I've been reading the Binscombe Tales and I’m trying to decide if Mr Disvan should be played by Ian McShane or Derek Jacobi. Yes, they’re very different actors. But Disvan is a complex character – serious and politely formal, sure, but also sometimes mischievous. Ruthless but sometimes compassionate. Anciently wise but sometimes childlike. It’s as if Odin took up residence in a Surrey village and drove a fast car with fluffy dice under the mirror. Except that Disvan has both his eyes, so whatever the answer may be to his mystery, that’s not it.
I’m talking about radio, of course, not television. I haven’t gone completely potty. The Binscombe Tales are far too original and idiosyncratic for British TV. Even on the radio, I can’t see us getting either of those great thesps. (Unless they’re fans of the books – well, you never know.)
Why am I thinking at all along such far-fetched lines? Because, to mark the publication of the Binscombe Tales books today (in print and ebook editions) by Spark Furnace Books, Jamie and I are going into the recording studio with Jamie’s brother Peter (an actor who starred in Jamie’s Heart of Harkun BBC serial) and producer Paul Weir to start the ball rolling on a Binscombe Tales audiobook. We’ll do a couple of stories to start, and when people catch on that the Binscombe Tales really are a work of dark brilliance – pardon the oxymoron – then it's time to see if Sir Derek will take our call.