Stephen Moffat is of course best known for his work on Press Gang, Coupling and Doctor Who. But in the mid 90’s he was also the writer of a short-lived “feel-bad” sit-com called Joking Apart. Robert Bathurst, now far better known for starring in Cold Feet, played Mark Taylor, a comedy writer whose wife leaves him in the first episode. The show was about him miserably failing to get over his separation and move on with his life. It was very dark, quite manic, absolutely hilarious, and now pretty much forgotten. Despite critical plaudits and a Bronze Rose of Montreux, it lasted two seasons and hasn’t been seen since.
Now you can read here about one fan’s unflagging dedication to get Joking Apart released on DVD, and read you should. Craig Robins decided to buy the DVD rights from the BBC, and master and release the show himself. Absolute madness, and yet the first season will be released, featuring commentary by Moffat and the cast, on May 29th.
Even if you’ve no interest in Joking Apart itself, the article is fascinating – Robins’ odyssey from fan to DVD producer by way of glacial subtitling freeware, £1000 BBFC fees and loathed publicity stills makes quite a story. Programming by fans, for fans. Hell of an achievement.
Category: Movies and TV