Now look what you’ve gone and done

Before you read on, if you haven’t already done so, head over to James Moran’s blog and read this:

 http://jamesmoran.blogspot.com/2009/07/stepping-back.html

Right, are you back? Up to speed on the whole situation? Good.

So in a nutshell, James, being the talented chap that he is, was one of three writers on the latest series of Torchwood – handpicked by the mighty RTD himself.

By the way, there are going to be spoilers from now on – don’t read on if you haven’t seen all five episodes of the last season.

James helped plot out the season and co-wrote one of the episodes – the hardest episode to write too, if I may make so bold. The middle episode of five is tricky because it’s the tipping point of the story, there’s a lot of explaining to do after the crash bang opening, dismantling of the team in episode one and the regrouping, rebuilding of the team in episode two. Episode three is where we find out what’s going on and where everything reorients itself towards the end – it’s fucking hard to write just that bit on its own … but James pulled it off with style, panache and other words which mean the same thing.

And can I just say, the whole season was fucking excellent. I’m not a Torchwood fan, I don’t like the show at all, but I was completely gripped by the story. Even Mandy sat and watched it with me – and as a rule, the words Sci-Fi have her reaching for the eye-gouging pins. It was a fantastic piece of telly which thrilled, chilled and made me cry.

On top of actually writing the show, James then went on to inform, educate and amuse his and Torchwood’s fans by explaining the process behind the writing, talking about the show as it aired and generally giving everyone the kind of insight into how TV is made which is usually reserved for specialist magazines or DVD extras.

He didn’t have to do this, he doesn’t get paid for it and it’s not going to generate him any new work. He gets no benefit out of it apart from the satisfaction of being nice to people.

And those people repay him by calling him names, accusing him of moronic stuff and generally being a bunch of whining cunts ABOUT SOMETHING HE DIDN’T ACTUALLY WRITE!

All of you should just fucking grow up. It’s a TV show, Ianto Jones is a fictional character – he doesn’t exist. Yes, you should be sad at his death because that’s what good telly is about, eliciting emotions. It’s okay to be disappointed because he was your favourite and now he’s not in it anymore and it’s perfectly acceptable to decide a show is no longer something you like and opt not to watch it again.

It’s not acceptable to hound and abuse a guy who DIDN’T ACTUALLY WRITE THE BIT YOU DON’T LIKE, call him names and accuse him of some nasty stuff.

The accusation I find particularly moronic (apart perhaps from the twat who accused him of deepening his/her depression) is that of homophobia. As if somehow Ianto was selected for death because he was gay.

Fuck off.

Russell T Davies has done more to promote gay characters on TV than any other writer working today. He is fucking gay for God’s sake. He’s even put gay and bisexual characters into Doctor Who, showing kids it’s perfectly okay to fancy whoever the fuck you want.

James, whilst not being gay to the best of my knowledge, is quite a strong proponent of gay rights and always sites man on man action as being one of Torchwood’s strengths.

John Fay who actually wrote that episode – I have no idea and I don’t care. He wrote a great episode, his sexuality isn’t important.

The argument here is really a variation of the girlfriend in a fridge syndrome – which is all bullshit. Hurting or killing a main character’s loved ones is a powerful writing tool which generates plot and emotion. In most comics, which is where the fridge thing comes from, the protagonists are straight men so the loved ones are usually their girlfriends/wives. If Jack had been straight or currently seeing a girl, then it would have been a girl who died in that episode.

The gender or sexuality of the character is not the deciding factor in the death of a character – it’s their closeness to the main character. In this case, Ianto was the closest so he copped it. If things had gone differently, it would have been Gwen who died.

But it wasn’t. Ianto died and it was very sad. Jack’s miserable and the world is doomed – that’s great telly. Cry while it’s on and then go out and enjoy your life because, and this is an absolutely vital piece of information which will improve your life immeasurably, if you reserve that depth of emotion and compassion for REAL people instead of fictional characters, your life will be so much better.

Drama is all about the suspension of disbelief and in order to enjoy anything you have to be able to PRETEND the characters are real for the duration of the show – but when that show finishes you have to be able to switch your disbelief back on. It’s not real, they’re not real and the writers can do whatever the fuck they like to them – it shouldn’t in any way, shape or form affect your real life.

If a show stops pleasing you, either hang on in the hope it’s going to get better or stop watching. You do not own those characters and it’s not up to you what happens to them. If you want to own the characters, learn how to write, practice until you’re as good as James Moran and then fucking do it yourself.

The bottom line is, I enjoy James’ blog and have done so for a long time. I sincerely hope he doesn’t let a few (and it is just a few, the majority were quite supportive) random nutcases stop him from imparting his wisdom to up and coming writers who look at him as an inspiration.

James is a writer who’s acheived what the rest of us are aspiring to and his blog tells us he achieved it not with some God given talent or blind luck, but by working fucking hard and making sure when opportunity knocked he was ready and good enough to make the jump to being a professional writer.

He left the door open a chink, just to shine a little light on the path and show the rest of us the way. Now whinging morons have forced him to shut that door to protect himself. It’s a damn shame and you should all be fucking ashamed of your behavior.

Grow the fuck up.

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Categories: Rants, Writing and life | 13 Comments

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13 thoughts on “Now look what you’ve gone and done

  1. Jackson

    Nothing more to say – every single word is SO true.

  2. Here here!

  3. Right with you there, Phill: what a bunch of fucking tosspots. Like you I’m not keen on science fiction or Torchwood generally, but it was a fucking amazing bit of telly, the type of thing that should *actually* get Execs at talks to stop saying “Edge of Darkness” EVERY SINGLE TIME you ask them what’s the best telly of the past 20 years. It was a real event, an emotional rollercoaster, the type of thing kids like my boy watch and rmbr even when they’re adults. What’s more, James has been more than generous – and those “whining cunts” as you so eloquently put it – have spoilt it for everyone, but worse hurt James’ feelings which is so horrible.

    • Small clarification – I LOVE Sci-Fi, just not so keen on Torchwood usually.

      One of my wedding vows was: I promise to remember Science Fiction may not be quite as interesting as I think it it.

  4. Couldn’t have said it better myself. So I haven’t. Linky link.

    Let’s just hope the twats disappear up their own arses and James starts blogging again. But frankly I wouldn’t blame him if he decided it just wasn’t worth the risk any more.

  5. Pingback: Tell you what, why not try getting the hell over yourselves? « No-one cares about your blog, Laurence

  6. Well done Phill, just need to get this post out to those morons. Maybe send it to the Daily Mail?

  7. Seconded or probably thirded by now.

    I was not a fan of Torchwood going in to CoE and I’m still not going to count myself as one but to villify just one of the writers in this way was, and is, execrable and inexcusable.

    I understand people invest a lot in characters but even I, hermit and recluse that I am, have more perspective and grip on reality than these rabid fans.

    The saddest thing is that many of the Abusive, I suspect, have only travelled to his blog/twitter for this ‘event’ and used it solely because it is, they feel, the easiest way to vent and his ‘stepping back’ has lost them nothing; while those who truly valued James’ insight have lost something they realise was actually pretty special.

  8. Er, just realised I could have implied there’s a case for villifiying all the writers… didn’t mean that at all!

    Just wanted to make that clear.

  9. Well said everyone.

    It’s a real shame that James got the brunt of these fools. He deserves a hell of a lot better, especially considering all the extra time and effort he put in on behalf of all of us.

    I don’t know the guy except through his blog, but I enjoy his words and helpful insites, and I’m going to miss them while he’s away.

  10. I could not agree more, it’s as if you crawled up into the space above my head and between my mouth and channeled my thoughts.

    I was talking to someone yesterday about how in this day and age gone is the rare occurrence of not knowing who wrote something. (Although I have to say that in film it’s mostly the director who will be known and not necessarily the writer). We’re constantly in tune with who wrote what and I personally think that this is a brilliant step for the author of anything getting more credit where it’s due. Of course because this has come more accessible for the baying public/interested folk they think they know where to come straight away and pitch their own ideas.

    As I tweeted to Moran himself, if you’ve angered/made feel good/emotionally gut-wrenched people and they feel adamant on expressing it then you’ve done your job correctly.

    As for the homophobic side of things I cannot think of anything farther from the truth. The whole series as you said Phil, has the main character as a bi-sexual being who can feel and hurt just as much as any other heterosexual being. It’s an easy target unfortunately for the ignorant few to hang their disgruntled views on. Far from it and ridiculous to even pull out that card. Ianto dying was a sacrifice within the story and how anyone can derive the idea that he this was a homophobic act is beyond me.

    It’s a shame that people’s views can shut down a blog that provided so much advice. Here’s to hoping that it’ll start up again and if people don’t want to watch/read James’ work then they won’t have to. But the chances are they will because he’s rather bloody good.

  11. Lisa Barrass

    Just wanted to add my thanks Phil for putting into words what so many are thinking. It’s just a shocking development and I hope James Moran is aware that there are many folks out there who respect him for his talent and his generosity in helping us newbies.

    Lisa

  12. Pingback: Fandom « The Jobbing Scriptwriter

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