Monday, February 25, 2013

I Know It's Over

So. Being Human is over. Ish.

Obviously for the viewing public, there are still two episodes to air but for anyone involved behind the scenes, it's always a series of little deaths; the last day of shooting, the wrap party, the breaking of the sets.

The writers have their own little landmarks; the last time they type a line of script, meet with production staff or an actor says a line they wrote up on screen.

I've had some fairly ropey writing jobs over the years. Being Human wasn't one of them. It was the first adult drama I was asked to write for and it proved to be a joy. More than that, I would go so far as to say that it was the best job I've ever had. Which sounds a little child-like in it's simplicity. But it's also true.

The best part of the job for me was story lining. Which basically involved sitting in a room with some combination of Toby Whithouse, Phil Trethowan, Polly Buckle and Laura Cotton. And saying 'What if....' for an entire day. And laughing. And debating. And arguing. And laughing some more. And imagining exactly how our vampire, werewolf or ghost would behave in the insane situation we had just dreamt up. And then going home and marvelling at the fact that I was being paid to do this.

In a writer's room, it's wise to keep to the maxim 'best idea wins'. And my scripts benefitted immeasurably from the mighty brains in that room. Notes on my scripts invariably pointed out real problems and offered canny solutions. Which believe me, is not always the case with notes.

That's not to say that the job was always a bed of roses. Being Human is a show that spins a lot of plates and sometimes entire plotlines would be have to be abandoned or massively changed. But this was never done in a capricious or casual way. We all understood that this was a necessary evil, a side effect of never settling for 'just good enough'. Always striving to make the show better.

I considered doing a big list of 'thank you's', naming everyone involved, but I feel that would be a little bit self aggrandising. I've not won a fucking Oscar. I just wrote an episode per series. So I'll end by saying a big thank you to everyone both in front of and behind the camera who helped make this show the success that it is. You know who you are.

And to Lord Tobester himself (yes, that is your name now, suck it up): thanks putting up with four years of my compulsive wise cracking, for letting me turn George all sweary, for giving me a zombie to play with and for letting me bond Tom and Hal over a discussion about virginity. But most of all thanks for taking a chance on a new writer, a little green behind the ears with a knotted hanky on a stick and a dream in his heart.

Thank you.

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