Tue, 17 July 2018
@TinDogPodcast reviews CALLAN VOLUME 01 from @BigFinish as an adaptation as Survivors. Its gritty and dark and truly brilliant.
David Callan works for The Section, a top-secret counter-espionage organisation. He’s a killer, a trained assassin, and the best at what he does.
But that doesn’t mean he has to like it.
With the aid of the burglar Lonely; fellow operative Meres; and Section secretary Liz, Callan fulfils the orders of departmental head Hunter and finds himself in very murky waters.
Murder, betrayal and model soldiers. It’s all in a day’s work for Callan.
1.1 File on a Deadly Deadshot by James Mitchell, adapted by Peter Mitchell
With Lonely posing as his gentleman’s gentleman, the section’s top operative David Callan is sent to a country estate in Northumberland to infiltrate a rich men’s shooting party. One of his companions is an assassin but which one? High living and high stakes on the grouse moors as Callan attempts to work out which of the dead-shots is a man-hunter.
1.2 File on a Classy Club by James Mitchell, adapted by Peter Mitchell
Callan finds the odds are stacked against him when he poses as a high roller at London’s top casino. His mission is to lose all his money but he almost loses his life when he stumbles into an East German spy cell. Perhaps a card sharp from Lonely’s past can help Callan turn the tables.
1.3 File on an Awesome Amateur by James Mitchell, adapted by Peter Mitchell
Callan and Meres are despatched to a cultural festival in Venice to snatch a Russian poet from under the noses of the KGB. But the success of the mission depends upon the expertise of amateur sleuth and keen ornithologist Cynthia Widgery. Feathers fly on the Grand Canal...
1.4 File on a Harassed Hunter by James Mitchell, adapted by Peter Mitchell
Callan is drawn into a dark secret when Hunter invites him to fly to Newcastle for a trip to the theatre. The plot thickens when an alcoholic actor and a decoy called Prenderghast lead Callan to one of the KGB’s most proficient killers. The setting for the denouement is far too close for comfort.
Originally broadcast in 1967, Callan took the burgeoning world of spy drama, and brought a much darker tone to the genre. With James Bond’s career beginning in film in 1962, Michael Caine’s Harry Palmer beginning in 1965 (The Ipcress File) and hot on the heels of the surreal series The Prisoner in 1967, Callan took a darker approach to espionage. Having similar responsibilities to MI5, Callan used the most ruthless and lethal techniques to get the job done, each method meticulously filed by ‘The Section’ (the organisation behind operative Callan), colour coding each lethal tactic.
Four series of the original television series were produced between 1967 and 1972, plus a cinema film released in 1974 and a TV comeback in 1981. And now, Callan is set to return on audio at Big Finish.
Adapted from series creator James Mitchell’s Sunday Express Short Stories by his son Peter Mitchell, four new adventures will expand the themes explored in the television show.
Written By: James Mitchell, adapted by Peter Mitchell
Ben Miles (Callan), Frank Skinner (Lonely), Nicholas Briggs (Hunter), Jane Slavin(Liz), Nicholas Asbury (Lord Marsden), David Rintoul (Baumer), Justin Avoth (Endicott), Glen McReady (Minns), Louis Tamone (Lorimer / Waiter), Tam Williams (Toby Meres), Mark Elstob (Karl / Judd / Willis), Robert Portal (Bulky Berkeley / Lubov), Annabelle Dowler (Amparo Soller / Barbara Jackson), Gyuri Sarossy (Marty Rivers), Beth Goddard (Cynthia Widgery / Auntie Gertie / Adrienn), Teddy Kempner (Evan Lang / Joe 'Plastic' MacNamara), Leighton Pugh (Petrov). Other parts played by members of the cast.
Producers David Richardson & Emma Haigh