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Stephen Gallagher
Posted on Friday, May 16, 2003 - 02:48 am:   

Sorry to say it but it's more or less certain that we won't be seeing the BBC classic adaptation of Dracula, despite all feedback to the effect that the script was a stormer.

What happened was that on the day before my script deadline -- ie, when it was already finished -- one of the BBC Drama execs had lunch with an indie producer who told her that she had an ITV version greenlit, scripted and ready to go. Said exec took it upon herself to cancel the BBC production outright that very afternoon.

By the time it emerged that this was all bull, that the indie had hired a writer only days before and ITV doesn't greenlight anything without a finished script, the show was off the slate.

What took moments to derail then took eight weeks to get read and reconsidered. Meanwhile the indie put out a press release and made the most of her advantage. The final BBC decision was that the script was fine but it was too late to reinstate the project as it would now mean going head-to-head with ITV.

There's even more, but that echoing thudding sound is me still beating my head against the wall.

Well, we move on. I've just sold the pilot of a show I'm calling Dark Matter to Granada.
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Mark PL
Posted on Friday, May 16, 2003 - 11:09 am:   

Shitter. Still, good luck with DARK MATTER.
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Vanessa
Posted on Friday, May 16, 2003 - 11:27 am:   

What's the betting that the executive gets promoted when all the fuss dies down?
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Mark PL
Posted on Sunday, June 08, 2003 - 06:05 am:   

I see STRANGE has been made into a series . . .
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Stephen Gallagher
Posted on Sunday, June 08, 2003 - 02:49 pm:   

Is it any good? I haven't seen either of the 2 so far but I saw the pilot, which I thought had great production values but a weak story.

Director was Joe Ahearne, who did the very stylish ULTRAVIOLET. We were on a screenwriting course in Dartmouth together back in 1990.

I'm really enjoying STATE OF PLAY although I'm starting to fear that the payoff will be nothing more original than the usual giant corporation using criminal tactics to protect its interests. The actual nuts-and-bolts storytelling is terrific, tho.
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Mark PL
Posted on Thursday, June 12, 2003 - 11:55 am:   

Nah, STRANGE is poor. I dunno. The direction, it's like all the guy's in the UK have trained as stage directors and can't be bothered when it comes to TV. US shows, they all look like the guys directing wanna be movie directors.

I liked ULTRAVIOLET. I think there's supposed to be some sort of US version being made, but they want to BUFFY it up or something. Such is life. The only shows I watch on TV are US ones now, I'm afraid. What did the BBC used to show before all those DIY and style shows? I genuinely can't remember.

Oh. I watched SPOOKS on the off chance it might be controversial. 1,000 complaints, according to the tabloids. What they didn't say was that the show had 800 of those complaints before it was aired.

It's like all the fuss about Phil Pullman's HIS DARK MATERIALS trilogy outselling Harry Potter, a media-contrived storm in a tea cup. If you look at the sales figures, Pullman's three books comprising the trilogy outsold one single Harry Potter title. If you put all the Potter titles together, they blow Pullman away.

Must say I prefer Pullman from what I've read so far, NORTHERN LIGHTS. SUBTLE KNIFE is up next, which I'm told is a bit of a struggle to get into. I'm reading SABRIEL right now, and an Elmore Leonard, FREAKY DEAKY. Oh, and a nonfiction book about diving off coral reefs by Arthur C Clarke.
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Stephen Gallagher
Posted on Sunday, June 15, 2003 - 04:13 am:   

This is a gross generalisation but from my observation, in the UK directors tend to work out a scene with the actors and then bring the camera crew in. US directors work out the scene with the camera crew and then bring the actors in.

Neither's ideal, in my opinion... the first tends to get you coverage of performances, the second can degenerate into mere shotmaking.

When someone's simply using the camera as the tool to tell the story, like Spielberg at his best, you're not aware of the direction at all.
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Vanessa
Posted on Thursday, July 17, 2003 - 03:46 am:   

Any news yet on Defenders of Mars?
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Stephen Gallagher
Posted on Thursday, July 17, 2003 - 07:00 am:   

Had a meeting about this a few days back, but it was a fruitless one. I should have known it would be, because DoM is a family show and this was with one of the children's channels.

The few times I've brushed up against children's television drama I've come away immensely frustrated at the received wisdoms and operating assumptions of those in charge of the production process. The general view seems to be that children's drama has to be drama about and featuring children. There's no concept of the adult avatar who'll embody a child's fantasies of empowerment, regardless of the fact that this principle has been at the heart of juvenile fiction since God Knows When. So from Tarzan, Zorro, Flash Gordon, Robin Hood, Roy Rogers, Biggles, Superman, even Doctor Who, they deduce nothing. From comics and computer games, they deduce nothing. From the kids' choice of movies when they're in BLOCKBUSTER, they deduce nothing.

Apparently the script for the new THUNDERBIRDS movie has the Tracy family stranded in space to be rescued by a 12-year-old Alan.

And I still haven't forgiven those bastards who decided that TV's Tarzan needed a little friend "for the kids to relate to". What are we supposed to imagine that Tarzan's thinking of? Half the police forces in Europe have spent the last few days chasing an ex-Marine on suspicion of those kinds of urges.



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Mark PL
Posted on Saturday, July 26, 2003 - 04:40 am:   

Hee hee.

I used to love those Buster Crabbe serials as a kid. I'm afraid the mentality behind the lets have kids in TV shows is also responsible for Scrappy Doo and the Young Indiana Jones Chronicles . . .

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Stephen Gallagher
Posted on Wednesday, August 06, 2003 - 08:18 am:   

And the Muppet Babies.
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Vanessa
Posted on Wednesday, August 06, 2003 - 09:57 am:   

And thinking about it, the more juvenile the Doctor Who assistants were, the less popular they tended to be.

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