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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pleasantly surprised.
I really thought Matthew was going to be a bitch but this is pure, honest recollection. I love his in the third person style, so refreshing. It is witty, funny and sometimes plain honest. His timeline almost matches my own and sometimes it is as if it were writing this book. It evokes my own childhood. I was that Doctor Who fan. Matthew, we all thought you dismissed the...
Published 14 months ago by Mr Julian M Harrild

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars If you like low rent show biz anecdotes.
Bizarrely written in the third person this book isn't anywhere near the 5 star level of the new JNT book, but it does have its charm. Matthew does have an unfortunate habit of unflattering descriptions of people he meets and skirts over important events. As a result the book is not very revealing and the high points come from a selection of low rent showbiz anecdotes...
Published 12 months ago by Mr. M. E. Durham


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pleasantly surprised., 13 July 2013
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I really thought Matthew was going to be a bitch but this is pure, honest recollection. I love his in the third person style, so refreshing. It is witty, funny and sometimes plain honest. His timeline almost matches my own and sometimes it is as if it were writing this book. It evokes my own childhood. I was that Doctor Who fan. Matthew, we all thought you dismissed the programme, welcome back.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Waterhouse Blue, 21 Sep 2013
By 
Dr. George L. Sik (Epsom, Surrey) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Blue Box Boy: A Memoir of Doctor Who in Four Episodes (Audio CD)
I'll be honest: I always hated Adric. His period on the programme coincided with the beginning of John Nathan-Turner's era as a producer (it seems Adric was his idea, but he was originally supposed to have been 'a cosmic Artful Dodger'), a time when many fans deserted the programme (myself included), leading to its eventual cancellation. With its successful resurrection in 2005, and the recent announcement that Peter Capaldi was to be the new Doctor, I thought it was time to let bygones be bygone and give this book - which had come highly recommended - a chance. I had just become involved in Doctor Who fandom again with the reboot of the fanzine Cygnus Alpha after thirty years in hibernation and this seemed like an appropriate way to reach out to the past.

And great fun it is, too. Matthew's decision to write about himself in the third person is perhaps a way of distancing himself from the person he once was (and, hand on heart, the technique rather annoyed George, who wished he'd knock it off) but, if you can get over that, the revelations come thick and fast. In a sense, Matthew lived the dream, coming from nowhere to play the Doctor's companion - and a bloody awful dream it turned out to be, by all accounts. If we, the viewers, suffered watching those dreadful stories on our tellies, this was nothing compared to taking part in the programme at the time, it seems. A happy ship? More like the Titanic!

Even better are the reminiscences about growing up a fan...Target books, Weetabix figures and all. I am about the same age as Matthew and it sparked some wonderful memories.

So there we go. This book has achieved the near-impossible: it has made me forgive John Nathan-Turner and Matthew for ruining my favourite programme. I no longer hate Adric!

The only thing he omits to mention is how...er...excited he felt when filming Castrovalva (a subject of much fan debate). For that, you have to go to Richard Marson's book 'J N-T: The Life and Scandalous Times of John Nathan-Turner', in which Matthew is interviewed extensively.

Thanks for this one, Matthew and no...er...hard feelings.

We're all in the gutter, but some of us are wearing stitched-on stars.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars If you like low rent show biz anecdotes., 20 Sep 2013
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This review is from: Blue Box Boy (Kindle Edition)
Bizarrely written in the third person this book isn't anywhere near the 5 star level of the new JNT book, but it does have its charm. Matthew does have an unfortunate habit of unflattering descriptions of people he meets and skirts over important events. As a result the book is not very revealing and the high points come from a selection of low rent showbiz anecdotes that are slightly bitchy but very enjoyable.

Not a must read but at least different from various other Who autobiographies.
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Boy lost in the Blue Box., 18 Sep 2010
The central protagonist of the story is Waterhouse himself - the boy lost in the blue box. Matthew confirms what we all suspected - that he really WAS a Tom Baker fan who had wondered onto the set and looked lost. His occasional « Bakerisms » and Tom Baker style humour are those of an honest fan for whom Dr who was an important source of identification. No wonder he had trouble dealing with reality inside the blue box, and the deception that the great Tom Baker was not in reality the even greater Doctor Who - but just a very human mortal going through a tough time.

Nicely drawn, Waterhouse's description of rehearsals is gossipy, and his writing an easy read and difficult to put down style... Waterhouse himself allows us to see something of his immaturity and to experience at first hand certain episodes of his life relived in detail like the traumas they must have been. His own human qualities and failings are all laid bare.

One comes away from the book feeling slightly changed... The writer's disappointment with the absence of real magic in the blue box is palpable, and there is therapeutic value in the book - for reader and writer alike. When one considers the paltry fee he was paid for the episodes it is sickening. Did one of the production team pay the restaurant bill on his behalf - in the episode he recounts - perhaps, rather than the credit card « just not working » as he suspects... There might have been more compassion around him than he relates. Humanly, one would hope so.

This is an honest, surprising, gossipy stream of consciousness testament of a book. An easy read about a curiously cast « artful Dodger » of a young man who is in reality more of an Oliver Twist turned undergraduate around whom stories and the world « happen » in an occasionnally alarming, sometimes disappointing and often frighteningly incomprehensible way. Certainly worth a read for any fans of Who in the eighties, this book has the magical appeal of being geared to the hard-core fan of fandom - as it is written by one. And there's a very endearing aspect to the book - because Matthew holds a mirror up to the teenage fan of the eighties and lets his pen run wild. Recommended reading for adult fans of the classic 80's series.
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3.0 out of 5 stars OK but writing in the third person is a big error., 19 July 2014
This review is from: Blue Box Boy (Kindle Edition)
I think I was expecting more because the reviews were generally very good. Firstly, this writing in the third person business, its really REALLY irritating. Despite what others have said, I found it irritating all the way through. I just felt like shouting, if you mean 'I', just say it man, or if you don't, just write a book of fiction. Writing in the third person makes you question the truth of anything that's said, making it a bit pointless, otherwise you are just left feeling 'have the bloody courage to own this and say 'I'. Anyway, that aside, its ok. Not much here I haven't read in other sources and not as unusually 'bitchy' as some of the reviews would have you believe. Its a fair run through of recollections from loving the show as a child and then actually being in it. I did enjoy it, but as I have banged on about, it was spoiled by the 'Matthew thought this' nonsense. Still worth a read, especially if you have not read similar recollection books which cover much of the same stuff.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, 30 April 2014
This review is from: Blue Box Boy (Kindle Edition)
Naive teenager meets actors on his path to enlightenment. Actors lacking in tolerance of their own kin. Insight into how some of our tv heroes think and behaved yester year..
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Catty and compulsive reading, 13 Aug 2013
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This review is from: Blue Box Boy (Kindle Edition)
Excellent memoir by Matthew. The third person narrative jars at first but swiftly becomes eminently readable - Waterhouse paints a droll insider's picture of Doctor Who behind the scenes at its best. Well worth reading.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A bit of childhood nostalgia!, 15 Jun 2013
By 
M. Milton (UK) - See all my reviews
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I'm only half way through this book and I am really enjoying it. I grew up with Doctor Who and it's lovely to read a book by someone who shares so many similar memories. The book keeps making me laugh when I think "yep, I thought that too!" Matthew doesn't take himself too seriously either.
When I read that Matthew's home suffered a power cut that prevented him from seeing an episode of Doctor Who my 8 year old self shuddered - that was the worst thing I could have imagined at that age! (lucky me)
If you grew up with "Who" wishing you could be part of it - I think you will like this book. Even if you hated Adric - cos, come on, you hated him because you were jealous right?
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Eighties Who: A Fresh Perspective, 13 Oct 2010
By 
William Hadcroft (UK) - See all my reviews
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I bought this book primarily for the cover art that jackets the hardback edition (not the cover design shown here). I was also intrigued by the idea of an autobiography from the early 1980's period of Doctor Who.

What I wasn't so sure about was an autobiography written in the third person. I mean, wouldn't that come across as a trifle pretentious?

I need not have worried. The third person narrative works extremely well, enabling the reader to distance himself from the author and `see' the memories the way one imagines characters when reading a novel. It is a refreshing approach.

Not only is this the life story of an actor who starred in Doctor Who for two years of his life, but it's the story of a Doctor Who fan.

Matthew Waterhouse spills the beans on what it felt like to suddenly find himself working on his favourite boyhood show. His descriptions of various cast members and his thoughts on each of the stories he appeared in absorb the reader.

But Waterhouse is balanced. He says Tom Baker's moods dictated what kind of day his fellow actors would have, but he also shows the actor to be calmer and almost fatherly once he knows his time as the Doctor is coming to an end.

The author's views on fandom, on what became of Doctor Who towards the end of its original run, and the 21st century revival are riveting. In addition, Matthew sheds light on some of the rumours that have been told about him over the last twenty odd years.

If you grew up watching the show in the Eighties, you won't be able to leave this book alone.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gold star!, 20 Feb 2013
By 
Stevos (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This is a very different sort of autobiography, and you realise that from the very beginning.

The author writes about himself in the 3rd person, which takes a bit of getting used to. So rather than writing "I was excited about the audition"; we get "Matthew was excited about the audition" and so on.

It's an unusual approach and one that I found rubbing off on me. Stephen was almost tempted to write this review in the 3rd person about Matthew's book. Stephen's mate Andrew got him Matthew's book as a birthday present and Andrew had to go to great lengths to get it, which is a story in itself. Argh! It's recursive occlusion, I'll stop.

So that tells you from the off that Matthew Waterhouse is not one for convention (conventions, maybe). His writing style is both personal, and removed at the same time. And he is very, very honest.

I have to say, I found his whole approach to his Doctor Who life refreshing and very readable. His recollections of his time on the show, and afterwards, don't hold back. Sometimes they go off at odd tangents, but that's fine. At the same time that you learn some funny or insightful stuff about the acting profession, the BBC in general, or what Matthew thinks of particular actors, you also get a feel for the type of person Matthew is.

His stories about Tom Baker, Lalla Ward, John Nathan Turner et al never come across like hackneyed anecdotes. I found the stories hilarious, although a lot of them probably didn't feel like it at the time.

Any book that describes working with Tom Baker is always going to be a page turner. I just found myself lapping it up, anecdote after anecdote. And hearing Matthew's honest opinions is a unique insight into the making of the show and the relationships between cast and crew.

I have to be honest, I never liked the character of Adric. I was 7 when he joined the show and I thought he was a bad character. Also, I think I must have heard stories about Matthew Waterhouse in various interviews or publications (none of which I can recall with any precision) which made me think I wouldn't necessarily like him. I'm glad to say the prejudice was unfounded.

This was one of the most enjoyable autobiographies that I have read, by any celebrity, and I felt sad when I reached the end. My next book had better be this enjoyable!
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Blue Box Boy: A Memoir of Doctor Who in Four Episodes
Blue Box Boy: A Memoir of Doctor Who in Four Episodes by Matthew Waterhouse (Audio CD - 30 Jun 2011)
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