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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 20 November 2000
I'm a huge fan of Doctor Who, and I loved the TV Movie. And it may have taken two publishers and nearly five years to get this "Making Of" book, but it was more than worth the wait!
As these types of books go, they're normally boring or dull affairs with all those pictures you've seen before with all those comments that have been printed before. But Regeneration goes deeper than that. The real surprise is how it manages to candidly open the lid on the most mysterious era of the long-running series, 1989 to 1996, when the series was pulled by the BBC.
The book itself is more of a lenghty diary by the Movie's producer Philip Segal, taking us from the day the series ended in December 1989, to the fall out from the broadcast of the Anglo-Amercian TV movie, starring Paul McGann. But far from wallowing in pity or self-congratualtion, Segal allows Gary Russell (long-term Who writer and TV MOvie novelist) to write longside him, giving a more journalitic analysis to Segal's thoughts. This is not the view of one man alone inside the production. Indeed, many other people comment along the was, including the director, Geoff Sax, and out-going Doctor, Sylvester McCoy.
So what does the book offer? Plenty that fans have NEVER seen or knew. There is around three years of pre-production images charting the projects development at Amblin and then Universal, including stunning artwork, potential location photos. It also exposes the years of BBC politics that until now, had remained secret. The three potential scripts and the "bible", planned for a new series if the pilot was received well in the States, are examined and analysed in great detail as well as revealing potential casting for each of the main roles. Never knew that Carie-Anne Moss was approached for the part of Grace, and Leonard Nimoy considered playing the Master (a role that went to Eric Roberts)?
Many video captures a reproduced too, showing many potential Doctors, including Paul's brother, Mark McGann... There is also a "DVD style" commentry on the film from Sax, McCoy, Daphne Ashbrook, Yee Jee Tso, the TV Movie's stars. Containing many memos, beautiful pictures, designs and graphics - most unseen, the visual side more than compliments the written details that show the process of working on a Hollywood production, legally, fianacially and creatively.
Also, Russell tackles alternative productions that were attempted during the period that Segal attempted to get the TV Movie made, detailing them with respect and candid honesty, making more than just a look at the making of this one-off Movie.
Stunning in terms of detail and honesty, no area is overlooked, and it's a feast on the eye and mind of the Doctor Who fan. Forget what you thought you knew. But it also should appeal beyond fandom to wannabe producers and writers, demonstrating how difficult it is to get a few hours of TV on air from start to finish. Any who reads this will realise how difficult is just to get a film produced.
Essential for fans, those who work in industry and for those who want to know how someone makes a piece of Television.
Excellent.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 22 November 2000
Philip Segal had a mission to get Doctor Who back on the air. Doctor Who Regeneration tells the story of how he begged, pleaded, coerced, cajoled and ultimately succeeded in getting the most unlikely of partners (including, at times, the BBC, Universal Studios, Fox Television, Steven Spielberg and others) to come together and 'regenerate' Doctor Who.
The book includes lots of beautiful full-color, on-set and behind-the-scenes photos, as well as design drawings and production paintings. Of particular interest are the concept sketches for 'variant' Daleks and still photos of various actors auditioning for the role of the Doctor.
To me, this book demonstrates that one person really CAN make a difference, even in a jaded place like Hollywood. And whether you loved or hated the Doctor Who TV Movie, you have to be impressed with the fact that one man's passion, dedication and single-minded determination gave Doctor Who another chance at life. (The fact that the BBC ultimately squashed it merely demonstrates that government bureaucracies should stay out of the entertainment business!)
The text is a good balance of Gary Russell's organized narrative and Philip Segal's interesting and detailed anecdotes about living through the experience of regenerating Doctor Who. Highly recommended!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 20 November 2000
Being a fan of the Doctor on the far side of the pond I've always worried about American influence on the show. When FOX and the Beeb worked together to create Mr. Segal's vision of what the show could become I swallowed hard and crossed my fingers. You may love or hate the final product that hit screens in 1996 but you must admit; it was Doctor Who. This long awaited book tells in words and copious, stunning photos how things moved and evolved not only during the shooting and marketing of the '96 film but all the attempts to make one beforehand. The book covers indepth the turmoil of '89 through the post production beyond '96. It contains photos of everything including articulate detail on the new TARDIS set and Console. This book is a must own for any Who fan and a great way to pass the time until the BBC gets the idea that we want the show to return to the air in a modern form much like Mr. Segal tried in '96.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 23 December 2000
This has to be the very best reference book to have been produced in recent years. Why? Well, mainly because it manages to cover an area of the show that hasn't been already documented dozens of times before by various fanzines and other associated publications.
If you liked "The Sixties", "The Seventies", or "The Eighties", then you'll love "Regeneration". Even if you're not into reading great swathes of text, just purhcase it for the stunning pictures - designs for Daleks, Cybermen, and the TARDIS interior are all wonderful to behold.
Just buy this book - it's worth it! ;-)
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on 15 November 2000
Philip Segal, and assistant Gary Russell, provide a facinating look at the beuracratic nightmare and politics that dogged the production of the 1996 Doctor Who TV movie (starring Paul McGann). The book tracks the entire process of production, from a germ in the idea of Mr. Segals mind in 1989, to the final screening in May of 1996. Narrative switches from Philip's personal insights to Gary's more balanced view of the production process. Color photographs and production sketches, a lot of them previously unpublished, contribute to make this a detailed and thorough insight into the production process of the television business. Amongst the subjects covered are - dealing with BBC legacy, story, building the Doctor Who "bible", casting, music, and handling the politics of three entertainment industry giants. A great coffee table book for both the die-hard Doctor Fan, and those studying the television production process.
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on 15 November 2000
Philip Segal, and assistant Gary Russell, provide a facinating look at the beuracratic nightmare and politics that dogged the production of the 1996 Doctor Who TV movie (starring Paul McGann). The book tracks the entire process of production, from a germ in the idea of Mr. Segals mind in 1989, to the final screening in May of 1996. Narrative switches from Philip's personal insights to Gary's more balanced view of the production process. Color photographs and production sketches, a lot of them previously unpublished, contribute to make this a detailed and thorough insight into the production process of the television business. Amongst the subjects covered are - dealing with BBC legacy, story, building the Doctor Who "bible", casting, music, and handling the politics of three entertainment industry giants. A great coffee table book for both the die-hard Doctor Fan, and those studying the television production process.
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