What we do in life echoes in eternity, proclaims Maximus, goading on his men.

But as he battles for his life in the Circus, the tune echoing in our ears is unmistakeably one that has more recently accompanied a ratty Johnny Depp buckling his swash in the Caribbean.

It’s amazing how a bit of latter-day cheap soundtracking can change the nature of a classic epic, no?

Hans Zimmer, you have a lot to answer for.

"One of the really interesting things about space movies... is that they suit an ensemble cast. There's something wonderful about that, because you can gather a lot of really good actors - ambitious young actors - and you can kill them in any order you want then." Danny Boyle on Sunshine

It took me a long time to read Neil Gaiman’s Smoke and Mirrors. I picked it up, put it down; read the table of contents, put it down. Eventually I got round to reading the Introduction, and then I was pretty much committed. And when I finally devoured the treasures within, I found I enjoyed them a lot. Much of it was dark, true, but that’s always suited me; much of it was also magical.

So there was no real doubt I would acquire and read Fragile Things.

I recently reread The Kraken Wakes, always my favourite John Wyndham book. Wyndham for me is something like comfort food, or cartoons: when I need a light, refreshing, familiar interlude I can always turn to one of his novels to tide me over to the next challenge. In this case, I had left the book I intended to read at the office, leaving me stranded over a weekend with nothing to read.

Oh, the horror.