- Series: Running Through Corridors series (Book 1)
- Paperback: 336 pages
- Publisher: Mad Norwegian Press; 1 edition (December 14, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1935234064
- ISBN-13: 978-1935234067
- Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 0.9 x 8.9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 8 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,942,627 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Running Through Corridors: Rob and Toby's Marathon Watch of Doctor Who (Volume 1: The 60s) (Running Through Corridors series) Paperback – December 14, 2010
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About the Author
Robert Shearman is the World Fantasy Award-winning, Hugo-nominated author of the episode Dalek for the BATA-winning Doctor Who series. He has received several international awards for his theatre work. Toby Hadoke's one-man comedy show, Moths Ate My Doctor Who Scarf, toured internationally following a West End run, sell out performances at The Edinburgh Fringe, and a Sony-nominated radio series.
Top customer reviews
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It is a daunting task that runs, according to the book, from January 1st ("An Unearthly Child") through May 7th ("The War Games"). It is surprising, in fact, that they seem up to the task. Not a day slips by, no matter what else is going on in their lives, where they don't get the job done. It's impressive; particularly because so much video from this era had been lost and our authors are often forced to rely on audio recordings and telesnaps.
As for the text, there's a lot to like here. The thing I enjoy most is that they've made it a point that this is an "appreciation" of the show. They are going to make a concerted effort to stay positive and, despite the occasional lapse into (generally fair) criticism, they achieve their goal. Unlike some writers who seem, despite their claim to fandom, not to like the show much (I looking at you Tat Wood), Shearman and Hadoke keep an upbeat tone. I especially like their appreciation of Troughton--who I also like a lot. It's a pleasure to read this.
It should also be said that Shearman and Hadoke are very informative. They are both quite knowledgeable about the show and there are interesting tidbits in almost every entry. In fact, it's a bit overwhelming for someone not as "in the know" as they are. I couldn't read the book straight through. It was too much. I basically made it through at the rate of a story per day. I was able to absorb much more that way.
It's not a perfect experience in other ways as well. Occasionally our authors get a bit chatty, with as many asides and personal anecdotes that get in the way as add something to the text. For example, I have little interest in the relationship of the Target novelizations to the episodes. I also found it difficult to follow some of the stories since I know little about the ones that don't exist in video form. However, it's a small price to pay for what is, overall, an excellent read.
Within a couple years, all the existing stories will be out on DVD. When that happens, my personal collection will be complete and I intend to watch all the shows in order myself. I thank Mr. Shearman and Mr. Hadoke for leading the way. I'm looking forward to volume 2.
I like the remit: to find the positive things about classic Who, even when they might be difficult to perceive. Toby and Rob balance and complement each other's viewpoints quite well and manage to see (and convey to the reader) nuances in each episode that are usually overlooked by viewers and reviewers. The details they cover in each episode range from episode titles to the acting to music and sound, set design, camera angles... and more. With an exhaustive knowledge not only of the programme and its production but also long-established fan attitudes and series lore, they manage to balance all the factors into a true appreciation of every single episode(!) without simply gushing uncritically.
It's a lot of fun and I can imagine referring back to the tome a lot in the future when watching episodes from the 60s. I really look forward to the other volumes.
Beyond this, they're both very erudite gentlemen, with Hadoke particularly being hilarious. The book is such an easy read, yet is wonderfully dense. 'Doctor Who' fandom can be a perilous planet at times, filled with bitter grumbling fans spewing bile across the internet (yet probably, in real life, milquetoast accountants from the suburbs) and so many people determined to defend their own era while maligning all else. So it's nice to see two gentlemen who aren't deluded about the vicissitudes of the series, yet adore this programme, and understand and appreciate the series even when it isn't at its finest. (And, it must be said, the new 'Who' series - with months of filming per episode, and endless rewrites - has a luxury not afforded the '60s producers, where they were producing an entire 25-minute tale in one week.)
Minor flaws: a) occasionally (very occasionally) the book can become a little insular, where jokes are made that will phase anyone who isn't a devoted fanboy. Although one could argue that few such types will read this books. B) Far more importantly: b) an unusual - and infuriating - stylistic choice that should never have happened. Titles - be they of episodes, serials or programmes as a whole - are not italicised, underlined or encased in quotation marks. This can become confusing enough when a story title is the same as the title of a villain or place in the episode, but it becomes even more confusing when a tangent discusses a film or book you haven't heard of!
But those really are minor flaws. It should be pointed out that there are no synopses included, which is fine for most of us - and probably a safer option from a legal standpoint - but means that viewers who aren't overly familiar with the '60s episodes may want to grab an online plot summary (or just watch the damn episodes!) Aside from that, I'm eagerly awaiting volume 2. Very eagerly.