Blog

Mother isn’t feeling well…

I’m always harping on about television sequels and prequels, and new adaptations of classics that were better done in the past. To me they are proof pudding of the lack of originality among writers and producers. ‘Endeavour’ is the prequel that’s the odd one out: beautifully written and acted with the directors keeping well out of the way….

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I think it’s a female talent…

I’m talking about doing two things at once. Or even two things in succession, to say nothing of three, four or five. Plate spinning. My inability may just be the result of the business I’ve been in for the past 200 years, but I find it extremely difficult to write in the morning, stop working, stop thinking about…

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A shameless plug for my talented family…

It’s nothing less than that and I make no apology for it. You can see Dunchan Clyde (Watkinson) playing D.S.Peters in the new series ‘Snatch’ (based on the film). It’s due for transmission ‘imminently’, we’re told. His sister, Sassy Clyde (Watkinson) is one of the driving forces in ‘Get Over It’ theatre company. Their next project is a…

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Do you know what happened to ‘Nor’? Neither do I…

I don’t usually care if words drop off the edge of the plate, with one exception. Whatever happened to the word ‘nor’? It’s not a particularly beautiful word in its own right but it has a purpose without which some sentences don’t make sense. ‘Nor’ is being constantly replaced by ‘neither’. I watched an episode of Suits the…

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My mother wouldn’t be able to hear…

In television there’s a belief that … ordinary books make good television. Like all other beliefs it isn’t 100% reliable, but in my opinion it does explain why, say, Agatha Christie comes across so well on the small screen. Her work provides great storylines and very little else so the writer dramatising them can use precision to turn…

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It’s been done before, only better….

I’ve been harping on about television’s lack of new material lately, so much so that I’m beginning to feel like a regular TV columnist. I tend to home in on the re-hashes of old, ostensibly ‘safe’ stories, though why 10 Rillington Place should have attract so many writers/producers down the years I can’t imagine. Can it be that…

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Versions of the same story…

Book, film, TV adaptation, radio, stage play? Well, a new one joins the club. Subtitles. I know they’re not a new invention and they’d be pretty difficult to achieve on radio, but just lately they’ve come into their own. They used to be dreadful, but I’ve been watching ‘The Bridge’ on Amazon lately and the subtitles are superb….

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Expletives not deleted…

When I worked as a script editor in BBC drama, a hundred years ago, not only was the F word an unthinkable prospect, but the powers that be were nervous about using the word ‘God’ in any context. And, unbelievably now, there was a Unit housed in an ivory tower somewhere that read every script that went out!…

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It doesn’t have to be simple to be clear…

The first thing I ever wrote for real money was an episode of The Onedin Line, a BBC TV drama series. The script editor said he wanted a story that wasn’t patronisingly simple but clear in the telling. Last night I watched the Icelandic noir thriller ‘Trapped’ and gave up after episode three because it’s too simple and…

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