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Deaths in dramas

Thursday 26 May 2011, 13:06

Keri Davies Keri Davies Web Producer, The Archers

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Graham Seed (Nigel Pargetter)

Prompted by the American actor who is suing her producer for her character being killed off in the tv series Desperate Housewives, The Independent examines fictional deaths.

They speak to Graham Seed, who played Nigel Pargetter until that character's death earlier this year. And some bloke called Keri Davies throws his two penn'orth in as well.

Keri Davies is an Archers (and Ambridge Extra) scriptwriter and web producer.

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    Comment number 1.

    "I have no axe to grind but I was very, very sad, and quietly horrified, to be written out," Seed says. "It was a very upsetting thing. I was notified three weeks before I recorded my [dying] scream. I said, 'Why don't we make him a paraplegic?' It might have been an interesting storyline to have him in a wheelchair. The reason my editor gave me for writing him out was that it would introduce wonderful new storylines – to kill off a popular character – and I suppose in a way the uproar did exactly as the editor wanted. It was a big story, very 'soap'."

    Poor Graham Seed, I do so sympathise with him .
    "Wonderful new story lines " where are they ? All I can make out from reading the MBs is Elizabeth getting more unhinged and shrill , and Dopey David sinking into a gloom.
    You could have had just as good new story lines if Nigel had been in a wheel chair !

    I'm so glad I don't listen any more, you've ruined the Archers Keri Davies!

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    Comment number 2.

    Says Keri. Hasn't worked so far has it? TA bogged down whilst writers are distracted by the risible Ambridge Lite.

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    Comment number 3.

    "the death of Nigel Pargetter was an opportunity for narrative creativity which energised the drama."

    oops the quote didn't appear.

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    Comment number 4.

    Interesting article, thanks for flagging it up Keri. I didn't like the storyline, & was sad to lose Nigel, but I can cope with it and don't feel that I 'own' the narrative any more than I have a say in what Jane Austen or Agatha Christie or Jilly Cooper do with their characters. And of course I want to see what happenes next.

    I suppose with drama there is an added complication when writing decisions affect someone's livelihood, which can't be easy, & I hope Graham Seed's career continues to flourish as it is doing now. But the last line of the article is right, in the end the decisions are the "long-held prerogatives of the mercurial writer".

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    Comment number 5.


    You may call it 'narrative creativity' I call it cheap, sloppy writing!


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