Agent Ginny recently sent me details of the BBC's ''Continuing Drama Series Writing Academy " (aka 'Apprentice SoapMaker'), in a sort of 'this probably isn't your cup of tea, but I thought I'd let you know' sort of way.
The conclusion we came to was that unless Eastenders is about to introduce a new character called Gaping Olaf, a zombie viking (operated by four puppeteers), it's not really for me. Still might be worth forwarding details though, just in case there's anyone out there who hasn't heard about it yet.
And Gaping Olaf isn't quite such a stupid idea as he sounds. The Laxdoela Saga (written about 1250*) contains details of:
...the draugr, or dead, returning in great numbers, mutilating and killing anyone they encounter, wiping out entire regions, forcing people and animals to leave their dwellings. Unlike the ghosts of classical antiquity, these dead are not described as "images". They seem to be endowed with real bodies, as if the cadavers themselves, having returned to life, had left their graves. (source: a book I took a couple of photocopies from, but neglected to write down the title - d'oh)
Now that's what I call a saga. If zombies hadn't recently been done, I'm trying to think of a phrase other than 'to death', but I can't, then a viking vs zombie epic would be on the cards. But they have, so it isn't.
More stuff about draugr here. It's a great word - particularly the a's and u's and g's. 'Slaugh' (a kind of spooky celtic goth fairy) is a good one too. Really good monsters should have names that are not only spooky to look at, but hard to pronounce too.
Quick forum update from Izzy:
It's set up at the mo to let people read the posts, but not actually post anythng until they're registered/logged in. then you should get buttons saying 'add reply'.
*Nearly ten to one. I love that joke. Hoo boy.