Forbidden Planet is about to celebrate its 42nd birthday and Sherlock Holmes, Draculs and Doctor Who's Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss have been video-interviewed with Forbidden Planet and Titan Comics' Andrew Sumner, going live at forbiddenplanet.com/fp42 on Saturday, August 29th. But first, we have Steven and Mark talking about their early impressions of the store, and the people who went there…
Steven Moffat: I was aware of it as a shop, I mean I can't remember the first time I saw it or stood in there or anything remarkable like that but i remember it there being a shop like that in London and what was it, Denmark Street? I remember going there and I remember the sheer joy of discovering that there were more Doctor Who magazines than I knew about. There was obviously the one I knew about which was the one that everybody bought monthly and then there was all the uh all these little densely-packed hate-filled ones which I've never seen before. I've not actually encountered the fact that people really really hated this show and liked to photocopy their loathing at length. Little did I know that the internet loomed in the future and I remember once reading and wonder about all this invective and hearing two Doctor Who fans talking on the other side of that central rack they used to have about having been in to witness some of the Two Doctors being shot, They've been to the studio to hear it, to watch it being made and I was really looking forward to that story because Patrick Troughton was going to be in it. And they just trashed the whole thing about how dreadful it was, Frazer Hines was hardly in it and Patrick Troughton's part wasn't well written and I'm just oh god that's really disappointing. So my main my first understanding of Forbidden Planet was it's a place where people who really hated Doctor Who got published and met each other for conversation.
Mark Gatiss: "That's why it was forbidden. Well, I have a very similar thing. I remember it very well in Denmark Street it was the place I went to on occasional visits to london and it was a sort of mecca in that way because it was exciting and I lived in Leeds quite a while there was a place called Odyssey 7 which was the kind… let's call it a satellite for Forbidden Planet, and so I was very familiar with the kind of concept but it was as with everything in those days it seemed to be in the best possible way, like a sort of porn shop. It was definitely down a very shady part of Denmark Street, wasn't it. But it was as Steven says, it was that that rare drug, the drug of DWB…"
Odyssey 7 was my local comic book shop, when I was a teenager. It took a Politics A-Level day trip to the House Of Commons before I could sneak off to see Forbidden Planet for myself…
On Saturday, August 29th, ForbiddenPlanet.com will be hosting ForbiddenPlanet42, with a huge range of celebrity interviews, as alumni from the worlds of science fiction, comics & popular culture come together to help the store celebrate 42 years of pop-culture addiction – and ponder the answer to The Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe and Everything with an all-star cast of their oldest friends and customers.
This event will feature new, exclusive interviews with some of their more celebrated customers including William Shatner, DMC, Neil Gaiman, Alice Cooper, Jonathan Ross, Gerard Way, Garth Ennis, Kevin Smith, Michael Moorcock, Simon Pegg, Mark Millar, Dan Slott, V.E. Schwab, Dave Gibbons, Brian Bolland, Dirk Maggs, Chris Claremont & Ben Aaronovich amongst others, hosted by Forbidden Planet and Titan Comics Andrew Sumner.
It will also host a tribute to the late, great Douglas Adams in the shape of a rare, never-before-heard interview with Douglas recently discovered in the vaults conducted by friend of Douglas and author of Don't Panic, a certain Neil Gaiman. who is known for some other things too.
Discussing this special event, Forbidden Planet owners, Vivian Cheung & Nick Landau said "Forbidden Planet 42 (yes, it's our 42nd birthday!) is an auspicious tip of the hat to our old friend Douglas Adams, the genius behind The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy – for whom the number 42 was the answer to The Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe & Everything. Douglas was one of the first authors to ever sign at the store and he returned for every new book he wrote. We are joined by a galaxy of stars from comics, music, science fiction, film & TV – friends of Forbidden Planet who have signed at the store over the last four decades. This celebration is dedicated to every creator who has appeared at FP and every staff member who has worked with us over the years – but most importantly, to all our customers and to every pop culture fan who shares this passion with us."
And they have a bunch of quotes to run alongside…
"I look at Jeff Beck, I look at Paul McCartney, I look at the Stones, Clapton, Jimmy Page – they've always been quality. Same thing with Forbidden Planet." – Alice Cooper
"Before I ever visited London, Forbidden Planet was whispered about in New Jersey, you'd read about it in the letter columns of comic books, it actually appeared in the comics themselves. The first time I went over to the UK, one of the most important things to me about London was: we HAVE to go to Forbidden Planet!" – Kevin Smith (Clerks)
"Forbidden Planet has a special place in my heart – it was June 19th 1983 when I realised such a magical kingdom existed. Discovering Forbidden Planet was like discovering an Aladdin's cave!" – Simon Pegg
"I went to university in London because I wanted to stay and enjoy things like Forbidden Planet. That's when the whole new wave of more adult, progressive comics began. It was such an exciting time – there was a lot of new books & new publishers coming out – and the ONLY place you could find them was at Forbidden Planet." – Jonathan Ross
"I'm so glad that your Forbidden Planet stores exist – they are wonderful!" – William Shatner
"Forbidden Planet is amazing! I had always heard about it but I had no idea how phenomenal it was – more exciting than Disney World, more exciting than Coney Island. Walking into Forbidden Planet is like walking into another dimension. For real." – DMC (Run-DMC)
The festivities will continue with special offerings and promotions in-store at all branches throughout the UK.