Doctor Who: The Library of Carsus discussion

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The Panopticon (People of Who) > Blue Box Boy by Matthew Waterhouse

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message 1: by The Master (new)

The Master (themaster) | 16 comments I roared through this book and would recommend it to any DW fan. My mini-review follows below.


Matthew Waterhouse joins the growing number of people related to Doctor Who (be it actors or writers) who have produced autobiographies, focussed on their time on the show.

Waterhouse's approach is slightly different, as his personal experiences -- certainly at the time -- were unique. He had grown up watching Doctor Who and was a dedicated fan of the show. From childhood DW fan, he suddenly became one of its youngest-ever regular cast members. After two seasons, he just as suddenly found himself pitched into the world of minor celebrity as a former cast member... for life.

The third person narration really worked here, as it complemented the straightforward chronological structure. There were many LOL bits, and although Waterhouse recounted many observations of actors behaving like actors (i.e. self-absorbed and/or catty or both!), it was not mean-spirited in the least. He comes across as liking almost all of the people in the Whoniverse he has worked with or encountered over the years, despite their failings or bad moments.

Overall Blue Box Boy is a great read and very entertaining.


message 2: by [deleted user] (new)

Interesting. Adric was insufferable and acted with terrible ham, but maybe I'll give this a read some day. I'd be more likely to jump at reading a book by a companion I actually liked, though. Have you read Frazer Hines' book?


message 3: by The Master (last edited Aug 25, 2010 07:53AM) (new)

The Master (themaster) | 16 comments No, this was the first DW cast bio that I've read. I just started The Writer's Tale by Russell T Davies.

Has Hines written one book or two? I may have been confused by different covers of the same book.


message 4: by [deleted user] (new)

I think he wrote one and then updated it and re-released it with a new title.


CaptKirk42 Classic Whovian (klandersen) | 180 comments Sounds like a fun read. Although I agree with Matt I'd rather read a book by another companion. I sort of liked Adric when he first showed up but after a while, I wanted him to go away. Sort of like Wesley Crusher on Star Trek: The Next Generation. People tend not to like a smart alec Know-it-all Kid in sci-fi stories.


message 6: by Mary JL (last edited Aug 29, 2010 12:29PM) (new)

Mary JL (maryjl) | 64 comments I liked Adric. I think he would be a more popular companion if the writers had done something with him.

Instead, they went for the obvious--smart aleck teen age know it all. Had they delved more into Adric's alien nature and contrasted with the other two aliens traveling with the Doctor, they could have gotten some good story ideas out of it.

Unfortunately, most writers just focus on the doctor and the companion is just around to ask "Doctor, what is it?" and be rescued.

The new series is doing a bit better on delving into the companions.


message 7: by Leela4 (last edited Sep 01, 2010 01:41PM) (new)

Leela4 | 98 comments > Instead, they went for the obvious--smart aleck teen age know it all.

Ulgh, is that what they did? After three years of the companion getting into trouble because she wants to impress some primitives with her superiority, they decide--just for a change--to have a companion who gets into trouble because he wants to impress his travelling companions with his superiority?

Can't imagine why people found it tiresome....

> The new series is doing a bit better on delving into the companions.

As opposed to series 1, 2, 3, and 4?

Combining the two topics: One of my top favorite episodes has Adric not doing anything important in itself but convincingly ending up in the right places at the right times to help because of his drive to explore and experiment. --No character delving, no comparisons with home, just straight characterization. The episodes is "Warriors' Gate".

Of course, it's rather spoiled by Romana getting into trouble because she wants to impress some primitives.


message 8: by Leela4 (new)

Leela4 | 98 comments > Had they delved more into Adric's alien nature and contrasted with the other two aliens traveling with the Doctor, they could have gotten some good story ideas out of it.

Alas, some of us can do that, but can't plot to save our lives. There's a story I've been working on lately that just...isn't. I have characters, agendas, geography, you name it. But I don't have *drive*. Why should a reader read this story? What does the reader hope and fear? There's no soul here.


message 9: by MJ (new)

MJ | 9 comments I hadn't realized Frazer Hines had written a book! He's coming to Chicago TARDIS Thanksgiving weekend. I'll have to see if I can get it (though I'm sure it'll be for sale in the dealers' room!).


message 10: by Rick (new)

Rick | 1181 comments Mary JL wrote: "I liked Adric. I think he would be a more popular companion if the writers had done something with him. Instead, they went for the obvious--smart aleck teen age know it all. Had they delved more i..."

Yes, except they didn't. According to Waterhouse the character as described to him when he was hired was suppposed to be an Artful Dodger sort. Add to that a badge for "mathematical excellence" and an need to be accepted by his older brother, which came as the first story was unfolding, and you have a mishmash of oddities for an actor to build a character from. And Waterhouse wasn't an experienced actor either. If I recall correctly this was only his second acting job.

Yes, the book is fascinating and very insightful in offering his perspective on the workings of the production. Sadly, the old series was never very interested in offering well constructed backgrounds for the characters. When it did so, these were more the exceptions than the norm.

Waterhouse's book does a great job of illustrating the frustration of being trapped between the joy of being able to be part of one's childhood dreams while also being forced to shed every scrap of those dreams to become a professional.


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