As mentioned earlier on the blog, the NFT has been running a Troy Kennedy Martin season this month. On Tuesday night, I went to see the great man himself get interviewed.
I can’t say I was overly impressed by the interviewer, Chris Dunkley of the FT. He clearly knows how to analyse television very well and frequently made good points to TKM about his work (“It seems to me you like anarchy” and “Anti-authoritarianism is clearly very important to you” being insights that TKM seemed surprised to discover were true about himself after a few moments’ reflection).
But when it came to getting information out of his interviewee rather than putting forward theories, he didn’t really have any questions. There were also striking gaps in his knowledge: he didn’t for instance, when discussing TKM’s use of the supernatural in Edge of Darkness, probe TKM about his imagined Knights Templar sub-plot and the original “Craven turns into a tree” ending – TKM didn’t volunteer the information either. In fact, TKM didn’t help matters at all, since he rarely answered any of the questions put to him directly, answering some other question instead. (eg Audience member: “Was it hard writing the Sweeney movies as 90-minute scripts and did you intend them to be more emotional or violent?” TKM: “I just thought of them as episodes. I wrote the Malta because…”)
So it was all a bit hit or miss, more like a “Troy Kennedy Martin’s greatest hits” evening. There weren’t any real revelations, no big “I got my ideas for this from…” moments. But there were some nice anecdotes. And it’s not every NFT audience that includes Ken Loach, Michael Wearing and G F Newman (with hat).
In case you’re wondering what TKM’s up to right now, he’s working with James Lovelock (of the Gaia hypothesis) on movies for HBO about climate change, although the climate for climate change is changing too rapidly for him right now: everyone was a sceptic when he started a few months ago, now everyone believes. He imagines the work as “two 90 minute movies”. Now that should be interesting, if it ever emerges.