Husband Who Lives In Hope brings through the wine. I cart a collection of biscuits and chocolates that would make Willy Wonka barf.

We settle down in front of the TV to watch the latest episode of Messiah.

A very sexy Mark Warren struts gloomily through numerous religiously themed crime scenes.

'Do you think,' asks Husband Who Lives In Hope, 'that he ever notices that all his cases are a bit similar?'

Mark inspects a pair of blood stained hands forced to pray for eternity.

Husband Who Lives In Hope stuffs down a coffee cream. 'Surely he thinks to himself -- not another serial killer who believes himself to be in commune with the almighty! That's three this week.'

I nod solemly, my mouth crammed with hazlenut twirls. I've had the same thoughts about my own 'franchise'.

When Damaged Goods was still a tatty script fighting for air in the slush pile, my agent brought up the issue of a series. I gave it due consideration - or I would have but we met at BAFTA and I was so excited at having ( wrongly) spotted Clive Owen at the bar that I agreed to at least three books.

'I mean,' says Husband Who Lives In Hope, 'how long can the writer keep doing the same thing?'

'That depends,' I muse while tussling for the last twix, 'on whether the writer can keep the idea fresh. If he can keep things exciting while staying within given parameters then there's nothing stopping him doing it as frequently as he physically can.'

It is Husband Who Lives In Hope's turn to nod solemly. 'Just like sex,' he says. 'Only more often.'

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