We’re sorry, Mr. Brown, but since “Wishbone®” is a childrens’ show intended to educate and entertain youngsters, there is no conscionable way we can air the recently-penned episode. While “Wishbone®” scripts of the past have featured dark themes and preserved unhappy endings, your adaptation of “Titus Andronicus” goes too far. Admittedly, if it were merely faithful to the original text we might have just gone ahead with it, but your gratuitous incorporation of the Spanish Inquisition into its overbearing plot does not meet the needs of this network at this time.
We understand that, in the weeks following former writer Susan Chick’s “retirement”, you have been hard-pressed to finish the requested episodes alone, but you have stretched the bounds of our forgiveness. This incident hearkens back to your infamously red-lit “Nineteen-eighty four-paws”, wherein Wishbone played a confessor for Miniluv. This prospective episode featured Wishbone gleefully torturing the book’s hero, Winston Smith, and made frequent adoring references to Stalin, Mussolini, Carter, and other confirmed fascists. This past blunder now fits a larger pattern of scripts you have written that have been simply unacceptable.
Further, we realize that Chick’s unanticipated departure may have caused you some distress, but there was no need to openly reference this in the new episode. In Lavinia’s rape scene, Wishbone (who is doing the raping, I might add) calls Chick out by name, adding, “You’re next, bitch!” He later justifies this by explaining to Quintus that a circle of vengeful acts would clear out the “bad blood”, “as proven by the original text of Titus Andronicus.” What I really don’t understand is why, after explaining this, he also rapes Quintus. Deviations from the text are to be expected, but can we please try to keep them within the realm of believability? What could Titus’s motivation possibly have been for assaulting his own son? When you resubmit the script, please address this issue and give him a reason. (Say, for instance, that Quintus was asking for it? Sorry, just thinking out loud, not trying to tell you how to do your job…)
Also, I thought you should know that one of our interns quit when she read what you sent us. She pointed out to me that every time there’s a rape scene (and hoooo, are there a lot or what!), regardless of which character is the perpetrator, Wishbone always takes a hold of his fantasy world and makes it him. I admit I never noticed the quick changes of who Wishbone plays, since they require a careful reading of the text, and that’s what interns are for, eh? But the correlation is disturbing, although I maintain the hope that it is coincidental.
Next, let me address the stage direction that is causing such a furor over here at the studio. When Lavinia is attacked by Tamora’s sons, you wrote the following action:
Chiron and Demetrius cut off Lavinia’s hands.
[Note to Director: Actually cut off actress’s hands.]