Valerie Plame's tastes in spy fiction (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, The Russia House) has been in the works for the nighttime part of the AFOS station schedule for a while. With both the premiere of the eagerly anticipated Agent Carter--it's basically Alias in bobby socks--and the return of Archer on FX this week, as well as the February 13 American release of Kingsman: The Secret Service, X-Men: First Class director Matthew Vaughn's adaptation of Mark Millar's Secret Service comic, now is the perfect time to launch "AFOS Incognito," a midnight block that will begin airing Monday, January 12.
The regular time slot for "AFOS Incognito" will be Mondays through Thursdays from midnight to 2am Pacific, with a bonus one-hour airing on Fridays at 9am. "AFOS Incognito" will rotate many of the espionage genre score cues that are scattered throughout "AFOS Prime" in the middle of the day, as well as 15 tracks that won't be streamed anywhere else on the AFOS schedule.
The 15 "AFOS Incognito" exclusives will include Sammy Davis Jr.'s theme from 1965's The Second Best Secret Agent in the Whole Wide World--which was memorably sung by drunken Christmas party attendees in one of my favorite scenes during Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy--and Christopher Lennertz's Bond-inspired score cues from the 2013 Marvel One-Shot short film "Agent Carter," an enjoyable little extra on the Iron Man Three Blu-ray that marked Hayley Atwell's first solo outing as her '40s British spy character from Captain America: The First Avenger. Lennertz has also scored Atwell's Agent Carter miniseries, and some of his themes from the 2013 short have resurfaced on the new show.
A few years ago, I was considering adding to AFOS an all-electronic midnight block that would have been called "Nightspeed," due to the popularity of both the Daft Punk/Joseph Trapanese score for Tron: Legacy and The Chemical Brothers' score for Hanna. But I think "AFOS Incognito"--which, at one point, was going to be called "Channel D," as in "Open channel D" from the original Man from U.N.C.L.E.--would be better suited for the midnight hour because of the jazzy and melancholy nature of several of the tracks on the playlist, particularly Alberto Iglesias' "George Smiley" from Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, where the lonely trumpet basically says, "This ain't Bond. This is le Carré. No bloody invisible cars or steel-toothed thugs here." With some nighttime Scotch, of course, "AFOS Incognito" might also bring back memories of some of your favorite old spy shows and make you ponder over how the Steed and Peel Avengers' "Mrs. Peel, we're needed" scenes would be much different--or even be rendered obsolete--in the age of texting.