Cover of SFX August 2004. James Marsters - what a surprise.Ho-hum. Having finally got hold of the August 2004 issue of the James Marsters Fanclub Newsletter, there’s a few things of interest to us lot. Firstly, there’s the short Barrie piece, which bizarrely merits a mention on the cover – but we should perhaps be glad that Red Dwarf still has enough currency to do this, and ignore the fact that it’s a bit of bad publicity when what we should be having at the moment is high hopes that something is happening.

Another interesting thing is a full-page Brittas Series 4 ad; nice to see Eureka know their audience.

There’s also a full in-depth report on the SFX: The Event, which had Chris Barrie as the host as the Reader’s Awards. Not only is this a very entertaining read in itself, but the following from Dave Golder, the editor, is excellent:

Having spend the whole award ceremony ripping the piss out of my hair, my shirt, my script… me in general, Chris Barrie asked me afterwards, “I hope I didn’t go too far.” “Don’t worry,” I told him, “I’m a large slow-moving target. It’s my job.”

Haw! The piece also includes some nice piccies of Chris, which are sure to get some vaginas salivating. Speaking of the Readers Awards, the way the V and VI DVDs are shaping up, we should probably vote for them next time as Best DVD Release…

But I digress. The real reason for this being a seperate article, and not include in the Roundup, is the following announcement in the news section:

SFX Needs You!
Vote for The greatest special effects sequences ever!

We want to know. In a future issue we’ll be printing a run-down of the greatest special effects moments ever in SF and fantasy (films and TV). You can help us to compile the list by suggesting your personal favourites.

What sort of thing are we after?
Well, it doesn’t matter if the effects aren’t of the same standard that would be produced today. For us, King Kong features some of the greatest special effects of all time, although arguably those stop-motion effects don’t look as realistic as a modern CGI ape would! And, conversely, impressive special effects can count for nothing if they’re not contributing to a great dramatic moment: I mean, Jar Jar Binks is a fairly impressive achievement, technically speaking, but that frog-faced wazzock’s not getting on the list…

All the obvious candidates will get a mention (Gollum in The Lord Of The Rings, the spaceship in the opening moments of Star Wars; the chestburster from Aliens, just about everything Ray Harryhausen ever touched), and if the Who fans in the office have their way, so will “that really impressive TARDIS landing sequence from ‘The Trial Of A Timelord’ episode one”. If you’ve got any more suggestions, please let us know.

Drop us an e-mail (putting “Greatest Special Effects Sequences” as the subject line) to:

So, it looks like Pete Tyler will get in there. Hooray! This is, however, a chance to make the point that Dwarf‘s effects often were fantastic. (The subject of a half-finished article sitting here, actually.) We should all make our suggestions known. What’s the best effect in Dwarf ever? The exploding landing bay in Back To Reality has to come high on the list, but there’s plenty more…

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