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“Christopher Nolan: A Critical Study of the Films” Available for Pre-Order

I am thrilled to announce my new book, Christopher Nolan: A Critical Study of the Films. I announced it at the end of The 250 episode covering Christopher Nolan’s The Prestige.

I’ve been working on this for more than a year at this point, and am very excited to be able to share. The idea is to present a broad and accessible examination of the iconic director’s first ten films, looking at his work, his craft and his recurring thematic occupations. The goal is to illuminate one of the defining directors of the twenty-first century, a film-maker who has shaped the medium as we understand it today by combining deeply personal narratives with old-fashioned crowd-pleasing storytelling.

The book is currently scheduled for release late in the year, but you can pre-order it now from various online retailers. It’s a book that I’ve worked very hard on, and one that I am very proud of. If you can support it, whether by pre-ordering it or asking your local library to stock it or even just by sharing word about it online, it would mean a great deal to me.

It’s the second book that I’ve written with McFarland Press, who also published my last book Opening the X-Files, which took a look at the work of Chris Carter and Ten Thirteen on the era-defining series The X-Files and other related projects. They’ve been incredibly supportive of my work, and were a wonderful collaborator once again. Anyway, thanks again for your time, and I’ll hopefully have some more Nolan-related content on here leading up to the release.

If you want to support the book by pre-ordering it, here are the links to the places where you can purchase it at present:

“Opening The X-Files” is Now Available on Amazon Kindle and Google Books!

Hi guys!

Just a quick update to let you know that my new book, Opening The X-Files: A Critical History of the Original Series, is now available as an eBook from Amazon and Google Books. Links available below.

There will also be a print book available, and that will be released in a few weeks. But if you absolutely, positively have to read it now, you can pick it up for your eReader of choice at that links below.

The book has been a labour of love. It is basically the distillation of all of my reviews of The X-Files into a singular linear narrative that charts the show from its origins and influences through to the release of I Want to Believe. It includes sidebars and tangents for particular creators of interest and for the various other tie-ins, spin-offs and other interesting thematic divergences.

(It does not include the revival series, but if it is popular enough, a second edition or follow-up could always be possible.)

It has been a fun project, and I am hugely indebted to those who offered their support along the way. The book was published by McFarland Books and comes with an introduction by actor and comedian Kumail Nanjiani. With a bit of luck, if this project goes well, I might attempt something similar in the near future.

If you need the book right now, here are the links to the places where you can purchase the eBook online:


You are willing to wait a little longer, you can order a hard copy of the book from many of the same places:

If you’d like to support the book, there are a number of things that you could do:

If you want a sample of what the book will cover, in a much more organised manner, there are some sneak peaks online:

If you’re still on the fence, here are come very nice things that some very nice people said about the book:

A welcome, and well-written addition to X-Files lore, by an author who knows his stuff.

John Kenneth Muir, author, The X-FilesFAQ

I get excited about watching the episodes, but I get just as excited about reading Darren afterward.

Kumail Nanjiani, actor, comedian and writer

The truth is in here! If The X-Files were a college class, Mooney’s book would be the essential text. It not only supplements, but greatly enhances one’s enjoyment of the groundbreaking series.

Rod Lott, FlickAttack.com

A massive thank you to everybody who has supported the book so far. If you have any questions, feel free to leave them in the comments and I’ll try to answer all of them.

Doctor Who: The Unicorn and the Wasp (Review)

To celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the longest-running science-fiction show in the world, I’ll be taking weekly looks at some of my own personal favourite stories and arcs, from the old and new series, with a view to encapsulating the sublime, the clever and the fiendishly odd of the BBC’s Doctor Who.

The Unicorn and the Wasp originally aired in 2008.

Oh, it’s you… I was just doing a little research… I say, what are you doing with that lead piping? But that’s impossible. Oh, no!

– Professor Peach discovers the point of crossover between Agatha Christie and Doctor Who

The Unicorn and the Wasp is the most fun episode of the fourth season, by a significant margin. It’s a high-concept high-energy run-around that has a great deal of fun playing with a genre mash-up, as the Doctor intrudes on an Agatha Christie mystery (starring Agatha Christie!) to create curious horror/sci-fi/mystery/class drama hybrid of an episode. It’s an episode that really benefits from the lighter tone of the fourth season. Despite some of the darkness creeping in at the edge of the frame, especially towards the final scenes, it’s an astonishingly light-hearted and playful episode.

In spite of Christie’s stern admonishings, it’s hard not to seize on the story with same glee as the Doctor does.

A sting in the tale...

A sting in the tale…

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Non-Review Review: Broken

This film was seen as part of the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival 2013. It was the opening gala.

Broken is that rarest of beasts, a suburban ensemble drama that manages to merge charming humanism with gritty reality. Mark O’Rowe’s adaptation of Daniel Clay’s novel is filled to the brim with humour and joy, but isn’t afraid of the darker shades of emotion. It’s unflinching and occasionally brutal, a candid exploration of the intersecting lives of those inhabiting a small close. However, this honesty lends the film credibility in its lighter moments. The smiles, the giggles and the laughter that come from many off the movie’s more human moments feel earned, and there’s a wonderful sense of balance to Broken, as if to concede that life cannot be composed of entirely happy moments, nor entirely sad. That’s the wonder of it all, and Broken skilfully manages to combine those extremes into a single charming and engaging coming of age drama.

A close call...

A close call…

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Non-Review Review: Fahrenheit 451

It always struck me as strange that there should be such a fuss about adapting Fahrenheit 451. After all, a book about how great books are, and how they are inherently superior to anything that any other media can offer (film and television included) seems a strange choice of subject matter for a big-budget science fiction film. Still, Francois Truffaut’s 1966 adaptation isn’t all bad… just a little strange.

Book 'em, boys...

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Non-Review Review: No Country For Old Men

It’s a funny world. But it has always been a funny world and it’s arrogant to presume that the world waited until we got here to go and get itself in a mess. Sure, some of us carry the fire off into that night, but it’s a very cold and very dark night and all we have is faith that there is an even greater fire out there waiting for us. No Country For Old Men is a stunning film – an odd fusion of the Coen Brothers with Cormac McCarthy which manages to say a hell-of-a-lot without weighing itself down with too much exposition or dialogue. It’s a great film which realy stands out even amongst the Coens’ already-impressive filmography.

Yes, it's a silencer. On a shotgun.

Yes, it's a silencer. On a shotgun.

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