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Origen’s Wake: The Imagination of Doom

Comedy Lab, Channel 4, 2001

The first episode of Origen's Wake was a 50/50 collaboration with Tim Hope, but when Channel 4 commissioned a 12-minute version of  for their 2001 Comedy Lab series, for some reason I decided to go it alone and direct it myself - a pretty stupid idea because I'd never finished an animation before and had no idea what I was doing. Channel 4 helped out with much-appreciated financial support (plus uncredited script editing from commissioning editor Robert Popper) while Channel X kindly agreed to produce and give me office space, but it was the brilliant animator Karl Cresser - who had also worked with Tim on the Pod animations and various other things - who ensured the show actually got made. With a wider cast of characters and great voice acting by Hils Barker and Mackenzie Crook, it's deliberately a more "professional" piece of work than the previous episode. But it suffers from losing the home-made ambience and, though there are some nice moments, the subject matter is too weighty, the audio track is stultifyingly lifeless and I forgot to put any jokes in it. Basically I'm saying it's worthy but it's just not funny. Still, it was a first step for me into the world of television and frankly it's a miracle it got made at all.

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