The Mark Hastings Experience Podcast *UPDATED*

Check out the latest episode:

Get yourself a piece of “The Mark Hastings Experience” merchandise and show your support for the podcast @

My Poem “Tony Soprano”

There has never been a TV show since,
and there may never be a TV show
like the hit show ‘The Sopranos’ –
and there will never be another
character like Tony Soprano:
the Mob Boss of North New Jersey,
who in my opinion was the first
anti-hero on TV who was so complex,
so intriguing, and so compelling
that nobody who watched him
could help themselves from
rooting for him, no matter what
he did and no matter what he said.

Tony Soprano woke up every morning,
he walked down his driveway
to retrieve his copy of the daily newspaper,
and then after that there was
no telling what he was going to next;
but one thing was always clear:
whatever Tony did he did for his family –
both his blood family
as well as for his crime family,
and everything that he did
was all to keep the Soprano family
and the thing of theirs
that was their life going
by any means necessary.

In my opinion, no one could have
played Tony Soprano
like James Gandolfini did –
because Tony Soprano was
someone who was smart;
Tony Soprano was someone
who internalised and wrestled
with a lot of psychological trauma
because of his mother, Livia,
and because his father Johnny Soprano
had been a gangster before Tony
was even born
there was no question that he would also
become a member of the family business;
but Tony Soprano was not like
everybody else in his family:
he suffered panic attacks –
and because he loved his family
so much he sought out the help
of a therapist, Dr. Jennifer Melfi,
in order to be a more effective
father and boss to those who followed his lead.

You don’t get to meet too many characters like Tony Soprano,
nor from episode to episode
watch someone like him
do what only someone like him
could do…
you don’t get to see acting of the
calibre that James Gandolfini had that often –
and it is clear as day that he put
every ounce of his talent into
making Tony the engaging, the profound,
and the powerhouse of a character that he was;
which is why viewers did not
want to see what they ultimately saw
at the end,
when the screen suddenly went to black –
because nobody knew that only moments before
they had just taken one last look
at one of the greatest characters
in television history:
the one and the only Tony Soprano.

Happy Star Trek Day: “Live long and Prosper”

Happy Star Trek Day, everybody!

The first episode of Star Trek premiered 54 years ago today, on the 8th of September, 1966! Happy 54th Anniversary to one of my favourite TV shows and franchise’ – which to this day still remains a source of inspiration and hope and is a reminder to us all that if the human race works together we can accomplish anything: even journeying out into the final frontier, where no one has gone before! Live Long and Prosper, everyone! 😊🖖

My Poem ‘Live Long and Prosper’

While growing up we all have heroes
who we see, who we watch, who we listen to,
and who we want to emulate,
and while growing up
there were no greater heroes or role-models
who used to keep me captivated, interested,
in-awe, and excited,
to follow their continuing adventures,
where no man has gone before,
than the crew of the Starship Enterprise –
and when I got home from school,
it was to the final frontier where I journeyed off to
on my television and in my imagination –
and to this day every episode and story of every series
of my favourite universe, canon, fan-base, and franchise,
never fails to fill me with the same feelings
I had as a boy imagining being a member of the Enterprise’s crew –
and every time I watch an episode or a movie now,
I am, and I will forever be, captivated.

Captain James T. Kirk, the commander of the ‘Enterprise’
in the Original Series of ‘Star Trek’ in the sixties,
was a natural leading man, and a hero that
wherever he would go thousands would follow –
because William Shatner played him so expertly and perfectly,
no one else could truly be or inhabit such a role
as he did in ‘Jim’ Kirk;
however, it was always ‘Mr. Spock’, played timelessly
by the late great Leonard Nimoy,
who I used to to be more drawn to and fascinated by –
and like another fictional hero of mine, Sherlock Holmes,
Spock used knowledge and logic to be the source
and the answer to most of the problems
he and the rest of the Enterprise crew came face to face with –
and Leonard Nimoy was Spock in every way, shape, and form,
and the knowledge now that Mr. Spock and Leonard Nimoy’s light
has gone out from the world is a loss to everyone on Earth.

Leonard Nimoy, and Mr. Spock, leave a legacy
in so many ways infinite ways for everybody to see,
remember, and be inspired by.
I have always been a life-long Star Trek fan,
and every time I hear that someone from my favourite TV show
has died, I honestly do want to cry.
I just wish I had had the chance to meet Leonard Nimoy;
I just wish I could have been able to tell him
how influential he was to so many people, and always will be,
and to tell him how important he and his message
was to me as a boy.

I will always be inspired to reach for the stars;
I will always look back on my childhood with a smile on my face,
and remember my favourite half-Human/half-Vulcan fondly,
because to me his spirit will forever loom large.
I will never stop watching, reading, imagining,
and I will all my life be inspired by the voyages
of every crew and every starship, especially the Enterprise,
travelling and exploring the final frontier;
I will always remember the amazing Leonard Nimoy,
and this poem is my lasting tribute to him.
And as Leonard Nimoy’s Star Trek character Mr. Spock
was frequently fond of saying, in his name:
I promise to live long and prosper.


My Poem ‘Your Day’

Everyone, from every walk of life,
everywhere, knows and is familiar
with that feeling of relief
that overcomes us all
the minute that we finish a long day at work,
and we arrive home sweet home,
and we sit down and rest,
and put the events of the day we have had behind us –
especially if we have had a day
that felt as endless as the universe;
everyone, anyone, everybody, anybody,
who has a job or an occupation
that sometimes feels like a treadmill,
knows the full meaning of the old saying
“the only way forward is through”,
and it is amazing how good you feel
after a hard day at work –
it is unbelievable how much energy you have
when you walk through your front-door at home,
because that sensation lifts in no time at all,
and you may even resemble, as you sit in your chair,
the sight of a balloon that has recently burst.

Just like a car running on fumes,
as it finally reaches
and rolls onto the forecourt of a fuel station,
every working man and woman
also needs to refuel and build up their energy levels,
and take a break from what they need to do,
and relax while doing what they love to do,
and cool the temperature of their spirit –
like newly-forged white-hot metal.

Some people relax in front of their TV,
while watching their favourite television show;
some people lay back, put their feet up,
and listen to the latest songs
that are playing on the radio;
some people jump straight into the bath,
or into the shower, and wash away their day,
and let all their work-related stresses drift away;
some people put on their headphones,
and sit in their bedroom, on their bed,
listening to their mp3 player,
as they listen to their favourite artists
telling them what they need to hear –
because they know all the right things to say;
some people read a book;
some people write;
some people reach out for someone for a hug;
some people get changed from their work clothes,
eat, drink, turn off their phones,
and settle down for a quiet night.

Everyone’s day is their own;
everyone feels more like themselves when they are at home;
everyone has thoughts and feelings that are hard to convey;
everyone who has someone, or something, to come home to –
even if that is a mirrored reflection of themselves
that they can see into –
is lucky to have someone, or something,
that they can reply to,
when they are asked the question:
how was your day?