I was semi-aimlessly searching the web last week and wondered what Spaced co-creator and star Jessica Hynes had done recently. Lo and behold, I found that she was one of the writers on a Jamie Hewlett (Tank Girl, Gorillaz) created television show called Phoo Action.
I’ve been a fan of Tank Girl since the comics and I’m probably one of three people alive who really liked the movie. I like to imagine that the other two people who liked the movie were the stars Lori Petty and Ice T. Phoo Action looked intriguing so I went about researching.
I’m a huge fan of British television. The aforementioned Spaced is one of my favorites and if you’re a fan of Shaun of the Dead or Hot Fuzz, you owe it to yourself to see where the Simon Pegg/Nick Frost/Edgar Wright relationship began. I think the original Office is far superior to the American one. The Mighty Boosh is bizarrely wonderful. I have no doubt that the upcoming American version of Being Human won’t be able to hold a candle to the original.
I get flack for my television tastes where they’re mistaken for snooty. That’s not the case at all. I like my television like I like my comic books and video games…I like for them to have a beginning, middle and an end. When I find out that a comic is planned to have 60 issues or so, that’s perfect. If someone complains that a video game had a good story, but was only 8 hours long, I’m sold. British shows seem to have a story to tell and they only do enough episodes to tell that story. They don’t care about hitting 100 episodes to get that syndication money. The television show that Christine and I wrote (Deadpan) is planned for three seasons, about six episodes each season. We have the entire story mapped out already.
One of the things I discovered during my Phoo Action research is that the BBC seems to let the audience vote on which shows get launched once pilots are made. In the US, networks order about 20 pilots each season, with only about 6 of those making it to the air. Sometimes if you’re lucky you can find an unaired pilot on the internet, like the one for the infamous Ben Stiller created Heat Vision and Jack starring Jack Black and Owen Wilson.
Unfortunately, even though the pilot for Phoo Action aired and won a handful of awards, enough people didn’t watch to merit giving the show a full season. Coincidentally, that year Being Human was picked up instead.
Here’s the trailer for Phoo Action.
If you look, you can find the entire pilot episode online. I even managed to see it on my iPod. It’s a lot of fun. It’s one part Tank Girl, one part Green Hornet, a dash of the Aquabats, and a pinch of the Gorillaz all mixed up with some Carl Weathers on top! I really enjoyed it, but like I said, I have a predilection for these kinds of things!