Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Lost

Did anyone notice the reference to 'a paper company in Slough' in last week's Lost? The producer JJ Abrams is a big fan of The Office, so it's nice to see that polar bears, giant invisible monsters and Gareth can all exist in the same world.

Hurrah for crossovers.

Mind you, I'd drop Lost like a fake london pasty if there was anything even slightly better on. But there isn't.


UPDATE: after a query about how Office co-writer Stephen Merchant appeared on GW, I guessed with the utter wrongness that has become the defining characteristic of this blog, that he had sat through an audition.

In fact Rob, GW co-writer and sometime Vogue model corrects me thusly:

Just for the record, Mr Merchant did not audition for the part. Other people did, but didn't quite get it right. Rather belatedly, somebody then came up with the SM idea. His agent asked for a script to be sent so they could decide whether or not to do it, but as it was now a day before filming, it wasn't looking hopeful. Shortly afterwards, however, there was a call to say forget about sending the script, he'll do it anyway. Hurrah.

Hurrah indeed! Even more reason to think well of SM. Maybe don't hug him on the street or anything, but if you're in the queue for the cinema in front of him, maybe pay for his ticket, discreetly, and just whisper 'this one's for the Wing'. Or similar.

He was blimmin' brilliant in Extras as well. All hail the Merchant.

37 comments:

scatterbrain said...

speaking of the office, how did steve merchant end up on green wing?

surly girl said...

i'm getting to the "can't be arsed" stage with lost as nothing happens lately. am annoyed tho as i was determined to stick with it.

yay for peep show coming back tho.

what a dull comment this is.

james henry said...

No, it's a good comment for quite a nothingy post.

Don't know how Mr Merchant ended up on GW - I guess by the usual auditioning route. I do see him and Ricky Gervais meandering up and down past Talkback every now and then, but get too embarrassed to stop and say hi to Stephen - I wrote that bit and even read it (very badly) in read-through, so it was good to have someone proper come in and do it, with the correct accent and everything.

Julian was late for one of the read-throughs once, one of the first ones I did, so I got to read the Mac part against Tamsin, which made me feel a bit tingly. There was actually a palpable sense of disappointment when Jules finally strode into the room, as clearly I would have been great for the part. But there we are.

The last bit of the above paragraph is not entirely true, just to be clear.

woot said...

which bit? the tingly bit?

Even "I" would feel tingly round Tasmin.

Which would probably explain the restraining order...

woot said...

Oh, and how did using 'build to a fortissimo' in general conversation go?

cello said...

James, I adore that scene. Both script and performance at the top of their game. "Ooh, is it wee?"

It's happened, hasn't it? I've turned into a 'Trekkie'.

Well, it has been noted by a few commentators that you are much better looking than Julian, so the disappointment plausibly extended beyond just you to... Tamsin herself.

james henry said...

*blushes girlishly*

If it wasn't for the fact that last time Tamsin went to introduce me to her husband and it turned out she didn't actually know my name, I'd be inclined to agree with you. You may have heard a shattering, pinging sort of noise all over Londonon that day. That sound was my heart breaking.

She does know it now though, and last time we met, she called 'James' softly and stroked the back of my neck. If she'd known how long it's been since anyone did that, she might have had second thoughts. That's not an open invitation, by the way. I don't want anyone freaking me out on the tube or anything.
The attempt to use 'build to a fortissimo' in general conversation didn't go that well, as I spent pretty much the entire day incommunicado, editing the Cabinet. But I did say it to myself whilst making a coffee. "Shall I build to a fortissimo, sugar-wise?' I said to myself. 'Yes I shall,' I replied. And so I did.

felinity said...

How can you say that? Tonight Lost is up against a documentary about Britain's seminal boy band of the 1990s (Take That... for the Record, ITV 9-10.30pm). It's going to be a hard call.

rob said...

Just for the record, Mr Merchant did not audition for the part. Other people did, but didn't quite get it right. Rather belatedly, somebody then came up with the SM idea. His agent asked for a script to be sent so they could decide whether or not to do it, but as it was now a day before filming, it wasn't looking hopeful. Shortly afterwards, however, there was a call to say forget about sending the script, he'll do it anyway. Hurrah.

james henry said...

Cheers Rob.

Orb said...

QUOTE: "If it wasn't for the fact that last time Tamsin went to introduce me to her husband and it turned out she didn't actually know my name, I'd be inclined to agree with you."

Well, ha, that's it, isn't it? Case closed, Your Honour. If she was introducing you to her husband, of course she's going to pretend you mean nothing to her. If she were to try and say the word "James" it would come out all husky and it would be obvious she was carrying a torch for you. And a socking great FBI-issue type one too, none of your Maglite keyring nonsense.

Actually, I bet you knew that already, and you're playing it down too to spare her blushes. You gallant, you.

james henry said...

I like that I wote 'Londonon'.

Clearly the hurt is still there. But yes, thank you Orb, that possibility had not occured to me.

Steve Dix said...

It didn't really make it through translation in the german dubbed version. We've got up to the end of the first season next Monday.

Bearded Lady said...

i too demanded a script before agreeing to do small handed nurse in series one and would like to quash all rumours that i begged and pleaded and begged some more to be in it

Danny Stack said...

Yes, all hail the Merchant indeed. Legend.

I have my own Tamsin read-thru story too: during the 1st series of Black Books, she asked me to help her learn her lines so I did my best impersonation of Dylan Moran's character. She made me blush because she laughed and said I was very good, which I clearly wasn't, but I liked that she said so anyway.

*Ah*.

irony in motion said...

James - did you ever lick the back of Tamsin's neck? Perhaps this triggered the stroking.

Having followed the link to the crossovers page, I'm delighted to find that wikipedia has a list of fictional monkeys. And a little note explaining that there is a different page for apes (obviously).

Anonymous said...

Hi James, I've been reading your blog for quite a while now, and it never fails to cheer me up when I've had a rubbish day - it'll always make me giggle and it's very insightful stuff!

Anyway, I too noticed that The Office reference on Lost the other week which made me smile in that otherwise fairly irritating bit of Charlie back-story with the obligatory posh Brit woman. Incidentally, my brother saw Stephen Merchant in Leicester Square last Saturday, but didn't go up and hug him, which was a shame.

I've been meaning to post on here for ages because I wanted to thank you for revealing to me what the track played at the end of The Life Aquatic was. It was driving me barmy because I didn't know it when I first saw the film but really loved it and the film soundtrack wasn't any help either. I had got stuck trying to find it, so I was really impressed when I found the answer on your blog! Now I've got myself better acquainted with more Sigur Ros which is a very good thing.

It was one of those weird serendipidous occasions where I thought to myself "what was that song at the end of The Life Aquatic?" and then came on to Blue Cat for a read and found it was Staralfur - bingo.

Loved the Pythonesque/Peter Kay/LoTR style translation by the way!

Lucy.

occasional poster of comments said...

Just a random comment for all the Rós-ophiles. You may like a band called Efterklang. Then again you might not, but that's what the free MP3s on their site are for:

www.efterklang.net/

Have just learned that they also have their own record label the wonderfully named Rumraket, which apparently means 'space rocket' in Danish, but also sounds like something an old northern person might exclaim upon hearing their music, 'Ee, that's a rum racket.'

Anonymous said...

I've very stupidly posted about the same thing (Life Aquatic Sigur Ros track) twice because I thought my other post a few months back hadn't worked! So I re-wrote and re-posted it and have now checked back and realised that my old post is there after all. I don't know why I did that really. Oh well.

So there aren't two people who were hunting about for the Sigur Ros track - they were both me, doing the message board equivalent of getting a mug from the cupboard, putting the kettle on, turning round and getting a mug from the cupboard and turning back to see there's already a mug sitting there. Just with the added confusion of technology.

Sorry.

Lucy.

occasional poster of comments said...

Upon closer examination of Efterklang's bio, there's even a connection to Sigur Rós - SR use a string quartet called Amina, two of whom also feature on Efterklang's album.

So, I guess some of you may already know about Efterklang, in which case apologies for the redundant info. Ho hum.

greta said...

On that note, you may want to check out Amina's EP, 'Animamina'. They played a gorgeous set down here in Aus recently supporting Sigur Ros as well as being the lads' dial-a-string-section. Rather lovely.

*fastens anorak and shuffles off*

james henry said...

Couldn't get the Efterclang downloads to work, but found a couple on singingfish.com (which is very useful, if you haven't already used it), so I'll check them out later on - thanks for that. I like Anima very much as well - can't have too much ethereal scandinavian indie music in my opinion. And not to worry about the redundant post Lucy - quite happy to have people say nice things twice...

suzanne said...

steve dix: gw is on german tv? which channel?
probably not gonna watch it though. too painful.

Steve Dix said...

Suzanne : No. I was referring to "Lost".

Green Wing hasn't made it over here. Given the horrible mess they made of translating "The League of Gentlemen" (which was then transmitted at 3 in the morning), perhaps it's for the best.

As it is, I'm having an uphill struggle introducing "Father Ted" to the Germans.

morgalou said...

Speaking of "Lost" in translation (bad pun probably more intentional than it should be) I'm very interested to know what will happen to Sun & Jin's dialogue if the show ever gets translated into Korean....

I mean, will they be speaking in English, with Korean subtitles, and with everyone else be dubbed into Korean? Or will they all just be happily gabbing away in Korean & call for a huge dose of suspension of disbelief?

Moreover, isn't it sad that this sort of thing actually troubles me?

james henry said...

Nope. This is much more intersting than the show itself.

Anonymous said...

I saw Stephen Merchant on a Sky Sports Saturday morning soccer show recently which was quite funny as he has absolutely no interest in sport.

The whole show was quite bizarre really as the other guests were Peter Hook, Mani and some other guy I didn't recognise.

SM had to take a penalty kick and ran out of the studio, which was quite a highlight.

occasional poster of comments said...

James: I see what you mean about the efterklang downloads. They worked fine with Firefox, but Explorer just opens them in Media Player. Pesky Microsoft. Anyway, singingfish.com, didn't know about it, most handy. Not that you asked, but would particularly recommend downloading 'Monopolist', which I notice is on there.

The fat guy in Lost troubles me (forgotten his name, stopped watching when I read that the creators reckoned they could spin it out to eight seasons, or something). For the sake of realism he's going to have to start losing weight at some point, or the others are going to be demanding to be taken to his secret Hershey bar stash. And if there is a weight-loss clause in his contract, then isn't Lost just an incredibly elaborate and costly version of Celebrity Fit Club? We should be told. Actually, maybe that's the big twist and it's all leading up to some horribly saccharine, makeover type finale hosted by Ricki Lake in front of a live studio audience: 'Well, Ricki, I owe it all to an insubstantial diet of nothing but flashbacks and the occasional red herring.' [cue congratulatory whoops and hollers].

surly girl said...

his name is hurley and i too wonder when he's going to start losing weight, given that he's surviving solely on water, raw fish and the suspension of disbelief (similar to calpol but without the strawberry taste).

following on from the quandary about the korean version of lost, i have a slightly related question (since we seem to be pondering on this thread:

if a film such as shrek, toy story or monsters inc is marketed in the US/UK on the basis of the "big name" stars voicing it (john candy, tom hanks, cameron diaz etc), what happens when these films are dubbed for, say, the european market? or asian, or, oh, i don't know...anywhere else? does the studio factor in the difficulty and extra marketing costs involved in getting a return based solely on the merits of the film? are "local" stars drafted in to voice the parts? or are diaz, murphy, myers et al contracted to read each script (with varying degrees of success) in phonetic mandarin, spanish, norwegian or urdu? (please excuse limited knowledge of main other-people's languages)

lord, iam dull tho, aren't i? but it puzzles me....

BiScUiTs said...

Yeah I was thinking about the weight thing, and none of them have grown beards. On all those reality progs ages ago like Castaway and all the other ones where a load of people get dumped on an island, they all got thin and hairy.

james henry said...

I know mostly they try and get the local equivalents in, such as the Bollywood equivalent of Brad Pitt or whatever. Antonio Banderas is onto a good one though, as he can (obviously) speak fluent Spanish, so he gets to play Puss In Boots in the Spanish version of Shrek 2 as well as the English version, for example. Double cash!

A particularly cynical touch is writing roles for media figures such as Larry King and that American Plastic Surgery Woman in films such as Shrek 2, then redubbing just those bits with say, British types such as Jonathon Ross and Kate Nobody for the UK release. Said people also get to go 'ohmigodses! I've got a parts in the fillum!', which is sort of true, but sort of bollocks.

Look out for 'hilarious cameos' like this in any recent CGI movie and give yourself a mini mars bar for spotting each one. There's usually two in each film.

Doesn't have to be a mini mars bar - they haven't paid me to say that or anything.

lauren said...

can i be unbelievably shallow and admit that the only reason i'm watching lost is because of the lovely matthew fox and josh holloway? there, i've admitted it to the world and myself. they loooovely, and i do like the hollywood designer stubble

james henry said...

Perhaps I should admit that I massively fancy that Evangaline Lily bird, who is apparently going out with the hobbit one in real life, so clearly has a thing about scruffy English blokes.

I'm sure she could find a stouter pair of pants though, it's over-egging the pudding somewhat. As t'were. Actually forget that last bit.

woot said...

over egging the pudding? That is a phrase i have never come accross before. Is it a cornish thing?

Steve Dix said...

Surly Girl : What happens is that they attract similar (local) big stars, and sell the film on this basis.

For example : in Germany, Dory in "Finding Nemo" was voiced by comedienne Anke Engelke.

Who is this Dave? said...

Woot: to over egg the pudding is a well-known english phrase or saying. See http://users.tinyonline.co.uk/gswithenbank/sayingso.htm
if you don't believe me (or James).

belladona said...

Ah! I know and use it but had oh-so-little idea what on earth it meant. Though I probably should have been able to work it out. Ahem.