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2001: A Space Odyssey

2001 A Space Odyssey asked the big questions and took the cinema goer on a million year journey of the fate of humanity. NEON responds to this challenge, rolls it’s sleeves up and shows how accurately this sci-fi movie portrays ancient hominid behaviour as well as influencing pop culture and even NASA to this day. Written & Presented by Jem Duducu Produced by Dan Morelle Music: Deodato - Also Sprach Zarathustra Be awesome, support us on Patreon Subscribe to the podcast on iTunes and...



Akira introduced the world to the best of Japanese Anime 30 years ago. NEON goes beyond the fabulous animation and reveals how this cyberpunk dystopia explores fundamental fears in Japanese society as well as it being a natural evolution of 2,000 years of Japanese culture. Written & Presented by Jem Duducu Produced by Dan Morelle Music: Kaneda's Theme - Tsutomu Ōhashi Be awesome, support us on Patreon Subscribe to the podcast on iTunes and follow us on Twitter



Fresh back from our holiday to the future. Like Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey, we're playing power chords of history - riffing on the historic parallels between the uber popular video game, Fortnite. We're also walking with a bit of a swagger after being chosen by the London Evening Standard as one of the BEST EDUCATION PODCASTS OF 2018!! Do us a favour, tell all your friends about your favourite new podcast. Leave us a 5 star review on iTunes and pop over to Twitter and say HELLO! Just like...


The A-Team

The A Team was one of the most beloved series of the 1980s (and a fairly average 2010 movie). It made a star of Mr. T and reminded the world of George Peppard, creating an unlikely behind the scenes rivalry. However the question has always been what kind of army unit would ever have this group and rank of people ...including a pilot? NEON rolls it’s sleeves up and does it’s job, stripping away the 80s glitter to reveal the real history. The discussion turns from 80s frivolity to the...


Assassin's Creed

The video game is over 10 years old now but it started a hugely successful series that is still massively popular today. This episode looks at the game that kicked everything off. The game itself is set during the 3rd crusade it allows NEON to look at these religiously motivated campaigns. Jem explores what they were and what they weren’t and that why everything after 9/11 has been tainted by that event leading to all kinds of misconceptions about the crusades. This episode features the...


The Handmaid's Tale & The Running Man

Again you get two for the price of one in an episode. Arnie’s 80’s action fest and the modern thoughtful TV series about women’s rights are eerie echoes of each other. While there can be little doubt as to which is more morally complex, better shot and acted, that may not mean that it is pulling from history as effectively. Because these are dark stories, the history is equally brutal, from Nazi breeding programmes to the rise of fascist regimes this is a horrifying but fascinating...


The World Cup

Football nearly came home, but “the boys did us proud”. When the World Cup coms around, other forms of entertainment run and hide. The sense of togetherness, the millions spent on advertising, the prestige of hosting the games. All of this is part of the concept of “soft power”. NEON delves deep looking at past historical examples of how money and marriages can sometimes get you more than an army ever could. As well as the current battle for hearts and minds carried out by the two giants...


Love Island

How can an unscripted reality show, largely filled with vacuous individuals teach us history? For this one NEON goes way back and talks about the biological reason for finding a mate as opposed to the way strawberries or starfish can do it on their own. Finding a mate defines most of the natural world and a lot of human history too and Love Island shows us this. Add to that the dark under belly of human emotion enjoying mocking those less fortunate and you find out a lot about how the show...


Battlefield 1

Battlefield 1 is a first-person shooter video game developed by EA DICE and published by Electronic Arts. Despite its name, Battlefield 1 is the fifteenth instalment in the Battlefield series, and the first main entry in the series since Battlefield 4. It was released worldwide for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One on October 21, 2016. Written & Presented by Jem Duducu Produced by Dan Morelle Music: Cavern - Liquid Liquid Subscribe to the podcast on iTunes and follow us on...



Westworld is an American science fiction western television series created by Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy. Produced by HBO, it is based on the 1973 film of the same name (written and directed by Michael Crichton) and to a lesser extent its 1976 sequel, Futureworld. The story takes place in Westworld, a fictional, technologically advanced Wild-West-themed amusement park populated by android "hosts". The park caters to high-paying "guests" who may indulge their wildest fantasies within the...



The History Channel’s biggest home grown hit Vikings is now on its 5th series. It started as a historical drama but by season 3 it was clearly trying to be Game of Thrones with longships. NEON takes this to task, if you have a degree in medieval history you can tell when they change the tone, but could the average viewer. Is this kind of disregard for real events dangerous? Are some of the real events left on the cutting room floor even more entertaining than fiction? Have a listen to find...


Batman: Gotham by Gaslight

How can a podcast about the real history behind pop culture resist a Victorian era Batman? This one gets as dark as the dark knight. We have Jack the Ripper, H.H. home’s murder hotel and an animated movie not suitable for kids. There’s even a story of a filed concept in early forensic science that will leave you scratching your head how anybody could think it was likely to work. On the more fun side we find out about Chicago’s rivalry with Paris and how America accidentally invented a...


The Greatest Showman & Hamilton

This time around NEON gives you two for the price of one. Two musicals about real people from history, but can you get real history from a musical? If so, which one does it better? The Greatest Showman was a surprise smash hit and Hamilton is the awards laden mega hit from Broadway. If you are looking for historical accuracy in a movie where everyone spontaneously bursts into song and dance, that’s not reality but the story it is telling may well be sneaking in real history to learn from....


Hip Hop & History

Is hip-hop the most socially aware form of modern music? Will Public Enemy or Ice-T in 100 years’ time be thought of a black America’s Chaucer or Dickens? Jem reminisces about being a white middle class boy growing up in suburban London listening to some of the most “dangerous” music coming out of America, and loving it. This NEON episode is a love letter to the best from a maligned genre and also makes an important point, that at its best hip-hop tells stories as dark and as honest as any...



This is one of the greatest action films of all time. It has Arnie at his prime. It has Stan Winston at his most creative and it has John McTiernan making the mistake of going to a seasonal rainforest where the leaves were falling off. It’s action cinema at its purest, and yet as scary as the Predator is, what the film is really about is one of America’s fears, jungle warfare and America’s obsession in the 20th century of fighting in them. NEON not only talks about the most manly hand...


Minisode: Far Cry 5

Far Cry 5 is an action-adventure first-person shooter game developed by Ubisoft Montreal and Ubisoft Toronto and published by Ubisoft for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. It is the eleventh entry and the fifth main title in the Far Cry series. The game takes place in the fictional Hope County, Montana, where charismatic preacher Joseph Seed and his cult Project at Eden's Gate holds a dictatorial rule over the area. The story follows an unnamed junior deputy sheriff, who...


Star Wars

It’s 1977 and a tiny blockade runner is chased by the scariest triangle in film history. The movie is not just part of cinema history, it leans on the history of cinema. NEON takes you from a galaxy far far away, to feudal Japan and the films of Akira Kurosawa. This episode also looks at how much World War II shaped the look and feel of this sci-fi film. It also has an interesting story of how we nearly ended up with a very different and far worse version of the film. Written & Presented...


God of War

Sony had allowed Kratos some well-deserved rest from his series of games until 2018 when a new one came out for the PS4. But this time they went from the legends of Greece, to the tales from Norse mythology. NEON looks at the evolution of the games as well as the evolution of the legends they are inspired by. Jem also points out the fact that a video game character was able to switch from one mythology to another tells us something else, the similarity of beliefs and storytelling from...


Game of Thrones

George RR Martin's epic tale of a Song of Fire and Ice has been turned into the hottest TV show (in every sense of that phrase) of the last decade. Jem loves it and thinks it’s not only a great story, an epic TV show but also hiding real history amongst the dragons and the bedrooms. Its fantasy, but it can teach us important lessons about real history, and not just the Wars of the Roses. Come with NEON on a journey to the world of Scottish medieval politics, European dynastic clashes and...


Minisode: Ready Player One

Steeped in 80's pop culture, try tearing us away from giving NEON's take on Steven Spielberg's latest blockbuster! Written & Presented by Jem Duducu Produced by Dan Morelle Music: Jump - Van Halen Be awesome, support us on Patreon Subscribe to the podcast on iTunes and follow us on Twitter.