CONSPIRACY THEORY Director: Richard Donner Starring: Mel Gibson, Julia Roberts, Patrick Stewart (15)

There is a sequence about 30 minutes into this initially promising thriller which suggests that there may be something more to what we're seeing than meets the eye. As a paranoid New York cabbie and the brains behind a conspiracy theory newsletter, Mel Gibson seems at first like your usual opinionated, motor-mouthed taxi-driver. The film opens with him detailing various conspiracy theories to hapless passengers who simply stare in amazement at his ability to talk - and talk drivel - without taking a breath.

Accused man attacked in the dock

A man accused of murdering 18-year-old Eliza Ward in the Belfast restaurant where they both worked was attacked in the dock at a magistrates' court yesterday. Gerard Patrick Stewart, 20, of Iris Drive, Belfast, had just been remanded in custody when a man raced from his seat and forced his way into the dock. He grabbed Stewart by the neck and started to punch him around the head and face, then appeared to try to gouge his eyes.

Letter: Casting for a white Othello

Sir: David Lister's article ("Can it be wrong to `black up' for Othello?", 7 August) about casting Othello attributes the reluctance of theatre companies to cast white actors in the role in part to political correctness.

Going boldly can be a good thing

POPULAR CULTURE

Events: The Christmas Sci-Fi Special

The Christmas Sci-Fi Special takes place at Wembley Arena, London (0181-900 1234) today and tomorrow, from 1pm-9pm. pounds 25-35

True confessions of a warped youth

The Critics: TELEVISION

Trekkies declared human

British Psychological Society: Scientists cast doubt on attempts to cut fraud and reveal sci-fi cult fans' secrets

how to be a Trekkie

One doesn't have to be a Trekkie to confidently finish off Mark Sullivan's opening gambit. "The Science Museum's mission is..." Yes, we all know: to boldly go where no museum has gone before. "No. To promote public understanding of science."

BRITAIN: Star Trekkies land in London

Quark, the Ferenge barman, arrives a preview party to launch the opening of Star Trek - The Exhibition at the Science Museum in London.

Out of the closet, into the universe

"2,4,6,8. How do we know that Kirk is straight?" is the battle- cry for a new breed of SF fans, the Gaylaxians, who in America have unsuccesfully lobbied Star Trek's producers over recent years for gay characters to be introduced to the series.

EDUCATING ALBERT

Patrick Deuchar wants to turn Prince Albert's temple to the Arts and Sciences into `Britain's Village Hall', the hot venue for rock shows, charity bashes and cult conventions. Most of all, he wants to attract big business. ROSIE MILLARD reports. Photogra

OUTSIDE EDGE:

Why Lt Uhura didn't jump (star)ship

Klingon to your dreams

Star Trek: Generations Dir: David Carson (PG) Solitaire for 2 Dir: Gary Sinyor (15) Dallas Doll Dir: Ann Turner (18)

Klinging on to immortality

Captain Kirk's been killed off, but since when has death been terminal in Star Trek? Max Walker wonders if the Final Frontier will ever be reached

The American Association for the Advancement of Science: Star Trek boldly goes across new sci-fi frontiers

AN ANALYSIS of a quarter century of the television programme Star Trek has revealed how the shows have become more scientifically sophisticated but less optimistic than in the Sixties.
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The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss