Op­er­a­tions Edi­tor Alex Cox says it’s time to bury zom­bies for good

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Letters -

The zom­bie epi­demic must end now

Al­right, that’s enough. Pack it in. Put away the ketchup and the funny con­tact lenses, and stop that pa­thetic sham­bling. The zom­bie epi­demic must end now. This isn’t meant to spark a de­bate about whether zom­bies should be able to run ( they shouldn’t) or just wan­der aim­lessly. It’s not even a rant about how ba­si­cally all zom­bie movies, videogames and even boardgames are ex­actly the same. My real prob­lem is that zom­bies are train­ing wheels. They need to be taken away be­fore the en­ter­tain­ment in­dus­try will ever learn to ride its bike by it­self.

Zom­bies tick peril off the Big List o’ Movie Essen­tials, and much more be­sides. They pro­vide re­la­tion­ship drama, shlock thrills, jump scares, slap­stick com­edy, un­likely re­demp­tion. It’s all too easy. So why bother to come up with some­thing more orig­i­nal when Groany McLoosebits is risen and ready to help?

Okay, zom­bies are rarely pitched to the in­tel­lec­tual crowd, and gory ex­cite­ment is a key in­gre­di­ent in lunch­box moviemak­ing – it’s the un­ex­pected choco­late treat which tem­pers the drudge of ev­ery­day life’s value- brand Ready Salted crisps, and it is good. But zom­bies are too easy a fix, like a mul­ti­pack of sus­pect Czech con­fec­tionary your mum wants to use up be­fore they go out of date. They seem de­li­cious at first, but when you find a zom­bie in your lunch ev­ery day, get one forced in your mouth when­ever you look bored, find one se­cretly tucked in your pocket so it melts and drib­bles down your leg? Enough.

I’m not go­ing to pre­tend to have seen ev­ery­thing zom­bie re­lated. And how could I; Wikipedia’s prob­a­bly- not­defini­tive list of zom­bie movies thumps in at 413 en­tries with about three plots amongst them. But per­haps we’ve al­ready reached peak zom­bie. 2014’ s cine­zom out­put was a mere 11 movies, com­pared to 17 cinema out­ings in 2012 and an as­ton­ish­ing 25 in 2009. Maybe the plague is re­lent­ing, and new ideas are in­deed spilling from big­wig br­raaai­i­innnss. At least un­til the sec­ond in­fec­tion of zom­bie re­makes hits… have the bud­get to match the Amer­i­cans” ex­cuse is plain rub­bish. It’s just a shame that main­stream au­di­ences pre­fer re­al­ity TV and soaps. Robert Wil­liam Gra­ham, Face­book Let’s not for­get Or­phan Black. It may be BBC Amer­ica, but still. It’s bloody mar­vel­lous…

Mark Ayling, Manch­ester It’s just the same old fact that Bri­tish TV chan­nels would rather make crappy re­al­ity TV shows than fan­tasy/ sci- fi. Even our one flag­ship sci- fi show, Doc­tor Who, has been dumbed down to a pale shadow of its orig­i­nal self to ac­com­mo­date the limited at­ten­tion span of peo­ple who watch TV th­ese days!

Marc Ofner, Kingston Upon Hull To­day’s pro­gramme mak­ers in the UK wouldn’t know how to make an in­tel­li­gent and chal­leng­ing sci- fi/ fan­tasy in the vein of Blake’s 7 or orig­i­nal Doc­tor Who. In­deed, Mof­fat’s ter­ri­ble re- imag­ined New Who is proof of that.

Thomas Davies, Lin­coln The BBC seems to be­lieve that the only peo­ple who want to watch sci- fi shows are 12- year- old kids. Maybe if they wrote shows for a 9pm time slot in­stead of 7pm Satur­day.

Mark Causer, Birm­ing­ham Maybe if the mak­ers of th­ese pro­grammes made them a bit less crappy they wouldn’t get can­celled.

Paolo Bianco, Lon­don

Calm down, you lot. Brit sci- fi will surely re­bound, and as many of you point out, we’ve got a fan­tas­tic back cat­a­logue to draw from if we’re ever short of ideas. Speak­ing of which… Some­one needs to get some of the 2000 AD ti­tles made into shows. Fu­ture Shocks could be a start. Any­one re­mem­ber the live­ac­tion Dan Dare se­ries that was in pro­duc­tion? I think 10 min­utes were pro­duced be­fore it was scrapped. James Fox was Dan, and Rod­ney Bewes was Digby. I’ve seen stills, and it looked amaz­ing.

Noel Wal­lace, East Kil­bride

We’re ab­so­lutely up for some re­ju­ve­nated 2000 AD and Ea­gle prop­er­ties – as long as the qual­ity slider is a notch above that of the creepy 2002 Dan Dare CG se­ries. Leonard Ni­moy RIP It was very sad to hear of Leonard Ni­moy’s pass­ing. I grew up with clas­sic Trek and re­cently saw his range as the sin­is­ter Wil­liam Bell in Fringe. He will be fondly re­mem­bered, now he has jour­neyed to the undis­cov­ered coun­try from whose bourn no trav­eller re­turns…

Keith Tu­dor, Rom­sey He was won­der­ful. Al­ways. Whether act­ing or di­rect­ing, even in the early days when you could see the string. May he be re­mem­bered al­ways. Es­pe­cially loved The Voy­age Home.

Jenny Hoskins, Face­book Spock was my child­hood hero, a huge hero that taught me to work hard at school, be tol­er­ant and re­spect­ful of oth­ers, be cu­ri­ous about the world and how it works, have a thirst for knowl­edge and a love of science. He was the half-Vul­can half- hu­man I watched ev­ery week, and recre­ated ev­ery play­time. I’d spend hours in front of the mir­ror prac­tis­ing both my eye­brow- rais­ing and my Vul­can salute. Spock is one of the very great­est of sci- fi icons, and in Leonard Ni­moy we en­joyed one of the very great­est of act­ing tal­ents. May he live long and pros­per in our mem­ory.

Andy B, email My favourite Leonard Ni­moy thing is the early ’ 80s promo video he did for Mag­navox Laserdisc play­ers. Per­haps I’m too ironic for my own good, but it’s pure gold. Pow er­ful curs­ing HOLY CRAP. That Power/ Rangers fan film [http://bit.ly/sfxrangers] could pos­si­bly be the great­est up­date of a pro­gramme/ film/ toy range ever. It’s about time that peo­ple re­alise there is an adult mar­ket for th­ese types of shows. Tell me Trans­form­ers wouldn’t have been a se­ri­ously su­pe­rior film if it was adultafied. They need to make that film.

Mike Gar­ner, Moorends

Now hold on. Ex­plo­sions, loud noises, and a view­point that just can’t seem to bring it­self to fo­cus on any­thing? That sounds like a qual­ity adult night out.

It’s Grim I think that Grimm is a wel­come re­prieve from se­ries that try to rein­vent them­selves in ev­ery new sea­son. Why change a for­mula that works and that the view­ers like? They changed so much in the new se­ries of Con­tin­uum that it leaves me con­fused and un­able to fol­low the plot some­times. In Grimm we get to know the char­ac­ters, one se­ries de­vel­ops out of the next with­out chang­ing too much, the arc isn’t too com­pli­cated or twisted so that you get lost in it. There are still some things which annoy me, like the dodgy use of Ger­man by a lot of the char­ac­ters, and I know that it isn’t a very deep show but for the most part it is fun to watch.

Ilona Kos­mowsky, email

The irony of Con­tin­uum’s in­ten­tion­ally ir­reg­u­lar con­ti­nu­ity can­not be lost on any­one.

“May Ni­moy live long and pros­per in our mem­ory”

Nah, let ’ em die!

The stuff mem­o­ries are made of.

Ooh, aren’t they colour­ful?!

Grimm: an ex­am­ple to us all?

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