Book News

Starburst Magazine - - Things to Come -

Miwk Pub­lish­ing have re­leased de­tails of two forth­com­ing books which chron­i­cle the lives and work of two leg­endary fig­ures from the history of the orig­i­nal Doc­tor Who se­ries. A Pe­cu­liar Ef­fect on the BBC, due to be pub­lished this month (Septem­ber), is the post­hu­mous memoir (writ­ten in the 1990s) of Bernard Wilkie, a gen­uine pi­o­neer in the world of TV vis­ual ef­fects who, to­gether with his col­league Jack Kine, es­tab­lished the BBC’s first, rudi­men­tary Vis­ual Ef­fects Depart­ment in 1954. Across the next twen­ty­four years, Wilkie helped rev­o­lu­tionise the world of tele­vi­sion ef­fects and the book chron­i­cles his work on land­mark Bri­tish TV pro­duc­tions such as 1984, Qu­ater­mass and, of course, Doc­tor Who, on which he worked ex­ten­sively in the 1960s and ‘70s. Oc­to­ber sees the re­lease of To Put You in the Pic­ture, the memoir of Robert Banks Stewart, one of the UK’s most ac­claimed TV writ­ers/ pro­duc­ers whose work spans over five decades. Best known as the cre­ator of BBC de­tec­tive dra­mas Shoestring and Berg­erac, Banks Stewart also con­trib­uted to shows as di­verse as The Dar­ling Buds of May and Love­joy. In 1975, he wrote the first of his two scripts for Doc­tor Who. Terror of the Zy­gons opened Tom Baker’s sec­ond se­ries and in­tro­duced the foe­tus-like shape-shift­ing Zy­gons, who re­turned to the se­ries in 2013’s an­niver­sary spe­cial and who will be back in a two-part story in Se­ries Nine. In 1976, Baker’s sec­ond sea­son con­cluded with Banks Stewart’s sec­ond se­rial, the pop­u­lar Seeds of Doom, a Thing from Another World- inspired yarn which sees the Doc­tor and Sarah Jane (Elisabeth Sladen) bat­tle the alien Krynoid crea­ture, which ger­mi­nates from an alien seed pod dis­cov­ered buried in the Antarc­tic. The se­rial, fa­mously crit­i­cised by con­tem­po­rary TV Stan­dards Watchdog Mary Whitehouse for its ‘graphic’ de­pic­tion of “ob­scene veg­etable mat­ter”, fea­tures a show-stop­ping turn by the late Tony Beck­ley as ur­bane mil­lion­aire baddy Har­ri­son Chase. Both books can be or­dered online from Miwk.

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