BBC1 Strike: Cuckoo’s Calling Eps 2 & 3 Silkworm Trailer and Opening Minutes

Episode One Can be Viewed Here.

My first thoughts on the Cuckoo’s Calling adaptation are posted here.

Posted on YouTube by a BBC1 viewer in Iraq. View them while they last.

‘Silkworm’ trailer and opening minutes of that adaptation can be found after the jump.

[Read more…]

BBC1 Strike: Cuckoo’s Calling Episode 1

Watch it while you can!

BBC1 ‘Strike’ News Releases, Reviews Rowling Talks about Mystery Genre

The broadcasting of the BBC1 adaptation of Robert Galbraith’s The Cuckoo’s Calling the past two nights with the finale this weekend has resulted in a flurry of press coverage to include a revealing interview with J. K. Rowling, the author reality behind the ‘Galbraith’ pseudonym.

For a positive review of the series’ first episodes, click here for Episode 1 and here for Episode 2. For a reviewer who has not read the book trying to figure out whodunnit (and unknowingly sharing with us who have read the books but cannot watch the teevee shows the points of departure from the original), click here for Episode 1 and here for Episode 2.

We have confrmation from the Leaky Cauldron that the website we’ve been discussing the last two days (see here and here) is in fact “new.” [It claims there are “a couple of hidden links;” I found one under the Career of Evil script but it only went to the teevee page link that could be found on the page header.] There are old links, as I pointed out yesterday, some going back two years, and the copy of Every Man in His Humour may not be a pointer to Lethal White (it is quoted five times in the Silkworm chapter epigraphs). But that chart of a business chain of command with Robin as PA to a CEO with a scandalous past is certainly fresh.

A new thought. Could this be the Personal Assistant position Robin turned down in Cuckoo’s Calling to stay on at Strike’s? In his send-off to her then he said he imagined her working for a rich CEO in a swank office. Perhaps she refuses to go back to being his junior partner (or he won’t have her back after her decisions at the end of Career counter his direction which led him to fire her). No doubt, if this is the case, she will become involved with a murder case at the office and do her best to solve it on her own — or maybe with the black woman police officer we met in Career whom Rowling has said plays a larger role in Lethal White.

As interesting as all that may be, the treasure of the publicity releases was an interview with the BBC, clearly staged (the film clips from it released yesterday had full noir production effects, everything but green screen CGI and dry ice smoke, about as spontaneous and off the cuff as Japanese tea ceremony). Nonetheless, Rowling said some things that were of immediate interest to her more serious readers.

Most notably, she talked about her relationship with the “rules of the detective mystery genre: [Read more…]

Ben Jonson’s ‘Every Man In His Humor’ A Meaningful Model for Strike Stories?

Two notes from informed readers on yesterday’s post that mentioned the placement of the cover of Ben Jonson’s Every Man In His Humour on the home page:

Trinity College, Oxford University, Research Fellow and Lecturer in Renaissance Literature Beatrice Groves texts from her vacation spot —

“I am excited by the hint that Jonson’s Every Man in his Humour might be the source of the chapter epigraphs/be relevant to the plot for Lethal White. It’s one of my favourite Jonson plays (after the big three – The Alchemist, Volpone and Bartholomew Fair) and it made Jonson’s name in the 1590s as the author of ‘humours’ comedy – i.e. comedy where each person is strongly identified with a particular humour – the physiological make-up that they believed strongly influenced your personality (and which still exists in modern English with ‘sanguine’ for example – someone with a predominance of blood, has a happy/hopeful outlook). “

My son Zossima, 17 today, notes, though, that dad was probably mistaken in assuming that the book cover, like the notebook drawing, was about Lethal White.  He thinks that the book cover may have been been placed on the website years ago, not as a pointer to things to come but to things in a previous book. He’s right; Every Man In His Humour is quoted as a chapter epigraph no less than five times in The Silkworm: chapters 7 (p 35), 14 (101), 18 (137), 28 (237), and 42 (375). Jonson’s Epicene is quoted before chapters 22 (p 164) and 25 (198).

So, either it’s arbitrary, i.e., Every Man’s cover could have been the cover of Thomas Dekker’s The Noble Spanish Soldier (quoted as The Silkworm‘s frontispiece epigraph) but they didn’t have a copy at hand, or it’s not a pointer to Lethal White but to Silkworm, or it’s a strong suggestion to the discerning reader that we’re missing the “humoural comedy” embedded in the work of which Silkworm is only a part, and that’s why Rowling quotes from Every Man so freely in Silkworm, though that second mystery is all about Jacobean Revenge Dramas — and Every Man In His Humour is not one of those.

This last possibility, the one of “humoural comedy” raised implicitly in Prof Groves’ note, is the one that interests me. [Read more…]

Two Revelations

The Daily Snitch, a Rowling news aggregator to which I subscribe, today announced:

The link goes to The site has links going back to 2015 and the release of Career of Evil; I’ve been to it several times the last few days in search of a quotation I was tasked to find (about which more on another day) and, if there have been any changes, I haven’t noticed. Perhaps the bulletin from ‘Daily Snitch’ is that there will be changes and an imminent remodel?

On the other hand, the home page is full of teevee show artifacts (most notably, the Bronte production Career of Evil script title page) and stills. Maybe this is the new version though it has been up for a while and has links to older posts…

I needed a break from ‘Wizard Reading Formula’ efforts so I took a longer look at the site, just in case it was to disappear that night. [It has not.]

First, the notebook with a diagram in Rowling’s hand-writing (screen capture on left). It is the schematic of responsibilities in a small business; Robin is on the chart as the PA to the CEO. There are character thumbnail sketches keyed to each position on the chart.

I think there is a natural, unforced conclusion from this chart, as it isn’t something in any of the first three books: the chart is Rowling’s working picture of a Lethal White plot point.

Either Robin is leaving Strike’s employ in Lethal White or she is embedded in the charted firm as Strike’s partner to find out who the baddie is in that company.  [Read more…]