Friday, 31 May 2013

FROM THE ARCHIVES: The Final Slice - Part I (2010)

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Welcome to From The Archives, the part of the blog devoted to my radio comedy writings. We're very much on the home straight now, as we begin the final adventure of Battenberg and Schnepps, appropriately titled The Final Slice.

Even as Tom was putting the finishing touches to Murder on the Titanic, we had talked about making the series into a trilogy. Having had such fun creating these two stories, we felt that there was still more we could do with the characters. After Murder on the Titanic aired on Radio Warwick, and Tom graduated with a Masters, we started putting ideas together for the third and final instalment, intending to meet up and record it in the autumn of 2010.
There were a lot of ideas floating around in the early stages, ranging from Battenberg and Schnepps teaming up with the Time Travelling Pirates to stop an evil alien (working title: The Final Front Ear), to them being called out of retirement to stop a madman turning people into food, to them chasing bad guys through time only to find they've been chasing themselves all along. There was great potential in these ideas but nothing cohesive was coming together, and so the four of us arrived at Tom's house in Burley-in-Wharfedale still needing to find an idea around which to build the story.
Fortunately, inspiration came when we went up on the Yorkshire moors. We were all throwing ideas out there in the midst of flying a kite, debating whether to do the damned thing at all, and somehow we got talking about Inception. I remembered a short play I'd helped to write called The Speakcheesy, which parodied prohibition-era America by substituting alcohol with cheese. Somehow these things came together with Seb's infinite capacity for puns and we got the concept together. That evening we were back down in the valley scripting away.
I'll go into more about the writing process next week, since it was a little trickier than on previous occasions. I'll also go into why the spin-off never actually aired on radio - again, it's a little complicated. All I say for the moment is that it was still amazing fun to have all four of us working on something together, and that getting Alex doing more voices was a stroke of genius. I love all three of the spin-offs, but there are moments in The Final Slice that I regard as some of my very best work.

Here, then, is Part I of The Final Slice for your enjoyment. Just don't eat cheese at the same time, or you may have nightmares...
Part II next week!

Daniel

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