Thumbs up for for Doctor Who: The Writer’s Tale – The Final Chapter by Russell T. Davies and Benjamin Cook. Nonfiction/writing.
A warning. Two things are necessary for you to read this book. You must be a) a serious Doctor Who fan (by which I mean your ringtone was composed by Murray Gold, and you know who that is); and also you must be b) deeply interested in writing and/or TV production. (Or, I suppose having a stalker-level crush on Russell T. Davies would work; but in that case you wouldn’t be bothering to read my review.) This book is the compliation of a two-year email correspondence between Doctor Who Magazine reporter (can you believe that’s an actual job? JEALOUS!) Benjamin Cook, and Russell T. Davis, as he simultaneously produces, writes, and rewrites Doctor Who, The Sarah Jane Adventures, and Torchwood. This is approximately like hell. It also makes a magnificent – obsessive, dark, insightful, funny, very human – book. SEVEN HUNDRED PAGES AND I COULDN’T PUT IT DOWN. C’mon people! From someone who avoids books more than three-fourths of an inch thick, you can’t get a better review than that. If it sounds at all interesting, go buy it right now before the price goes up even more.
I couldn’t help thinking that you might read that e-mail and think, sod off, you self-indulgent tosspot. It’s all so me, me, me that I forget, everyone must feel like that. You’re right. Well, not everyone. I read an interview with Jeanette Winterson once, in which she spoke about writing with such certainty that she made the process sound so wonderful, clear, pure, confident. It was so beautiful that I cut it out and kept it by my computer. It’s now been swept away somewhere. That was stupid. But I remember that she described writing as being like flying. That must be nice. Feels more like falling to me.
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