Original Post Title: A tale of The Writer's Tale
Original Post Date: Friday, September 18, 2015
I definitely wasn't planning to write another Doctor Who-themed post, but I've become slightly addicted to this book. And season 9 of the show is starting tomorrow (!), so maybe I'll allow myself this indulgence?
The Writer's Tale: The Final Chapter is a book that features email correspondence between Russell T. Davies, the Doctor Who showrunner for seasons 1-4 of the rebooted version, and journalist Ben Cook. The correspondence takes place while RTD is writing and running season 4 of Doctor Who, and it gives very honest and candid insight into his writing process, what happens behind the scenes of a highly successful and much loved TV show, and the truth of how the show's stories and characters went from an idea to our TV screen.
For those of you not familiar with the TV show, I give a rough overview of it in my previous Doctor Who post. I would recommend watching the show that was rebooted in 2005 (at least season 4) before reading this book, since it references those episodes, and it will allow you to get the most insight and enjoyment from reading it. Also, there are spoilers about Doctor Who seasons 1-4 and another show, Torchwood in this book. If you don't plan on watching the show but are interested in writing and TV show production, Amazon lets you "look inside" to see a bit of the book so you can decide if you'll enjoy it without being familiar with the show.
For anyone that has already seen the show and is a fan, you will love this book. Did you know the 10th Doctor's last companion was almost going to be someone else? You learn how it all changed. Some episodes were originally going to be completely different than what was aired, and some characters were going to be played by different actors. You can read the early stages of scripts and ideas that were never brought to life. For those that love gossip, you'll also see the seemingly mundane moment that gave RTD the idea to give the 10th Doctor a daughter, which eventually led to a real-life marriage.
This book is fun to read and insightful and let's me re-live the RTD years of Doctor Who. I've never really enjoyed reading non-fiction books, but I'm actually enjoying this one more than some fiction books. Frankly, I can't believe I put it down to write this blog post.