When the scripts for the eighth series of Doctor Who were accidentally leaked online recently, Whovians worldwide rallied desperately to stop people from spreading spoilers, demonstrating that not everyone wants to know what’s going to happen before they see it.
Here are five more script leaks that caused a bit of a storm but a lot less damage than they might have done…
1. The Hateful Eight
Django Unchained fans were delighted to learn that Tarantino was to follow up with another traditional Western, Hateful Eight. But earlier this year, he was forced to put his plans on hold when his script mysteriously landed in the wrong hands.
Tarantino claims he only gave the Hateful Eight script to six other people, but when he started getting calls from agents pitching clients for roles from the script, he was left feeling, well, pretty hateful. “I don’t know how these f**king agents work, but I’m not making this [film] next.”
After filing two lawsuits against Gawker Media, which published links to the scripts on its website, Tarantino suddenly dismissed the second lawsuit in April. He then did a live one-off reading from the script at Los Angeles’ Theatre at the Ace Hotel, and still plans to release the film, so no hard feelings then eh, Quentin?
2. Coronation Street
Events played out more like an episode of Jeremy Kyle when Michelle Keegan Tweeted a photo which inadvertently revealed a crucial plot twist.
The photo was of Keegan’s co-star Jack P Shepherd, who plays David Platt, smoking a shisha pipe during a filming break in 2013 with the incriminating script on the table beside him. It reportedly showed DNA test results revealing the father of Kylie Platt’s child.
Keegan quickly removed the photo when she realised her error, but not before eagle-eyed tweeters had captured the photo and retweeted it.
Some fans are skeptical that the blurry text on the snapped scripts was even legible, and Michelle’s early damage control stopped the spoiler reaching more than the initial handful of amused tweeters.
3. Breaking Bad
Both the makers and fans of AMC’s Breaking Bad were holding their breath last year when scripts for the final series were stolen from the car of actor Bryan Cranston, who plays chemistry teacher turned methamphetamine manufacturer Walter White.
Cranston’s stolen iPad was recovered, with two scripts actually deleted from its memory, but one missing hard copy of a script was never recovered.
Luckily, whoever took it didn’t ruin any surprises, and the series ending was, according to Cranston, “fitting, in a ‘Breaking Bad’ way”, which we all know by now means lots of people dying.
4. The Office Christmas Special
A blunder with a cringe-inducing magnitude akin to awkward boss David Brent‘s onscreen antics saw the script for the 2003 Christmas special disastrously land on the wrong doorstep.
Instead of being sent to a BBC technician, the script somehow landed on the doorstep of Essex beauty technician Joanne Hiley.
When rumours spread that Hiley was prepared to sell them to the highest bidding newspaper, Ricky Gervais beseeched newspapers not to publish any spoilers, and a BBC spokeswoman said, “We hope that no one would want to spoil for everyone what is an eagerly anticipated climax to a much-loved show.”
Thankfully, Hiley kept the scripts under wraps, and we weren’t forced to peek at our Christmas gift before the clock struck midnight.
5. Doctor Who
Yep, the recent leaked Doctor Who scripts that have sparked a Twitter hubbub amongst Whovians aren’t the first that have sneakily slipped the net.
Last year, student Hannah Durham was in a taxi with friends when she came across the script of The Last Cyberman written by Neil Gaimain, believed to have been left by an actress working on the series. But instead of rushing home to post spoilers online or show the script friends, Durham headed straight to the BBC studios in Cardiff to return the scripts, without taking the smallest peek at the content.
Gaiman himself tweeted his thanks to her, saying, “A world-sized pat on the back to Hannah”, and tweets from Whovians alike flooded in to express appreciation.
Here’s hoping anyone who comes across the scripts for the upcoming series will graciously take a leaf out of Hannah Durham’s book…