Regular readers will be aware that I’ve been a fan of Ian McNabb with our without the Icicle Works for, ooooh, ages. So when I heard he was writing a book, I knew I’d have to get it, and indeed I did just that.
This isn’t so much an autobiography as being on the receiving end of a long chat with a guy you met in the pub. He tells his story as he sees it – brutally honest about who treated who badly (even when he comes out as “the bad guy”). It’s a fun, quick read, and if you’re at all interested in Ian, or in the music industry in general, you should enjoy this.
It’s even got an introduction written by Janice Long – what more can you ask for?
 Insert standard guff about literary devices and pretending, etc
Over the last few years, there have been a lot of Doctor Who books published, ranging from histories of the series, collections of scripts, looks behind the scenes of the production process, and lots more. But this one is something quite different from all of those.
It all started when Benjamin Cook asked Russell if he’d be prepared to share his thoughts about writing during the pre-production process for the 2008 series. The plan was to put this all together for an article in Doctor Who Magazine. But it sort of grew into this 500 page, quite large book instead..
The bulk of the book is made up of emails and text messages between Russell and Ben. Russell shares early drafts of scripts, talks in great detail about the whole process of developing the stories, lets on how much rewriting he’s been doing on other writer’s scripts, suffers from insecurity and indecision, worries about leaks to the press, deals with crises, and generally reveals far more than you’re ever likely to read anywhere else. Ben acts as a sounding board, generally trying not to influence Russell. Though he does make one suggestion. Which Russell accepts…
I had great fun reading this – it was responsible for quite a few late nights, and a few mornings when I didn’t get up as early as I might have done, as I just wanted to read a few more pages. In addition to large chunks of script (in various versions), lots on Russell’s earlier TV work and life in general, there are loads of pictures, a few email exchanges with incoming head writer Steven Moffat, and much more.
If you’re the kind of Doctor Who fan who makes a point of watching Confidential, you’ll probably get a lot out of this.
 Some of the tabloid stories were so accurate that somebody on the inside had to be leaking. Russell was particularly annoyed by one leak which appeared in the Daily Star – “At least The Sun has readers…”
It’s been a while since I did this, but having been prompted and reminded by the same person who got me to do it before, I’ve done it again. I’ve given myself a to-do list for 2009. I haven’t put anything extremely unlikely or too unrealistic on it, so I should be able to achieve at least some of them.
As before, I’m keeping the actual list private, but you may see some reports if I manage any of them.
And to encourage me to work on one of them, I’ll be bringing back the always totally exciting daily weight reports. I’ll bet you can’t wait!
Yes, we seem to have made it to 2009 somehow. I don’t have much to say about that, but What the Duck has some sound advice for these difficult times:
What the Duck
Note: Losing it does not advocate drinking champagne from the bottle, as the bubbles may go up your nose, leading to possible spillage. Use a glass. While it may not be the ideal shape to prolong bubble activity, a pint glass will save refilling time. Cheers!