I don't know who flicked on the quality switch in UK telly recently, but I'd like to shake their hand. First Life On Mars, and now Eleventh Hour (Thursdays, 9pm, ITV), a science thriller starring Patrick Stewart, written by Stephen Gallagher. It was great stuff, intelligent, funny, with a dark shadow looming over it. Well done to Ashley Jensen (from Extras) too, more than holding her own on-screen with Stewart. Looking forward to next week's Hour, which features a deadly virus and lots of shouting. Top stuff. And yes, I'm going to use a variation on the joke in the post title *every* time Patrick Stewart is mentioned. Don't say I didn't warn you.
The Curfew outline is finally ready - it's 18 pages long, and kicks ass. Should be going off to the Important People today, so keep your fingers crossed for me. If they like what they see, hopefully it'll go to script, and I can have even more fun with it.
After what feels like a year of not having any good ideas apart from Curfew, I finally came up with something the other day. My agent liked the sound of it, so I did a 2 page outline, and gave it to him yesterday. He then sent it straight out. I couldn't believe how easy and quick it was. Normally, I have an idea, write a paragraph, send it to him, he tells me it's shit (but very politely), and I go back to the drawing board. He's harsh, but a great quality filter, making sure that only my very best stuff gets sent out. This one is for a children's TV series, but is something that could work for adults too, depending on the way it's handled. I really like it, so cross your other fingers for that one.
The tax stuff is all sorted. The accountants came back with my tax return, all done and dusted, and managed to save me some money. Because I count as self employed, I can reduce the amount I have to pay tax on by subtracting any expenses incurred during my writing - like electricity, stationery, computer gear, DVDs, cinema tickets, travel, etc etc. Or rather, *they* reduce the amount; I just wait until they're finished adding things up, then I sign bits of paper, and hand over a cheque for my tax bill. I wouldn't even know where to start with that bloody self assessment form, so I'm very impressed that Danny did his by himself - you're a braver man than I am. I hate filling in forms. In one of my previous jobs, the stationery cupboard was kept locked, and if you wanted anything - even a pen - you had to fill out a requisition form. And get it signed by your manager. Who would then get it signed by the company director. And then you would take your form to the Holder of The Key, who would come and unlock the cupboard, stand there while you took your pen, and then lock the cupboard again immediately. A fucking pen. I left before they started putting coin slots on the toilet doors, it was surely only a matter of time.