Sunday, July 07, 2019

Black Archive: The Dalek Invasion of Earth, by Jonathan Morris

My friend Jonny's book on 1964 Doctor Who story The Dalek Invasion of Earth is excellent - and not only because its reference to my own book in the same Black Archive series says nice things. 

Jonny's focus is the development of the story - from initial idea, through first and final draft of the script, the changes made when it went before the TV cameras and then its adaptations on the big screen and in print. Thrillingly, he's managed to get hold of Terry Nation's first draft scripts - or copies held in private hands, since the originals are no longer held in the BBC's own archives - and a first draft of the script for the movie. The former is especially interesting, as comparison with the camera scripts (used when the story went in front of the cameras) reveals the extent of work contributed by story editor David Whitaker. The most astonishing insight - to me - is that writers were likely to only produce a single draft which Whitaker would then rewrite himself. No rewrites! It's another world!

It would be a shame to spoil any more of the gems here. It's a compelling, engaging original piece of research. Especially pleasingly, I'd hoped it might provide some context for a thing I'm writing about one of the characters in the story; it has loads.

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