Sunday, June 03, 2007

Torchwood readthrough

Blimey. It's been a long, but massively fun few days. Torchwood readthrough was amazing, such good fun. Went up the Thursday night, and they put me up in a fancy schmancy hotel. A few of us went for drinks that night - me, another writer, two actors, and script editors. Many drinks were had, many stories were told, none of which I could repeat here, especially not the alien cock joke.

Anyway. Readthrough started at half 10 Friday morning, everyone sat around a big square set of tables (you've probably seen it on the TW Declassified and DW Confidential shows), and basically read through the script. Captain RTD did the stage directions, half reading them, half summarising if there was a big block of them, and very funny he was too. The actors were fantastic, got loads of laughs, and for a brief glorious moment I was sitting next to Eve Myles. But then they needed all the actors sitting together, and my section got shunted down. Just as well really, as my animal magnetism would have rendered her speechless and unable to continue. We did the readthrough, much laughter was, er, laughed, there were several creepy silences as scary moments played out really well, and it all went swimmingly. I got applause, compliments, and two actors touched me. On purpose. In a friendly, "hi how are you" way, too, not the usual "security, please get him away from me" way.

A while later, I sat in a room with the big cheeses as they gave me my final notes from the readthrough (I'd also made a few notes, lines that just didn't sound right out loud). Lots of little tweaks, here and there, some of which I needed to do on the spot at someone's computer, because they needed to print the pages there and then for filming on Sunday.

There were sandwiches. There was lots of cake. Seriously, tons of it, they were forcing it on people by the end, and we were all rolling around, crying, icing and crumbs smeared all over our faces. It was hell.

And after that, my first big Doctor Who script meeting. We discussed my new outline, and hammered out a change to the ending that made us all go "ooooooh" with excitement. And then they said I could start the script. Which is fabulous, because I'm dying to get started. And also scary, because blimey, who the hell do I think I am taking on this massive cultural institution, how will I handle the huge responsibility to the TV bosses, the fans, and both my adult and ten-year-old self? I am alternately giggling with glee, and cringing with panic. But, like all writing, when it comes down to it you've just got to forget about all that stuff, sit down and get on with it, really. Speaking of Who, I am in awe of Mr Paul Cornell's staggeringly brilliant 2 parter "Human Nature", absolutely gobsmacking stuff. Although it did add heavily to my "oh blimey who the hell do I think I am" side of things, it being so good and all. Damn you Cornell! You give with one hand, and take away with the other!

Got the train back from Cardiff at 5.25pm, which meant I didn't get home until 9pm - but the rest of the script notes for TW had to be done that very night, as they were needed the next day for printing and distribution. I think I finally got it done around 1am, and sent it off. More final tweaks needed doing during the day on Saturday, last minute changes on the changes, just making sure everything worked perfectly. They should have been filming today (Sunday), the first day of shooting on mine and another episode, so actual STUFF is probably in the can as we speak.

And then the rest of the weekend was spent finishing the movie rewrite. Just finished now, around 9pm on Sunday night as I type this. I'm exhausted, but feel great. Next item on the agenda: a stiff drink, and some telly. Thank you again to everyone who has been in touch or commented, you're all supercool and amazing. I will try my best to look after both DW and TW while they are in my hands for 45 and 50 minutes respectively. Tomorrow, I'll be getting started on the Who script itself. All together now: oh blimey...

22 comments:

Paul Cornell said...

Thank you very much. You're at the start of a really good rollercoaster. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. Do you realise we're the only two New Who writers with blogs? (Unless Tom's got one hidden away.) That's a little worrying, isn't it?

David Bishop said...

Forthcoming moments to savour: the first time you type....

INT. TARDIS. DAY.

James Moran said...

Ooh, it's the man himself! Hello sir, cheers, I plan on enjoying it an obscene amount. I've been reading yours for a while, but haven't found any others yet - that must mean we're incredibly brave and clever, I reckon. It's an honour to be in the same gang as you.

David: Eep. I believe the emotion I am feeling now is "Squeeeeeeee"...

Amanda said...

I'll see your 'oh, blimey' and raise you a 'gawd'.

That's oh, gawd blimey! and not gawd, oh blimey! Or oh, blimey, Gawd. Just so we're clear as to what the stakes really are.

Neal Romanek said...

Working, working, working.

What's the saying? "The best gift you can give a writer is a good day's work"

I feel like I should be jealous about the Dr. Who extravaganza. But being utterly an irretrievably American, I wouldn't know the first thing about writing Dr. Who. And would be the first to support a "Keep Dr. British" campaign.

Your living the dream. Keep it up.

Neal Romanek said...

A "Keep Dr. WHO British" campaign, that is.

kaiki said...

cor blimey indeed.
i wrote an episode of doctor who once.
admittedly i was twelve years old, it was short on dialogue and big on monsters and existed entirely in my head. so when i say ‘wrote’ i mean ummmm…imagined.
i am very excited about yours though.

Lee said...

Hang on, did you say they didn't start work until 10.30? I want me some of that action.

Sorry to hear about the cake. I know how hard it can be to say no sometimes. Still, the bastards, eh?

hotzappa11 said...

Hey yo, lets go! I take you've quit that job of yours? It must have been getting in the way of your inflated ego, hehe.

Jaded and Cynical said...

Alien cock jokes, eh? Sounds like Torchwood alright.

Peter Pan said...

Swanky hotel and Cardiff? That will St Davids then ...
Next time you are in town and short of somebody to buy the beer, drop me a line. On the condition you smuggle some of that cake out for me.

Anonymous said...

Good luck to you!! Your blog entries are full of enthusiasm and excitement...and why not? You're doing just about the bestest job in the world - not only writing for a living but writing for the Dr Who/Torchwood crew!! Goddammit! Best of luck and keep us entertained with more of your experiences!!

Paul Mount
Envious Bloke, Cardiff

soulmining said...

Mmmmmm, cake! Not the Chris Morris type of "cake" I trust. But the moist sponge type cake with jam and icing... mmmmmm, cake! Lovely.

Oddly enough I'm just about to rewatch Paul's excellent episode from this w/e as my flatmate hasn't seen it yet...

james henry said...

* is a bit jealous, frankly *

I thought I saw you in Soho today and was about to get your attention, then realised it wasn't you, and stopped myself, which was good, because I then realised I was about to shout 'Cooo-eeeee!', which would jusifiably have got me beaten right up.

The rest of Human Nature easily lived up to the first, didn't it? You are in great company sir.

Pillock said...

What's cooler than cool?
YOU! Keep on truckin' You're a leg. and and insp.

Anonymous said...

You luck, lucky man! You're excitement is infectious and I'm really looking forward to your Torchwood and Doctor Who episodes. Please give us a clue!

Penny Broadhurst said...

Cor. Looking forward to seeing the fruits of your labour.

hexacontium said...

That sounds utterly exciting. I hope you continue reporting for us on your blog.

"Eep. I believe the emotion I am feeling now is "Squeeeeeeee"... "

*grins* take care that this is not read by the squee-squat over at OG ;)

Pike 2 said...

Wow they fed you cake. What more can a writer ask for (ok money good, but cake (with icing) must come a close second.

:o)

Cindy said...

Can I just say that I am so jealous of you. Like, real jealous! I think I might just sneak into your bedroom, suffocate you in your sleep, skin you, and wrap your skin around me and then go on pretending I'm you. So's I can meet cool people, be kindly touched by actors, eat cake, and, oh well, er, write scripts.

Ok fine, I'm also very proud of you. But right now? I'm jealous :)

*hug*

Piers said...

Cake is horrid.

But your career is excellent.

w00t! as they say.

Laligin said...

Glad to hear it's going well. Much good luck for you!

(And oh my goodness, was that Paul Cornell?! Bwah! Two Who writers on the web. Joyful!)

Ahem, yes. Keep the updates coming. ;)