Sunday, July 10, 2011

Day 10 - Doctor Who Challenge

My Favourite/Least Favourite Script Editor

I'll be open here.  I have no idea what a script editor actually does....

Wikipedia states  "script editor is a member of the production team of scripted television programmes, usually dramas and comedies. The script editor has many responsibilities including finding new script writers, developing storyline and series ideas with writers, ensuring that scripts are suitable for production. The script editor will work closely with the writer at each draft of their script, giving the writer feedback on the quality of their work, suggesting improvements that can be made whilst also ensuring that practical issues like show continuity and correct running time are adhered to. Unlike the writers, script editors will usually be full-time members of the production team, working closely with the producer."

So, how am I supposed to know what a script editor is given to 'edit'?  It seems that if a story's bad both the Script Editor and the Writer are to blame.  If it's good we don't know if he just passed it as suitable.  He can only get credit if everything goes superbly well.  Any faults at all in scripts and he's for the block.  Not my ideal position of work.

A look through Wikipedia's list of Doctor Who script editors mnakes me think that Writer/Script Editor/Producer were pretty interchangable.  Leading me to believe they all lived happily togther in their own TARDIS with similar skills.  I was surprised to learn Terrance Dicks was the longest on the job and I thought he was a writer only.

I'll leave you with this I found whilst browsing YouTube


Paul said...

The role of the script editor on Doctor Who today is different to the role back in the original run. During the original series, the script editor worked in conjunction with the series producer in developing the creative direction of the series and they held the power to commission scripts, effectively becoming second in command to the producer.

However, since the shows return in 2005, the role of the Doctor Who script editor has diminished significantly, in deference to the rise of the new position of ”Head Writer”. In many respects, Russell T Davies and Steven Moffat have been the closest mirror to the old position but, as they are also executive producers, they have a much greater range of responsibilities than script editors of the original series.

Script editors of the new series don’t have the power to commission scripts, instead they act as liaisons between the production staff and the screenwriter, before passing their joint work to the Head Writer for a “final polish”. Moreover, script editors for the modern day Who are assigned not to whole seasons, but to individual episodes — or at most “blocks” of 2-4 episodes produced concurrently. Acknowledging that the Head Writer is much closer to being the script editor of the past, Helen Raynor said (in DWM #379) that the modern Doctor Who script editor’s job isn’t a creative one, but “in the next seat to creativity … a nuts and bolts job [in which] you do participate, you are a part of it, but you aren’t driving it.”

So bearing all that in mind, in my answer to this question I eliminated the most recent holders of the title from my decision making and replaced them with Russell T Davies and Steven Moffat.

Mary said...

Thanks Paul, You're a star explaining all that :-)

Paul said...

Or possibly just boring...? ;)

Post a Comment