See a clip from Age of Heroes

James D'Arcy as Ian Fleming

The Film Shaft website has an “exclusive clip” from the upcoming movie Age of Heroes, the World War II story of the British 30 Commando unit, which was founded, back in the day, by our pal Ian Fleming. (James D’Arcy plays the future 007 chronicler in the film.)

Aside from the obvious interest to James Bond fans, the picture looks to be a old-school World War II adventure, harkening back to the 1960s commando actioners like Where Eagles Dare and The Guns of Navarone. Alastair McLean and Ian Fleming stories seem to go rather hand-in-hand anyhow — fans of one tend to like the other — and those movies certainly share a certain style and attitude with the Bond series.

Sadly, the film’s marketing people didn’t exactly have their thinking caps on, as the clip they supplied is a nighttime outdoor scene — not exactly prime viewing material for your computer screen. At any rate, you can see it, and read the entertainingly-written accompanying article RIGHT HERE. Tell ’em HMSS sent you!

An Artist’s Year with MI6

Monday’s Guardian UK had a rather interesting, and unusual, story from the world of real-life espionage. Joanna Moorhead’s article concerns an artist who was tapped by Her Majesty’s Secret Service to infiltrate itself, sketchpad in hand, to (covertly) record life in the secret world of spies.

James Hart Dyke

British painter James Hart Dyke was no stranger to the official world; he had previously accompanied Prince Charles on four royal tours as an official artist, and had also been embedded with the Grenadier Guards, in Iraq and Afghanistan, as a war artist. Next step: MI6, under the watchful eye of its chief Sir John Scarlett, a.k.a. “C.”

What follows is a fascinating story of an artist charged with illuminating a dark world of suspicion, ambiguity, and intrigue. And you can read all about it at The Artist Who Spied on MI6, along with viewing samples of the work he brought in from the cold. There’s also a follow-up article, by the Guardian‘s security editor Richard Norton-Taylor, wherein his works are reviewed by the professional spooks that were the subjects of his study.

The JFK/007 nexus

We tripped over an interesting essay over at the intriguingly-named Assassination Agnostic, a website for theories about the assassination of president John F. Kennedy.

The article takes its name from the site’s domain, JFK007, and makes some interesting comparisons between Ian Fleming’s immortal literary creation and the all-too-mortal American president.

…the two ambassadors of swinging sixties charm were also two of the Cold War’s coldest warriors. Both were boarding school boys turned navy officers, men who rose in rank to the heights of government service. They were the sort of men all others envied, and all women pined for.

This isn’t necessarily new ground, but the piece goes on to make some fascinating connections between the James Bond novels and American foreign policy, the CIA, and ultimately — tragically — Lee Harvey Oswald. For the student of Fleming’s novels, this is real grist for the mill!

Written by “author337,” the whole article can be found RIGHT HERE. We think you’ll find it intriguing, informative, and thought-provoking. Tell ’em HMSS sent you!

A new career opportunity awaits!

SIS logoFrom the “tripped over this while looking for something else” department:

Her Majesty’s Secret Service is looking for new hires, in the capacity of Operations Officer. (We’re pretty sure that means “secret agent.”) We don’t know if this is how it was done in the old days — the Cold War years, let’s say — by taking out an ad in the UK Times Online seems slightly unromantic. Efficient and democratic, perhaps, but whatever happened to the ol’ “tap on the shoulder” of legend?

Interested parties can read the advert and begin the application process
RIGHT HERE. Best of luck!