New Tricks writer hits back as stars label scripts 'bland'
Tuesday 21 August 2012
The writer of long-running detective drama New Tricks has hit back in a row with the cast who claimed the scripts had become "bland".
Amanda Redman, who plays Sandra Pullman in the show, told the Radio Times: "It's more bland now. The characters are not being as anarchic as they used to be, which I think is a huge shame."
But writer Julian Simpson took to Twitter telling fans: "A New Tricks I wrote and directed airs on Monday. I can tell you EXACTLY how much of it the actors wrote: not a f***ing comma.
"I was going to be writing today, instead I'm just going to hand the actors a pad and pen. I wish I'd learned this 15 years ago."
He also discussed an episode scripted by another writer, saying: "I directed that too. Cast contribution to script? Big fat zero."
Simpson added: "For my, presumably considerable, sins I've written eight episodes of New Tricks; all without the help of any Equity members," before saying: "Worth saying that I get on phenomenally well with the New Tricks cast. Just don't appreciate actors speaking out of turn and they know that."
His Twitter outburst came after the interview with Redman, Alun Armstrong and Dennis Waterman, who play police officers brought out of retirement to investigate unsolved crimes.
Armstrong, 66, told the magazine: "My character has got saner. Which I'm not too enamoured with."
He joked: "It's about time Amanda's character got her leg over," and added: "I don't know. Maybe the writers have become more concerned with the investigation."
Waterman, 64, added: "I don't think it has become just another police procedural, but there was a danger.
"It's partly because of dealing with cold cases. We're always talking about history and some writers - not all of them - can go on and on about that, repeating themselves.
"You have to remind yourself that people aren't as stupid as writers think. But that's the way things are going in the industry.
"Basically," he said, referring to the success of Danish TV dramas such as The Killing and Borgen, "we all want to move to Copenhagen to get to do some really extraordinary television."
Armstrong said of the drama's directors: "We have never tolerated anybody - and we've had the odd one - who will come on to the set and say, 'You will do this' or 'You won't say that'.
"They get short shrift or there's an almighty battle until they're forced to collaborate."
Arts & Ents blogs
Dennis Hopper's lost sixties photo album found
Top Gear makes Saudis look liberal, Kirsty Wark tells Independent Bath Literature Festival
Liam Neeson turned down James Bond role because late wife Natasha Richardson said she wouldn't marry him if he took it
Jenny Collier row: Comedy promoter apologises after dropping female comic 'because venue did not want too many women on the bill'
Lena Dunham strips naked for Girls spoof while hosting Saturday Night Live
Britain's top vet sparks controversy with call for ban on slashing animals' throats in 'ritual' slaughters for halal and kosher meat products
If you're horrified by a flame-roasted dog, you should be shocked at a hog roast
Poor 'live like animals' says Boris's privately educated sister after going on 'poverty safari'
Exclusive: Impact of immigrants on British workers ‘negligible’
Vince Cable: Teachers 'know absolutely nothing' about the world of work
Ukraine crisis: Russia pledges to 'retaliate against sanctions' as Ukrainian president says Crimea vote will not be recognised
- 1 International Women's Day 2014: The shocking statistics that show why it is still so important
- 2 Australian man Rod Sommerville reacts to bite from deadly snake by reaching for cold beer
- 3 Teacher shows sex tape featuring herself to pupils during class by mistake
- 4 David Cameron resorts to paying for Facebook fans because not enough people like him
- 5 Steve Irwin’s final words: Cameraman present at death opens up about deadly stingray attack for the first time