All that I am, all that I ever was…

I am more than my mental health. I am more than my homelessness. I am more than any one aspect of me. I am Addy. And this is…

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#SaveTheDay: The Night of the Doctor

The countdown has well and truly begun…it is now only a little over a week before the world celebrates the fiftieth anniversary of the greatest and (arguably) most influential television show ever made.

Because my excitement levels are bordering on hitherto unexperienced levels of euphoria, I have decided to share the mini-episode that the BBC has released to whet our appetites of what is to come: The Night of the Doctor.

So sit back, relax, and enjoy six minutes and forty nine seconds in Whovian heaven!

And may I just say how wonderful it is to see him again! :D


Thirteen book-to-movie adaptations that are actually pretty good!

The 30 Days of Mental Illness Awareness Challenge has meant I’ve been writing a lot about Mental Health over the last few weeks. Although it’s not something I’m ashamed of, for the sake of my own sanity I’ve decided that today’s Thursday Thirteen needed to be about something non-mental health related! :)

After watching a movie, how many of you have ever proclaimed ‘well, it wasn’t as good as the book’?

I’m willing to bet a fair few of you because, let’s be honest, most adaptations are pretty appalling. However, as with everything in life, there are always exceptions.

Thirteen book to movie adaptations that are actually pretty good!

Movie Posters

13. Secretary
Book by: Mary Gaitskill
Film by: Steven Shainberg
A stereotype busting story and a tour-de-force performance by Maggie Gyllenhaal elevates this heart (and bottom) warming film onto the list of great book-to-movie adaptations.

12. Clueless
Book by: Jane Austen (Emma)
Film by: Amy Heckerling
This film, a contemporary adaptation of Jane Austen’s Emma, is one of the brightest, breeziest and enjoyable of the 90s rom-com selection. Clueless is a master class on how to contemporize a classic work of literature.

11. To Kill a Mockingbird
Book by: Harper Lee
Film by: Robert Mulligan
I first watched this adaptation of Lee’s only published work of fiction whilst studying the book during High School. At the time I wasn’t impressed, but re-watching it years later revealed the nuances, power and intensity of this superb adaptation.

10. Jurassic Park
Book by: Michael Crichton
Film by: Steven Spielberg
Like most book-to-movie adaptations, the film does deviate from the novel in several key areas, but the sheer childish fun of seeing dinosaurs come to life make this film a must watch for any adaptation aficionado.

9. Life of Pi
Book by: Yann Martel
Film by: Ang Lee
Long considered un-filmable, Ang Lee proved all doubters wrong by creating not only one of the best book-to-movie adaptations of recent times but one of the finest (and most beautiful) films of the year.

8. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe
Book by: C.S. Lewis
Film by: Andrew Adamson
Although it pales in comparison to the BBC adaptation (ineligible for this list given its television origins), this film version was a beautiful adaptation of the book and introduced (the perfectly cast) Georgie Henley to the world.

7. Trainspotting
Book by: Irvine Welsh
Film by: Danny Boyle
The film that launched Ewan McGregor, Johnny Lee Miller, Ewan Bremner and Robert Carlyle into the national consciousness. This striking adaptation of Boyle’s novel about the heroin subculture in Edinburgh is a film you truly must see before you die.

6. Scott Pilgrim vs The World
Graphic Novel: Bryan Lee O’Malley
Film by: Edgar Wright
I cherish and adore this film more than any other made in the last ten years. Initially watched when I was homeless on the streets of Melbourne, this film inspired me to keep pushing on in my efforts to escape that most vicious of lifestyles. As such, it will always be a film I’ll hold close to my heart.

5. Fight Club
Book by: Chuck Palahniuk
Film by: David Fincher
This is one of my favourite films of all time. A devastating look at identity and consumerism, David Fincher has crafted one of the most consistently stunning, shocking and empowering films ever made and should be considered essential viewing for anyone, least of all those interested in book-to-movie adaptations.

4. Red Riding Trilogy
Books by:  David Peace
Films by: Julian Jarrold, James Marsh and Anand Tucker
David Peace’s quartet of books 1974, 1977, 1980 and 1984 are some of the bleakest, most intensely visceral series of books I’ve read in a long time. The film trilogy adaptation is just as intense, just as dark and equally as captivating. If you’re weak of heart, this may not be the film series for you, but you will be missing out on some of the finest British film-making, ever.

3. Alice in Wonderland
Books by: Lewis Carroll
Film by: Tim Burton

I will admit to hating this film the first time I watched it. I hated Mia Wasikowska as Alice, I hated Johnny Depp as The Mad Hatter and I hated what Tim Burton had done to one of my favourite books. However, I recently decided to revisit this movie after having it recommended by several people, and I’m glad I did, for I found it to be one of the most inventive, inspiring, enjoyable and engaging films I’ve seen in a long time.

2. The Lord of the Rings (Extended Editions)
Books by: J.R.R Tolkien
Films by: Peter Jackson

What can be said about this movie trilogy that hasn’t already been said? It is an exceptional masterwork that will be loved and admired for generations to come. A quintessential entry on any great book-to-movie adaptations list.

1. Young Adam
Book by: Alexander Trocchi
Film by: David Mackenzie

I have been an ardent fan of Trocchi’s work for the better part of the last fifteen years and his novel Young Adam is one of my personal favourites. So when I discovered it had been turned into a movie I will admit to approaching it with trepidation. I needn’t have feared, for David Mackenzie has crafted a truly superb book-to-movie adaptation that cannot be missed.

Over to you…what are some of your favourite book-to-movie adaptations?

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We all need something to hold onto

Whether it be a hug from your loved one after a period apart, your favourite meal after days of starvation or a well deserved holiday after months of work, we all need something (or someone) to brighten our souls, excite our minds and have us salivating to keep going that extra day.

What’s keeping me going at the moment is that it will soon be the 23 November 2013; the Day of the Doctor! :D

What are you looking forward to at the moment?


My Life in Television

Over the last year I’ve been writing a sporadic series titled  ‘My Life in…‘ where I highlight the films/books/moments/music that have defined me through each year of my life. Today it’s time to settle onto the couch, as we look over the last thirty-four years of television and all the series that have defined my life.

The rule is simple, for each year since my birth I’ve chosen a show that debuted in that year. These are not necessarily the best television series of each year, but the ones that speak of who I am in my soul.

My Life in Television


No poltergeist was summoned during the writing of this post (I hope!)


Ahhh, Grange Hill. Anyone who grew up in the UK during the 80s will now be flashing back to that magnificent theme tune and remembering Mr Bronson, Mrs McCluskey and Todd Carty (pre-Eastenders). Anyone who grew up outside the UK will now be wondering what the hell this show is…basically it was an ongoing children’s drama set within a comprehensive school; cue storylines involving drug overdoses, mischief-laden school trips and visits to the headmaster’s office. An absolute classic!


Aside from Monty Python, this is one of the greatest sketch comedies ever. Rowan Atkinson, Mel Smith, Griff Rhys Jones, Pamela Stevenson and her future husband, Billy Connolly.


Yes, Minister – one of the finest political sitcoms ever made. Kick Start – one of the finest ‘perform tricks on a motorcycle’ game shows ever made!


(Possibly) my favourite British sitcom of all time and the only one to ever make me cry.


This fantastic half-hour comedy series starred Dawn French, Robbie Coltrane, Jennifer Saunders and more. Notable in my life for the single greatest “Famous Five” spoof ever made!


If you haven’t seen this comedy series…finish reading this post, leave a jovial comment, then head to your local DVD retailer and pick up the complete series box set. Personally, I love Blackadder II, mainly because Miranda Richardson is magnificent as Queen Elizabeth and Stephen Fry, as always, is superb as Melchett.


The Bill; a quintessential British police drama than ran until 2010. City Lights; a not quite as quintessential Scottish sitcom that ran until 1991.


In the mid-90s, my family applied to appear as contestants on the television quiz show Telly Addicts. We weren’t successful, but it didn’t deter us playing along at home each and every week. As for Neighbours, this was required viewed for a teenager in the UK when I was growing up. It probably still is! :p


Casualty is a looooonnnnggggggg running drama/soap based in a hospital. Think Grey’s Anatomy without the musical episodes. In researching this article I was surprised to find it is still running. Meanwhile, The Singing Detective is one of the monuments of television drama and demands multiple viewings!


A quality quiz show in which contestants from all over Europe competed to win something (I don’t remember what!) The only thing I can remember about this show was the theme music, which was composed by Hans Zimmer – now an Oscar-winning film composer!


This BBC adaptation is still the greatest interpretation of C.S. Lewis’ classic children’s novel. The fact I used to have nightmares about being attacked by giant beavers is in no way a comment on its quality.


Saved by the Bell; the show that introduced me to the beautiful Tiffani Amber Theissen. Quantum Leap; the show that (Doctor Who aside) defines my early teenage years. Fun Fact: When Scott Bakula uttered the phrase “Oh Boy” during his appearance in Chuck, I almost died of glee! :p


Twin Peaks is one of the few masterpieces of television…The Crystal Maze, not so much, but was a damned entertaining game show that once upon a time I aspired to be a contestant on.

1991 ~ MR BEAN

I adore Rowan Atkinson. That is all.


One of the most important television series of my life; I miss this show with an intense and fiery passion.

1993 ~ CRACKER

One of the greatest crime dramas ever!


Takin’ Over the Asylum is the single greatest drama ever made on the subject of mental illness and should be required watching for anyone working/interested in the field of mental health. Due South is one of the greatest Canadian television series ever and should be required watching for anyone with a Mountie fetish.


If there is a man or woman able to watch this show without falling wildly in love with Robert Carlyle, I’ve yet to meet her! If there’s a man or woman able to watch this show without falling wildly in love with Shirley Henderson, I’ve yet to meet her! As for Plockton (aka Luchdubh in the show) I’ve been there…and it’s gorgeous!


All I really remember about this show is that (a) I loved it and (b) they stopped screening it midway through a season so I never found out how it ended.


I have written extensively of my love of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, so I shall say no more about it here.


There are only four Australian shows on this list, and these are three of them! SeaChange reminds me of my relationship with Louise and the early days of my time in Australia. The Micallef P(r)ogram(me) is the greatest work of Australian comedian (and genius) Shaun Micallef and The Games is possibly the greatest thing to ever be produced in the history of Australian television.


If you have never seen Spaced, you’ve never lived. The same could be said for Freaks and Geeks, but considering it has yet to see an Australian DVD release, few people in Australia have. Their loss!


The greatest ‘set in a book shop’ sit-com ever made.


I’ve often ranked Undeclared as one of the greatest comedy series ever made. But, like it Freaks and Geeks predecessor few people have ever seen it due to a serious lack of DVD release outside of Australia. 24 (and Jack Bauer) is a majestic work of absolute beauty that few people ever really appreciated (or understood), whilst Smallville is one of the great genre shows of the last twenty years. Well, until the hideous monstrosity that was Season 7, that is!

2002 ~ FIREFLY

Yes, it’s the second most over-rated series in the history of television. But it’s still pretty good! :p


Again, I’ve written a lot about this show in the past, especially how it once saved my life.


Wonderfalls – the greatest ‘series that no-one’s ever heard of’ in the history of television. Damn you television networks for cancelling this masterpiece! However, a massive thank you to the networks, cast and crew for the exceptional drama series Rescue Me; one of the ‘must watch’ shows of all time.


Look, I couldn’t choose, okay? How I Met Your Mother is a magnificent sitcom that’s helped me no end over the last several years. Invasion is an underrated gem that introduced me to Alexis Dziena. Weeds is a magnificent opus of delightful writing and incredible acting. Whereas Supernatural is not only a show I’ve turned to in times of great distress but one of the finest urban-fantasy series in recent memory.

2006 ~ 30 ROCK and TORCHWOOD

In regards to 30 Rock: Tina Fey, genius. ‘Nuff said! :p And…if I can’t have Doctor Who (damn you year of birth!) at least I can take some solace with Torchwood.


It was impossible to pick between these three shows. All have saved my life. All are exceptionally well written, beautifully performed and deeply inspirational. Three of my favourite shows of all time.

2008 ~ FRINGE and jPOD

Fringe; a masterwork of science-fiction that took me years to fully appreciate. jPod, yet another show no-one ‘s ever heard of that I adored! Go Canadian television!


The greatest comedy series currently being made. And not just because it stars the magnificent Alison Brie! :p


This show helped my survive the chaos that was 26 February 2013; it is also a magnificent and creative comedy-horror series!


However much I want to dislike like this show because I (occasionally) love being a ‘lone wolf’, I just can’t.

2012 ~ GIRLS

Some of its male characterisation aside (a problem that also affected Sex in the City), this is one of the few series of late that I’ve developed an attachment to.

~ FYI, I deliberately left out animated series. Perhaps I will return to these in the future! :p ~


Other titles in the “My Life in…” series:
| …movies | …books | …animated movies | …happy memories | …music | …video games |


Thirteen female writers I’d like to see work on ‘Doctor Who’

Way back in 1997, when I was but a rather geeky high school student, I wrote an epic essay as part of my A-Level coursework analysing the somewhat dubious history of female representation in the television series Doctor Who. Although it was written in a mere 60 minutes the night before it was due, my rather rampant knowledge of the subject matter combined with the passionate voice with which I wrote, earned my essay an A+ and helped me scrape a pass in Media Studies.

Today, this essay exists only in the cobweb gathering files of the British Educational System, but the gist of the essay was basically: female representation in Doctor Who, with a few minor exceptions, has been pretty abhorrent since the shows innception. This needs to change!

Fortunately, since the shows revival in 2005, females characters have had a much better time than they did twenty to fifty years ago. Although far from perfect, it is a plesant change to have female character who actually do something beyond flashing a bit of leg or fuelling a variety of ‘spot the knickers’ drinking games.

Unfortunately, this change has not extended behind the scenes, as Mathilda Gregory recently wrote about in The Guardian:

“On Saturday, Doctor Who returns, kicking off the second part of the seventh series with a James-Bond inspired episode that sees the Doctor and Clara whizzing round London on a motorbike. Which is exciting if you like interesting drama with witty banter and thoughtful concepts. But less exciting if you like interesting dramas that include women on their writing teams.

Because season seven of Doctor Who will feature no female scribes at all. Not in the bombastic dinosaurs and cowboys episodes that aired last year, and not in any of the new episodes we’re about to receive. In fact, Doctor Who hasn’t aired an episode written by a woman since 2008, 60 episodes ago. There hasn’t been a single female-penned episode in the Moffat era, and in all the time since the show was rebooted in 2005 only one, Helen Raynor, has ever written for the show.

Isn’t that is a pretty terrible record for a flagship TV programme?”

One female writer in the last seven years. ONE!? There are no words to properly describe how disgraceful this is, especially given the vast array of tremendous female writers working within the television and film industry. Given that the writers seem to have difficulty writing three-dimensional female characters, it’s time to shatter the current sexism and let women take control of the TARDIS…but who?

In this first of two Doctor Who inspired Thursday Thirteen posts, I look at some of the female writers I believe should be writing for this television institution.

Thirteen female writers I’d like to see work on ‘Doctor Who

JLC Doctor Who

~ in no particular order ~

1. Felicia Day
Although best known as an actress (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Eureka, Supernatural, Dollhouse), Felicia Day is also the creator, writer and star of the magnificent Web TV show The Guild – for which she has won numerous awards for writing. This writing talent, coupled with her apparent love of genre television, makes her the perfect fit for a writing job on Doctor Who.

2. Jane Espenson
I have long admired Jane Espenson as one of the best writers in the sci-fi/fantasy genre. She wrote some of my favourite episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer (Earshot, Triangle, Superstar, Conversations with Dead People) and one of my favourite episodes of Angel (Guise will be Guise). She co-created the Syfy series Warehouse 13 and has written for other seminal genre series, such as: Battlestar Galactica, Dollhouse, Once Upon a Time and Game of Thrones. All of this – in addition to her work on Doctor Who’s sister series Torchwood – means the question isn’t should she write for Doctor Who but why hasn’t she written for Doctor Who?

3.  Lena Dunham
Okay, this is the first of two odd choices on this list, but bare with me. Whatever your feeling toward the television show Girls (personally, I think it’s brilliant) you cannot deny what an exceptional writer Lena Dunham is. Although the genre of Girls is about as far removed from Doctor Who as you can get, she has already proved her ability to write terrific dialogue and characters, earning an Emmy nomination along the way, which is all I need to one-day hope to see a Lena Dunham scripted episode of my favourite television series.

4. Isobelle Carmody
Isobelle Carmody is one of the leading names in fantasy writing. She began work on the Obernewtyn Chronicles at the age of fourteen and since then has won numerous awards and international acclaim for her writing. As Neil Gaiman – another prolific writer of fantasy – has been given the opportunity to write for Doctor Who, I see no reason (unless she doesn’t want to, of course) why a writer of Carmody’s calibre shouldn’t be given the same opportunity. I for one, would cherish the chance to have her write for the show.

5. Abi Morgan
Doctor Who would be lucky to have a writer of Abi Morgan’s calibre working for the show. Over the last fifteen years, Abi Morgan has proven herself time-and-again to be one of the greatest writers currently working in British stage and screen. Her credits include the screenplays for the television dramas Sex Traffic, Tsunami: The Aftermath, Royal Wedding and Birdsong. For film, she wrote the screenplay for Brick Lane (adapted from the novel by Monica Ali) as well as multi-award winning films The Iron Lady and Shame. Most recently, she has earned acclaim for her BBC television series The Hour, set in the world of 1950s current affairs television.

6. Lucy Watkins
Although you may not immediately recognise the name, Lucy Watkins has been a considerable force in genre television writing for many years. Since co-creating and writing the cult classic Hex in 2004, Lucy Watkins has gone on to write for Merlin, Demons and Sugar Rush, consistently proving her writing skills within the medium of television.

7. Jessica Hynes
Having guest-starred in three episodes, Jessica Hynes has already accrued experience within the world of Doctor Who. This, in conjunction with her exceptional writing work on the television series SpacedLizzie and Sarah, Asylum and Learners, makes her a wonderful fit for the world(s) of The Doctor.

8. Amber Benson
Although perhaps best known for her role as Tara Maclay in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Amber Benson is also the acclaimed author of several novels and graphic novels as well as the writer and director of two feature films; Chance and Loves, Liars and Lunatics. A resume that reveals her to be more-than-capable of writing for Doctor Who.

9. Tina Fey
This is the second of my ‘odd choices’ on this list. Despite her critical acclaim, Tina Fey’s writing work has never strayed into the genre of science-fiction and fantasy. However, as with Lena Dunham (above), I see no reason why this would be a hinderance. She has a perfect grasp of character, dialogue and plot which, when all is said and done, is all one needs to write in any genre. Personally, I think I would have some form of aneurism if Tina Fey were ever to write for Doctor Who. So perhaps it’s best that it will likely never happen! :p

10. Alice Bell
When Alice Bell was twenty-one she wrote the screenplay for acclaimed Australian film Suburban Mayhem. Since then, she has gone on to write for such critically praised television series as The Slap (the adaptation of the Christos Tsiolkas novel), Puberty Blues (the 2012 adaptation of the quintessential coming-of-age novel of the same name) and Spirited (starring British actor/comedian Matt King). With such an impressive body of work, I would be more than happy to see her join Doctor Who’s writing team.

11. Anne Cofell Saunders
Anne Cofell Saunders began her career in television as assistant to the producers of the show 24. She wrote her first episode for this series in 2005 (Day 4: 7pm-8pm) before going on to write for such genre mainstays as Eureka, Battlestar Galactica, Smallville and Chuck, consistently proving her knowledge of both the genre and masterful storytelling; the latter being something Doctor Who is (in my opinion) currently lacking.

12. Allison Adler
The fact that she wrote my personal favourite of Chuck is by-the-by, for over the last twenty years Allison Adler has worked extensively in the arena of television, writing and producing for shows ranging from Chuck and Family Guy to Beverly Hills 90210 and Glee. An exceedingly talented and more-than-qualified writer/producer for a show of Doctor Who’s calibre.

13. Dawn French
Before you furrow your eyebrows and proclaim you can’t imagine Dawn French writing for a science-fiction show, may I ask if you ever expected Richard Curtis (writer of comedic fare Love Actually, Notting Hill, The Vicar of Dibley and Four Weddings and a Funeral) to write one of the best Doctor Who episodes since its return in 2005? If a writer can write multi-layered characters, engaging dialogue and interesting stories – as Dawn French can definitely do – they are more than capable of writing for Doctor Who, regardless of what ‘genre’ they are most known for.

What do you think? Should the producers of Doctor Who employ more female writers?
If so, who would you like to see write for the show?


Minimal Movie Monday


For those of you who have been living under a rock (like I pretty much have been for several years :p) the idea behind a minimal movie poster is to capture the essence of a film as minimalistically as possible.

The idea behind this post is to put that to the test.

Below are twelve Minimal Movie Posters that have had their title/cast cunningly removed. How many can you identify? For if the artists have done their job properly, it should be all of them!

Oh, and just to be a little naughty, one of the posters is for a television series…but I’m not gonna tell you which one! :p

Minimal Movie Poster Montage