Review: Doctor Who: Books: Now on the Big Screen

dr-who-big-screenBy Charles Norton

Telos, out now

An exhaustive examination of the Doctor’s real and putative cinematic adventures…

Although there is a degree of overlap in the latter part of this book with the L’Officiers’ Virgin book The Nth Doctor, this is a very well researched and presented guide to all of the Doctor (or Dr Who)’s big screen stories. Norton hasn’t just gone to the obvious places – there are plenty of quotes from both DWM and DWB (making the lack of credit for Gary Leigh on Shakedown all the more surprising), but also contemporary TV interviews and film magazines. This provides some interesting insights into exactly what was going on when, particularly with regard to the two Dalek movies and their links to other Cushing films. (A mention of the DWM comic strip’s third Cushing story would have been nice.)

The material on Scratchman / Krikkitmen is good to have compiled in one place, although like so many people, Norton insists on trying to write Douglas Adams-style prose when he’s talking about Adams’ work. The Daltenreys/Coast to Coast/whatever its name was this week material again is fascinating, particularly given some previously unpublished (in book form anyway) interview material. I was hoping for similar treatment for the David Yates-helmed movie that’s allegedly underway at the moment, particularly given Steven Moffat’s reaction to it (which makes for an intriguing contrast with the attitude of some of his predecessors). Instead this is used as a lead in to the introduction, but not otherwise mentioned.

There are some true gems in here, the material on the attempted reworking of The Abominable Snowmen in particular, and the footnotes provide a context for a lot of material in Doctor Who’s television history.

Verdict: Recommended reading for anyone interested in Doctor Who’s rich history. 8/10

Paul Simpson

 

Click here to order Now On The Big Screen from Amazon.co.uk

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