Wednesday 2 September 2009

Picture This

The Chain Gang was a radio series on BBC7 written by the listeners, the second series was entitled Picture This and was broadcast in 2007. Rob Shearman wrote the first and last episodes with listeners encouraged to resolve the cliffhangers and write the next episode themselves (in about 300 words).

The following was my unsuccessful attempt to write an episode 11 or 12, and since it won Bronze in The Competition Award at the Sony Radio Academy Awards they were probably better off without me. Sadly the Beeb have taken the finished version down from their website so it's difficult to illustrate exactly how this would have fit into the existing narrative which apparently ended up involving lesbians on the Eiffel Tower. I bet you want to read it now.

I'd like to write you a 'Previously on...' to set the scene but it's been that long that I've forgotten most of it. It involved a camera that could take photos of the near future. Somehow there's a photo that suggests Gary is going to die, something references Alan Turing and as we join them he's absorbed something into his hand:

Deena stared at Gary in the dimness of the carriage, for what seemed like ages. She half expected the orange glow to shine from behind his eyes or out of his mouth like in a film, but it didn’t. When he spoke there was no mysterious voice, just Gary with a little extra confusion.
“Did I drop it?” he asked, unconvincingly.
“No” Deena said slowly.

Gary took his eyes off the floor and stared first at his now empty hand, then at the camera in the other.
“The camera never lies” Gary said soberly.
“Don’t” Deena pleaded.
“Why?” Gary asked, catching her eye.

A little flustered Deena asked him to change the subject. Gary started asking questions about Turing. She was aware her answers weren’t much help and was relieved when Gary said “Wasn’t he the guy with the shroud?”

She laughed, surprising herself. She felt a little more relaxed and looked around the carriage. The train hadn’t moved. And the longer she looked the surer she was that nor had any of the passengers. No movement at all. Was that even possible? All frozen. Just like a photograph.

Someone was moving though. Deena heard something. She could hear footsteps…

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