Visit the official Doctor Who website

Visit the official Doctor Who website
Look to the future

Asylum seekers...

Asylum seekers...
Refuge of the Daleks

Doctor Who picture resource

Doctor Who picture resource
Roam the space lanes!

Explore the Doctor Who classic series website

Explore the Doctor Who classic series website
Step back in time

Infiltrate The Hub of Doctor Who spin-off Torchwood

Infiltrate The Hub of Doctor Who spin-off Torchwood
Armed and extremely dangerous

Investigate The Sarah Jane Adventures

Investigate The Sarah Jane Adventures
Fearless in the face of adversity

Call on Dani’s House

Call on Dani’s House
Harmer’s a charmer

Intercept the UFO fabsite

Intercept the UFO fabsite
Defending the Earth against alien invaders!

Uncover the secrets of the Dollhouse

Uncover the secrets of the Dollhouse
Programmable agent Echo exposed!

Hell’s belles

Hell’s belles
Naughty but nice

Love Exposure

Love Exposure
Flash photography!

Primeval portal

Primeval portal
Dressed to kill or damsels in distress?

Charmed, to be sure!

Charmed, to be sure!
The witches of San Francisco

Take on t.A.T.u.

Take on t.A.T.u.
All the way from Moscow

Proceed to the Luther website

Proceed to the Luther website
John and Jenny discuss their next move

DCI Banks is on the case

DCI Banks is on the case
You can bet on it!

On The Grid with Spooks

On The Grid with Spooks
Secret agents of Section D

Bridge to Hustle

Bridge to Hustle
Shady characters

Life on Ashes To Ashes

Life on Ashes To Ashes
Coppers with a chequered past

Claire’s no Exile

Claire’s no Exile
Goose steps

Vexed is back on the beat!

Vexed is back on the beat!
Mismatched DI Armstrong and bright fast-tracker Georgina Dixon

Medium, both super and natural

Medium, both super and natural
Open the door to your dreams

Who’s that girl? (350-picture Slideshow)

Sunday, 30 September 2007

A Meeting of Minds

There’s a bonus for buffs of “Heroes”, in this coming Wednesday’s episode “The Fix”, with the guest appearance of not one, but two actors from sci-fi bedrocks: Christopher Eccleston from “Doctor Who” and George Takei, alias Mr Sulu in “Star Trek”. As Claude the Invisible Man, Eccleston is typically perky, and happily rejects the traditional English-actor-in-US-drama accent, while Takei is glimpsed briefly in the role of Hiro’s father. And, although the plot hardly shifts at warp speed, there are enough bite-sized intrigues to keep regular viewers hooked.

Behind the scenes of the science fiction drama series, producers of “Heroes” trawled the globe to pick the right actors and actresses to appear in the show. Creator Tim Kring reveals in the eleventh episode of the supporting documentary series “Heroes Unmasked”, entitled “The Invisible Touch”, why he chose British actor Christopher Eccleston to play the role of Peter Petrelli’s reluctant mentor. Greg Grunberg, who plays police officer Matt Parkman, describes how he caused chaos at his audition, and George Takei talks about his role as Kaito Nakamura.

Friday, 28 September 2007

Doll Parts

Inspired by Steve’s recent post “Hamble is Evil”, I was reminded of a “lovely” photo of ex-“Blue Peter” and “Crufts” presenter Peter Purves, taken for the 1973 “Radio Times Doctor Who Tenth Anniversary Special”, in which he’s surrounded by a selection of rather inert-looking toy soldiers, rebellious robots and killer dolls.

Referencing one of the “Doctor Who” stories in which he’d appeared, in his acting days during the Sixties (“The Celestial Toymaker”), I’m thinking Peter wouldn’t have looked out of place as one of the “Monty Python” team! In this picture, he’s the “Spitting Image” of a certain Eric Idle!! “Know what I mean, know what I mean?” I’ll “say no more”!!!

Tuesday, 25 September 2007

Breakfast AND tea with Miss Smith!

This is an excellent interview with Elisabeth Sladen from yesterday morning’s “BBC Breakfast” in promotion of her new ten-part children’s series “The Sarah Jane Adventures”, the first two episodes of which were also transmitted yesterday, late afternoon. The interview includes a clip from the opening story as well as another from her time on “Doctor Who” in the Seventies, specifically “Planet of the Spiders”, and a third from her meeting with the tenth Doctor last year. Those comedy villains from Raxacoricofallapatorius kicked off the new series in typically-glossy style. Episode one of “Revenge of the Slitheen”, on BBC ONE, ended with a multiple cliff-hanger reminiscent of the one in “Aliens of London”, their original “Doctor Who” outing two years ago, with everyone being menaced at different locations by the oh-so-terrifying creatures!

Farting wasn’t optional and neither was the splattering of two of the regular cast, towards the climax of the concluding episode, over on CBBC, with exploding slime-green Slitheen. That, coupled with the school setting, meant it inevitably felt a little like last year’s “Doctor Who” episode “School Reunion”. Anthony Head played a more sinister headmaster then than did his counterpart in the opening “Sarah Jane Adventure” and, in retrospect, he would’ve been even better utilised playing the Master himself, especially when compared to John Simm’s recent interpretation of the role. Yasmin Paige acquitted herself particularly well as the journalist’s neighbour Maria Jackson, essentially companion to Sarah Jane as Doctor figure, but don’t get me started on Maria’s irritating mother! Imagine being locked in a room with Rose’s mum, Martha’s mum and, now, Maria’s mum!!! A bigger threat to the safety of the world than the Slitheen could ever muster!!

Sunday, 23 September 2007

Bent on Revenge! (Updated)

The Sarah Jane Adventures
Revenge of the Slitheen - Part 1

Monday 24 September 2007
5.00-5.25pm BBC ONE
Revenge of the Slitheen - Part 2
Monday 24 September 2007
5.30-6.00pm CBBC

Sarah Jane Smith, investigative journalist and former companion to the Doctor, is back in a brand-new CBBC drama from the makers of “Doctor Who”. And, in the first two-part story of the series, she faces some familiar alien enemies of the Doctor as the Slitheen are back and out for revenge...

On their first day at their new school Maria and Luke soon realise that all is not as it seems. There’s a funny smell, the food keeps going off, the teachers keep farting and the new technology block is hiding some dark secrets.

With their suspicions aroused, Sarah Jane, Maria and Luke set about investigating, joined by their new friend Clyde. They soon discover that the Slitheen have disguised themselves as teachers as part of a deadly plan which threatens the future of the Earth.

But as Maria, Luke and Clyde become trapped in the new technology block in the clutches of the Slitheen and with Sarah Jane under attack from another of the alien monsters, will the gang be able to stop the Slitheen from switching off the Sun before it’s too late?

Sarah Jane Smith is played by Elisabeth Sladen, who also starred as Sarah Jane in the Seventies’ “Doctor Who” series as a companion to the third and fourth Doctors. Maria Jackson, Sarah Jane’s neighbour and sidekick, is played by Yasmin Paige. Luke Smith, Sarah Jane’s adopted son who was created by aliens, is played by Thomas Knight and Daniel Anthony plays the streetwise Clyde.

“Revenge of the Slitheen” is a two-part story written by Gareth Roberts, who also writes for “Doctor Who”, and Russell T. Davies is one of the executive producers.

Text © BBC Press Office - Week 39
Picture from Doctor Who Online
(Originally posted on 09/09/07 at 09:30)

Friday, 21 September 2007


It’s interesting that the most moving moment of “Heroes”, thus far, and the UK is now exactly in the middle of the first season, is borne out of the relationship between the character who is meant to be the light relief, Hiro (Masi Oka), and a supporting character who has but a few scenes, the diner-waitress Charlie (Jayma Mays). The moment they almost kiss in the episode “Six Months Ago”, only for Hiro to be whisked away before they can consummate their affection for one another, mirrors the scene in the “Doomsday” season two finale of new “Doctor Who”, when the Doctor (David Tennant) doesn’t quite get to tell Rose (Billie Piper) that he reciprocates her love. The difference is that while the good Doctor dwells on the sentimentality of the scene, with tears aplenty, in “Heroes” it’s over in a split second leaving you dumbfounded as the drama moves inexorably on to the next scene.

To compound the tragedy of losing the one you love, not only can Hiro not alter the course of her destiny, and save Charlie from her murder, but it’s revealed she has a brain tumour and was going to die anyway. Ironically, Hiro had given her back the will to live, doting on the girl with his truly-loving gifts of origami, a Japanese phrase book and the more-traditional flowers! Their relationship lasted the course of several episodes and, although not occupying much screen time, the brief love affair made Charlie’s demise all the more potent than the ultimate fate of Eden (Nora Zehetner), blowing her own brains out in “Fallout”, under the control of the imprisoned arch-nemesis Sylar (Zachary Quinto).

Wednesday, 19 September 2007

RTD on SJA in RT

It was the likes of 70s’ children’s dramas “Children of the Stones” (supernatural goings-on in an English village) and “The Tomorrow People” (ordinary teenagers developing superpowers) that inspired a young Russell T. Davies to become a television scriptwriter. “I loved the sort of dramas that were set in this world, but had an otherworldliness to them,” he says. “They had all this possibility that there were fantastic forces at work beneath the ordinariness of the world. How marvellous!”

When he became a writer, working on ITV’s groundbreaking “Children’s Ward” and creating “Dark Season” (a proto-“Buffy the Vampire Slayer” children’s drama) for the BBC in the 90s, Davies’s fascination with children’s TV continued. “From my time on “Children’s Ward”, I learnt an enormous amount from [its creators] Paul Abbott and Kay Mellor. It dealt with tough issues such as rape and anorexia, but it also did stories for younger viewers exquisitely.”

Despite his success on such shows, Davies knew that his heart wasn’t in children’s drama. “It wasn’t my natural audience. The committed practitioners of children’s TV are passionate about talking to six-year-olds – like Anne Wood who created “In the Night Garden”. But I wasn’t. I was slipping jokes about Emily Brontë into “Breakfast Serials” – a programme I used to do on Saturday mornings – and I realised then I was writing for hung-over students and it was time for me to depart.”

But now, after hits such as “Queer as Folk” (1999), “Bob and Rose” (2001) plus, of course, the reinvention of “Doctor Who”, Davies has returned to CBBC as executive producer of the ten-part “Who” spin-off “The Sarah Jane Adventures”.

The series, which follows a successful pilot at New Year, features former companion Elisabeth Sladen as Sarah Jane, her adopted teen son Luke, neighbour Maria and their new friend Clyde. But 21st-century kids’ TV is a vastly different landscape from the one Davies left. “I fancied the challenge of writing something for children based on “Doctor Who” at the same time as CBBC were keen on something. There was talk of the adventures of the young Doctor on Gallifrey, but I said absolutely not. When we brought back Sarah for [2006 “Who” episode] “School Reunion”, she worked wonderfully and the idea blossomed from there. I think it’s important to make children’s drama as strong as any other sort, but it’s changed a lot. Now, children’s TV is for kids between six and twelve, so the more adult stuff has migrated to the likes of “Hollyoaks”. With “The Sarah Jane Adventures”, I had to be aware of the audience being young. You have to monitor yourself not to be paternalistic or not to write in a strand of romance, but to keep it aimed squarely at that audience.”

With the presence of aliens with sinister plans, does “strong” equal “scary”? “I wouldn’t want children to be left in a state of dread. Fear is fine, but I do have a problem with terror.”

So what of the state of children’s TV today? Does he feel, as author Philip Pullman does, that a lot of it is “social poison” with children treated as marketing opportunities? “It’s a profound mistake just to look at the toy on the shelf and ignore the programme, which has got to be good in the first place for kids to watch.

“And just because something’s American and there are 22 episodes, people assume it’s rubbish. “That’s So Raven”, for example, is a decent little sitcom and very well acted. And the main character isn’t stick-thin, so that’s magnificent, too. “High School Musical” could have been so much cleverer, but with the likes of Disney investing so much money in children’s TV, I do feel optimistic about its future.”

Interview by Gareth McLean © Radio Times (page 31)
Cover from Doctor Who Online

Monday, 17 September 2007

The Garden of Eden

Continuing on from the previous post, the next three episodes of “Heroes” can be seen this coming Wednesday (19 September 2007) beginning at 9.00pm, on BBC TWO, with episode ten’s first terrestrial screening. It’s immediately followed at 9.45pm by another “Heroes Unmasked”, entitled “Dark Angel Gabriel”, this week focusing on villain Sylar, a man desperate to be “special” by any means necessary. Episodes eleven and twelve can be seen by switching over to BBC THREE at 10.00pm. Sadly, the first of THREE’s double bill is Nora Zehetner’s swansong…

9.00pm “Six Months Ago” - “Heroes” makes a dramatic U-turn in this episode as we flash back six months to a time when the heroes didn’t know they were heroes at all. But they, and we, see the signs of their burgeoning superpowers. For instance, little Claire has yet to be made a cheerleader, but an accident with a window leads both her and her dad to marvel at her powers of self-healing, while cheery Hiro is mired in that strange diner with the apparently doomed waitress. The disparate group is linked by Mohinder Suresh’s dad and his quest to identify these potentially world-saving, yet quite ordinary, members of the public. It’s an absorbing journey, made even more piquant because of all the knowledge we’ve gathered about these people during the previous nine episodes. And perhaps most important of all, we learn the identity of the mysterious, murderous Sylar.

10.00pm “Fallout” - The tragic events in Texas have sad, serious repercussions for many of the heroes, their families and friends. Shocking details about the moments leading up to Isaac’s predicted New York City nuclear bombing are revealed. Later, Isaac’s newest painting has fascinating future implications for a hero in crisis. Niki is forced to make a difficult decision to protect her family. Suresh takes the first steps along his new path.

10.40pm “Godsend” - Nathan’s determination to save a comatose Peter forces him to turn to Simone for help. Isaac’s puzzling “Hiro vs. T-Rex” painting inspires Hiro and Ando to search for the pictured samurai sword. Jessica struggles against Niki’s decision to turn herself into the police. With his associate Eden dead and Matt on his heels, HRG tries to focus on his orders regarding Sylar.

Supporting Cast

Sylar/Gabriel Gray - Zachary Quinto
Chandra Suresh - Erick Avari
Jackie Wilcox - Danielle Savre
Mysterious Haitian - Jimmy Jean-Louis
Janice Parkman - Elizabeth Lackey
Angela Petrelli - Cristine Rose
Hal Sanders - Graham Beckel
Heidi Petrelli - Rena Sofer
Tom - Rick Peters
Brian Davis - David Berman
Eden McCain - Nora Zehetner
Charlie - Jayma Mays
Lynette - Sally Champlin
Texas Tina - Deirdre Quinn
Sheriff - Josh Clark
Deputy Lloyd - Michael Maury
Deputy Ryan - K Smith
Surgeon - Robert Rigamonti
Worker - Yuki Matsuzaki

Synopses by Alison Graham ©

Thursday, 13 September 2007

“Heroes” Catch Up Weekend

Running from 9.00pm (to 1.30am) on Saturday 15 September 2007, on BBC TWO, is the first of two evenings of programmes devoted to “Heroes”, the sci-fi series about a group of people with amazing abilities. The marathon begins with “Heroes Unmasked”, the first in a series of short documentaries, interspersed between episodes of the series itself, looking behind the scenes on the show. The first six episodes follow…

9.15pm “Genesis” - In the wake of an eclipse, a genetics professor in India is led by his father’s disappearance to uncover a secret theory that there are people living with extraordinary powers. Across the globe individuals are beginning to come to terms with their unique gifts but, unbeknownst to them all, their ultimate destiny is nothing less than to save the world.

9.55pm “Don’t Look Back” - As people find their lives disrupted by their new, extraordinary abilities, authorities investigate several bizarre, gruesome murders. A policeman discovers he is the only person at a crime scene who can hear a girl crying in the distance.

10.40pm “One Giant Leap” - While the Heroes continue to test their extraordinary abilities, Claire tries to maintain a normal social life, and Hiro is convinced he is destined to travel to America to save the world. A frightened Niki follows instructions from a mysterious source that directs her to the middle of the desert, and Nathan uses Peter’s accident to propel his political campaign. Meanwhile the elusive Sylar is being hunted by Matt, the FBI and Suresh, whose father’s journal leads to potential clues.

11.20pm “Collision” - Suresh finally tracks down one of his father’s fabled genetically-advanced supermen. In Las Vegas, Hiro’s plan backfires when he cautiously turns time to his advantage at the gambling tables. Nathan pays a visit to a wealthy Vegas contributor to raise additional campaign funds. Following a tragic turn at a bonfire, Claire’s uncanny healing abilities are put to the ultimate test.

12.05am “Hiros” - Confused after losing track of another block of time, Niki finds the police on her doorstep, searching for her fugitive husband DL Hawkins. Hiro and his friend Ando get jumped by some Vegas high-rollers. Peter receives a life-changing message from an unlikely source. Matt secretly uses his mind-reading ability to anticipate his wife’s needs. Suresh makes plans to return to India.

12.50am “Better Halves” - Hiro and his buddy embark on their journey to New York, where a Vegas high-roller offers them a deal they can’t refuse. As HRG sets up a meeting for his daughter Claire with her biological parents, she hopes that questions about her newfound indestructibility can be answered. Isaac receives another confusing call from Hiro, but Peter is there to pick up the phone and relay a life-saving message.

The “Heroes” weekend continues from 10.45pm (to 1.00am) on Sunday 16 with the next three episodes…

10.45pm “Nothing to Hide” - Facing a crisis involving her son Micah, a distraught Niki reveals her recent personal struggles to a friend. Pushing aside his own issues at home, Matt assists Audrey’s investigation into another bizarre murder, but their pursuit of mysterious serial killer Sylar takes an unexpected turn. After failing to act like a superhero when faced with danger, Hiro questions his heroism.

11.30pm “Seven Minutes to Midnight” - Back in India to mourn his father, Suresh encounters mysterious dreams of the past that force him to question what path to take. Continuing on to New York, Hiro and Ando stop at a diner and meet someone interesting. In crisis, Niki comes to a personal understanding. Determined to see one of Isaac’s paintings that Simone recently sold, Peter asks Nathan for help in finding a key to the future.

12.15am “Homecoming” - As HRG tries to protect his daughter by any means, Claire’s high school homecoming celebration turns into a frightening night for many. Nathan and Simone work together to find Isaac’s painting for Peter, but this key to the future could lead to tragedy. Hiro travels back in time to right an upsetting wrong. As Niki puts a goal in sight, Micah spends time with his dad.

Principal Cast

Mohinder Suresh - Sendhil Ramamurthy
Hiro Nakamura - Masi Oka
Micah Sanders - Noah Gray-Cabey
Nathan Petrelli - Adrian Pasdar
Noah Bennet - Jack Coleman
Peter Petrelli - Milo Ventimiglia
Claire Bennet - Hayden Panettiere
Niki Sanders - Ali Larter
Isaac Mendez - Santiago Cabrera
Matt Parkman - Greg Grunberg
Ando Masahashi - James Kyson Lee
DL Hawkins - Leonard Roberts
Simone Deveraux - Tawny Cypress

Synopses ©

Sunday, 9 September 2007

Celebrating 25 Years of “Blade Runner”

It’s exactly 25 years since “Blade Runner” was released in the UK. Directed by Ridley Scott, it’s widely ranked among the greatest sci-fi movies of all time.

If you’ve seen it, you’ll be familiar with Harrison Ford as Deckard - a former “Blade Runner” charged with hunting down a group of illegal androids called “replicants”.

Ridley Scott directed “Blade Runner” following the success of “Alien” in 1979. The script picked up by the director was loosely based on Philip K. Dick’s novel “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?”. Despite compliments from the author saying that the director had nailed his vision of the future, Scott claimed never to have read the book.

Harrison Ford was hired for the lead role following the success of “Star Wars”. He would later say that the gruelling “Blade Runner” shoot was one of the most frustrating experiences of his career.

It’s been a source of much debate between “Blade Runner” fans since the original release: Is Deckard a replicant? Scott has claimed that the character is an android. Ford has always maintained that the character is human.

Ridley Scott and Harrison Ford didn’t get on during the shoot of “Blade Runner”. Ford has been uninvolved with Scott’s soon-to-be-released “Definitive” cut of the film.

The story sees Deckard fall in love with an experimental replicant called Rachael (Sean Young) on the hunt for the illegal replicants led by Roy (Rutger Hauer).

Ridley Scott’s vision of the future is one of the most striking features of “Blade Runner”. The massive futuristic sets were inspired by a factory the director worked at earlier on in life. The arduous process of building the film’s sets led some of the crew to call the film “Blood Runner”.

The most famous still from “Blade Runner” has been mirrored repeatedly ever since. It shows Deckard hanging desperately to the ledge of a gigantic Metropolis building.

The above picture shows Rutger Hauer (Roy), Daryl Hannah (Pris) and Edward James Olmos (Gaff) promoting the forthcoming “Definitive Cut” of “Blade Runner” at The Venice Film Festival.

Ridley Scott has gained a reputation for tinkering with his films following new versions of “Kingdom of Heaven” and “Blade Runner”. Following the unpopular “Director’s Cut” and years of legal battles, Scott is finally unveiling his “Definitive Cut”.

Text & Picture ©

Friday, 7 September 2007

The Sarah Jane Adventures - Episode Guide

1: Revenge of the Slitheen (two-part story)
“One of the discussions we had at a very early stage was whether we wanted to start in a school. In the end we decided to go with a school for episodes one and two because it was a very familiar and natural environment for kids to recognise and empathise with.”

2: Eye of the Gorgon (two-part story)
“It features a slightly bizarre group of women who go around dressed as nuns but it’s much camper and more overblown - it’s less rooted in everyday life. It’s probably the most effects-heavy of all the episodes, because it’s quite out there.”

3: Warriors of the Kudlax (two-part story)
“That is more of a classic Sci-Fi story, in the sense that there’s laser gunfire and running around and being pursued by dark suited guards and things. It’s more in the mould of “Star Wars”.”

4: Whatever Happened to Sarah Jane? (two-part story)
“It does touch upon Sarah’s childhood and one childhood friend in particular and a tragedy that has taken place in her past that comes up from the meddling of a particular evil alien character called The Trickster. He sort of exists to create chaos. We hope it has a flavour of “Back to the Future”, the idea that you can have alternative realities where you see how characters could have developed with different influences.”

5: The Lost Boy (two-part story)
“That is a fitting and surprising climax to the series where various twists happen.”

“We’re very happy with it. We set out to make a show that had at its heart a very simple proposition, which was just great adventure stories - they were ripping yarns. And that’s a phrase that’s been used by several people who’ve seen it. I think we achieved what we set out to do.”

“It seemed to me there was an opportunity to make something that, even if it’s a spin-off show from “Doctor Who”, felt quite fresh and original and exciting. To be honest I didn’t know the Sarah Jane character particularly; I’d obviously seen her in “School Reunion”, but her era is not a period of “Doctor Who” I was aware of - I came in a bit later. It was an opportunity to get to know the character.”

“I felt, as Russell did, that those stories that hark back to classic fantasy had kind of disappeared from children’s TV and we wanted to get that back.”

“We’ve removed the character of Kelsey (from “Invasion of the Bane”) and have brought in a new character called Clyde. We wanted to slightly change the gender balance. It felt like a rather feminine programme... so we decided to take Kelsey out and put Clyde in, and that’s paid real dividends over the course of the series because we’ve been able to explore masculine friendship and boys growing up.”

“The Slitheen had actually been leant out to an exhibition, and one of the things you learn as a producer on this show is that latex degrades very quickly. We had to get new Slitheen suits constructed at fairly significant costs, but the fantastic Millennium FX still had the original moulds. We used the same performers who had played them in “Doctor Who”, so the cost to us was somewhat less than it could have been!”

“There is one villainous character that does come back in episode seven. “Doctor Who” fans will recognise this character, but it is not a particularly big feature.”

“We’re talking about a second series now, although, as with anything in this day and age, it depends on how it performs with the audience - and rightly so. There are many other stories out there that we want to tell…”

Quotes by SJA producer Matthew Bouch © Starburst Magazine Issue 354

Thursday, 6 September 2007

The Hole Story

Throughout Hole’s career, vocalist/guitarist Courtney Love’s notorious public image has overshadowed her band’s music. In their original incarnation, Hole was one of the noisiest, most abrasive alternative bands performing in the early ’90s. By the time of their second album, 1994’s “Live Through This”, the band had smoothed out many of their rougher edges, also adding more melodies and hooks to their song writing. Through both versions of Hole, Love’s combative, assaultive persona permeated the group’s music and lyrics, giving the band a tense, unpredictable edge even at their quietest moments. Love formed Hole in Los Angeles in 1989, recruiting guitarist Eric Erlandson through a newspaper ad. Love had played with numerous bands before Hole, including early versions of both Babes in Toyland and Faith No More. Erlandson and Love eventually drafted bassist Jill Emery and drummer Caroline Rue into the band, recording their first album with producer Kim Gordon, the bassist for Sonic Youth. The violent and uncompromising “Pretty on the Inside”, Hole’s debut record, was released on Caroline Records in 1991 to numerous positive reviews, especially in the British weekly music press.

In early 1992, Courtney Love married Kurt Cobain, the lead singer/songwriter of Nirvana. For a couple of months, the couple was the king and queen of the new rock world; soon, that world came crashing in. Cobain became addicted to heroin and the couple fought to keep custody of their baby after a piece in Vanity Fair accused Love of shooting heroin while pregnant, charges which she vehemently denied at the time; she would later admit that she had taken small quantities of the drug. By 1993, their private world had settled down somewhat, with Cobain and Love recording new albums with their respective bands.

Halfway through 1993, Love reassembled Hole with Erlandson, adding bassist Kristen M. Pfaff and drummer Patty Schemel. Hole was set to release their first major-label album, the more pop-oriented “Live Through This”, on DGC Records in April of 1994. Advance word on the album was overwhelmingly positive, with many critics calling it one of the best records of the year. Four days before the album was released, Kurt Cobain’s body was discovered in the couple’s Seattle home; he had died of a self-inflicted shotgun wound three days before.

Two months after Cobain’s death, Kristen M. Pfaff was found dead of a heroin overdose in a Seattle apartment, with rumours swirling that Love (understandably distraught over the recent tragedies) was abusing the drug as well. Two months later, Hole began touring again, with bassist Melissa Auf der Maur taking Pfaff’s place. “Doll Parts” was released as a single late in 1994, climbing into the Top 60 by the beginning of 1995. “Live Through This” topped many critics’ polls at the end of the year, including Rolling Stone and the Village Voice. Shortly thereafter, Hole toured with the fifth Lollapalooza tour, staying on the road for the remainder of the year.

Despite all the hardships, the album became the group’s commercial breakthrough, spawning several MTV/radio hits and being certified platinum early the following year. The band went on an extended hiatus afterwards, during which time many assumed the band had broken up when it appeared that Love was focusing more on her burgeoning acting career (“Feeling Minnesota”, “The People vs. Larry Flynt”) than music. To satisfy their fans’ demand for new music, two rarities collections were issued -- the 1995 EP “Ask for It” and the 1997 import “My Body, the Hand Grenade”.

After numerous delays, the band finally regrouped to work on a follow-up to “Live Through This”, with long-time friend Billy Corgan signed on to be a musical consultant. The album was finally issued in September of 1998 to favourable reviews, but Schemel left the band (for reasons unknown) around the same time. Former drummer for New York City alt-rockers Shift, Samantha Maloney, filled the vacant slot as the group embarked on their first substantial tour in two years. By the tour’s completion, Auf der Maur had left to join the Smashing Pumpkins, while Maloney eventually served as a stand-in drummer for Mötley Crüe. Even though “Celebrity Skin” was certified platinum shortly after its release, Love was unhappy with the way the album was handled by her record company and felt stifled by her contract, eventually bringing a lawsuit against the Universal Music Group trying to terminate her contract (she still owes five more albums under her current agreement), so she can release music via the Internet.

The future of Hole became even more uncertain in early 2001, when Love announced plans to launch a new outfit, called Bastard. Signing with Epitaph, the band consisted of Love, former Veruca Salt guitarist Louise Post, former Rockit Girl bassist Gina Crosley, and to the delight of long-time Hole fans, Schemel is back on drums. In typical Love style, this line-up eventually dissolved into only her and Schemel and the group essentially broke up before it even began. Despite the lack of any substantial project, Love finally announced the end of Hole in May of 2002. Unlike her often bitter press situations, she claimed that the situation was friendly and she would still remain friends with the previous members of the band.

Biography by Stephen Thomas Erlewine & Greg Prato ©