This month, we head back in time to 1965. While James Bond is in the Bahamas enjoying some painfully slow underwater harpoon fights, Harry Palmer (Michael Caine) is having a much more prosaic time spying for the Ministry of Defence, trying to locate a kidnapped scientist. That is, until the psychedelia kicks in.
– Oh, I’m sorry about the explosion. It doesn’t happen every day.
– I don’t come every day.
This month, we’re watching the camp 1966 spy-fi classic Modesty Blaise, starring a very attractive Italian lady, Dirk Bogarde and Bernice off Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. There’s diamond smuggling, spycraft and racist comedy Arabs, but it’s mostly all there to get in the way of the lovely location work in Amsterdam and Italy and the upsettingly psychedelic wallpaper.
I love you madly. I love the way the hair curls on the back of your neck. You’ll make a beautiful corpse. I’m going to do you the honour of letting you die superbly.
This month, we’re watching The Prisoner (1967), more specifically its weird antepenultimate episode The Girl Who Was Death. So while Nathan puts the children to bed, James does some ball-tampering, Brendan drives around on the ceiling, and Richard enters a deadly alliance with the butcher, the baker and the candlestick maker. No, we don’t know what’s going on either.
Thank heaven for English theatre bars. We’ve had two acts of this play, complete suffering both onstage, and off.
This month, we head back to the earliest days of Rogertainment with the very first episode of The Saint (1961), in which Roger Moore teams up with a future Bond girl, the glittering Shirley Eaton, to thwart a serial wife-killer who will one day control every computer in the galaxy. Or something. It’s all a bit confusing really.
– Why not, it was a lousy night. Where were you? I left a message for you at midnight.
– Chasing a bag of peanuts.
This month, our Kate O’Marathon commences with a 1968 episode of The Champions, in which Miss O’Mara does some light shoplifting in the hope of scoring some deadly crack for the weekend, and the four of us team up to use our slightly racist superpowers to stop her.
Oh, I discovered then, nothing beats a good lashing. (Mind your head.) Take India. You can have a good ten inches overnight there. You know, one should never fear being wet.
This month, we commemorate the death of Sean Connery by revisiting the first nail in the coffin of his movie career, the 1998 film The Avengers, starring Ralph Fiennes and Uma Thurman as crude robot replicas of John Steed and Mrs Peel, who go up against the wet sporran of Connery’s single most villainous role, Sir August de Wynter — a man who selflessly tries to provide the population of Great Britain with something interesting to make small talk about.