The random witterings of Jonathan Morris, writer.

Thursday, 15 March 2012

The 80's

Way back in 2003 I wrote The Taste Of Quatro, one of my first TV comedy scripts. It was intended as a kind of sketch show, but using the format of nostalgia shows like I Heart The 80's which were much more prevalent back then; the sort of shows made up of narration, archive clips, interview nuggets and pundit commentary. When they'd first started, they'd been well-made and well-researched, but by 2003 they had pretty much become a very cheap way of filling television, with the same old commentators being trotted out to wax nostalgic about things they were too young to remember and the same old comedy faces being trotted out to make snide, obvious observations. It had almost got to the point where it seemed some pundits would be willing to pretend to remember things that hadn't actually happened....

So I had this idea of doing a comedy version, where it would be all about stuff which might have happened in the 1980's but didn't. I still think it was a very good idea. This script, whilst containing much that is far from brilliant, and which was clearly written whilst heavily under the influence of Chris Morris, The Day Today and The Rutles, showed sufficient potential to secure me my first agent.

It was then sent around various TV companies. As I recall, they all responded that whilst they liked it, they already had something similar in development; which wasn't surprising because it was rather an obvious idea. It is also kind of a law with these things that when a script is rejected because there's already something similar in development, that other show will never see the light of day either. I suppose Armando Iannucci's Time Trumpet used the same format; but it was doing a quite different thing in having the future reminisce about now, rather than people now reminiscing about a past that never was.

Anyway, it's now nearly 10 years out of date, the format it is spoofing is pretty much a thing of the past, so I think it's safe to say it will never get made... so why not read the script here.

Link to download PDF

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Island Life

Out today is issue 445 of everyone’s favourite four-weekly Doctor Who-focused magazine publication, Doctor Who Magazine. As well as a terribly insightful review of my adventure The Curse Of Davros, and all sorts of thrilling, informative and provocative articles, it includes a Fact Of Fiction feature, written by yours truly, about one of my favourite Doctor Who stories, certainly my favourite William Hartnell story, The Keys Of Marinus.

I delve into the whys, wherefores, and whodhavethoughtits of the story to a depth unattained by previous articles. You want theories about Darrius’ identity, the true nature of the Voord, where Terry Nation got the idea for The Velvet Web from, how the Doctor worked out the solution to the locked-room mystery on Millenius and a cut scene where Barbara stabs someone to death? Then this article should be the first, indeed the only, place you should look. I only hope the readers can cope with ten whole pages of The Keys Of Marinus goodness. (That’s longer than the script of two episodes). I did have one rule though; I couldn’t spend longer writing about the scripts than Terry Nation actually spent writing them, and at this point, he was bashing them out at the rate of one every three days.

Writing these articles is great fun, trying to find out stuff that hasn’t already been uncovered by Andrew Pixley’s already-extremely-thorough researches and the production subtitles on the DVDs. This is the fourth such article I’ve done, after The Shakespeare Code, Paradise Towers and Love & Monsters, and I’ve already started work on another couple. Beats working for a living.

Friday, 2 March 2012


Doctor Who Magazine has been nominated for an Eagle Award in the category of Favourite British Comicbook (Colour). As, up until recently, I was the writer of the Doctor Who Magazine comic strip, this is a very great honour. (We were nominated last year too, but for some reason the news passed me by!)

The Eagle Awards are decided by a public vote, so if you would like to vote, click here, paying particular attention to Q14. Doctor Who Magazine last won the Eagle Award in 1982.