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An Excellent "Making Of..." Book in it's own right!,
This review is from: Doctor Who: Regeneration (Dr Who) (Hardcover)
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.