Sherlock: A Study in Pilots

Today, I watched the original Sherlock pilot. It comes on the DVDs as an extra, the 60-minute version of A Study in Pink. *WARNING - EXTENSIVE DISCUSSION OF EPISODE CONTENT. WATCH FIRST.* My friends told me that it was pretty much the same as the aired pilot, with similar scenes and dialogue, and barely worth watching. When I saw Steven Moffat speak about Sherlock, he said that the unaired pilot suffers badly in comparison to the remake - but that, at the time, execs and distributors were wild about it and couldn't understand why the creative team wanted to remake it. My friends are right: the dialogue is exactly the same in places and the set pieces - the meeting at Barts, the pink murder scene, the "date" at the restaurant - are pretty much transferable between the two. And, then again, they're not. The entire look and feel of the two pilots is completely different, something that I believe I must attribute...
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The Writer and The Director

I was thinking earlier on the differences in notoriety between writers and directors. Films are all about the director - as demonstrated by Dale Launer's comments (boosted by Scott at GITS). However, TV shows are a lot more about writers. Obviously, the bigger names are the showrunners - Joss Whedon, Aaron Sorkin, Russell T Davies, Steven Moffat, JJ Abrams etc. etc. However, I also recognise most of the regular Doctor Who episode writers - for example, Euros Lyn and Moffat, when his episodes were the terrifying highlight of a season. Maybe it's because I know TV better, but it genuinely feels that writers get more credit in TV. Then again, movie writers get far bigger paydays. So, is it worth it? Do we want fame or money? Or...do we make the conversion? Aaron Sorkin is a renowned TV writer. Admittedly, he wrote films first, but TV is what he's famous for. 'The Social Network', however, is Aaron Sorkin's movie more than it is David Fincher's. There's...
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Steven Moffat talks “Sherlock”

I went to see Steven Moffat and Sue Vertue tonight. I made notes like the good little researcher I am, and I've picked out a few things that might interest my fellow writers: - They originally wanted 6-12 episodes of 60 minutes. The ninety minute format gave them the opportunity to write longer scenes – there were scenes of nine to eleven pages, which is very different from the short, sharp scenes of Doctor Who. - They had small living room focus groups for the early pilot drafts. Moffat said that you need to treat such things with circumspection and care – people try to be interesting when asked for their opinion. - The problem with adapting some of the short stories with the Granada version was that there were only really twenty minutes of plot. How did they solve it – "walking very slowly". Moffat said ACD would've just stuck in another bit of plot to make it work – their problem...
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Everything old is new again

I have successfully moved across Wales - go me! New job officially gets going next week, and while it's going to seriously cut into my writing time, it also pays pretty well. Still, like all amateurs, one day I dream of going pro. However, I take Michelle Lipton's caution that it might not all be hearts and roses when I get there. I signed up to The Bitter Script Reader's collaborative writing project. I think the last time I did something like this was at a sleepover when I was a teenager and we were trying to plan a rom-com-esque date for two oddly-named characters on a concertina piece of paper. I'm the third writer in Team Chynna, so I should receive my portion of the assignment mid-late August. In another piece of nostalgia, I completely agree with Laurence's ravings about Sherlock. I want to be that writer. I'm going to pick up some of my old projects now that the Red Planet Prize...
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Role models

I'm in rewrite Hell. I hate every damn word of my script and I want to throw it in a fire. Scratch that - I'll rake it over glowing embers so that it suffers more. Meanwhile, I decided to populate my brain with good writing. This involved going to the cinema to watch Inception and catching up with Sherlock on iPlayer. And, well, damn. First, a confession: Christopher Nolan does not rev my motor. He did pretty much nothing for me with the Batman franchise, because I like my Bats with a little less brooding and a lot more sidekick. However, Inception was beautiful, twisty and really frickin' weird, with pitch-perfect dialogue and character building. I have not seen a film that good in a very long time. And then there was Sherlock. Obviously, I caught the high-budget period version, which I frankly adored, but this was something else. It captured the spirit of the original brilliantly and yet modernised it with a delicate touch...
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