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not what it says on the tin,
This review is from: Dalek I Loved You (Hardcover)A word of warning. This is a celebrity confessional autobiography by someone who, in fact, has very little to confess and isn't actually a celebrity. We're not even talking Big Brother contestant here - although he used to ghost-write Andi Peters's column in the Radio Times.
Another word of warning. Despite the word Dalek(tm) set very prominent on the cover, the ratio of Doctor Who material to non-celebrity life story is not high - probably one page in three or four.
From the evidence, Nick Griffiths was a quiet child and is a painfully shy adult. He seems to have had a normal interest in Doctor Who as a child, put it to one side as a teenager, and then in his thirties become a compulsive collector of videos, DVDs, 1970s cereal giveaways and props. He worries a lot about what other people think of him, in the tortured and vain hope that they won't think he's a nerd. To most people outside the fan community he will seem like an off-the-scale obsessive.
Most of the book is concerned with how rich Nick's life is, and how almost everything else in it is much more important than Doctor Who. He protests too much. If you've spent much time with any kind of "sci-fi TV show" fan, you may recognise the signs of denial.
Most people seem to think a fan is an ageing virgin who lives with his parents, has a morbid fear of women, listens to prog rock, and basically doesn't get out much. Nick leaves us in no doubt that he was snogging at an early age and has had loads of relationships, some of which led to marriage and children. He drops the names of hip-ish bands, went to Live Aid and helped to launch a proper music magazine, although admittedly one day while he was out they moved offices. He drops regular hints about his solidly heterosexual interest in booze and football. There's no irony in a late paragraph or two about the vicarious joys of watching Engerland games in pubs with the lads - and lasses (phwoar!). He draws no contrast between the undercurrents of violence and nationalism woven into the fabric of this more acceptable social security blanket and what happens - or doesn't - when nerdy Who-fans gather in groups.
Lonely ex-public-schoolboy Nick has grown up to carve a moderately successful professional writing career at the less exciting end of the magazine feature market. He writes a TV column in the Daily Mail, and has his feet under the table as a "staff freelance" at the Radio Times. I'm not sure this really warrants a 250-page autobiography, but if Jade Goody and Chantelle are the benchmark then perhaps someone who has interviewed Jon Pertwee, Tom Baker and the voice behind Mr Burns off The Simpsons really does make the grade.
It's a well-written and enjoyable enough book but it's not really a celebration of Doctor Who, and you won't learn much about the show or its fans here. If you're more interested in them than in Nick Griffiths, try finding a copy of the original fan's bible "The Making of Doctor Who", Tom Baker's autobiography, or "License Denied" by hardcore fan and Doctor Who scriptwriter Paul Cornell.