Sunday, March 16, 2008

Announcements, and an agent anecdote

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]
Me: Hello?


Mame Dennis said...

Wow! It sounds like you are in a very exciting time of your life right now.

I'm really looking forward to L&O: London. I'm a huge L&O junkie - actually watching it right now.

estelofimladris said...

Brilliant! Amazing things happen to yet another awesome person. Really, you deserve it. I'm so excited to stalk your writing all over the uh... reruns. Sounds like you've really got the ball rolling now! Thats fantastic you said no to them (and then they talked you into it). Way to bargain or something like that.

I was beginning to wonder where you had run off to. New bloggings and new good news! Yay!

lady-entropy17 said...

Eeee! I'm so happy for you! I have yet to see Primevil because it hasn't come to America yet (at least I don't think it has) but maybe if I wish upon a falling star the magical gnomes will provide me withb a way to view them so I can get caught up in time for your episode.

So my two favorite Torhwood writers will be writing for a UK version of a brilliant US show? Huzzah! About time you stole a show from us. We've been stealing shit from you since we got off the fucking boats. I know it's scary having to write stuff in a real sort of reality but this is L&O man, plenty of pontential for infant death. You'll fit right in.

Sebastian Jones said...

Awesome news. What a brilliant collection of shows you'll be working on. Just watched 'Sleeper' again the other day - it really is wickedly funny in parts - so much fun - and much admiration for pram v. car - just the sort of thing that makes me laugh out loud. Anyway, enough of strangers rambling on and on and on. Keep up the good work - looking forward to seeing the new shows.

potdoll said...


Congratulations on all your stuff!

How many hours a day to you have to work to cram it all in?

Piers said...

Odin's Mighty Cock, but you're going to be busy for a while.

Top news. Well done sir.



21st century boring you?
Want a way to walk with dinosaurs that isn’t sitting really close to the TV to watch an unrealistic 3D diplodocus eat leaves?
You need a holiday in time, or dinoworld

Tick, tick, tick… tick

1.5 million years since fire was lit, 35,000 years after the birth of art, 16,000 years from the first mappings of stars and 600 years since the blueprints of the helicopter were drawn. We sit here thinking, “Y’know the 21st century could have been a bit more, well, silvery.” Aside from those metal toasters that’ll burn a farmyard animal into your bread and those credit cards with one of the corners cut off a bit. The 21st century has had:

No proper Robots. My house isn’t doing stuff for me when I go to work so when I get back it’s like a new house and the kitchens in the bathroom. Cars and skateboards don’t hover. We can’t holiday in space and the so called information super highway is still not bypassing my brain with an LCD screen in my eye and USB ports in my tippy toes.

AHHhhhh, yet as a time traveller you can go to the future where these things should have occurred with a few other things that you probably didn’t think about; like a chocolate bar called waffpinuts. A wafer, pineapple and nuts bar wrapped in Kevlar.

Then, go back in time to tell all those people on Tomorrows World that hoodwinked our innocent child eyes, “Hey hey, perm-head, that ain't going to happen you pre-foetus futurist fuck.”
And they’d have to believe your aggressive preaching cos you’d bring an almanac from 2008 with all the sports results and next weeks Eastenders from UK-GOLD, so there.

...continues at

Dozeymagz said...

Ah - what a busy chap you are!!! Many congrats on all they writingy thingies and wotnots! You make us proud!

Lee said...

Do you ever stop writing? Do you ever stop to eat or wash? I bet you don't, you monstrous filthy ghoul. Is it worth it, eh? Tell me this - is it worth it?

Peter Pan said...

Is it wrong that I like your random other names for things? Probably...

Well done sir! You'll be the new Russell T Davies type in no time.
But straight
And not as tall.
Or as Welsh.

Maybe youll be the Gene Roddenberry then?

Jason Arnopp said...

Pah. As far as I'm concerned, this new so-called "blog post" of yours is nothing more than a self-promoting, three-pronged press release. A trident of press, if you will. Good day.

Lina said...

AHAHHAA, I was right about a thing and sure I was wrong but awesome and congratulations! So very exciting and wonderful. Away you go, watch you be even more awesome. <3 Rock on, sir.

Squeeee! I puff your ego mindlessly.

MarthaJonesFan said...

Cool! Primeval is one of my favourite shows. Looking forward to it!

MarthaJonesFan said...

Cool! Primeval is one of my favourite shows. Looking forward to it!

Amanda said...

I always knew you were a girl really. How else could you *possibly* know the 'if you say 'no' they want you even MORE!' secret that is ours in girldom?

Oh, and jolly roger? Count your blessings when it comes to super-duper-look-after-themselves houses. Haven't you *seen* Demon Seed (or it's cute spoofage a la Simpsons)? Still, if you do not resemble Julie Christie then maybe it wouldn't go so horribly.

THinking of 'Julie Christie' and 'horribly' now I've got 'that scene' from Don't Look Now in my head (and I don't mean the finale with the charming lady in the red coat). Why did we have to be subjected to Sutherlands buttocks? WHHHHHY?!

What I actually meant to say was uber-congrats on all the shenanigans, Moran. I always end up digressing when I get here though.

Jealous and Twatty said...

Blah blah blah smoke up arse blah blah self-promoting bullshit blah blah blah

Rob Stickler said...

Frickin' hell. Nice work, Moran.

funnyerik9 said...

Wow! Congrats on all of that! Hope you can make time for Gally next year.

Keep us posted!

(I'm renting SEVERANCE this week. Will let you know what I think.)


Amanda said...

You really can't argue with the logic of a three year old... a three year old whom, I suspect, has been watching Severance.

Paul Campbell said...

I think I hate you.

[in a nice kind of way]

Melissa said...

lady-entropy17 BBC America will be showing series 1 and 2 of Primeval this summer. I think it will take Robin Hood's place which is taking over for Torchwood.

Congrats James. That is very exciting. I am sort of sad though--I was 1000% hoping you would be doing another TW episode. Major ups though. Woot for you!!!

Lucy said...

Paul: you THINK you hate him? I know I definitely do. Bloody vengeance will one day be mine.

Until then, I will console myself with my references that have made it into Wikipedia and Wiktionary.

Yes I need to get out more.

Geek Syndicate said...

Hi James, congrats on all the big news. Thanks for the kind words mate we didn't want to spoil the big reveal so we were happy to edit it out of the interview.

Good luck with it all!

Amanda said...

Look, I'm not a stalker or anything and I realise that three comments on one blog may be seen as excessive by some, but I felt it an appropriate place to stop by to say:

RIP Arthur C Clarke. Beamed up at the age of 90.

(wow, my validation is gymbow. How freakishly bizarre, and probably a sign from Art that he approves of The Spork)

hotzappa11 said...

Congratulations! I love Primeval. Keep up he good work, sir.

spunky pig said...

Call those revelations?! I can reveal James' next project is a promotional feature for Danepak. I star in a cannibalistic tale of lurve and deep fat fryers.

the prawns said...

stop lying - it's our REAL turn in the limelight at last with James by our side and we will relinquish it to no man nor beast!

Lucy said...

Prawns and spunky pig, don't fall out: I'm afraid James can do neither of your projects for he is actually frozen in those freezery things under Torchwood and doesn't actually realise his life and this blog are a mad dream inspired by Ashes To Ashes but without his getting shot in the head. Only Al from Quantum Leap can help him return... Or possibly a pair of ruby slippers like Dorothy. you know it makes sense.

David Bishop's pointy shoes said...

We'd offer to step in but we're in NZ.

evil twinz said...

Lucy: I told you as your physician only last week to stay off the sherbert dip, those E numbers do crazy things to your head girl.

James, you mighta written about this already (I have blog-ADHD), but is there NE chance of a post on how the process works on getting something out of your head and onto the TV?


estelofimladris said...

You're on the front page of Doctor Who Online!! (image)

James Moran said...

Thanks all for the good wishes, you're all lovely and fragrant.

Potdoll: 87. The trick is to sleep every other minute, and experience the world in a permanent flickery state.

Roger: Speak for yourself, I already have USB ports in my toes.

Lee: Nope, I am sitting in a dog basket of my own filth, using two keyboards at once, and silently weeping.

Arnopp: A pox on you, sir! And when I say "a pox", obviously I am referring to my genitalia.

Amanda: I feel like I've discovered the biggest secret in the world - I wish I'd known about this ages ago.

Erik: Oh blimey! It was nothing to do with me. Unless you love it, in which case it was ALL me, and nobody else.

Paul: I think I love you. In the worrying kind of way.

Melissa: Don't be sad, anything could happen...

EvilTwin: Definitely - I've been thinking of doing a long post which explains how it all came about, from the first meeting to the broadcast, and how the idea developed. Watch this space...

Estel: Ooh! Look at my big, round, orangey face!

IleanaCarmina said...

Wow, your spork prongs must be a bit bendy by now! They cannot compete with your pen, for sure. Busy, busy pen.
I had the op to chat with you ever so quickly at Gally, and was thoroughly charmed. Hmm - it might have been the light flashing off the pendant twirling in your grasp... Either way, I'm firmly in the Moran camp. You're a darling.
Thanks for being so cool as to answer all of your comments (and to call everyone fragrant. Hee!)