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Blue Box Boy: A Memoir of Doctor Who in Four Episodes Paperback – 23 May 2013
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Nice to have the legend of Tom skewered by someone who was there during his last year of Who, and who encountered him and his, er, erratic behaviour at fan events in the 80s.
And great fun it is, too. Matthew's decision to write about himself in the third person is perhaps a way of distancing himself from the person he once was (and, hand on heart, the technique rather annoyed George, who wished he'd knock it off) but, if you can get over that, the revelations come thick and fast. In a sense, Matthew lived the dream, coming from nowhere to play the Doctor's companion - and a bloody awful dream it turned out to be, by all accounts. If we, the viewers, suffered watching those dreadful stories on our tellies, this was nothing compared to taking part in the programme at the time, it seems. A happy ship? More like the Titanic!
Even better are the reminiscences about growing up a fan...Target books, Weetabix figures and all. I am about the same age as Matthew and it sparked some wonderful memories.
So there we go. This book has achieved the near-impossible: it has made me forgive John Nathan-Turner and Matthew for ruining my favourite programme. I no longer hate Adric!
The only thing he omits to mention is how...er...excited he felt when filming Castrovalva (a subject of much fan debate). For that, you have to go to Richard Marson's book 'J N-T: The Life and Scandalous Times of John Nathan-Turner', in which Matthew is interviewed extensively.
Thanks for this one, Matthew and no...er...hard feelings.
We're all in the gutter, but some of us are wearing stitched-on stars.
Not a must read but at least different from various other Who autobiographies.
He gives a more detailed account than any other "Who" actor of what it was actually like doing each and every story. In your mind's eye you can see John Nathan-Turner smiling as he suggests that Matthew is the inventor of alcohol, you can hear Michael Robbins talking about his "fer nuthing"s, you cringe as you witness Dudley Simpson's being taken out to dinner by the show's producer and saying how lovely it is that he's finally been recognised for his work... only to find out that the dinner is a way of Nathan-Turner's telling him he's sacked!
He also covers issues like racism, being a young gay man in the 1980s and feelings of loss.
It's a really well-written account which is both funny and poignant - I'd recommend it to anybody.
When I read that Matthew's home suffered a power cut that prevented him from seeing an episode of Doctor Who my 8 year old self shuddered - that was the worst thing I could have imagined at that age! (lucky me)
If you grew up with "Who" wishing you could be part of it - I think you will like this book. Even if you hated Adric - cos, come on, you hated him because you were jealous right?
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