24 February, 2008

Da dah da, dadada da da

After nearly two months, nothing comes to mind here. Actually - not true! Except I'm about to start blogging as part of my job, so a lot of my thoughts are focused on that there weekly panic instead of an occasional free-form Jazz brain-dump on here.

This week, I accompanied a work colleague to visit a lady who once worked at the BBC and had accumulated an attic full of old scripts and paperwork, which we offered to take off her hands. Some of it's quite dry and of very limited interest to be honest, but the scripts of Z Cars episodes now lost from the archives are a real treat. Best thing she gave us though was a prop walkie talkie - complete with pop-up aerial - that had once served the good men of Newtown prison about 30 years ago. Either that, or the tomahawk that had somehow featured in an adaptation of Dumas' The Man in the Iron Mask. We might take that along to meetings from now on, as a means of persuasion...

One other fun thing about this woman's collection is, she seems to have been an unstoppable hoarder, so she's kept some amazing scraps of paper. One Z Cars folder contained little notes about various crimes - a theft from a scrapyard, a house burglary resulting in the loss of £3000-worth of silver - which I couldn't at first work out. Then I had the idea of reading the script and there they were: these little slips of paper were prop telexes that the police officer would have read from to brief his superior officer about recent cases that have been opened, along with the character's scripted asides, like 'I bet he did it himself for the insurance'. So if you've ever wondered if there's actually anything written on those pieces of paper actors shuffle in drama, well, there is. Their script, usually.

No comments: