Doctor Who: The Writer's Tale: The Final Chapter Paperback – 14 Jan 2010
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"This book is a treasury of wit, of truthfulness, and of good sound storytelling sense, and well worth stealing from" (Philip Pullman)
"The Doctor Who Annual for adults" (The Guardian)
"You can douse all the other books about Who in lighter fuel and spark up your Zippo - this is all you need" (SFX)
The final word on the Russell T Davies era of Doctor Who - revised and updated with over 300 pages of new material.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Firstly, to put that bit about "300 new pages" in context. In its new paperback form, the original book runs to 340 pages, and there's 340 of new stuff in addition - so you've got a new book's worth on top!
But, I do feel that it loses something in a black and white paperback edition. The original was vibrant, with illustrations by RTD dotted throughout plus lots of little photos - so when you read a piece of correspondence or a script extract you could instantly relate it to what you saw on screen. This reprint of book one loses a lot of that.
More than that though, most of the actual scripts that were dotted through the correspondence in book one have been removed in the reprint 'to make space'. (These were the RTD first drafts - you can now get the final versions for some free online.) I felt they added a lot in explaining the development of episode ideas and scripts.
For these reasons, if you're new to this (and can afford the considerable extra expense) I'd recommend buying the beautifully presented original and then this in addition for the new stuff.
As to the new stuff - well the correspondence is as revealing, intimate, witty and fascinating as before. There's no sign that the comments are more self-conscious given the knowledge this time around of their ultimate publication.
So, overall, a slight sense of initial disappointment in the cheaper paperback - I'd have happily paid for a shiny hardback volume two - but the brilliance of the correspondence has to win out overall, so it stays five stars for me.
Like the Doctor himself, RTD clearly feels under pressure as the man everyone looks to for answers, he finds it almost impossible to relinquish control of his beloved show, yet a part of him longs for a break from the constant creative demands on his energies, preferably before the stress kills him.
There are certainly a few dark nights of the soul here, but also complete versions of the scripts of "Voyage of the Damned", "Partners in Crime" and the explosive two-parter finale, including the early drafts and absorbing explanations for the way things changed later. An extra bonus is a plethora of photographs, some from deleted scenes, and RTD's unexpectedly witty and professional cartoons of cast and characters.
The paperback edition THE WRITERS TALE: THE FINAL CHAPTER followed in January 2010, and all that I said in my review of the original remains pretty true, although the format has been changed radically for that edition. It is a smaller book format and whilst there are full colour photo inserts, the bulk of the reprinted text pages are now black and white, so maybe whilst it's not quite so beautiful to look at as the original, the written content is still as great as it ever was.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
My husband loved this book so much he wouldn't stop talking about it. He managed to leave it on a bus 1 chapter from the end and was begging for me to get him another copy. Read morePublished 7 months ago by meowser13
A very interesting account of behind the scenes at Doctor Who, as Russell T Davies shows how each episode develops and how much hard work and time go into creating the best series... Read morePublished 10 months ago by Pam
I found this book fascinating, but also rather disappointing.
It was fascinating to see how some of the ideas came about and also to see how things that never quite made... Read more
Quite simply a superb book about the process of writing and indeed running a massive show like Dr Who.
Russell T. Read more
Brilliant if you're a whovian, a wannabe writer or interested in telly production.. or ideally all three! Very honest and insightfulPublished on 28 Jan. 2014 by Rob Leane
It's a wonderful insight into the driving force of my favourite childhood program. A must for both dedicated Doctor Who viewers and followers of Russell T Davies' work.Published on 3 Jan. 2014 by Tristan Fear
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