I should know, by now, that when an old TV chum calls and begins, all a-fluster, “I need your help…”, I should:
a. Run away. Or, failing that:
b. Insist on a contract before saying anything even vaguely helpful.
Having not learned this lesson, a show on which I did a bit of ad-hoc (also: mostly unpaid and entirely uncredited, ahem) consulting is on BBC2 tonight, Richard Hammond’s Engineering Connections. 2030. It’s also on at 1900 tomorrow, oddly. Or you might have seen it last year on National Geographic.
It’s not half bad, actually. Certainly, compared to where they were a couple of weeks before shooting, it’s ruddy amazing. Props to director Kenny Scott, firstly for calling foul on the turgid script he inherited, and secondly for pulling off what was more-or-less a completely different concept, in a month.
I may be miffed with the production company, but in their defence they did let Kenny go ahead with his piano-and-bike-pump concept that became the show’s centrepiece. Eighteen months on from my involvement, what really smarts is that somebody else thought of that before I did.
Watch the show. They need the ratings, and who knows, they might get the format right if there’s a second series.