Press Gang 📰 Discussion & Review Podcast | Steven Moffat TV

Press Gang, Steven Moffat’s show about plucky schoolkids running a newspaper, is still ripe for discussion today. But why is Moffat’s first show so enduringly popular? We tackle that, & much more, in a series looking over Moffat’s many interesting TV shows.

Moffat is best known for Doctor Who and Sherlock, but Press Gang remains fascinatingly popular, even 30 years on. An ‘uncategorisable’ blend of drama, comedy, and romance, the show features a startlingly strong creative voice, with startlingly few constraints — Moffat could write basically whatever he wanted here, and it showed! Four fans from across the globe discuss what makes the show work, discussing the characters in detail, the surprising origin of the show, numerous themes at play, connections to Doctor Who and other shows, the memorable filmed visuals, and the feasibility of a sequel. This Press Gang discussion and review podcast also includes all sorts of meta comments, backed up by regular interjections of sources from Steven Moffat and others involved with the programme.

CREDITS:
Neo
Tomtit
Bryn Mitchell
Wholigan
Edited by Neo

SOURCES:

Moffat, Steven. “Series 2 ‘Making of’ Documentary.” Press Gang, 03:35-03:46. Beyond Home Entertainment, 2009. DVD.

Sawalha, Julia and Steven Moffat. Audio commentary. Press Gang, series 2, episode 1: Breakfast at Czar’s, 06:00-08:10. 1990. Beyond Home Entertainment, 2009. DVD.

Hastie, Sandra C. “Series 2 ‘Making of’ Documentary.” Press Gang, 02:48-03:00. Beyond Home Entertainment, 2009. DVD.

Rudd, Lewis. “Series 2 ‘Making of’ Documentary.” Press Gang, 02:48-03:00. Beyond Home Entertainment, 2009. DVD.

Moffat, Steven. “Press Gang: How Steven Moffat’s First Show Shaped a Generation.” Interview by Rosie Fletcher. Den of Geek, 29 May 2020, https://www.denofgeek.com/tv/press-gang-how-steven-moffats-first-show-shaped-a-generation/

Moffat, Steven. “Series 2 ‘Making of’ Documentary.” Press Gang, 10:47-11:03. Beyond Home Entertainment, 2009. DVD.

Moffat, Steven. “Series 2 ‘Making of’ Documentary.” Press Gang, 05:54-06:02. Beyond Home Entertainment, 2009. DVD.

Sawalha, Julia and Steven Moffat. Audio commentary. Press Gang, series 2, episode 13: The Big Finish, 03:34-04:07. 1990. Beyond Home Entertainment, 2009. DVD.

Davies, Russell T. “Episode 1 – Russell T Davies – Red Production Company Podcast.” Interview by Jason Williams. Red Production Company Podcast, 25 Jun. 2019, 13:45-14:30, 15:23-15:43, https://youtu.be/SFtWqAAFzPs

Moffat, Steven. “Series 2 ‘Making of’ Documentary.” Press Gang, 08:28-08:36. Beyond Home Entertainment, 2009. DVD.

Sawalha, Julia and Steven Moffat. Audio commentary. Press Gang, series 2, episode 1: Breakfast at Czar’s, 19:58-20:30. 1990. Beyond Home Entertainment, 2009. DVD.

Moffat, Steven. “The DWM Interview.” Doctor Who Magazine, vol. 500, 26 May 2016, p. 61.

Moffat, Steven. “Interview: Steven Moffat.” BBC: Cult, 20 Jul. 2004, http://bbc.adactio.com/cult/news/cult/2004/07/20/13052.shtml

“Off Cuts goes to Edinburgh.” Broadcast Now, 26 Aug. 2008. Internet Archive. https://web.archive.org/web/20090202085449/http://www.broadcastnow.co.uk/news/2008/08/off_cuts_goes_to_eldinburgh.html;jsessionid=A33CE4A4634AC26D50D1371FEB85FC0D

@StevenWMoffat (Steven WMoffat) and @JuliaSawalha1 (Julia Sawalha). “Lovely interview with my old friend @JuliaSawalha1…” Twitter, 26 May 2020, twitter.com/StevenWMoffat/status/1265230098149621761

Godfrey, Alex. “Dexter Fletcher: ‘Alan Rickman gave so much to me. He was a real friend’.” The Guardian, 28 Mar. 2016, https://www.theguardian.com/film/2016/mar/28/eddie-the-eagle-director-dexter-fletcher-on-alan-rickman

Sawalha, Julia and Steven Moffat. Audio commentary. Press Gang, series 2, episode 1: Breakfast at Czar’s, 21:13-22:01. 1990. Beyond Home Entertainment, 2009. DVD.

Sawalha, Julia and Steven Moffat. Audio commentary. Press Gang, series 2, episode 6: At Last a Dragon, 03:31-03:39, 07:27-07:55, 22:55-23:25. 1990. Beyond Home Entertainment, 2009. DVD.

Sawalha, Julia and Steven Moffat. Audio commentary. Press Gang, series 2, episode 1: Breakfast at Czar’s, 03:34-04:28. 1990. Beyond Home Entertainment, 2009. DVD.

TIMECODES:

0:00 Intro
2:09 Why is the show still popular?
6:17 Genesis of Press Gang
8:24 Thoughts on Lynda
16:00 Adulthood, Colin, & series issues
25:26 Normal and special episodes
29:02 Work as fulfilment
33:19 Is love enough? + Spike/Lynda relationship
40:25 Moffat’s life: writing what you know
47:04 Moffat, Lynda, sexism, & feminism
50:19 Thoughts on Kenny
52:15 Kenny & Sam
54:39 Thoughts on Spike, & comedy
59:48 Visuals, unreality, & Bob Spiers’ direction
1:07:15 Honesty vs pragmatism
1:11:07 ‘Something Terrible’, & ‘issue’ episodes
1:18:51 The finale, spite, & creative freedom
1:24:08 A potential sequel
1:27:19 Behind the scenes
1:31:31 Sequel feasibility
1:33:10 Colonel X, & Doctor Who connections
1:38:36 Favourite episodes
1:46:09 Attitudes towards the past, cast changes
1:51:44 Technology, & other Moffat shows
1:56:17 Conclusions: how we became fans

2 thoughts on “Press Gang 📰 Discussion & Review Podcast | Steven Moffat TV

  1. Elizabeth Windsor Dec 25, 2020 / 10:38 AM

    Dear Sir/ Madam,

    I have not watched press gang. I have no intention of watching Press Gang. I will not watch Press Gang.

    Instead, I am writing to express my dismay, stupefaction and horror at someone (probably Neo), in this Podcast, expressing the opinion that Doctor Who series 9 was good.

    My partner is in Hospital – so, my nerves are frazzled at the moment, and I cannot withstand such reckless and hurtful lies. I spend all day worrying about her. She says that I shouldn’t but I do. The worst thing is, I only got to see her for 5 minutes during the last visiting hour. According to the officious orderly, who reprimanded me, visiting hours are only for patients not staff.

    Series 9 is not good, it is bad.

    Now, it’s true that Doctor Who has been on a downward trajectory for a while – in my opinion, since ‘An Unearthly Child’. But series 9 was just awful, atrocious and downright bad. In fact, it was so abhorrent I nearly opted for purchasing regular HD rather than the Blu-rays.

    In protest, I tweeted Steven Moffat a video art piece called ‘Series 9: A Portrait of Woe’. It included footage of me: stamping my feet, shouting, crying (with snot) and throwing myself on the bed. The message seems to have gotten through, as series 10 was an improvement on series 9.

    When my partner comes home from work, we are going to record a counter podcast – fact checking this one. For starters; it will be called ‘Which one of you cares?’ correcting the wilfully ignorant grammar of your podcast title.

    But there would be no need to do this, if you would kindly put a 10-15 minute disclaimer at the end of your podcast – explaining that your liking for series 9 was just a deeply sick joke.

    I mean, do you want to live in a world where people wantonly lie to each other on the internet? No, I thought not.

    Kind regards,

    Mrs E. Windsor

    P.S. Please keep doing what your doing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Who Cares? Jan 6, 2021 / 11:51 PM

      I appreciate your passion, Elizabeth, and send your partner all my well wishes.

      You expressed your opinion that the show has been going downhill since An Unearthly Child. An understandable view. However I must question whether you refer to the original pilot (to this fan’s mind, the highest the show ever peaked), or the broadcast version, the toothless version, that laboured second attempt with the edges filed off that you can find on DVDs and other home releases. If you indeed refer to the latter, I suggest your estimation of the show’s trajectory may be a tad charitable.

      I will take your other various comments into consideration. Perfecting the wording of the disclaimer you request may take a few years, but it’s on the list.

      All the best, and I hope the various Who Cares offerings continue to keep, well if not pleased, then at least entertained, or engaged.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s