Friday March 18th this year is Red Nose Day, when people across Britain performing all sorts of silly stunts to raise money for the charity Comic Relief. It's also the day my third episode of the TV drama series Doctors is broadcast by the BBC [1.45pm on BBC1, then repeated in glorious high definition on BBCHD at 4pm that same afternoon].
The new Radio Times has made the episode, called Get Smart, its daytime choice for that Friday and even given it a special boxout plug. [Alas, the good old days when the RT bothered to mention the writer of individual episodes got lost in a redesign, but Doctors writers aren't bitter about that. No, not at all.]
Yesterday I received an advance copy of Get Smart on DVD. It's an odd moment, sitting down to watch something you slaved over the script for five or six months ago. I was able to visit the filming on my first two eps, but schedule clashes made that impossible, so I had no idea what the finished version would look like this time.
I'm happy to say the cast and crew have done me proud. Doctors is filmed almost entirely on location, and especially so for Get Smart. That means the crew can move walls to suit themselves, they have to be inventive and find interesting angles that will help tell the story no matter how tight or cramped the location might be.
Personally, I think they've done an amazing job on Get Smart. Having been on location with previous eps and seen the speed with which this production has to work, it's remarkable what Doctors achieves 230 times a year. Wish I could buy them all a pint of their favoured beverage as thanks, but Doctors doesn't pay writers that much.
I'll save my thoughts about the story until after it's been broadcast. There's plenty of process stories to tell, but they won't mean much until you've seen the story. Plus I don't want to spoil the ep for anyone who does plan to watch the broadcast [or, more likely, catch up with it after via the wonders of iPlayer]. In the meantime: onwards!