Thursday 19 July 2012

Cabin Pressure FAQ

Hi. I've been getting a few questions about Cabin Pressure recently, and I thought I'd put the answers to as many of them as I can think of here, so they're all in one place. So, if you're reading this because I've replied to a question of yours with a link, please don't think I'm being rude, it's just you'll get a fuller answer this way.

Q) Is there going to be a fourth series of Cabin Pressure?

A) Yes, there is. Hooray!

Q) Will it have the same cast?

A) Almost definitely. That's certainly our intention, and everyone seems keen to come back. It's just a question of making the dates work. Speaking of which...

Q) When will it be?

A) We just don't know.

Q) What do you mean you don't know? Get on with writing it, you lazy writer!

A) Fair point, I am a lazy writer, but on this occasion that's not actually the problem. By stupidly casting incredibly talented and in-demand actors (plus me), we've accidentally made it really really hard to get everyone together in a room at the same time. But we're working on it, and the intention is still to get it at least recorded, and ideally broadcast, this year.

Q) Ah, but I am reading this in The Future! Have things changed since you wrote this?

A)  As soon as I know more, I will announce it on this blog, and tweet a link to it. If I haven't done that, then I don't have any more news.

Q) I've heard it's coming back this month! Is that true?

A) Nope. Definitely not. Basically, if you didn't hear it from me or David Tyler the producer, it's probably not true.

Q) Ok, I get the message. It's coming back, you don't know when. Fine. Let's talk about something else. Oh, like: I've been playing Yellow Car since I was a kid! You didn't invent it!

A) Er... no, I know. I didn't invent charades either. Or Monopoly. What's your point?

Q) Just... be careful, that's all.

A) Ok. Will do.

Q) And talking of Yellow Car, how many points do you get if...

A) If I can just interrupt you there, I believe Mr Arthur Shappey has already answered your question here.

Q) Well, no, actually, he doesn't answer my question, which is what if the car-

A) Yes, he does. I have never heard a question about Yellow Car which is not answered by the phrase: 'When you see a yellow car, say 'Yellow Car'. And I have heard a lot of questions.

Q) Why are you being so grumpy?

A) I don't know. I'm sorry. I promise I'll answer the next one non-grumpily.

Q) Good. Ok, what's going on with Martin's salary? It's unresolved at the end of Qik, but elsewhere in series three he sometimes implies he is getting paid now, and sometimes says he isn't.

A) What an excellent question! Yes, you're quite right. What happened was, in the recording there was an extra scene in Qik in which Martin and Carolyn came to an arrangement that changed the situation slightly. However, as that got cut from the broadcast episode, the rule is: it never happened. Martin still doesn't get paid as a pilot, and makes his living as a man with a van. But don't feel too sorry for him - money's always tight for him, but he's not living in abject poverty. And he is doing the one job he always wanted to, and how many of us can say that? (Yeah, ok, me. But I'm really lucky.) 

Q) Where can I listen to / download / buy / read Cabin Pressure?

A) In a variety of ways. You can buy the newly released CDs of the first three series from Amazon. You can buy downloads from Amazon or Pozzitive's online store. Someone has put all the episodes up on YouTube. And someone else, or a collection of someone elses, have put up transcripts of all the episodes, which you can easily find by googling 'Cabin Pressure transcripts'. I only get money from the first two of these, but personally speaking, I have no problem with the last two ways. (The BBC probably don't agree about that.)

Q) I have an idea for / have written a script for / have written a story about the characters from Cabin Pressure. 1) Do you mind? 2) Will you read it?

A) 1) No, I don't mind at all, I'm very flattered! 2) I'm really sorry, but I'd better not. In the first place, even if I love it (and I'm sure I would love it, you're clearly really talented, I can tell that just from your questions) I wouldn't use it, because I'm egotistical enough to quite enjoy being the sole writer. And I can't read it just for fun, in case it overlaps with an idea of my own, and then you feel like I've ripped you off. Even if you, personally, wouldn't mind if I ripped you off, it's much easier if I'm able to say 'No, I've never read any Cabin Pressure fiction I didn't write', so we all know for certain any similarities are just coincidences. (Also, I gather lots of them involve characters getting it on with each other, and I'm not sure I'm ready to imagine that...) 

Q) Where is Fitton?

A) Fitton is not a real place (and has nothing to do with the Filton in Bristol). However, I've always known exactly where it is in Britain, and there are now enough little geographic references over the course of the series that it's possible to pin it down to within about ten or twenty miles. I know this, because some very impressive internet detectives have done so, and sent me the results. And they were right.

Q) Why is Douglas so mean to Martin all the time?

A) There are three basic answers to this. Firstly, because Martin's the captain and Douglas thinks he ought to be, and so has to demonstrate his alpha dog status in other ways. Secondly, because it's a sitcom, and if everyone was lovely to each other all the time, it would be really dull. Thirdly... I don't actually think he is, to be honest. He certainly helps him out at least as often as he takes him down, and even when he does take him down, it was often Martin that started it (Abu Dhabi, Qik).

Q) Can I get tickets for the next recordings, whenever they are? (I know you don't know when that will be yet, because you said that already.) 

A) Yes! And: Not necessarily! Adding up to: Maybe! 'Yes', in that the tickets are free, and released by the BBC online, for anyone to apply to. 'Not necessarily', in that applying doesn't automatically get you tickets, it just gets you into the draw. And even then, the BBC always give away more tickets than there are seats (I wish they wouldn't, but that's another story), so it's possible to get sent tickets, turn up to the recording, and then get sent away because we're full. I hate it when that happens, but there's nothing I can do about it, apparently. So, in summary, 'Maybe'.

Q) There's one line of Martin's that occurs in two different episodes. Was that deliberate?

A) No, it wasn't. For some reason, I thought that line had been cut from the first episode it was in the edit, and reused it; only to eventually realise it hadn't been. So now it's in both, and it really annoys me. Grr.

Q) When will Cabin Pressure end?

A) When it's finished.

Q) Are you being deliberately vague and mysterious now?

A) Yes. Sorry.

That's all the questions I can think of for now - if you have others, put them in the comments, and I might do another one of these in a while.