Monday, 1 December 2014
I've always been very fond of Douz. Partly simply because it was unusually easy to write - generally the plotting of an episode takes days and weeks, with many false starts and many, many rewrites; but with Douz the central chain of events came to me in one session with an easy flow that I assumed - four episodes in - meant I was getting the hang of it now, and all future episodes would be as easy as this, or easier. Ha. In fact, I wasn't to have this experience again until Uskerty… five years and most of the alphabet away.
I also like it because it starts as a Martin v Douglas plot, a conflict which was the motor of the show for at least the first series; but then becomes a Crew v External Enemy plot, which are often the most satisfying, because you end up with your family of characters united in triumph as they, for instance, drive an aeroplane along a desert highway. (Though you do have to ration this kind of episode, or else your show just becomes a band of heroes defeating various monsters; which is fine if you're Tolkien, but Tolkien never wrote a sitcom.)
Plus, it's a very important episode for Carolyn. In the first three episodes, she is a straight-forward sitcom Alpha Boss character, messing with the lives of the others, and providing the peril for them if things go wrong. Which is perfectly fine… but seemed rather a waste now we had an actor the calibre of Stephanie Cole in the role. The scene with Douglas under the wing hopefully evolves her into something more human and more interesting, and also sets up the idea of MJN always being one trip away from bankruptcy, which will eventually replace Martin and Douglas's rivalry as the main motor of the show. And Stephanie's delivery of the 'little old lady' line is astonishing, I think.
And then, of course, it has a Scottish cricket team carrying a fire truck, and John Sessions doing his finest Outrrrrageouzzz Frahnch Aczent. Two things guaranteed to make any episode go with a swing…
Posted by John Finnemore at 11:44 pm