From the pages of Popular Photographer magazine comes an inspiration for BILL THE GALACTIC HERO — the trash-based art of Mandy Barker, whose work can be seen here and numerous other places… I showed the picture below to Victor Jendras, who has been designing the medals which Bill and his colleagues will wear and which will be awarded to our Kickstarter backers.

Image It seemed to me that Ms. Barker’s fantastically detailed design and beautiful sense of proportion could provide BILL with an entirely appropriate star-scape. Victor observed that this is what Bill and his fellow Troopers would see out of their portholes. Does the star-bound battle-cruiser Christine Keeler have portholes? Of course she does!

Anyway I emailed Ms. Barker to ask if she would consider being our star field designer. Victor and I can think of no more appropriate aesthetic!

ImageActive Duty Engagement Award


The IFS screened this splendid new French picture the day the distributor went bust — it’s a crazed and thought-provoking tale designed for the international market (signage and talking cars in French, English and German, a supermodel, and a guest appearance by Kylie Minogue) but even great reviews and a weird sense of humour couldn’t keep its American distributor afloat. Getting pictures into cinemas is a tough business. Making them is almost easy, by comparison.

Once again I borrowed one of Engineering’s white Apollo-model spacesuits, this time to shoot my Kickstarter video; my Aerospace guide confides that they need orange spacesuits now — the kind one sports aboard the Space Shuttle. Searching online I find orange spacesuits, helmets and gloves but no boots. Turns out they wear lumberjack boots on these missions, as we do in the Colestin Rural Fire Dept.

ImageMeanwhile, my colleague Victor Jendras graciously agrees to be BILL’s production designer and to guide us through its tunnels.

As yet, no sign of the BBC radio play or reading of the novel, broadcast and released on cassette back in 1984. The BBC version of BILL was abridged and produced by Paul Meyhew-Archer, and directed by Sylvia Carter. Music was by the BBC Radiophonic Workshop (1958-1998), who also created the audio for the original DR WHO.

There’s also a serious and comprehensive piece about Harry Harrison and his work, here.

BBC RADIO PLAY UPDATE — The alert Richard Salt has discovered a site where the radio play is celebrated and, if you really poke around the page, can be downloaded. It’s mega-discreetly located under the ‘dl‘ hyperlink at the foot of the page.