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This review is from: Robert Holmes: a Life in Words (Paperback)
Robert Holmes. Even just the name is magical to Doctor Who fans of a certain age. The most prolific DW script-writer of the original series, he was also script-editor for the first three and a half years of Tom Baker's reign - a period when the series was going from strength to strength.
Whilst Robert Holmes - A Life In Words does concentrate on his contribution to Doctor Who (about 60% of the book is dedicated to his DW work) there's still plenty of interesting detail on his other writing. He was script-editor on Shoestring and a writer on the effective follow-up Bergerac, as well as contributing scripts to popular series such as Blakes 7, Emergency Ward 10 and Public Eye.
Like his previous book, Wiped! Doctor Who's Missing Episodes, Richard Molesworth has done a great deal of research, here he's dug deeply into the BBC written archives in order to unearth plenty of previously unrecorded information. So we can read about Holmes' unmade script for Doomwatch, and the reasons why it didn't get produced, as well as his pitches for various other programmes which never made it into production.
Doctor Who wise, amongst many items of interest there's scene breakdowns for Terror of the Autons, Carnival of Monsters and The Time Warrior as well as his initial DW pitch, The Space Trap, which caught the eye of Terrance Dicks and eventually resulted in a commission to write The Krotons, his first script for the series.
With contributions from his colleagues as well wry comments from Holmes himself (via fanzine interviews) this is a first-rate book about the professional life of someone who regarded himself as nothing more than a "hack writer" but whose work continues to be enjoyed today, and I've no doubt will entertain many people for countless years to come. This is a fascinating read and comes highly recommended.
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Initial post: 9 Aug 2014 23:13:05 BDT
Excellent detailed helpful review.
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