The Man Who Invented the Daleks: The Strange Worlds of Terry Nation Hardcover – 25 May 2011
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‘The book can’t be faulted. Doctor Who wonks will lap it up’ - Roger Lewis(Daily Mail)
‘Well-researched and down-to-earth... Turner, who takes pleasure seriously, is an excellent cultural critic’(TLS)
‘There are few British SF writers more deserving of appraisal than Terry Nation … so it’s pleasing that accomplished author Alwyn W. Turner has taken up the task… compelling biography’(SFX)
‘An incisive social history of British TV’s golden age’(The Word)
'An utter delight... an excellent summation of Terry Nation's amazing and influential career'(Doctor Who Magazine)
‘Alwyn W. Turner’s book tells the entire fascinating and immersive story … the author has done a remarkable job with this book and fans of TV and Dr Who will much enjoy it… Well worth purchasing’(Kooltvblogspot.com)
‘Packed with informed opinion and analysis of all Nation’s work, Turner’s book is pretty much essential reading not only for anyone with an interest in Doctor Who and its most famous monstrous creations but also anyone interested in the history of British TV. Very highly recommended’(Starburst)
About the Author
ALWYN W TURNER is the author of Crisis? What Crisis?: Britain in the 1970s, Rejoice! Rejoice!: Britain in the 1980s and the ebook Things Can Only Get Bitter: The Lost Generation of 1992, all published by Aurum. An acclaimed writer on post-war British culture, his other books include The Biba Experience, Halfway to Paradise and My Generation. He is currently writing A Classless Society, a history of Britain in the 1990s.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
There's a great deal here that isn't so well known e.g. the help he was given in the form of money by Spike Milligan with a loose agreement to write some Goon Show material and his time at Associated London Scripts-home of Milligan, Galton & Simpson and Eric Sykes.
His association with Tony Hancock is a well known one (leading of course to the Daleks once Hancock sacked him and he needed work immediately) but we learn in some detail what it was like for Nation, writing for a truly talented man on the downslide in his career, who had some immense emotional problems-the audition to become a writer involved over 24 hours drinking & debating philosophy.
It's these sections of lesser known material that really make this books for me e.g his start in variety based radio shows, writing science fiction before Dr Who ( notably an adaptation of Isaac Asmiov's Caves of Steel)& his extensive work for ITC. For ITC in their golden age he worked on The Saint, The Baron, The Avengers & The Persuaders in the capacity variously as writer, script editor and some associate producer type role.Read more ›
In reality, from reading between the lines it would seem that Terry Nation is not really biography material. By all accounts of those who worked with him he was an affable family man who worked hard. He stayed married to the one woman all his life, wasn’t an alcoholic or drug user (although he was a chronic smoker which eventually killed him). He wasn’t a womaniser, gambler or obnoxious to all around him like Hancock or Waugh. So far so bad for a biographer. The further reading section on page 331 isn’t very extensive reflecting how much he kept a low profile although he was very protective of his Daleks and their image. Most of that protective work was carried out in conversations and correspondence with officials at the BBC and not in the public domain.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
When I first received this book, I thought it was about the creation of the Daleks and a history of the man behind their conception, but it's so much more than that. Read morePublished on 4 Jun. 2013 by Laura Hartley
Now don't get me wrong, this book is thoroughly well researched but the writer tends to drift into depths that weren't needed. Read morePublished on 21 April 2013 by Mr. S. J. Claringbold
I have the hardback of this book and can tell you that I found it fascinating; the author cleverly depicting the climate change regarding the television industry and the... Read morePublished on 12 Feb. 2013 by Ronald Kinsella
I had very high expectations for this book when i first ordered it. As a biography, I expected it to be all about the life of Terry Nation, but it is all about the changes in... Read morePublished on 20 Jun. 2012 by Jack Grimshaw
A very enjoyable book, not only because of the Dalek content but also for the other shows Nation instigated and worked on. I loved the objective nature of the book. Read morePublished on 4 Mar. 2012 by Greystone
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