All The Right Words – The Ipcress File by Len Deighton. 

The following blog will have Spoilers for The Ipcress File BBC Radio Four Extra audio drama starring Ian Hart and spoilers for the book and the flim of the same name.

The story -The CIA man wakes the spy and tells him that he’s now full of drugs to help with his memory and then beats him up as he asks questions, the beating gets wose the CIA man ask the spy about Stev Marsh, the man dead on the tower, but all the spy can think is were Dalby could and why is he not helping.

They even call the spys father into question, the CIA man hands over the spy to the Hungarians so that the US can have two of their pilots back, the spy is Knocked unconscious and then we hear the sound of the soundtrack for the Ipcress Tape.

Despite slowly regain consciousness and he tells us that two days maybe 3 days have passed Then later food Is push to the opening of the door Something like porridge and water, the water contains more drugs. A few more days passed and then walks a small man, who says 

“Sky is blue earth is black”

“So what” Our spy says and is hit 

The spy gets hit every time he gets something wrong, There is a lot of pain and  until he gets everything right, There is just the food with the drugs nothing more, then one day a british fella comes into the cell and tells our spy that in simple trems he’s on his own.

More of the little man and his funny questions, but the spy now has a paperclip from the british fellas paper work.He uses the paperclip on the soft lock of the cell and runs he fuses the light with sliver paper from a cigarette box he finds he runs some more And is faced with a  wall which he climbs, he falls off the othe side into what he thinks is a trip wire but is really some guy runner bean frame. He back in england east London, in hides in a hotel room and works out what to do next.

Happy he got out he realises how close he came to being brainwashed and believing everything he was told, He then calls the office almost to see Dalby and the others Using a fall back position, He sees Jean and tell her all he knows, And she said that she wanted to sell him back to Dalby the spy asked to be taken to Guildford.

At Dalby’s home the spy see the three men, Dalby, Jay and the little man with the funny question but before he can get inside, Chio turns up with a gun at the spy back tells hi that he’s MI5 and to do as he asks but Jean knocks out Chio just Jay is leaving .

The spy and Jean follow Jay to his own house, leaving Chio the spy get Jean to call Ross and the others and goes inside, Just like thw book Jay is cooking a meal, Jay goes on to explain that he controls people, And thier loyalty to whoever or whatever he is paid to make them believe in.

Dalby setup the spy up so that they could have something to give the CIA, Ross and the other walks and take away Jay. Toghter he and the spy eat the cooked food.

Back in the office, Ross now running things and the IBM computer, the spy asks how he knew Ross could trust him, well you didn’t buy the file. A few seconds later Jay walks in the door now working for the good guys.

End of Audio End of Story.

What I think- So we reach the end of all the incarnations of the ipcress files I have. And yes they are the same story and tell the same basic story of a working class spy being brianwashed by the up class old boys network. 

But they do it in a different style the book drives home the point every two or three pages. And the spy is quick witted and knows a few tricks to help himself out.

The flim well the spy is still working class and quick witted but makes up a lot of want he does not know on the spot working and following others like Jock. But dumps others like Chio and half the office staff, and they give the spy a name

Now the audio is a mix of both it sticks closer to the book as they do leave england, the spy is able to make jokes about James Bond and George Smiley so they know its position within the existing universe If you’re interested in the world of Harry Palmer I would watch the flims but if want know about the spy or the Len Deighton world I would just read the books.

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All The Right Words – The Ipcress File by Len Deighton. 

The following blog will have Spoilers for The Ipcress File BBC Radio Four Extra audio drama starring Ian Hart and spoilers for the book and the flim of the same name.

The story -They make a list of all the houses and bulidings that the man could have just left, big places away from the street and the roads, The spy asks Chio to bang on a few doors take a look around but Chio has no coat so the spy takes on the job himself. Something the flim never did. In the end they find a house and the spy and Chio break in, the police wait outside only to find Ross inside, the whole place is empty.

Whoever owned the house has cut off the second floor all the walls have been taken away there is a ladder which use to get upstirs and find a water tank just like the book there is a bit of tape inside.

The next day Ross calls our spy into his office he has a can of flim for the spy to watch just men talking in a room with no sound and asks if he what’s to buy a file, The spy says no this replaces the suppermakret secen in the flim and the club one in the book, but it still adds the fact that Chio is working for/with Ross. The spy then goes to the poilce and they give him a tape which could people talking or strange sounds.

Confussed and upset the spy goes to get coffee and trys to work out want it all means, when his new assistant walks in Jean (Fenella Woolgar). Back at the office Chio rings and tells the spy he thinks he’s seen Dalby, and follows without filling in all the right paperwork but Jean steps in and does it all.

Everyone knows something he doesn’t and later that night Dalby brakes into his own office he tells the spy about an A-bomb test, Dalby says bring Chio because he has no idea that Chio is away so the spy covers for him, Jean comes insted

The movie soundtack kicks in as travel music, just like the book the whole place is run by the Americans and they put on a good show for Dalby, Jean and our spy He even runs into his old friend Skip Henderson (Kerry Shale), They talk about a leak that the Americans are having and Skip Henderson talks about man they don’t know and who doesn’t exist. 

Jean is about tell the spy want she thinks about Skip when Dalby comes along he now actting the part of brit abroad sampling the American culture and even wearing an Hawaiian shirt, So Jean still tell the spy want she thinks that Skip is Afraid but not for himself for somebody very close to him.

The morning after the spy goes for a walk at one of the Towers he runs into skip only this time skip has a gun and he says the whole world and everybody in it is against the spy and the thinking is that  he’s working for the Russians So he goes to Jean to find out the truth. Who tells him that she Easily switch alliances to whatever the spy is trying to do, But she has something to show him.

They drive out to a place on the island and the Spy just as in the book findParts of a radio and a Russian high frequency Note, She asked him what he’s going to do and the spy says he’s going destroy the pieces of equipment and burn the note. And see want fate will bring.

They go back to the other side of the island and in the night the spy gets a call from Dalby saying that Skip is in trouble and needs the spys help, with more help from the soundtrack the spy follows the Dalby’s car and then just like the book ends up in somekind of cell.

60 minutes end point.

What I think- The Audio drama is pretty much sticking to what it can In the book beat for beat majority of it is still there If not it is slightly altered for example The spy  never asks For an assistant, But Jean shows up anyway And the running gag with the coffee is only done to a certain extent. There are even nods to the other two Spy’s of the silver screen on being John le Carre and the second one being Ian Fleming. 

As I have said throughout the soundtrack from the film is used to drive home certain points and even used it Alternate versions for travel music. And just as Michael Caine’s Walk and gate is used to demonstrate the Spy is working class Ian Hart does the same thing. And we every have real American actors. 

All The Right Words – The Ipcress File by Len Deighton. 

The following blog will have Spoilers for The Ipcress File BBC Radio Four Extra audio drama starring Ian Hart and spoilers for the book and the flim of the same name.

Before we start a little background on the audio drama itself frist broadcast on Sunday 23 Oct 2011 at 1:30 pm in the afternoon on the BBC Four Extra station its 1 hour 30 minutes long and uses the same opening song as the flim written by John Barry. Unlike the book and DVD flim its not split into chapters just one continuous story. But I am going to split into three blogs each at the 30 min point in the audio file so as not over welm you. This one will end 32 mins in the second at 62 mins and the last to end of the flim 

The Story- It opens with Ian Hart,  The agent/spy waking up and talking about the bad London weather, and if he only listened to his mother a lot of people would be alive today. The flim song kicks in and the cast it read out. He tells us about the cab ride to the war office then his meeting with the Major Ross just like the book and the flim talk about his army file, Ross here is played by James Laurenson it plays out a little flim but Ross gives the agent a little more background on Dalby little band of men.Ross doesn’t go with him but ask him how he feels about bass bands.

The Agent gives us a run down of the Dalby bulding even the names on the door plate match the flim, the frist person he meets is Chico (Jamie Bamber) in the background there is sound of a brass band. The brass band is a childhood memory for the spy his father was a coal miner, he makes a joke about hin now brending wipits but really runs a second hand book shop.

Chico takes him see Alice (Rachel Atins) who in turn gives him a mug of coffe for Dalby (Jonathan Coy) he gives Dalby the mug who says “I am sure you’ll love it here” the spy says “I have a pure heart and a clean mind…I will a  loyal, dilgent employee I will endeavor each day to be worthy of the trust my employer puts in me” Dalby’s anwer is “I make the jokes”

Outside the band play ‘Abide with Me’ and Dalby’s reaction is well they do, Dalby tells the spy all about his job which is to find a biochemist code name Raven. The Home Office will be Dalby’s det if they can find him, the spy comes up with a story of what could happening.

But in truth a man called Jay (Peter Marinker) had Raven and the simple job is to buy Raven back, no questions asked, Jay is in the coffee house down the street. So off the spy goes. Jay is there after tea and apple strudel the spy walks over to Jay and gives him a made up name. Jay to gives a made up name they both know its a game, they go a strip club and the spy is told to wait and as he does he gives each of the dances new names pointing out the real personalty. Three girls later he’s still waiting so he goes and takes a look around, he finds himself up stairs though a mirror he sees Raven laying on a table.

Just like the book he throws a typewirter though the mirror and ripps his trousers, Police raid the happenes to, and the spy calls HQ Dalby has another job for him, the spy tries to tell him about ripped trousers (this becomes a running gag) but Dalby cuts the call, Now with new papers Alice drops him off at the airport.

To Beirut he goes flying frist class, he sees Ross walking around the airport. Dalby has given him a few grenades and at 3:30 am he’s sat looking down at a road wating for Raven in the on comming car, it stops being a game when Dalby what’s him to stop the ‘backup’ car, yes it the CIA they brough Raven from Jay. Raven is fine so Dalby takes him to a safe house and to a man called Adem (Raad Rawi) Here they cut out the four pages of history to a simple timeline for Adem and conrol behaviour.

The spy ends up talking in a funny voice, Adem then takes Dalby and Raven away in helicopter, when the spy gets back to London there is nothing just footprints in the sand as they still look for Jay, just as the book Dalby gives the spy conrol of the office and the IBM computer.

Chio has an idea about what’s going on when there is call from the police at Shoredich they have picked up a man on the office watchlist, the spy and Chio head to the station, the man is dead and just like the flim the same music kicks in.

30 min end at ponit

What I think- This is a lot more of a living experience with the Spy, telling you what has happened, Then living it all over again when he interact with each member of this very small cast, There are few quick shorthand sequences to make you aware that spy is a working class exarmy officer and the music from the flim is used to drive home the same points. But also sound is used to which makes the whole a less passive experience.

Creative Day – Reactions to Power

A writer’s a reaction to power say a lot about the country they live in, the massage they are trying to get across maybe the same but the way they do it can be very differenet. Both the British and American television landscapes are a good example of this.

Take the portrayals of both heads of state, Prime Minister in the UK and President in the US, here in the UK the portrayal was satirical compared with the US which was done as Drama.

Yes Minister was a sitcom written by Sir Antony Jay (1930-2016) and Jonathan Lynn that was frist transmitted by BBC between 1980/1988 over 22 Episodes and then a sequel Yes Prime Minister which ran from 1986 to 1988 another 16 episodes the whole thing totaling 38 episodes.

Beginning firstly in the British Cabinet ministers office of the fictonal department of administrative affairs, it followed the Ministerial career of the Right Honourable Jim Hacker MP played by Paul Eddington, and his struggles for and against Permanent Secretary Sir Humphrey Appleby played by the real Sir Nigel Hawthorne aided by Permanent Private Secretary Bernard Woolley portrayed by Derek Fowlds, later the show would follow the same three leads as Jim Hacker became Prime Minister.

Most of the shows humour derives from Jim Hackers pursuing some kind of reform within the ministry and Sir Humphrey blocking him at every turn. 

As for the drama side of this argument, that comes from the writer Aaron Sorkin, and The West Wing. 

First broadcast on the NBC network and Channel 4 here in the UK 1999 to 2000 set in The west wing of the white house during the fictional democratic administration President Josiah Bartlet portrayed by Martin Sheen, it ran for 7 series a total of 156 episodes with a change of writer happening at the end of the fourth series, 

The West Wing featured a lot Real-life situations, From scandal in the first series To the president Non disclosure of Illness And The attacks of September 11th on America itself, Being a drama unlike Yes Minister, the main cast numbered 15 all constantly changing to reflect the stories being told.

Both shows may have gone off the air and have told their stories in a different way, But many of the situations faced by both still remain relevant In fact many of Sir Humphrey Applebees speeches could be transplanted whole into the walk and talks of the West Wing cast gave as a way of explanation between scenes. And Vice versa.

The words might be different but the message still remains the same. Power to the people.