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The Cosmic Shed

Fantasy & Science Fiction Podc >

We're a podcast that explores the way science and storytelling collide. Previous guests include Nichelle Nichols, Benedict Cumberbatch, Chris Hadfield and Jill Tarter.

We're a podcast that explores the way science and storytelling collide. Previous guests include Nichelle Nichols, Benedict Cumberbatch, Chris Hadfield and Jill Tarter.
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United Kingdom


We're a podcast that explores the way science and storytelling collide. Previous guests include Nichelle Nichols, Benedict Cumberbatch, Chris Hadfield and Jill Tarter.






Michaela Musilova is going back to Mars!

Michaela Musilova is a space scientist who has Mars in her sights. One day, she aims to set foot on the Martian surface for real and, unlike the rest of us who dream of that, she stands a pretty good chance. Michaela has been selected to live in an analogue of Mars for 8 months starting in February 2018. She and three other people will be living in this…for 8 (EIGHT) months. The purpose of the mission is to see how people (astronauts) would cope on a 2 year mission to Mars. This 8 month...


Peter Beck, Falcon Heavy and the Humanity Star

A rocket fuelled episode with CEO of Rocket Lab Peter Beck! On the night SpaceX launched the Falcon Heavy and a cherry red Tesla into space, Steve and Andrew gathered in the shed to watch it and then speak to Peter Beck, the CEO of Rocket Lab and the man who launched The Humanity Star into space. The Cosmic Shed is a pretty decent place to watch a rocket launch… The Humanity Star has been met with, it’s safe to say, mixed reviews. Some love it. Others question it, including previous...


Artemis: Andy Weir recorded live in the Planetarium

A very special episode of the Cosmic Shed as we bring you the audio from last night’s wonderful evening in the Planetarium with Andy Weir, author of Artemis and The Martian in collaboration with the wonderful Bristol Sunset Cinema. Andy Weir is no stranger to the Cosmic Shed, having appeared on two of our episodes before so we were delighted to be able to bring him to one of our live events here in Bristol for this very special night in We The Curious planetarium Left to right: Timon...


Gremlins - Zach Galligan

Zach Galligan played Billy in the Gremlins films and joined us here on The Cosmic Shed to talk about what it was like playing arcade games with Steven Spielberg, starring alongside Pheobe Cates and the possibilities of Gremlins 3. We used a flash for this photo and you will be delighted to hear that Zach, without hesitation, exclaimed, “BRIGHT LIGHT!” Ready Player One? Show notes Andrew and Ti were talking to Zach at


Chewbacca - Joonas Suamoto

Joonas Suatamo talks to The Cosmic Shed. Chewbacca is, let’s face it, the best character in all of Star Wars so he needs no introduction. Based, allegedly, on George Lucas’s dog and played until recently by Peter Mayhew, everyone’s favourite Wookie is about to appear once again on our screens in The Last Jedi and


Blue Planet 2

They scoured the oceans to bring us the most breathtaking imagery, never seen before behaviours and unforgettable creatures. They’ve used brand new, specially created cameras to bring us the very best films of our oceans we could possibly imagine. They’ve seen fish eating birds, octopuses outwitting sharks in ways we never thought possible and seen different species gathering together to hunt in cooperation with each other. Now, they’ve been to the Cosmic Shed. Yes, that’s right. They’ve...


Blade Runner 2049 - Making the Look of the Film

The people who made the on screen technology in Blade Runner 2049 are Territory Studio. In other words, one of the main reasons you and we love the way Blade Runner 2049 looks is because Peter Eszenyi and Andrew Popplestone made things like this: So we were really rather delighted when they joined us for this very special episode of the Cosmic Shed. Just so we are clear, they make things like this: and this:


Douglas Vakoch on Star Trek Discovery and Contacting Aliens

Douglas Vakoch is an American search for extraterrestrial intelligence researcher, psychologist, and president of METI and he joined Andrew to discuss Star Trek Discovery, the Pahvan species and his own attempts, through METI to contact potential aliens (relatively) close to Planet Earth in real life. What would happen if we did make first contact? Will we really hear anything back from this message? Douglas and the team at METI have


The Physics of Star Wars

With the Last Jedi just around the corner, we gathered in the shed to discuss the Physics of Star Wars, a rather lovely new book by Dr Patrick Johnson. Patrick’s book finally persuaded us that we could do an episode on Star Wars after all. So here it is. Thanks Patrick. Patrick is an Assistant Teaching Professor at Georgetown University and, fairly obviously, the author of The Physics of Star Wars. Show notes Attack [...]


Kate Davies-Speak

Kate Davies-Speak is a star of Science Fiction web series Horizon and (what’s the collective noun for a lot of horror films?) a lot of horror films. Kate joined Andrew and Ti in the shed for a chat about acting and her love of horror, action and gaming. You’ll hear Kate tell us about portraying Nicole in Horizon. (Check out our other Horizon episode, from way back in 2015, here)


BladeRunner 2049 - Everything You Want to Hear

How far are we from Replicants, Flying Cars and Holograms? Is BladeRunner 2049 sexist? Does it live up to the original? We have all the answers*. All you need to do is go and see Blade Runner 2049 on the biggest screen with the best sound you can find, luxuriate in it and then come back and listen to this brand new episode of the Cosmic Shed. In reality, we were blown away by BladeRunner 2049 and congregated in the shed to record our initial reactions. This will, in fact, be the first...


Astronauts: Does Tim Gregory have what it takes?

Yes. Well, we think so anyway. Tim Gregory is currently charming us all on the BBC Two series Astronauts: Do you have what it takes and is our guest for this episode of The Cosmic Shed. Tim had joined Andrew for the radio show he does with Malcolm Love; Love and Science. Andrew popped a recorder in the room and so here is that interview for your listening pleasure. Thanks Tim.


War for the Planet of the Apes

Dr Ben Garrod spent months living with primates and an evening with us in the Cosmic Shed as we turn our gaze to War for the Planet of the Apes, directed by Matt Reeves. Sophie Pavelle, who was just back from completing the 300 miles of Sophie’s Wild Cornwall, made her first appearance in the shed along with regulars Maddy, Ti and Andrew. Ti, who is a huge fan of the Planet of the Apes series of films, gives us a fan’s eye view of the trilogy before we all sit back and marvel as Dr Ben...


Nichelle Nichols, Warwick Davis and Eugene Simon

Nichelle Nichols, Warwick Davis and Eugene Simon. That’s Star Trek, Star Wars and Game of Thrones. Andrew and Ti report back from MCM Comic Con London and bring interviews with these three stars for starters. You can actually watch part of the interview with Warwick on our YouTube channel. Eugene plays Lancel Lannister in Game of Thrones and Eduard Einstein in Genius, the story of Albert Einstein’s life. [...]


Hannah Peel talks music, science and a shed.

Andrew met the wonderful Hannah Peel at the, also wonderful, Cheltenham Science Festival. Imagine his joy when Hannah said her new album is all about travelling to space from a shed! You can explore Hannah’s work here. We really, really recommend that you do. Beautiful stuff. The first track to be released off her forthcoming album is entitled “Sunrise Through a Dusty Nebula” and you can hear it now on Hannah’s SoundCloud page. Yes, that’s right. ”Sunrise Through a Dusty Nebula” Roll on...


October Sky (pt.2) Searching for our Sputnik

Andrew and Ti are joined in the shed by Tushna Commissariat of Physics World and Achintya Rao of the CMS experiment at the LHC at CERN as they discuss their reaction to the wonderful October Sky film and the interview with Homer Hickam which appeared in part 1 of this October Sky double bill. We are somewhat besides ourselves with excit [...]


October Sky (pt.1): Homer Hickam - Rocket Boy to Dinosaur Man

Andrew and Ti are joined by the wonderful Homer Hickam; author, NASA engineer and the subject of the 1999 film October Sky. We hear all about the writing of the book, the making of the movie, the impact of Sputnik and a revelation about dinosaurs which caused this reaction: A very special episode. Sit back and enjoy. Thanks Homer, you’re a legend.


Hidden Figures

Hiding in the shed this episode are Andrew, Maddy, Ti and Steve as we try to express our delight at the wonderful Hidden Figures. The only thing more exciting than such a wonderful film being released is that NASA’s Dr Renee Horton, currently working on the Space Launch System, joined the Cosmic Shed for this, our 40th episode. Renee Horton tells us just how it feels when the phone rings and it’s NASA calling to tell y [...]


Trappist 1: Seven Worlds straight out of Science Fiction

NASA made the most stunning announcement they’ve made for some time when they told us they’d found seven potentially Earth-like planets orbiting the star Trappist 1, just 40 light years from Earth. The lead scientist on the discovery was Michael Gillon. He describes the system as something straight out of science fiction so we were somewhat delighted when Michael agreed to join Andrew for a very special episode of the Cosmic Shed. Michael tells us which science fiction he likes to...


Women in Science - Rachel Ignotofsky

Rachel Ignotofsky’s new book Women in Science highlights the contributions of fifty notable women to the fields of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) from Hypatia in ancient Alexandria to modern day science like the discovery of the Higgs Boson by the team led by Sau Lan Wu. Rachel is an illustrator, designer and author with a passion for science fiction, comics and fantasy as well as science and history. Andrew caught up with Rachel and they talked about Rachel’s work,...


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