Drama And De­light

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Rated book -

Ver­ity Im­por­tant Per­son

Re­lease Date: OUT NOW!

379 pages | Hard­back Au­thor: Richard Mar­son Pub­lisher: Miwk

Richard Mar­son’s

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…

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