Friday, 4 November 2016

The Callan File: The Definitive Guide

Whilst I was at the printer collecting the most recent issue of THE NUGGET, we were discussing the cost of publishing books. Over recent years I have used LULU.COM to print, publish, and market my books, but the printer tried to persuade me that they could do just as good a job and probably for less money. As an example of the sort of book that they can produce, the printer showed me a copy of a paperback that they had just printed and bound for a customer. It was THE CALLAN FILE: THE DEFINITIVE GUIDE!


Now for wargamers and lovers of secret agent stories from the late 1960s and early 1970s, James Mitchell's antihero Callan was someone whose adventures we followed avidly. It was therefore an absolute necessity for me to obtain a copy of this book, and the printer was only too happy to oblige.

THE CALLAN FILE: THE DEFINITIVE GUIDE has been written by Robert Fairclough and Mike Kenwood, and it has been published by Quoit Media Ltd. (ISBN 978 1 911537 01 4) It is over 500 pages long, and has a small selection of photographs at its centre. The book is split into the following chapters and sections:
  • Acknowledgements
  • Foreword by Peter Mitchell
  • Introduction: 'I've got a job for you ...'
  • 1. Section Personnel
  • 2. Cold Warriors
  • 3. ABC Presents ...
  • 4. A Magnum for Schneider, A Red File for Callan
  • 5. Series One: Nobody loves a freelance
  • 6. Series Two: Hunter/Hunted
  • 7. Series Three: Somebody got murdered
  • 8. Series Four: Last rat standing
  • 9. File on a Working Writer
  • 10. 'A Bloody Good Little Film'
  • 11. Never say Never Again: 'Wet Job'
  • 12. MI5 not 9 to 5
  • 13. Callan Lives!
  • Afterword by Bharat Nalluri
  • Appendices
  • Footnores
  • Bibliography
  • Index
I watched as many episodes of CALLAN as I could when they were broadcast, and own DVDs of the film and numerous episodes. Despite this, even a quick look through this guide revealed that my knowledge of the character and the stories is far sketchier than I thought.

This book is an absolute 'must buy' for Callan aficionados, and I thoroughly recommend it.

16 comments:

  1. It is a must buy for me too Bob- I have you to thank for my Callan obsession.

    Cheers,

    Pete.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pete.,

      Glad to have you as a fellow CALLAN aficionado! I hope that you enjoy the book as much as I am. The more I read, the more I realise how little I actually knew about the series.

      All the best,

      Bob

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  2. Thanks for spotting this - I'll be adding it to my collection although after the excellent "Callan: This Man Alone" DVD, there surely can't be too much new to learn?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jeremy Ramsey,

      Glad to have been of help! I have the DVD on my Christmas list, having seen references to it when I looked into the background of this book.

      All the best,

      Bob

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  3. I'll definitely be keeping an eye out for this book. I got into Callan through repeats as a teenager.

    I discovered a few months ago that a lot of the episodes (and the films) are available on YouTube.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tamsin P,

      Welcome to the Callan Appreciation Society!

      The book is available from Amazon and Quoit Media, and costs £19.99.

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete
  4. I want that book! Callan was my hero back in the late 60's when I first got into wargaming.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Rodger,

      I hope that you manage to get hold of a copy. The more of the book that I read, the more I am discovering about the series.

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete
  5. I loved the Callan series as a kid and he introduced me to wargaming. Love to see it now as a middle ager and compare my understanding.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. David Cooke,

      Have you managed to watch any of the episodes on DVD? Most of the stories still hold up quite well in comparison with more recent TV series.

      All the best,

      Bob

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    2. Thanks Robert, I will hunt them down. I see Tamsin has mention youtube and you've placed a link for one below. I bet its the one where the bad guy fires his guns into the melee. Or that's how I remembered it. :)

      Delete
    3. David Cooke,

      That is the episode that the link goes to ... and your memory of an incident that occurs during one of the wargames is correct.

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete
    4. Loved it. Thanks Bob, for bringing back the memories.

      Delete
    5. David Cooke,

      Glad that you enjoyed it and glad to have been of help.

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete
  6. This is a series that is/was unknown in the US, except as our transatlantic friends have referred to it, particularly the wargames scenes. Episodes on U-Tube, eh? I shall have to check that out!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Gonsalvo,

      If you only watch one episode, it has to be AN ACT OF KINDNESS. It features a early wargame show and moves from several wargames.

      You can find it here: https://youtu.be/a8sDT6jnWkY

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete