lördag 16 augusti 2014

Intervju med Peter Harness, manusförfattare extraordinaire

Peter Harness, bild lånad från hans Twittersida.
För ett tag sen fick jag kontakt med engelsmannen slash malmöbon Peter Harness som skrivit manus till svensksända TV-projekt som Wallander (den med Kenneth Branagh) och Brottsplats: Edinburgh (Jason Isaacs!).

Han har också på egen hand överfört Susanna Clarkes fantastiska roman Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell till en BBC-serie bestående av sju delar som ska visas senare i år i Storbritannien.

Just nu är han dock högaktuell för att ha skrivit manus till ett kommande Doctor Who-avsnitt.

MovieZine publicerar jag i dag de bitar av intervjun jag gjorde som handlade om just Doctor Who. Läs den HÄR

Här nedan ger jag er hela alltet, oöversatt och som det är. För mig personligen är det nämligen coolare att han gjort TV av Strange-boken. Jag skrev superupphetsad om saken redan 2 december 2012 i min TV6-blogg...

* How does one get to write for Doctor Who? Is it on merit alone or do you have to sort of audition for it?

- I’ve been desperate to write for Doctor Who for ever, but I didn’t really put myself forward for it until a couple of years ago. I don’t know how it works for everyone, but I went and pitched several ideas to the producers back in (I think) 2011. One of the ideas they went for in particular, and I spent a while developing it for Matt Smith’s Doctor before Jonathan Strange carried me away and I had to leave it on the shelf. As soon as my duties on Strange & Norrell were done, however, I hurried straight back to Doctor Who and started writing. And I think it’s better for having waited a while - it feels more of a 12th Doctor story than an 11th as it turns out. I think you’ll see what I mean.

* Were you familiar with the Doctor Who-universe before or did you take a crash course?

- I’ve loved Doctor Who for as long as I can remember. The first episodes I can remember were shown in 1979, which would make me three years old (in fact, the very first story I can remember is Destiny of the Daleks, which features the wonderful actor Tony Osoba, who by complete coincidence is also in the story I’ve written). I was obsessed with the show as a child and I pretty much have been ever since. So I’m as much of a fanboy as anyone. In fact, one of the most wonderful things about doing Doctor Who is getting together with the other people who make it and having a good old-fashioned geek out. We’re all essentially just fans of the show, and we still enjoy it as fans, even though we happen to work on it at the moment.

* Head honcho Steven Moffat seems to credit you alone for being able to snatch Hermione Norris to do an episode. He said in a statement from BBC: “It's a testament to the quality of Peter Harness's intense and emotional script, that we've been able to attract an actress of the brilliance of Hermione Norris." That is high praise - how does that feel?

- It feels very good indeed, and it was very kind of him to say so. In fact, I think I might have that quote tattooed to my forehead.

* Are you doing more than one episode of the show this season?

- No. But I really hope they’ll have me back again some time.

* Have your time in Sweden - since 2008 right? - changed your way of writing in any way? Do you have to go back to UK sometimes to get in the "right mindset"?

- Not really. I think my way of writing has only changed in the way that it always changes, based on experience and whatever new ideas suddenly pop up. Maybe I’m a bit more political than I used to be, and that may very well come from living in Sweden, which has a very different political life to the UK. I’m back in the UK fairly regularly, however, and I spent a lot of last year living there during the filming of Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, so I hope I’m still in touch with things over there. 

* Finally - Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell! One of my favourite novels of all time. It's pretty intricant, wasn't it hard to make it tv-friendly so to speak? And what are you most afraid of: the judging of the fans of Doctor Who or the judging of the fans of Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell?

- I’m feeling very lucky at the moment - beyond lucky, in fact - as the last two things I’ve done have basically been my two dream projects. Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell is my favourite book, and the chance to spend a few years adapting it into a series, and seeing that series through production, with wonderful collaborators like Toby Haynes (director) and Nick Hirschkorn (producer), as well as the unbelievably talented Susanna Clarke herself, has been an incredible joy and privilege. We’ve also been incredibly lucky with the cast and crew we’ve managed to attract. It’s been a big challenge in all sorts of ways to turn it into a TV series, but it’s been very enjoyable because the source material is so good.

- In terms of fan reaction from either project, I just hope, as I always do, that I’ve written a decent story that people will enjoy, and which works on its own terms. There are always some people who love whatever you do, and some who hate it; and the rest are always somewhere in between. It just feels very good to have done both series, and other than doing the best job I can, I can’t really influence what people’s reactions will be. 


Alltså.... mina förväntningar på denna serie!!! Jag vill att den ska gå kring jul, den är så lämpad för det!

3 kommentarer:

NicklasBoman sa...

riktigt bra intervju. hmm kanske måste ta och sätta sig ner med Dr Who ...

Anna Thunman Sköld sa...

Tack! Han svarade så himla kul, det var bara tacka och ta emot!

Och jag håller med. Jag har bara sett ett par avsnitt av "nya" Doctor Who och borde verkligen se rubbet. Från Christopher Ecclestone och framåt.

Bara brittiskt sa...

Menar du att han bor i samma stad som jag!? Älskar Jonathan Strange och såg första delen i England i söndags. Superbra, jag som varit så nervös.