Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Stephen Churchett - better than I realised!

When I was writing the first edition of The Complete Inspector Morse, I dreaded watching the final episode of the detective drama. I knew in advance Morse was going to die and I knew I'd end up in tears, all the while trying to analyse the episode's strengths and weaknesses. Maybe my grief for the loss of such a great show got in the way of my judgement, but the review I wrote of the show was scathing of screenwriter Stephen Churchett and what'd he done to adapt Colin Dexter's final Morse novel for TV.

I watched The Remorseful Day again at the weekend, as part of my efforts to finish revising the new, second edition of my Morse tome - and I was pleasantly surprised how good the programme was. Maybe it's the fact four years have passed and I've gotten enough distance to watch more objectively. Maybe it's doing my MA Screenwriting course that's given me a greater appreciation of things like tone and theme. Maybe it's watching the Lewis spin-off, also written by Churchett [from a story by Russell Lewis], that's given me a better opinion of Churchett's work as a wordsmith. Whatever the reason, I've come to the conclusion he's a much better scribe than I gave him credit for.

if he looks familiar to you, that be because Churchett is also an actor. For years he made occasional appearances on the BBC's long runign soap opera EastEnders as Marcus, lawyer to the Mitchell Brothers. But Churchett is also a TV writer, having contributed episodes of Hornblower, the new Miss Marple series and numerous other shows.

Enough of this wittering, back to work for me. It's looking increasingly doubtful I'll get all my Morse tome revisions done before leaving for LA tomorrow morning before dawn - but I'm giving it a bloody good try! Of course, I also need to find time for a bath and I haven't actually packed anything for the trip yet. Details, details...

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