Never an original idea

24 Jan

Have you ever written something and then seen it crop up elsewhere?

I’m not talking about your own work being shared online, more like your idea being used. I have had that very thing happen to me today.

Now before I go any further, I will say that I understand that there is no such thing as an original idea. Everything can be likened to what has gone before. Although it still grates me when you have completed a piece and the reader says, ‘oh it’s just like….’ I wouldn’t mind but half the time I haven’t even read what they are talking about so it couldn’t have been avoided.

So last night I was watching ITV, more specifically I had tuned in just to watch Comedy Dave’s appearance on Dancing On Ice. Anyway, the adverts come on and they show a trailer for ‘Marchlands.’

Marchlands is the gripping story of three different families living in the same house in the 1960’s, 1980’s and present day. The families are linked by the spirit of a young girl – the 1960’s family’s daughter who died in mysterious circumstances.  It’s a brand new five-part drama from ITV Studios written for ITV by Stephen Greenhorn (Glasgow Kiss, Doctor Who).

Just from this snippet, you can’t get a true understanding of the storyline, the trailer gives away much more (I can’t find it online at the moment). I was intrigued. Hadn’t I written a script that was very much like this?

I tried to forget about it but as always I couldn’t let it go. I searched online to find the episode guide and to be honest it made me feel sick. I am not saying I’ve been ripped off. Certainly much of it you could put down to being the logical steps that characters would take, that both the scripts are titled with name of the house are purely coincidental, but the same character names???

If I am honest, the similarities are shocking. I can’t list them all, that would give away the plot to anyone looking forward to viewing the programme. I am just waiting to be able to read the last episode to see how it pans out, if the endings are the same I may have to start asking questions, but for now, I think I am going to have to say that either great minds think alike, or it was a very clichéd idea.

Quite disappointing really. It is the only script I have ever completed. I had sent it to the BBC and their reaction was positive, but advised me on some pointers as to where it could be improved. I always thought I would do it when I finished Uni. Now I will just look at that script and feel like it was wasted time; knowing that if anyone reads it in the future they will think it very similar to Marchlands. Am I allowed to stamp my feet now and say ‘It’s not fair.’

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2 Responses to “Never an original idea”

  1. Ellie January 25, 2011 at 2:10 pm #

    It’s just taken away from me the enjoyment I had in knowing that I had a completed script that with some further editing could be credible. Oh well, I shall just have to get cracking with all my other bits and bobss and just make sure this time round it is even bigger and better!

  2. Carol Hoare January 25, 2011 at 12:52 pm #

    Yes, stamp your feet and say rude words!

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