September 29, 2015

THE PRISONER AUDIO DRAMA

Celebrating the 48th anniversary of The Prisoner today, Big Finish has released their trailer for an upcoming series of audio dramas based on the original cult TV series. As with any new iteration of a old favorite, the brief clip has been the topic of much discussion over the last few hours as fans try to enjoy familiar elements and reconcile the differences. I suppose it's rather like hearing a song all your life in a particular key and then suddenly hearing it "off pitch" with a different singer. Nicholas Briggs at Big Finish posted a great press release (below), which, if nothing else, captures his excitement and enthusiasm for the project. Spy Vibe is a great fan of Big Finish, a company that has resurrected lost episodes of The Avengers and Doctor Who, and who are delivering new experiences with many favorite characters from the 1960s. Patrick McGoohan's The Prisoner was a mysterious pop art masterpiece that drew from espionage thriller and science fiction conventions. Much of the success rested on McGoohan, who's intensity cracked like a whip across TV screens to champion the message of individuality, privacy, and person freedom. I enjoy hearing this new clip from Big Finish. Although the actor doesn't seem to capture the sharp urgency of the original (will he be so committed?), it is great fun to hear the world of The Prisoner again in a new format. I really look forward to hearing the stories! Below: The Prisoner trailer followed by today's press release from Big Finish. Related posts: Jason at PortmeirionThe Prisoner and Captain Scarlet, The Prisoner Fallout and 1960s Surrealism, UK Satire/SurrealismEmma Peel Audio Dramas, DC Fontana Video, McGoohan Tribute, Enjoy!



"This is the first glimpse of what we've been up to with The Prisoner. As I write this, all four episodes have been recorded. I can't begin to tell you how excited I am and how grateful I am to ITV for trusting us with this magnificent series. I think they may have spotted the enthusiasm of a young Nicholas Briggs when I attended the first meeting. The Prisoner was a series that captivated the entire nation and I was right in the middle of it. Just this week readers of the Radio Times have voted it the fifth greatest ITV series of all time. Today, we’re being as cryptic as the original series. We’re not announcing the casting, but we’re giving you the opportunity to hear some of them and to see them in this great bit of artwork by Tom Webster. We're re-imagining the original 1967 TV series. It isn't a continuation. We've ‘recreated’ it from the very beginning (and, hopefully, one day, until the end). It’s different, but it’s very much in the spirit of the original. So, it’s something old and something new. Our aim is to make you fall in love with this tremendous series all over again. Be seeing you, Nicholas Briggs.

Selected Spy Vibe posts: Lost Diana Rigg InterviewDiana Rigg EventIan Fleming LettersNew Gillette 007 CoversPirate RadioSpectre Advanced PosterHonor Blackman at 90UNCLE SchoolIan Fleming MemorialRadiophonic ExhibitPortmeirion PhotosDoctor Who ExhibitFarewell SteedPussy Galore ReturnsDiana Rigg birthdaySherlock at 221BInvisible AgentSaint Interview: Ian DickersonSaint DoppelgängerFleming's TypewriterRare FlemingFleming's MusicIan Fleming's JapanJim Wilson Corgi InterviewFantomas DesignJeremy Duns on BondJohn Buss interviewAvengers Season 5 TitlesSaint VolvoMod Tales InterviewAgente Secreto ComicsDanger Man Comics 2Danger Man ComicsJohn Drake ComicsDer Mann Von UNCLEGolden Margaret NolanMan From UNCLE RocksteadyPussy Galore Calypso, Cynthia Lennon R.I.P.Edward Mann FashionLeonard Nimoy TributeShatner at 84Bob Morane seriesThai Bond DesignBond vs ModernismArt of ModestyTokyo Beat 1964Feraud Mod FashionGreen Hornet MangaNo 6 FestivalAvengers Interview: Michael RichardsonIan Fleming: Wicked GrinJane Bond Hong Kong RecordsRyan Heshka Interview, Comics Week: Man From R.I.V.E.R.D.A.L.E.Comics Week: ArchieComics Week: Robots, Comics Week: Cold War Atomic, Comics Week: SPYMANComics Week: Jimmy Olsen, Shakespeare Spies: Diana RiggShakespeare Spies I, Rodney Marshall Avengers Interview, Richard Sala: Super-Enigmatix, Cold War Archie, Playboy Bunny InterviewThe 10th Victim Japanese and KindleU.N.C.L.E. Japanese Books, Trina Robbins InterviewCatsuits, Batman '66 Green Hornet Interview: Ralph Garman Ty Templeton.

September 26, 2015

LOST DIANA RIGG INTERVIEW

BBC's Desert Island Discs program began 75 years ago and has become a treasure-trove of deep insights into the lives and careers of people who have shaped our culture. Many of the shows have been lost; a dilemma familiar to fans of Doctor Who and The Avengers. But thanks to fans around the world who taped the program, lost episodes are still being unearthed! Presenter Kirsty Young (my personal crush) has announced that a long-lost interview with Diana Rigg was preserved on quarter-inch tape by a collector and has, at last, been added to the BBC's on-line archive. Rigg was interviewed in 1970 by Roy Plomley and the show offers an interesting glimpse into her perspective on her career. In our last Spy Vibe post we announced Diana Rigg is scheduled to attend a rare screening of The Avengers at the BFI to celebrate the 50th anniversary of her portrayal of Mrs. Emma Peel. The actress has famously shied away from Avengers events, which has caused disappointment and perhaps some resentment among fans. I've never given it much thought, as I simply love what she contributed to the series in the 1960s (and I mean LOVE), and I've appreciated her warmth and generous reflections on working with co-star Patrick Macnee. What her Desert Island Discs interview reveals is an actress who is forever passionate about Shakespeare and about her love of performing in Stratford. Where she speaks affectionately about Shakespearian roles and their deep insights into humanity, Rigg dismisses Emma Peel as almost a cartoony, "karate-kicking" confection. Perhaps what she never realized is that she infused Mrs Peel with so much spirit and humanity as an actress that we're still in love with Emma 50 years later. She must have done it right! Where she adored playing characters written by others, she was perhaps too close to her own creation to see how marvelous it really was. Maybe the series didn't offer the same range of emotion, but her creation was genius none the less. I hope Dame Diana can recognize this when she sees her magnificent work on the big screen next month at the BFI. The eerie House That Jack Built episode definitely maximized her skills within the conventions of the series and is a great choice for the event. Now go back in time to 1970 and get to know her better. Diana's favorite recording? Trois Gymnopedies by Satie. BBC link here. Below: a distressed Mrs. Peel in House That Jack Built, plus a newly unearthed photo of Diana Rigg in Twelfth Night 1966. Related posts: Shakespeare Spies Rigg, Shakespeare Spies I, Ian Fleming's Music, Rigg Birthday Tribute, Avengers Interview: Michael RichardsonRichard Sala Interview I, Set Countdown #7Enjoy! 



Selected Spy Vibe posts: Diana Rigg EventIan Fleming LettersNew Gillette 007 CoversPirate RadioSpectre Advanced PosterHonor Blackman at 90UNCLE SchoolIan Fleming MemorialRadiophonic ExhibitPortmeirion PhotosDoctor Who ExhibitFarewell SteedPussy Galore ReturnsDiana Rigg birthdaySherlock at 221BInvisible AgentSaint Interview: Ian DickersonSaint DoppelgängerFleming's TypewriterRare FlemingFleming's MusicIan Fleming's JapanJim Wilson Corgi InterviewFantomas DesignJeremy Duns on BondJohn Buss interviewAvengers Season 5 TitlesSaint VolvoMod Tales InterviewAgente Secreto ComicsDanger Man Comics 2Danger Man ComicsJohn Drake ComicsDer Mann Von UNCLEGolden Margaret NolanMan From UNCLE RocksteadyPussy Galore Calypso, Cynthia Lennon R.I.P.Edward Mann FashionLeonard Nimoy TributeShatner at 84Bob Morane seriesThai Bond DesignBond vs ModernismArt of ModestyTokyo Beat 1964Feraud Mod FashionGreen Hornet MangaNo 6 FestivalAvengers Interview: Michael RichardsonIan Fleming: Wicked GrinJane Bond Hong Kong RecordsRyan Heshka Interview, Comics Week: Man From R.I.V.E.R.D.A.L.E.Comics Week: ArchieComics Week: Robots, Comics Week: Cold War Atomic, Comics Week: SPYMANComics Week: Jimmy Olsen, Shakespeare Spies: Diana RiggShakespeare Spies I, Rodney Marshall Avengers Interview, Richard Sala: Super-Enigmatix, Cold War Archie, Playboy Bunny InterviewThe 10th Victim Japanese and KindleU.N.C.L.E. Japanese Books, Trina Robbins InterviewCatsuits, Batman '66 Green Hornet Interview: Ralph Garman Ty Templeton.

September 24, 2015

DIANA RIGG SCREENING

Breaking news: The BFI will host a screening of classic Avengers episodes- and Dame Diana Rigg will be there to discuss her work on the series! Although Rigg has spoken warmly about her co-star Patrick Macnee and about how The Avengers opened doors in her career, she has famously kept a distance from Avengers fans and events. Now the BFI is celebrating Rigg's 50th anniversary on the show- if only I could be back in London next month! Here are the details from the BFI press release: The Avengers: The House That Jack Built + discussion with Dame Diana Rigg. Discover Emma Peel’s backstory and hear from the great actress who played her. In a key episode (written by Brian Clemens), we discover Emma Peel’s backstory as she’s trapped in a strange house fighting a deadly machine programmed to kill her. The screening will be followed by an on-stage chat with Dame Diana Rigg about her time in The Avengers and her work with co-star Patrick Macnee, who sadly died earlier this year. Also screening: The Return of the Cybernauts. Sunday, October 25th. Ticket info here. Thanks to Double O Section for putting this on my radar. Enjoy!


Selected Spy Vibe posts: Ian Fleming LettersNew Gillette 007 CoversPirate RadioSpectre Advanced PosterHonor Blackman at 90UNCLE SchoolIan Fleming MemorialRadiophonic ExhibitPortmeirion PhotosDoctor Who ExhibitFarewell SteedPussy Galore ReturnsDiana Rigg birthdaySherlock at 221BInvisible AgentSaint Interview: Ian DickersonSaint DoppelgängerFleming's TypewriterRare FlemingFleming's MusicIan Fleming's JapanJim Wilson Corgi InterviewFantomas DesignJeremy Duns on BondJohn Buss interviewAvengers Season 5 TitlesSaint VolvoMod Tales InterviewAgente Secreto ComicsDanger Man Comics 2Danger Man ComicsJohn Drake ComicsDer Mann Von UNCLEGolden Margaret NolanMan From UNCLE RocksteadyPussy Galore Calypso, Cynthia Lennon R.I.P.Edward Mann FashionLeonard Nimoy TributeShatner at 84Bob Morane seriesThai Bond DesignBond vs ModernismArt of ModestyTokyo Beat 1964Feraud Mod FashionGreen Hornet MangaNo 6 FestivalAvengers Interview: Michael RichardsonIan Fleming: Wicked GrinJane Bond Hong Kong RecordsRyan Heshka Interview, Comics Week: Man From R.I.V.E.R.D.A.L.E.Comics Week: ArchieComics Week: Robots, Comics Week: Cold War Atomic, Comics Week: SPYMANComics Week: Jimmy Olsen, Shakespeare Spies: Diana RiggShakespeare Spies I, Rodney Marshall Avengers Interview, Richard Sala: Super-Enigmatix, Cold War Archie, Playboy Bunny InterviewThe 10th Victim Japanese and KindleU.N.C.L.E. Japanese Books, Trina Robbins InterviewCatsuits, Batman '66 Green Hornet Interview: Ralph Garman Ty Templeton.

September 22, 2015

IAN FLEMING LETTERS

One of the highlights of the summer was spending time with writer Fergus Fleming (Ian Fleming's nephew) and hearing about his upcoming anthology of his uncle's James Bond-related letters. The Man With the Golden Typewriter will contain numerous unpublished letters by Ian Fleming, which have been sourced from the Fleming Archive, the Cape Archive and private collections from around the world. With the publishing date coming early next month, Bloomsbury has sent a scan of the wonderful jacket design and a press release (below). Stay tuned for a chance to win copies of the book (I believe I will have signed copies) and for more details as available. Pre-order at AmazonUK and Amazon. Selection of related Spy Vibe posts: Fleming's TypewriterRare FlemingFleming's MusicIan Fleming's JapanIan Fleming: Wicked GrinIan Fleming MemorialThai Bond DesignBond vs Modernism, The Goldfinger VariationsDouble 007 Book DesignsDouble 007 designs IIrare Ian Fleming editionBook Design DopplegangersTurkish Bond designErno Goldfinger, Ian Fleming CatalogJon Gilbert interview, Double 007 Designs, David Tennant Reads Chitty, Spy Vibe's Ian Fleming archive on Pinterst. Enjoy!


Press release: Before the world-famous films came the world-famous novels. This book tells the story of the man who wrote them and how he created spy fiction's most compelling hero. On 16 August 1952, Ian Fleming wrote to his wife, Ann, ‘My love, This is only a tiny letter to try out my new typewriter and to see if it will write golden words since it is made of gold’. He had bought the gold-plated typewriter as a present to himself for finishing his first novel, Casino Royale. It marked in glamorous style the arrival of James Bond, agent 007, and the start of a career that saw Fleming become one of the world’s most celebrated thriller writers. And he did write golden words. Before his death in 1964 he produced fourteen bestselling Bond books, two works of non-fiction and the famous children’s story Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang. Fleming’s output was matched by an equally energetic flow of letters. He wrote constantly, to his wife, publisher, editors, fans, friends and critics, charting 007’s progress with correspondence that ranged from badgering Jonathan Cape about his quota of free copies – a coin was tossed; Fleming lost – to apologising for having mistaken a certain brand of perfume and for equipping Bond with the wrong kind of gun. His letters also reflect his friendships with contemporaries such as Raymond Chandler, Noël Coward and Somerset Maugham. Fergus Fleming is Ian Fleming’s nephew. He is also the author of several other non-fiction books including Barrow’s Boys, Killing Dragons and Ninety Degrees North

Selected Spy Vibe posts: New Gillette 007 CoversPirate RadioSpectre Advanced PosterHonor Blackman at 90UNCLE SchoolIan Fleming MemorialRadiophonic ExhibitPortmeirion PhotosDoctor Who ExhibitFarewell SteedPussy Galore ReturnsDiana Rigg birthdaySherlock at 221BInvisible AgentSaint Interview: Ian DickersonSaint DoppelgängerFleming's TypewriterRare FlemingFleming's MusicIan Fleming's JapanJim Wilson Corgi InterviewFantomas DesignJeremy Duns on BondJohn Buss interviewAvengers Season 5 TitlesSaint VolvoMod Tales InterviewAgente Secreto ComicsDanger Man Comics 2Danger Man ComicsJohn Drake ComicsDer Mann Von UNCLEGolden Margaret NolanMan From UNCLE RocksteadyPussy Galore Calypso, Cynthia Lennon R.I.P.Edward Mann FashionLeonard Nimoy TributeShatner at 84Bob Morane seriesThai Bond DesignBond vs ModernismArt of ModestyTokyo Beat 1964Feraud Mod FashionGreen Hornet MangaNo 6 FestivalAvengers Interview: Michael RichardsonIan Fleming: Wicked GrinJane Bond Hong Kong RecordsRyan Heshka Interview, Comics Week: Man From R.I.V.E.R.D.A.L.E.Comics Week: ArchieComics Week: Robots, Comics Week: Cold War Atomic, Comics Week: SPYMANComics Week: Jimmy Olsen, Shakespeare Spies: Diana RiggShakespeare Spies I, Rodney Marshall Avengers Interview, Richard Sala: Super-Enigmatix, Cold War Archie, Playboy Bunny InterviewThe 10th Victim Japanese and KindleU.N.C.L.E. Japanese Books, Trina Robbins InterviewCatsuits, Batman '66 Green Hornet Interview: Ralph Garman Ty Templeton.

September 19, 2015

BATMAN MEETS U.N.C.L.E. AVENGERS

It's been a busy week here at the Spy Vibe lair. Along with my usual teaching schedule, I've been working on an Avengers essay for an upcoming book in the UK, interviewing candidates for our new head of school, and writing reports and promos for some new programs. I'm happy to finally be able to share some interesting news items that crossed my radar recently. DC Comics Batman 66 line, which places the Caped Crusader in the colorful, pop art world of the 1960s TV series, is gearing up for two remarkable crossover events. It was announced that The Avengers (classic UK spy show) will be featured in a new mini-series with Batman and Robin. I must admit I can't quite visualize this concept. Although the color Emma Peel season became campier (and the show progressed down that line in the Tara King series), the tone was quite different from Batman. Adaptations of The Avengers often lose the charm of the original show in favor of cartoony exaggerations of what people think now about what Swinging London was like. Shades of Austin Powers, if you will? Still, as a fan of both Batman and The Avengers, my interest is certainly piqued. In more recent news, it was announced that The Man From U.N.C.L.E. will be featured in a miniseries with Batman and Robin starting in December. Apparently T.H.R.U.S.H. will be hiring super villains and our extended team of heroes must jet off to Europe to foil their plot. Again, I tread cautiously and hope for the best. From my perspective, U.N.C.L.E. began with some wonderful cinema-verite energy and edginess in the first season, which gave way to stagey camp when the series went to color. Hopefully a team-up with 1960s Batman in the comics won't simply repeat that trend and push the camp even further. I'm not sure how gun-play will work in the "pow-biff!" universe, for example. Even the first graphic released (below) seems slightly mismatched. The Batman series was so influential at the time, and we saw many shows, such as The Man From U.N.C.L.E. and Lost in Space, try to build viewership by riding the pop-art wave. I really enjoy the pop aesthetics of that period, but again, remain cautious about how these new adaptations will turn out. The original shows succeed  I think, when the stories were played straight despite the campy trappings. I've read some cool Batman 66 stories (loved the issue with Lord Death Man!), so fingers are crossed. The Batman/U.N.C.L.E. comic will feature a story by Jeff Parker and art by David Hine. More news and images to come. See my interview with the Batman 66 Meets Green Hornet team, Ralph Garman and Ty Templeton. Enjoy!


Selected Spy Vibe posts: New Gillette 007 CoversPirate RadioSpectre Advanced PosterHonor Blackman at 90UNCLE SchoolIan Fleming MemorialRadiophonic ExhibitPortmeirion PhotosDoctor Who ExhibitFarewell SteedPussy Galore ReturnsDiana Rigg birthdaySherlock at 221BInvisible AgentSaint Interview: Ian DickersonSaint DoppelgängerFleming's TypewriterRare FlemingFleming's MusicIan Fleming's JapanJim Wilson Corgi InterviewFantomas DesignJeremy Duns on BondJohn Buss interviewAvengers Season 5 TitlesSaint VolvoMod Tales InterviewAgente Secreto ComicsDanger Man Comics 2Danger Man ComicsJohn Drake ComicsDer Mann Von UNCLEGolden Margaret NolanMan From UNCLE RocksteadyPussy Galore Calypso, Cynthia Lennon R.I.P.Edward Mann FashionLeonard Nimoy TributeShatner at 84Bob Morane seriesThai Bond DesignBond vs ModernismArt of ModestyTokyo Beat 1964Feraud Mod FashionGreen Hornet MangaNo 6 FestivalAvengers Interview: Michael RichardsonIan Fleming: Wicked GrinJane Bond Hong Kong RecordsRyan Heshka Interview, Comics Week: Man From R.I.V.E.R.D.A.L.E.Comics Week: ArchieComics Week: Robots, Comics Week: Cold War Atomic, Comics Week: SPYMANComics Week: Jimmy Olsen, Shakespeare Spies: Diana RiggShakespeare Spies I, Rodney Marshall Avengers Interview, Richard Sala: Super-Enigmatix, Cold War Archie, Playboy Bunny InterviewThe 10th Victim Japanese and KindleU.N.C.L.E. Japanese Books, Trina Robbins InterviewCatsuits, Batman '66 Green Hornet Interview: Ralph Garman Ty Templeton.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...