Luther starts on BBC - scripted in Scrivener!


Just to let you know that there’s a new high-profile BBC show starting this week called Luther, which stars Idris Elba (best known as Stringer Bell in The Wire - I loved that show). Why am I telling you this? Well, it happens to have been written in Scrivener. It’s scripted by bestselling author Neil Cross, who also scripted a number of Spooks episodes. He used Scrivener for hammering out his treatments and scripts and then exported to Final Draft for delivery and production.

Apologies to those in the US and elsewhere who may not get to see Luther for a while, but it’s getting lots of good reviews over here, and I’m looking forward to seeing it.

All the best,

P.S. I’ve put this on our main web page too, but I hasten to add that there’s no favouritism here - if you have a book, film or TV series coming that you wrote using Scrivener, I’m happy to consider putting something about it on the main page when it comes out. (The only caveat is that it must be coming out with a major publisher or through a major distribution channel, otherwise I’ll be changing the front page very two minutes. And nothing controversial or by Ron Moore. :slight_smile: )

Well…since you asked. I’ve been reluctant to post because I didn’t want it to seem like advertising but, my two most recent published projects were created in Scrivener:

Fields of Vision: the Photographs of Jack Delano by Amy Pastan (Photo Editor) with an introduction by Esmeralda Santiago, published by the Library of Congress (April 2010). I used Scrivener’s split screen capability as I studied the photographs that the photo editor chose for inclusion in the book and I took notes on the bottom page about what I saw and how it affected me. Then I wrote the entire essay using Scrivener. The marked up documents from the copy and proofreading editors went into my Scrivener project, as well as all correspondence, contracts, etc. Now that the book has been published, I have a complete history of the process for the project, beginning with the letter inviting me to be a part of the Fields of Vision series to the reviews and publicity materials.

Top of the Order: 25 Writers Pick their Favorite Baseball Players of All Time by Sean Manning, editor, (Perseus/DaCapo, April 2010). My contribution is my remembrance of First Baseman Victor Pellot. I collected all the research materials about him in my Scrivener project, including stats, obituaries (in English and in Spanish), profiles, snippets in other sports memoirs and in taped interviews I was able to conduct with players and with Victor’s good friend, Luis Mayoral. I transcribed the interviews with the recording on the top pane, and my transcription on the bottom of my Scrivener project. The essay was created on Scrivener.

My historical novel, Conquistadora (Knopf, 2011?) is currently in my editor’s hands. I could not have written the book without Scrivener.

Thank you, Keith.


Esmeralda, three books in two years? We are going to return you to quill pen and parchment.
Just kidding. Congratulations on all that productivity and also versatility. --D recently managed to acquire the rights to show the entire BBC The Office series over here. Hopefully they continue acquiring BBC programming, but that one might have just been a fluke due to the popularity of the U.S. version of that show. Or better yet, does anyone know if the BBC does web streaming like some U.S. stations do? The quality is typically crap, but at least it is something.

I don’t believe anyone outside the UK can access Beeb archives. Copyright issues. There are other ways for yanks to get their britcom fixes, though. 8)

[size=150]LUTHER!! :smiling_imp: [/size]

Hi Esmerelda,

That’s great, congratulations! Be sure to let us know when Conquistadora is released - we can big it up (and we’ll happily place a link on our testimonials page when the time comes if you like too). Thanks for the kind words - great to hear you’re having such success!

All the best,

Vic-K: Yes, it was good, wasn’t it? Idris Elba was brilliant, especially in the scene with McGann at the end I thought. Very nice title sequence too!

I particularly liked the scenes between Luther and Alice in interrogation. I shall watch again next week.

The question isnt, [i]Will they[/i]? Its, How often? :blush: :open_mouth: :smiling_imp:

I missed the first couple of episodes of this series, but it has since displaced CSI as the household’s third favourite programme (behind Yellowbird’s Wallander, and NCIS (it’s management porn, sue me)).

Last week’s episode was really good. The previous one felt a little rushed, but it was easy enough to get into.

This week’s… WTF? At times it just feels like it’s trying too hard to fit too much into an hour - and into a UK tv season. There are simply too many ‘chinny reckon’ moments going on - from the passing of time, to John’s behaviour (and tolerance thereof), oddly convenient geography… It feels like a US series transplanted to London, and so it just doesn’t feel credible. There was also some really bizarre editing in yesterday’s episode, where tension that had been ratcheted up was completely blown by a scene in a church (and later in a jeweller’s) that weren’t strictly necessary.

However, I still want to find out what’s going to happen. And I still get my Scrivener pompoms out each time I see a trailer or mention it to friends. Which is a bit odd.

Now there’s a merchandising opportunity. :wink:


Is anyone watching series 2? Can you call four episodes a series?

I found episodes 1 and 3 some of the scariest television I can remember - hitting all sorts of buttons:

  • Mild-mannered psychopaths
  • Masks
  • Evil twins
  • Ultraviolence
  • Home invasion
  • Randomness and ‘planned’ randomness
  • Plain old-garden-variety evil
  • Properly batshit-mental evil
  • Madness, madness, they call it madness

Seriously. Believability nil. Brillianticity total. And now that he isn’t being an arsehole ex-husband and is instead a fallen angel character, John Luther is a proper full-on righteous russian-roulette H-reg Volvo driving hero.

It’s maddeningly uneven, and there are arcs and loops and all sorts going on which get in the way of the meat-and-potatoes stuff (Idris Elba scratching his chin and flapping his coat tails around looking world-weary and haunted - quite hard to pull off at the same time).

If you haven’t watched any of it yet, please make use of iPlayer while it’s still there. Don’t eat anything you don’t want to see again while you’re watching though…

I’m watching it, and absolutely loving it. Well, as far as you can love anything so brutal and disturbing. If anything, it’s even better than the first series. I think that rather than a series this is more like two two-parters, though, really, isn’t it?

Last night’s episode was bloody horrible, as was the end of the first episode (which very cleverly played with expectations). Neil, the writer, sometimes pops by these forums, so watch what you say - judging by last night’s episode and the one in the first series with the taxi driver, he has a thing for hammers and skulls. :slight_smile: I think the worst part was just following the psychopath, slowly, into the office building and into the lift - it’s superb at ramping up the tension, forcing you to anticipate what he’s going to do. The webcam murder in the first episode was also hideously vicious - you’re always left feeling that the police are powerless and have no other choice than to wait for more innocent people to be slaughtered before they have a chance of routing out the psychos - it plays on those fears of random attack.

If you liked it and haven’t already, I recommend checking out Neil Cross’s novels, too - there are screwdrivers through the eyes and jaws being shot off (though in all fairness that’s just in Holloway Falls), but they’re also beautifully written. (Burial is probably my favourite.)

All the best,

Il est absolu violence gratuite…yeah baby!!!

[size=150]J’aime Alice Morgan [/size] :smiling_imp:

Le D :smiling_imp:

It’s gorra be! I can feel it in me water!

[size=150]Alice Morgan vs The Terrible Twins!![/size]
…[size=150]Trafalgar Square[/size]

She’ll wipe the floor with 'em!!

We can but hope!

This is honestly my favourite ever summation of Luther. We might have to get some T-shirts printed.

Oh, and vic-k. Alice sends her love.

OH dear, Mr Neil. Vic-k has just slid off his swivel chair, and he’s lay there, motionless and glassy eyed, with a big cheesy toothless grin on his face. tch!tch! humans, what are they like?