Peter Beck, Falcon Heavy and the Humanity Star

February 7, 2018

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 guests on the Cosmic Shed, like NASA's Renee Horton.


and BBC Astronauts' Tim Gregory



Did Peter put Renee's mind at rest? Will Tim be convinced? Will Rocket Lab launch Andrew's campervan into Space or were we all just far too excited about the SpaceX launch to even care? Listen here now and find out.

The Humanity Star looks like this on Earth, by the way...

Show notes

If you'd like to try and see The Humanity Star, you can track it here
Rewatch the amazing Falcon Heavy launch here
r Renee Horton joined us for our episode on Hidden Figures
im Gregory joined us for our episode on BBC's Astronauts: Do you have what it takes?

Artemis: Andy Weir recorded live in the Planetarium

January 10, 2018

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 Singh, Andrew Glester, Andy Weir, Antonia Forster, Chris Followell and Maddy Nichols

Andrew shows the audience the page that brought a tear to his eye while Andy can't keep his eyes off the Moon's surface.

Andy kept us entertained all night and, as you can see, Tim Peake's fan...and so are we.

You'll have to listen to the episode to find out why Andy Weir signed Andrew's book to "Dudley". For the record, Dudders loves his new nickname...after all, Andy Weir gave it to him.

Thank you so much to all of you who came along. It was great to meet many of you. See you at the next event!

Gremlins - Zach Galligan

December 22, 2017

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 For The Love of Sci-Fi in Manchester, December 2017.

Chewbacca - Joonas Suamoto

December 8, 2017

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 Solo: A Star Wars Story

Ti and Andrew met him at For the Love of Sci-Fi in December 2017 and they also met Joonas Suamoto, the man who plays Chewbacca in The Force Awakens, The Last Jedi and the Han Solo film.


Ti, Joonas and Andrew.

Joonas tells us all about taking over the role from the legendary Peter Mayhew, what it's like on set with J J Abrams and Harrison Ford, and how exactly you go from Basketball player to film star.


Ti, Chewbacca and Andrew

Show notes

Bucket list items ticked off.

Andrew mentions an interview we did with Starship Troopers star Casper Van Dien. You can see that here.


Blue Planet 2

December 1, 2017

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 finally made it. John Chambers (Assistant Producer), Sophie Morgan (Researcher) and Alex Vail join Maddy, Steve and Andrew in the Cosmic Shed to chat about the making of this stunning, landmark series.

We find out about some of the amazing technology they used to bring us the oceans like never before.


And reveal what it's like to spend so long among the wonders of the deep oceans.


They even deal with questions like whether turtles watch their footage...


So download the episode, put on your favourite headphones, sit back and imagine you're in the shed...or on location in the Pacific Ocean. The choice is yours.

Show notes

During the episode, Andrew asked Sophie Morgan which behaviours she had found by reading scientific papers. Sophie told us that she had found something really remarkable which they had managed to film but she could not tell us what it was as it was embargoed at the time of recording. We can now reveal that Sophie's reading of scientific papers means that we can enjoy this stunning sequence of behaviour.


Many thanks to Mrs. Haworth's Year 8 Geography class at Haslingden High School for all your wonderful questions


And, of course thank you to all of you who suggested questions via our various social media platforms/channels/things. You can follow us on twitter @thecosmicshed and on Facebook here.

All of the pictures (apart from the ones of Post-it notes) are provided by the BBC.

Update: Here's Mrs. Haworth's class listening to the episode in class. Best. Teacher. Ever.



Blade Runner 2049 - Making the Look of the Film

November 29, 2017

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:


So you probably want to stop reading this and start listening to the podcast now but in case you want to see more, here is their showreel.

Oh go on then, just one more:


Oh, we should probably mention that they also worked on The Martian, Guardians of the Galaxy and Ex Machina.

But you really need to get on with listening to the podcast episode now.

Show notes



Douglas Vakoch on Star Trek Discovery and Contacting Aliens

November 24, 2017

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 just beamed a radio message out into the Cosmos to let any aliens on a particular planet know that we are here. Not everybody is happy about us letting know aliens are out there. We've all seen science fiction, right? Andrew and Douglas discuss the potential threats and come down very much on one side of the argument...

Show notes

Star Trek Discovery so currently on a mid season break so you might like to take some time out to listen to our other episode on the series with Prof Ethan Siegel

The Physics of Star Wars

November 22, 2017

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 of the Clones isn't very good.

An Evening with Andy Weir in the Planetarium, Bristol.

November 17, 2017

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: To celebrate the launch of Andy Weir's new book, Artemis, we've teamed up with Bristol Sunset Cinema to give you a 3D trip to the moon and a Q&A with the author of best-selling novel The Martian, at the We The Curious Planetarium in Bristol, UK.

An Evening in the We The Curious Planetarium with Andy Weir
9th January 2018, 7pm



With a background in computer science, Andy Weir has always been interested in science fiction and started writing The Martian back in 2009. His book about a stranded astronaut struggling to survive on Mars was, at first, rejected by most literary agents, so Weir put his book chapter-by-chapter on his website in a serialised format. Its surprise success led to an Amazon Kindle version being produced where it quickly rose to the top of Amazon’s list of best-selling sci-fi titles. Publisher attention soon followed and after an intense bidding war, in March 2013 the print rights were snapped up by Crown in the US and published by Ebury Books in the UK.

After the book debuted on the New York Times Best Seller list in 2014, the film rights were bought by 20th Century Fox and a few months later, Oscar-winning director Ridley Scott (Gladiator, Alien) was attached with an all-star cast including Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Michael Pena, Sean Bean and Chiwetel Ejiofor. The film would go on to make $630 million worldwide and receive seven Academy Award nominations.

Andy Weir will be coming to Bristol Planetarium to talk all about writing The Martian, its global success and his new book Artemis, a thriller set on the Moon that sees a woman called Jazz caught in the middle of a conspiracy. A film version is already in development with The LEGO Movie’s Phil Lord and Christopher Miller attached.

Attendees to this special Q&A event will each receive a copy of Artemis. The Q&A will be hosted by local sci-fi nerds Timon Singh (Bristol Bad Film Club, Bristol Sunset Cinema) and Andrew Glester (The Cosmic Shed).

Tickets are £20 and will include a signed copy of Artemis.

The Planetarium at We The Curious is the UK's only 3D Planetarium and we'll be taking you and Andy on a trip to the moon along with a few other surprises.

Tickets will be extremely limited, so get yours now! (Sorry, it's SOLD OUT)

About Andy Weir: ANDY WEIR built a career as a software engineer until the success of The Martian allowed him to write full-time. He is a lifelong space nerd and devoted hobbyist of subjects such as orbital mechanics and the history of manned spaceflight. The Martian was a Sunday Times and New York Times bestseller and has SOLD 5 MILLION COPIES in the English language. It went on to become a major motion picture from 20th Century Fox, directed by Ridley Scott and starring Matt Damon. Film rights to Artemis have already been sold to 20th Century Fox.

About The Cosmic Shed: The Cosmic Shed is a podcast for fans of science fiction, science and storytelling. Cosmic guests including Chris Hadfield, Nichelle Nichols, Jill Tarter and Benedict Cumberbatch join a group of scientists in a shed in Bishopston to explore the areas where science and storytelling collide. Andy Weir has appeared on two previous episodes of the Cosmic Shed before and we're delighted to be able to bring him to Bristol for this very special event.

You can hear our previous episodes with Andy Weir here:

The Martian (Film)

The Martian (Book)


Kate Davies-Speak

November 8, 2017

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)


You'll hear about why Kate is so excited about her forthcoming project Dead Air which sees her in a rock band on an airplane, surrounded by gremlins called "Dave".


We also hear all about Kate's love of gaming and all things Batgirl. Are you listening Joss Whedon?


Show notes

Horizon is here
ate's IMDB is here
revious episodes of the Cosmic Shed are here

Blade Runner 2049 - Everything You Want to Hear

October 24, 2017

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 Blade Runner 2049 and congregated in the shed to record our initial reactions. This will, in fact, be the first of two episodes on the film. Listen to this episode to find out why...

We did our research, obviously, by first watching Blade Runner the original, in the newly improved Cosmic Shed which now doubles as a rather excellent cinema.


Show notes 

*We don't really have the answers but the questions are more interesting than the answers anyway.

Steve mentions this video by The NerdWriter
Maddy mentions this video of Robots falling over
ndrew mentions this section of Leviticus
teve also mentions Omikron: The Nomad Soul

Star Trek Discovery: Prof Ethan Siegel

September 27, 2017

You had me at the Vulcan Hello.

Star Trek Discovery has launched and we're all a bit excited in the shed. That excitement reached fever pitch when Prof Ethan Siegel beamed into the shed using the very latest in Treknology, perched on top of a Borg Cube to discuss the opening two episodes; The Vulcan Hello and Battle at the Binary Stars.

IMG_20170926_210031210-2.jpgEthan is a Professor of Cosmology and the author of the forthcoming book Treknology. He also writes the very wonderful Starts with a Bang on Together with Andrew, Maddy, Ti and Steve, Ethan explores the themes, joy and concern coming out of the season premier of Star Trek Discovery.

There was a lot of love in the shed.


Show notes

Andrew mentions this TED talk from Reshma Saujani which seems to fit well with the opening of this stunning new Star Trek series.

Ethan has two books. Beyond the Galaxy and Treknology

Astronauts: Does Tim Gregory have what it takes?

September 14, 2017

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.


Andrew, Maddy, Steve and Ti will be back in a couple of weeks with a special Star Trek:Discovery episode...with very special guest Prof Ethan Siegel. Subscribe now.


War for the Planet of the Apes

August 14, 2017

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 regales us with tales of the apes (mainly the non-human ones) he has known and loved, and not liked very much at all.


We had a lot of fun recording it. We hope you enjoy listening to it. As always, thank you so much for listening.

Sorry it's been so long!

Show notes

Sophie's Wild Cornwall is on YouTube here
Dr Ben Garrod's Rise of the Robots is on BBC iPlayer here
Dr Ben Garrod's BBC Radio 4 series Bone Stories is here
Ti's latest adventures are here

Nichelle Nichols, Warwick Davis and Eugene Simon

June 20, 2017

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.


Please note the signs behind us. That's our very own field of wheat, right there.