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Published on December 9th, 2010 | by Meredith Burdett

Torch, Wood & Peasants

A new book Torch, Wood & Peasants tells the tale of the script to screen process that a Torchwood story goes through…and how it can sometimes go wrong.

Told in a positive tone rather than negative, the book not only includes an unmade script for Doctor Who spin off Torchwood but also details how sometimes things don’t always go to plan and certain scripts can end up simply being replaced. The description of the book reads:

When a major network successfully re-launched a hit family SF show, they were anxious to find a post-watershed spin-off as soon as possible to cater for the fans who had grown up with their original series, but now wanted a more adult version of the same thrills. The bulk of this book contains an original commissioned script intended for broadcast that never saw the light of day. The rest of the book tells the story of how that script was commissioned, edited, re-edited and re-commissioned only to eventually disappear without trace; an insider viewpoint on how the television industry works as seen from a writer’s perspective. ‘Torch, Wood and Peasants’ contains the script and behind-the-scenes story of an entirely fictitious television program and bears no relation to any real show of a vaguely similar name… honest guvnor.

But imagine, if you will, a well known writer in both TV Drama and Comic Books was in the above position, his name bandied all over the online community as a key writer on a prospective new hit show. The commissioning process turns out to be a nightmare of confusion that results in a finished script that never gets used. Over the years, people constantly ask the writer about the experience and what the script was about, until eventually the writer decides to self-publish the script along with a potted behind-the-scenes history of the formation of a TV show, the commissioning process and ultimately what went wrong. It’s not a bitter book by any means; the writer approaches the experience with good humour, but just in case, names and locations are disguised throughout both script and back story to protect the innocent and avoid any tricky copyright issues.

This ‘could’ be the story of ‘Torch, Wood & Peasants’, Webley Wildfoot ‘could’ be a pseudonym for Si Spencer. Who knows?”

For anyone who’s a fan of Torchwood, this is essential reading and is available from www.lulu.com. Meanwhile www.forbiddenplanet.co.uk is giving away two copies to lucky winners.

All you have to do is answer the following question correctly:

What service’s uniform coat does Captain Jack Harkness normally wear?

So go and visit their website to be in with a chance of winning a copy.

(Thanks to Matt)

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About the Author

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What happens when an eight year old kid watches the 1993 repeat run of Planet of the Daleks? He pretty much ends up here writing about the show that grabbed hold of him and never let go!




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