NG Digital/Geek Force’s Hour of Power/Back to the Future

Through a random tweet by Gary we ended up being asked by Darren Patterson, the head honcho of NG Digital radio station, if we wanted to contribute to his broadcasting service with a show.

We hadn’t planned on doing any audio and our main focus was going to be podcasts but as we had been offered this it seemed a great opportunity to do something with it.

This was in mid-August so myself and Gary started coming up with ideas for a show. The main idea was that we should base each show around a theme. The theme could be a film, TV series, toy or comic. We would then come up with topics of conversation and music to accompany it.

We also came up with a few ideas by using old radio shows as inspiration. Simon Bates, back in the 80s, had a segment of his show called Our Tune where a listener would write in with a story about their life. Usually there was some sort of tragedy. Simon Bates reading the letter was accompanied by the Our Song tune which was a piece of music from the Franco Zeffirelli film of Romeo and Juliet by Nino Rota. Gary’s idea was to ask people to write to us with their stories about childhood toys and how they feel about them now. Whether they had lost or thrown them away and their feelings regarding it. Gary said we should call it Our Toy. Which sounded brilliant.

We also had a few other ideas which weren’t used in the first episode. But I will come to why this didn’t happen later.

After much discussion of what to do I came up with the idea if we have a month to write and record the show then it would be better quality than us rushing one out every week. We could also do a “what’s on” around the country if we did it monthly. With this idea we decided the first show would be broadcast on Saturday 3rd October. Darren was happy with this being a morning programme to go out at 11am.

The only thing which we needed now was a theme and to come up with the topics of conversation. With being a huge Back to the Future fan and knowing that 21st October 2015 is extremely significant for the Back to the Future community I said we should do the theme on Back to the Future to tie it in. Gary was happy with this so we started to discuss which topics we should talk about.

Myself and Gary had already got our friend Phil involved in Geek Force and he was almost willing to record the show with us. So after telling him that we would just be talking about Back to the Future he agreed to do it but with a little apprehension. The fourth person we asked to be involved was our friend Kev Brett who is not only a top bloke but is also the organiser and founder of Nottingham Comic Con. Kev jumped at the chance to do it. We also wanted to get an interview with Kev about NCC.

After having written the topics and e-mailed everyone about them we decided on a date to record the show. My initial idea was to record the discussion on my multi-tracker. This was going to happen until the night before the recording. Myself and Gary had a band practice and just happened to mention we were going to be recording this the next night. Andy who is the guitarist is also a sound engineer and offered to record it for us and contribute to the show. Which was a complete bonus.

The night of the recording we watched Back to the Future, with the volume down, discussed parts of the film and topics we’d come up with. Not only did we have a great night we also got some good material of over 2 hours!

This was the hard part of reducing the discussions down, adding music and a few other segments to the show. Luckily Andy got involved with this because I think it would have become a complete nightmare trying to work out what would be in the show and what wouldn’t. However Andy, having experience in radio shows, was able to reduce the 2 hours to about 30 minutes. It did take him 5 patient hours to do it, and probably cost him his sanity.

The following week we recorded a few extra bits. The interview with Kev about Nottingham Comic Con. Which I think after me initially being nervous about doing it once we started recording then I got right into a Michael Parkinson grove!  The other interview which Gary did was over the phone with Mr Toy Polloi. Mr Toy Polloi is a great guy and if are not following him on You Tube, Facebook or Twitter you should go and do it now. His helpful guides to restoring toys are excellent and have helped Gary restore some of the damaged toys from our childhood. The interview was about Mr Toy Polloi’s toy collection, collecting in general, and Back to the Future.

We also had an idea for a theme song for Geek Force. I’d recorded a demo which I was going to alter but then had a malfunction on my multi-tracker and lost it completely. Fortunately I had recorded off what I had. I gave this to Andy with the chords and with him being a one man music machine he recorded the whole of the track and then we just had to record the vocals.

Myself and Andy spent about an afternoon (going into the evening) the Saturday before it was due to go out of putting the show together. It was sounding amazing and I cannot stress enough that without Andy’s help then the show would never have been finished. How he managed to fit it all into an hour I don’t know. I would have struggled but Andy could see the best bits and what to edit. There was stuff that was cut but that can be found on the website. Mr Toy Polloi is now the Geek of the Week, as we only used part of the interview about Back to the Future. There is another part of Kev’s interview talking about the comics he produces.

Gary came up with the name for the programme. Like an 80’s cartoon, He-Man, or some sort of 80’s poodle haired rock song The Hour of Power just seemed to fit.

The first episode was a learning curve! Darren was pleased with the finished show and much appreciation must go to him for letting us do what we liked and not hearing it until two days before it went out! We hope you all enjoyed the finished product and there will be more Geek Force’s Hour of Power on the 7th November with the theme of Tim Burton films.



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