Wednesday, 27 April 2016


Dear Writer, I regret to inform you that…”
Unsolicited scripts and treatments that didn’t make the cut.


Dear BBC,

Please find enclosed a one page treatment for my exciting new swords and sorcery series ‘Viking Death Gods Academy’ which I think you’ll find intriguing and full of blood and thunder.

I am confident it could be a Saturday teatime sure fire ratings winner and easily realised on a small to medium sized budget. Happy reading!

Yours truly,
Andrew Hack, (writer).

From the dark bowels of Helheim they came: The Viking Death Gods:

Frigg, Eirik, Bragr and Thor will one day swarm and thunder in an unstoppable conquest of the sea, land and skies, raping and pillaging all before them in blood lust and righteous anger! Seekers of truth and justice! Defenders of the Earth! Lords of all they survey!

But…where did they begin?
From where did they attain their majesty and mastery of the dark arts of battle and warfare, sorcery and swordery?

Now…these beginnings are revealed as we are privileged to watch the shaping of the Gods Themselves…at school.


GRAMS: Wagner’s ‘Ride of the Valkyries’ or some other cheap to use classical tat like that familiar to Classic FM listeners. Cut and paste graphics - some of those stencils or etches off the internet, maybe. Crash zoom on blood red title in bold upper case ‘VIKING DEATH GOD ACADEMY!’ Animate font to appear as though blood is dripping onto the screen or something.



The classroom is dimly lit because two strip lights are broken and a third one fizzes on and off every so often.

It has whitewashed walls. These have been scrawled on with felt pens, pretty rude graffiti such as ‘Godz Rule OK’ and ‘Godz Wuz Here’ – nothing too offensive, kids might be watching, but near the knuckle cutting edge sloganeering. There are posters too – ‘Beat Bullies’, ‘The Times Tables’ and ‘Punctuation and How to Use It!’.

The carpet is a bit threadbare. Tables and chairs have seen better days. Two or three tables have wonky legs so that they make irritating clunking noises when leant upon. One looks like it could topple over.

The Teacher stands at the front before a blackboard, one of those that are on rollers and can be pushed upwards to reveal a clean screed.

In front of him are an unruly class of teenage Gods including our heroes: Frigg, Eirik, Bragr and Thor. The Teacher is angry. He pushes up the board in irritation. It reveals a message that has previously been written there. It reads: ‘Farty Teacher Smellz of Fartz.’ Underneath this is a chalk drawing of a pair of boobs.

(Screaming in righteous anger)
Who did that?

(Hubbub ensues)
Not me sir, it must have been him, him sir, not me… (etc etc)

The Teacher ducks as a pen flies across the classroom, hitting the blackboard behind him

Right. Who threw that pencil?

(With Godly arrogance)
It wasn’t a pencil it was a felt pen. Get it right, twat.

Don’t tell me it was a felt pen when I know it was a felt pen, you insolent God. Now get out of this classroom and wait in the corridor.

(Stands up. Kick a desk angrily and throws his bag at Thor. The desk collapses.)
What? Just because Eirik threw a felt pen? That’s so unfair.

(Gritting teeth and affecting patient logic)
No. Not because you did or did not throw a pencil…I mean felt pen, because you called me a twat. That is against rules of the classroom agreed by the Students’ Council.

I called Thor a twat. You just got in the way of my voice. Ask anybody. Go on. Ask Bragr. Bragr, mate! Did I call Sir a twat or Thor a twat?

He called Thor a twat, sir, I heard him.

I am not going to argue with you. I can stand here all day. If you don’t leave this room now, I’ll call for a member of the senior management team and a pastoral worker and they will remove you. That will mean a restorative justice meeting – and you know it. Is that what you want?

The Teacher watches as Frigg leaves the classroom. As he goes out he grins and winks at other Gods, kicks more tables and slams the door insolently so that it crashes back into the classroom wall.

Now, who threw that felt pen? This is eating into valuable lesson time. I have planned this lesson to last a certain, exact time. If it runs into your break, so be it. There’ll be no sausage rolls, no doughnuts and no fizzy pop. It won’t bother me. I’ll just get on with planning, marking and filling in progress flight-path spreadsheets. You’ll be the ones to suffer, not me. Mrs Teacher has made me a snack for break. I don’t need to go to the canteen.

(After a pause)
It was Eirik.

Eirik. Was it you? Get out and stand…in the corridor.

(Insolently walking slowly to the door)
What for? I’ve got a time out card. I’m using my time out card.
                        CUT TO:


The corridor is dimly lit because most strip lights are broken.

The carpet has been ripped up and bare concrete is revealed.

Ceiling tiles are damp. Several have been removed to expose bare wires and asbestos-like cladding above.

The two Gods slouch against a wall and we see Teacher leave the classroom and stand in front of them.

(Calmly and levelly)
Now I’ve told you before about low level disruptive behaviour such as throwing equipment across classrooms haven’t I?

You won’t let me explain. If you will just listen to what I say…I was holding the pen flicking it and it slipped and flew across the room and…

I don’t want to hear your explanations because I don’t believe you. You say the same things every time and…

Are you calling us liars? I’m reporting you to the senior leadership team and there’ll be a parental interview.

No, I didn’t say you were lying, did I, I said that…

You did, we heard you and I’ve recorded it on my mobile phone anyway.

Oh, I am so sick of this. Crap pay that goes down every year. Boring and irrelevant syllabus, over stuffed classes, dilapidated environment, endless rows with kids and parents. Life’s too short. You know what? I’m off. Bye!

The Teacher flicks two fingers at the Gods, farts loudly and walks cheerily down the corridor. We hear the sound of a car’s ignition and the engine roaring into life.

            CUT TO:

Dear Mr Hack,

Thank you for your treatment, which we read with interest.

Unfortunately, we currently have no plans to commission a sword and sorcery epic like the one you have sent us. We find the public have no taste for outlandish and far fetched situations such as those contained in your script.

Writing for television is a difficult skill.

But don’t give up! If you have any further ideas to submit, please do send them to our drama department.

Yours sincerely,
The BBC.


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