Doctor Who: The Writer’s Tale

Published on Thursday September 25th, Doctor Who: The Writer’s Tale is the fascinating book comprising of a series of emailed correspondence between Russell T Davies and DWM‘s Benjamin Cook between February 2007 and April 2008.

As well as the already-reported revelation that David Morrissey is playing a future Doctor, other revelations in the book include an abandoned idea for Harry Potter creator JK Rowling to appear in a Christmas Special.

"I thought, don’t ask J.K. to write a Doctor Who, ask her to be in a Doctor Who! We’ve done Dickens, Shakespeare, Agatha Christie…why should kids think that all great authors are dead?"

Elsewhere is news that Russell T Davies turned down George Lucas on an opportunity to write for the Star Wars live action Clone Wars series. My favourite however is the bit revealed by SFX from their review copy, in which RTD describes fans as… well you can see yourself below!

Naturally, the emails have been filtered and edited, but this still feels surprisingly uncensored for an official tie-in book. Take the chapter which discusses online fan criticism: it’s titled “BASTARDS”. You might understand why when you read about Helen Raynor’s reaction to browsing the forums: “She was literally shaking afterwards. Like she’d been physically assaulted”. Davies also breaks his “never criticise the old series” rule (describing Sylvester McCoy’s debut as “a deep, dark trough”) and clarifies the extent of his “script polishing” – often a 60% rewrite, sometimes almost 100%.

It’s a shame that Davies feels that way about an era of the show that gave us The Curse of Fenric. I’d love to know what he thinks of Trial of a Time Lord.

Most revealing, however is that Russell T Davies hates press launches. He’s a good actor, I’ll give him that.

Then it’s the party afterwards. But I can’t relax. It’s all work. In three hours, I have half an apple juice and half a Coke. I have to speak to everyone. That’s my job. Signing autographs for kids, which is nice, but then the MPs, the bloody MPs… The one time I do get five minutes to myself, one of the sci-fi magazine men is drunk and won’t leave me alone, while I’m fending off his sly, smiling insults (“That was a fun episode, wasn’t it? Just fun!”), and then I find myself with two gay boys who work as researchers in Parliament, and they’re gorgeous, but it turns out that they’re with the Shadow Secretary of Something. I’m thinking, would I sleep with a Tory?

I read that as "Tony" first time around.

Doctor Who: The Writer’s Tale is available from Amazon for just £15.00 – a saving of 50% on the RRP!


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