Saturday, February 21, 2009

Video Spying

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, 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.

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