Script Doctor -
The Inside Story of Doctor Who 1986 - 1989
By Andrew Cartmel
Have you ever wondered what it takes to put together a full season of Doctor Who? What it takes to get to put four stories together and deal with the writers and the producers? If you have, then a great book to read would be Script Doctor by former Doctor Who script editor Andrew Cartmel who spent three years working on Doctor Who. Andrew Cartmel worked on Doctor Who from 1986 to 1989 for the entire Sylvester McCoy era. He was there when they cast Sylvester McCoy right to the end when Sylvester McCoy did the voice over for the final speech in Survival. Andrew Cartmel has written a book based on his notes and experiences of working on Doctor Who in a book simply called Script Doctor: The Inside Story of Doctor Who 1986 – 1989 and I have to say it was pretty interesting reading about what goes on behind the scenes.
The book starts off in 1986 when Andrew Cartmel quits his job to become the new script editor of Doctor Who and the task of having to get a new season started without yet knowing who The Doctor would be. While reading this book you find out all the problems that Andrew Cartmel went through and some of the good times also. You get an insight of how he wanted to approach the stories and how he was influential into getting new writers to write for Doctor Who. What was the most interesting was how they went about casting Sylvester McCoy and the interesting story on how the audition scene made its way into Dragonfire.
While Andrew Cartmel was pretty complimentary of his fellow writers and was pretty disappointed with how the BBC presented the stories with the scripts and costumes, to this day Ben Aaronovitch cannot watch Battlefield because of this, it is quite apparent that if he had to do things over again he would of stood up to John Nathan – Turner and had not gotten Time and the Rani commissioned and had not brought on Pip and Jane Baker to write for the 7th Doctor at all and while reading his recollection of that time I agree with him as if you have watched Time of the Rani you would agree also. There was definitely no love lost between Pip and Jane Baker and Andrew Cartmel.
Script Doctor: The Inside Story of Doctor Who 1986 – 1989 was a fascinating read and I really enjoyed reading it a lot. If you are a fan of the classic era of Doctor Who this is a book you definitely need for your collection and if you get the chance buy it from Andrew Cartmel at a convention as he will autograph it for you.