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Vampyros Adric: Top Ten Writers

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Author Topic: Vampyros Adric: Top Ten Writers  (Read 351 times)
Vampyros Adric
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« Reply #20 on: February 01, 2013, 04:52:04 pm »

Also i'd be grateful if any other mod could shrink the photo (my poor skills mean you have to scroll left to get poor Kit Pedler in shot).
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« Reply #21 on: February 01, 2013, 05:33:42 pm »

Better?
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"He is ever after only one thing: power. And also helmets with horns ... he's really into those."
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« Reply #22 on: February 03, 2013, 11:03:14 am »

Thanks PRG Smiley
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« Reply #23 on: February 03, 2013, 12:20:39 pm »

You're welcome  Smiley
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« Reply #24 on: February 05, 2013, 11:49:08 pm »

Between them they wrote some brilliant scripts and I know they also collaborated, but I wouldn't have expected to see them listed as a team or partnership for Doctor Who, though arguably they did their best work together on Tomb. It's an interesting choice though, and one I never expected.
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« Reply #25 on: February 05, 2013, 11:49:42 pm »

I'd also personally list them below the previous two entries.
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« Reply #26 on: February 07, 2013, 02:20:51 pm »

I'd also personally list them below the previous two entries.

To take your first point, I admitted in the OP that I was being a little naughty grouping them together. Although they were extremely collaborative in there work, both on Who and beyond, they were not a partnership in the way that Baker and Martin were. But without Pedler and Davis (working together) we would not have had Cybermen, nor would would have had the heavy thrust towards real science which shaped the direct of the classic series for many years. They were very much rooted at the start of the show but I think they are genuinely unsung heroes in respect of the show. They provided a template for stories to be rooted in real science issues and put the Doctor as a problem-solving scientist. I very much think their influence permeated all of the classic series.

You may not agree - but I guess that's the maddening attraction of lists such as this Smiley
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« Reply #27 on: February 09, 2013, 10:05:04 am »

They gave us the Cybermen and THEN gave us Tomb. That's enough to justify their placing for me.
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« Reply #28 on: February 09, 2013, 03:48:51 pm »

From writers from the dawn of the show we move to a real stalwart of the post 2005 incarnation

NUMBER 7


Toby Whithouse


Toby Whithouse is an actor, stand-up comedian and (most famously) a scriptwriter who started writing for Doctor Who in 2006. After giving up college to be an actor, he decided that he could do better than many of the scripts he was reading. He was already a friend of Exec Producer Julie Gardiner and when she approached him to write a very special script for the first season of David Tennant's Doctor, involving the return of Sarah Jane Smith.

Whithouse has written the following episodes of Doctor Who;

School Reunion
The Vampires of Venice
The God Complex
A Town Called Mercy

In addition he has written the Torchwood episode Greeks Bearing Gifts. Away from the Whoniverse, Whithouse boasts one of the most impressive CVs of any of the writers, having created and acted as showrunner for cult BBC3 series Being Human.

he's in the list because..

One of the few writers to work for both Moffat and RTD, his list of episodes include some of the most iconic moments of the New Series. He has shown himself to be versatile, writing both action and emotion (very often in the same story) and he illustrates a feel for all of the characters (not just the Doctor). His stories are solid, have good pace and always have some wonderful moments in (think of the Hartnell library card in Vampires of Venice, the sheer joy of seeing Sarah Jane again and the whole wonderful emotion at play in the God Complex). I look at his stories and I can't find one that I wouldn't gladly re-watch again. One of the most talented scriptwriters of his generation, the show has been lucky to make use of his talents.
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« Reply #29 on: February 09, 2013, 04:03:34 pm »

Love all these episodes Smiley
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« Reply #30 on: February 09, 2013, 07:31:47 pm »

I think VOV is terribly overrated and School Reunion is pretty much a dud too, however Sarah Jane was written brilliantly. His other two though have been amongst the very best of their seasons.
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« Reply #31 on: February 19, 2013, 01:01:37 am »

Next on the list, we have my own personal favourite and a writer who brought so much to our wonderful show

NUMBER 6


Malcolm Hulke



Malcolm Hulke (21 Nov 1924 - 6 July 1979) was a screenwriter and novelist who wrote some of the most important and influential Doctor Who scripts of the classic series. He started writing children’s sci-fi series in the late 50’s and contributed to series such as Danger Man and The Protectors. He also co-wrote a script for the Avengers with a young, upcoming writer called Terrance D1cks and became a lifelong friend and mentor to D1cks. Therefore, when Terrance D. became script editor for Doctor Who, he commissioned Hulke a number of times, based on the fact that Hulke was reliable, understood the format of the show and provided simple yet effective plots. Away from screenwriting, Hulke was an avowed communist and pacifist. His writing always echoed a mistrust of authority and portrayed the villains as working in shades of grey rather than mere black and white.

List of Episodes

The Faceless Ones (with David Ellis)
The War Games (with Terrance D1cks)
Doctor Who and The Silurians
The Ambassadors of Death (with D1cks and David Whittaker and Trevor Ray - this was an uncredited re-write)
Colony in Space
The Sea Devils
Frontier In Space
Invasion of the Dinosaurs

He's on the list because

The list of his achievements are impressive enough: co-creator of The Time Lords, The Silurians and The Sea Devils. Writer of some of Doctor Who’s most iconic episodes as well as numerous Target novelizations. But Mac Hulke is far more than the sum of his achievements. He represented a way of writing that treated the viewers as intelligent and gave them ideas that were sophisticated. If his plots were simple, his characterizations were always deeply layered. One only has to look at the construction of the Invasion of the Dinosaurs. This was no simple good v evil tale, this was an allegory of betrayal and a warning as to the perils of certainty in motive. His most enduring creation, the Silurians were no mere villainous monsters; they were civilized, cultured and sympathetic. Hulke was a writer who wore his political heart on his sleeve yet he was never preachy nor pious. He understood the motivations of his characters and (certainly in his novelisations) he never presented anyone as worthless or insignificant. His novel, The War Games, is one of the great, unsung anti-war texts. More than any other writer, Mac Hulke is the writer I most want to be like. He is one of the greatest writers to have written for the show, but I commend you to him as one of the most interesting, one of the most socially aware and one of the most humane writers ever to work on Doctor Who. It is a tribute to the writing talent that the show has enjoyed that the great Malcolm Hulke is only at no. 6!
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« Reply #32 on: February 24, 2013, 05:25:46 pm »

Footnote: I have just watched the extras from the Ambassadors of Death. As stated above Malcolm Hulke did a significant re-write on the story but not sure he can be given a story credit on it. Don't think it in any way undermines my argument.
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« Reply #33 on: August 07, 2013, 03:04:51 pm »

Toby Whithouse - Very much split on his contribution to the show. He has come up with two absolute corkers (his last two) and two that I think were far below just how good I know his writing can be (his second two). Nevertheless, I do think he deserves a place on the list.

Malcolm Hulke - 'Nuff Said! With a collection of stories like that on your CV you can pretty much die happy. While I didn't know they were all written by the same guy, if I was doing this list and had done my research, he would have ended up higher up.

With only 5 spots left and so many awesome writers left in the mix, the next few are going to make for some very interesting reading.
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My Series 6 Ratings (so far):
TIA 10/10 | DOTM 10/10 | COTBS 8/10 | TDW 10/10 | TRF 9/10 | TAP 10/10 | AGMGTW 10/10 | LKH 8/10 | NT 4/10 | TGWW 10/10
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« Reply #34 on: August 08, 2013, 12:55:01 pm »

I think he would have placed higher on my list, so the fact he is at number 6 should definitely make for an interesting top 5
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« Reply #35 on: August 13, 2013, 09:05:14 pm »

I promise that writer #5 is soon to be announced. The writer is very special to me so I wanted to do a proper job on the bio Smiley
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« Reply #36 on: August 16, 2013, 04:00:45 pm »

As promised, we have a titanic figure in Doctor Who history for the next writer. A man who is responsible for me being here and loving the show as much as I do.

Apologies for the use of '1' to replace the letter 'i' but the internet censors TD's name otherwise 

NUMBER 5


Terrance D1cks



Born 10th May 1935, Terrance D1cks benefited from a classical education at Downing College Cambridge and started life as a copywriter, who would write radio scripts for the BBC in his spare time. His big break in television came through his great friend and mentor, Malcolm Hulke who he worked with on the Avengers.

Joining the Doctor Who team in 1968, during the making of The Invasion, he became full script editor in 1969 following a considerable re-write on the Brian Hayles penned “Seeds of Death”. He wrote the epic Troughton Finale, The War Games with Hulke and providing the first realisation of the Time Lords in the final episode. As script editor throughout the Pertwee era, D1cks, together with Barry Letts, led the UNIT based Doctor through a series of memorable adventures, with D1cks often heavily re-writing them.

Upon leaving the position of script editor, D1cks penned his first solo Who story, the Tom Baker debut Robot. He went on to provide another 3 stories (including Brain of Morbius and the best pen name in the history of Who ‘Robin Bland’ coined when D1cks disagreed with numerous re-writes by Robert Holmes). He was the writer that producer John Nathan-Turner turned to rescue the 20th Anniversary when Robert Holmes pulled out and The Five Doctors was his final contribution to the show.

In addition to this, he has written more the 60 classic novelizations of TV stories for the Target range, shaping and augmenting the stories to give them a clearer narrative structure. Away from Who, he co-created Moonbase 3 with Barry Letts and also wrote for Space 1999. In the 1980s he resumed his partnership with Letts on the BBC’s Sunday Classic Series. He remains an active author writing children and young adult fantasy work and still contributing to new Doctor Who novelizations.

List of Episodes:

The War Games (co-written with Malcolm Hulke)
Robot
Brain of Morbius (as Robin Bland)
Horror of Fang Rock
State of Decay
The Five Doctors

He's on the list because...

In the pantheon of Doctor Who scribes, the name Terrance D1cks looms large on the horizon. Writer, Script Editor and de-facto joint head of Doctor Who production with Barry Letts through the Jon Pertwee era is impressive enough. D1cks took joint responsibility for the creative direction of the show, together with Letts, for the Pertwee era. It was this partnership that is largely responsible for a huge hike in the shows popularity, rescuing the show at a time when the threat of cancelation loomed for the first time.

The UNIT team and Earth-based nature of the show proved to be no handicap as D1cks brought his keen eye for plot and narrative to bear as script editor. His tenure saw some of the most memorable stories in the history of the show with Autons, a Parallel Earth and Peladon providing some iconic stories. In addition, together with Letts, he decided that the Doctor needed a Moriarty-like adversary and created the Master. It was also D1cks and Letts together who decided upon the casting of Sarah Jane Smith, Harry Sullivan and Tom Baker as the Fourth Doctor!

If, however, you are around 35-50 years old, and a classic Who fan, the name of Terrance D1cks will be synonymous with the Target novelizations that fired our imaginations and fostered our love for the series, when the VHS and DVD era meant watching the shows again seemed a distant dream. His ability to craft a strong plot and narrative may seem old-fashioned to some in this era of character arcs and ‘feels’. There are, however, generations of Who fans whose first real memories of the show are not of wobbly sets or poor productions, but of fabulous alien worlds brought to life by a writer whose skill and craft made for some memorable written adventure. His novelisations frequently tidied up egregious or obvious plot holes. Indeed Paul Cornell, Gareth Roberts and any number of modern science fiction writers cite D1cks's novelisations as a huge influence and an enduring legacy.

For his understanding of what type of show Doctor Who ‘should’ be and for the books without which I certainly wouldn’t have fostered such a deep love for the show, Terrance D1cks is a worthy addition to our top 10 and someone who I value deeply as a member of the Doctor Who family.


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« Reply #37 on: August 19, 2013, 12:35:32 pm »

Based on how I have seen you talk about the chap, I was fully expecting to see him make top 3 at the very least. I find this list to be quite exciting, to be honest. It's not turning out at all how I expected it would. He deserved a place on the list though, no matter what position it was. His contribution to the show is legendary and he played such a huge part in it's success.
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« Reply #38 on: August 21, 2013, 11:20:34 am »

Like PP, this is someone (based on how I have seen you discuss him elsewhere on the forum) that I expected to see higher, if not at the top. Very deserving of his place though.
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« Reply #39 on: August 22, 2013, 09:37:53 am »

I thought he wrote way more stories than that. His name is such a huge part of the classic series I'd have thought he wrote about 20
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