Monday, November 24, 2008

Monday morning department of interesting links.

Lots of stuff up at the BBC Writers Room site for Survivors: an interview with series (re)creator Adrian Hodges and another with series writer Gaby Chiappe.

Elsewhere on the BBC site, a fascinating (well, if you're into SF and telly) archive of Doctor Who development notes from 1963, including a report into whether the BBC should be getting into SF at all (conclusions: the Americans have all the suitable material, and SF isn't actually as popular as Westerns anyway), and some audience reports on Who's pilot episode 'An Unearthly Child'. This focus group stuff goes further back than anyone had ever suspected. I'm too scared to look at it just now, in case the word 'aspirational' is in there.

UPDATE: pilot script now up for download.



17 comments:

Tim Footman said...

You bastard. I've got a review that needs finishing.

Oh well, time for Daddy Sydney and Mummy Verity...

spacemonkey said...

I thought it absolutely honked, and wrote an Angry Screed on IMDB about it, sommat I have never felt moved to do before.

I think that officially makes me a 20-stone shut-in webtard.

james henry said...

Hee, really? I liked it, but it does seem to have divided audiences right down the middle. What didn't work for you?

Piers said...

Script's up too, if you're interested...

james henry said...

Seeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeen it (well, an early draft). But yes, will put a link up, cheers!

spacemonkey said...

Ooh, let me count the ways...

**SCREED ALERT**

a) characters v thin and uninvolving. Who are we supposed to really root for and why? Which of them has either an inner life, or smarts and sparks? I don't remember any of them, they seem entirely interchangeable.

b) dialogue pretty cliched and terrible. Hefty bad acting. Interactions unconvincing for people who have supposedly just lost everything that they knew and cared about.

c) conveniently and suspiciously clean and empty streets - no sense of panic or mess or danger given 90% of population supposed to be suddenly ratfood. Does the virus come with valet parking?

d) thought it was badly constructed in terms of introducing us to characters, losing them for 40 minutes or so; didn't balance the different elements of society it obviously started out intending to (a la Lost or even, cripes, Independence Day)

e) too reliant on coincidence to get everyone together at same time on the same bit of road

f) no-one acting logically (setting off without food or water or JH-style home-made crossbow), or, conversely, totally FREAKING THE HELL OUT about the whole situation and staying home weeping, weeping, weeping, trying to make the Xbox controller work and eating cheesy poofs

g) unmotivated bad driving

h) MUSIC TO TELL YOU WHAT TO FEEEEEEL ALL THE TIME, WITHOUT LET UP OR REMORSE

i) no zombies

j) in fact - no clear stakes or jeopardy at all. All too easy, emotionally and practically. Seems the only risk you'd face in post-plague UK is Max Beesley's mugging, which can be swiftly resolved with a can of hair spray

k) even without zombies and for all its knowingness, Dead Set did the panic-chaos-breakdown-of-society bit WAY better, and probably with 0.0001% of the budget

I shall be quiet now, and solace myself by googling images of Zoe Tapper.

james henry said...

I'm with you on the music, I definitely found that intrusive at points. Det Set was definitely cooler-looking, but I dunno, I liked the sense that things weren't that bad straight away (liked the very bright blue skies for example, and lots of use of birdsong in the bg), gives it lots of room for it all to get increasingly grim later on.

Mmm Zoe Tapper.

Jayne said...

I haven't seen it yet but comments from co-workers indicate that I might be suffering from whatever it is that wipes everyone out. *sniffles*

Hey, I just watched The Fires of Pompeii on my sparkling new Doctor Who season 4 boxset and now my wv is latin - how freaky is that? I'm easily pleased...

The Bureauista said...

I see Shaun the Sheep won an Emmy. Good work. Wonder what his acceptance speech was like?

james henry said...

I'm still recovering from Bob The Builder getting Obama elected.

WORSHIP ME, AMERICANS.

realdoc said...

How lucky that the first 2 men that woman found were an outward bound instructor and yummy Patterson Joseph with a landrover full of petrol and cabbage seedlings plus the bodies weren't rotted enough but I'll probably stick with it.

LC said...

Talking of interesting links, I thought I'd bring this to your attention.

james henry said...

Heh.

Steve Dix said...

I remember watching the original, and thinking that the title sequence was good, but the rest of it was a bit boring.

Admittedly I was 8 at the time, but I can't help think that even then, the whole "society falls apart in a day or so" had all been done before and done better. "Day of the Triffids", for example.

Steve Dix said...

Spacemonkey:

point i) add "or triffids"

Imo said...

I liked it, but am easily pleased and will keep watching to find out about the men in the lab and if Paterson Joeseph gets to plant carrot seeds.

Although I have to agree, the roads were very empty, but maybe that was because everyone was at home being ill before they all conveniently died in what seems to be only a matter of hours of each other!

spacemonkey said...

To be fair: I thought the second ep was a little better, though still brimful of ridiculousness ("Which one of us are you going to shoot? Eh? Eh? Because one is right next to you! And the other is - um - further away!" "Curse you and your conundrums!").

There also seems to be some contractual obligation for Olive-Skinned Playboy and Cute Young Muslim Kiddo to have a japesy running-around-chasing-chickens-or-playing-football musical montage in every ep. Because there's STILL HOPE, INNIT.

Having said that, at least they're giving it a go. I even took my IMDB screed down. Damn these guilty fingers.