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Doctor Who: The Writer's Tale ("Doctor Who") (Doctor Who (BBC Paperback)) Paperback – March 10, 2010
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This book is a treasury of wit, of truthfulness, and of good sound storytelling sense, and well worth stealing from,The Doctor Who Annual for adults,You can douse all the other books about Who in lighter fuel and spark up your Zippo - this is all you need
About the Author
Russell T Davies is one of the UK's foremost writers of television drama, creating groundbreaking shows such as Queer As Folk, Bob & Rose, and The Second Coming. He has been Head Writer and Executive Producer of Doctor Who since it returned to the BBC in 2005 and has written many of the new series' most memorable episodes. He was awarded an OBE in 2008 for services to drama. He divides his time between Cardiff and Manchester. Benjamin Cook is a journalist and regular contributor to Radio Times and Doctor Who Magazine. He has also been published in TV Zone, Cult Times and The Stage and is the author of Doctor Who: The New Audio Adventures - The Inside Story. He lives in London.
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Top Customer Reviews
Davies' enthusiasm is infectious, and I admire his passion for a show that has, over the course of a half century, become a British national treasure. Even if you are a fan of only the classic era of DW (and I am a fan of both old and new), this book is a worthy thing to add to your collection of 'Who stuff.
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."
Come On! It is a brilliant read from start to finish, a Whovian's dream and so refreshing for anyone coming out of the nightmare era of Moffat. (Let the reign of Chibnall begin! I am so fearful of 2017.)
Seriously though, to get inside the man's head, to hear his thoughts and for all the behind the scenes information straight from the unicorn's mouth (you didn't think RTD would be anything less than an unicorn did you?!)... is genious.
I highly recommend this book!
This book is (despite RTD's worries it would happen) a wonderful guide to writers of all stripes, especially screenwriters. It shows the writer's mind and common angst and joys.
For the Whovian there are wonderful alternative stories and some that never got on the screen. For writers there are commiserations and pointers from RTD. For those struggling with self-acceptance there is RTD's candid experience as a homosexual. For psychologists there are deeper issues common to humanity.
A brilliant book and must read.
The oddest bit is that after reading it, one actually has the feeling of missing him as if he were a personal friend because he says so much about himself so candidly.
One note: In the Kindle/Kindle app version there are errors where links don't work because the old scripts and other references don't work but you can Google for those scripts. Just don't use the hyperlinks in the book.
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.