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Christopher Fowler
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Right now, deserted London looks like every episode of 'The Avengers'. It's the sixtieth anniversary of the series and by way of celebration TV is currently awash with old episodes. Why would such an early TV show continue to exert an influence, or is it pure nostalgia? This year we lost the marvellous Diana Rigg, an actor I would credit with bringing cynicism to our TV screens. Few of those…
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Christopher Fowler
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More than half of British homes no longer have a dining table. While I hate having my predictions proved correct, it does now seem that the future of western entertainment will be in the home, not the cinema. Netflix has announced its slate of 70 major motion pictures, more than any studio slate could ever offer, and Warners and Disney have already abandoned cinemas for streaming. Exhibitors were…
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Christopher Fowler
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How did a second-rate potboiler become a global phenomenon? (Spoilers galore) This week 'The Undoing' undid itself in the final episode of the six-part limited series from HBO. The hybrid murder mystery/courtroom drama, very similar to the much better novel and film 'Presumed Innocent' by Scott Turow, is a compendium of scenes from other crime novels and shows, with early tiger-mum scenes…
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Christopher Fowler
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In my files I have around 20 projects that have been abandoned. Many of these are adaptations of my own published stories and novels. Some are written intended to be feature films, because that's what we all wanted to do, write films. It's a fantasy still entertained by British writers; believing that there's an infrastructure for feature films in the UK. The idea is outmoded, but like ageing…
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Christopher Fowler
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There are currently 37 dialects in the UK While we are waiting for the venerable Mr Tim Goodman to un-self-isolate so that the audio version of 'Oranges & Lemons' can make its way to its listeners, let's consider the voice for a few minutes. 'Accent!' Max Adrian, the producer in Ken Russell's 'The Boy Friend' yells from the wings at Twiggy, who instantly switches from a Gor Blimey working class…
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Christopher Fowler
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When books are written about slang and colloquial language - and my friend Max Décharné's delightful 'Vulgar Tongues: An Alternative History of English Slang' is one of the best - they tend to miss out a particularly odd form of speech patterns. A kind of 'extreme English' that can be heard in the films of the 1950s. 'It's crackers to give a rozzer the dropsy in snide' I don't invent any of the…
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Christopher Fowler
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When 'The Book of Forgotten Authors' was about to go to paperback, my young editor became worried about the lack of BAME authors featured. The book was mainly about postwar paperback writers, and there had been no populist BAME authors working in this field. The ones who wrote in the UK were university educated and therefore aimed at pretty rarified literature, not pulp. Eventually we included a…
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Christopher Fowler
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A Bit Too Real A walk through Central London is a shock. For the past four months it has been like a quiet country village - and despite a half-hearted effort to get people into offices, it still is. A great many of the shops remain shut. There's a cat asleep in the middle of St Martin's Lane. You don't have to look before crossing a road. It's quiet enough to hear birdsong and church bells. After…
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Christopher Fowler
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It appears Britain survived the easing of the Lockdown over the weekend without drunken gangs terrorising the nation. Sky News and the Daily Mail decided to run with their pre-prepared headlines of 'brawls in Soho' in spite of the fact that there were none and police said people generally behaved themselves. Sunday, then, a time to once again settle down in a pub garden with the papers - except no…
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Christopher Fowler
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While I loved the political spin comedy series 'The Thick Of It' I always suspected that the show was built around a single repeating plot; confirm, reverse, panic, deny, lacing the events with Malcolm Tucker's potty-mouth asides. The US reboot 'Veep' began the same way with Selina Meyer (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) failing to understand the basic principles which she was supposedly espousing. As with…
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