Random Intelligence Dispatches For November 27, 2007
On DVD Today
Today's the day... TimeLife's long-awaited Complete Series set of The Man From U.N.C.L.E. is officially released! (As a mail-order only item.) However, if you order on their website now, they're listing a ship date of next week. And the 3-Disc Collector's Edition of Hot Fuzz is out today, including the Timothy Dalton commentary track found on the original Region 2 release.
Tradecraft: Chuck Gets A Full Season
The Hollywood Reporter reveals that NBC has picked up the "back 9" episodes for Chuck, giving the new series a whole season's order of 22 episodes total. (Whether that whole season ever actually materializes, of course, depends on the progress of the latest negotiations between the WGA and the AMPTP and a quick resolution of the writers' strike.) Chuck has been getting better and better as it's gone on, and it's definitely one of my favorites of the new TV season. The recent revelation of Alias-like cabals and secret organizations within the CIA could be a bad sign, though, if it means we should expect this show to become as convoluted as that one...
Now let's play catch-up...
Amazon has now posted artwork for Universal's upcoming DVD release of The Equalizer: Season One. The set is due out Feb. 12, 2008 and costs $49.98. The Equalizer starred Callan star Edward Woodward as a former British intelligence officer who rights wrongs. It kicked off the career of 24 co-creator Joel Surnow, and certainly influenced Matt Nix's summer spy hit Burn Notice.
Moneypenny Diaries Come To America!
Some great news that I failed to report sooner (but later mentioned in passing): CommanderBond.net has reported that Samantha Weinberg's superlative trilogy of James Bond novels, The Moneypenny Diaries (which I've raved about plenty), will at last see a U.S. release! The first novel, Guardian Angel, will be published by Thomas Dunne Books (a division of St. Martin's Press) on May 13, 2008, just a week after Sebastian Faulkes' eagerly awaited new Bond novel, Devil May Care. Amazon doesn't have a cover image yet, but I really hope they hire Stina Persson, who did the cover for the paperback of the second book, and will do the British edition of the third, to do the artwork. I also hope that Thomas Dunne Books does a better job marketing this excellent series than the British publisher did. This could be an opportunity for Weinberg's books to really catch on, and find the vast audience they richly deserve!
John Frankenheimer Collection
MGM has announced a new John Frankenheimer Collection including three of the director's spy classics: The Manchurian Candidate, Ronin (still the largest collection of Bond villains on screen together, I think) and The Train, as well as the DVD debut of The Young Savages. The collection is due out January 22, and will retail for $39.98.