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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Radiation levels are high but we should be safe for a few hours, 7 May 2011
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This review is from: The Man Who Invented the Daleks: The Strange Worlds of Terry Nation (Hardcover)
As you might expect with any book about Terry Nation, this first ever biography is a little prone to repetition. Throughout its almost 300 pages we are regularly reminded of what inspired Terry Nation and how his work paralleled or (and I hope Roger Hancock - Nation's rottweiler agent isn't looking,) copied ideas from pulps and movies of the 1930s so that you feel like screaming when a point is made about that Saint episode with the ants for what seems like the umpteenth time. However what the author is trying, and in fact, for the most part achieves remarkably well, is to put Terry Nation and his work into context. He may also be subtly reminding us that Nation was one of the most ecofriendly writers you could find - recycling old cliches was his forte!

This is no cut and past account of him. Admittedly there are old interviews and quotes liberally sprinkled in (it's not as if Nation is still around to answer Turner's questions after all) but alongside these there are interesting and previously unknown details about his work. These seem to come most frequently from the ever candid Brian Clemens and Steven Moffat's mother in law - Beryl Vertue. These and other sources provide the kind of insight that hasn't (thanks possibly to the aforementioned Hancock, yes he was Tony's brother) previously been available. Significantly Terry Nation comes out as a well liked professional who could be relied upon to meet a deadline but who was notoriously prone to churning a script out rather than refine, hone or polish a story until it really gleamed. Where there was someone sitting by ready to do that his work could sparkle however those hits could just as easily become misses in the wrong hands and this book is quite prepared to remind us of that.

Purchasing this is a no brainer if you are a Doctor Who or ITC fan. It's also well worth a look if you followed the less remembered Survivors series which Alwyn Turner quite rightly suggests might be Nation's best work. What you're getting is a well researched account of one of the writers who helped shape television in the sixties and seventies and a lot of mostly skillfully expressed background detail. It really is well worth a look.

Now where is that biography of Brian Clemens?
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Location: UK

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