James Bond moves from Penguin to Vintage

Just spotted this on the BBC News website:

Ian Fleming’s back catalogue of James Bond stories is to be relaunched after his estate signed a 10-year deal with Random House to publish the books in print and e-book format.

Vintage, a division of Random House, will take over publishing of print books from Penguin.

The estate, which has been publishing e-books, said the deal was “a significant step change” for the work.

Fleming’s 14 Bond books have sold more than 100 million copies worldwide.

Fleming’s first Bond novel, Casino Royale, was published in 1953 by Vintage’s sister imprint Jonathan Cape.

“We are delighted to be reuniting James Bond with his original publisher,” said Corinne Turner, managing director of Ian Fleming Publications.

The 14 books, including two short story collections, will be relaunched this summer.

Sales are likely to be boosted by the release, in October, of Daniel Craig’s third 007 film Skyfall, which comes 50 years after the original Bond film, Dr No.

Sebastian Faulks and John Gardner are among authors who have written officially-sanctioned Bond novels since Fleming’s death in 1964.

The latest, Carte Blanche – written by thriller author Jeffery Deaver and released in May last year – updates the James Bond back story and portrays him as a Royal Naval Reserve veteran whose service included a tour of Afghanistan.

Source: www.bbc.co.uk

So I think that will make the paperback publishers Pan, Granada, Coronet, Penguin and Vintage. Time to get collecting again!

More Black Widow poster goodness

Six new character posters for The Avengers have appeared featuring an interesting design gimmick. Each poster focuses on one Avenger with a second team member appearing in the background. The result is that two of them are Scarlett Johansson flavoured.

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Nuff said.

Upstairs Downstairs series 2 episode 3

I found two thirds of this episode watchable and one third less enjoyable.

Surprisingly the bit i didn’t enjoy involved alex kingston and Emelia Fox snogging each other. Frankly it all got a bit boring and you could see how it was going to turn out from a mile off. “Emelia is going to stay with her husband and keep you as a bit on the side, which wont be enough for you,” I screamed at the TV after five minutes of it. Well, not screamed, more like thought disinterestedly.

Oddly the bit I enjoyed most was the storyline given to the nursery maid Beryl. Somehow (I’m unsure of the details) she and the other maid Eunice ended up getting more duties for no more pay. And to cap it all off they are forced to spend their single afternoon off attending some ladies’ fitness activities.

Incidentally the ladies’ fitness class was slightly disturbing to see. All the ladies were wearing identical semi-fascist uniforms with bare legs. With the addition of 1930s hairdos it was a less attractive sight than that description makes out.

All this work and exercise given Eunice a sore arm (or leg or something) so the concerned Beryl goes in confidence to some society or other that helps girls in service. The lady she talks to turns up at Eaton place and speaks her mind about the working conditions and lack of a bed for each girl. Its 1939, not 1899 apparently. Then she drags Eunice off to the dentist. It all seems reasonable enough but Art Malek shouts at Beryl about disloyalty, probably because he has nothing else to do in this episode.

So I enjoyed that story for its mundanity. It could easily fit in the old 1970s series.

The other storyline I enjoyed involved bad girl Persie. She discovers she’s ‘expecting’ and wants Hallam to arrange an abortion. No, it’s illegal, he explains. Then Persie attempts being thrown from a horse but it doesn’t work. Eventually she orders the chauffeur to take her to an illegal abortionist and then to a hotel. She’s clearly unwell so he gets Hallam. Hallam turns up and spends the night watching after her.

To cheer her up he tells her a story of how he got a prize of a box of Huntley & Palmer Afternoon Tea Biscuits at school for being helpful,. Well, he had to share it with another boy. The other boy, let’s call him fatty, got all the biscuits and Hallam kept the tin to put his stuff in. The story had a sad ending as Kelly Hawes eventually chucked it out.

After Persie recovers she gives Hallam an identical tin as a thank you. Aw, must be love.

So in summary, BBC: more stuff about working conditions, Persie being bad and period biscuit tins. Less fitness classes and Alex Kingston snogging. I thank you.

Any excuse to show a photo of Lara Pulver

I’ve liked Lara ever since seeing her as Isabella in the BBC’s Robin Hood back in 2009, almost three years before her revealing appearance in Sherlock in 2012. Just see my numerous posts on my old blog for proof: burstsofenthusiasm.blogspot.com

Does that make me a long time admirer? Probably.

So I don’t really need an excuse to include a photo of Ms Pulver here.

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I found this one at pictures.metro.co.uk captioned “All New People Press Night”. At first I thought it was an event to show off some “New People”, perhaps replicants or clones or something. Disappointingly it seems its just a play.

Rather less disappointingly Lara looks lovely and her cheekbones are as wonderful as always.

Hannibal TV show

I just spotted this news from a couple of weeks ago. It appears that NBC is going to make a TV series based on the Hannibal Lecter novels by Thomas Harris.

My first reaction was a bit of mental eye rolling. But then I discovered that the show will apparently feature the Will Graham character from the first Lecter novel Red Dragon.

This gets me interested because in my opinion the Red Dragon novel is the best of the bunch. Also it was the basis for the best Hannibal Lecter movie.

Or rather I should say the best Hannibal Lecktor movie because I’m talking about Michael Mann’s 1986 film Manhunter with William Peterson as Will Graham and Brian Cox as Hannibal, rather than the Red Dragon remake from 2002 with William Norton and Anthony Hopkins.

One thing I like about Manhunter was that it was more faithful to the book when showing us Lecter’s cell. I remember the book describing the white walls and Lector’s white uniform. Of course the ‘other’ movies gave us a fairly unbelievable badly-lit dungeon with stone walls that I never bought as a suitable place to incarcerate a serial killer.

Also I just love Brian Cox’s droll interpretation of the character. His Lecter comes across as slightly bored but you feel him getting under Graham’s skin.

But I digress. Time will tell if this series will be any good. Which for me will be if it’s anything like Manhunter.

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