The Writer's Tale contains twelve months of email correspondence between writer Russell T Davies and journalist Benjamin Cook, covering the scripting and production of Series 4 of the television series, broadcast in 2008.
Back Cover Blurb
'It's such a hard job. Writers never talk about how hard it is, out of the fear of being pretentious. "Try being a nurse or a teacher," people say. No — try being a writer! Try sitting with every doubt and fear about yourself and everyone, all on your own, with no ending or help or conclusion... At the same time, writing can be the most wonderful job in the world. When I'm happy with a script, I'm happier than you could ever imagine. Delirious! What I mean is, writing is never easy.'
Inner Cover Blurb
'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 andworks 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.
UK | Hardback | BBC Books | October 2008 | £60.00
A limited edition version of The Writer's Tale, produced exclusively for the Waterstones chain of bookshops. Unlike the standard edition, it was numbered, signed and came in a slipcase. It also cost twice as much...
In the Press
- Doctor Who Magazine #401
Review: p61, Vanessa Bishop
70 Minutes | BBC One | Colour
25/12/07 Voyage of the Damned Russell T Davies
45 Minutes | BBC One | Colour
05/04/08 Partners in Crime Russell T Davies
45 Minutes | BBC One | Colour
28/06/08 The Stolen Earth Russell T Davies
65 Minutes | BBC One | Colour
05/07/08 Journey's End Russell T Davies
- The Writer's Tale concentrates on the production and writing of Doctor Who from the Christmas 2007 special Voyage of the Damned through to Journey's End, which concluded Season 30. It includes Russell T Davies' draft scripts to Voyage of the Damned, Partners in Crime, The Stolen Earth and Journey's End.
A web site to promote the book was set up at thewriterstale.com, with the special features including the final shooting scripts to the four episodes featured in the book, as well as those for Midnight and Turn Left. All six scripts were made available in PDF format.
The only other Tenth Doctor episode to be made available in script form prior to the release of The Writer's Tale was Russell T Davies' Smith and Jones, which was made available for download in PDF format from the BBC's Writers' Room web site in April 2007.
- The final two episodes of Season 30 (The Stolen Earth / Journey's End) saw many familiar faces from the previous three years of the programme returning to help defeat Davros and the Daleks. The episodes also marked the first official crossover between Doctor Who and its two spin-off dramas — Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Adventures.
- As well as being a prolific contributor to Doctor Who Magazine, Benjamin Cook also wrote the 2003 non-fiction book Doctor Who: The New Audio Adventures — The Inside Story, a behind-the-scenes chronicle of the making of the CD audio dramas from Big Finish Productions up to the release of Zagreus in November 2003.
- A revised version of The Writer's Tale was published in January 2010 under the title The Writer's Tale: The Final Chapter. See below for further details.