The Doctor Who Production Diary: The Hartnell Years – p/b

£24.99

The Doctor Who Production Diary: The Hartnell Years – p/b

£24.99

Written by David Brunt.

In the first of a new series of books, noted Doctor Who historian David Brunt presents the most detailed and comprehensive day-by-day record ever published of the show’s production during the years 1963-1966 when William Hartnell played the Doctor.

668pp. 6×9-format deluxe paperback, with gatefold flaps, silver foil stamp, and printing to the reverse of the cover.
ISBN 978-1-84583-222-3
Published 10 May 2024

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ALSO AVAILABLE AS A TELOS E-BOOK FROM SELECTED ONLINE RETAILERS

 

In the first of a new series of books, noted Doctor Who historian David Brunt presents the most detailed and comprehensive day-by-day record ever published of the show’s production during the years 1963-1966 when William Hartnell played the Doctor.

Drawing on many years of research and an exhaustive study of BBC archive documentation – including files not previously accessed by any other Doctor Who author – the book includes a wealth of newly-discovered information and explodes some long-standing myths.

Some things you will discover in this book:

  • Which future Doctor Who scriptwriter was the first person approached to write for the series?
  • How major was the overhaul to the BBC Drama Department under Sydney Newman in 1963, and who first suggested the idea before he even joined the BBC?
  • How did the series manage to get made, when several people inside the BBC tried to get it cancelled before it even went into production?
  • How many people turned down the offer of becoming the series’ producer before Verity Lambert was hired?
  • How long before he appeared as Steven Taylor was Peter Purves contracted for the role?
  • Was Vicki going to appear in ‘The Daleks’ Master Plan’?
  • Was Katarina originally going to survive that same story?
  • When was Vicki planned to be burned as a witch?
  • Was Anne Chaplet going to appear in ‘The Celestial Toymaker’?
  • On what date was it first decided to write out William Hartnell as the Doctor?
  • Exactly when was Patrick Troughton contracted to replace him?

And much more …

You think you know the background and history of the development of the show and the era of the First Doctor?  Think again …

‘Skewering fan myths along the way, it’s a truly impressive feat of contextualisation.’ Nick Setchfield, SFX

COMMENTS FROM READERS

It’s the best book about the best subject, written in the best way, that I’ve ever read. And to be fair I’ve read a few.‘ Paul Jones

This beautifully presented book is crammed with an astonishing amount of research, detail and information from the archives. After three decades of loving 60’s Who, I have been delighted with how much new info I have learned. The book is frankly a bargain considering the amount of hard work and effort that David Brunt and the Telos team have put into this. A triumph and a book that every Doctor Who fan should treat themselves to, it will be a book I shall return to again and again. Can’t wait for the next volume. Bravo David and thank you for creating this masterpiece!’ Norman Cullen on Amazon

This is an incredible work, meticulously detailed and an absolutely fascinating insight into how British TV shows were made once upon a time. By laying out chronologically how this show was put together (including contextual bits of history from the BBC and documents surrounding the drive for such a show over the years before it aired) you can see how the show morphed from its early concept through to the final product and the reasons behind so much of what was finally on screen. Television just isn’t made in this way anymore (probably for the better) and so it’s an invaluable insight into a craft and a business model that no longer exists. I very much hope the promised following volumes will be produced.‘ Guywhothinksstuff on Amazon

This is a fascinating and meticulously researched book, full of minutaie and rare information on the development and first 3 years of Doctor Who. A goldmine, full of delicious nuggets! Buy it!‘ Cosmicphil on Amazon

Just simply amazing. Everything but the kitchen sink in this definitive history of the production of the William Hartnell years of Dr Who. And, as in the story “Planet of the Giants”, where our miniaturised heroes get stuck in a kitchen sink, you could even say you have that too! Could also be viewed as a comprehensive history of something close to my heart, the phenomena of “Dalekmania”, that spanned the entire span of the years covered in this book. So you have all of that too. Highly recommended.‘ Bill S on Amazon

Absolutely incredible book, excellently researched, written and presented! I don’t see how this book could be surpassed by anything after this. The details, the minutiae, wow wow wow. I really don’t know what else to say except if you’re a fan of behind-the-scenes Doctor Who, or of television in general, this is an absolute MUST have! You will not be disappointed!‘ Kevin Schultz on Amazon

Absolutely superb history of TV’s longest running sci-fi show. It’s the size of a house brick and packed with fascinating information.‘ Robert Prosser on Amazon

‘It’s a tremendous achievement. David copes well with the peaks and troughs in the source material – and lets us know in an appendix where all the gaps are. I have a clearer idea than before of how the handovers between Verity Lambert and John Wiles, and John Wiles and Innes Lloyd, worked. There is all sorts of new information which enriches our understanding of how television worked, both formally and through social connections. The proximity of Doctor Who to an early end is now much clearer, both in late 1963 and throughout 1966 – and Shaun Sutton emerges as a crucial defender of the series, and as one of its reinventors, at a crucial point. I await the next instalment eagerly, but with patience.’ Matthew Kilburn

‘The first volume of The Doctor Who Production Diary – The Hartnell Years – has now turned up. It’s a beautifully presented item – wonderfully designed cover with photographic endpapers and a really classy feel to it. But it’s the 668 pages inside the quality binding that really interest me. As yet, I’ve just had a brief chance to glance through the sheer delight that if offers… and I really do feel that for Doctor Who reference works, this is The Next Thing.’ Andrew Pixley

‘I’ve pored over much of the original paperwork used here and thought I knew this stuff. This exhaustive diary tells a whole new story.’ Simon Guerrier

‘What a handsome volume it is, very well designed. I can see the collection expanding on the shelf until it encompasses No 7. I’ve been flicking through it today, looking out for particular moments, and my own personal interests. I’m fascinated by “The Celestial Toymaker”, and there is Carmen Silvera cast as Margaret … There is plenty of new information in there; hitherto unknown rejected scripts or storylines, personal appearances and what was going on within the drama department which would have naturally impacted upon the programme. David Brunt’s approach is one I adore – a chronology. I remember Peter Haining’s Key to Time book back in 1984, then The First Doctor Handbook in either 1994 or 5 which gave us a virtual novelisation of General Files A and B held in the Written Archives. But what David has done – and is doing with future volumes – is phenomenal, right down to when guest actors sign their contracts. This is a much recommended book, and an essential one. Well played.’ Michael Seeley

‘It looks fabulous. You can see the hard work that has gone into it. Great work David B with David J H and everyone else at Telos.’ Ceri L, Roobarbs Forum

Copies of this book will be available to USA-based customers through the following retailers:
WHO North America: https://www.whona.com

Copies of this book will be available to AUSTRALIAN and NEW ZEALAND-based customers through the following retailer:
RETROSPACE: https://www.retrospace.co.nz/the-doctor-who-production-diary-the-hartnell-years/

668pp. 6×9-format deluxe paperback, with gatefold flaps, silver foil stamp, and printing to the reverse of the cover.
ISBN 978-1-84583-222-3
Published 10 May 2024

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

David Brunt was born at an early age, on a date somewhere in this book, and (at the time of writing) is still alive.

He has been a participant in Doctor Who fandom since time began, including as historian of the Doctor Who Appreciation Society for eleven years, for which he is still apologising.

For a decade he was writer of several BBC Doctor Who DVD and blu-ray production notes, which seemed to go down well at the time even though all the best jokes were edited out.

Advisor and contributor to far too many TV-related magazines and books to remember.

He lives somewhere in Wales, near England. Somebody has to.

 

Additional information

Weight 1.02 kg
Dimensions 20.3 × 13.2 × 6 cm

2 reviews for The Doctor Who Production Diary: The Hartnell Years – p/b

  1. Simon Guerrier

    ‘I’ve pored over much of the original paperwork used here and thought I knew this stuff. This exhaustive diary tells a whole new story.’ Simon Guerrier
    https://0tralala.blogspot.com/2024/05/the-doctor-who-production-diary-1.html

  2. Andrew Pixley

    The first volume of “The Doctor Who Production Diary” – “The Hartnell Years” – has now turned up. It’s a beautifully presented item – wonderfully designed cover with photographic endpapers and a really classy feel to it. But it’s the 668 pages inside the quality binding that really interest me. As yet, I’ve just had a brief chance to glance through the sheer delight that if offers… and I really do feel that for “Doctor Who” reference works, this is The Next Thing.

    I always find The Next Thing to be very exciting. It’s a work that moves things forwards and becomes the next go-to volume on my shelf because it not only covers what’s gone before, but builds upon it with new material and presents it in a manner that offers a new take on the content or makes it more accessible. Yet without devaluing what’s gone before… instead, using it as a starting point but taking it to that new next level.

    I mean, in 1983 I took a morning off school to go into town to buy “The Avengers” by Dave Rogers on publication day. WOW! What a book. Still love it. Then Dave tops that with “The Complete Avengers” in 1989 and refines that even more in “The Ultimate Avengers” in 1995, all the time adding more and more in terms of context and production documentation. And then Michael Richardson offered “Bowler Hats and Kinky Boots” in 2014, which – with its near day-by-day look at production of the original series and its spin-offs – is currently my first port of call for all things John Steed related. But I still love all of them for – at one time or another – being The Next Thing.

    And it’s a thing that happens regularly with so many of these shows that I love. For me, “The Prisoner: The Official Companion” replaced the similar sounding “The Official Prisoner Companion”, “A Star Trek Catalog” was replaced by “The Star Trek Compendium” was replaced by “These Are The Voyages”. “The Complete Professionals” by Dave Rogers begat “The Professionals” by Bob Rocca. “The Twilight Zone: Unlocking the Door to a Television Classic” supplanted “The Twilight Zone Companion”. “The Complete Book of Thunderbirds” was indeed more complete than “Thunderbirds are Go!”

    And with “Doctor Who”, I’ve been so lucky that every few years there’s been something new that comes along and pushes things forwards. So, I start with “The Making of Doctor Who” (in both editions) and then we get “The Doctor Who Programme Guide” (again in various flavours) and the DWAS reference works and the amazing CMS releases and “The Handbook” range from Virgin and the Panini/Hachette partwork…

    … but now there’s something else, something new that’s really taking what’s gone before and presenting it in a new way that allows me to understand more about how this amazing, strange little show was made. And this approach of – from a quick skim – taking all the existing production paperwork and presenting it as a single chronology rather than the usual story-by-story approach is what’s really quite captivating here; to be able have all these parallel projects mapped out and understand how and why they’d impact on each other and experience that continual grind of creating 25 minutes of broadcast television every single week.

    It’s reminiscent of part of “The First Doctor” volume of “Doctor Who: The Handbook”. Another work that I adore and cherish. But it’s taking it to the next level. And – already – I’m seeing a whole stack of new, unused storyline and script ideas that were submitted and under consideration for this era… items that I’ve never seen catalogued before…

    Yes… looking forward to diving into this immensely. I really do think it’s The Next Thing.

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