Russell T. Davies has a CV upon which there is so much solid gold that it is enough to make a grown man weep with envy. And now he is turning his hand to web series by writing not one, not two, but three co-dependent shows; one to air on British TV channel, Channel 4, another on E4, and the third exclusively online.
The legendary script-writer, show creator and series show runner has been responsible for such varied TV gems as: �?Casanova’ (staring a pre-Doctor Who, David Tennant); �?The Second Coming’ (staring a pre-Doctor Who, Christopher Eccelstone, playing the return of Jesus Christ as he brought forth the Third Testament); �?Queer As Folk’ (starring a pre-Game Of Thrones and The Wire, Aiden Gillen), and…nothing else.
Oh wait, he was also instrumental in bringing about the return of cult-classic-turned-biggest-thing-on-TV, Doctor Who, whilst writing scripts and serving as show runner between 2005 – 2010. Oh, and �?Doctor Who’ spin-off, �?Torchwood’, too.
The man has some serious writing chops, is what I am getting at here.
His new shows are called �?Cucumber’, �?Banana’ and �?Tofu’. Confused? Apparently they are words used to describe the stages of male erection, with tofu being, shall we say, less than excited; progressing through �?banana’ up to (ambitiously), �?cucumber’.
The show will reportedly cover the ups and downs of contemporary gay life, not dissimilar to how Queer As Folk broke ground on the subject on prime-time British TV over 15 years ago (and US remake did so on the Showtime network between 2000 – 2005). The interesting kick is how these shows are planned to interrelate. Cucumber will follow the lives of Henry’s and his severely put upon boyfriend, Lance. Banana will support this by using the secondary cast to full effect, showcasing the world outside of the main narrative.
It is a little disappointing then that, of these, the web series Tofu is relegated to being a factual accompaniment only; with 8 �?anarchic’ episodes exploring the modern world of homosexuality. With such an ambitious set up, Davies has arguably missed a trick by not utilising the relative cheapness and wide accessibility of web series to weave in a further, third, layer of narrative; something that someone with his level of ability would surely be able to pull off.
Regardless of the fact that the core shows will feature on network television, it is a sign of how much the web series world is impacting on traditional consciousness when even a heavyweight such as Russell T. Davies is getting in on the act. And if Tofu does well, then the precedent will be set for more to follow (Stephen Moffat, anyone?).
The series are currently casting, with filming due to start in early 2014 and broadcast later in the year.