I spent most of last week looking at Heygarton – the series idea I came up with a few years ago. D had originally asked me to look at the proposal again with view to sharpening it up. Along the way I dug out the script of the first episode and reworked it. Then I sent it to T and asked him to read it. He confirmed what I felt, though couched in his usual supportive style. It works as a piece but there’s nothing to distinguish it from plenty of other stuff out there. It feels too safe and cosy. So I’ve sent it to D with a note suggesting we put it back in the bottom drawer where it came from.
Bottom drawers can be dangerous things, particularly as they sometimes contain good material whose time has not yet come. But they also contain projects you can’t quite throw away which deserve to be left there or better still, forwarded to the waste bin. The difficult part is distinguishing between them. My best bottom drawer story is The Ballad of Billy Rainbow which was offered first as a six part series to R4, then a couple of years later as a four part series, and a couple of years after that as a 90′ play. It was finally greeted enthusiastically by the commissioners when I offered it as a 60 minute comedy. During the recording Michael Maloney was in wonderful swashbuckling mode with a vicious-looking sabre. After the first take of a fight scene with Chris Scott, Chris came over and slipped a piece of paper in my top pocket. My mother’s address, he said. Should you need it.
After a lot of pissing about the tango website is up and running again. Unfortunately since I took over it’s turned a little odd. I’m meeting F, our designer, tomorrow for lunch with out laptops to see if she can sort it out. Meanwhile, it’s on with the thriller.