Monday, June 15, 2009

Torchwood screening, spoiler avoidance, and nut butter knickers

Had a great time at the Torchwood screening on Friday night at the BFI. They showed Episode 1 to a sellout crowd, and it went really, really well. They laughed in the right places, and some unexpected places, cheered, gasped, oohed and aahed, and when it ended, they tore the fucking roof off the place, cheering and whooping and applauding, it was brilliant. Two people either side of me looked stunned at the reaction, they weren't expecting it to be so huge. Another was surprised at the high female to male ratio in the audience - but when it comes to Torchwood I've found that the female fans usually outnumber the male ones, at least in my experience.

But that's the thing about science fiction, and other genres - people still don't seem to realise that both men *and* women have been watching it for a long time now. Even some people who make genre stuff (not the TW or DW people, of course, they know what they're doing, thankfully). When working on something genre-ish recently, I was asked what we could put in to get "the girls" to watch. I explained that "the girls" already watch this sort of thing, so all we have to do is make it good. It really annoys me when people trot out the old "teenage boy living with his parents" cliche, but it still seems to be a widely held belief. Which may explain some of the dodgier science fiction which continues to get made - clearly, some folk just aren't aware that the audience has moved on since the 1950s.

Anyway. The screening was great fun, and I'm sure everyone would have happily sat and watched the whole 5 hours if we'd screened them all. The music is superb too, and I can't wait for the soundtrack release. Ben Foster has done an amazing job, it's an epic, movie-style score that will go straight into several of my writing playlists. You can have a preview listen here, check out tracks 2, 4, and 5, in particular. Warning! There are some medium to heavy spoilers in the tracklistings though, so be warned.

Before we went into the screening room, Russell pronounced my sparkly shirt "a bit gay" (it is a bit, okay, a lot, but it's fabulous), then sat behind a desk of sandwiches in the green room and started charging money for them (bless him, he's out of work now, needs to earn a few quid between jobs). We then learned from Caitlin Moran (no relation, well, not to me, she's a relation, obviously, just not mine) that there's a new type of toilet paper which is brown, and infused with some sort of nut butter. Apparently you can get knickers with the same stuff in.

Knickers full of nut butter. Too. Many. Jokes.

I thought she was making it up, but I looked it up, and I shit you not. Shea butter bog roll and knickers. Welcome to the future, folks. See you in hell.

Met lots of lovely blog and Twitter folk, including the lovely Rosby from the comments here. Hello to you all again, and thank you for being so nice and making me feel famous. Thank you also to Alexandra, Grace and Cat, for letting me grope Captain Jack's balls (photo by Cat):

Ended the evening in the fancy room upstairs, talking nonsense with Simon from Torchwood Magazine. Obviously, HE was the one talking nonsense, whereas I made perfect sense and never said anything silly. Oh, and I also discovered that he keeps getting mistaken for me at conventions. So I'll be sending him to any dangerous ones, as my stunt double. Cheers Simon!

And finally, a plea, from me to you, if you weren't at the Torchwood screening:




Seriously. Trust Uncle Jimbo, now. It will have SO much more impact if you don't know what's about to happen, you'll only spoil it for yourselves. There are several cool surprises in there. If you read a full, detailed synopsis of the episode on the internet first, you won't get to experience that feeling of surprise while watching. It won't be the same. I totally understand that you've all been waiting a long, long time for the new season. We've been dying to show it to you. And I know exactly what it's like, waiting, desperate for information, snippets, anything. I understand this. It happens to me too. But please, try to resist. Mind how you go on the internet, and avoid those pesky spoilers. You'll thank yourself later.

And if you have been spoiled already - you're still going to the Special Hell, but don't worry too much about being spoiled for the whole story. There's sooooo much more to come, you have no idea what you're in store for...

(Standard disclaimer: No, I have no idea when it's airing. Yes, they do know, but are keeping it secret so that other channels don't try to gazump them. No, I don't know if they're doing a simultaneous broadcast thing or whatever, yes I know about the BBCA HD date of the 20th, no I don't know if that has any bearing on anything else at all. Yes it's agonising to have to wait and OMG why can't it be on now. All other questions: Yes, no, no, yes, definitely no, only after 4pm, no, yes, yes as long as it's lubed up sufficiently, yes, no, no, yes, definitely yes, three guys in speedos, no, yes, down the right hand side, no, yes, yes, and Marg Helgenberger with Sigourney Weaver and a bucket of ice cream.)


clarrisani said...

A "Special Hell" eh? Does it come with an advance screening of Children of Earth and a Ianto in tight pants and loose shirt serving up drinks before heading off to join Jack for the after show entertainment? ;)

No, I am not a fangirl. Not at all. What makes you say that?

nikki4noo said...

Funny how I am in that "special hell" as well....

Too late James, the horse has bolted, the gate got left open!

babasko said...

a) I won´t read the spoilers. Promise. I will stay strong now.
b) Love the Soundtrack.
c) Reading about Nut Butter Knickers almost made me spoil my non-buttery variety.
d) Are you really sure about the "I-don´t-know-nothing-about-no-stinking-TW-airdate ?

Rosby said...

Ah, the Captain Jack cutout! My friends and I were wondering what on earth (pun not intended) that was for when we saw someone carrying it in; glad it was put to good use!

I didn't spoil anyone personally, because the episode is so brilliantly twisty that it's good to be surprised; but I think that if I was in their position I'd struggle not to look, because when you're in such a close-knit set of fans, it's hard not knowing when so many other people do; you feel out of the loop. Still, I know of many others who are staying valiantly unspoiled. Can't be long to go now!

Thank you for the encouragement, and the lovely message; did you get a postcard in the end?

the_who_ru said...

I'm so jealous of everyone who got to go to the preview! So excited about the new series! (No, I'm not going to ask about broadcast date. *zips lips*) So excited, I am listening to the preview mp3s and ignoring the ice-cream van as I type this. You'd better be grateful.

And yay for not going to Special Hell. *polishes halo* :)

PS. Can I have that cut out? ;)

A Comedic Author, With Rat Training Tendencies said...

you brits get allll the fun, groping included. Dern nagbit, or is that James Nesbit? regardless... BBCA-not HD here. our DirecTV has "HD for BBC is not dated yet" scripted to all of us who ask. Everyone else.. blah I get to wait until airdate on UHD, after the BBCAmerica one.
I'm babbling. No one cares. It's Monday. In Vegas. Going to sleep now!

littlemissattitude said...

I will try to avoid spoilers. Going on holiday, so that should be easy for the next week or two.

As for the gender of science fiction fans...As a woman, I've had to put up with all the crap about who reads and watches ("Isn't that just for boys?") since I was a child.

It's all my father's fault. He started handing me science fiction novels to read when I was about eight years old, and introduced me to the genre in its movie form even earlier, pretty much when I was old enough to focus on the television.

But I guess the heckling I've gotten about it is my fault, too, since I've never been inclined to hide my habit. :)

Elaine (lmaishere on Twitter)

et-muse said...

If you read a full, detailed synopsis of the episode on the internet first, you won't get to experience that feeling of surprise while watching. - I have been trying to tell this to people for YEARS, ever since I switched from the 'dark side' (reading any and all spoilers I could find) to my current 'spoiler-phobic' state. For some reason, they're still not believing me.

And when I say 'spoiler-phobic', I mean I even stopped talking to my sister for a week once when she spoiled me on something. And this was BEFORE I moved out...

Combom said...

if you want to avoid spoilers, dont look at my blog, so fans of Doctor Who, Torchwood, and SJA (+K9) really need to not read it!

isadorabelleb said...

Was nice to meet you too!

I'm refusing to tell anyone what I saw out of principle as seeing it cold was just the best.

As a girl that has been into sci-fi & fantasy as long as she can remember (& has always accepted being called a geek), I always found it odd that people didn't think it was for girls. Can't believe some people still have that same misconception 20+yrs later!!

James Moran said...

Clarrisani + nikki4noo: Ah, the Aussies are straight in - no, it's not a Sexy Hell. It's a Special Hell. Not in a good way. There will be no hot men in tight pants.

Rosby: Yep, I managed to steal a few, I retconned everyone in the green room and ran off.

Elaine + Isadorabelleb: If anyone suggests to you that it's not for girls, strike them firmly on the snout with a rolled up newspaper. That'll learn em.

Dim said...

Wow...11 comments and no one came up with "I can't believe it's Nut Butter!". Probably they were all too classy. I shall leave, hanging my head in shame.

walrus456 said...

I was at the preview screening (thank the NFT for standby tickets) and can confirm that it really was that brilliant. Sadly I am already going to the special hell, so was not surprised by the surprises. I add my voice to those asking people to avoid spoilers - you really will enjoy it more - I wish I'd managed to avoid at least one. It's pretty damn hard when they get published in an unrelated biog piece that you're reading for other reasons though *grumbles under breath about newspapers*.

I'm attempting to wait for news of the airdate with patience - but it's bloody hard. I would have happily watched Day One all over again the next morning, let alone Day Two. I have to congratulate all involved on what is easily the best episode of Torchwood yet!

clarrisani said...

There will be no hot men in tight pants.

God damn it. Sexy hot women in tight pants then? *looks hopeful.

Laudanum said...

No reading spoilers fer me. And if anyone tries to tell me, I'm stabbing them with a rusty spoon.

Alison said...

Thanks for clarifying all of that so eloquently at the end there.

You look good with Captain Jack.

Women liking sci fi. Have we been invisible for the last 40 years at conventions? The high pitched noises perhaps mistaken for broken air conditioning units? These assumptions being made by the same people who cancelled Primevil, perhaps?

Soundtrack has already made me cry with fear of forthcoming sorrow.

I'm surrounded by 'people who talk at the theater' but I have my hands clamped over my ears, my eyes are closed and I'm singing loudly.

Love your blog. Have fun. Ciao.

nikki4noo said...

Ah, the Aussies are straight in - no, it's not a Sexy Hell. It's a Special Hell. Not in a good way. There will be no hot men in tight pants.

Mind you, as an aussie we are used to the heat, so hell, pfft bring it on baby!

Ok, no hot men in tight pants, understandable with the heat that they will want looser pants. I don't mind really.

lawsontl said...

I'm already going to hell, too, but I'll be fine so long as the Teaboy doesn't bite it permanently by the end of Episode 5 (lookit those qualifications!). If they actually do what they've threatened for two seasons in a row, I will personally hunt down RTD and whoever wrote said episode and toast their Nut Butter Knickers with malice, forethought, and my tear-stained back issues of TW Mag.

Dozeymagz said...

*Jumps up and down on all the evil spoilers*

Ignorance is always bliss.

Especially in my case as I'm particularly good at it.

Jenni said...

Utter spoilerphobe here, so no fear on that front. And your views on women and scifi are really refreshing after reading this ( article.

Time Lady said...

The cliché about women not liking Sci Fi is like the one about us French eating frogs' legs! Actually, many French people, like me, have never even tasted frogs' legs! ;)

I'm a girl and I've loved the Sci Fi genre for a few years now (even before knowing about Doctor Who)

So I agree with what you said :)

And so far I haven't read spoilers about Children of Earth, I really can't wait to see it though.

David Lemon said...

While I'm really looking forward to my Torchwood telly experience, it must have been great to get the communal audience reaction you only usually get with theatre and film (unless you're the sort of scum who chats and eats loud crunchy things).
Glad it was cracking day.

Antonia said...

It sounds wonderful, the whole experience. Can't wait for a spoiler-free Torchwood!