Love & Money Dept – TV Writing Deals for 12/21/14

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Latest News About Writers Who Are Doing Better Than We Are
by munchman

  • Paul Sofer (SUPER TROOPERS) is writing the pilot for a TBS comedy called QUALITY TIME, about”four adults who have been friends since college. They’ve managed to maintain their juvenile behaviors and friendships…but are now being pushed into having children….” (Know those times when you read about a new show and think, “I could do that!”? Well, this isn’t one of those times. Not at all. Lotsa luck, TBS.)
  • James Dormer (STRIKE BACK) is developing a 13-part version of BEOWULF for ITV. (Cuz the UK wants its own GAME OF THRONES? Well, why not? Especially cuz yer friendly neighborhood muncher isn’t afraid to say that the source material for this one is a probably gobs better. Although shorter. But that short thing is about to change.)
  • Russell T. Davies (DOCTOR WHO) is developing two new series for Logo TV and the UK’s Channel 4. “CUCUMBER and BANANA are interwoven drama series that explore 21st century gay life through the lens of two disparate generations.” (I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say that you don’t have to be gay to watch – and probably love – these shows. You just have to be somebody who cares about people, period. Cuz RTD is, simply, one of the best writers UK TV has ever produced. And when you look at the writers and the shows that have been on the air their over the years, that’s way high praise. Especially from a snarky little munchman like moi, no?)

That’s it for now, munchaladas. Let us know in the comments if you think you’ve figured out who the blind item is about and/or what the TV and film projects are. And don’t forget to write in and tell yers truly what you’ve sold when you sell it. Cuz TVWriter™ can’t wait to brag to all your friends. (And, more importantly, enemies. Hehehe….)

The Most Underused Doctor in TV History

DoctorWhoMagazine-Nov2003j…was, of course, DOCTOR WHO’s 8th Doctor, played by Paul McGann.

McGann starred in the 1996 DOCTOR WHO TV movie, which was really a pilot for a U.S. version of the series. We’ve seen it a couple of times and know what? It sucks. Terrible script. Ridiculous direction. Absurd acting by everyone involved–

Except Paul McGann, who is, simply, cool as hell.

The movie/pilot fell flat and the series, which was already off the air, stayed off for almost another decade until writer-producer Russell T Davies brilliantly brought it back to life with a 9th doctor played by Chris Eccleston. All was right with the world.

Except that Paul McGann was left out of the project.

Oh, he hasn’t been completely forgotten. We remember him, right? And so did the people at Big Finish Productions, who have made a host of fine audio DOCTOR WHO episodes that definitely make the miles go by if you’re on a driving trip. (Find out more about the latest audio release starring the 8th Doctor.)

We bring this up because we just listened to the latest Paul McGann DOCTOR WHO audio performance, DARK EYES, and can already feel a new addiction forming: Lounging on a couch in a dark room and listening to Paul McGann and the rest of the cast while cuddling with somebody we love and going through the entire 8th Doctor canon.

The script is solid, the performances are exciting…and the 8th Doctor…yeah, we know we shouldn’t go here, but he has a very sexy, um, voice.

Which got us thinking and wondering. Is ther any way at all that Paul McGann could be involved with the upcoming DOCTOR WHO Anniversary Special?

This speculation sent us scurrying to Google, of course, and the web in general, where among other things we found this recent Twitter exchange:

@shakesby_vivien
heard a whisper that you are going to be in the 50th anniversary dr who, plz say its true 🙂  x

8th_Doctor_2nd_Coat@pauljmcgann
Yes, I keep hearing similar. Truth is I didn’t so much as visit their set as I was away working. Nor was I invited to.

@laguaracquel
how about the rumor of minisode about the 8th Doctor regenerating for the 50th anniversary?

@pauljmcgann
I’ve often wondered if rumours, like jokes, aren’t all started by the same excitable child or bored old man.

“I’ve often wondered if rumours, like jokes, aren’t all started by the same excitable child or bored old man.” Now that sounds like the Doctor, doesn’t it?

And it also sounds like the 8th Doctor is being ignored by the DOCTOR WHO telly people again. We admit it. We’re disappointed. But we’ll always have Big Finish.

Note to Big Finish: Don’t screw this up!

Does It Bother Anybody Else That WIZARDS vs. ALIENS is Crap?

wizards_vs_aliens_a_l

When we hear the news that Russell T. Davies, the humanistic genius who regenerated DOCTOR WHO and brought it to a whole new generation of TV viewers, was doing another science fiction series, WIZARDS vs. ALIENS, we jumped up and down with joy.

“Huzzah!” we shouted to nobody in particular. “RTD’s back in command of a cool sounding show. He’ll show Melancholy Moff [Steven Moffatt, who took over as writer-showrunner of DOCTOR WHO after RTD left] how the job is done.”

Then we got more news, learning that this time around Russell the Magnificent was teaming up with writer Phil Ford, who helped him produce the WHO spinoff, THE SARAH JANE ADVENTURES, and we started to get nervous. Cuz THE SARAH JANE ADVENTURES was nowhere near in DOCTOR WHO’s league. It was kind of like THE POWER RANGERS, only without the Japanese toy fight footage…and with even shallower characterization. The only thing about THE SARAH JANE ADVENTURES that worked was its star, Elizabeth Sladen, who sadly died of cancer, bringing the series to an end.

Still, we stayed hopeful. Until…oh, this is so hard to think about, and even harder to say…until we saw an episode of W vs A on a trip to London  last year.

“OMG!” we shouted to nobody in particular once again. “This show makes SARAH JANE look good. Alack! Alas! Oy vay! Oh well, maybe it’ll just stay in the UK, boring small children into puddles.”

But it isn’t staying in the UK. It’s coming here, to the Good Ole USA this Saturday night at 7 pm Eastern Time on Hub Network. And after the debut it’ll return to continue its brain-and-soul-numbing ways at 7:30 Eastern Time on future Saturdays.

We’re sorry to have to say all this. Our leader, LB, asked for a little promo for the show because he too has been an RTD fan for years, but we have to be truthful, you know? See for yourselves, if you must, but not on Hub. (Question: What the hell is Hub Network? When did that happen?) Stroll through YouTube and check out the various woozily worrisome Wizards uploads and discover why they have so few visitor views.

Here’s the one we found that’s had the most eyes on it…not quite 3000 at our last look:

Extra! DOCTOR WHO Pizza Knows Its Lines

This one’s for hardcore Whovians. (You know, the ones who go all the way back to the Russell T. Davies days.)

whovianpizzaFound on Tumblr

Of Course DOCTOR WHO’s Doctor is God – and It’s No Accident

Eccleston 2nd Coming

I watched Russell T.Davies’ 2003 TV mini-series (very mini – only 2 episodes) THE SECOND COMING the other day. It stars Chris Eccleston and tells the story of an ordinary man who realizes one day (after his first kiss from the woman he’s loved since his schooldays) that he’s the Messiah returned for one last shot at redeeming the human race.

The story starts out wonderfully, Eccleston exactly the kind of Son of God I’d want any real son of God to be, but the second half gets bogged down in self-contradictory theology illustrated by humans who just don’t react the way the humans I hang around with would. (Although the demons are very much like the devils I know all too well.)

In the end, I was disappointed by the film…but it doesn’t really matter thanks to a fascinating aspect of the production that I can only think of as the most Glorious Subtext Ever – if you’re a DOCTOR WHO fan.

Eccleston Doctor Who

If you are, you know that in 2005 DOCTOR WHO returned from a decade-long “hiatus,” written and produced by Davies and starring Eccleston as the Doctor. And the Glorious Subtext thing here is that if, as a Whovian, you watch THE SECOND COMING you’ll see, quite clearly, the foundation for everything the New WHO has given us, from casting to characterization to themes to plot arcs used not only by RTD but by his successor as series showrunner Steven Moffat as well.

It all makes great sense to me because I’ve always looked at the character of the 9th, 10th, and 11th Doctors as, well, God…and, guess what? He is. Which is to say that he’s identical to Eccleston’s God in THE SECOND COMING.

Last time I looked, there still were a couple of copies of THE SECOND COMING DVD at Amazon.Com for like, $4.95.

Sorta Spoilers:

Oh, and if you watch, look out for the best, most timey-wimey shoutout ever. A homage to Rory Williams AKA the Centurian Who Waited, years before there was a Rory Williams character to wait. (And the Son of God’s sacrifice may – just may – remind y’all a bit of the sacrifice made by a certain Doctor many years later…and for precisely the same reason.

tardisicontardisicontardisicon

 

Even Bigshot Writers Get Rejected Dept

Man, this bugs us!

In a recent article in the U.K.-based Telegraph, Russell T. Davies, the man who brought us the 21st Century DOCTOR WHO, creating not just a fan fave but the biggest cash cow in BBC telly history, explains why he moved to the U.S. and then returned recently to the U.K. and also fills us in on his part in upcoming DOCTOR WHO 50th anniversary festivities:

“Don’t ask me about the 50th anniversary [in November 2013], because it’s nothing to do with me,” he says. “I’m just a happy viewer now. This’ll teach me though – I did ask BBC Books if they fancied a graphic novel, and they went, ‘No’. I sat here thinking, I could write a graphic novel, I could even draw the graphic novel, that’d be brilliant… No. There we are then, I tried.”

These aren’t the words of a happy camper, and Neil Midgley, the writer of the Telegraph article describes them this way:

And Davies is also, he says hotly, not doing anything for Doctor Who.

Carumba! We could’ve had a DOCTOR WHO graphic novel by RTD? And the idiots at the Beeb turned him down? It’s a plot, isn’t it? It’s Steven Moffatt’s fault, right? Protecting his turf? The turf RTD handed over to him? Yikes!

Learn this lesson well, children. If Russell T. Davies and his idea for the Doctor can be rejected, anyone can. And will be. Oh, the humanity!

Advance Look at Wizards & Aliens

…’Cuz the last season and a half of DOCTOR WHO have made us miss Russell T. Davies more than we ever thought we would:

Wizards Vs Aliens: Dawn Of The Nekross spoiler-free review – by Jeams Peaty

Imaginative, enchanting, and entertaining, Russell T Davies’ new CBBC series is a fitting successor to The Sarah Jane Adventures…

1.1 & 1.2 Dawn Of The Nekross

From the creative team that brought us the award winning The Sarah Jane Adventures,Wizards vs Aliens arrives laden with far more expectation and attention than your standard CBBC series launch.

Co-created by former Doctor Who showrunner Russell T Davies and SJA lead writer Phil Ford,WvA’s pedigree is first-rate, but does its opening adventure, Dawn of the Nekross, deliver on the promise of its brilliantly on-the-nose central conceit?

Thankfully that answer is a resounding ‘yes’, thanks in no small part to a strong script from series co-creator Ford, confident and stylish direction from Daniel O’Hara, and committed performances from series leads Scott Haran and Percelle Ascot.

Following the classic Davies template of bold storytelling filled with striking and memorable images, the series opens with a pre-credits scene involving alien first contact above an ancient stone circle. Neatly bringing together the two elements at the heart of the show – science fiction and magic – in a single sequence, this tease not only sells the central concept of the show, but also the ambition and scale of the piece in one confident brushstroke.

Read it all

What a great review! We weren’t all that familiar with DOCTOR WHO till Russell Davies showed us what’s what. So even though we’ve felt just a tad too old to be the intended audience for THE SARAH JANE ADVENTURES you can bet we’ll be watching WIZARDS & ALIENS and rooting for its success.