July 30, 2015

DOCTOR WHO EXPERIENCE

As Spy Vibe tends to spotlight imagination, technology, and design from the Cold War, it is not unusual to see characters from the Sci-Fi realm lurking here in the shadows. And from his dealings with diabolical megalomaniacs (Enemy of the World) and his work with UNIT and use of Bond-like gadgets in the early 1970s, Doctor Who is a reader favorite! I recently had a chance to photograph the Doctor Who Experience in Cardiff, which featured 50 years of costumes, props, and sets. Putting aside my inner-child for the moment (who was absolutely thrilled, by the way!), I can report that the series is indeed bigger on the inside. My visit to the Experience began with a fun interactive adventure led by an actress, who took the group through various sets, where The Doctor communicated via video link and his gallery of rogues circled in for the kill. Fans of the contemporary series got to see familiar foes, such as Daleks and Weeping Angels. I wasn't expecting an invitation to play-act, but it was quite fun running through the scenario and the sets were fantastic. Once the tour portion of the visit was over, I was then free to wander through five decades of screen artifacts and treasures. Most of the displays focused on costumes, props, and set interiors, but they were smart to also include a large area devoted to the BBC Radiophonic Workshop wizards who conjured up all those great atmospheric sounds and musical scores. Encapsulating Cold War elements from the show's design history, the exhibit included a number of early-style Tardis interiors, with their focus on minimal futurism and geometric shapes. The Cybermen, one of my favorite Who villains, were well represented in a timeline of design evolution. Although the Cybermen have become more beefy and metallic in recent years, their basic form still harkens back to those wonderful, silver Gemini space suits of the early 1960s. The Doctor Who Experience presented a massive archive of costumes, and a great highlight was photographing the collection of outfits worn by each of the doctors. Seeing them displayed in a line, one couldn't help but pick up on the Edwardian tradition of the dandy gentleman as a counterbalance to the show's themes of adventure and cutting-edge technology. Doctor Who was not alone in this 1960s trend, as we saw a rash of dandy heroes in The Avengers, Adam Adamant Lives, and in films like The Assassination Bureau. As a character designed initially to entertain and educate children about history, his costumes have served to root us in a gentler image from our own past, where eccentric Willy Wonka-like uncles feed us jelly babies and foil fiendish plots devised by dastardly evil-doers. As a professional photographer, I always try to convey mood and narrative in my images (in this case, taken with iPhone 6 with only minor editing). Below: details of most of the Doctor costumes, as well as Tardis interiors, an original set model, plus Cybermen and assorted creatures. One of my faves are the Ice Warriors (brought back recently in "Cold War" 2013). The yellow Edwardian car was the gadget-filled motor featured mainly in the third Doctor's era portrayed by John Pertwee. Bessie, as it was called, included an anti-theft force field, remote control, and hyperdrive with inertia absorption. The Doctor Who Experience was a great thrill and I encourage readers to make the pilgrimage. I liked it so much, in fact, that I can imagine relocating and devoting my talents to furthering the cause. Wales is lovely. I invite serious job offers! My photo series concludes with an image of the great Tom Baker (my childhood Doctor) captured serendipitously in the train back to London, and a self-portrait of your humble Spy Vibe host with Cybermen (auditioning for The Master?). Your guide to the original Doctors costumes: William Hartnell (1963-1966), Patrick Troughton (1966-1969), John Pertwee (1970-1974), Tom Baker (1974-1981), Peter Davison (1981-1984), Sylvester McCoy (1987-1989), Paul McGann (1996), Christopher Eccelston (2005), David Tennant (2005-2010), Matt Smith (2010-2013). The new season of Doctor Who begins on September 19th (look out for a 3D preview screening offered by Fathom Events). Inquiries about these Photograph prints can be made to spyvibe[at]gmail.com. More info about Photographer/Writer Jason Whiton here. Enjoy!


Selected Spy Vibe posts: Farewell SteedPussy Galore ReturnsDiana Rigg birthdaySherlock at 221BInvisible AgentSaint Interview: Ian DickersonSaint DoppelgängerFleming's TypewriterRare FlemingFleming's MusicIan Fleming's JapanJim Wilson Corgi InterviewFantomas DesignJeremy Duns on BondJohn Buss interviewDiana Rigg eBookAvengers Season 5 TitlesSaint VolvoMod Tales InterviewAgente Secreto ComicsDanger Man Comics 2Danger Man ComicsJohn Drake ComicsDer Mann Von UNCLEGolden Margaret NolanMan From UNCLE RocksteadyPussy Galore Calypso, Cynthia Lennon R.I.P.Edward Mann FashionLeonard Nimoy TributeShatner at 84Bob Morane seriesNew Saint PublicationsThe Saint Complete box setGerry Anderson Box SetsMusic For SpiesThai Bond DesignBond vs ModernismPopular SkulltureArt of ModestyAvengers Blu-ray updateTokyo Beat 1964Polaroid SpyFeraud Mod FashionGreen Hornet MangaNo 6 FestivalAvengers Interview: Michael RichardsonIan Fleming: Wicked GrinJane Bond Hong Kong RecordsRyan Heshka Interview, Comics Week: Man From R.I.V.E.R.D.A.L.E.Comics Week: ArchieComics Week: Robots, Comics Week: Cold War Atomic, Comics Week: SPYMANComics Week: Jimmy Olsen, Shakespeare Spies: Diana RiggShakespeare Spies I, Rodney Marshall Avengers Interview, Richard Sala: Super-Enigmatix, Cold War Archie, Playboy Bunny InterviewThe 10th Victim Japanese and KindleU.N.C.L.E. Japanese Books, Trina Robbins InterviewCatsuits, Batman '66 Green Hornet Interview: Ralph Garman Ty Templeton.

July 29, 2015

FAREWELL STEED

Farewell Steed: a personal reflection on Patrick Macnee. I was fortunate to spend time this summer touring many film locations from The Avengers with fellow fans and writers. I can't begin to describe how nurturing and transformative the experience was, except to say I finally felt as though I had found my tribe. Many of the attendees have written extensively about classic spy shows, Gerry Anderson, and Doctor Who, and it seemed every moment was filled with joyful discussions about our various new discoveries and projects. On the day after my extended tour ended, and a day after I shot this photograph below (curtesy of Alan and Alys Hayes), I received the sad news Patrick Macnee had passed away. I was already on to a new chapter of the trip to see friends in Cambridge. I woke early and walked along the water alone and tried to process the emotions. It had only been a week since I re-sent a long interview to Patrick Macnee and communicated with him about doing a foreword to my upcoming book about the thriller genre and 1960s Spy Boom. Now that he was gone, I was filled with a sense of loss for my earliest childhood hero. It was Macnee's John Steed who first introduced me to the world of spies and who led many of us, by his special gift of charm and sly humor, through years of well-dressed adventure. James Bond expert Ajay Chowdhury asked me recently over fish and chips (next door to Eon!) why I had such an affinity for British characters over ones from the US. I tried to describe elements that were more common in the UK, such as charm, flair and eccentric wit, but I failed to mention one of the main ingredients that Macnee and his countrymen (and women!) often brought to their work. Macnee had a special twinkle in his eye that expressed flair and humor, to be sure. But study any scene with John Steed and you will notice a look that revealed a man enjoying the moment and his fellow actors with deep affection, as well. You'll see that look of affection all through The Avengers, Adam Adamant Lives, The Persuaders, Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased), Doctor Who, etc. Watching my friends' faces light up in conversation during the trip, I found their own spirit of affection, like Macnee's, inspiring and contagious. Keeping this quality in mind, it's a nice reminder that we are here to share things that bring us joy and community. Patrick Macnee helped to set me on a course in life that eventually led me here to Spy Vibe and to meet an extended family in England and Wales, so I'm left with a feeling of gratitude for his great gift. Walking along the river, I stopped to express my grief and support to Patrick's son. I also felt regretful that I hadn't reached out sooner. His son wrote back right away to let me know that his mom and dad used to visit on Sundays while he was at Bedford in the early-mid 1960s. As a family, they would go on drives in the country and enjoy having tea together in Cambridge. It was such a generous story to share with me at that moment, about a day after his dad had passed away. It made me realize we were all processing this loss together as a community. And even though I found myself in a new city, I still hadn't strayed from Patrick's path. And by sharing Macnee's stories, we were keeping the home fires burning for a special man. Below: original Avengers Bentley and John Steed figure by Corgi (photo: Jason Whiton). 


Selected Spy Vibe posts: Pussy Galore ReturnsDiana Rigg birthdaySherlock at 221BInvisible AgentSaint Interview: Ian DickersonSaint DoppelgängerFleming's TypewriterRare FlemingFleming's MusicIan Fleming's JapanJim Wilson Corgi InterviewFantomas DesignJeremy Duns on BondJohn Buss interviewDiana Rigg eBookAvengers Season 5 TitlesSaint VolvoMod Tales InterviewAgente Secreto ComicsDanger Man Comics 2Danger Man ComicsJohn Drake ComicsDer Mann Von UNCLEGolden Margaret NolanMan From UNCLE RocksteadyPussy Galore Calypso, Cynthia Lennon R.I.P.Edward Mann FashionLeonard Nimoy TributeShatner at 84Bob Morane seriesNew Saint PublicationsThe Saint Complete box setGerry Anderson Box SetsMusic For SpiesThai Bond DesignBond vs ModernismPopular SkulltureArt of ModestyAvengers Blu-ray updateTokyo Beat 1964Polaroid SpyFeraud Mod FashionGreen Hornet MangaNo 6 FestivalAvengers Interview: Michael RichardsonIan Fleming: Wicked GrinJane Bond Hong Kong RecordsRyan Heshka Interview, Comics Week: Man From R.I.V.E.R.D.A.L.E.Comics Week: ArchieComics Week: Robots, Comics Week: Cold War Atomic, Comics Week: SPYMANComics Week: Jimmy Olsen, Shakespeare Spies: Diana RiggShakespeare Spies I, Rodney Marshall Avengers Interview, Richard Sala: Super-Enigmatix, Cold War Archie, Playboy Bunny InterviewThe 10th Victim Japanese and KindleU.N.C.L.E. Japanese Books, Trina Robbins InterviewCatsuits, Batman '66 Green Hornet Interview: Ralph Garman Ty Templeton.

July 28, 2015

SECRET SQUIRREL POPS

New release: Secret Squirrel: Agent 000. Funko's "Pop" line of iconic figures has grown rapidly over the past few years to include characters from just about every nostalgic franchise ever made. Like Kid Robot and other toy manufacturers before them, Funko's success lies in producing slight variations on a singular design. With some similarities to the Japanese Chibi style, Pops feature large, cute faces on small bodies (look for really cute Batman editions in various colors!). Mining the classic Hanna Barbera cartoons in a second series of toys, the company has just released a Secret Squirrel figure that might appeal to Spy Vibers. As you may remember from the animated show, "Secret" (as his sidekick, Morocco Mole, called him) is cloaked in a purple mask-hat, white trench coat, and poses casually with pistol and silencer. The series also includes Morocco Mole, Muttley, Dick Dastardly, and others. Pop figures can be found at comic stores, Barnes and Noble, and other specialty shops. More info at Amazon. Secret Squirrel originally ran from 1965-1968. The main character was voiced by the great Mel Blanc. Related Spy Vibe posts: Spy Kids: Back in Trench CoatsSecret Squirrel Action Figure, Enjoy!





Selected Spy Vibe posts: Pussy Galore ReturnsDiana Rigg birthdaySherlock at 221BInvisible AgentSaint Interview: Ian DickersonSaint DoppelgängerFleming's TypewriterRare FlemingFleming's MusicIan Fleming's JapanJim Wilson Corgi InterviewFantomas DesignJeremy Duns on BondJohn Buss interviewDiana Rigg eBookAvengers Season 5 TitlesSaint VolvoMod Tales InterviewAgente Secreto ComicsDanger Man Comics 2Danger Man ComicsJohn Drake ComicsDer Mann Von UNCLEGolden Margaret NolanMan From UNCLE RocksteadyPussy Galore Calypso, Cynthia Lennon R.I.P.Edward Mann FashionLeonard Nimoy TributeShatner at 84Bob Morane seriesNew Saint PublicationsThe Saint Complete box setGerry Anderson Box SetsMusic For SpiesThai Bond DesignBond vs ModernismPopular SkulltureArt of ModestyAvengers Blu-ray updateTokyo Beat 1964Polaroid SpyFeraud Mod FashionGreen Hornet MangaNo 6 FestivalAvengers Interview: Michael RichardsonIan Fleming: Wicked GrinJane Bond Hong Kong RecordsRyan Heshka Interview, Comics Week: Man From R.I.V.E.R.D.A.L.E.Comics Week: ArchieComics Week: Robots, Comics Week: Cold War Atomic, Comics Week: SPYMANComics Week: Jimmy Olsen, Shakespeare Spies: Diana RiggShakespeare Spies I, Rodney Marshall Avengers Interview, Richard Sala: Super-Enigmatix, Cold War Archie, Playboy Bunny InterviewThe 10th Victim Japanese and KindleU.N.C.L.E. Japanese Books, Trina Robbins InterviewCatsuits, Batman '66 Green Hornet Interview: Ralph Garman Ty Templeton.

July 26, 2015

WHO PREVIEW

The Spy Vibe lair is buzzing with projects right now! Ever since I returned from my mission in the UK, the Miki Zero novel and new non-fiction book about the Spy Boom have shifted to the top of the pile. Before too much time passes, however, I promise to post more images from the trip that will interest fans of 1960s classics like The Prisoner and The Avengers. As we tend to spotlight elements of innovation, technology, the Space Age, and design from the 1960s, it is not unusual to see characters from the Sci-Fi realm lurking here in the shadows. And from his dealings with a diabolical megalomaniac in Enemy of the World and his Bondian work with UNIT, Doctor Who is a Spy Vibe favorite! Stay tuned for my photographs of the Doctor Who Experience exhibit in Cardiff. Enjoy!


Selected Spy Vibe posts: Pussy Galore ReturnsDiana Rigg birthdaySherlock at 221BInvisible AgentSaint Interview: Ian DickersonSaint DoppelgängerFleming's TypewriterRare FlemingFleming's MusicIan Fleming's JapanJim Wilson Corgi InterviewFantomas DesignJeremy Duns on BondJohn Buss interviewDiana Rigg eBookAvengers Season 5 TitlesSaint VolvoMod Tales InterviewAgente Secreto ComicsDanger Man Comics 2Danger Man ComicsJohn Drake ComicsDer Mann Von UNCLEGolden Margaret NolanMan From UNCLE RocksteadyPussy Galore Calypso, Cynthia Lennon R.I.P.Edward Mann FashionLeonard Nimoy TributeShatner at 84Bob Morane seriesNew Saint PublicationsThe Saint Complete box setGerry Anderson Box SetsMusic For SpiesThai Bond DesignBond vs ModernismPopular SkulltureArt of ModestyAvengers Blu-ray updateTokyo Beat 1964Polaroid SpyFeraud Mod FashionGreen Hornet MangaNo 6 FestivalAvengers Interview: Michael RichardsonIan Fleming: Wicked GrinJane Bond Hong Kong RecordsRyan Heshka Interview, Comics Week: Man From R.I.V.E.R.D.A.L.E.Comics Week: ArchieComics Week: Robots, Comics Week: Cold War Atomic, Comics Week: SPYMANComics Week: Jimmy Olsen, Shakespeare Spies: Diana RiggShakespeare Spies I, Rodney Marshall Avengers Interview, Richard Sala: Super-Enigmatix, Cold War Archie, Playboy Bunny InterviewThe 10th Victim Japanese and KindleU.N.C.L.E. Japanese Books, Trina Robbins InterviewCatsuits, Batman '66 Green Hornet Interview: Ralph Garman Ty Templeton.

July 25, 2015

PUSSY GALORE RETURNS

New release: James Bond fans eagerly await the release of the new 007 novel by Anthony Horowitz (Alex Rider series). Trigger Mortis, which comes out in early September, takes place in 1957 and only two weeks after the end of Goldfinger. Not only was Horowitz able to include unpublished material by Bond creator Ian Fleming, but the story sees the return of Pussy Galore! To celebrate this historic literary event, Vintage Books will release a "Trigger Mortis Edition" of Goldfinger on August 20th, 2015 that features an excerpt of the upcoming novel. More info at AmazonUK. Thanks to the Book Bond for putting this on our radar. From the Trigger Mortis press release: "James Bond is back where he belongs. Anthony Horowitz's new novel is a thrilling tour de force, sure to delight fans of the original 007 novels and new readers alike. It also features previously unseen material written by Bond's creator, Ian Fleming. The story begins in the lethal world of Grand Prix and an attempt by the Russians to sabotage a race at Nürburgring, the most dangerous track in Europe. Bond is in the driving seat but events swiftly take an unexpected turn, pitching him into an entirely different race with implications that could change the world. Anthony Horowitz recreates the golden age of Bond, packed with speed, danger, strong women and fiendish villains, in this brilliantly authentic adventure." Related posts: Lee King Perry Pussy Galore, Pussy Galore Calypso, Unseen Fleming in new 007. Enjoy!


Selected Spy Vibe posts: Diana Rigg birthdaySherlock at 221BInvisible AgentSaint Interview: Ian DickersonSaint DoppelgängerFleming's TypewriterRare FlemingFleming's MusicIan Fleming's JapanJim Wilson Corgi InterviewFantomas DesignJeremy Duns on BondJohn Buss interviewDiana Rigg eBookAvengers Season 5 TitlesSaint VolvoMod Tales InterviewAgente Secreto ComicsDanger Man Comics 2Danger Man ComicsJohn Drake ComicsDer Mann Von UNCLEGolden Margaret NolanMan From UNCLE RocksteadyPussy Galore Calypso, Cynthia Lennon R.I.P.Edward Mann FashionLeonard Nimoy TributeShatner at 84Bob Morane seriesNew Saint PublicationsThe Saint Complete box setGerry Anderson Box SetsMusic For SpiesThai Bond DesignBond vs ModernismPopular SkulltureArt of ModestyAvengers Blu-ray updateTokyo Beat 1964Polaroid SpyFeraud Mod FashionGreen Hornet MangaNo 6 FestivalAvengers Interview: Michael RichardsonIan Fleming: Wicked GrinJane Bond Hong Kong RecordsRyan Heshka Interview, Comics Week: Man From R.I.V.E.R.D.A.L.E.Comics Week: ArchieComics Week: Robots, Comics Week: Cold War Atomic, Comics Week: SPYMANComics Week: Jimmy Olsen, Shakespeare Spies: Diana RiggShakespeare Spies I, Rodney Marshall Avengers Interview, Richard Sala: Super-Enigmatix, Cold War Archie, Playboy Bunny InterviewThe 10th Victim Japanese and KindleU.N.C.L.E. Japanese Books, Trina Robbins InterviewCatsuits, Batman '66 Green Hornet Interview: Ralph Garman Ty Templeton.
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