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Friday, May 09, 2014

Comic Cuts - 9 May 2014

I mentioned last week that I'd completed the introduction to the Countdown to TV Action index. Thanks to the bank holiday, I didn't really do much over last weekend—we made some inroads into watching the first season of Grimm, which I've had sitting amongst a pile of unwatched DVDs for some weeks. It's pretty good, although very much a "monster of the week" series with a Basil Exposition character involved to explain things to the main character, who has just learned that he is from a long line of monster-hunters. It follows in the footsteps of Supernatural with the spin that Nick Burkhardt is a police officer.

Mel is a big fan of another fantasy/detective drama, Sleepy Hollow. I've only seen the first couple of episodes but I'd say it looks pretty good. There seems to have been a shift towards fantasy/horror and away from science fiction, although I recently picked up the first season of Defiance, which is set in the near-future frontier town of that name, built on the ruins of St. Louis after aliens attempt to transform the planet to their needs. The pilot seemed pretty good, but I've yet to see the rest of the series, although I gather it has been picked up for a second season. I've yet to see Falling Skies, but that, too, has survived for some time now and is almost certainly worth a look-in.

I miss Battlestar Galactica! Can anyone suggest any other good SF shows that might be worth catching up with?

I've managed to stray wildly from what I was intending to write. What I meant to say was that the text for the introduction has gone out to a couple of people for checking and I'm very pleased with the response I've had back. This arrived at the perfect time as my self confidence was taking a bit of a battering as I tried to start on the next task—designing the book. I had a notion for the opening pages that looked a lot better in my imagination than it did when I put it together on Monday. I revamped it on Tuesday and it looked better... but it still wasn't right. I had another go on Wednesday but the results were still too floaty and just not right.

Thankfully, I think I nailed it on Thursday. As I write this I've put together a dozen pages that I'm happy with. It's a painfully slow process because it takes so long to clean up the illustrations to a reasonable standard.

Our random scans today are in memory of the late Leslie Thomas, who died on Thuesday (6 May) aged 83. Thomas is best known for his novel The Virgin Soldiers, published in 1966 and filmed in 1969, which had a number of sequels, including Onward Virgin Soldiers (1971) and Stand Up Virgin Soldiers (1975). Thomas' other novels include Tropic of Ruislip (1974), which was made into the TV series Ruislip, Ormerod's Landing (1978), The Loves and Journeys of Revolving Jones (1991) and the Dangerous Davies series of four novels, illustrated below. Dangerous was subesquently filmed with Bernard Cribbins in 1981 and also made for TV—as The Last Detective—with Peter Davison and Sean Hughes (2003-07).

Further information about Thomas and his career: Wikipedia, The Guardian (8 May), Daily Telegraph (8 May), The Independent (10 May).

Dangerous Davies The Last Detective (London, Eyre Methuen, 1976)
Pan 0330-25173-2, 1977, 238pp, 80p. Cover photo
Arrow 0099-43617-5, 2001, 269pp, £5.99. Cover photo by Rob Ebden

Dangerous in Love (London, Methuen, 1987)
Penguin 0140-10964-1, 1988, 239pp.
---- [7th imp.] n.d., 239pp, £5.99. Cover by Chris Brown

Dangerous By Moonlight (London, Methuen 1993)
Mandarin 0749-31339-0, 1994, 344pp, £4.99. Cover by Peter Mennim

Dangerous Davies  and the Lonely Heart (London, William Heinemann, 1998)
Arrow 0749-31916-X, 1999, 323pp, £5.99. Cover by John Dawson

I don't have anything planned for next week, but I do have a piece by Robert Kirkpatrick on penny dreadful publisher William Cate to run over the weekend.

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