Blooper Catalogue

Although we did our best to make a tidy presentation – and FFR is certainly nothing to sneeze at for a first time out – there’s no denying it’s a flawed production. Some effects don’t work as well as expected, the sound field isn’t terribly consistent or sophisticated, and, yes let’s be honest, there are mistakes. Not just the bloopers that caused us to break out in fits of giggles and Snowcat to call ‘cut!’ but also numerous errors that actually got into the release that went public.*

Why they happened is a case either of being aware all the way through of our amateur status and so not wanting to be too strict with ourselves, or simply of not noticing where we’d misread the script or mispronounced a line.

Just to show that we have no intention of hiding from the bitter truth, there follows a list of the mistakes that got into the public airing of Famous For Retreating.

* Not that there are that many errors in the play. Not so many that we should be embarrassed or ashamed or cringing in humiliation. Only those listed here, and those in the seventy-eight other instalments that will follow…

Scene 1.
Greystagg should say, “It reminds me that I have not yet lost”, instead of the more redundant, “It reminds me what I have not yet lost.”

Scene 2.
Treguard misses the optimum point on the mic in this scene and so sounds a bit indistinct and echoey (see the next scene for a more detailed explanation).

Scene 3.
The voice recordings in this scene were among the first taken in the play, and the cast hadn’t quite mastered our microphone techniques at this point. As a result, we kept missing the optimum points on the mics, and so the whole scene sounds a bit ‘hollow’ and echoey, as though it was recorded in a bathroom.

Scene 4.
The fact that the actor playing Lord Fear and Honesty Bartram – which is to say me – is one and the same is made painfully clear during the moment they speak to each other (I needed to work harder on Bartram’s voice).

Scene 5.
Lord Fear starts his interruption line – “Uh uh! No naughty words now…” too early and ends up repeating it several times over.

Scene 9.
When telling Elita, “If we run into trouble, you’ll be the first to run into it,” Treguard sounds like he’s doing an impression of the Right Honourable James Hacker MP doing an impression of Winston Churchill.

Scene 10.
Lord Fear is supposed to say, “You should be well capable of sorting these matters out…” but instead stumbles on it, saying, “You should be well capable to sort these matters out…” which is poor grammar.
Skarkill should say, “I’s [pronounced ‘Ize’, short for ‘I has’] fallen down a hole in the ground.” Instead he says, “It’s fallen down a hole in the ground.”

Scene 11.
Stiletta should say, “I can’t think of many safe places to dwell anywhere else.” Instead she mispronounces it, “I can’t think of many safe places to dwair anywhere else.”

Scene 13.
This one is harmless, but still bears mentioning. Elita’s line is supposed to be “offending him with the story about him and the goat”. I think Clare possibly caught a glance of the previous line (“greatest honour of my life”) while she was reading it and this confused her slightly, as she amended the line to “offending him with the great story about him and the goat.” Makes no difference though, as the meaning isn’t really affected.

Scene 14.
A historical innacuracy, but such a common myth – one the TV series was party to on many occasions – that I decided to be lazy and leave it in the script; Lord Fear refers to Merlin as a Celt. The idea that the Scots, the Irish, the Welsh and the Cornish are Celtic is a fallacy given to us by the Victorians. Before the rise of the Roman Empire, the Celts dominated much of Europe, but they never reached the British Isles in any significant numbers at all. Therefore Merlin could not have been a Celt, and certainly wouldn’t have been thought of as one by contemporaries.
Not necessarily a mistake, but Merlin seems to have a much more cheerful and lively personality in the second half of the scene when he meets Aedric, than he did in the first half. (Alec explains that this is because of the fumes from the potions that Merlin had been concocting just before Aedric showed up…)
When saying he’ll go to retrieve the talisman, for reasons even I don’t know, Aedric’s accent and diction change irrevocably from English West Country to Wexford Irish.
Logic gaffe in terminology; Lord Fear says that the Normans intercepted him before he reached the shack. The next thing he says is, “They pounded on the door but I refused to come out.” How did he get into the shack if the Normans intercepted him before he got there?
Questionable sound effect (largely because I didn’t have a usable alternative available); the cave-in caused by the fire sounds like a shower of bricks and plaster, when the building is supposed to be a wooden shack.

Scene 15.
Aedric fluffs the line, “We must be a hundred feet below the ground.”

Scene 17.
Elita’s first line of the scene, “She can’t’ve been your mother…” etc is actually delivered by the wrong actress, for reasons too complicated to go into here.
Again, not necessarily a mistake, but the portrayal of the maid sounds more like Marta than Mellisandre.
Stiletta’s line is supposed to be, “When I was old enough he started using me for the real purpose he’d taken me in for in the first place.” However, she missed the final ‘in’ from the sentence (“he’d taken me in for the first place”). To compensate, the first ‘in’ is copied into the gap, but it doesn’t sound right.

Scene 18.
Another harmless one; Stiletta and Lord Fear say that knives are ‘easy to use’, when they should actually be saying that knives are ‘easier to use’.

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