I've heard people compare the Mick Heron novels to the Boysie Oakes novel series by our own John Gardner. I was wondering if there's anything to this?
I recall your aversion to Mick Herron Chrisno1, and of course respect your opinion but I've always found Herron's writing to be very much to my taste, and I think his gift for description is exceptional. As for the humour, if that doesn't appeal to you then that will be detrimental to your enjoyment of the books.
Admittedly part of his structural technique is the chopping and changing of scenes as you've mentioned, and this is a structure that does bring television/film techniques to mind. I guess it's up the reader to decide whether they like this or not.
Also, if the espionage plot of Slow Horses doesn't grab you, in my opinion it's plot is my least favourite of all the novels. The first novel is primarily focused on introducing the Slough House ensemble. Subsequent novels get more interesting in their plots.
Obviously I don't expect to change the mind of anybody who isn't a Herron fan. That's just my opinion. But it's one that is shared by many fellow spy literature fans.
@Silhouette Man I haven't read enough Boysie Oakes to properly comment on any similarities. But there is probably something to that. I think also Len Deighton's nameless spy (aka Harry Palmer) books could be a worthy comparison. I have heard other spy fans comment that Herron is something of a modern day Deighton.
I hope you will enjoy the second series Gymkata. The second book is one of my favourite in the series. I have heard that the second series is a little less faithful to the novel than series 1 was though. I'm looking forward to seeing what they've done with it though. It was filmed concurrently with the first series, so they clearly had quite a bit of confidence in the show.
You don't do books?
Not strictly true but I generally do horror/gothic/occult novels. 👿
That's a relief! I have the greatest repect for you, Lady. But personally I like to eat, breathe, read and stuff like that, so I couldn't hjelp reacting to your post. 🙂
Thanks, @Golrush007. That's good to know. I did buy a few of the Mick Herron novels when they were on offer at The Works here in the UK. Not gotten around to reading them yet but will have to try them out some time. I've heard Herron being compared to Deigton too, of course one of the biggest names in the spy fiction genre.
DOCTOR WHO: THE FIVE DOCTORS (1983)
I’ve been ploughing my way through the Doctor Who series for the past couple of years and have reached the 20th anniversary special episode. This reunites the five doctors up to that point and several companions. Written by script editor Terrance **** it involves the current Doctor meeting up with his previous incarnations and companions in the Death Zone on Gallifrey. It all gets a bit confusing as The Master is seconded by the Time Lords to rescue the Doctor in return for a pardon for past misdeeds.
It’s nice to see the old doctors, Tom Baker didn’t want to return so some unused footage is used of him, and William Hartnell who had passed away by then is played rather well by Richard Hurndall, but we do see old footage of Hartnell at the beginning. Carole Ann Ford returns as the doctors granddaughter, the Brigadier, Sarah Jane Smith and Jamie all return along with current companions Turlough and Tegan. The actress who plays Tegan is very wooden, nice legs though!
I quite like it when series revisit past characters and this episode has it in spades. Its an entertaining feature length episode and a fun celebratory way of attaining 20 years of adventures. Oh, yes, the Daleks and Cybermen turn up as well!
You'll catch my review soon...
Anything good on TV? Of course not, it's summer! TV HQ is in Oslo where ut rarely rains, so probably they figure everyone is outside in the sun instead of watching TV.
One contingent that's certainly well enough catered for on UK TV is the sports fan. It just seems to have been wall-to-wall sports coverage this summer. Just one thing after another, meaning many regular programmes have to be rescheduled or cancelled altogether.
That said, I have been enjoying the Secrets of the Spies series on ITV recently. The second and latest episode dealt with Assassination and covered the Georgi Markov, Litvinenko and Skripal poisonings. More of this sort of content on our TV screens, and less sport, would be most welcome.
You're preaching to the choir, SM!
Yes, I think you'd really enjoy that series, N24. I happened across the first episode just by chance one night when flicking through the channels.
I was thinking more of my complete lack of interest in sports, but you're probably right about the "Spies" documentary series too.
Yes, I'd say you're correct on both points. Hopefully it'll end up on YouTube at some point so that you can get a chance to see it too. 🙂
Edit: The 3-part series is already on there!
(2637) Secrets Of The Spies Part 1 of 3 - YouTube
(2637) Secrets Of The Spies Part 2 of 3 - YouTube
(2637) Secrets Of The Spies Part 3 of 3 - YouTube
Well worth a watch if you're interested in real world spying!
Oh, I just realised I've seen the series already! I just forgot it's the one narrated by Damian Lewis. It's reccomend.
Any alligations that I'm interested in real world spies are well-based and true.
Ah, I see. Maybe it's a repeat on ITV as I see those episodes were uploaded in March. It was the first time I'd seen it on TV, however. I probably missed it first time around. Still have to watch the third episode.
Spy fact often informs spy fiction so it's useful to be clued up on it.
ITV are currently showing this. I've watched the first two and really enjoyed both episodes.
I've no idea why anyone would become a spy tbh. 🤣
Yes, I've been enjoying it too and have also seen the first two episodes.
Yes, real world spying is far from glamorous and can be deadly. I often think it's more akin to that scene in The Ipcress File (1965) where Harry Palmer is making a tape recording of his notes on the surveillance of a house across the street. That sort of boring day to day drudgery is what real spying is often like I'd wager, right down to Palmer's observations about them getting more bottles of milk. His speculation is that there are either more people there or, mundanely, that they are drinking more tea!
The guy who was the spy in Afghanistan? No thanks.
Also the guy who was saying about when you're given a new identity and have to know everything even down to what the local pub sells.
My husband had some dealing with Peter Clarke, Head of Counter Terrorism, and said what a good bloke he is.
You have such good contacts, Lady Rose!
You should marry more people to get access to even more information. 👍
You'd be surprised N24 ... I hope I haven't blown my cover!!
I'm discression itself!
I'm sure you'll be fine. I mean, who would ever think of looking for a spy on a James Bond forum?
I hadn’t seen this before and it’s one hell of a shocking piece of TV history. Showing the lead up to a nuclear war and the aftermath of it, the programme follows two families interlinked by the children, the daughter of one family is pregnant by the son of the other family. Written by Barry Hines, of Kes fame, and directed by Mick Jackson (The Bodyguard), this is a bleak, compelling drama, especially pertinent to events going on today. The futility of war has never been so dramatically portrayed and left me depressed after watching it. It’s compelling, powerful and graphic, it’s one of the most important pieces of television I have ever seen. The leaders of all countries should be made to watch it.
Streamed on BritBox.
Excellent, even if depressing.
Just watched on Amazon Prime the latest Grand Tour escapade " Scandi Flick ".
Richard Hammond trying to get on a Ski lift is the funniest thing I've seen in
Season 2 of Professor T starring Ben Miller as the OCD criminologist at Cambridge University is excellent, Miller seems born to play the part. Rising Damp’s Frances de la Tour plays his domineering mother. Professor Tempest aids the police in solving their crimes whilst coping with his OCD and tragedy from his past. Well made and interesting with some great background songs and music.
I watched it on the BritBox app @Gymkata on an Amazon Firestick and using a VPN set to the UK - it should arrive on the US version soon, I expect. I didn’t realise it was based on a Belgian series, thanks for the heads up, I will try and locate it.
I'm another fan of Prof T, in fact I watch most Murder mystery shows. Happily, I found on YouTube " Going Straight" the
Follow up series to Porridge. A very funny show only stopped due to the sudden death of Richard Beckinsdale.
I was watching Richard Beckinsdale just recently in a DVD of the Armchair Theatre episode he appeared in called 'Detective Waiting' (1971). He had a macintosh on just like the one Lt Columbo wore. In fact, he could have passed for a younger Columbo! Interestingly, it first aired on 14th September 1971 which was the day before the first episode of the TV series Columbo, 'Murder by the Book' aired. In the episode, Beckinsdale played a young detective determined to arrest a local gangster suspected of stealing a large consignment of brandy. I was shocked to find when I looked him up afterwards that he had died back in 1979, aged only 31. I knew his face from somewhere and realised it was as the cellmate to Fletcher in Porridge. A sad end to an acting career that was really going places. 😪