M83, the French electronic outfit whose space-age, future pop sound shot them to fame in 2011, when the Grammy-nominated Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming LP arrived, are due to play in Hong Kong on Wednesday. The band are not named after a motorway or an assault rifle, but the spiral-shaped star system Messier 83, which is visible from Earth with binoculars. Why that galaxy and not Ursa Major? Who knows with those crazy French! M83 composed the soundtrack for the 2013 movie Oblivion, which stars Tom Cruise …

Born Thomas Cruise Mapother IV, the actor, Scientologist and couch leaper extraordinaire has never allowed his image to be used for video games, action figures or other toys. Nevertheless, his appeal in video/toy-obsessed Japan is such that October 10 is recognised there as Tom Cruise Day, honouring the fact that he’s visited that country more than any other Western actor. In 2005, Cruise worked with Steven Spielberg on War of the Worlds, a loose adaptation of the novel of the same name by H.G. Wells …

Called variously “the Father of Futurism” and “the Father of Science Fiction”, British novelist Herbert George Wells was definitely father of something, and not just the four sprogs he sired with three women. In 1938, Orson Welles broadcast The War of the Worlds on American radio, the show presented as a bulletin announcing the landing of aliens in New Jersey. Popular myth has it that the broadcast caused widespread panic, but that has largely been debunked. In the 2006 television docudrama HG Wells: War with the World, the author is played by Michael Sheen …

The Welsh actor recently played gynaecologist William Masters in TV drama Masters Of Sex, set in 1950s and 60s America, but is perhaps better known for having portrayed the far-less appealing Tony Blair in three films: The Deal (2003), The Queen (2006) and The Special Relationship (2010). Sheen’s father, Meyrick, works as a professional Jack Nicholson lookalike. In the 2006 drama Ancient Rome: The Rise and Fall of an Empire, Sheen Jnr plays the part of another rogue: Nero …

Roman emperor from AD54 to 68, and the last in the Julio-Claudian dynasty, Nero was known for being blood-thirsty and violent. (It’s believed that as a child, he liked to put on a disguise and kill people who argued with him.) Other stories claim he liked to take part in Coliseum games by dressing up in animal skins and biting off the genitals of people bound to stakes. For all his sins, Nero gets a mention in the 2004 song Mercy, by Irish rockers U2 …

Formed in 1976, the group – led by serial do-gooder Bono – are a clean-cut bunch of fellas but their 1997 album Pop had to be censored for the Malaysian market: the words “f***ed up” were removed from the song Wake Up Dead Man. It would be nice to end this Six degrees by claiming that Bono and the boys teamed up with the B-52s, The Jackson 5, Level 42, UB40 and Blink-182 for a numbers-themed festival, but that never happened, and U2 have never played with M83.