Malcolm in the Middle:
Wednesday's Child (Is Full of Woe)
The Concept The Treatment and the Spec Script
The TV sitcom struck a chord with me straight away, partly because it suits my sense of humor, and partly because - in the early days - Frankie Muñiz and Erik Per Sullivan lived in my building, and they are both really nice guys.  The fame will inevitably go to their head but at least I knew them when they were nice kids :)

Some of the events in this episode came out of personal experience.  The best advice is: write what you know - so I wrote what I knew.

Sesame seed baps gave me the most unpleasant experience when I tried thawing a couple in my microwave, just as my landlady asked me to do a tiny chore for her.  I put the microwave on for about 5 minutes (the smallest setting on my cheapo model), intending to stop the process after 30 seconds.

The chore took longer than I thought it would, and when I returned, the microwave had stopped.  I couldn't see a thing inside - it was all grey and smokey - so I did the daft thing and opened the door.

Worst thing I ever did.  The smoke was like tear gas, blinding me instantly and making me choke uncontrollably.  I stumbled out of the room, washed my eyes in the bathroom sink, then ventured back inside my room.

There wasn't a huge amount of smoke, but what there was made me gag and my eyes water.  I opened the windows (and this was in Winter in Oxford) and let the fresh air do its job.

That job took almost twelve hours...

The stink took days to go, despite cans of air freshener and lots of time spent with a howling gale blasting in from outside.

The atomic absorption spectrophotometer?  I used to work with them, and although I never set fire to one, I knew people who did...

The rest of the incidents arose out of the knowledge I have of the characters by 2001 (they changed, not always for the better) and some more "What if...?" thinking on my part.

The treatment is no longer available on WriteSafe but it is available here, and a formal spec script is now available on WriteSafe and here.

Last updated: June 2, 2002

Peter Brooks

© PC Consulting 2002