Well, there are so many reasons and I don't think you can
point to any one. So, in no particular order, first of all,
when I started the series, it was never my intention or, I
think, even World's intention that I would write all six and
direct all six. I mean, I really started it thinking, well,
if I can write and direct the pilot, the first episode and
maybe one other, you know, that would be me. I would be completely
But it just happened, the way the development worked out,
there were other writers brought in to write various episodes
and for whatever reason it didn't work out. I think that because
it was such a short run thing, such a particular thing, that
it wasn't that their ideas weren't great because they were
- I read some of them. People just felt that it didn't gel
with the stuff that I'd done.
So, you know, from writing the first couple of episodes I
then wrote the fourth one and then I wrote the lastŸ I ended
up writing all six and that was never the intention. And then
when it went into the directing, again I thought I'd direct
maybe the first one or two, and I'm not privy to the decisions
about that aspect of it. You know, I'm obviously very grateful
that I ended up directing all six.
So that meant that in a production period, which is five monthsŸ
I'd finished writing the scripts in about, I think, January
1998, and then it was filmed in between February and June.
So there was 5 months of filming where you can't really do
anything else. I mean I was re-writing some of the scripts
to solve a few problems but there was no way that you could
come up with any new ideas or new stories. So when it went
out at the end of the year in September, October 98, no development
had been done on a second series because, you know, I wasn't
available and World, I think, didn't want to put anybody else
on it because they thought it was particular to me.
So it wasn't the usual situation where, I think in the case
of most series, you're storylining and you're developing ideas
for the next series while you're filming the series you are
now. So we didn't have that. So there was nothing to propose
to the channel or anybody about where it might go next.
So that was one thing. The other thing was, to be fair, partly
because, I suppose, I was directing them, I hadn't given any
thought to what might happen next. And even now with two years
hindsight, I personally think I could get another six episodes
out of it if I really sat down and slogged and thought about
it. But we'd written the six episodes more as kind of a mini-serial
than a series and I'd never thought of it as beingŸ
I think there's a trade-off between stuff that's high concept
and low concept. Like, if you do The Bill or Casualty it can
go on forever because, you know, you can change the characters
but the situation doesn't change, which is at the hospital
and people come in and get killed or whatever, or they solve
But with Ultraviolet it's a high concept thing and you burn
that up much more quickly, I think. The same thing happened
with other shows, like Between The Lines where it was about
police who investigated police - it was internal complaints
procedure. And within a couple of series they'd burnt out
that concept. There were no more stories they could do with
it. And in the third series they had to change the whole thing
and bring it out of the police and make them private investigators.
So with a high concept thing I think you burn out the stories
much quicker and we'd kind of designedŸ I'd really fought
quite hard in Ultraviolet to have the end six episodes as
something which had a definite conclusion. You know, at the
end of six episodes you find out categorically what the vampires
are up to and that's it. So at the end you find out that they
want to wipe out humanity and create a nuclear winter. And
once you've decided that, I don't think, personally, you can
go on for another 3 or 4 seasons exploring that. You know,
you've been told.
Whereas things like X Files, they operate much more on the
basis, first of all it's not just UFOs, they investigate all
sorts of weird stuff. And also they do tease the audience.
They pass it out in much smaller bites, you know, and you
wait years before you find out what's going on. And when you
think you've found out they reverse it or whatever and they
have a much different philosophy and strategy of doing it
over there. And partly I think that is commercial.
You know, American TV works on a long running basis. They
want stuff that runs for 3, 4, 5 years. This was never designed
to do that to be fair. I didn't want it to go on and on. I
mean certainly someone else could have taken it up but I didn't
really want to do that. SoŸ I think that one of confusions
is at the end of the last episode there is a kind of a teaser
which is like, you know, one of the lead vampires pops up
at the end and it's kind of aŸ I'm afraid that that does suggest
that there might be more because it's a kind of aŸ what do
they call it? Not a cliffhanger ending but it's a teaser.
But I'm afraid again that was done largely just to keep the
option open, not to completely close it off. Because I think
the point is that nobody knew, nobody knew if it would be
successful or not. You don't want to say definitely that there
will never be any more. You want to give the possibility.
I mean, the second series of This Life ended up with one of
the main characters who left at the beginning of the second
series turning up in the last moments and I think it had a
shot of people applying for other people to enter the house.
That's nothing if not a teaser and it's saying maybe there'll
be more. But in fact there weren't.
To be continued...