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45 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A review of the second edition paperback
I loved the original Writer's Tale - lovingly presented and fantastic content - and it became one of my very favourite non-fiction books, so I was eagerly looking forward to this extension of the correspondence. When flicking through, my first feeling was slight disappointment - but I'll come back to that.

Firstly, to put that bit about "300 new pages" in...
Published on 16 Jan. 2010 by Ian

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25 of 64 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Self-important
At the risk of setting myself up to be shouted down by all the millions of RTD fans out there... I hated this. Doctor Who itself has become very smug and cliquey over the past couple of years, and this book is much the same. There isn't a shred of modesty here, which becomes very wearing after a while - how many times can RTD say how fantastic, marvellous and wonderful...
Published on 9 April 2009 by MJP23


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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An absolute must for all Doctor Who lovers, 3 Mar. 2009
This review is from: Doctor Who: The Writer's Tale (Hardcover)
Very revealing insight into the background, script writing and production of the Doctor Who programme. Russel T Davies writes in a brutally honest way about himself, the show and all the people that made this series and other shows that he has been involved in. A very good read, so much so I bought two copies, one for me & one for a friend!
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13 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars With warts and all... bold, yes, but then there's those warts., 6 Nov. 2008
By 
Vincent J. Mulvihill "vjm" (Chicago, Illinois United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Doctor Who: The Writer's Tale (Hardcover)
First, the good stuff: this is a bold, honest, naked and funny tome about the writing process for one of television's most acclaimed comebacks. The reader follows Russell T. Davies through the agony and the ectasy of the entire writing process and, goaded along by Benjamin Cook, who acts as much as a muse as an enabler, the cigarette-fuelled revelations are so personal that one can get a contact high from being so ensconced in this man's head.

The pictures (including many beautiful stills during production as well as Davies' insanely brilliant cartoons) are to be cherished as much as the raw scripts that litter the hysterically titled email exchanges between Davies and Cook.

The ugly bits, for me, come from Davies' approach to writing Season 4 of 'Doctor Who.' Davies admits that his writing style is to wait until the last minute to commence drafting - and then waits some more. This sounds very maverick and daring, and for most series it is. Unfortunately, the ambitious arc of the season called for meticulous attention and, like many viewers for Season 4, the reader can gradually feel Season 4 slip away from its creator. While genius is evident in many places (his accounting of the development of 'Midnight' as the anti-'Voyage of the Damned' is stunning), the fact is that the plan to bring back so many characters for the big finale was terribly under-managed. Davies actively struggles with the second coming and going of the Rose Taylor character, but still gives her a sendoff that diminishes Season 2's exit - and taking Donna Noble's potentially heartbreaking departure with it. The reason is, the reader learns, is Davies' wait-til-it's-too-late approach.

The other niggle I have is that there is a tendency for icons (the Beatles, Monty Python) to avoid constructing an actual book by simply having extended monologues that can be read like a script. While this may be considered edgy or original in some circles, this book, moreso than the Beatle or Python books constructed the same, needs some sort of centering mechanism, like an impartial summary or prologue to each chapter written by Benjamin Cook.

Like all honesty from an artist of this magnitude, there will be things that will make the reader wonder to him/herself what's he's on about, or simply what he's on.

Having ranted all that, however, this book is still honest and bold and I'm pleased to have it in my collection.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars whofan, 20 Feb. 2009
By 
K. J. Green - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Doctor Who: The Writer's Tale (Hardcover)
I absolutely loved this book and could not put it down,a fantastic mix of open,honest and often painful emails blended in beautifully with the doctor who scripts.Even though i had seen all the who episodes it was totally absorbing to read about the many changes Russell made during the writing of the scripts,such pressure!It gives a very real insight into the tortuous world of television writing to strict deadlines and i can see why Russell is handing over the reins to Mr. Moffat after the 2009 specials.Would love to see a follow up to this book. Can highly reccomend.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic!, 9 Mar. 2009
By 
Rich Westman (Riddings, Derbyshire) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Doctor Who: The Writer's Tale (Hardcover)
This book is fantastic. Simple as that. A must for any fan of Doctor Who, it is a brilliant insight into the creation of the stories, focusing on Voyage Of The Damned, Partners In Crime and the Finale (The Stolen Earth and Journey's End).
It is written as a transcript of emails and texts between Head Writer Russell T Davies and Doctor Who Magazine contributor (and massive fan) Benjamin Cook.
If you haven't read this, you are missing out!
But, there is a problem. It is impossible to put down! lol :-)
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4.0 out of 5 stars Doctor Who: The (procastinating) Writer's Tale, 23 Mar. 2010
By 
Susanna Cee (Huntingdon, UK) - See all my reviews
Want to know how a TV writer really works (rather than all the books on How to Write)? This is the book for you. Funny and informative about how TV shows are really scripted and produced. It's also a mini memoir for RTD, and it tells you everything you want to know about the new series of Doctor Who.

RTD is a pretty adept cartoonist too.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Superb insight into being a writer, 22 Mar. 2014
By 
M. McGowan (Scotland) - See all my reviews
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Quite simply a superb book about the process of writing and indeed running a massive show like Dr Who.

Russell T. Davies is quite candid in his correspondence with a journalist, and exposes many of his own insecurities as well as giving aspiring writer's some tips on how to create and redraft a story.

I loved reading about how the creative process would change and how their casting ideas didn't always go to plan. A great book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great read, 28 Jan. 2014
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Brilliant if you're a whovian, a wannabe writer or interested in telly production.. or ideally all three! Very honest and insightful
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5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing, 3 Jan. 2014
It's a wonderful insight into the driving force of my favourite childhood program. A must for both dedicated Doctor Who viewers and followers of Russell T Davies' work.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing !, 7 Oct. 2013
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This is really an amazing and inspirating book ! And not only for Doctor Who fans but for all wannabe writers out there ! Real pleasant lecture !
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5.0 out of 5 stars Looking inside the head of a writer, 4 Oct. 2013
By 
Tessa Gee (Norwich, Norfolk United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This is a fascinating look at the creative process from a writer while doing his writing. I write too (although not fiction) and I recognised a lot of what he was talking about. The 'maybe' really resonated with me. And the endless putting off.

If you want to do any kind of writing, this is a good book to read.
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Doctor Who: The Writer's Tale
Doctor Who: The Writer's Tale by Benjamin Cook (Hardcover - 25 Sept. 2008)
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