swordznsorcery: (tardis)
( Jun. 12th, 2017 21:44)
Lately I have been cruelly ignoring the Kindle, in favour of proper books. This is at least partly [personal profile] elenopa's fault, as she recently went on an Arthur Ransome Society weekend, and made me think (for the hundredth time) that I really ought to give his books another try. I scorned them rather as a child, for not being "proper" adventures, in that there are no bad guys/proper peril/fisticuffs, etc, and did my best to avoid them. Grown Up Me (well, slightly) decided that We Didn't Mean To Go To Sea might be a good place to start a reappraisal, as it has (nearly) proper pirates, and actual proper danger in it. It seemed too long for the amount of plot, and got a bit repetitive in places, but it was good, and I shall probably try another soon. In the meantime I've fallen down an old book rabbit hole, and am currently two thirds of the way through Gerald Durrell's My Family And Other Animals, which I also studiously avoided as a child, probably for much the same reason. It's not such a good read. Much funnier, but suffers from the most horrendously purple prose. It's like swimming up hill through treacle, but with witty anecdotes. It has its attractions, mind. It's my mother's edition, from 1959, and I think [personal profile] lost_spook will appreciate the cover:

... )

I do like a colour-coded Penguin!

On the telly front, I'm still wandering through a rewatch of the Beeb's Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell. I love it muchly. This week was episode four, with the King's Roads, and Edward Petherbridge as George III (looking rather older, and considerably less dapper, than when he was Lord Peter Wimsey, just about the only other thing I've seen him in). Why are there only seven episodes? It's not fair. I find myself wanting a wartime spin-off, all about Jonathan doing magic for the army; and that's just for starters.

Oh, and hey - Doctor Who this week! I know it was a bit ridiculous, but I thought it was fun, and I was greatly entertained to see Anthony Calf in it (he was the captain). In 2015 I watched The Monocled Mutineer, Beau Geste and Fortunes Of War more or less at the same time, and he cropped up in all of them, so it was nice to see him again. And, yet again, being a period army type. Still, he didn't get shot this time, which is a step up.

And I think that's all for now. Which is just as well, as if I don't produce some kibble sharpish, I will be eaten by a small ginger cat. Bye.
swordznsorcery: (steele/laura)
( Jan. 16th, 2017 10:08)
[community profile] fandom_stocking fic for [personal profile] dellessanna.

Fandom: Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
Characters: Jonathan and Arabella Strange
Gen, 766 words

... )
swordznsorcery: (xenon)
( Dec. 31st, 2015 20:12)
2014. Guess what?! Yep, still drawing a blank. British politicians being horrible, although admittedly that doesn't narrow it down much. Fabulous summer, if you like hot weather (I do). I spent most of it renovating my mother's garden, digging flowerbeds and unearthing very old dead things, back from when round here was still a sea. I rather wish it still was. Not that I'm entirely advocating life in the Jurassic, as I'm pretty sure the music was rubbish, and internet speeds seriously sucked; but on the plus side I'd be living in an ocean paradise. Also, no electricity bill. Although there's probably a good reason for that.

Yes, I am blatantly avoiding the topic of 2014. It was a pretty good year for television. How To Get Away With Murder started. The first season was very watchable, and so far the second season has been pretty much unmissable. I think it's away until February, dagnabbit. Wretched mis-season hiatuses! (Hiati? No, that sounds more like a country). I only started watching because of Baby Ian Chesterton, but it's so much more than that. He's great, incidentally. Deserves to go far.

Also starting this year was Constantine, which I loved, and Forever, which I adored. Neither made it to a second season, and I am still in mourning. Television is a cruel mistress. Or something.

Good year musically. I discovered a new band, although I can't remember how off hand. Probably mucking about on YouTube. Very good debut album, but it remains to be seen if they'll be worth following further. Queen dug an old song out of the archives, which was nice; and the E Street Band continued to galavant about the globe, and wilfully distract me with YouTubery (Kitty's Back! Stayin' Alive! Hurrah)!

A bad year for fandom, though. Alexandra Bastedo, who played Sharron in The Champions, died this year. Those three were always so close, and as the extras on the DVD release showed, they'd remained so, which somehow made it all the sadder (and turned out she'd opened an animal sanctuary after she quit acting, so she was clearly Nice People). James Garner died too. Not so unexpected, that one, but he was Old Hollywood, and we're running out of them. And of course Mike Smith. And there's nothing else I can say about that.

... )
*collapses in a heap* If I ever decide to embark on something as long and involved as this again, somebody please hit me. Still, I made it! Not doing 2015, because this is 2015, even if it won't still be tomorrow. I can hardly say "Remember when...?" when we're still here. So instead I shall just say Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell (three hundred exclamation marks), and leave you with two songs from a pair of bands who came back unexpectedly in 2015.

... )
Have a good 2016!
I am re-reading Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, because the TV series has gone away and left me, and I miss it. It's nice to revisit the book, as it's been quite some time since I last read it, and I had forgotten bits. Also it's fun seeing which bits made the TV series and which didn't, and which bits the TV series made up. Slightly disappointed that one of my favourite bits of the series wasn't actually in the book - Strange's introduction to Wellington, which I loved. It's that "I'm Strange." ; "Indeed..." which was so perfect; although admittedly that was 99% down to Ronan Vibert's line delivery, and Ronan Vibert definitely isn't in the book. Or at least, he isn't in my copy, which is a terrible shame - though probably not if you're Ronan Vibert. (I readily concede that it's unlikely you are).

Elsewhere, I am still Department S-ing. It's nice to know that, though years pass and casts move on, and new series come to take the place of the old, some things always remain. Such as the fact that, in any Monty Berman production one cares to name, getting into a white Jaguar Mk II means a one way trip over a cliff. Seriously, for your own protection folks, never accept a ride in a white Jaguar Mk II. It will fly over a cliff. Even if there isn't a cliff. Trust me on this. Even more impressively, it will always be the same cliff, wherever in the world you happen to be. I suspect a conspiracy.

Department S is proving very entertaining, anyway. I'm not watching it in order, which is generally for the best with these things. The problem with Network is that they diligently arrange shows on DVD into their original production order, which is very sweet and helpful, but fails to take into account that there was a good reason for the production order - such as prop and location availability - which means that you tend to get a rash of episodes with very similar plots, all in a row. It also means, quite infamously amongst fans of The Champions, that the episode "The Interrogation" is on Disc 2, which doesn't make an ounce of sense, as it clearly takes place far later on, and I'm waffling about the correct order of episodes in a little-remembered telefantasy show, aren't I. Shut up, that's a perfectly normal pursuit.

Anyways, I'm quite taken with Department S. It's not as good as its Championy stablemate, but it's very nicely done, and the characters are engaging. I'm also impressed by how Sullivan's boss manages to be black, at a time when almost every other show on British TV had failed to notice that there are black people in the world, let alone that they might like to act occasionally. Otherwise it follows a very similar template to The Champions. A threesome of crimefighters (except this time they're not an actual threesome), with one being an action man, one the more cerebral type, and one a genius, heavily science-orientated woman. There are differences of course. Stuart Sullivan is far more down-to-earth than Craig Stirling, and doesn't hurl himself into danger with quite so much wild glee; Jason King and Richard Barrett certainly don't dress alike (thank heaven); and Annabelle Hurst is clearly in (requited, if hesitant) love with Sullivan, whereas Sharron Macready was very much one of the guys. Necessarily, one might quietly point out, given that Craig and Richard always seemed more interested in each other. All the same, it's clear that Monty Berman and co liked the basic template. They must have liked the actors, too - Sharron just turned up in an episode of Department S, as a fabulously two-faced blackmailer. In celebration, I decided to give Peter Wyngarde's episode of The Champions a spin. Damn, but that's a good show. Sorry, Department S, but you'll never be half as good a crimebusting squad as Nemesis.

But to get to the point (yes, there was one!), who should turn up in an episode called "The Man In The Elegant Room", but Juliet Harmer, formerly of Adam Adamant Lives!. So, beneath the cut, is Georgie Jones undercover as an art critic. In living colour!

... )
http://lost-spook.livejournal.com/465693.html

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, Gilbert Norrell, 'The first shall bury his heart in a dark wood beneath the snow, yet still feel its ache'

Fandom: Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
Characters: Norrell, Childermass, Lascelles
Gen, c. 2000 words

Cut for length )
swordznsorcery: (whitecollar)
( Jun. 11th, 2015 14:23)
What a rubbish day! The great Christopher Lee, and dear old Ron Moody, in one fell swoop. Neither was a young man, but it's a shame nonetheless. Christopher Lee especially had a remarkable career, and seems to have known and worked with everybody. You can spot him, in his earlier years, as a deck officer aboard one of the Naval ships set against Burt Lancaster and Nick Cravat in The Crimon Pirate (1952). One of my favourite films, and I very much recommend it. He also cropped up in the Beeb's brave attempt to adapt Mervyn Peake's epic fantasy Gormenghast a few years back, playing the creaking librarian Flay. I recommend that too, although you'd do better really to read the book. The adaptation was gorgeous, but suffered from too much material in too little screentime. Worth searching out though, if you're in need of something else once Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell is done.

In a more cheerful frame of mind (actually, I don't know that it is more cheerful), I have been doing further Remington Steele-ing. And dear gods, the 1980s. As I've mentioned before, it's a show that steers away from anything too eighties, in an attempt to be as timeless as possible. If anything it favours the vintage styles of the thirties and forties, and at times even earlier than that. But every so often, there's no hiding from the fact that it was made in the eighties. The worst of the decade hides in dark corners, and pops up every so often to shout boo.

Still, on the plus side, at least it's not the seventies. )
*quivers with tentative anticipation*


Magic galloping sand horses hurrah!




The book was fab, and I'm so glad that the job of bringing it to the screen has gone to the Beeb, rather than Hollywood. Looking good so far, I must say! Although Strange is supposed to be a redhead. And they say "Norrell" wrong. And I would have liked to have seen a little more of Stephen Black in the trailer. But there's time for that latter one yet.
Tags:
http://lost-spook.livejournal.com/325603.html

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, any footnote expanded

Fandom: Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
Characters: Original, the Raven King
Gen, c. 5600 words

Cut for length )
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