Finished The Ipcress File last night, and enjoyed it. It's the spy equivalent of a hard-boiled detective novel, with the unnamed narrator stumbling around trying to make sense of things as events go crazy around him. The ending of the case was kind of anti-climactic, as most most real-life spy stories probably are. The narrator is rescued through the careful work of one of his rivals, so the narrator really isn't even the hero of the piece. He's just this guy doing a job. The weakest part of the book is probably the long denouement where the narrator explains how everything fit together. There's a lot to explain and it takes awhile, and it also highlights the weakest aspect of the plot. Considering the resources the villain seems to have, he's tripped up pretty easily in the end.
Finally watched the first two hours of Lost tonight, and I'm just not feeling the love. I could maybe see it as a movie (except it's been done to death), or even a mini-series, but keeping this up for thirteen or twenty-two weeks? Nuh uh. The pilot's story bugged the crap out of me. They're stuck on the island because he violated every rule in the book. I'm glad the monster killed him. How they survived the crash at all is beyond me. The tail of the plane fell off at twenty or thirty thousand feet. Ostensibly, the pilot managed to pull the nose of the plane up in time for them to crash land rather than crash. How he manage to pull the nose of the plane up when the elevators were gone? They've already found a polar bear on a tropical island, and there's a mysterious monster, and it all smacks of seekrit research laboratory. I do like the doctor, and I like the Republican Guard guy. Convict girl seems okay, too, but I doubt I'm going to watch much more of it. Oh, almost forgot. There's a transmitter on the island that's been transmitting continuously for 16 frelling years, presumably on battery power. Meanwhile the battery in the tranceiver Jack retrieved from the cockpit is already going dead after five minutes of use. I know the airlines are cutting back, but you'd think they'd put Energizers in those things.
The other new series I've tried are Clubhouse and Veronica Mars. Clubhouse has it's good points. One of them is that the kid is actually played by an actor of the same age, so he actually looks and talks like a kid. Dean Cain is an athlete, and looks good doing the baseball stunts. The adult casting is good. The big problem is that it looks like the theme of the show will be "Will the kid do the right thing this week?" To be fair, in the second show, he didn't, but I suspect that'll be an anomaly. To be honest, the biggest mystery to me in the first episode was what stadium they were filming it in. The ground level shots were clearly Dodger Stadium, but the overheads were of a stadium I didn't recognize at all. Turns out it was with good reason. The field in the wide shots is Long Beach State's college field, with the stands and backgrounds computer enhanced to make it look like a new generation major league park.
Veronica Mars has been good, although sometimes I roll my eyes. I'll keep watching it for awhile longer.