RE: Cast and bbc production crew photo

Forum Forums General Discussions Cast and bbc production crew photo RE: Cast and bbc production crew photo


So very interesting!
And you have provided just about the only
conformation about what Abraham had said in the radio interview about the story
line. It is just the sort of background detail that is easily lost.
It ought to be recorded and written down without
legal implications if possible.

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—– Original Message —–
Sent: Friday, April 10, 2015 1:48
Subject: [shiponedingroup] Cyril

I have to be a little careful
here (not everyone is dead yet!),
but I can give some insight into the show's relationship with Cyril Abraham in
its last two series. The fact is that he was, as a matter of policy,
ruthlessly kept out of it. Mr Abraham did indeed have a plan for the story
going well into the twentieth century; to say the least of it, this plan was
not to the taste of Mervyn Haisman, the show's script editor. Mr Abraham saw
the show as a slowly unfurling saga of a family and the sea – almost a
Dickensian novel – but Mervyn, eye always to the ratings, thought more in
terms of a 1970s soap opera in fancy dress. Under Mervyn, every episode had to
have an "exciting" sea story and something going even more wrong with the
family; there were times when he seemed to be talking about some sort of
ocean-going Wacky Races based at the Crossroads Motel.
The fact is that Mervyn
Haisman and Cyril Abraham detested each other to the edge of mania. Geraint
Morris, the producer, got caught in the middle. Eventually, Mr Abraham's
numerous phone calls were simply ignored. Geraint actually changed his home
phone number to avoid him; Mr Abraham had no contractual relationship with the
show by then, but would call the producer after every transmission to read the
riot act. He had a lot to talk about. He was probably the first person to
raise the annoying question of why, in a show set in Liverpool in the
Victorian period, we never, ever heard a single Scouse accent, even from the
servants. Mervyn would jump on any actor who even tried it, citing American
sales as the reason. Mr Abraham would also pick merciless holes in the plots,
which under Mervyn developed from the fantastical to the near-surreal; we were
all, director very much included, very glad that he did not live to see the
last episode, which made no sense at all.
Here's where I have to be
careful. Much of the Abraham master plan was based around characters who, for
the worst of practical reasons, simply couldn't be developed. Let's just say
that some of the actors were better than others. Drink was an increasingly
visible issue in one case.
In the end, the show's
relationship with Cyril Abraham was so bad that we were genuinely surprised
that Geraint asked Continuity to run an end-of-credits tribute to him when he
died. Then they got his name wrong.