Doctor Who : The Writer's Tale, Hardback Book

Doctor Who : The Writer's Tale Hardback

5 out of 5 (2 ratings)


Writing isn't just a job that stops at six-thirty...It's a mad, sexy, sad, scary, obsessive, ruthless, joyful, and utterly, utterly personal thing.

There's not the writer and then me; there's just me.

All of my life connects to the writing. All of it.' A unique look into the BBC's most popular family drama, Doctor Who: The Writer's Tale is a year in the life of the hit television series, as told by the show's Head Writer and Executive Producer.

A candid and in-depth correspondence between Russell T Davies and journalist Benjamin Cook, the book explores in detail Russell's work on Series Four, revealing how he plans the series and works with the show's writers; where he gets his ideas for plot, character and scenes; how actors are cast and other creative decisions are made; and how he juggles the demands of Doctor Who with the increasingly successful Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Adventures spin-offs.

Russell's scripts are discussed as they develop, and Russell and Benjamin's wide-ranging discussions bring in experiences from previous series of Doctor Who as well as other shows Russell has written and created, including Queer as Folk, Bob & Rose, and The Second Coming. The reader is given total access to the show as it's created, and the writing is everything you would expect from Russell T Davies: warm, witty, insightful, and honest.

Fully illustrated with never-before-seen photos and artwork - including original drawings by Russell himself - The Writer's Tale is a not only the ultimate Doctor Who book, but a celebration of great writing and great television


  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Ebury Publishing
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Television
  • ISBN: 9781846075711

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Review by

Russell T Davies (known to many sci-fi geeks as the man responsible for bringing back Doctor Who so fabulously) and journalist Benjamin Cook, have created a delightful book based on their e-mail correspondence during production of Doctor Who, from February 2007 to March 2008.The large textbook sized tome of 500+ pages filled with pictures, drawings, and yes, script pages. It all sprung from the idea of writing a magazine article on writing a Doctor Who script. What came out is a peak into the crazy world of making Doctor Who. You can almost hear the ‘great big stew’ in Russell’s head as you read his e-mails to Ben. How does the man sleep with all those thoughts running around inside of his head? You will get a glimpse of what Russell’s life is like as he worries his way through the season, not in retrospect but AS he goes through it. It is Russell as Russell, not Russell the public persona. It is not a light fluff piece; it is nuts and bolts on how a real writer writes. It is a must read for any fan of Doctor Who.

Review by

Lent to me with assurances of its brilliance, this was approached with some scepticism: I still regret reading Faithful, the year of emails between Stephen King and Stewart O'Nan. My concerns wre misplaced. Russell T Davies embraced Benjamin Cook's idea of a candid sharing of the process and products of a year writing Doctor Who. Davies' openess and Cook's astute enthusiasm combine in an entertaining revelation of the creative process and Davies' motivations. I cannot imagine a better book on television script writing, on Doctor Who, or on RTD himself. Davies' cartoon illustrations alone would have made this worthwhile. The whole package is an astonishing feast.