFTA for Best British Film in 1949 and was nominated for Oscars-nominated for Best Director (Carol Reed) and Best Writing, Screenplay (Graham Greene).

The film features excellent performances from both Ralph Richardson in his role as Baines and Sonia Dresdel as Baine’s increasingly suspicious wife. The most notable performance, of course, was by Bobby Henrey who was plucked from obscurity for his role as Phillipe.

In many ways, The Fallen Idol is a glimpse into a bygone era. This is a world of servants and lonely children, playfulness and deceit. We see a child who is often left to his own devices tucked away in his attic bedroom with airplanes and mirrors to keep him company.

Robert Henrey and Sonia Dresdel in The Fallen Idol

The film itself is a masterpiece of storytelling and Carol Reed’s direction is excellent. With no one to witness the accident but the audience, Reed taunts the viewer by displaying the balcony in the background as the police move closer and closer to their conclusion. This is nail-biting, edge-of-seat cinema at its best and at one point there seems to be only one possible, tragic outcome to the story.

The brand new digital restoration of The Fallen Idol has been funded by Studiocanal in collaboration with the BFI’s Unlocking Film Heritage digitalisation fund (which was awarded funds from the National Lottery). The quality of the restoration is superb and it is hard to believe at times that you’re watching a film that is nearly 70 years old.

Fallen Idol (Vintage Classics)The Blu-ray extras include a fascinating interview with Robert Henrey as he recalls his early life and relationships with the director and cast. I especially enjoyed his comment on the role of the 8-year-old Phillipe being a “lens through which the audience is invited to observe human folly”.

Other extras include a restoration comparison which illustrates how scratches on the original film were removed and clarity enhanced to produce the high quality of this release; a locations featurette with Richard Dacre where we see 1 Grosvenor Square, the house that was the embassy in the film; and interviews with director Guy Hamilton, film historian Charles Drazin and The Fallen Idol fan Richard Ayoade.

I give The Fallen Idol (1948) a superb five out of five stars and would highly recommend the Vintage Classics / Studiocanal restoration.

5 Stars

The Fallen Idol is part of the Vintage Classics collection which showcases fully restored iconic British films, with brand new extra content, interviews and commentary.

The Fallen Idol is available on Blu-ray, DVD and EST and is available to purchase from

Civilised Saturday: The Antidote to Black Friday

Books Are My Bag

You’ve probably noticed that the United Kingdom has suddenly adopted that tribute to greed and consumerism that is Black Friday. It’s no matter that we’re not actually celebrating Thanskgiving here because stores have realised they have (another) perfect reason to enter into price wars and entice us to spend.

If you’re like me and that sounds like your perfect version of hell, then I’m happy to present Civilised Saturday. On Saturday 28 November 2015, booksellers around the country are putting on events that will capture your imaginations, inspire your dreams and most of all, present you with the best of the season’s book recommendations. An antidote to Black Friday, the event is brought to you by the brilliant minds behind the Books Are My Bag campaign so you know you’ll be well looked after.

Here are just some of the events taking place at independent bookshops nationwide:

The Bookworm at Selkirk are having a ‘Famous Five - High Tea’ with cake, scones and homemade jams, Christmas stories and music from a local band.

The staff at the Edinburgh Bookshop will be donning their best retro cocktail outfits, serving sandwiches (without crusts!) and playing fabulous music including Peggy Lee and Billie Holiday

Dulwich Books will be serving Winter Pimms, afternoon tea, homemade cakes and offering tailor-made book recommendations and lots of Christmas festivities including a ‘Where’s Santa’ prize draw

Find your local bookshop at or search at for events in your area.

HiddenCity London Presents Moriarty's Game

Moriarty's Game

Fan of Sherlock Holmes? Love exploring London? Have I got the game for you!

For some time now HiddenCity have been leading teams of intrepid explorers around London, York, Manchester and Brighton. The task is simple: solve a set of cryptic clues and you just might find your way to the end of the trail. I can’t promise that you’ll emerge victorious (you’ll be competing against other teams and making every legal attempt to upset their chances of winning) but I can promise you that you’ll see hidden parts of the city that you never even knew existed.

The best part of it is that you’ll spend an afternoon with friends laughing and showing off your investigative and general knowledge skills and it will be a day you will never forget.

So what is Moriarty’s Game? The team at HiddenCity promise that even Sherlock Holmes himself would be challenged by this one. Inspired by the Sherlock Holmes stories, this adventure will run from 2 December 2015 to 31 March 2016 and booking opens today.

In this adventure, you will be challenged to find Moriarty’s safehouse. You’ll get to explore exhibitions celebrating contemporary architecture, drink in Georgian public houses, scrutinise 15th century art in a Mayfair townhouse and solve a host of cryptic challenges from the master of misdirection himself.

Up for the challenge? Find a team of up to four people and visit the Moriarty's Game page to book.

Twitter: @HiddenCityLon #MoriartysGame

Good luck!

Hidden City Moriarty

Book Review: Hear My Sad Story: The True Tales That Inspired Stagolee, John Henry, and Other Traditional American Folk Songs by Richard Polenberg

Hear My Sad Story - Richard Polenberg

May 2015, Hammersmith Apollo, London. Nick Cave finally responds to the crowd's baying requests and plays "Staggerlee" from his 1995 album with the Bad Seeds, Murder Ballads. Transfixed, I stand watching the performance, hanging onto every word and think to myself, there's a great story behind this song.

And there is. In Christmas Eve 1895, "Stack Lee" Shelton entered the Bill Curtis Saloon in St Louis and got into an argument with Billy Lyons. Stack Lee mashed Lyons's hat and Lyons responded by grabbing his white Stetson. Stack Lee drew out his Smith & Wesson .44, Billy drew out his knife and bang! Stack Lee shot Lyons in the belly and left.

This is just one tale in a fantastic new collection of stories by Richard Polenberg. Hear My Sad Story: The True Tales That Inspired "Stagolee," "John Henry," and Other Traditional American Folk Songs.  Painstakingly researched and thoroughly entertaining, in this book Polenberg describes the historical events and true stories behind America's most famous folk songs.

While some of these songs have been quite colourful (I'm thinking specifically of Nick Cave's "Staggerlee") that's nothing compared to the truth behind the lore and in many cases truth really is stranger than fiction.

There is the incredible story of Omie Wise, who was drowned in the Deep River, North Carolina in 1807. The murder of this pregnant woman over 200 years ago had quite the impact on the area and now there is a Naomi Falls, a Naomi Bridge and even a large cotton mill named Naomi Falls Manufacturing Company.

What is most notable about the collection is that beneath the entertainment value there is a real indictment of an inequitable and unfair legal system in which African Americans were very often guilty until proven innocent and in many cases they were convicted with the flimsiest of evidence.

Hear My Sad Story by Richard PolenbergIn “Duncan and Brady”, we learn about Harry Duncan who was convicted for the murder of policeman James Brady. Testimony that would have exonerated him was dismissed as hearsay and the weapon used in the murder was not considered relevant for evidence.

Of course, the sad stories that form the basis of our beloved folk songs aren’t always about wrongful convictions. There was no doubt that Frankie Silver killed her abusive husband Charles but no amount of public pressure and understanding of her predicament could prevent her from going to the gallows.

Not all of the stories behind our most famous songs are known. For example, nobody knows who first wrote ”House of the Rising Sun”, the most famous version of which was recorded by The Animals. There was once a Rising Sun Hotel in New Orleans but it burned down in 1822. Given the subject matter, it is more likely that the song stems back to the colourful period where prostitution was legalised in New Orleans at the turn of the 20th century. In the chapter “House of the Rising Sun”, Polenberg tells us about this period which included racial segregation of brothels and even a white pages of sorts to prevent patrons from being swindled.

Of course, some stories are so famous that they permeates ever corner of popular culture. No bandit has had more songs written about him than the outlaw Jesse James and he was of course the subject of the famous Brad Pitt film The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. (Incidentally, if you’ve never heard the superb score for the film by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis, you should rush out and do so immediately).

Not only does Polenberg discuss the famous story of Frank and Jesse James, he also tells the less well known story of Cole Younger who so captured the imagination of people that songs about him were released during his own lifetime.

Fascinating and well-researched, Hear My Sad Story provides a backdrop to some of the world’s most famous folk songs. Listening to the old folk tracks on YouTube as I went along, I was fascinated by how many of the songs I recognised and was certainly familiar with some of the names like Frankie and Johnny and of course, Stagolee.

I give Hear My Sad Story: The True Tales That Inspired "Stagolee," "John Henry," and Other Traditional American Folk Songs by Richard Polenberg a superb five out of five stars and would highly recommend to lovers of blues, jazz and folk music and anyone whose imagination has been stimulated by a murder ballad.

5 Stars

Hear My Sad Story is available on Kindle and hard cover from and

Black Mass (2015): Johnny Depp at his identity-bending best

Black Mass poster

In the early 1970s, South Boston was a haven for organised crime but something in the synergy of competing syndicates served to keep those gangs in check. That was until James ‘Whitey’ Bulger struck a deal with FBI agent John Connolly to take out the opposition. What followed was a 20 year period of crime and bloodshed that culminated in Whitey Bulger taking top position on the FBI’s most wanted list.

Directed by Scott Cooper (Crazy Heart) and based on the book by Dick Lehr and Gerard O’Neill, Black Mass is the story of Whitey Bulger, brother of state senator Billy Bulger and the most violent criminal in the history of South Boston.

Johnny Depp and  Joel Edgerton in Black Mass

Black Mass is a gritty, ugly film. In reality, James ‘Whitey’ Bulger was not actually as ugly as he was made out to be in the film; his eyes weren’t as unsettling and his complexion nowhere near as uneven. Yet despite the film’s ugliness, the writers didn’t portray the worst of Bulger’s crimes. Whitey is shown to respect the aged and to rebuke Stephen Flemmi (Rory Cochrane) for his relationship with his step-daughter yet there are pervasive rumours that Flemmi and Bulger got teenage girls hooked on drugs before sexually exploiting them. I’m sure their grannies wouldn’t have appreciated that.

In a way, the film also glossed over some of Whitey’s most heinous crimes. He funded and supported IRA terrorist activity abroad, for goodness sake, and he was a volatile sociopath at the best of times.

What Black Mass does well then, in terms of plot, is to highlight how Bulger was able to manipulate those around him to near fanatic loyalty and he often did this by stepping in and standing up for them when no one else would.

John Connolly (Joel Edgerton) couldn’t let go of one childhood incident where Whitey stood up for him in the face of bullies and at one point his wife Marianne remarks at how he allows this one moment of kindness to influence his current actions to the detriment of his career and family life. Likewise, Kevin Weeks (Jesse Plemons) was loyal to Whitey to the very end, choosing to believe him when he said that news of him being an FBI informant were slander.

Johnny Deep is James Whitey Bulger in Black Mass

The cast of Black Mass were truly impressive. Johnny Depp is unrecognisable as James ‘Whitey’ Bulger, complete with watery blue eyes, mottled skin tone, receding hairline and bald patch. Gone is the usual campiness of a Johnny Depp role and in its stead is a man who becomes increasingly brutal and power hungry the more personal loss he experiences. There was only one moment in the entire film that I recognised Depp, when he was lying on his back staring at the ceiling, and even that was a fleeting glimpse.

Benedict Cumberbatch and Kevin Bacon gave impressive performances in two remarkably similar roles. FBI supervisor Charles McGuire (Bacon) is initially keen to believe in John Connolly’s vision but soon begins to see the error of his ways and Billy Bulger is keen to support his brother despite realising that he has to distance himself from his criminal activities.

Julianne Nicholson is Marianne Connolly in Black Mass

The film really begins to deliver in the performances of the supporting cast. Julianne Nicholson (Boardwalk Empire) is stunning in her role as Marianne, wife of John Connolly, most notably in the disturbing scene with her and Whitey in the doorway of her bedroom. Dakota Johnson plays Lindsey Cyr, mother of Bulger’s deceased child Douglas. She too gives a strong performance as the woman who stands up to Whitey in the face of his grief-stricken fury.

Does Black Mass glorify Whitey’s reign of terror? I think it does but not intentionally. It does redeem itself right at the end where the audience is lead to believe in one outcome before discovering what really happened. In that single moment the film delivers its message and we see the tower of cards come tumbling down.

Black Mass is thoroughly entertaining and a fine film to add to Johnny Depp’s repertoire of identity-bending roles.

I give Black Mass a superb five out of five stars.

5 Stars

Book Review: Iron Traitor by Julie Kagawa (The Iron Fey: Call of the Forgotten #2)

Call of the Forgotten - The Iron Traitor by Julie Kagawa

The situation in the faery realm is dire. Keirran, prince of the Iron Realm, is missing and his fey girlfriend Annwyl is dying, exiled from the Summer Court and doomed to fade from existence. Meanwhile, Ethan Chase has problems of his own. Dragged into the Nevernever and fey affairs against his will, it seems that people noticed when he and his girlfriend Kenzie disappeared for a couple of weeks. Against his better judgement and under considerable pressure from Kenzie, Ethan agrees to help Annwyl search for Keirran.

Little does he know that the Iron Prince will stop at nothing to save Annwyl from the Fade.

Sequel to The Lost Prince, The Iron Traitor is the second book in The Iron Fey: Call of the Forgotten series and sixth book in Julie Kagawa’s New York Times bestselling series The Iron Fey. The Iron Traitor begins with the fallout from The Lost Prince, with Kenzie’s parents furious at her disappearance and subsequent hospitalisation and Ethan in a fair amount of trouble in school as the rumour mill begins to turn.

Then Annwyl turns up on Ethan’s doorstep (well, in his bedroom to be precise) and Ethan agrees to travel with her to New Orleans to track down Keirran at the goblin market. Will they find him before he bargains away far more than he can afford?

In this gripping novel, Julie Kagawa really comes into her own as she delves into the mind of an obsessed faery who will stop at nothing to save the girl he loves. It is a fascinating study in obsession and the detrimental effect it can have on an individual and those around him. Nothing Keirran says or does is logical or reasonable, he is simply driven to extend the life of Annwyl no matter the cost.

It is interesting to contrast this with Kenzie’s acceptance of her own condition and the respectful distance Ethan gives to her to work through her feelings about dying. Dying from childhood leukaemia is as unnatural and horrific as fading away due to exile from the Nevernever by a faery queen but Annwyl and Kenzie have completely difference reactions to their plight. It is interesting to see how much agency Kenzie assumes in confronting her condition compared to how much of a victim Annwyl has become. Whether this is because of Keirran’s excessive reaction or due to her own personality is not clear.

Whatever the case, author Julie Kagawa’s insight into the human (faery?) psyche is impressive and makes for some of the most impressive character development I’ve seen in a novel for some time.

The Iron Traitor by Julie KagawaAs Kagawa dives deeper into the murky depths of Keirran’s determination, the book hurtles towards its inevitable conclusion. It is clear from the title of the book that there is going to be a significant betrayal and even though the Iron Traitor isn’t named, it is pretty obvious throughout the book who it will be. Despite knowing exactly what was coming, nothing can prepare the reader for that final, dastardly betrayal in the last few pages of the book.

In the back of my mind, I’d hoped that there would be a reasonable explanation for the visions and prophecies but in the end, it was just horrible.

Which is not to say that I’m complaining. I’ve always said that I had an uneasy relationship with The Iron Fey series but The Iron Traitor, Julie Kagawa has managed to create a set of characters that the reader cares deeply about and therefore it was always going to be painful when truly awful things happened to them.

For superb character development and an ending I cared about, I give The Iron Traitor by Julie Kagawa five out of five stars and would highly recommend to all fans of young adult and paranormal fiction.

5 Stars

Book Review: Gemini Rising by Eleanor Wood

Eleanor Wood Gemini Rising

Sometimes it’s okay to be not quite at the bottom of the pile in high school. Popularity is overrated and Sorana Salem is much more interested in music and Converse to worry about the mean girls at school. That is until the Johansson twins arrive at her exclusive private school in the middle of term. Beautiful and immensely cool, Sorana is immediately drawn to Elyse and Melanie.

Soon Sorana’s life is unrecognisable, consisting of parties and sleepovers, older boys and Ouija boards. With the free-spirited Johansson twins, life is exciting and just a little bit dangerous. That is until events begin to take a darker turn and inexplicable things begin to occur that leave Sorana doubting her sanity.

Soon Sorana realises that nothing is as it seems, especially not the enigmatic Johansson twins. Can she escape their clutches with her integrity intact?

Gemini Rising is the debut novel by Eleanor Wood and one of the first books released on the Harlequin UK Carina digital platform for up and coming authors. Eleanor describes herself as the love child of Judy Blume and Iggy Pop and you can certainly see that in Sorana’s character.

Gemini Rising Eleanor WoodIt is difficult to say too much about Gemini Rising without giving the plot away. In fact, it might not even be possible to assign the book to a particular genre for fear of spoiling it. Gemini Rising is ambiguous right to the last page and the reader is kept guessing throughout. If you like thrillers of any kind, be they psychological or paranormal, or if you’re definitely on the fence with respect to the unexplained, then this book is for you.

The strength of Gemini Rising lies in its interesting characters. It is harrowing to watch Sorana’s journey from not cool (and okay with that) to disturbed, distanced from her family and increasingly nasty. Likewise, it is fascinating to pick apart the facades that Elyse and Melanie present to the world, Elyse with her magnetism and Melanie with her silent observation.

Mean Girls meets Single White Female, Gemini Rising is a riveting and very quick read.

I give Gemini Rising by Eleanor Wood four out of five stars and would recommend it to young adult readers who like a slice of ambiguity and twist of plot above the normal young adult fare.

4 Stars

You can buy Eleanor Wood's Gemini Rising on the Kindle Store at or

Audiobook Review: Carmilla by J. Sheridan Le Fanu

Carmilla featuring Rose Leslie

Twenty-six years before Dracula, there was Carmilla.

In a forest in Styria, eighteen-year old Laura lives alone with her father in a great castle. One day, while out walking in the forest, Laura and her father encounter a carriage accident. Realising that the young woman injured in the accident can’t possibly continue her journey, Laura’s father agrees to take her under his wing until her mother can return.

The young woman is Carmilla and when she and Laura meet, they experience a meeting of hearts and minds. Laura is at once fascinated by Carmilla and appalled by her forward advances but she wades deeper into their friendship nevertheless.

Soon strange things begin to happen. An unexplained illness is taking the lives of young women and Laura experiences fever and unsettling visions. There are rumours of vampires and creatures that stalk the forests at night. Can Laura get to the bottom of the mystery before she too falls victim to the plague and what of the story of her father’s friend General Spielsdorf?

Phoebe Fox 22

Carmilla is one of the first vampire stories and was written by J. Sheridan Le Fanu in 1871. It first appeared as a serial in literary magazine The Dark Blue but was later published in Le Fanu’s own short story collection In A Glass Darkly in 1872. Carmilla famously pre-dated Dracula by twenty-six years and it is interesting to note how much of this early novella has been accepted canon in vampire lore.

This is a beautiful story and very cleverly written. We begin with occult doctor Dr Hesselius narrating his notes and introducing us to Laura whom, he explains, was most in contact with the woman know as Carmilla. Laura then takes over, guiding us through her first inexplicable experiences as a child to the present day when she meets Carmilla. Embedded in this tale is the background story of a mysterious plague tearing through the countryside and the experiences of their own family friend General Spielsdorf.

Like an expert weaving a rich tapestry, J. Sheridan Le Fanu pulls together all the threads in this gothic horror to deliver a story that is at once terrifying and compelling. It is entirely possible that you will devour Carmilla in one sitting because it is simply impossible to put it down.

The Cast

David Tennant_19

I think it will come as a surprise to absolutely no one that I adored David Tennant in his role as Dr Hesselius. In fact, I can’t really think of a better way to spend a Saturday afternoon than to lie there listening to him croon in my ear. It might be more surprising to learn that Tennant is by no means the star of this dramatisation. That honour falls to Phoebe Fox and Rose Leslie in their roles as Carmilla and Laura respectively.

Phoebe and Rose were especially well cast. They have such rich, unique voices that there was never any confusion as to who was speaking at any given time and their voices were perfectly suited to their roles. Phoebe’s voice was confident and alluring, perfect for the tempting and wily Carmilla while Rose has a beautiful tone to her voice that reflected Laura’s vulnerability and, at times, desperation.

The Production

This is the third Audible Original dramatisation that I have listened to and as with The Child and Amok, the production of Carmilla is superb. With the fantastic cast, accompanying music and background sounds, it often feels more like a film or a television show than an audiobook.

Carmilla has been dramatised by Robin Brooks, a playwright for over 25 years who has brought the works of Terry Pratchett and Philip Larkin to life in previous audio productions. Fiona McAlpine of Allegra Productions directed the production for Audible Originals and her works regularly appear on BBC Radio’s Afternoon Play.

Get It Now

I have to admit that I had to read this several times before I could believe my eyes but it appears to be true. The incredible Audible original audio drama adaption of Carmilla is available to download for FREE on from 28 October to 30 November 2015.

I give Carmilla by J. Sheridan Le Fanu five out of five stars and suggest that everyone rush out right now and download it while it is still available free of charge.

5 Stars

TV Review: Doctor Who - The Woman Who Lived

Doctor Who - The Woman Who Lived - Maisie Williams and Peter Capaldi

Stand and deliver! Well I'm pleased. I was so disappointed with last week's “The Girl Who Died” that I feared we were returning to the shoddy writing that plagued the previous season of Doctor Who. It turns out that tonight was a very clever episode in which the normal dialogue between Clara and an increasingly detached Doctor were mirrored as the Doctor tried to allay the infinite fear and pain of an immortal Ashildr.

“The Woman Who Lived” opens with the Doctor interrupting a highway robbery in England, 1651. He has a nice new contraption, a curio scanner, and the highwayman is none other than Ashildr. Except that she can no longer remember her own name. It turns out that the centuries have taken their toll and all the names she had ever known had died with the people who knew.

Doctor Who - The Woman Who Lived - Peter Capaldi is The Doctor

She is me, Lady Me, just like The Doctor is The Doctor. 

As you've come to expect from an Addicted to Media review, I'm generous with the spoilers so here is your three-second spoiler warning.

*** Spoiler warning. Moderate spoilers ahead: proceed with caution if you’ve not watched Doctor Who – “The Woman Who Lived” ***

What I Loved

Doctor Who - The Woman Who Lived - Maisie Williams is Ashildr

There is so much to love in this episode. I loved the concept of Ashildr / Me surviving through the ages and watching those she loved died. I thought that it was interesting that this immortal is a woman and that she could bear children. In genre shows, we often know of vampires and other supernaturals surviving through time but they aren't often women and even more rarely have children.

The scene with Ashildr losing her children to the plague was especially poignant and created a great background to her present detachment and coldness. She is determined that she will never bear children again and significantly, she has never used the immortality pendant that The Doctor left her with.

Rufus Hound steps in as fellow highwayman Sam Swift and he is a lot of fun. He's as likely a lad as ever there was and absolutely no match for Lady Me. See? This is what happens when Steven Moffat doesn't write an episode of Doctor Who - a woman can actually achieve and maintain the upper hand over men and there is no dramatic comeuppance where she must ultimately fail and learn her rightful place.

Doctor Who - The Woman Who Lived - Ariyon Bakare is Leandro

Perhaps the best part of the episode was Leonian Leandro (Ariyon Bakare) (even if he was a dead ringer for Ron Perlman’s Beast) and the alien invasion. If this episode had somewhat of a Torchwood feel to it, that is because it was written by Catherine Tregenna. I miss Torchwood and Sarah Jane Adventures too.

What Must Die A Horrible Death

So was there anything about The Woman Who Lived that I didn't like? Yes. The sonic sunglasses are back. Seriously. They need to go.

Doctor Who - The Woman Who Lived - The Offending Sunglasses

The Verdict

I loved this episode and am so glad that the season picked up after last week’s disappointing turn. If I’m honest, I’d simply insist that Steven Moffat not write any more scripts. Perhaps I can start a rumour that he is leaving the show?

Notable “The Woman Who Lived” Quotes

“The Woman Who Lived” didn’t have much in the way of witty one-liners like the first two episodes of the season but as lot of very poignant, moving lines were said and Maisie Williams did well to deliver the slow-burning fury of Ashildr.

“I can’t remember most of it. That’s the problem with an infinite life and a normal-sized mind” – Ashildr


“This is no way to live your life, desensitised to the world” – The Doctor

“Do you intend to fix me?” – Ashildr


”You’re the man who runs away” – Ashildr

“Who told you that?” – The Doctor

“Maybe I just worked it out” – Ashildr


Doctor Who - The Woman Who Lived - Ashildr and The Doctor

“What happened to you?” – The Doctor

“You did Doctor. You happened to me” – Ashildr


“You didn’t save my life, Doctor, you trapped me inside it” – Ashildr


“It’s infuriating. You think you don’t care but then you fall off the wagon” – The Doctor


Doctor Who returns with “The Zygon Invasion” next Saturday evening 31 October 2015 at 8.15pm on BBC One.

All images © BBC

Book Review: The Lost Prince by Julie Kagawa

The Lost Prince Julie Kagawa

When Ethan Chase was kidnapped by the fey and taken to the Nevernever, it set in motion a series of events that would change the power dynamic in the Land of the Fey forever. In faery terms, that happened many decades ago but in Ethan’s life, it has only been 13 years. In that time, his sister Meghan has become the Iron Queen and as far as Ethan is concerned, he’d like to stay as far away from the manipulative, duplicitous fey as possible.

Don't look at Them. Never let Them know you can see Them.

Ethan is a loner, protecting himself and those he loves by warding off the fey that follow him. Despite his best intentions to never get involved, and despite years of kali martial arts training, he is nevertheless sucked in when a young fey at his school goes missing. When Ethan and local school reporter Mackenzie St James are attacked, Ethan is forced to take Mackenzie into the Nevernever to save her life.

The Lost Prince is the fifth book in Julie Kagawa’s The Iron Fey series and the first in The Call of the Forgotten series. I had a difficult relationship with The Iron Fey series and rated the books between 3 and 4.5 stars. I never could figure out whether I liked the series and was especially disappointed with The Iron Knight

I only mention this because I absolutely loved The Lost Prince. I adored Ethan and totally understood why he would be so angry at Meghan. Yes, she is the Iron Queen, yes she is amazing but I’m pretty certain that people like that aren’t all that much fun to live with.

It was wonderful to meet Grimalkin the uncanny cat again and also good to see just how much Meghan and Ash had achieved. The Wyldwood was as treacherous and exciting as always and I simply loved being back in the Nevernever.

If there was anything I didn’t like about the book, it was Meghan and Ash’s son Kierran. That is not to say that I didn’t like him as a character and don’t like his place in the story but I don’t trust him and I suspect he is going to cause a big upset in the next book.

Ultimately, The Lost Price is exciting, action-packed and fascinating. It was not slow-paced like the previous books in The Iron Fey series could be and there was less of the endless going around in circles in terms of love triangles.

julie-kagawa-the-lost-princeBeing that the third book in The Call of the Forgotten series is out in November 2015, I’m going to pick The Iron Traitor up immediately before moving on to The Iron Warrior. Considering that there have been three years between the first and third books, I am very happy with my decision to delay starting the series. Instant gratification, anyone?

One final word on the book cover. Every single book in The Iron Fey series had a gorgeous cover and The Lost Prince is no exception.

I give The Lost Prince by Julie Kagawa a superb five out of five stars and would highly recommend to fans of Julie Kagawa and paranormal or fantasy young adult fiction. If you loved Twilight, Mortal Instruments or Divergent, you'll love this.

5 Stars

Buy The Lost Prince at or

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