Friday, February 17, 2017

John Ruskin's Eurythmic Girls

John Ruskin's Eurythmic Girls is a new documentary I've produced with my brother Tom to be broadcast on Radio 3 on Sunday 3 February, and then available on iPlayer.

John Ruskin's Eurythmic Girls

Eurythmic dance at
Queenswood School, 1920s
Perhaps you did music and movement at school. There was a time girls across the country learnt to dance as if they were flowers. At the start of the 20th century, Jacques-Dalcroze developed Eurythmics to teach the rhythm and structure of music through physical activity. But the idea had earlier roots, including an unlikely champion of women's liberation.

John Ruskin - now derided by feminist critics as a woman-fearing medievalist - was at the centre of a 19th-century education movement that challenged the conventional female role in society. Amid concerns about the health of the British empire he looked back to the muscular figures in medieval painting and the sculpture of the ancient Greeks, in their loose-fitting clothes. Perhaps the Victorians needed to shed their corsets and free their minds for learning. In Of Queens' Gardens he set out a radical, influential model for girls' education.

Samira Ahmed argues that Ruskin was an accidental feminist. To understand where his ideas came from, how they were enacted and what survives in the way girls are taught today, she ventures into one of the schools set up on Ruskinian principles, tries on the corsetry that restricted Victorian women's lives, and gets the insight of Victorian scholars.

Contributors: Matthew Sweet (author of Inventing the Victorians); Dr Debbie Challis (Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology, UCL); Louise Scholz-Conway (Angels Costumes); Dr Fern Riddell (author of A Victorian Guide to Sex); Dr Amara Thornton (Institute of Archaeology, UCL) and Isobel Beynon, Dr Wendy Bird, Annette Haynes, Dr Jean Horton, Diane Maclean, Aoife Morgan Jones and Natasha Rajan at Queenswood School. Readings by Toby Hadoke.

Presenter Samira Ahmed
Producers Simon and Thomas Guerrier
A Whistledown Production for BBC Radio 3.

Sunday, February 05, 2017

From Croydon to Gallifrey

Yesterday, I was the guest of Janet and Steve on Croydon Radio's From Croydon to Gallifrey, talking Doctor Who, the casting of the next Doctor, the impending 50th anniversary of The Evil of the Daleks (on which I have written a book), my recent typing for Big Finish and much else besides.

Saturday, February 04, 2017

Graceless title sequence

The t'rific Tom Saunders has made this tremendous opening title sequence for my science-fiction series, Graceless.


As the video says, it stars Ciara Janson and Laura Doddington with Annie Firbank and Sian Phillips, is written by me, directed by Lisa Bowerman and you can buy Graceless IV now.  

Monday, January 23, 2017

Radio Free Skaro and Whographica

Win a free copy of Doctor Who infographics book Whographica via the terrifying beings who run podcast Radio Free Skaro in conjunction with my masters at BBC Books.

As an added bonus, you can hear me, my co-author Steve O'Brien and illustrator Ben Morris explain all the many secrets involved in writing the thing.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Cover of Evil

Here is the cover to my forthcoming book on 1967 Doctor Who story The Evil of the Daleks - out in May from the Black Archive series:


The artwork is by Blair Bidmead and Cody Shell. The blurb for my book is as follows...

‘Without knowing, you have shown the Daleks what their own strength is!’

 In the midst of swinging London, the Daleks run an antique shop. The Victorian items on sale are all completely genuine – but they’re also brand new. Soon the Doctor is following a trail back to 1866 and then to the Dalek home planet of Skaro. It’s not just the authenticity of a few antiques that’s at stake but what it is that makes us human – and how that can be used. 

The Evil of the Daleks (1967) is an epic, strange and eerie conclusion to Doctor Who’s fourth series, originally commissioned to kill off the Daleks for good. For all it’s set in history and on an alien world, the production team were consciously grappling with very contemporary issues – and improvising round practical circumstances out of their control.

This Black Archive title explores how The Evil of the Daleks developed from commission to broadcast 50 years ago – and beyond. Painstaking research and new interviews with many of those involved in the production shed fresh light on the story, its characters and its mix of science and history. 

Simon Guerrier is a writer and producer, and author of a number of Doctor Who books, comics and audio plays.

For more stuff about The Evil of the Daleks, click the label below.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Graceless offers and trailer

Here, hear the amazing trailer for Graceless IV which is out later this month. The writing is by me but the extraordinary song is the work of Duncan Wisbey.



In the meantime, this weekend those splendid fellows at Big Finish are offering special offers on previous Graceless adventures.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Dan Dare poster

Here is Brian Williamson's exciting poster for Dan Dare: Reign of the Robots - the story I've adapted for audio, due out in April.


The original comic strip - drawn by Frank Hampson and Don Harley - ran in Eagle between 1957 and 1958, and is a corker. Brian Williamson previously drew 36 instalments of AAAGH! that I wrote.