Harry Potter v The Living And The Dead

I read an interesting post by Shelley Wilson today, where Shelley explains why the author J. K. Rowling has been such a big influence and inspiration in her life.

An avid fan of the Harry Potter books, I could see why Shelley chose J.K Rowling, but it wasn’t only those books which influenced her. She goes on to say that J.K inspires her because of her attitude more than anything else. You can read Shelley’s post by clicking here.

This got me thinking as to who inspires and influences me. I’m not a fan of the Harry Potter books, although I have enjoyed some of the movies but, like Shelley, I think the way J.K Rowling made her way into the writing world, with all her determination, is something everyone admires.

I take a different route when it comes to who inspires and influences me and my writing and, in a comment to Shelley, for me it’s those little unknown writers who create the excellent and ‘not to miss’ Television dramas most of us enjoy watching.

One such series I’ve recently thoroughly enjoyed watching is ‘The Living And The Dead‘, which came to the end of its run on the BBC on 2nd August 2016. Now just about anything that has a supernatural theme will appeal to me, but what influenced and inspired me most about ‘The Living & The Dead’, was the writing. Yes, the stories, plots, and characters also influenced me, but I was blown away by the sheer magic of how the show had been written. I’m not going to spoil the plot for anyone who has yet to watch ‘The Living And The Dead’, but the end of the series is one of the most memorable pieces of writing I have ever witnessed. Let’s just say that I was gobsmacked!

‘The Living And The Dead’ was created and written by Ashley Pharoah and Matthew Graham. Say those names, along with J.K Rowling, to most people and I would bet that over 90% of  people would know the name J.K Rowling, but that hardly anybody would know who Ashley Pharoah and Matthew Graham are. I guess many screenwriters are much like indie authors in not being well known, but they will probably earn far more money.

Some of the actors even claimed that the house the show was filmed in was haunted. Click here for details.

Pharoah and Graham were also responsible for, amongst other things, the hit TV series ‘Life on Mars’ which first aired on the BBC back in 2006. They’ve been around a long time, created and written some wonderful shows, yet I’ve never seen them being interviewed.

That takes me on to my final point. In her post, Shelley says how she’d love to be able to interview J.K Rowling (and who wouldn’t?) but for me, it would have to be Ashley Pharoah and Matthew Graham. I’ve no doubt that many more people would read Shelley’s interview rather than my interview, but if Ashley Pharoah and Matthew Graham are reading this, can I please interview you both for my blog?

Who inspires and influences you and your writing? Have you watched ‘The Living And The Dead’? If so, did you enjoy it as much as I did? Who would be your dream person to interview?

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.


© 2016 Copyright-All rights reserved-hughsviewsandnews.com.

Author: Hugh W. Roberts

My name is Hugh. I live in the city of Swansea, South Wales, in the United Kingdom. My blog covers a wide range of subjects, the most popular of which are my blogging tips posts. If you have any questions about blogging or anything else, please contact me by clicking on the 'Contact Hugh' button on the menu bar. Click on the 'Meet Hugh' button on the menu bar to learn more about me and my blog.

61 thoughts

  1. Reblogged this on Eric's blog and commented:
    For my final rebolg, a blog that has been my favorite but I have managed to lose touch with. I’ve just found him again and come across this piece of heresy that may turn me from a follower to a troll. Despite his lack of appreciation for great literature, Hugh is one of the best bloggers out there and always worth a read.

  2. How can you not love Harry Potter? Hugh I’m shocked and just a little disappointed! I agree thou the living and the dead was great, recently watched the whole thing on I-player.

    In answer to your question Harry Potter both her story and the detailed plots that weave themselves through all seven books. Also the Wizard of Earthsea by Urula LeQinn.

    1. I thought I might get in trouble with you about this post, Eric. I had a sneaky feeling you were away writing a book, hence I thought ‘let’s publish it now before Eric gets back.’ 😀 I guess I’m one of those odd few who hasn’t taken to Harry and friends. I did try reading the books, but at least I have watched some of the movies (if only for seeing Julie Walters, whom I love dearly).

      Thanks for the reblog, and I do hope the book is going well. I’m scheduled to publish mine on 10th December and have been having a break from blogging as well. Still lots of work to do, but I’m enjoying the experience.

      1. I’m ploughing through the re-writes mine will not be ready until next year. Don’t take this the wrong way but I’ve been looking into a lot where self publishing goes wrong, have you got an editor?

        1. There’s so much support and advice from fellow self-publishing Authors on here, that I haven’t had to worry about going down the self-publishing route. It’s the only guaranteed way of getting your book published. Providing you don’t rush it and take on board all the great advice and tips (like ensuring it has been professionally editored), then nobody should be able to come back to you with a bad review that slates you for all the spelling, grammar, and punctuation mistakes. Yes, I’ve got a great Editor and can put you in touch with her if you like?

  3. I have the boxed set of Life on Mars, and it contains interviews with Messrs Pharoah and Graham. Obviously, the interviews were about that series, but it does give an interesting insight to what inspired them. Is this another shared topic of conversation for us? We’re going to need a Bash of our own some time!

      1. No, I didn’t, Hugh. I don’t seem to have much time for watching TV just lately. But it might be worth hooking the laptop up to it and watching iPlayer – I had heard some good things about it even before your post.

        1. I watched the whole six episodes via the iPlayer, Graeme. Be prepared for some brilliant writing, acting and plots. How the series ended was truly spectacular and it took a while 10 minutes to unravel. I was gobsmacked! Wish I had written it, but it has inspired me.

  4. Please don’t tell anyone but I have not read any Harry Potter or seen any of the film’s! I with you Hugh I loved the living and the dead, and for that matter life on Mars and all that followed! Can I be your assistant at the Ashley Pharoah and Mathew Graham interview!

    1. Your secret is safe with me, Willow. I think I can guarantee that. 😀

      Yes, thank you for your offer of help. I’m still waiting for the phone to ring but, every time it does, it’s somebody telling me that my Windows computer is infected with a virus. Don’t they know I have an iMac? I keep telling them, but they keep calling me back 😀 Apologies if you are trying to get through Mr Pharoah and Mr Graham.

  5. I haven’t read the Harry Potter books and only seen snippets of the films but I do hugely admire JK for her ability to build unforgettable characters. You certainly don’t need to be a dedicated fan to know who Hagrid is or have heard of the game of quidditch! I have read the three books so far in the Cormoran Strike series ( written as Robert Galbraith)and, for me, each story has been slightly underwhelming and yet the characters of Cormoran and his sidekick Robin already have me hooked. This, I think, is JK’s genius.
    On TV I was enthralled by the character development in Breaking Bad. The young waster, Jesse and the respected ( and terminally ill) teacher, Walter -who could have thought how that relationship would turn out, the two of them dedicated and yet hating one another at the same time, or how the supporting characters would be influenced by their actions. I thought the writing was superb.
    Incidentally, I think the spin-off series, Better Call Saul is also very well written.
    I haven’t seen The Living and the Dead but I too love a bit of the spooky stuff if it is well done and will definitely take your recommendation and check it out!

    1. Thank you for your comments, Wendy.

      I agree with you about J.K Rowling. She’s a wonderful writer (even though I gave up on Harry Potter), but do you think her characters, such as Hagrid, and quidditch are only well-known because of the publicity they have had? I really do admire what she has achieved and think she will be an inspiration to many who I hope will follow in her footsteps.

      It’s good to hear that somebody else agrees with me about screenwriters. I’ve never watched ‘Breaking Bad.’ Who were the screenwriters and have they written anything else you’ve also enjoyed? Is ‘Better Call Saul’ also written by the same people?

      I hope you do enjoy ‘The Living And The Dead.’ I think it’s one of the best TV dramas the BBC has ever produced.

      1. Re Jk’s characters, of course I agree that the mega-huge publicity for everything Harry Potter has made her creations household names but I also think she has to be highly credited for the original ideas that got the ball rolling. Her detective series is quite brutal at times and not always, for me, consistently interesting but the characters are very good and she left them on a cliffhanger at the end of book 3 – very naughty!
        Re Breaking Bad – please watch! The writers I believe are Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould. If not for my son (grown up with kids of his own), who insisted it was so good, I doubt that I would have embarked on such a long series about a chemistry teacher who turns to making crystal-meth so that he can pay his hospital bills and secure his family’s future. But I did begin to watch and was so invested in the characters. It’s violent at times as you might expect, but the story of Walter, his family and friends is superb and takes on so many unexpected twists. And the young character, Jesse, who plays a vital role, also develops through many phases as the seasons progress. Better Call Saul, I am sure is written by the same team.
        Next up for me – The Living And the Dead! I’ll be sure to come back with my thoughts.
        And I read you have a book coming out – congrats and best wishes for that!

        1. Thank you very much, Wendy. I’ll certainly add ‘Breaking Bad’ to my ‘must watch’ list.
          Yes, I’m very excited about the book, although it’s not due to be published until December 10th.

  6. Sigh, so so many writer crushes. Love Joanna Penn and Angela Ackerman at the moment in terms of indies all my fave author, James howell also an indie. Other writers, JK obvs, Veronica Roth too, Richelle Mead basically a heap of YA writers.

    Awesome post Hugh

    1. Thanks, Sacha. Thanks to Shelley for inspiring me.

      A great choice of writers. I love how almost all of us tend to steer towards authors of the genres we love.

      P.S – You’re commented went to my WordPress spam folder. No idea why. What have you been up to Ms.Black? 😀

      1. Ooh but let’s have a virtual sip before you do that! LOL! I just published book 3 in my detectives series and am just as excited each time I press publish! Excited for you too! Best wishes and let me know when you want to be on my blog to promote it. 😘

  7. Hi Hugh. I would loved to have interviewed Isaac Asimov. I have never seen such a prolific writer in both fiction and non-fiction. Of those authors still alive, I think I would interview Orson Scott Card. He has a wonderful imagination and a great talent for writing. His characters are always vivid, exciting, flawed, and appealing.

  8. Hi Hugh,
    Thanks for dropping by my site today and “liking” my linky party. It was good to see you.
    I am a Harry Potter fan and find Rowling influential, Stephen King as well.

  9. I have to say I have not heard of Ashley Pharoh and Matthew Graham, Hugh. I am inspired by poets and writers such as Pam Ayres and the late and great, Victoria Wood. Those that focus on the ‘ordinary’ people and the banalities of life.
    I also love Stephen Fry, his dry wit and intelligence is something that I would love to have even one tenth of!

  10. I haven’t seen (or heard of) those shows! Sorry, Hugh. Maybe they’re not readily available here in the US. Darn. I do think that there are some great tv writers and it’s actually easy to tell which ones are clicking. I have lots of authors who provide inspiration. Ah, to write like that *sigh*. Glad to hear from the comments that your book is coming along! Exciting news 😀

    1. That’s interesting Diana, as BBC America were partly responsible for producing ‘The Living And the Dead’. Hopefully, it will come to a TV screen near you very soon. 😀
      Thanks for the encouragement about the book. I’m like a kid in a sweet shop about it.

      1. I’m not much of a tv watcher, so maybe it is available over here. I’ll have to look. Sounds like it would be worth it. And enjoy the book excitement – authors put in so much work, a little glee is well-deserved 🙂

  11. Love your perspective Hugh. There is so much out there in the reading and TV world that we will certainly always overlook. It’s great when readers and viewers can spot a gem. 🙂 xo

    1. Thanks, Debby, and I agree about those gems in the screenwriting world often being overlooked. We need to promote them every now and again. Who know? If we do, then maybe they will promote us, indie authors, every now and again? I’ve always believed TV being one of the most strongest marketing tools. Pity, it’s way out of our budgets.

      1. I so agree with you Hugh on all counts. If we continue to share and promote other’s works, indeed I think it will be reciprocated. Do keep us posted on your book debut and I’d love to have you over to my blog sharing as a guest to promote. ❤

        1. Oh, I’ve every confidence in Esther. She came highly recommended to me and I’m really enjoying working with her. Thanks, Erika. It’s great to be back, even if it is only temporary.

    1. As I’ve grown older I got more and more scared of watching certain programmes and movies, Mary. However, I thoroughly enjoyed ‘The Living And The Dead’ and it didn’t scare me that much. It was the way each episode had been written that kept me glued to it. Writing at its very best. I hope you enjoy it.

  12. Interesting question, Hugh. Sounds like you are in the thick of getting you book ready to go – an exciting time. Hard to find just one or two people who have inspired me – maybe Craig Johnson, the Montana writer who is the author of the Longmire series. I’ve met him twice, and he just eats life – an incredible sense of humor and really outgoing.

    1. I love your quote about Craig Johnson, Noelle. ‘He eats life’ – I love it. He sounds an incredible inspiration. Must have been great to meet him. I hope I get to meet Ashley and Matthew because I’d have so many questions for them. I’ve never been as passionate about a TV programme before, but their writing of ‘The Living And The Dead’ was amazing.

      My editor has been in touch and I’ll have the book back soon with all the corrections and suggestions. I’m just starting to get to work on the book cover. Hopefully, it will be ready by the end of August, but I’m determined not to rush anything given I’m not publishing the book until December 10th.

    1. Hi Teagan 😀

      No, not quite back yet. I’m waiting for my book to come back from my editor, the book cover is being designed and, when I read Shelley’s post, I was inspired to write this post. Once the book is back with me, I’ll be away again for a while but should be back to blogging full time at the beginning of September. 😀

      I hope all is well with you?

  13. Ha ha, this is brilliant, Hugh, and HUGE thank you for the mention. I would definitely read your interview with Pharoah and Graham as I find the art of writing TV dramas quite intriguing. I was (and still am) a huge fan of Joss Whedon (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) and loved the way he took a story arc and ran with it over 22 episodes. Great post 🙂

    1. Oh, you’re welcome, Shelly. As soon as I read your post the idea came to me. Glad you enjoyed it.
      Thank you so much for the inspiration to write this post. I’ve been wanting to write about ‘The Living And The Dead’ and your post was just what I needed to write the post.

Join the discussion by leaving me a comment

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

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.