Friday, May 29, 2009

Links, Torchwood trailer, and Who companion

What a bizarre, brilliant week this has been. Partly work, partly sorting out various arrangements (like renewing my passport, for example), and partly having lots of fun with cool people. Yes, Jimbo is in a benevolent mood, so you may all stop flogging yourselves for an hour. What the hell, make it two hours. I know! It's like Christmas!

Great interview with the fantastic, 2008 Hugo nominee Cath Tregenna over at the BBC Writersroom. Cath is a superb writer, I absolutely adore her work. Very interesting to read about her writing process, too, especially now I'm learning about the acting side of it. So much so, I think for my next spec thing I'm going to give it a go, to see how different the results are for me. Anyway, go and read the interview, and then go and watch all her stuff.

And yes, my Twitter army know this, but I'll mention it here too: I'm doing a beginner's intro course in acting, purely to help with my writing. I want to know about every aspect of film-making - when you see a filmed, edited version of something you wrote, it's very educational to see what was trimmed, what slows it down, what speeds it up, and so on. And the actors always manage to bring something extra to it, because they have to become that person for a while. It's been really helpful already, I've picked up a few things that make me look at characters in a different way. I'll talk about it more when I've finished in a month or so. And this is just to help with the writing, so no, I won't be acting in anything I write, bloody hell. That way madness lies. If I ever appear on screen in my stuff, it'll be standing in the background, holding a spear, or something.

OMG, the cracking new Torchwood Children of Earth trailer is out! For everyone in the UK, and also for everyone in the US (and everywhere else). Much more stuff crammed in there, but still, you have no idea what is in store...

And before I continue, because it's commenting on big news, if anyone chooses to quote the next two paragraphs elsewhere, please don't paraphrase, and make sure you spell my name right...

A Soothsayer from my Pompeii episode has been cast as the new Doctor Who companion. She's called Karen Gillan, and I imagine her email inbox has just broken into millions of tiny pieces. Very pleased to see more details gradually coming out about the new series, I'm sure she'll be great.

However. I was very surprised and displeased to get lots of messages complaining that she's "too young", and that this is a bad thing for the show. To those people, I have this to say: She's an actress. HER AGE IN NO WAY AFFECTS THE QUALITY OF THE SHOW. It didn't turn into a comedy sketch show when Catherine Tate was hired. It didn't turn into a motel-based soap when Freema Agyeman was hired (her first job was on Crossroads). It didn't turn into a teen pop song show when Billie was hired. Seasons 1 and 2 didn't have Rose singing a song at the end of every episode, about how cute Timelord boys are. Season 3 didn't have the Doctor and Martha opening a motel. Season 4 didn't have Catherine Tate dressing up as sweary pensioners or donning lots of prosthetics. Karen Gillan is 21. Not 12. She's an adult. But it doesn't matter how old or young she is, or what parts she played before, or how tall or short she is, or what colour her hair is, or what her opinions on cheese are, or anything else. She's an actress, and a very good one. That's all you should be worried about.

19 comments:

MerseyMal said...

I agree with everything, except the cheese.

Nicole said...

I especially agree with your last paragraph.

And I that new TW trailer is brilliant.

Laudanum said...

I recall much the same reaction from people when Matt Smith was cast as the new Doctor. They'll get over it. Besides, she's cute.

quietsuperstitions said...

I don't know, a lot of people take their cheese very seriously.

The Torchwood promos are certainly doing their job. With each new one, I get a little closer to dying from anticipation.

Lizzie said...

"Seasons 1 and 2 didn't have Rose singing a song at the end of every episode, about how cute Timelord boys are."

But oh goodness, don't you wish they had?

No?

Just me then?

Dom Carver said...

What are her opinions on cheese just out of interest?

And as a forty year old red blooded male I have no problem watching a fantastically gorgeous red headed twenty one year old female run around with the Doctor. I shall be watching with Kleenex...err, I mean interest.

BaaBaaDooFarm said...

Love the hair, love the Scottish. Think we have a real treat coming. Still, I'd pay good money to see Billie Piper sing songs about cute Timeboyz :). I guess I will have to wait until "Doctor Who: The Broadway Musical" to see that though.

This is all your fault, Moran. If you hadn't written that part for her...!

Francesco said...

Also, it's not like Billie Piper was any older when she started shooting DW in 2004...

Phill Barron said...

Too young for what?

pickwick said...

I think "age" is entirely different to "previous work" - you can and should ignore an actor's previous work, but you can't ignore their age (assuming the character's age is influenced by the actor's age, which is admittely a dangerous assumption in Who!) And it does necessarily affect the storylines, at least if you're going for any pretence of psychological realism - a show with the main characters (appearing to be) in their late 30s or early 40s is going to have to be different from a show where they're in their early 20s.

fortunesfool73 said...

I have faith in Stephen Moffat. Its gotta be better than RTD's pop culture gags and a cheeky gay joke run.
The new companion is Scottish, a redhead, and nicer than ice-cream.
Looking forward to it.

Gwen Cooper said...

I say brava. Well said, Mr Moran.

Dim said...

Popped in to see if there was a reaction to the ridiculous press reports about the horrific murder. I know you said you wouldn't comment until the trial was over, but I'm not sure exactly when that is.
My daughter's reaction to Matt Smith as Doctor (she's eleven, btw) was "He's not going to be any good!" but when pressed as to why she could only come up with "because he's not David Tennant". I was so pleased to be surprised by Billie Piper's excellent portrayal of Rose I refuse to cast judgement before viewing.
After your acting classes, are you going to do Director 101? 'Cos if so, I'd love to be there when the get to the "Shaky camera fight sequence" segment....

James Moran said...

Pickwick: It's Doctor Who. Every week, they'll be travelling through time and space, having adventures, fighting monsters. The age of the companion doesn't affect that. Billie was only a couple of years older than Karen, but the stories were just as varied and exciting as the ones Catherine Tate had. Makes no difference. Sure, a character will be played differently depending on the age, but it does. not. affect. the. stories. She's 21, an adult, not a child.

Fortunesfool73: I have faith in The Moff too, but I have to disagree with the "pop culture gags and a cheeky gay joke run" - if it had genuinely been just those things, then nobody would have liked it. I think RTD's done an amazingly job, and has brought back the show I loved, giving it a whole new lease of life. It's fine if others don't think that, but you can't just dismiss it like that. And can we lay to rest the whole "full of teh gayyy" thing? Can we do that, please? It's inaccurate and tiresome.

Dim: Will comment on the trial when I've caught up on emails and stuff, am a bit behind (have been out and about a lot this week).

BaaBaaDooFarm said...

Blimey, I am thinking of starting a "Six Degrees of James Moran" website. First, your soothsayeress (?) becomes the new companion, and then late last night I am watching a "SciFi Original Movie" (a phrase that normally inspires dread, loathing, and the need to take a shower in me) and one of the stars is Laura Harris, star of...Severance! You're everywhere! Arggh. BTW, James Callis doing a Welsh accent?! Really, SyFy?!

Eleanor said...

She's an excellent actress, and I thought she was great in Pompeii! So I was very excited to hear she's going to be the new companion.

I'm looking forward to it. :)

Gizensha said...

Though, surely, if we've seen her in a reasonable amount of things we could have a vague idea of if we liked her performances or not? Anyway, I doubt very much Moffat and BBC Wales would cast someone without any acting capabilities in the roll of the companion, and she was fine as the soothsayer in the Fires of Pompeii, so. Looking forward to it.

(I'm also assuming you can't tell us if Frobisher is or isn't an ex companion of the Doctor from the comics who's also had audio appearances (...If that's even the right word). Because it would be awesome if he was. I'd so be asking you that if I wasn't.)

Lizzie - I'd have rather had a musical episode. I mean, Billie can sing, Barrowman can sing, Tennant sung in Blackpool...

Aurélie said...

I'm loving the new Torchwood trailer, thanks for posting the link!

And I agree with you on Karen Gillan, I haven't seen her in any show except your episode of Doctor Who (one of my favs, by the way!), but I'm sure she'll do well as the Doctor's companion-besides, I trust Mr Moffat and I've never been disappointed by any actor or actress cast in a major role in Doctor Who.

funnyerik9 said...

You should try improvisation. That has really helped me with my writing. It's all about characters relating to each other. Or should be.

-Erik