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44 of 45 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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5.0 out of 5 stars Insightful, 20 Mar 2010
By 
Martin Williams (Caerphilly, Wales) - See all my reviews
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Amazed by how angst-ridden Davies seems to be. The bluster is all for show, and he's really a worry-wort like the rest of us. Fascinating stuff. You may not agree with all the RTD decisions, but now you can see the thought processes behind them...
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5.0 out of 5 stars Even better than volume 1!, 17 Mar 2010
I was really looking forward to this and, although the new material doesn`t disappoint, the physical book itself does. Smaller than the original, in paperback and with all those lovely RTD colour illustrations now in B&W, it`s a little less enjoyable to hold in your hand but the text more than makes up for those deficiencies.
The new edition is split into two "books", with all the old material - minus photgraphs and a lot of the actual scripts - making up Book One. Book Two starts 340 pages in and is even more fascinating than Book One and well worth the "double-dip". And if you`re coming to this new, then don`t bother seeking out the first version, buy this instead.
As far as the actual writing side of things is concerned, RTD does himself no favours in portraying himself as Mr Last Minute but you have to admire the man`s honesty. There are some great insights into the mind of a writer and it`s the kind of book you could probably enjoy even if you weren`t into Doctor Who.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Giddy, 21 Feb 2010
It's a weighty tome,this Writers Tale,and the best word I can come up with as a summation is Giddy. Let me elaborate a little. We race through a couple of years worth of correspondance between Russell and Benjamin (editor of Dr Who Magazine) and in the process learn of things I never thought I'd know. But the thing is I'm not sure I need to know about how much RTD crushes on his male stars...

But I digress.RTD is a stunning writer. He's got faults (hello cybershades) but he knows how to tell a story. The e-mails are written rather self-conciously at times,as if aware of their final purpose, but they definitely have a pace and an accessibility that makes this an easy read. I do wonder if this is all very genuine and whether sometimes he's editing himself mid-sentence / mid-email (there are a few which are just so "staged" it got me thinking). I actually wonder what the editing process was on this book - if there was one. Being the showrunner of the most successful show on British TV must come with a toll few of us can imagine. Every now and then darkness and worry shines through (look at the times some of these were sent!) and these are where this book gains an unexpected weight - and one which makes it worth buying.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the most enjoyable books I have read, 4 July 2010
By 
Mick L (Leicester UK) - See all my reviews
Russel Davies' book on the writng of Dr Who from series 4 to The End of Time is amazing. As a heterosexual man I can probably never understand the meaning for Russell in what he has done personally with Dr Who but I genuinely believe his era with Crhistopher Ecclestone and David Tennant is the greatest we have seen (started watching the show with the Pertwee story Frontier in Space if you were wondering.)

I avoided this for ages but I have to say if you like him at all when you see him in interview you should read this as his charm and enthuisiam for Who come through clearly.

Watched End of Time 2 again today and the skill of his writing is tremendous - my wife said "none of the others got a reward" and my answer was none of the other writers either thought of it or would have got away with it. It gets me angry to see rubbish like the Dr Who Episode Guide within which Time & The Rani and Curse of Fenric get the same score and End of Time is considered poor because the master's plan is ludicrous (so what) and it takes ages for Tennant to regenerate. As time passes we will come to appreciate the qualities of Davies to celebrate all that we cherish in our heroes and why we love this progranme.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Aih, You're Cleaning The Oven", 11 Aug 2009
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This review is from: Doctor Who: The Writer's Tale (Hardcover)
I am not a conventional reader. Page 1 does not usually get read, by me, before page 25, but then time is not supposed to be a linear progression in the world of Doctor Who, so nor shall reading be a linear progression. As for the book itself, and my strange ways of reading aside, "fantstic" is the only word that springs to mind. Explanations of the way Russell's mind works in order to create Doctor Who, as well as other shows, really helps to influence those looking towards "writing" as a profession This book truly gives you a whole new view into the world of "Who".
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A unique examination of writing for television, 10 Feb 2009
By 
Gary J. Wilson (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Doctor Who: The Writer's Tale (Hardcover)
A wonderful insight into television script writing, and Doctor Who in particular! Being a series of informative & witty emails between two writers, they give great clarity on how scripts are arrived at, from initial ideas to final drafts! They are startlingly honest, and also reveal Russell T Davies' character, and his outlook on writing, and life in general! It almost feels voyeuristic, as if one is sneaking a look at these personal exchanges! Utterly absorbing, informative and enjoyable!
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3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "That was the best. The Best!!!", 16 Dec 2008
This review is from: Doctor Who: The Writer's Tale (Hardcover)
Quite possibly the single best book ever about Doctor Who, or television, or writing in general. RTD and Ben deserve all sorts of literary awards for this massive and massively entertaining volume, perfect for both the dedicated Who fan or for anyone interested in writing. I cannot possibly recommend this book highly enough. Buy. NOW! (And when I refer to the book as "massive", I mean that quite literally. Due to the formatting, the listed 512 pages actually contain the equivalent of a thousand pages of content. Not to worry, as they flew by so fast I was actually surprised when I got to the end so quick... fantastic book.)
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read, 17 Nov 2010
A great insight into the story behind Dr Who and the stars involved and writing process. Great read, great pictures.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not a Tale - a Very True Story, 16 Nov 2009
By 
V. Kakin (Russia, Saint-Petersburg) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Doctor Who: The Writer's Tale (Hardcover)
Are you a fan of Russell T Davies scripts? If you are buying this book you'd better get ready to know some things about him you maybe never want to know. There a lot of people who have frantic, wild youth and there are some people who are 'on the other bus' but have you ever wanted to know that Russell T Davies is one of them?

However, even if you have not, you'd also find a lot of intresting facts, thoughts and opinions in this book. Benjamin Cook is wonderful journalist so he asks very good precise questions. And just to make this book better the answers of Russell is so frank! I've never expected such frankness from a man in showbiz. (I mean from script-writer apart from an actor) That makes this book not only long, informative, humorous and sometimes sad (like every story by RTD) interview but also some sort of author biography. Remarkable man telling about his lifestyle and credo - what could be better to read?

And of course this book is full of beautiful pictures and photos. To hold this book in your hands is already a pleasure because the quality of it is very high.

So now I just look forward to issue of Writer's Tale:The Final Chapter where I can read about specials as well. I really want to know about how Russel T Davies have got courage to write perfectly unexpected finale of Water Of Mars!
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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Book About Doctor Who And A Book About Writing = Heaven!, 16 Mar 2009
By 
This review is from: Doctor Who: The Writer's Tale (Hardcover)
I got this book for my birthday and I almost couldn't stop reading since then. This is a book I'd love to have given 6 stars out of 5 because it's just brilliant. It's about writing and it's about Doctor Who, two things I simply love and therefore it's just wonderful. It does get a bit long from time to time when there are scripts for pages, scripts of episodes you already know. But then it all sums up, the scripts and the e-mails and the pictures and the drawing and all these things, to one amazing thing. It's just highly entertaining, you never know what comes next - is it a picture or a drawing or a still from an episode ... Love it. Really. Too bad it's over now - even though about 500 pages didn't make it be over too fast ;) I leared quite a bit about (television) writing but also found myself in many things Russel describes in his e-mails, like everyone who has ever written something, will.
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Doctor Who: The Writer's Tale
Doctor Who: The Writer's Tale by Benjamin Cook (Hardcover - 25 Sep 2008)
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