Running Through Corridors – Volume 1: The 60s by Robert Shearman and Toby Hadoke (book review).

May 4, 2018 | By | Reply More

‘Running Through Corridors: Volume 1: The 60s’ is the first volume of Rob Shearman and Toby Hadoke’s correspondence as they attempt to watch and listen to all of ‘Doctor Who’ from start to finish. As expected, this book covers both William Hartnell and Patrick Troughton’s stories as the series emerges in late 1963 with ‘An Unearthly Child’ and reaches the summer of 1969 with ‘The War Games’.

Both authors should be familiar to fans. Shearman was the writer of the 2005 series one story ‘Dalek’ as well as numerous other Big Finish productions and many other non-Who award-winning plays. Hadoke, meanwhile, is a comedian who built two successful shows from being a ‘Doctor Who’ fan and who has also been on an epic quest to interview as many people involved with the classic series’ production in podcast form for Big Finish.

The pair then are very knowledgeable about the show they love and, as they begin the pilgrimage throughout the show, there’s a certain amount of trepidation for the enormity of the task at hand. One episode a day, with 695 episodes, means that the whole project will take nearly a year and a half to complete, which is no mean feat.

Enthusiasm for the show, especially with our leads, William Hartnell, Carole Ann Ford, Jacqueline Hill and William Russell, quickly takes over, with Shearman in particular picking up on how alien the Doctor is in the first few stories and how admirably the companions cope.

As with volume two, the pair remark upon their on-going personal lives. For Hadoke, this is largely related to him being on the road performing and is able to integrate thoughts about his shows alongside thoughts of the episode he has just watched. Equally, Shearman is very astute at recognising, critiquing and applauding character moments and motivations. One of the key pleasures of the book is reading how their assessments about certain stories or performances have changed over the years.

Obviously there are still 97 missing episodes of Doctor Who, so a lot of this is reading about their listening to audio recordings and reconstructions. It was also written prior to the recovery of ‘The Enemy Of The World’ and ‘The Web Of Fear’, so it would be good to hear them both revisit these in a new version of the book.

This is a very enjoyable look at 60s, Doctor Who, recommended for fans looking for some new takes on the show, in a meticulous episode by episode format that is fun to read.

John Rivers

May 2018

(pub: Mad Norwegian Press, 2010. 325 page small enlarged paperback. Price: £15.47 (UK). ISBN: 978-1-93523-406-7)

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Category: Books, Doctor Who

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