Sunday, 4 August 2013

Writing - Who will play Dr Who?

Wouldn't you love to write a story as popular as Dr. Who? Tonight, 19:00 BBC 1 we will find out who the 12th actor is that will be playing the roll. The fact that there is a 30 minute TV special to announce the new arrival is novel in itself. Usually, it just happened in an episode!

William Hartnell

The First Doctor is the initial incarnation of the protagonist of the long-running BBC television science fiction series Doctor Who. He was portrayed by the actor William Hartnell from 1963 to 1966.

I was the tender age of 13 when this programme first hit the small screen. 50 years on and off. There is an outline of the original concept on Wikipedia which I reproduce in part below.


The programme was designed to be educational, so the stories were divided into two genres: historical (to teach about history) and futuristic (to teach about science), and in fact these two genres alternated with each other. However, by the end of the second season it became apparent that the futuristic stories were much more popular and the production team began to phase out the "historicals".


The debut of the Daleks in the second serial turned the programme from a children's series to a national phenomenon. It soon became a show that the whole family gathered to watch, with monsters that children viewed from between their fingers or from behind the sofa. Scripts filled with far-out concepts compensated for the relatively low budget and unsophisticated special effects, laying the foundation for decades of stories to come.

So if you want to write a blockbuster have an educational and scientific element then introduce a megalomaniac psychopath or two! Perhaps an over simplification!

I featured author Ben Aaronovitch in an earlier blog and he was a writer of 8 Dr Who stories at the time that the part was being played by Sylvester McCoy from 1987 until 1989. 

Aaronovitch has been writing novels on and off for three or four years and having been quite impressed by an interview I saw him give I bought his first Peter Grant story 'Rivers of London' (Midnight Riots in the USA)
I am about half way through and I have heard the hero described as Harry Potter meets Sherlock Holmes! It is very readable and if you enjoy a bit of wizardry, some detective work and fantasy characters have a dip in.

The 12th Doctor Who is

Peter Capaldi

God Bless