The John Nathan-Turner Production Diary 1979-1990


The John Nathan-Turner Production Diary 1979-1990

(2 customer reviews)
5.00 out of 5 based on 1 customer rating


Written by Richard Molesworth
Introduction by Andrew Cartmel

In this fascinating account of one of Doctor Who‘s most turbulent periods, noted researcher Richard Molesworth presents an unprecedentedly detailed record of producer John Nathan-Turner’s day-to-day activities on the show.

Drawing on unique archive documents, the book tells the full story of how one of the most divisive figures in Doctor Who‘s history steered it through the entire decade of the 1980s, revealing the key decisions that shaped its development and affording an invaluable insight into how the production office responded to the many controversies that dogged it during that period.

An unmissable treat for all fans of classic Doctor Who!

432pp. 6×9 paperback.
ISBN 978-1-84583-199-8
Published 13 May 2022

We always aim to ensure that books are sent out as quickly as possible, but sometimes it can take a little longer than usual, so please do not query non-receipt until 28 days after the date the order was placed.



Categories: ,

John Nathan-Turner is arguably the most controversial person to have been involved with Doctor Who, certainly the most controversial person associated with the ‘classic’ series of the show, which ran on the BBC between 1963 and 1989.

When John left the BBC at the end of August 1990, one of his last jobs was to clear out the now-defunct Doctor Who Production Office in Union House. With a whole raft of paperwork that related to John’s decade as producer of the series, the office was piled high with cabinets of pure history. This paperwork eventually passed into the hands of others for safekeeping, among them, Richard Molesworth, at the time working on the BBC’s Doctor Who DVD range.

John kept quite a few files of correspondence, and Richard had – over the years – researched further at the BBC’s Written Archive and had amassed much information from the various Doctor Who production files. All these sources had, documented between them, a good record as to what John was doing, and when, during his time in charge of the series.

What this book sets out to do is to put a timeline together of what John was doing, and when, in the ten or so years he was working as Doctor Who’s producer. It seeks to explore when he made certain decisions, some of which had huge long-term consequences for the series. But it also documents some of the minutia that his role as producer entailed. At times, it helps explain how he reacted to certain events that he had no control over, and at others it details where things he could influence went badly wrong.

Join us for a look at what being a BBC producer in the eighties was really like: the decisions, the travel, the meetings, the challenges, the arguments and the praise.

This is a fascinating and in-depth look at the day to day ‘diary’ of Doctor Who’s longest running and most controversial producer.

Copies of this book are available to USA-based customers through the following retailers:
WHO North America:


‘Just excellent in every way. Beautifully researched , a wealth of information. Charting the highs and at times very lows of 1980’s Doctor Who.’ Russ, Amazon Review

Compellingly written, a potentially dry subject becomes a fascinating insight into the changing television production methods employed by the BBC in the 1980s and into the complex – and ultimately tragic – life of BBC staff producer John Nathan-Turner.’ Eddie, Amazon Review

‘It is so insightful … I have learnt what went on during the time when the BBC lost confidence in the show. Brilliant read.‘ David Havers, Amazon Review

One of the most fascinating books about DoctorWho I’ve ever read. A daily journey though the JNT years, revealing how decisions were made, characters created and scripts commissioned, plus the hiatus, the “cancellation”, and the worst of fandom. I don’t know how he kept going.’ Guy Lambert, Twitter

‘An impressive and fascinating piece of work.’ Frank Danes, The Doctor Who Companion

432pp. 6×9 paperback. Initial copies have a foil-stamped cover while stocks last.
ISBN 978-1-84583-199-8
Published 13 May 2022


Richard Molesworth was hooked by Doctor Who when first saw the Daleks menacing Jon Pertwee in ‘Day of the Daleks’ in 1972. He acted as a researched for Thirty Years in the TARDIS, the BBC documentary celebrating Doctor Who‘s thirtieth anniversary, and was a producer of Doctor Who: The Ultimate Guide, which helped celebrate Doctor Who‘s fiftieth anniversary on the BBC. He has written for Doctor Who Magazine, Starburst, SFX, Sci Fi Now, Dreamwatch and Infinity magazines amongst others, and has authored the acclaimed books Wiped: Doctor Who’s Missing Episodes and Robert Holmes: A Life in Words. Working as part of the unofficial Restoration Team, he was responsible for a multitude of special features on the BBC’s Doctor Who DVD releases; producing audio commentaries with cast and crew, and writing, directing and producing a number of documentary features. Most recently he has been Project Manager for the BBC’s classic Doctor Who: The Collection Blu Ray boxsets.

Additional information

Weight .001 kg
Dimensions .01 × .01 × .01 cm

2 reviews for The John Nathan-Turner Production Diary 1979-1990

  1. Frank Danes

  2. David Havers

    This is the one book you need to read, it’s such a joy to read from start to finish. This is the most insightful behind the scenes of any series. Doctor Who of the 1980s had its critics, but this will leave you wanting more. Fantastic.

Add a review