Saturday, February 21, 2009
I'm very glad that books such as THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF TV SPYS are still around. In an era in which you can google the most obscure two-episode TV series, and find treatises about it in Wikipedia, video of it at Hulu, and multi-stanza fan poems about it at twoepisodeseriesfanatics.com, one might legitimately fear that encyclopedias of genre TV on honest-to-god paper would become anachronisms. Fortunately, that's not the case.
I'm a sucker for TV reference books. I got this one delivered at work yesterday, and by this morning I'd read several entries. The author, Wesley Britton, neatly balances his roles as historian and fan -- the entries are neither breathless nor boring. I do take issue with his definitions of some shows as Spy shows -- I think characterizing THE SAINT, WONDER WOMAN, and THE X-FILES as spy shows is stretching -- but at least he starts his book with a working definition of spy TV that justifies his choices.
I'm also glad to see my cousins Lee Goldberg, Tod Goldberg, and Burl Barer repeatedly mentioned -- indeed, Lee's blurb takes up half the back cover. I like to think that the history of video spies cannot be written without mentioning my family.