For every TV flop that made it past a commissioning team, arguably, there is a small-screen masterpiece cast unfairly into the darkness.
The next Fleabag or Line of Duty tossed into the television abyss, taking with it the awards buzz that might have surrounded the breakout stars and the flood of fascinating fan fiction that could have gushed from a new global fan base.
Luckily, the Dead Pilots Society podcast is here to bring these forgotten scripts back to life. Presented by writer and producer Ben Blacker and Friends producer Andrew Reich, Dead Pilots Society gives those overlooked gems that made it to pilot stage without being commissioned for a full series the read-throughs they deserve.
Scripts are dramatically revived and performed by the likes of Richard E Grant, Carey Mulligan, Lolly Adefope, Sam Richardson, Tony Hale and Adam Scott.
In its revamped format, each read-through episode is followed by a separate interview programme.
The creative minds behind hits such as The Office, Will & Grace and Orange Is the New Black have eye-opening discussions about the development journey of getting a script to screen.
Standout episodes include: the surreal comedy My Cousin Thor by How I Met Your Mother producer Ira Ungerleider; Killing Eve and Promising Young Woman writer Emerald Fennell’s intergalactic comedy Space Bound; and the adaptation by Mike Royce (Everybody Loves Raymond) and Kevin Biegel (Cougar Town) of the 1988 film Big.
While some shows should have stayed on the cutting-room floor, the misfires of some of TV’s most acclaimed writers are still worth a listen. They might even give hope to all the screenwriters yet to get their big break.