Thursday, 11 April 2013


JN-T: The Life & Scandalous Times of John Nathan-Turner by Richard Marson
Chapter 1

You may have heard of this -- I mentioned SFX's review a month ago, and more recently it caused a stir that led to the front page of a couple of tabloids... just as SFX predicted! According to the publisher's site it's not out yet, but they sent out a bunch of copies already (mine arrived today, and based on twitter I've received it a few days later than a lot of people!), so... yeah.

Not read much of it yet, as you can see, but it's a solid opening. The really interesting stuff -- the Doctor Who years, and all the controversy -- is still to come.

Additionally, today I've also spotted a few reviews of the book that exceed the mere critical appraisal to become worthwhile reading in their own right. There's Matthew Sweet's for the Guardian, Brian J. Robb's for Sci-Fi Bulletin, and Anthony Weight's for Doctor Who News. The last includes this particularly insightful, truthful comment near the end:

I think [Nathan-Turner] would have been pleased that he’ll be remembered, and that’s where the curse of Doctor Who is at least paying him something back. [The BBC1 controller when Who was axed in 1989,] Jonathan Powell – refreshingly honest as an interviewee here – may well have been a far superior drama producer to Nathan-Turner, with a track record the latter couldn’t hope to match. He’s produced several BAFTA-winning productions of high quality. But he’ll never have a biography written about him. Nobody will ever research his life in detail, track down and speak to his teachers and schoolfriends. Trace the progress of his career in television, from the studio floor to the producer’s chair. When he dies, it will be little-noted outside of his friends and family.

Doctor Who can destroy careers. But Doctor Who fans remember.

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