Hear BBC Radio's adaptation of James Bond: On Her Majesty's Secret Service!

Stream it here.

James Bond seems more interested in gambling at the Casino Royale than tracking down elusive SPECTRE chief Blofeld. Then he meets Tracy, emotionally disturbed daughter of mafia boss Draco.

Now he has a double motive: seek and destroy Blofeld, and prevent Tracy killing herself.

Impersonating a College of Arms official Bond infiltrates Blofeld's Swiss mountain-top lair. He learns that Blofeld and aide Irma Bunt are brainwashing young women. Why? Is biological warfare involved? Backed by 'M' and Draco, Bond mounts an air assault. But can he pin down monstrous Blofeld? And what will happen to Tracy?

Toby Stephens is on top form as 007. A stellar cast includes Joanna Lumley, Alfred Molina, Alex Jennings, Lisa Dillon, John Standing, Janie Dee, Lloyd Owen, Joanna Cassidy, Clare Dunne and Julian Sands, with Jarvis himself as the voice of Fleming.

Specially composed music: Mark Holden and Michael Lopez

Dramatised by Archie Scottney
Director: Martin Jarvis
Producer: Rosalind Ayres
A Jarvis & Ayres Production for BBC Radio 4.

Pop Focus: Al Feldstein comics covers!

EC Comics artist/writer and longtime Mad Magazine editor Al Feldstein passed away at age 88 earlier this week.

He was one of those key figures in comic book history: at the center of the comic book/juvenille delinquency scare that led to creation of the Comics Code (and the demise of EC) in the 1950s, and as multi-generational shaper/warper of minds via his work on Mad from the mid-50s through the mid-80s.

As a faithful Mad reader throughout the 70s and 80s, I owe at least some of my skewed/skeptical worldview to his influence.

You can read a lengthy 2013 Comics Journal interview with Feldstein here, and view his obituary here.

But, before you check out those links, scroll down for a look at some of Feldstein's seminal covers for EC's sci-fi and horror mags: