It's always a treat to discover a new sitcom. Sometimes you stumble across them on TV, sometime they're recommended to you by a friend, and sometimes, very rarely, the creator of the show sends you, out of the blue, a DVD of it. All the way from Australia. Then, as if that weren't enough, you realise you know someone who's in it. Ladies and gentlemen, say hello to your new favourite sitcom, Outland.
The way it happened was, before we announced the Sci Fi Sitcom Trials, the Scottish Falsetto Socks had decided their next show will be a Sci Fi themed show and put out the call for subject matter they should tackle. Many films & TV shows were suggested, a dozen of which have made it into the Socks 2013 Calender (order it now, ideal for Christmas). And one suggestion came up that I hadn't heard of, namely Outland.
And no sooner had I said "I don't know what that is" on Facebook, then up popped none other than the co-author himself, John Richards, who offered, totally unbidden, to send me a DVD. From Australia. Which he then did, and which I just received. I'm only one episode in and it's already got me.
It's a sitcom about a bunch of geeks who are fans of sci fi shows, in particular Doctor Who. And they're Australian. And gay. Is there any part of it not to like yet? And it gets better. Because I realised from the cover that the co-star and co-author Adam Richard was in The Sitcom Trials, back in 2002. Only briefly but, by golly, he was, making him an official Sitcom Trials alumnus. (The tale of the legendary 2002 Edinburgh Fringe Sitcom Trials is a tale for another day, but don't worry, it will be told.)
So, your new favourite Sci Fi Sitcom is Outland, okay?
And, while we're on the subject, on Weds Nov 28th The Sitcom Trials presents a Sci Fi Special at the Camden Head in London, and you are invited to submit a script now.
As always scripts are invited to the Sitcom Trials
format of a 10 minute opening act ending in a cliffhanger with a short
payoff scene. We then perform the sitcoms up to the cliffhanger, the
audience votes for their favourite and only sees the ending of the
With this being a Science Fiction Special, we will be
taking advantage of our "radio style" presentation, encouraging writers
to tailor their sitcom entries for radio production. This enables you to
include any special effect you can imagine, as long as they can be
incorporated into the dialogue or very simple sound effects.
Writers are invited to upload their scripts to the SitsVac Files, where you will also find the guidelines regarding style, cast numbers etc. The deadline for uploading scripts is midnight Sat Nov 4th.
These scripts will then be voted on online by anyone
who wishes to participate. The deadline for voting is Sat Nov 17th. The
London team will then choose two or three of the most popular scripts to
perform as part of the show, the other items in the show being created
So if you want to have your sci-fi sitcom tested in
front of a live paying audience, get on board now and enter The Sitcom
Trials. Any questions, please ask at the Sits Vac Forum, or the British Comedy Guide Forum, or the Sitcom Trials Facebook page.
Kev F Sutherland
The Sitcom Trials
Nov 28 - Sitcom Trials Sci Fi Special, Camden Head, London