Avatar From the archives: Constantly Falling, the series

Back in about 2005 we thought we were brilliant at writing scripts and making videos, and presumably sooner or later someone from, I don’t know, Paramount Pictures would be along to tell us they’d seen a bootleg VHS of NiSH and they wanted to commission us for a five year run at a million dollars an episode or something.

That never happened. What actually happened was we kept having half-baked ideas in which we all played basically ourselves, wrote two pages of script, and then lost interest.

Let’s look at another of those stupid projects now.

Written in August 2005, and apparently edited in late 2009 when I had nothing better to do with my life, here’s the only bit of script ever written for a pilot of a sitcom we called Constantly Falling. The premise was three unemployed men who end up having to share a house together and their awkward domestic life while the three of them unsuccessfully try to find jobs.

We start off with a quick sketch of each character.

  • Kev plays Steve Horner. Used to be manager of a trendy bar, bit of DJing. Cool guy, lots of gadgets. Fired for selling off the stock to fund his gadget habit. Lost his friends and social life when fired from the bar.
  • Al plays Barry Fletcher. Used to be a taxi driver. Catchphrase is “and I never went south of the river”. Fired for sleeping with regular clients. Wife left him and took her friends with her.
  • Chris play Marc Chapel (running joke: “with a C”). Used to be web designer. Trendy and smart, educated etc. Fired for making voyeur porn sites on work time, using webcams of his friends. Now lost all his friends.

All the episodes were going to have titles that would follow the words “Constantly Falling”. This pilot was called “Down”.

Scene 1. On a bus.

STEVE is sat on the top deck of a bus. He is dressed very sharply in a black shirt and a shiny tie, and has a big pair of headphones on. He is fiddling with a PDA in his left hand, and eating an apple with his right.

After a few moments, his phone rings. He transfers the apple to his left hand, gets the phone out of his pocket with some difficulty, flips it open and puts it to his right ear.

STEVE
Hello? …Hello?

He realises his headphones are still on. He holds the apple in his teeth and then pins the PDA under his right arm. He then transfers the phone over to his left hand and takes off the headphones, holding them in his right hand. He then puts the phone back to his right ear with his left hand and tries again.

STEVE
Herro?

STEVE now realises he has the apple in his mouth and cannot talk. He looks around for a while to find some way of moving it, but his hands are full and he has tied himself in a knot. Eventually he turns to one side and spits the apple on the floor.

STEVE
Yeah mate, I’m on the bus, I’ll call you later.

STEVE closes the phone.

Scene 2. Smart city street.

STEVE is walking along a smart, affluent looking city street (probably Park Row in Leeds). He still has his stupid headphones on and obviously thinks he is very cool. He points in a “Heeeeey!” way at occasional passers-by. They look confused once he has gone by.

After a while he turns to enter a large building through the main doors.

Scene 3. Large building.

STEVE is now walking through the large building, maybe up some stairs or waiting for a lift. It should give the viewer the impression that he works there or something.

Scene 4. Reception desk.

STEVE has now arrived at a small reception desk with, surprisingly, a RECEPTIONIST behind it. On the wall behind her is a large sign showing a company logo, reading “APB Recruitment Agency”.

RECEPTIONIST then waits patiently as STEVE switches off his PDA, turns his phone to silent, takes off his headphones, switches off his iPod etc. This takes some time. He works them all into his jacket pockets and then speaks.

STEVE
Steve Thomas. I’m here about the cleaning job.

RECEPTIONIST
Have a seat.

STEVE walks out of shot.

Scene 5. Waiting room.
There are three plastic chairs, a water cooler and a battered coffee table with one crumpled magazine on it. It’s obviously a small room, there’s no other chairs in there.

BARRY is already sat in the right hand chair (his left, our right). He has a large army rucksack with him, which is on the middle chair. STEVE takes a seat on the left. He begins extracting his iPod.

STEVE
(waving iPod) Gorillaz.

BARRY
What’d you call me?

STEVE
IPod, mate.

BARRY
Eh?

STEVE
I’m listening to music. On here. By the Gorillaz.

There is a pause.

BARRY
So?

STEVE
What you here for then?

BARRY
Cleaner’s job.

STEVE
Yeah? I’m here for the executive job.

BARRY
I thought they only did cleaning jobs down here.

STEVE
Yeah, I’m… er… Executive cleaner.

STEVE puts his headphones on and becomes lost in the Gorillaz. Time goes by.

MARC enters, looks for a seat, and addresses BARRY.

MARC
Excuse me? Is this seat taken?

BARRY
Yep.

MARC
Well, I don’t see anybody sitting there.

BARRY
That’s cos there isn’t.

MARC
Could you move your bag then please?

BARRY sighs and, with exaggerated effort, moves his bag onto the floor. MARC talks nervously to anyone who might be listening, probably just to break the silence.

MARC
Warm out there.

No response.

MARC
Yep, I’m warm enough just from coming down here.

Still no response.

MARC
Anyone want some water?

He waits a while for a response, then gets up.

MARC
No? Just me then. Just get some water for myself.

MARC gets up and goes to the water cooler. As soon as he is up, BARRY puts his bag back on the seat, though MARC doesn’t notice yet. MARC then returns to his seat.

MARC
Have you just put your bag back on the chair?

BARRY
(Looks at bag on chair)
Yep.

MARC
Would you mind moving it, please? I only got up to get a glass of water.

BARRY gives a world-weary sigh and laboriously moves the bag back to the floor. MARC sits down, and drinks some water. He then puts his cup on the table and picks up the elderly magazine. The front cover reads “Jordan weds camel”.

That is, sadly, all that was ever written. Join us next time for more long-forgotten tat and half-baked juvenile ideas in the next installment of… From the Archives!

7 comments on “From the archives: Constantly Falling, the series

  • I think it never went anywhere because none of us knew how to write a sitcom. But I do remember Kev rehearsing the complicated thing with all his gadgets and the apple, so we knew it worked as a sequence.

  • Of course he did. I bet he knew that mother inside and out, and could still potentially rehearse it to this day. He’d have much more up-to-date doodads now though.

    Whizz pops and candy whistles, possibly some kind of router?

  • I vaguely remember writing this, but I don’t remember practicing the Device Shuffle™.

    Wasn’t part of the problem that we had Al involved… which meant it was impossible to ever get a time to do anything?

    That and the lack of writing talent, budget, locations, actors etc etc….

  • Yes, I think you’ve pinned down the top five reasons why this never went anywhere, and why all our other scripted productions were also fairly terrible.

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