Quite simply the most surreal work I’ve ever done came about when I was asked by the Head of English Programming of Islamic Sky TV channel Noor TV (Sky 822) to help realise a computer-animated pilot for a children’s series on this international channel.
I guess, having by that time spent a few years scriptwriting for a multicultural soap for BBC Asian Network, I was relatively well known for my inclusive approach to scriptwriting for our many cultures, but all the same, it was quite a surprise, and continued to be.
At short notice (and with a brief to “just change the words to be better, not any of the things that happen” – I’m paraphrasing, but that was the brief!) I provided script editing and consultancy to help the Director deliver a half-hour pilot episode, which broadcast many times on the channel.
I afterwards provided a more formal proposal to realise the series, reconceiving the series as a religiously appropriate enjoyable series which would be an excellent tool to help children in the Middle East learn English – which I still think isn’t a bad idea, and even got a potential investor interested in a few years ago. I wrote a dynamic and enjoyable allegorical script for a first episode – which I can make available on request if you like. I’m not going to publish it here, though it’s a fun script I was pleased with, because I don’t particularly want to be misunderstood on such sensitive matters! The scripts don’t in any way feature or reference the Prophet – peace be upon him – and only approach Muslim scripture and morality by reverent allusion, but all the same, I’m definitely no expert!
Anyway, a charity based at the channel, Alehya Trust, also consequently consulted me to help it develop new projects. Not that we can say that my consultations were always heeded – it’s very hard to say “Talib and the Woid” without people thinking you just said Taliban, but the Director stuck with it all the same.
Believe it or not, all this did really happen, so I’ve embedded the trailer here so that you believe me… meanwhile, here’s a link to Noor TV’s website so you know I didn’t dream them up either.
Here’s the Talib and the Woid pilot trailer. I would have preferred if a little more time had been taken over the whole thing – you’ll see why – and that more of my recommendations had been implemented, but it is at least an eye-opener.
If you’d like me to deliver projects like this for you, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org!