With a Strange Device by Eric Frank Russell (Dobson, 1964) Where Russell was renowned for humorous SF, this novel seems more in keeping with Cold War espionage stories (or within Russell’s spectrum, his early Fortean noir outings Sinister Barrier and Dreadful Sanctuary), and maintains its intrigue even upon second or third reading.
The Game created by Toby Whithouse (BBC, 2014) A cleverly twisted, cagily acted, utterly engrossing but ultimately nonsensical Cold War spy drama in which a special team within MI5 work to unravel Russian misdirection and foil a game-changing espionage plot that they only become aware of due to said misdirection.
The Official C.I.A. Manual of Trickery and Deception by John Mulholland (Unpublished, 1953) ed. H. Keith Melton and Robert Wallace (Hardie Grant, 2010) Although the editors try to spruik the significance of two instructional manuals commissioned from magician John Mulholland by the CIA during the Cold War, closer inspection reveals the most interesting facet of these works to be that…
Foyle’s War, Series 8 by Anthony Horowitz (ITV, 2015) A concluding trio of diligently researched, well-realised feature-length mysteries set within and inextricably bound to English society (originally during, now) post- World War II. Michael Kitchen remains facially expressive as Foyle, working for MI5 amidst the early machinations of the Cold War.
Despicable Me dir. Pierre Coffin & Chris Renaud (2010) Amidst a glut of animated films, Despicable Me is one of the few that remain consistently funny and engaging. Gru, the ingeniously drawn and distinctively voiced (by Steve Carell) Cold War -styled supervillain, is one of the great characters of modern cinema.
Bobby Fischer Against the World dir. Liz Garbus (2011) Replete with archival footage, this layman’s documentary cogently examines and contextualises both American chess prodigy Bobby Fischer’s 1972 (cold war) world championship match against Boris Spassky, and Fischer’s unstable genius, which drove him firstly to success, then to reclusiveness and abject derangement.