Enquiring Minds Want To Know
I'd better just say that I don't expect anything I write to get made! Fair enough to turn an idea down. But I do have expectations, once it's greenlit. Ten months of my life gone! After five months working on Misfits. Hey ho, that's television. So don't expect anything of mine to crop up on Channel Four again, I've got the message.
della femina: So...The Son of God returning to Earth; not exactly your run-of-the-mill miniseries. How did you come up with the idea for that one?
Russell T. Davies: Just the best idea on planet earth -- I've been thinking of it for about eight years. Oh, I'd better move on...
della femina: Over in the U.S., John Goodman is starring in a series where he portrays a gay single father, living in the Midwest. I heard that and thought, "God, what Russell T. Davies could do with a show like that!" Are you at all worried about being known solely as a writer of gay-themed shows, or do you think your days of writing gay characters as peripherals to heterosexuals are over?
Russell T. Davies: God knows. I don't even worry about it, cos if you think about people's perception of you, then you start writing with that perception in mind, and it's compromise from there on. Again, it's so out of my control that I don't even worry about it. I'd be completely happy to write something one hundred percent straight, if I liked the story. Would commissioners question that, because I'd written it? Maybe there's a chance of that. But commissioners know that the vast majority of viewers don't pay attention to the writer's name -- they don't give a toss, they don't think about TV in that way.
della femina: True, but we're still waiting for you to have your name tacked on at the beginning of the titles of your series, à la Jimmy McGovern's 'The Lakes'.
Russell T. Davies: Haha, don't hold your breath! And doesn't that sound terrible? If ever I was offered that, I'd turn it down, sounds daft.
I still believe that if a script is good, then it will get made. I really believe that. So all I've got to do is keep writing well. That's enough of a pressure!
della femina: Entertainment Weekly, the bible of American entertainment news, recently put out an issue about how homosexual characters and storylines are becoming more prominent on American television. As an American, I've always been surprised and slightly awed at how (comparatively) nonchalantly gay storylines on British TV were handled; the fact that Brookside featured a lesbian kiss caused a bit of an uproar, but nothing like the same-sex kisses on Roseanne and Ellen, or the gay kiss that FOX wouldn't even air for an episode of Melrose Place. Would you be interested in creating a series for American television, or is it somewhere that you'd rather not venture, even if it is a (seemingly) more tolerant place these days?