04 January 2010

Terrific writing tips # 3: Doctor Who

Doctor Who: The End of Time

It's a slow theatre month (and we all need some time away from analysing the meta significance of everything on a stage), we're getting bored of watching Seinfeld reruns on Go! and the leftovers are running out, so, according to Facebook updates over the last day, most theatre nerds have turned to the interweb to watch the Doctor Who Christmas Special: Doctor Who: The End of Time. Aside from the fact that the My Friends:Theatre Nerd: Dr Who Fan  ratio is about 10:9:8, the passion about this episode is as oozy and complex as an Ood's face.

I've formed alliances with strangers and scoffed at friends because they didn't blub as the hot doctor said his last farwells and turned into a school boy (whom I just want to make a sandwich for and send off to a G rated movie).

This special episode is also the farewell to writer Russell T Davies and, to my joy, much FB comment has been about the writing of RTD (or Saint RTD, as I like to call him).  More than one person said that they didn't like the writing, but still cried at the end. You keep watching and end up in tears - I know many writers who would be very happy with that result.

Us who loved Queer as Folk, Bob and Rose (which may be my favourite telly series) and The Second Coming knew that Russell could tell a very fine story, but his recreation of the Doctor has reset the bar for Sci-Fi story telling for the telly.

I try and watch his shows to understand the craft and always end up being so engrossed with the story and the characters that I forget to take notes. But hopefully this book will help me out a bit as RTD writes about his writing of Doctor Who. The hardback version is favoured by many a geek, but this new paperback edition takes us through to the end. I'm sure I'll be quoting it in furture reviews - and reviewing the book itself (my copy is in the post).

Please read what Justin Hamilton (who penned and performed my fav comedy show of 09) thought about The End of Time and RTD. May I say 'ditto' and it's also kind of nice to know that we would have been reaching for the tissues at the same time as we witnessed the deaths of Henry Blake, ThirtySomething Gary, and everyone in Six Feet Under.

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