Saturday, May 19th, 2018
by Ed Sinclair (director and co-writer)
Time seems to have both stood still and yet also flown by since the last time I had anything to do with Anoraks. At least, that is how it feels to me.
Don't get me wrong. Anoraks is always on my mind; I am truly obsessed with Anoraks, and I love being part of this ever-changing group of wonderful, crazy, eccentric and talented people. Through this web series, I have been able to return to writing and directing for actors after a long period of documentary work and editing other people's projects. It is a good feeling and I'm excited by what is to come - and believe me, there are some amazing things coming down the pipeline.
First there is this new web site and I'm really happy with how it is turning out. It is a simpler and cleaner design, and it makes me feel like the series isn't the only thing that's regenerating. We've decided to move away from our original layout - slightly modelled after the Doctor Who web site from 2016 - and go for a look that is more in keeping with the vibe of the new series. We've even got a brand new logo that draws it's inspiration from comic books! While we'll always continue to reference Doctor Who, we won't be tethered to the show the way we were in the first series. This is mostly down to the casting of comedian, Lorna Prichard who plays the new character of Kim. Kim is a no-nonsense kind of modern young fan who is rather blasé about Doctor Who, but supports other shows such as Supergirl, Westworld, and Firefly. Her favourite movie is Black Panther and she just "love, love, loves" the Marvel Universe both in terms of the films but also the comic books. She's into Anime and Cosplay, (much to the annoyance of Rob), and refuses to own a single DVD, preferring instead to stream.
Part of this paradigm shift in the direction of Anoraks was always intended because we would like the show to reach a wider audience, but part of it was also in response to our fans, who told us after the first series that some of the more obscure references weren't picked up by anyone other than Doctor Who fans of"a certain age". That's fair enough. And honestly, the feedback was never negative. Viewers repeatedly said that they still enjoyed the episodes even if they didn't understand some of the references because the acting was so strong and the characters were incredibly likeable.
Over the past three months, Darren and I have been busy writing what we think are really tight and quite heartfelt episodes - that is not to say that series one didn't have good stories - but now that we've got one series under our belts, we've happened upon a very comfortable niche to settle into and this new approach brings a slightly different way of telling a story. Don't worry though, the spirit is still very much the same - this is Anoraks after all. But for each episode, we've decided to explore a theme and not just rely on a punchline. While Anoraks isn't a moral play, it just seemed natural for the episodes to look at topics that seem to affect fandom across the spectrum - from ageism and ownership, to hierarchies and snobbery. Series two takes a look at fandom in all it's glory and some of it's worst aspects as well. It has certainly been an eye-opener for me and has given me pause to consider other fans and the validity of their point of view. As usual, our characters choose their sides of the argument, and as usual, we hope to present a varied point of view so that nothing is too biased to one opinion. Fandom is fickle enough without us making it more polarised!
So, today we assembled in our old haunt of The Little Man Coffee Company Co to take some promotional photos of our series two main cast. We hadn't been in the café for over eight months, and it felt like a bit of a home-coming. It was just the right environment to get everyone excited again about the next big steps. Before the photos we discussed the concepts behind the new scripts and we finally agreed upon a shooting schedule that accommodated everyone. We talked of guest stars and of the latest new crew additions - we've hired a Script Supervisor/Continuity person for our shoot dates and met with her last week - Holly's really lovely and a big fan as well, so she'll fit in just fine.
We also talked about this Friday, May 25th, when we'll be having a special fund-raising event in Cardiff to kick-start our brand new and up-coming Indiegogo Campaign (details will be available soon, but I believe we're launching the campaign on the 28th of May).
We'll be upstairs at the Yard in Cardiff, just off St Mary's Street from 7pm. The spiral staircase leads to a semi-private room where you'll have the opportunity to mix and mingle with the cast and crew, view a screening of some series one episodes (as chosen by you on our Twitter page), and witness an hilarious stand-up set by Lorna, all in an effort to kick off the campaign. Oh, and there's free beer too (supplies limited, so first come, first imbibe!) We'll also be making a special announcement, so if you can make it, please do. And all we're asking of you is that you RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org so we can know numbers - space is limited, so get in touch quickly!
For the rest of our fans, especially those living internationally, (or vicariously through other fans), please stay tuned, because after the event, you'll get to hear our exciting news as well.
So, I'll leave you with a few select lines of dialogue from the first half of series two. See if you can figure out where we're going and why, and possibly, who says what!
"Hey, I don’t make the rules... " (ep 1)
"Oh Christ, they're all collector's editions..." (ep 2)
"I bet he gets that a lot..." (ep 3)
"I, for one, welcome our new crab overlords..." (ep 4)
"Anyone care to guess why the Treorchy Timelords were buying the Blu-ray?" (ep 5)