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Doctor Who: The Writer's Tale ("Doctor Who") (Doctor Who (BBC Paperback)) Paperback – March 10, 2010
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But - You also get to hear his inner most thoughts of procrastination, stress, the absolute passion he has for his characters, (every one of them that he has created) and the passion he has for writing. He talks of writing as if his head never turns off, and he even admits he would be writing whether or not he had a job on a tv show. He brings you into his passion and his excitement when he decides to kill off a character, or when he discusses why it all is for the good of the story.
The other half of the emails are by Benjamin Cook. He asks all the right questions at all the right times. I was almost surprised that when I asked something in my head, he would be right there asking the question and sometimes even asking a better one.
Russell doesn't want it to be a "how you should write" book, but he does teach you that the way you write is just wonderful and the love you have for writing and creating is the most important thing. There was so much advice in this book that I'm sure Russell didn't think he was giving but I'm glad he gave.
Though the book collects the seemingly unedited, largely unexpurgated email dialogue between Russell T Davies and journalist Benjamin Cook -- and as such may instill the apprehension that it will be a long-winded ramble (the print is small and it is a BIG, THICK book, and a coffee-table edition at that) -- it turns out to be a breathless and often un-put-downable read, akin to any of the classical philosophical exchanges of literature between mentor and student. Davies, despite being a telly populist at heart, is among the brightest, most articulate dramatists in the English speaking world, with a staggering analytical perception I'd liken only to a very few (such as Sondheim and Stoppard) and his thoughts and observations are passionate, funny, touching, instructive and provocative throughout. He makes it clear that he doesn't mean for his process to be regarded as any kind of template for everybody's process, but as with any great writer, the acquaintance is still well worth making. And there are full scripts represented too. Not only that, but among the profuse illustrations are many by Davies himself, who seems to be as gifted a cartoonist as he is a wordsmith.
Caveats? One, and it may be a big one.Read more ›
However, Amazon's listing is a bit confusing. The current listing makes it appear that there are two editions (hardcover and paperback) of the same book, which is not the case. The hardcover edition (THE WRITER'S TALE, published in 2008) is the beginning of the correspondence between Davies and Cook, dated between the winter of 2007 and the summer of 2008, and includes samples of scripts which were attached to that correspondence. The paperback (THE WRITER'S TALE: THE FINAL CHAPTER, published in 2010) includes all of the correspondence from the hardcover edition but eliminates the script samples. (They are moved to their website [..].) It picks up where the correspondence left off in the hardcover edition and continues till the summer of 2009. The illustrations overlap to a certain extent but not entirely. Oddly enough, Amazon's UK site makes this distinction perfectly clear.
Personally, I'm glad I have both editions, though I could wish that THE FINAL CHAPTER was also available in hardcover to make a nice pair. And what I would REALLY like is for Mr. Davies to dig into his memory and tell us about what happened before the books, all the way back to when he first started work on the resurrection (or is it regeneration) of "Doctor Who."
These e-mails radiate personality and huge insights into where the seeds of ideas germinated into the final product and some seeds just withered (i.e. Season 4's companion called "Penny").
Though I shouldn't be, I am amazed by the volume of Russell's text and how he seems so fearless and, at the same time, racked with doubt. You do feel the power of his love for television medium and his completely driven nature.
The writing process is something that cannot be described with a few pages or even a book but this book feels like it pushes around the edges so completely, you feel like you getting a glimmer of the forces that defines the product of the writing process.
Now, I agree that you should really be versed with Doctor Who TV lore and the universe created within the last 4 years - and more than a passing understanding of English colloquialisms. Just like the TV show, you will feel more impact if you understand the body of work that leads up to the present.
It is just great fun to peek into Russell's mind to see how he created one of the most enjoyable shows on TV (for me at least).
Now, I _wish_ they had also done this with Joss Whedon while he was doing Buffy, Angel and/or Firefly.
*sigh* Meanwhile, I'll be sated with this one.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It is an awesome look at Dr Who behind the scenes, and how the screen plays morphed into the episodes we know and lovePublished 12 days ago by Amy Seiden
If you are a fan of the RTD era especially David Tennant's Doctor then you have to read this. No if, and or buts. Read morePublished 2 months ago by jaclinhyde
A book by the man who saved "Doctor Who"?! The man who brought us Christopher Eccleston as the Ninth Doctor?! John Barrowman as Captain Jack Harkness?! Read morePublished 3 months ago by Ms.CanadaUSA
Really enjoyed this, although for me, I don't really care about doctor who at all (anymore). I just wanted to get into RTDs head, as he is one of the most brilliant... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Vini Sondhi
One of the most educational books on scriptwriting I've ever read. Instead of reading a bunch of "how-to" books, get in the mind of a real, working writer. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Sam Purdell
This is a fun book for Doctor Who fans, but its also a great primer for anyone who wants to be a writer. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Joshua v Frost
Best book I've read all in ages. Being inside the creative mind of Russel T. Davies is the next best thing to watching an episode of Doctor Who. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Roz Warren
I love autobiographies and this collection of emails and texts between Doctor Who rescuer/writer/show runner Russell T. Read morePublished 10 months ago by arieliondotcom
Being a fan of Doctor Who during RTD years, this book provided lots of insight into the writing process. It's funny, serious, entertaining and a joy to read. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Red Squirrel