Thursday, September 25, 2008

Never Break Promises

A warning straight away, that the initial part of this post will very likely contain SPOILERS regarding plot elements from Torchwood's upcoming third season, so you've been warned! Look away if you don't want to know... Last chance... I'm telling you, shoo - or those SPOILERS will bite you on the ass!

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Right, you're still with me. Good! Means you're crazy enough to read what follows!!

Russell T Davies and Benjamin Cook's book of email corrospondence - "The Writer's Tale" - finally saw its official release today, and I can confirm (having read the book earlier this week... hooray!) that RTD talks about Torchwood at great length - including this juicy titbit of information...

Right, the back story: Davies has chicken pox, at the same time he's supposed to be writing Doctor Who 4.13 "Journey's End". He's up to the scene on Bad Wolf Bay where the Doctor and Donna bid farewell to Rose Tyler, and the newly born 'second' human Doctor. Only things aren't clicking as well as Davies would like, and he doesn't know why. Then he figures; he can't understand why Rose (after searching for him for so long) would choose to stay on the parallel Earth, when the chance to travel with the real Doctor is open to her...

Davies wants to give Rose a sort of inter-reality 'virus' that means she can't travel to our Earth, or she'll die. Of course, as Davies figures, this then hampers Mickey - who'd have to suffer a similar fate. A dilemma, when a promise has already been made...

"I just realised," Davies writes, "My plan to make the Bad Wolf scene work - the one involving the Voidstuff - won't work, because I'd forgotten that Mickey has to be free to stay in our universe. Bollocks. Julie [Gardner]'s upset. She's saying, 'Leave Mickey in the parallel universe,' and I'm saying, 'Too late! We promised Noel that we'd bring him back in Torchwood series three.'"

So... there we have it. Semi-confirmation (of course, plans could have changed since Davies wrote this on February 9th... but I think not!)

Earlier in the book, Davies also discusses his aborted plans to write Torchwood 2.1, which would have taken place in a 24 hour supermarket ("have you ever been in one at 3am? Weirdest places in the world - so bright and empty, and staffed by the Damned.):

"I pulled out of that Torchwood script. I'm not doing it. Poor Julie [Gardner]. She bears the brunt of all this, and protects me from the consequences. It's easy for me in some ways, because with my status as a writer, frankly, I can get away with anything. That's awful, isn't it? No one shouting, no one berating me, no contracts being waved, just everyone running around making that decision easy for me. You could go power mad. Mind you, I'm mild and lovely compared to some of the stuff you hear about other writers. Or maybe this is the start of me getting worse."

He goes on, " The truth is, I wasn't not-writing because I couldn't think of anything, but because I'm sick of fixing other people's problems. I sat there at 4am and thought: what am I getting out of this? Nothing. Just misery. So sod it, I'm off."

To put that quote into some form of context, Davies had been deseperately trying to write the Torchwood script for almost two months, and the process was evidently making him quite distraught. One gets the feeling that he wanted to write the series opener as a means of 'fixing' the show after its bumpy first series... ("Torchwood's failure of voice... which is my fault, I suppose, though they're all working hard to fix it for Series Two")

"That was severe. First time I've ever done that," Davies decides, "As a result, I'm quite cheery again. Nightmare welcome-back-to-Cardiff dinner with the Torchwood cast tonight, just when I feel I've abandoned them. (I haven't. I'll try to script-edit more.) Eve Myles got drunk, which was lively. Gareth David-Lloyd is just the sexiest bastard on this Earth. And Johnny Barrowman regaled us with how many Joseph's he'd like to sleep with, so it was a bit of a laugh. The panic has abated."

Episode 2.1 ultimately turned into "Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang", written by Chris Chibnall and introducing James Marsters as Captain John Hart.

Davies returns to script two of the five series three episodes.

"The Writer's Tale" is out now, priced an RRP of £30 - although it's much cheaper online!
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