Enquiring Minds Want To Know
It's hard to remember my expectations at the start of the project. To be honest, at that stage, you're just worrying about yourself -- is it crap? Have I got it right? And will I ever get the bloody scripts in on time? There's not that much of a bigger picture, just day-to-day concerns. It's funny when I hear people who like the show talk about it in grand terms -- it's about love, it's about the journey into adulthood, becoming a man, it's about finding a family, etc. I never think in those terms. I thought it was about Stuart, Vince, and Nathan, simple as that. Though paradoxically, when people are slagging it off, now I'll stand up and defend it, armed with hindsight, saying, "It's about love! It's about family!" Haha, I've only just realised that. Thanks Jackie, I'm a twat!
della femina: Your new series, about a gay man who falls in love with a woman (and which sounds similar to the supposed spin-off series about Hazel and Bernard that we'd read rumours about), is being produced for ITV.
Russell T. Davies: Yes, a word about Hazel and Bernard, et al, just to clear that up. After QAF2 was written, I realised there was room for a spin-off -- a different show -- called Misfits: Hazel, Bernie, Alexander, maybe the return of Donna, and a whole raft of new characters. Not one hundred percent gay -- that's why it was called Misfits, a bunch of people who don't fit in anywhere; that notion of the invented, extended family. Channel Four loved it, made me work on it for five months; I wrote four scripts, twenty-two storylines, [and] then they said no. Fair enough, that's their prerogative. And to this day, none of us knows why! God, try getting a straight answer from them. Strange TV business -- but it's always like that. Shame, the scripts were fab; I can write bollocks sometimes, but they did work. Oh well. But it was never about Hazel and Bernard falling in love! Haha! Oh, my eyes.
della femina: But Hazel married the copper and Bernard became a porn baron, as far as we knew. How'd you work around that?
Russell T. Davies: Well, Bernie being a porn baron just meant he was working as a hospital porter, and made judicious use of a camcorder before the anaesthetic wore off...Blimey, how does my mind work? So you'd just send him off to work every other episode. But Hazel marrying the lovely PC, Des Stroud, was the backbone of the entire series. Cos it was a marriage just doomed to failure; though he's a lovely bloke, and loves Hazel completely, she actually marries him for a bit of financial stability -- Vince really did keep that house afloat -- and, more importantly, because she's bereft, practically in mourning. Her son -- the man she's spent 30 years with, seeing him practically every day -- ups and disappears, and she's left with no one. And there's Des. His story was fab, too -- a good, law-abiding man, thrown into this world of misfits, and actually loving it. So the series started three episodes before the wedding, and then charted the gradual decline of two lovely, well-meaning people who've trapped themselves. That sounds miserable, [but] it was very funny too.