What would you do if someone gave you a lottery ticket or a scratch card as  gift, and it turned up as a BIG win?

Share? Lie? Cash it in and disappear? Read the rest of this entry »


What would you do if you found – and by found I mean stumble across, its a complete surprise –  a body? (yeah, of course, you’d call the police..but what then? You automatically become a suspect, just elimination of course…but what if…?

Lots of what ifs here.

Where is this body? In your house? You’re out walking the dog? (I quite like this. What’s it like for people who do stumble across bodies – murder victims, suicides, people who drop dead in public places…it feels very ‘novelly’ to me. What’s the fall out for the one who does the finding? Does that kind of thing haunt you forever? If it’s a murder victim, then is the finder yet another victim…how wide is the effect of a murder? What if it’s a baby? Or a child? Someone you love? A complete stranger?)





I’m not going to talk about the many days between this idea and the last. So don’t ask.

What would you do if you fell in love with someone who killed others for ‘kicks’?

(been watching some terrible doc about Myra Hindley…that seems to be the explanation for her involvement, that she was besotted with Brady and therefore went along with and aided the murders…..And, there is a recognised syndrome – particularly in women – of people being irresistably attracted to genuinely dangerous others/men. See Bonnie and Clyde for example. Anyway..could make for a dark bit of story telling, to dig into the flawed psyche, the building up of delusions, excuses, mental denial and rejection of previously accepted social norms…..)

Utopia….to be continued…

February 21, 2013

Utopia will have conspiracy theorists losing more sleep than usual! (if you haven’t heard of Agenda 21 you soon will).  Joining dots is (as far as I can tell) a conspiracy theorist’s favourite pastime. Dennis Kelly’s tightly plotted story does that in spades, and does it with gusto and gleefully black humour. A tour de force.

So. I loved It. I struggled to review this on a weekly basis, but the disappointing truth about that is a) I am sometimes lazy, or even more prosaic, simply need to turn in at 11pm, and not stay up till midnight writing a review of something I’ve just really enjoyed watching, and b) I’m selfish. And really b) is entirely related to a) in as much as I found I simply didn’t want to dissect something that I’d just really relished watching. I wanted to savour it and hoard the feelings of excitement and anticipation for next week’s episode, and let my willing submission of self into the story-world linger and fade at its own pace.

This is, for me, the marker of a really good bit of TV/film making/story telling in whatever genre you care to mention. I was all audience, and I stayed that way till the end of the series. Whatever else I may have to say, this is the one thing that matters – to me, to the makers, and to the broadcasters.

So…greedy for more then? Well, yes…and no. Perhaps it’s just me, but I couldn’t help feeling just a touch disappointed with the ‘to be continued…’ ending when it happened. While this makes perfect sense – after all, what broadcaster or writer or film-maker would not want to build in the prospect of more work, with an eager audience waiting for it to arrive? And it sits perfectly with the themes and the framing of the story so far presented (a ton of back-story…maybe a prequel is in the pipeline too?), I can’t help feeling it would have been even more enjoyable if they’d found a way to tie the story up. Not an easy task at the best of times, ask any writer. And, arguably, they sort of have, with the solution to the central mystery residing all along in the blood of Jessica Hyde. As a writer, I have to admire this – the Janus molecule is there, the manuscript was a macguffin (come next series I’d bet good money that it will be revived, with some clever plot twisting antidote ‘hidden’ in it. But Jessica burned it you cry! It’s gone! hmmm…) and now this dangerous thing is in the wrong hands…duh duh duuuuh…..

Oh dear. I’m not really disappointed am I? I’m just jealous and wish that I had the creativity and skill to pull off something this clever and this much fun that could run and run and run. Looks to me like British TV is fast catching up with the US and stuff like The Wire, Breaking Bad, and any other of a slew of brilliant crafted TV dramas of every stripe, made with high production values and a respect for the intelligence of the TV watching public. And I can hardly wait for the next series.



Really liking this series of Black Mirror. Charlie Brooker appears to have invented the ‘long short’, giving us 60 minutes of a series of twists and turns gradually reveal the horrible reality of the fictional world he presents us.

Tales of the unexpected for today, pinning down a disturbing sense that even as technology advances, not much beats a good day out with a front seat at the public gallows.

White Bear takes the car crash voyeurism of reality TV to dreadful extremes – though without doubt the most dreadful part of that is the sense that some of the horrors already deemed acceptable for mass TV consumption are not so far from the punishment-fitting-the-crime scenario White Bear presents. My only complaint with this was the re-iteration of what had just gone being cut into the closing credits. Splitting hairs there though.



How does a girl manage her disappointment on discovering that an invitation from the boy of her dreams to look at his collection of pet frogs isn’t going to end in her first kiss?

A short probably. Maybe an animation – which could mean having a lot of fun. This sort of plays on the ‘what are little boys/girls made of’ nursery rhyme, and feels like it could be both humourous and touching if handled properly.

….a view of a family over three or four generations. Structured around the number of generations POV / affect they have (or not) on later generations by number of acts / episodes.

This idea started with the title ‘Carvery’. A dissection of a family history and possible future. All action taking place during important family occasions, particularly a celebratory meal.

Feels like a stage or radio piece to me. More talk than action oriented.