the names are incredibly diverse

BBC Three's new sci-fi comedy has an interesting pedigree at least in the script department. Nearly all of the episodes are written by different people -- which is unusual even these days for any comedy programme of this length -- but the names are incredibly diverse. Assuming they're the same people Alexa Junge was on the staff of Friends, The West Wing, Sex and the City, Big Love, Once and Again and Clarissa Explains It All; Toby Davies from The Mitchell and Webb Look; Paul Doolan wrote Man Stroke Woman as did Ed Weeks and Maggie Bandur worked on Malcolm In The Middle. Which shows that script writing is script writing and you should get the work were you can.

Crash Course
I'd like to think this will work, but the hyperlink structure is notoriously difficult to pull off in television -- Heroes messed it up completely in the second season -- and I'm not sure how this will sustain its narrative and premise since they're only focusing on five lead characters. Lost's an interesting case, since the flashbacks are interlinked like a hyperlink film, but the people on the island are usually unaware of the connections (with the exception of the one big example in season three).

Intermission is dead time?
I missed intermissions. Whenever I'm watching a length film on dvd, I always take a break at what looks like the mid-point even if there's not one there. I'm not sure if The Woolton Picture House still does this, but in the olden days they'd always have an intermission at the end of the third reel no matter what was happening on screen, even if it was in the middle of a scene. The house lights would go up and the ladies would appear with the ice cream. The big action sequence in the middle of the underrated Twister is a notorious example.


Rob Buckley said...

It's Adam Chase, exec producer of Friends, behind it all, so they are the same and he's running it like a US writers' room, more or less, although budgets dictate there aren't so many writers so it's more like a writers' atrium.

You need to be an HR subscriber to read the interview, but Chase's basic points were that it's a lot easier to get your idea up and running on British TV if it's a comedy, the stars expect a whole lot less and there's less network interference.

Plus with the US buying up proven British formats, it's a great way to get your show onto US TV eventually, having got all the kinks out in Britain first: "Hey, remember that script I pitched to you that you didn't like? Well this is what it would have looked like. Would you like another go?"

His only problem was the budgets on British TV, although he says that also forces you to be more innovative.

Stuart Ian Burns said...

Thanks Rob.

It's really interesting that in cash strapped times, even a figure like Adam Chase has to find non-traditional ways of launching a format like having it commissioned in another country, then selling the format backwards.

Is it me or does Mark Gattis's uniform look suspiciously like an old school UNIT number?