Sunday 24 June 2012

The Crash Of The Elysium

You may have read recently that I was fortunate enough to win tickets to see The Crash Of The Elysium in Ipswich. Well this past weekend was when I got to go!

The event itself is in the form of a council-funded local exhibition, taking place in a purpose-built tent not far from the New Wosley Theatre in central Ipswich.

The Elysium was the flagship of the Mayfield Star Line, and was launched in 1888 by the Princess Helena, herself a veteran of over thirty voyages.

The ship had not long been in service when it catastrophically ran aground on rocks on the south coast of England.

The Elysium was carrying a cargo of valuable metals, including ingots of gold, as well as a quantity of industrial machine parts for the cotton trade. At the time the value of the lost gold ingots has been estimated at over one thousand pounds, now several million by today’s standards.

Also on board was a confidential cargo being transported under government warrant.

Mystery surrounds the circumstances of the wrecking, as no storm warning was issued in that sector, and weather conditions were described as calm.

Captain T. A. Solomon, the ship’s skipper, as well as the rest of the eight man crew were reported as being lost at sea to the coastguard’s office in the early hours of that fateful morning.

It wasn’t long before salvage rights were being contested by several local agencies.

Despite speculation as to the secret nature of the government cargo, Whitehall refused to comment on the nature of the artifact or artifacts. Crew records left at Mortimer House suggest the cargo may have been a statue, possibly of some value. Several eye witnesses to the disaster describe the figure of a woman emerging from the wreckage, one going so far to suggest she resembled an angel in appearance, but such reports were dismissed as wild fancy.

The exhibition on show at Ipswich goes into great detail about the history of the ship; its construction long -side its sister ship; with many recovered artifacts from the wreckage and commemorative mementos contemporary to the time.

Our tour of the exhibition was greatly aided by the curator who joined us to guide us around the many display cases and photographs on offer. He presented a short visual slideshow of pictures of the crew of the ill-fated liner, as well as showing us the Elysium being built and its launch which was witness by a crowd of thousands.

And that is really as much as I can write about my trip, as after that point things really started to take a dramatic turn about which I feel I cannot speak.

The shared experiences of myself and the others in our twenty-strong tour party will be something no doubt we will carry for many years to come. It was shocking, and at times truly disturbing.

I wouldn’t have missed it for the world!!!


Further reading about
The Crash Of The Elysium can be found here

North West Historical Society
The Elysium crahses!

Saturday 23 June 2012

A Meeting Of Doctors -
when fiction becomes FACT

I hope you enjoyed our A Meeting Of Doctors photo-story I have been running over the past few days.

As well as having enormous fun doing it, the shoot was a logistical challenge to get everyone there at the same time; with all the props we needed; at the location we wanted; on a day we could shoot without being noticed too much.

I’m happy to say we achieved everything in my list –
except the last one ...

We did our photo-shoot at lunchtime on Thursday May 25th, and by the next day it had been reported as FACT that Matt Smith had been back at Eddie’s Diner filming new scenes for series seven!

it first appeared on Doctor Who Filming – a fan run Facebook page which documents all the filming as it happens.

Quite where the TARDIS in the back alley came from. We WISHED we had one, but didn’t.

Monday 18 June 2012

The Eleventh Hour - the two Matts

This past weekend was The Eleventh Hour convention in Birmingham.

It marks Matt Smith’s first ever appearance at an independent convention – as opposed to the Official Convention in Cardiff back in March.

Lots of people went and many had their photo taken with the man himself – but there was only ONE photo I wanted to see . . . .

Sunday 17 June 2012

A Meeting Of Doctors - episode 4

The Tenth and Eleventh Doctors, having met up at a diner on an abandoned highway in the Utah desert, spent their time syncing diaries.

In the final part of A Meeting of Doctors from my massive Cardiff photoshoot, the Doctors compare the size of their equipment . . .


Having mysteriously met at a diner on an abandoned highway, the Tenth and Eleventh Doctors are now locked in a sonic battle of wits, each matching the other’s moves.

How can the deadlock be broken?

It takes companion Amy Pond to come up with the solution: a round of milkshakes!

The Doctors share the milkshake with Eleven’s own straws that make it taste fizzy.

At last the Time Lords are united over a common liking for strawberry milkshakes!

“Let’s shake on it!” says Ten.


I’d like to thank everyone involved in making this photo shoot happen. To Matt, Kevin and Lisa for being patient models and Daniel Pawlik for making the diaries

A Meeting Of Doctors - episode 3

The Tenth and Eleventh Doctors, having met up at a diner on an abandoned highway in the Utah desert, spent their time syncing diaries.

In the third part of A Meeting Of Doctors from my massive Cardiff photoshoot, the Doctors compare the size of their equipment . . .

The Tenth and Eleventh Doctors have finally synced their diaries – to the relief of Amy Pond!

But attention quickly turns to The Doctor’s trusty sonic screwdriver, and it soon becomes apparent Eleven’s has many more settings than Ten’s.

Before long Ten is suffering from sonic envy.

Amy tries to reassure Ten that size isn’t everything – it’s how you use it.

But with their sonics locked in a temporal battle, Amy is looking exasperated! Can she bring make peace between her boys?


A Meeting of Doctors - episode 2

Last time on A Meeting Of Doctors, the Tenth Doctor found himself invited to a lone diner on an abandoned highway in the Utah desert.

In the second part of A Meeting Of Doctors from my massive Cardiff photoshoot, the Doctors get things up to date . . .

The Tenth and Eleventh Doctors, along with Amy Pond, have found themselves invited to a diner on an abandoned Utah highway.
Unable to resolve who sent the invitation, the Doctors set about syncing their diaries.

After half an hour of timelines and paradoxes, Amy is thoroughly fed up, wishing she had stayed in the TARDIS with Rory, who stayed behind to check his emails.

Using River Song’s diary, which he has sneakily borrowed, The Tenth Doctor starts reading about his future exploits... and seems to be finding more than he bargained for.

Meanwhile, the Eleventh Doctor is also reading of future events.

A visit to the American wild west; bumping into further past selves; a fatal encounter with weeping angels; and a space ship filled with dinosaurs particularly pique his interest.


A Meeting Of Doctors - episode 1

The fiftieth anniversary of Doctor Who is coming into view on the horizon, and talk is turning to the notion of the ever popular multi-Doctor episode.

As part of my massive Cardiff photoshoot last month we imagined what it could be like if two of the Doctors met face to face for the first time . . .

So today I am bringing you the first part of A Meeting Of Doctors from the main photoshoot, where I brought together Kevin Coppa, one of the best 10th Doctor cosplayers; and Matt Elliott, the most awesome 11th Doctor look-a-like.

The Doctor’s TARDIS lands in the inhospitable landscape.

The Tenth Doctor steps out. Putting his glasses on he looks around, then heads for a lone diner on a nearby abandoned highway.

Once The Doctor is out of sight, the whirring noise of the TARDIS is heard again, but it is not his TARDIS leaving - it is a second TARDIS landing...

The Tenth Doctor finds a table at the diner, orders a milkshake and takes out a mysterious blue envelope. Inside is an invitation. He does not know who it is from or why he has been invited. All he knows is this is the right place - and time.

He doesn’t have to wait long before a tall, mop-headed, younger looking model of his later self boldly walks into the diner.

He too is carrying a blue enveloped invite - as is his companion Amy Pond!

They join the Tenth Doctor at the table.It isn’t long before confusion ensues: Who invited Who?


Wednesday 13 June 2012

The Doctor’s new coat -
MORE official publicity photos!

A few days ago the BBC issued an official publicity still from the first days filming with Jenna-Louise Coleman.

It was nice to see the new companion with The Doctor and preview the chemistry between them – but my eye was drawn to the first decent view of the new aubergine-coloured frock coat.

Well yesterday and today further photographs from the same shoot have been released.
They show a little bit more detail.

 This picture was issued on 11th June 2012

This picture was issued on 13th June 2012

Friday 8 June 2012

The Doctor’s new coat -
official publicity photo

Last week the Doctor Who crew were filming Jenna-Louise Coleman’s first scenes as the new companion, although apparently not her debut story.

Some sneaky fan pics were posted on the net, showing that Matt was wearing a new coat! (see right)

Well today the BBC have issued a nice shinny new official publicity photograph from the filming (see below).

This is the first publicity photo of Jenna-Louise with Matt.

The photo also shows the coat in better detail, and shows the fabric matches the material I bought last week.
I’m not gonna rush into making myself a replica as the fabric is mega-bucks expensive. Once I can work out the pattern I’ll be having a go, so keep an eye on my blog in the next few months.

Two Steps From Hell

Not strictly a costume related thing, but something I thought I’d share with you.

I almost look forward to the trailers that herald the start of a new series as much as the episodes themselves.
Each year they have become more and more elaborate – and more and more exciting!

This is partly down to the background music that speeds up your heartbeat and adds to the anxiety of the fast cut action you are watching.
For me this was no mores in the trailer for part two of series six. I really like the bit around the point where Amy is battling the Handbots.

So I was keen to listen to it clean and unedited on the soundtrack CD when it came out – but the track was notably by its absence.

It was when I saw a trailer for Merlin, another BBC Saturday teatime series, using the same bit of music I started to wonder if this was actually library music rather than Murray Gold working his magic.

So I did some hunting around on the net – okay, I googled the question – and found out that the track concerned was actually by Two Steps From Hell, which from what I can gather compose library music for the specific intention of it being used in movie  trailers!
Their list of credits is pretty awesome, from Harry Potter, Indiana Jones, SpiderMan, Green Hornet, Avatar, Superman, Tron, Star Trek, Twilight, Batman – basically every high-octane blockbuster seems to use their music on their trailers.

After doing a bit more digging I found the track is called Protectors of the Earth composed by Thomas J Bergersen from their album called Invincible.
It was easy to find on iTunes, where you can download the entire album as well as their previous works.
If you’re old fashioned, like me, you can also buy it as a in-your-hand CD from or