Peter Bowker on The A Word, how it compares to other depictions of autism on television, and more

Peter Bowker interview the a word christopher eccleston world on fire monroe blackpool

What’s interesting about The A Word is it grew out of an Israeli series, Yellow Peppers. That family dynamic, I thought was a brilliant set-up. Obviously it’s grown away from that as the series has gone on, but I owe a huge debt of gratitude to Yellow Peppers. But the other thing Yellow Peppers did was I felt it gave me permission to be a little less literal in the way I might depict autism, so there’s whole idyll that Joe has built for himself, around the headphones, and the morning walk.

And obviously it drove people f***ing mad, imagine Twitter saying, “Why’d they let that child walk down the middle of the road?” You know? But it’s kind of symbolic as much as anything. So, I think it allowed me that, it gave me permission to do that. The other thing was that, because I’d written Marvellous before this, I’d already seen that you can be playful with the form while still being true to the emotions of this. I think those two things helped.

A companion piece to yesterday’s interview with Christopher Eccleston: here’s me talking to Peter Bowker, writer of The A Word, all about how the show is changing in its third year, his creative influences, and more.

This I think is one of the best interviews I’ve ever done – a really interesting look at how Peter writes and what shapes his writing. We also spoke at length about what Peter thinks about the rest of television, which is always a really interesting thing to get into with a writer. Very pleased with how this one turned out!

(And I should also note that the above picture of Peter was taken by Amy Sussman, and I took from Getty Images.)

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Composer Anne Nikitin on American Animals, finding her voice, and more

anne nikitin interview composer bart layton american animals

I’ve always had, and now talking to other composers, had a sort of hang-up that I didn’t have my own singular voice that was instantly recognisable as being me. I think that, you look at some of the Hollywood composers like Thomas Newman or Hans Zimmer, you instantly recognise their music.

I know myself and my composer friends, we always talk about that. Do we have a voice and what is it? Are we instantly recognisable? I’m thinking, I bet mine’s not being instantly recognisable. I much prefer being able to write in a variety of styles. I find it much more fun and adventurous and challenging.

Anne Nikitin was absolutely lovely to speak to, and we had a fascinating talk about music composition. Check it out!

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