Okay, after months of having to keep quiet, I can finally reveal what I've been working on recently - not everything, but the three main things at the moment. There are a couple of other things that I'll have to keep secret for now, as they're still in the early stages. But now, on with the bean spillage:
The Secret Project that Isn't DW or TW and Not on BBC... is... Primeval. Although many of you already guessed, and I told some people at Gallifrey, it's not common knowledge yet, so here I am, making it so. Like Captain Picard. Only not as commanding and handsome. It's for series 3, which has just been announced, and I got the job way back in September last year (clickyclicky for flashybacky), so I've been keeping quiet all this time. It's filming fairly soon, so I'd better get on and finish the draft I'm doing at the moment, or they will throw me to the Velociraptors.
By the way, just want to say hello and thank you to the ninjas over at Geek Syndicate, because during an interview with a certain someone who shall remain nameless (but his name rhymes with "Paul Cornell"), he accidentally let it slip that I'm working on Primeval. Being thoroughly decent, righteous dudes, they edited it out and told me they'd keep it secret until I announced it. You can hear the interview here, and great fun it is too - but don't go yet! I'm not finished talking.
The second project that has been occupying my time in Jan and Feb is... Spooks: Liberty. It's a spinoff of Spooks, from Kudos, the people who make, er, Spooks, and Ashes to Ashes, and loads of other shows. The only info I've found so far online is here, on the wiki-wiki-wah-wah, but I'm sure there'll be official sites and things soon. I don't know if the Liberty title is staying or changing, but last time I checked, that's what it was. It's a new show, will be on BBC3, but that's all I can say so far. Apart from this: yesterday was the final day of filming for the episode I worked on, so it's all "in the can". I know! I just threw that in there at the end, as if it didn't matter! I am, quite literally, hardcore.
The third one is very new, big and scary, and it is... the UK version of Law & Order. The story broke fairly recently, but if you don't know, the gist is that Kudos (see above) are doing a UK version of the US show, with Chris Chibnall as the showrunner. Same stories, more or less, but reworked into a UK setting for UK characters, with UK law. I'm part of the writing team, and will be doing 2 episodes. It's a new, scary departure for me, because it features no aliens, no psycho killers, no time travel, and no monsters. We've got legal and police advisors to help us with the tricky bits, and have had a couple of 2-day meetings about the show, getting it into shape, and this is before we even start writing. Week before last, we got a tour of The Old Bailey, which was amazing, and terrifying at the same time. I sat in a judge's chair, and shouted "Silence in court! You are out of order, sir!" Then I went down into the main bit, and shouted "Out of order? No! YOU'RE out of order! This whole goddamn SYSTEM is out of order!" Then I had to be escorted out, because there was a court case in progress at the time, and I'd just kicked an elderly judge out of his chair.
Obviously, as I've said many times now, I cannot talk about plot things, so don't even dare ask, or I'll shriek in horror. I will try and post about the working process for any and all of these, because they each had very different setups, and the contrast is quite interesting. Ah, that reminds me, I still have some TW questions to answer... I'll try to do those soon, but it's a bit hectic at the moment (see above).
And to finish things off, here's an insight into the mind of an agent. Last week, I was in a meeting for a TV job (one I've already got, nothing mentioned above), and they asked me if I fancied doing an episode of Other Popular Show, as well as this one. At first, I said no, what with being so busy, and also because I thought it would be too awkward (the plots can get quite tangled and tricky, and I worried that it'd probably be a nightmare to write for). But they talked me into it, pitched the episode idea to me, and explained that it wasn't as serial-based and complex as the other ones. I said fair enough, and asked if I could be considered for Possible Other Series as well (something else they're developing which I want in on). They thought about it, and said they'd see what they could do. So it looks like I'm doing Other Popular Show, which should be good fun, and maybe Possible Other Series sometime too. It was so nice to have someone pitch to me, rather than the other way around. Anyway. I phoned my agent, and told him the whole story, expecting him to be impressed at (a) my negotiating skills, (b) my calmness under pressure, and (c) how far I've come along in my career now that they're asking me for things. Instead, there was a brief silence, and then the rest of the conversation went:
Agent: You said NO to them??
Me: Yes, and then what was so brilliant was--
Agent: You. Said no. To them.
Me: Yeah, but then they talked me into it. Isn't that cool?
Agent. Said. No. To. Them...
Me: Yeah! I told them I thought it'd be too difficult.
[sounds of agent having massive heart attack]