…Well, I say news; but the hints I've been dropping have been pretty broad. Anyway, this is it officially: I am currently writing the next - and final - episode of Cabin Pressure. It will be a forty-five minute special, and it will be recorded early in the new year.
Infrequently Asked Questions, But Which I Imagine May Become More Frequently Asked Now.
Why are you only doing an episode, not a series?
Because that has always been the plan - at least since about Molokai. When I was planning series three, I decided that (BBC and cast permitting), I would write two more series, and build towards a cliff-hanger, followed by a special. I knew by then how important it is when writing an episode to have the ending in mind, and I thought the same would probably be true of a series.
Why are you ending it?
Well, it has to end somewhere, and six years and twenty six episodes feels like a pretty good score. And this way I get to build towards an ending that I feel is satisfying, rather than it simply stopping one day… or worse, getting tired and repetitive. It's also allowed me to let the characters and their relationships change and develop over the last couple of series, knowing that I'm building in a particular direction, in a way that I couldn't have done if I'd had to keep them in sitcom limbo.
Besides, you can't fight the alphabet…
But there are a lot more letters in other languages!
I know. But be honest, which is more satisfying: A to Z or A to Ø?
No, you be honest: it's because you can't get the cast any more, isn't it?
It really isn't. It's very difficult to get them all together, certainly, but they continue to be astonishingly generous about finding ways to make it work. No, this is all my fault.
When did you say it would be recorded? And broadcast?
On the… Ah, you nearly got me. No, I'm afraid I don't know. I had, as many of you had guessed, been working towards another Christmas broadcast, but unfortunately that hasn't worked out. So, as early as possible in the new year, I hope; and I'll let you know here as soon as I can...