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A perfect Sunday with... Mark Wright
Coffee, cosy crime and Calvin and Hobbes!
Every week, a top writer, artist or creator reveals how they’d fill their perfect Sunday, sharing their favourite comfort reads, movies, food… anything that would make their weekend great.
Today, it’s the turn of my buddy and Doctor Who: The Art of The Audio Adventures writer, Mark Wright.
Mark’s perfect Sunday… brunch
I’m known as a bit of a coffee snob (I won’t say how my wife refers to that!), so the coffee has to be freshly ground (Divine Coffee Roasters in York do fantastic beans1). If I go and stay in a cottage anywhere, I always take a French press, just in case!2 Thick sourdough toast, kippers (Fortune’s Kippers in Whitby are the best I’ve ever had) and poached eggs. Sunday brunch with my wife is a special time of the week as it’s often a chance to catch up after a busy week.
Mark’s perfect Sunday… read
I am a devotee of cosy crime (partly professional interest, partly for pleasure) so I’m likely to be in the middle of a new entry to the genre. Richard Osman’s Thursday Murder Club books have put the genre into the mainstream in the UK, but there are so many great titles to look at - JM Hall’s A Pen Dipped in Poison, Tracy Whitwell’s The Accidental Medium series, or a real annual favourite is Julia Chapman’s The Dales Detective series. Tea, cakes and murder, but all in terribly good taste. For the last two years, I’ve been working part time for a pair of brilliant local bookshops near where I live in West Yorkshire - The Book Case in Hebden Bridge and The Book Corner in Halifax. We’re right in the heart of Happy Valley country and working here has done nothing to reduce my out-of-control TBR pile.
Mark’s perfect Sunday… comic
I’m a little adrift of mainstream superhero comics these days, I never know where the best jump-on points are any more. Sunday is for comforting, familiar reads, so I may dip into my much-loved Complete Calvin and Hobbes collection (the hardbacks are a bit unwieldy but so beautiful) or a volume of Peanuts. In a chaotic, confusing world, these are such comforting works and often have a simple, philosophical message that remains relevant today.
Mark’s perfect Sunday… movie
A classic Agatha Christie adaptation fits the bill here - Death on the Nile (1978) or Evil Under the Sun (1982) are possibly the best Poirot adaptations, with a pitch-perfect turn from Peter Ustinov as the Belgian detective. Along with Murder on the Orient Express in 1974, these movies were game changers for screen adaptations of Christie’s work and have a watchability factor decades later. In another time, I’d have modelled myself on David Niven’s suave Hastings from Death on the Nile - only he could sport a sword stick and silk dressing gown combo and get away with it.
Mark’s perfect Sunday… TV binge
There is never a time when I’m not thinking of watching an episode of The West Wing. It’s the show I’m so familiar with I can have it on in the background like a well-worn album while I’m cooking - even in the later years, there’s a rhythm to a lot of the dialogue that’s like music.
If both my wife and I are home, it comes back to Christie and we might enjoy a coffee, slice of cake and an episode of the glorious 1980s Miss Marple from the BBC. Again, a blueprint for TV adaptations of Christie for years to come, with a perfect Miss Marple in Joan Hickson.
Mark’s perfect Sunday… podcast
It has to be Off Menu with James Acaster and Ed Gamble, going through the dream restaurant menu of a well-known celebrity. It has such a great format, but is never constrained by it and is always laugh-out-loud funny. It’s a dream to be invited into the dream restaurant, mainly so I could annoy James with my choice of cheese board dessert.
Alternatively, Toby Hadoke’s Happy Times and Places is the perfect way to enjoy Doctor Who in a new way through his always perceptive commentaries.
Mark’s perfect Sunday… album
I’m a vinyl soundtrack collector, so perhaps a classic from one of the great Johns - Williams or Barry. The Black Hole is an underrated John Barry soundtrack (as well as an underrated film), and you can never go wrong with The Empire Strikes Back or ET. I’m still searching for a copy of Elmer Bernstein’s soundtrack to Spacehunter: Adventures in the Forbidden Zone, a film I have an unmatched zeal for. The soundtrack is sublime.
Mark’s perfect Sunday… treat
A long walk with our rescue dog Oskar - he’s a pointer/Labrador cross - around the local reservoir, then home for coffee and time together as a family, maybe with a Sunday roast. It’s a bonus if our son is home from university and we can head out together.
Doctor Who: The Art of Audio Adventures by Mark Wright is out 15th November from Big Finish!
A glossy hardback compiling 100 Big Finish Doctor Who audio drama cover artworks into a lavish coffee table book.
Featuring contributions from Ryan Aplin, Lee Binding, Anthony Dry, Claudia Gironi, Clayton Hickman, Simon Holub, Lee Johnson, Anthony Lamb, Sean Longmore, Alex Mallinson, Christopher Naylor, Mark Plastow, Jim Sangster, Caroline Tankersley, Chris Thompson, Rafe Wallbank, and Tom Webster, plus commentary by the artists - as well as actors Colin Baker, Paul McGann, Jon Culshaw and Tim Treloar.
Mark Wright is a Sunday Times Bestselling author and audio producer who has written about pop culture for almost 25 years. For Big Finish Productions, he has written and co-written numerous Doctor Who scripts including Project: Twilight, Masters of Earth, Jamie and The War Doctor Begins: Fear Nothing.
Mark’s other work includes the bestselling miscellany Doctor Who: Who-Ology (co-written with Cavan Scott), Star Trek Voyager: A Celebration, the short film and play Looking for Vi, and writing the Doctor’s official comic strip adventures for Doctor Who Magazine. He produces the First and Second Doctor Adventures for Big Finish and is currently working on a cosy crime drama for television.
Come back next week for another Perfect Sunday. In fact, make my Sunday by subscribing to the Cavletter today!
I concur with this. Recently got into their decaf beans as I’m trying to cut down on my caffeine and it’s the best decaf I’ve tasted so far - Cav.