A couple of weeks ago I wondered aloud on Twitter if anyone might be interested in seeing some of my old scripts posted online. This was by way of giving myself a less embarrassing retreat if the answer was a deafening silence.
Fortunately not, so I tested the waters last week with Desert Knights: The Birth and Early History of the SAS.
That project was commissioned by Carnival’s Brian Eastman in 2001. As I recall it was developed as a miniseries for Sky, who then didn’t pick it up. The script’s for the ninety-minute first episode covering the ground up to the unit’s first genuinely successful operation, the raid on Tamit airfield.
It was something of a departure for me; factually based, heavily researched, needing to stand up as drama without fudging history, neither to glamourise nor criticise. I didn’t stop to wonder why I was Brian’s choice for the gig. I was proud of the result, sorry not to see it made.
But as I say in one of my most common pieces of writing advice, you learn to bounce.
This week I’m adding a couple of BUGS scripts from around 1995/6. It sobers me to think that there are grown adults walking around who were born after the shows went out. Not that I’m taking any responsibility for that.
BUGS ran on Saturday nights on BBC1 for four seasons and I was with it for three; I left to work on OKTOBER, which took up all of my time for more than a year. BUGS was an homage to 60s ITC dramas – we even made it in a teaser/three acts/tag scene format, despite airing on a channel with no commercials. Our aim was a tone that I’d describe as Glorious Technobollocks, and I reckon we mostly hit the marks.
A Cage for Satan was the season 2 finale. It rounded off a story arc in which our heroes were pitted against a self-sustaining, multi-location AI called CyberAx. The story ends with a setup that I returned to for Renegades, which closed Season 3. I think Renegades is my favourite of the episodes, though they were all fun to do.
I’m limiting these uploads to old material that has no market currency now, so no specs, no recent shows, nothing that’s in turnaround. And obviously I’m limited to material that I have in some digital form, so nothing pre-90s. The UK pilot script for Eleventh Hour is already out in the wild and has been for some time, so I’ve no control over that, but you can find it here under its original episode title, Man Without a Shadow.