Monday, September 26, 2011

Day 15 - Your favourite writer

This is a choice between scary and funny, between the writer who has given me the creeps more than any other and the writer who has made me laugh more. Douglas Adams wrote intelligent and hilarious stories but I'm not sure that his best medium was television. The BBC adaptation of Hitchhiker's that we covered on British Invaders was good but the books and the original radio show were better. One of the books was so funny that I remember falling off my student bed from laughing so much. I could talk about Adams' work as a writer and script editor on Doctor Who but again I'm not familiar enough with that period of Who.

On the other hand Nigel Kneale was perfectly at home on television. Along with Rudolph Cartier he practically invented event television. Quatermass has had an enormous effect on British science fiction TV and his show The Year of the Sex Olympics was remarkably prescient for the future of reality television. Then there's his work on 1984, The Stone Tape and Beasts to consider. All with plenty of really creepy moments. Kneale's projects outside of TV like Halloween III were less successful but he was great on the small screen and is my favourite British Invaders writer.


  1. I am also a big fan of Kneale's work. I think he has a great knack for telling a good, often great, story.

    The problem, for me, was that he was such a bloody snob about anything that wasn't his own. The number of shows he turned down writing for on the grounds that they were inferior was legendary. He also made great noise about other people making changes when adapting his work but was happy to liberally alter the works of others when he was the adapter.

    Despite some excellent work in Quatermass, The Stone Tape, Sex Olympics etc, I'm afraid I always look on Kneale as someone who missed so many opportunities. He should have written novels - they would have been superb - but he always turned his nose up at the idea.

    There is, of course, nothing wrong with having standards and personal opinions, unfortunately he always came across to me (particularly in interviews) as someone who had an over-inflated opinion of his own talents.

  2. Nigel Kneale brilliant & very clever ,was also a manxman,very independant.

  3. Thanks for all the comments, Caroon. Great name BTW

    We're big fans of Kneale and Quatermass on British Invaders