January 07, 2011

"Character Conundrum"

I recently said I'd finished the script for Episode 18. That was true, until I looked it over yesterday and realized I had made quite a big error.

The overall theme for the episode is Scottish Railway history, and one of the things that was missing from the lineup of characters were engines of predominantly Scottish origin.

I could argue all I like that the "Clan" (BR Standard 6MTs) are "Scottish" in the same way that the GWR-built Pannier Tanks in the 60s were "Scottish" for being based in Scotland in the late 1960s. However, the fact of the matter is that they're not of Scottish origin, and in the same category as the latter useful tank engines.

So what engines could be seen in Scotland in 1959?

Straight away, I know of a single diesel class I need in this episode. The North British Locomotive company class 21. That's in. Ergo, a re-write is in order. Tavish and Clan Stewart are currently the only Scottish based engines on offer. Anyone else? Arthur (Peppercorn A2) is a possibility.

But there's one engine that suddenly came to mind - withdrawn, an uncertain future, a great, ominous, example of things to come. Playing on both the historical flashback in Tavish's story, and the plight of this particular Scottish locomotive has a great attraction.

Its also becoming clear that two of the characters will have to share the same chassis - luckily they are not seen on screen at the same time during the episode, so a saving of cost there is something of a relief!

Until next time.

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