Friday, December 09, 2005

It all starts with the script

As we speak, the Torchwood writers are hard at work on the 13 scripts for the new show. We know so far that RTD is the head writer and will be doing two full scripts. Also on board are Chris Chibnall and PJ Hammond.

PJ Hammond is no spring chicken, he has been writing for TV since the late '50s. His first big break was as a contributer to the classic BBC police drama Z-Cars. Perhaps of most interest to us Woodvians is that he was the creator of the ATV show Sapphire and Steel. S&S ran from 1979 to 1982 and has been referred to as ATV's version of Doctor Who. The recent DVD release of the series has brought the show to a new audience and the boxset even includes some commentaries by PJ. The show has also recently been revived as a Big Finish audio production.


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The daring show included nudity and some taboo topics, it is summarized at Amazon as a, "Complex, involved science-fiction series about a special force of interdimensional operatives whose task is to protect the universe from evil forces trying to gain a foothold by disrupting the timeline." Remove the word interdimensional, and swap the universe with Cardiff and it sounds like you have Torchwood to me.

Hammond has had a brush with WHOness before, he wrote a story outline called Paradise Five which was planned as part of The Trial of a Timelord season in 1986. Eric Saward had given the go ahead on the story which had the Sixth Doctor and Mel on a holiday planet but Saward later resigned during production and then producer JNT decided not to continue with PJ's idea.

If Sapphire and Steel is anything to go on, expect some enigmas and tricks to be peppered throughout Hammond's scripts for Torchwood. Stop back tomorrow for the scoop on Chris Chibnall.

PS - A sharp-eyed member of the Innuendo Squad noticed that the BBC Bad Wolf site's bio on the guy in the Big Brother house on Satellite 5 notes that he is from a place called Torchwood! The same page also says Captain Jack's favorite TV show is The Two Ronnies, so I don't know how much stock we should take in this information.
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