Friday, July 3, 2009

Weekly Debriefing 004

Begin Transmission:

• Well, I wrote some spy fiction this week. It was an 8,000 word short story called "Countdown to Midnight" for an upcoming prose anthology I'm editing for Moonstone Books featuring the old radio, serial and comic book hero Captain Midnight. In our version of the character, Cap is very much a black ops-type guy, a "flying spy" operating in an alternate history where WW II never happened. In my story, he has to destroy a secret fortress in the Andes, the launch site for the world's first intercontinental ballistic missile. The book's supposed to be out in January or February of 2010, and also has stories by Stephen Mertz, Win Scott Eckert, and John J. Nance, among others.

• I'm currently reading the 1983 Nick Carter novel The Greek Summit, which a frequent visitor to this blog, Robert J. Randisi, informs me is one of the half-dozen that he contributed to the series. Expect a review in a day or two. I'm also reading Tod Goldberg's second Burn Notice novel, The End Game. Will post my thoughts on this one soon, as well.

• This week's spy-fi purchases: I picked up four more early Nick Carter, Killmaster paperbacks from a used bookstore that recently opened nearby. The titles were: The Kremlin File, The Cobra Kill, The Vulcan Disaster, and The Sign of the Prayer Shawl. One of these days, I'll get around to reading them.

Wednesday night, I picked up the DVD of the 2003 spy-fi spoof, Johnny English, at our local Big Lots for a couple of bucks. Not one of my favorites, despite a screenplay by Bond scribes Neal Purvis and Robert Wade and a really excellent musical score by Edward Shearmur. Fact is, I'm just not much of a Rowan Atkinson fan. I despise his Mr. Bean character, and even Blackadder, which I recognize as being good, just isn't to my tastes. Even his small role in Never Say Never Again always irritates the hell out of me.

So why did I pick it up? Well, it was dirt cheap, for one, and it was a spy spoof, for another – and I collect spy spoofs. And even the weakest spy spoofs – like The Nude Bomb or Dr. Goldfoot – have a few bright spots and gags that prompt a chuckle or two.

And did I mention that I liked the music? I really have to track down the soundtrack CD.

• Well, that about covers the last seven days. How was your week?

End Transmission.


Bill Spangler said...

I was wondering how you were going to approach Captain Midnight. That sounds excellent.

BTW, my wife and I have a split opinion about your latest poll. We like both shows, but I told her that I voted for Westen, because he was younger, and you were talking specifically about needing help. Joyce says Robert McCall is still more intimidating...

Christopher Mills said...

I agree with your wife.

Not only would McCall solve whatever the problem was, he'd do it with a lot less property damage. :)

David said...

But being protected by Westen would have fringe benefits - like being holed up in a safe house with Fi !


Tanner said...

I love Johnny English! Though I understand how it could be a tough watch if you just don't like Atkinson, I guess. But I thought it was a much more enjoyable spy spoof than the last two Austin Powers movies, for sure--and maybe even the first one. Very Pink Pantherish. And, as you mention, it had a great spy score!

Christopher Mills said...

To be fair, Tanner, I will admit to liking it better the second time around.

Johnny English is pretty much the same character as Maxwell Smart (Don Adams), though, with his male partner playing the 99 role.

And speaking of Smart, I'm surprised to see how much the Get Smart remake borrowed from JE.