JAMES BOND: Doctor No by Ian Fleming

Aural Noir: Online Audio

Doctor No art from a paperback edition

ca·lyp·so – /kəˈlɪpsoʊ/ – a musical style of West Indian origin, influenced by jazz, usually having topical, often improvised, lyrics.

I’ve only been the Caribbean once. But I still greatly feel its tropical magnetism. Ian Fleming did too. The first James Bond film, Doctor No was set in Jamaica. It’s where Ian Fleming lived and where he wrote Doctor No. I think he really brought the flavour of the Caribbean to the story. Throw in a mysterious Chinese, a yellow peril type, complete with fire-breathing dragon – and that’s entertainment folks!

When you think about it, Doctor No has just about everything a James Bond movie would later come to epitomize. First, there’s the exotic locale, Jamaica! Then there’s the titular villain with a body quirk, Doctor No has functional metal hands. And finally there’s the beautiful and headstrong woman, Honey Rider. Her first appearance, on screen, is perhaps the best known scene in any James Bond movie. As we first meet this enterprising shell collector she’s singing a song to herself on the beach. It’s a calypso tune that goes … “Underneath the mango tree me honey and me…” |MP3|

Now while that’s a great scene, the original novel ain’t no slouch either. Check out the unabridged reading by Simon Vance…

BLACKSTONE AUDIO - Doctor No by Ian FlemingDr. No
By Ian Fleming; Read by Simon Vance
7 CDs or 1 MP3-CD – Approx. 7 Hours 13 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Blackstone Audio
Published: 2001
ISBN: 9781433258572 (cd), 9780786190720 (mp3-cd)
Sample |MP3|
M called this case a soft option. Bond can’t quite agree. The tropical island is luxurious, the seductive Honey Rider is beautiful and willing. But they are both part of the empire of Dr. No. The doctor is a worthy adversary, with a mind as hard and cold as his solid steel hands. Dr. No’s obsession is power. His only gifts are strictly pain-shaped.

In the novel, “Honeychile Rider” is described as “Botticelli’s Venus as seen from behind.” The movie has her in a bikini, in the novel she’s nude, except for a belt. In the movie she’s singing “Underneath The Mango Tree,” in the novel she’s whistling “Marianne.” Fleming describes “Marianne” as “a plaintive little Calypso that has now been cleaned up and made famous outside Jamaica.”

And it’s “Marianne” that’s used in the most recent incarnation of the Doctor No story, the BBC audio dramatization! And, in case you were wondering, it returns Honeychile to the nude.

I really like the movie, and the novel is definitely up there, but for me, now that I’ve heard it, the 2008 BBC audio dramatization of Doctor No is now my preferred version. It has that, sense of place, that a film gives, it plays up the mystery element, (which the movie downplays) and compresses the narrative with a “show, don’t tell” way that good audio drama really excels at.

I got a copy from RadioArchive.cc. The uploader there describes the audio dramatization like this:

Ian Fleming was never satisfied by the movie world’s take on James Bond. This dramatisation by Hugh Whitemore would meet with his approval as it is so faithful to the original novel. Bond, played here by Toby Stephens, is a wistful, vulnerable man as much as he is a fabulously fit and sexy hero. We hear him throwing up with fear after being crawled upon by a giant killer centipede, for example, which would never have done for Sean Connery. But both script and performances are true to Fleming’s vision of Bond.

And of course once you start looking into the actors biographies you start seeing all sorts of fascinating connections. Lucy Fleming, Ian Fleming’s neice plays a role. Toby Stephens has been in a Bond film and John Standing, who plays “M”, came from the family that owned Bletchley Park (the ultimate in espionage HQs if there ever was one)!

Now read a couple more of the listener reviews:

“Were this a movie, David Suchet [playing Dr. No] could have seriously expected an Oscar nomination, best Bond villain in any medium ever. Fantastic production all in all.”

“A splendid, sharp, slick adaptation, very faithful to Fleming’s writing. Makes you wonder why BBC hasn’t tackled more of these. And Toby Stephens is terrific as Bond.”

BBC Radio 4: Doctor No RADIO DRAMA - From left to right Nicky Henson, Martin Jarvis, John Standing, Janie Dee, Toby Stephens and Peter Capaldi

BBC Radio 4Dr. No
Based on the novel by Ian Fleming; Adapted by Hugh Whitemore; Performed by a full cast
Broadcast – Approx. 90 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: BBC Radio 4 – The Saturday Play
Broadcast: May 24, 2008
Provider: RadioArchive.cc
Bond is sent to investigate a strange disappearance on the island of Jamaica, and discovers that the heart of the mystery lies with a sinister recluse known as ‘Dr No’.

Cast:
‘M’ …… John Standing
Moneypenny …… Janie Dee
James Bond ……Toby Stephens
The Armourer …… Peter Capaldi
Chief of Staff …… Nicky Henson
Airport Announcer/Receptionist/Inika …… Leigh Wright
Airport Official/Pus-Feller/Henchman …… Kobna Holdbrook-Smith
Quarrel …… Clarke Peters
Miss Chung/ Sister Lily …… Kosha Engler
Pleydell Smith …… Samuel West
Miss Taro/Telephonist/ Sister May/Tennis girl …… Jordanna Tin
Librarian …… Lucy Fleming
Honey Rider …… Lisa Dillon
Guard/Henchman/Crane Driver …… Jon David Yu
Dr No …… David Suchet
Acting Governor of Jamaica …… Simon Williams
Voice of Ian Fleming …… Martin Jarvis

Crew:
Music by Mark Holden and Samuel Barbour
Producer Rosalind Ayres
Director Martin Jarvis

DOCTOR NO - The People In This Story - From the Macmillian Readers Edition

PAN - Doctor No by Ian Fleming

[via Dictionary.com, BondMovies.com, Illustrated007 and Audible.com]
Posted by Jesse Willis

BBC7 & RA.CC: Trueman And Riley

Aural Noir: Online Audio

BBC Radio 7 - BBC7My good friend Julie, from the Forgotten Classics podcast, sent me an email pointing out Trueman And Riley a BBC Radio “Drama series about two bickering detectives, starring Robert Daws and Duncan Preston.” Sez Julie:

“Just in case you hadn’t heard it, this [Trueman And Riley] is a good ‘un. Just finished listening to the first episode which was a good little mystery and showed great promise for future character development of the ‘tecs.[detectives]”

I hadn’t heard of it, but found both series 1 and series 2 of Trueman And Riley available via torrent over on RadioArchive.cc!

I’ve now heard the first series, and I must say I do kind of like it. The programme features unpredictable mysteries with a contemporary feel (one episode is set at a James Bond convention). Trueman And Riley might be the very epitome of BBC “light entertainment.” It isn’t as gritty as McLevy, nor as engrossing as the Falco series. But, there is a certain breezy charm to the very modern, middling problems that Trueman and Riley are forced to face.

Here’s the skinny on it from the Wikipedia entry:

Trueman And Riley is a British radio drama series written by Brian B. Thompson and starring Robert Daws and Duncan Preston. Originally named Trueman it began life on BBC Radio 4 on 17 April 2002 with DI Trueman being called back to work after a nervous breakdown in order to solve a high profile murder case, backed up by DS Riley (Duncan Preston). Renamed Trueman And Riley for a relaunch on BBC7, and relocated from Hull to Leeds, the new series saw the pair attempt to solve slightly more everyday crimes, and frequently disagreeing about the best way to proceed.

BBC7 - Trueman And RileyTrueman And Riley
By Brian B. Thompson; Performed by a full cast
30 Minutes [AUDIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: BBC Radio 7
Broadcast: 2007, 2009

Cast:
DI Trueman, Robert Daws
D.S. Riley, Duncan Preston
Written by Brian B. Thompson.
Produced by Toby Swift.

Series One:

Episode 1: Vanished
Detectives Trueman and Riley investigate the mysterious disappearance of a man en route from London to a new life in Leeds.

Episode 2: Story
A journalist has fallen from a building while working on a story, but was she pushed? Trueman and Riley are on the case.

Episode 3: Bond
Intrigue and suspicion at a James Bond convention as Trueman and Riley go in search of a stolen ring.

Episode 4: Speed
An angry Riley’s been sent on a speed awareness workshop. But that puts him on the trail of an ex-con from the old days in Hull.

Series Two:

Episode 1: The Road to Nowhere
The Leeds detectives find themselves on assignment to the Student Crime Prevention Team.

Episode 2:The Three Degrees
A student reunion turns sour when a man ends up in the canal. Trueman & Riley investigate.

Episode 3: A Man’s World
Trueman and Riley return to CID to deal with a series of thefts from pregnant women.

Episode 4: The Other Chic
Trueman and Riley are called in when a lingerie shop is burned down in an arson attack.

Episode 5: Love Bytes
Trueman and Riley are sucked into the world of an online role play game.

Posted by Jesse Willis

Blackstone Audio’s $5 audiobook sale – STUNNING DEALS

SFFaudio News

Blackstone Audio Five Dollar Overstock SaleBlackstone AudiobooksCan anyone resist Blackstone Audio’s just announced $5.00 clearance sale?

This comes not a month after they announced their $9.99 overstock sale!

$5 for an audiobook.

That’s the deal of the year people!

Admittedly, not all of the available titles in this sale are unabridged, but they mostly are. There are a dozen SFF titles, plenty of crime, mystery and noir as well as a shelfload of history audiobooks. There are even a couple of audio dramas in there.

Here’s just a smattering of what excited me:

THE ADVENTURES OF SHERLOCK HOLMES by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle; read by Ben Kingsley
THE AENEID by Virgil; read by Frederick Davidson
BABYLON BABIES by Maurice G. Dantec; read by Joe Barrett
THE CALL OF THE WILD by Jack London; read by Ethan Hawke
CASINO ROYALE by Ian Fleming; read by Simon Vance
CHRISTOPHER’S GHOSTS by Charles McCarry; read by Stefan Rudnicki
A CONNECTICUT YANKEE IN KING ARTHUR’S COURT by Mark Twain; read by Carl Reiner
CRIMINAL PARADISE by Steven M. Thomas; read by Patrick Lawlor
THE DEAL by Peter Lefcourt; read by William H. Macy
DEATH MATCH by Lincoln Child; read by Barrett Whitener |READ OUR REVIEW|
DON QUIXOTE DE LA MANCHA by Miguel de Cervantes; read by Robert Whitfield
EVIL, INC. by Glenn Kaplan; read by Glenn Kaplan
THE FLIGHT OF THE PHOENIX by Elleston Trevor; read by Grover Gardner
FRANKENSTEIN by Mary Shelley; read by Julie Harris
FRANKENSTEIN, OR THE MODERN PROMETHEUS by Mary Shelley; read by Simon Templeman, Anthony Heald, and Stefan Rudnicki
HOW TO SURVIVE A ROBOT UPRISING by Daniel H. Wilson; read by Stefan Rudnicki |READ OUR REVIEW|
HUCK FINN AND TOM SAWYER AMONG THE INDIANS by Mark Twain and Lee Nelson; read by Grover Gardner
I AM LEGEND by Richard Matheson; read by Robertson Dean |READ OUR REVIEW|
I, CLAUDIUS by Robert Graves; read by Frederick Davidson
THE INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS by Jack Finney; read by Kristoffer Tabori
IT’S SUPERMAN! by Tom De Haven; read by Scott Brick
JAMES BOND BOXED SET by Ian Fleming; read by Simon Vance
KING KONG by Edgar Wallace and Merian C. Cooper; novelization by Delos W. Lovelace; read by Stefan Rudnicki |READ OUR REVIEW|
THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE by Richard Condon; read by Christopher Hurt
THE MARTIAN CHILD by David Gerrold; read by Scott Brick
MARTIAN TIME-SLIP AND THE GOLDEN MAN by Philip K. Dick; read by Grover Gardner
MILDRED PIERCE by James M. Cain; read by Christine Williams
MYSTIC WARRIOR by Tracy and Laura Hickman; read by Lloyd James
PETER PAN by J.M. Barrie; read by Roe Kendall
THE PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY by Oscar Wilde; read by Simon Vance
THE PRESTIGE by Christopher Priest; read by Simon Vance
QUANTUM OF SOLACE by Ian Fleming; read by Simon Vance
RINGWORLD’S CHILDREN by Larry Niven; read by Barrett Whitener |READ OUR REVIEW|
ROCKET SHIP GALILEO by Robert A Heinlein; read by Spider Robinson |READ OUR REVIEW|
SUPERMAN RETURNS by Marv Wolfman; read by Scott Brick |READ OUR REVIEW|
SWEENEY TODD AND THE STRING OF PEARLS by Yuri Rasovsky; read by a full cast
TARZAN OF THE APES by Edgar Rice Burroughs; read by Ben Kingsley
THE TEN-CENT PLAGUE by David Hajdu; read by Stefan Rudnicki
THERMOPYLAE by Paul Cartledge; read by John Lee
THE THREE MUSKETEERS by Alexandre Dumas; read by Michael York
THE TIME MACHINE by H.G. Wells; read by Ben Kingsley
THE TRIAL by Franz Kafka; read by Geoffrey Howard
UTOPIA by Sir Thomas More; read by James Adams
V FOR VENDETTA by Steve Moore; read by Simon Vance |READ OUR REVIEW|
THE WAR OF THE WORLDS by H.G. Wells; read by Christopher Hurt
WHERE’S MY JETPACK? by Daniel H. Wilson; read by Stefan Rudnicki |READ OUR REVIEW|
THE WINTER OF FRANKIE MACHINE by Don Winslow; read by Dennis Boutsikaris
THE WORLD ACCORDING TO NARNIA by Jonathan Rogers; read by Brian Emerson

Posted by Jesse Willis

BBC R2 / RA.cc: The Hunt For Sexton Blake

Aural Noir: Online Audio

BBC Radio 2RadioArchive.ccHere’s a reminder that tonight sees the beginning of The Adventures Of Sexton Blake in a six week run on BBC Radio 2. But if you’re still not sure who this Blake bloke is, I’ve got the solution. Using my amazing skills of research (RadioArchive.cc) I’ve uncovered a July 28th, 2009 documentary about this Sexton Blake character. It’s called The Hunt For Sexton Blake and runs a full hour. Interested parties can find the well seeded torrent for it through RadioArchive.cc. It’s filed in the “factual” section there. Here’s the description:

BBC Radio 2 - The Hunt For Sexton BlakeWho exactly is Sexton Blake? People under the age of 45 might ask that question, but anyone older is likely to have read one of the 4000 stories by over 200 authors, or seen the films, the stage adaptations, the many TV shows, or listened to his adventures on radio.

Sexton Blake is one of the most famous and long-lived fictional detectives and adventurers of all time, who battled opium smugglers, bandit chiefs and the Kaiser. In his heyday he was more widely read than Sherlock Holmes – enjoyed by working people all over the British Empire – and whilst Holmes features in very few stories, Blake appeared in thousands.

In this hour long profile and exploration of Blake’s impact, David Quantick talks to author Michael Moorcock, who used to edit the Sexton Blake Library; Jack Adrian a former writer; and comic book illustrator Kevin O’Neil, who co-created The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen and other heroes.

That Blake didn’t have the same critical recognition, could be attributed to the fact the stories were published in cheap magazines, rather than in proper books. Or because the writers themselves didn’t move in the right circles, to make friends and influence people. While Ian Fleming had been to Eton and Sandhurst, the Blake authors were a rag tag bunch of eccentrics, whose own lives were worked into the tales. Michael Moorcock tells David that the Blake writers were puzzled at how James Bond was liked by critics, when the early novels were badly plotted and featured cartoon-like villains hiding in volcanoes.

David also hears about the Blake author who vanished under mysterious circumstances. The writer’s wife sent in his remaining Blake manuscripts without saying he’d disappeared, and then passed off her new partner’s work as that of her dead husband. It wouldn’t take Sexton Blake to tell you there was something fishy going on there!

Posted by Jesse Willis

The SFFaudio Podcast #027

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #027 – Jesse and Scott are joined by Rick Jackson (The Time Traveler). Today we talk about new audiobooks, the ongoing CONAN situation, and libraries. Should libraries be renting Zunes to patrons?

Talked about on today’s show:

Ted Chiang, Eclipse 2, Blackstone Audio, The Green Hills Of Earth by Robert A. Heinlein, Apollo 8, Brotherhood Of The Wolf by David Farland, Bellewether by Connie Willis, Corsair by Clive Cussler, James Bond is fantasy?, Quantum Of Solace, Sahara, coming from Wonder AudioThe Fabulous Clipjoint by Frederic Brown, Tantor Media doing Robert E. Howard audiobooks, Conan Properties International versus Broken Sea Audio, New Zealand’s new copyright legislation, reductio ad absurdum, copyrights and trademarks, Clark Ashton Smith, downloading audiobooks through libraries, WMA format, Overdrive vs. NetLibrary, PC Gamer Podcast – ‘X-Box 360, Wii and Playstation 3 are giant DRM keys’, libraries rent DVDs?, ‘government shouldn’t be doing what business can do’,

Posted by Jesse Willis

Circus 13 Productions – An Audio Drama Collective

SFFaudio Online Audio

Online Audio - Circus 13 ProductionsCircus 13 Productions is a new amateur audio drama co-operative offering original and Fan-Fic shows. The group appears to be modeled on the successful Pendant Productions and Darker Projects audio theater groups, offering a mix of Fan-Fic and original series voiced by amateur actors. A difference I’ve noticed in their X-Men series Circus 13 makes extensive use of narration.

Shows with episodes out already include:

Assault A pair of thieves, decide to break into A.T.L.A.S. Labs, the most high-tech laboratories in the world, to steal some “toys” so they can sell them and live like kings the rest of their lives.

Quest For The Passion Stone A young man discovers he is the third incarnation of an already twice dead hero of a secret world called the Underhollow. It exists alongside, and sometimes in the “real” world.

Truck A bounty hunter traveling through time and space in order to track down the worst of the worst.

Circus 13 Presents An anthology series.

X-Men: Days of Future, Past! An adaptation of Chris Claremont and John Byrne’s comics tale.

James Bond: Casino Royale Bond is on a mission to neutralize a lethal, high-rolling Russian operative called simply ‘Le Chiffre’.

Also in the works are two more Fan-Fic shows: Doctor Who and Iron Man!

All programs can be downloaded from the website in MP3 format. So far, there’s only one podcast feed (for Assault):

http://circus13productions.podomatic.com/rss2.xml