• Jason Wilson has sent me a copy of Smuggling Vacation, now available in all good bookshops. I’ll post a longer review later in the week as I’ve only had chance to flick through it today, but I love the art and the story I’ve read so far. There’s a very French bande dessine style and panache to the book, evocative of the work of Hunt Emerson, Lew Stringer and others… and it’s damm funny, too.
Soon to be available from Smallzone, anyone outside the Midlands wanting a copy right now can get one from the Smuggling Vacation website at www.smugglingvacation.co.uk or order through any bookshop (ISBN:9780955917004) priced £6.99.
• As previously reported and hotly debated here, rumours of a remake of The Prisoner have been circulating for many years, all of which proved to be unfounded. However, as Lew Stringer reports, the new series is now definitely on, co-produced between ITV Productions, Granada International and AMC, the US cable network behind the critically acclaimed Mad Men. Starring Jim Caviziel (Passion of the Christ) as Number Six and Sir Ian McKellen (X-Men) as Number Two, the six part mini-series begins filming in August in Africa and is expected to premiere worldwide early in 2009. (More info at AMC’s official blog: blogs.amctv.com/the-prisoner).
Lew has drawn an exclusive Prisoner-inspired cartoon, exclusively for the upcoming Prisoner convention PM2008 at Portmeirion, North Wales (the original location for the 1960s series), which will be auctioned off on the day.
• Former 2000AD and Megazine editor David Bishop is posting a series of articles on writing for TV, the first titled “How One Doctor Led Me Toward Doctors“. He charts the right and wrong ways of submitting scripts in the UK and as usual has plenty of useful advice to offer would be writers.
• Like others, Warren Ellis has posited a different future for the web, away from the “curator” style of sites such as BoingBoing (while recognising a continued need for such a terrific site) to something more formative and creative, citing services such as Tumblir as an example of what he’s thinking of
• The Guardian has interviewed Russell T. Davies on “Life After Doctor Who“, dismissing a small enclave of Doctor Who fans who have railed against his popular interpretation of the character. “They are not real fandom,” he argues. “They are a core of mostly men who like to complain. Fandom is bigger and richer than that, and they are only about 1,000 people who give everyone else a bad name and build their life around a show.”
The award-winning producer, who is soon to collect his OBE and will be delivering a masterclass on Saturday 23 August at the MediaGuardian Edinburgh International Television Festival, says says if he had his time again there is “nothing” he would do differently on Doctor Who. However, he admits that the year-round schedule on the show has been “exhausting”. He always planned to work on the show for four or five years, the longest he has pursued any one project.
• We’re sorry to belatedly report the death of SF writer Thomas M. Disch, author of titles such as Camp Concentration, who committed suicide on 4 July. He had become, we’re told, increasingly depressed over time. His EndZone LiveJournal is still “live”, unlike him: one tribute simply and succinctly reads “Good night, Tom. Sorry the darkness was bigger than you could handle.” Steve Holland offers a concise bibliography on Bear Alley.
(TubeSurfs courtesy of Jas Wilson, Matthew Badham and others)