Enquiring Minds Want To Know

by Della Femina October 26, 2000
Enquiring Minds Want To Know

Russell T. Davies: Thanks for saying that. Because I'm the big old poof in charge of the writing, I tend to get a bit too much of the limelight, at the expense of the producer, Nicola Shindler. Who is simply a genius. Really. I think it's the best-produced and best-directed bit of telly I've seen in years. She knows exactly how to spend money on-screen, where to put resources, how to push and unify all the elements of design and lighting. Most producers don't have a clue.

So in the middle of production, I was absolutely sure we were creating something that looked good, with high standards and its own distinctive style. Though let's be honest, filming is long and boring and pissy and tense and sometimes calamitous, so you don't sit there and luxuriate in what you're doing, you're too busy worrying about tomorrow. And about getting a life.

There was a bit of a buzz in production, I suppose. We did know we were doing something...if not new, then different. But honestly, all that's tempered by the fact that we had no idea people would watch. Late night, Channel Four, gay? Ten thousand viewers, if you're lucky. No one foresaw this -- no one. So any buzz was immediately crippled by the thought, no one's going to see it! Even on the sequel -- oh, filming is just pressure! Rain, noise, behind schedule, etc. Anyone who enjoys filming is mad.

As for the finished product, I think it's far, far better than I could ever have imagined. Like the end of Episode Four, the script says 'Vince runs down the street' or something - and look at that shot! And Murray's music. Fabulous. And at the same time, having sat through filming, and the edit, and the dub, you can [see] the faults in all their glory: that crap extra in the background, that stupid shirt [on] the roof of Bernard's car, as he arrives at the wedding in QAF2 -- off, on, off again! There's always stuff you'd do differently, lines you'd write again. That sounds picky -- I still love it!

della femina: One of the main scenes which continually blows me away is the one in the second series where Nathan's sitting outside with Dazz, and he gives that great speech about how he's getting old -- at sixteen -- and can't waste time hanging around, then takes off and catches up with Vince and Stuart as they strut down Canal Street. Everything in that scene -- the lighting, the music, the dialogue, the delivery, the way the actors move -- is perfect. How could you have been such a huge, integral part of creating something so loved by so many people and not feel an immense pressure to be consistently brilliant? Or does knowing you've made that contribution to television -- and to people's lives -- free you up in a way; do you just think, "Oh, even if my next series isn't as well-received or high-profile, I've done my bit"?

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