What espionage-related activities have I been up to this week?
• Picked up Season 3 of Get Smart at Best Buy last night. It just came out this past Tuesday, and BB offered a decent discount. Regretfully, I wasn't able to get the Time-Life exclusive box set of the entire series when it came out a few years ago, but these single-season releases suit me quite well. While it's a shame that I'm missing out on all the behind-the-scenes bonus material included in the TL edition, the picture quality on these discs is very satisfactory, and they still include the Barbara Feldon audio intros and commentaries. I haven't seen most of these episodes since one of our local stations re-ran them on weekday afternoons in the mid-Seventies, when I was about thirteen! Anyway, so far, it looks like year 3 may be the best of Get Smart's five seasons, and I'm really enjoying watching these episodes again.
It's actually pretty amazing how well these shows hold up, even after forty years. I find myself laughing out loud surprisingly often!
• As noted below, I bought and read the latest "Young Bond" novel by Charlie Higson, Hurricane Gold. I don't think it's the best in the series – I think that honor might go to the previous entry, Double or Die, so far – but it's a very strong adventure with good villains, a great "Bond girl" (Precious Stone, by name), and a marvelous, thrilling climax. Good stuff.
• This past week, I also finally got around to reading Tod Goldberg's first Burn Notice tie-in novel, The Fix. Goldberg has done a remarkable job of capturing the personalities and voices of the entire cast, but especially that of ex-operative Michael Westen, from whose point of view the story is told. He's also very good at exploiting and describing the series' Miami setting.
The plot is solid – and nicely complicated – and would make a great two-parter on the show. Not much progress is made in regards to Westen's ongoing investigation into the motives behind his burn notice, but then, I'm guessing that particular plotline is, by necessity and contract, the domain of the television writers. Still, we have dangerous people coming out of Westen's shadowy past to complicate his life, he gets to help get someone out of trouble, Sam is lovably loyal, Fi is sexily scary, and there's plenty of action and gunplay.
My only complaint with the book is that there are a surprising number of typographical errors, and that most of them could have been avoided if the editor hadn't relied so much on the computer spellchecker and had actually read what he was editing. Sigh.
A great read, and I look forward to picking up Goldberg's second Burn Notice novel, The End Game, which I believe came out recently.
Season 2 of the Burn Notice television show comes out on DVD next week. I doubt I'll be able to afford to pick it up for a while, though...
• I'm working on my next Sloane episode review, and should have it posted later today or tomorrow.