Saturday, January 21, 2006

Been around the world (and aye aye aye)

The comedy writing genius that is Ken Levine [go visit his blog now, there's a link to your right] was burbling about his obsession with monitoring traffic to his page. Being a shallow, sheep-like creature, I immediately followed his example and hooked up this blog to sitemeter. Now, where inspiration is missing, I could click through and discover [roughly] where people who visit this blog live. Don't fret, I'm not planning to turn you in the authorities, nor disclose what else you look at online. For a start, I'm too thick to figure such things out - I'm amazed I managed to get sitemeter working. From what I can glean [what a excellent word, glean. Best newspaper name ever: The Daily Gleaner], I can discover the location of your ISP. For instance, my location appears as Falkirk and I ain't within cooey of there.

But anyway, let's have a big shout out to recent visitors across the UK and especially to all the international guests: Iceland, New Zealand, New York, South Africa, Mauritius, Massachusetts, Australia, California, Italy, Arizona, Norway and Georgia - amongst others. Hello! It's Saturday afternoon here in semi-sunny Biggar, 25 miles southwest of Edinburgh and 40 miles southeast of Glasgow. I'm off to make a mug of coffee and do some more work on the new edition of my mighty Inspector Morse tome. It's distressing to discover how many things slipped past me or were just plain wrong in the original edition. Even more disturbing are the prices being charged on, and other such sites for second hand copies of the first edition. You could pay up to 100 bucks (US) on; 60 pounds sterling on; and up to 180 bucks (US) on You can buy all 33 episodes on DVD for less than that - and pick up all the novels as a boxed set and still have change left over. Madness! Hopefully the new edition will put paid to all that.

As part of the revision process, I've been re-watching all 33 TV tales. Last night's viewing was Who Killed Harry Field? I remember being quite positive about it when I first saw the story, especially as Morse didn't catch the real villain of the piece. But my verdict in the first edition of The Complete Inspector Morse was rather harsh. So I've revised my verdict for the new edition. Doin my MA Screenwriting course has made me think a lot more about the use of theme in a story. If I had to summarise the theme of Who Killed Harry Field?, I'd say the story was about thwarted ambitions. Morse is thwarted from arresting Paul Eirl for murder and thwarted from proving Eirl killed Harry Field. Harry himself was a thwarted artist, Harry's wife was thwarted in her wish to become a mother - on and on, all the characters thwarted and frustrated, reality not matching their ambitions. Perhaps the only happy person in the story is the ever cheerful Lewis, who decides against applying for promotion, recognisign that perhaps he's already happy where he is. Next is line for the Morse Watch is Greeks Bearing Gifts and then the Australia excursion Promised Land...

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