Monday, 3 February 2014

so long and thanks for all the warhorses

Hi. Marie and I were upset that Warhorses of Letters had to end, mainly because we loved doing it but also because I don't suppose we'll ever write anything so easily again. Once we'd had the idea, and worked out how to turn it into something that worked (which took several years of assuming the idea was funny but pointless and not thinking about it), each episode was a matter of us emailing each other once a day in character and it was all done in a week, pretty much in our spare time.

It was easy because, on a certain level, it was so fully and instantly what it was. Short bursts of two specific horses, who were real, and who we would use as vehicles to tell the story of a romantic relationship. By the time we were planning the third episode, we knew that we had covered the ground it was natural and sensible to cover, and that if we tried to eke the idea out we would be facing repetitions and diminishing returns and we wouldn't be being true to our characters. There would have been ways to do it but they would not be good ones artistically. If radio paid like television we might have been tempted to bite our artistic tongues and find a way but it doesn't so we didn't. It's similar, in some ways, to how John Finnemore has written about finishing off his brilliant sitcom Cabin Pressure.

And so we knew, from the start of this series, exactly where we were going, and we hope things made sense. I do miss it, though.* I'll especially miss doing it at Tall Tales.

* We would quite like to do a book of all three series. If no one bites our arm off publishing-wise, we might do it ourselves. You just see. I mean, how hard can it be?

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