Selected Spy Vibe Posts: Batman 66 Exhibit, Prisoner Fifty Event, Ian Fleming Publications 2017-2018, Interview: Ed Hulse Pulp, Avengers Audio Drama, Interview: Callan At 50, Interview: Playboys, Spies, Private Eyes, TWA Returns, Spy Vibe Radio 8, Interview: Ryan Heshka, Mid-Century Modern Schulz, Agent Werewolf, Mata Hair Exhibit, Johnny Sokko 50th, Interview: Trina Robbins, Eddie Izzard, The Prisoner Capt Scarlet 50th, Hugh Hefner R.I.P., Jack Good R.I.P., Interview: Shaken Not Stirred, Callan 50th, Spy Vibe Radio 7, The Prisoner 50th Event, Spy-Fi Event, Kaho Aso 007, Two Million, Bo Diddley, Carnaby Pop, Le Carre Events, Billy Bragg Skiffle, Elvis 68, Jack Kirby The Prisoner, Casino Royale Concert, Review: The Prisoner Vol 2, Interview: The Prisoner Essential Guide, Maud Russell Mottisfont, Spy Vibe Radio 4, Batman Gallants, Adam West R.I.P., Village Triangle, Roger Moore R.I.P., Spy Vibe Radio 3, Sgt Pepper 50th, Satanik Kriminal OST, 60s Overdrive, Make Love in London, Spy Vibe Radio 2, Spy Vibe Radio 1, James Bond Strips, Propaganda Mabuse, Interview: Police Surgeon, XTC Avengers, 1966 Pep Spies, Batman Book Interview, Exclusive Fleming Interview, Avengers Comic Strips, Robert Vaughn RIP, UNCLE Fashions, Thunderbirds Are Pop!, Interview: Spy Film Guide, Lost Avengers Found, The Callan File, Mission Impossible 50th, Green Hornet 50th, Star Trek 50th, Portmeirion Photography 1, Filming the Prisoner, Gaiman McGinnins Project, Ian Fleming Grave, Revolver at 50, Karen Romanko Interview, Mod Tales 2, Umbrella Man: Patrick Macnee, New Beatles Film, The Curious Camera, Esterel Fashion 1966, Exclusive Ian Ogilvy Interview, 007 Tribute Covers, The Phantom Avon novels return, Ian Fleming Festival, Argoman Design, Sylvia Anderson R.I.P., Ken Adam R.I.P., George Martin R.I.P., The New Avengers Comics, The Phantom at 80, 007 Manga, Avengerworld Book, Diana Rigg Auto Show, The Prisoner Audio Drama Review.
January 20, 2018
PETER WYNGARDE CELEBRATION
Beloved actor Peter Wyngarde passed away this week. Wyngarde began his career with a number of stage performances between the late 1940s and mid-1950s, most notably appearing in productions with Alec Guinness and Vivien Leigh. He had an uncredited role in the 1949 Hammer film about a special agent, Dick Barton Strikes Back, and appeared with Deborah Kerr in the 1961 gothic horror film, The Innocents. 1962 offered a memorable role in Burn Witch Burn (Night of the Eagle), and genre fans may remember his role as Klytus in Flash Gordon (1980). But it was on the small screen Wyngarde truly made his mark on the culture. He appeared in a number of early ITC and BBC productions, notably A Tale of Two Cities (1957), The Adventures of Ben Gunn (1958), BBC Sunday Night Theatre, and Armchair Theatre. As the spy boom picked up momentum, Wyngarde brought his sharp mind and flair to many of the popular series of the day, including The Baron, The Saint, I Spy, and The Champions. In 1966 he portrayed John Cartney, the ruthless leader of a modern-day Hellfire Club, in The Avengers ("A Touch of Brimstone")- infamous for his scenes of club debauchery and a climax where he whipped Mrs. Peel (dressed as "Queen of Sin"). He followed up in the 1967 episode "Epic", where he played a number of roles in a string of wonderful (and witty) scenes based on classic cliffhangers and movie tropes. In 1967 he was chosen by Patrick McGoohan to play Number 2 in The Prisoner episode "Checkmate". When I interviewed Wyngarde in 2016 in preparations for my upcoming Spy Vibe book, he said "I genuinely believe that The Prisoner is the greatest television show ever made. Patrick had a great vision - like Mozart could see all the notes in his head, Patrick was the same with every individual character and scene. He was a visionary." Despite Wyngarde's brilliant mind and electric energy, stardom seemed to pass him by. But all that changed when he was cast as Jason King in the ITC series Department S in 1969. Wyngarde's character, part of a trio charged with investigating baffling crimes and intrigue, was written as an adventure novelist-turned-sleuth who used his vast powers of imagination, discerning tastes, and creativity to help lead his team to success. The series ran for two seasons, and then Wyngarde carried on as the star of his own show, Jason King, from 1971-1972. The flamboyance of the character's design was truly a product of the era and it has been said that Mike Myers had him in mind as one of the inspirations for Austin Powers. Wyngarde brought a wonderful sense of style and humor to the role of Jason King. And the importance of style was highlighted in one of my favorite scenes, where the baddies pressured King into divulging information by brutally torturing- his clothes! I asked him about Jason King in our 2016 interview: "With Jason King, I had more of an opportunity to stamp my own personality on to him quite a lot. I got to name the character and I wore a lot of my own clothes. The actual J.K. “look” came about accidently. I was appearing in a play called ‘The Duel’ in London’s West End at the time I was signed to play Jason, in which I was cast in the role of a character called Nickolay von Koren. I’d grown my hair and a 19th century-style moustache, which has since been mistakenly referred to as ‘Viva Zapata’ or Mexican, which is completely wrong. The turn-back cuffs came about when we were filming in Venice, and I lost a cufflink in a canal. Not knowing what to do, I just turned them back and it started a fashion in the UK. Of course, Jason King reflected the attitudes of the time. He was very chauvinistic and women, in general, were treated like sex objects. It simply wouldn’t happen now." His four years as Jason King would prove to be the height of his superstardom, and fans from around the world have loved him ever since. He made many appearances at conventions and gatherings, and was thankfully able to speak at the 50th celebration of The Prisoner in Portmeirion on September 29th, 2017. He died peacefully in London on January 15th. He was 90 years old. Spy Vibe sends deepest condolences to his friends and colleagues.