Background viewing for WWC - CW

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Hermes Serpent
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Background viewing for WWC - CW

Post by Hermes Serpent » Tue Jul 14, 2015 9:27 am

I'm going to start a thread for suitable viewing - films and tv series - to provide background for the new C7 setting.

I think everyone agrees that one of the great1970's Spy fiction TV series (on both sides of the pond) is The Sandbaggers (1978 - 1980). Described on IMDB as "The missions of an elite British Intelligence covert operations unit." it covers the actions of a section of special operatives in SIS. There are three (later two) Sandbaggers who are tasked by the Director of Operations (D-Ops) for various covert missions on both sides of the Iron Curtain.

The 1979 BBC dramatisation of Le Carre's Tinker Tailor, Soldier, Spy with Alec Guinness as George Smiley and the sequel, Smiley's People, epitomise the psychological aspects of the spycatcher's business although that plays less well as an RPG than a more action oriented plot would.

Callan is the other British TV series of the era. running from 1967 to 1972 and followed by a film in 1974. It was about an agent of the Section who was a killer with a conscience who had a toy soldier collection. It was hugely popular with the British TV audience and still evokes fond memories many years later. As the stories revolve around a solitary assassin Callan really doesn't fit into the usual RPG mould.

Moving on to films the one I see often offered up as a suitable source of background for a spy game is Three Days of the Condor which IMDB describes as "about a bookish CIA researcher who comes back from lunch, discovers all his co-workers shot dead, and tries to outwit those responsible until he figures out whom he can really trust. " The sort of plot that fits a smaller group but it could be the basis for some sort of episodic Fugitive game.

The 1965 film of Le Carre's The Spy who came in from the Cold which was originally written in the late Fifties/early Sixties is set a little early for the Cold War 1970's of C7's setting but might give people an interesting viewpoint from a slightly historical period that affects the actions of people in the 70's. Len Deighton's IPCRESS File is another 1965 film that could be viewed as history for a 1970's campaign. Other Deighton films fall into the slightly too early period but are a fun watch.

As general background ( and we all know that players wont read much background but have to be fed it in chunks as part of the NPC's monologues) I'd offer up https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1970s which print's out at about 25 pages but covers every aspect of 1970's culture. That will give you headlines and things going on in the background that might be coerced into your plots.
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Andrew
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Re: Background viewing for WWC - CW

Post by Andrew » Tue Jul 14, 2015 2:08 pm

Great idea Hermes!

I'd add to that list The Americans, which is a currently airing US TV series about a couple who are really a deep undercover Soviet sleeper cell. It's set in the 1980s, so a little too late for the core setting, but the paranoia, missions, Soviet elements etc are all spot on.

PST
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Re: Background viewing for WWC - CW

Post by PST » Fri Jul 17, 2015 11:04 am

Thirteen days is a little early, covering the cuban missile crisis but does a good job of capturing the atmosphere of the time.

Sandbaggers is definitely the #1 thing to watch and nothing else has quite captured the bureaucracy of Whitehall (arguably Yes Minister/Yes Prime Minister did but the tone is just a little off for a Cthulhu game).

The Lives of Others is a german-language movie which does a great job of capturing life in East Germany and the influence and power of the Stasi.

Hermes Serpent
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Re: Background viewing for WWC - CW

Post by Hermes Serpent » Fri Jul 17, 2015 12:02 pm

I just acquired a copy of Ring of Spies/Ring of Treason covering the Portland spy story. The film covers spying in the 1950's in Ruislip a suburb of London and involves the Soviets getting British Naval secrets like details of HMS Dreadnought the first British nuclear submarine.
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"The One Ring's not a computer game, dictated by stats and inflexible rules, it's a story telling game." - Clawless Dragon

Malak
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Re: Background viewing for WWC - CW

Post by Malak » Wed Sep 16, 2015 9:39 am

Game, Set & Match is perfect for this, if somewhat hard to get hold of. The books are well worth your time too though.

Hermes Serpent
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Re: Background viewing for WWC - CW

Post by Hermes Serpent » Wed Sep 16, 2015 9:51 am

You can currently pick up the Deighton series as a one volume hardback for a penny on Amazon.co.uk. No sign of any video though.
Some TOR Information on my G+ Drive.
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"The One Ring's not a computer game, dictated by stats and inflexible rules, it's a story telling game." - Clawless Dragon

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