Drama And Delight
Verity Important Person
Release Date: OUT NOW!
379 pages | Hardback Author: Richard Marson Publisher: Miwk
biography of ’ 80s Doctor Who producer John Nathan- Turner was scandalous stuff. This life of first incumbent Verity Lambert can’t hope to compete. Plus, since her two seasons were just a small part of a long and successful career, it has a lot less to offer Who fans – less than 30 pages.
However, it does share that previous book’s strengths. It’s meticulously researched, drawing on BBC memos, old interviews and fresh discussions with friends and colleagues. It’s no hagiography; and once again no question is off- limits. In JN- T that meant asking, “Was he a paedophile?” Here, it’s, “Did she get the Who job by screwing her boss?” The consensus is no… but some still insist that she did.
Plain speaking is plentiful, particularly from Who director Richard Martin – Dalek creator Terry Nation was, he bluntly states, “A fucking awful writer”. One suspects the formidably forthright producer – nicknamed “Fishwife Lambert” at Thames Television – would have approved. If your existing impression of her stems from BBC Two drama An Adventure In Space And Time’s diluted depiction, prepare to have it blown away.
Inevitably, the book becomes less absorbing the higher Lambert climbs the career ladder – management disputes are less diverting than on- set anecdotes. But it remains a fascinating read for anyone with a wide- ranging interest in TV history. Ian Berriman Who director Richard Martin nicknamed Lambert “Very- titty” – and unfortunately, he once accidentally said it to her face…