My best idea for a story came to me when I was on a train and six years later it’s still rattling tracks through my head. Colourful, featherlight and pure, I fell in love with it the same way an artist might fall in love with a model or butterfly collector might a Grizzled Skipper.
The wilfully impractical unproduced shorts, feature length pilots and 130 page ‘bible’ I’ve put together since then have been fences to guard this spotless idea. Each too big or too small to be practical, they’re passive-aggressive attempts to resist the transformation into completed, imperfect output that would take life away from the purity of the original idea. ‘Story Execution’, indeed.
The thing is, filling your head full of fluttering ideas is just as inadvisable…
Sequels, prequels and Predator monster-mashups have meddled with its DNA but the original Alien still casts a strange and terrifying shadow over a generation of dreamers. As a kid, it’s portentous, abstract one-sheet poster suggested to me a kind of grandiose fear, while gleefully described schoolyard testimonies and a library copy of Alan Dean Foster’s novelisation teased all the horror and none of the mystery of the experience til I finally caught the film on a tiny black and white portable.
There was a point during tonight’s episode – when the Doctor was plummeting to his certain doom – that I realised I genuinely love him. He’s like family, and Matthew Smith is a very cool younger bro indeed.
Peter Davison’s version is difficult to place in the Who heritage – neither Dad-like Troughton, or Tom Baker’s mad uncle – but as Moffat would say ‘He’s my doctor’. I really loved writing a story for him and Sarah Sutton’s Nyssa for Big Finish’s 30min audio call.
Here it is, complete with Scribd’s autocratic formatting revisions, dammit. Maybe it’ll help with the withdrawal symptoms for the next six months.
Writing a Terminator concept set in Miami, Chile and The South Pole and it’s required research into lots of cool eighties hardware to smash up. The trapezoid cars and trucks that look like Hajime Sorayama sexbots are indulgent, impractical, silly and a long way away from today’s frugal, beige-coloured world – but the designs also seem to be the closest we came to the brushed chrome 21st century we were promised when I was a kid. And two in particular are mind blowing.
Chevrolet XT-2 – designed by General Motors. ‘Experimental Truck 2′ never got past concept stage when it was discovered people were as happy with the same old cars with extras like CD players and leather ups. XT-2 was an expensive leap in the dark, and despite a similar design making progress as recently as 2008, General Motors filed for bankruptcy a year later and are now part owned by the US treasury. You can read more about it here.
Splinter – designed by industrial design graduate Joe Harmon with all wooden bodywork. More here and here.
Both the above have already made it into the outline I’m working on, which I’ll upload soon as it’s done next week.