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Friday, 31 May 2019

Something for the Weekend


A couple of weeks ago I wondered aloud on Twitter if anyone might be interested in seeing some of my old scripts posted online. This was by way of giving myself a less embarrassing retreat if the answer was a deafening silence.

Fortunately not, so I tested the waters last week with Desert Knights: The Birth and Early History of the SAS.

That project was commissioned by Carnival's Brian Eastman in 2001. As I recall it was developed as a miniseries for Sky, who then didn't pick it up. The script's for the ninety-minute first episode covering the ground up to the unit's first genuinely successful operation, the raid on Tamit airfield.

It was something of a departure for me; factually based, heavily researched, needing to stand up as drama without fudging history, neither to glamourise nor criticise. I didn't stop to wonder why I was Brian's choice for the gig. I was proud of the result, sorry not to see it made.

But as I say in one of my most common pieces of writing advice, you learn to bounce.

This week I'm adding a couple of BUGS scripts from around 1995/6. It sobers me to think that there are grown adults walking around who were born after the shows went out. Not that I'm taking any responsibility for that.

BUGS ran on Saturday nights on BBC1 for four seasons and I was with it for three; I left to work on OKTOBER, which took up all of my time for more than a year. BUGS was an homage to 60s ITC dramas - we even made it in a teaser/three acts/tag scene format, despite airing on a channel with no commercials. Our aim was a tone that I'd describe as Glorious Technobollocks, and I reckon we mostly hit the marks.

A Cage for Satan was the season 2 finale. It rounded off a story arc in which our heroes were pitted against  a self-sustaining, multi-location AI called CyberAx. The story ends with a setup that I returned to for Renegades, which closed Season 3. I think Renegades is my favourite of the episodes, though they were all fun to do.

I'm limiting these uploads to old material that has no market currency now, so no specs, no recent shows, nothing that's in turnaround. And obviously I'm limited to material that I have in some digital form, so nothing pre-90s. The UK pilot script for Eleventh Hour is already out in the wild and has been for some time, so I've no control over that, but you can find it here under its original episode title, Man Without a Shadow.

So maybe one or two more and then I'll leave it be, at least for a while. I'm thinking maybe Life Line (BBC1) or my feature-length episode for Murder Rooms (BBC Films).


Script Links:




Wednesday, 29 May 2019

Doctor Who: Nightmare Country


"The Doctor wakes up on a planet of relics, a dead world, a hostile world... He has no memory of who he is, or how he got to be here. He'd better remember soon, because the very structure of reality is at risk and it all has something to do with that strange blue tomb with the light on top"

Nightmare Country was my detailed pitch for Season 21 and would have been my third story for the show, but for a terse note from the production office that read, ‘You’ve sent us another million-dollar movie and we just can’t do them’.

Some ideas you can recycle, some parts you can reuse; but where do you find another show like Who? So my million dollar movie went into the files and I moved on, until the day my and the Doctor’s paths crossed again.

Sometimes, it seems, you just have to stay ready and keep the faith.

The full two-hour audio drama in four episodes, available in November on CD and for downloading.


Thursday, 16 May 2019

Last of the Red Hot Rollouts

The two short story collections complete the rollout of my fiction backlist under Orion's Gateway imprint. You can find the full list of 14 titles on the Gateway author page here.


From the introduction to Out of his Mind, by Brian Clemens:

“These stories are varied and imaginative, each with a fascinating premise. They take you by the hand and lead you through Steve’s uniquely angled take on the world . . . often embodying stunning twists and featuring real stings in the tail. In one, Steve slips into the head of a recalcitrant driver with terrifying accuracy, and then, in another, he moves just as smoothly into the minds of pubescent boys, with all their fantasies and cruelties. It’s always controlled in masterly fashion and while his characters may occasionally be unable to see the truth their creator always does.”

Tuesday, 7 May 2019

New Release: The Spirit Box

The Orion Gateway release for May 7th:

“The finest British writer of bestselling popular fiction since le Carr√© … Gallagher, like le Carr√© , is a novelist whose themes seem to reflect something of the essence of our times, whose skill lies in embedding those themes in accessible plots.”—The Independent 

Rachel's in trouble. She's a ticking bomb. A couple of co-workers bullied her into stealing a radical new drug from their employer, and now it's lodged inside her. They're watching her like hawks and her time's running out. John Bishop runs security for the company; as a father who once lost a teenaged daughter to an accidental overdose, his drive to hunt down the thieves and rescue their victim grows more intense with every lost minute. He can never bring his own child back. But he can save someone else's. Then his superiors realise that if the swallowed package bursts and Rachel dies, their secrets are kept safe and their problem goes away. Though Bishop's on the trail, he's an easy man to cut loose and discredit. But now he's Rachel's only hope. 

Gallagher's hardboiled style is pitch-perfect for the tale's grim events, but he leavens it with dislocating moments of powerful emotion that draw the reader irresistibly to the characters. The novel packs a wallop that should make an impact on fans of both suspense and horror fiction.—Publishers' Weekly 

“Stephen Gallagher has carved a highly individual niche with his distinctly psychological approach to the genre.”—Yorkshire Evening Post 

“His prose is clear and diamond-sharp, his imagination dark and vivid... a terrifying walk along the edge of nightmare.”—Time Out 

“One of Britain's most exciting writers of literate, nerve-shredding thrillers.”—Starburst 

“Perhaps the finest contemporary British thriller writer.”—GQ 

“Gallagher has quietly become Britain's finest popular novelist, working a dark seam between horror and the psychological thriller.”—Arena 


Friday, 3 May 2019

The Brooligan Press - Current and Forthcoming

Our paperback range. Book details and links at www.brooligan.com.

If it's there, it's current. In the case of Ferocity - first publication in the UK - it's forthcoming.