Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Radio Times

Forgot to mention, I'm interviewed briefly in the Radio Times this week, in the middle of a feature about my Who episode. It's also one of the RT Choices for this Saturday, but best of all, I get to see my name in the Radio Times, in the Doctor Who listing, as "Writer". When I was a kid, I used to stare at the credits in the RT before the episode was on, searching the listing for any clues as to what wonders lay in store that week. Then when the show was on, I'd insist on watching all the end credits, right the way through, every single week. Drove my mother mad - why do you have to watch them every time? But I had to double check. Sure, Dick Mills did the "Special Sounds" every single week, but what if it was somebody else *this* week? I needed to know these things. No idea why, I just did. Again, I was an odd kid with too much spare time.

All of which is to say, I am ridiculously excited to be in the Radio Times. The article's on page 10, my bit is on page 15, the Choices bit is on page 66, and the listing is page 68, so you can always just have a sneaky look in a shop without paying a quid (other listings magazines are available, as the adverts say). Anyway, you probably won't be able to find it, as I'll be buying all the copies I can, and thrusting them into people's faces, with my name highlighted, shrieking "do you know who I am?? DO YOU???"

Even more excitingly, one of the three spammy things that fell out of the magazine was a catalogue for special elasticated slacks - "up to 52 inch waist and 4 leg lengths at no extra cost". Yes please! The second had a "mini electric hotpot" on sale. And the third was a flyer for cheap broadband. I have no idea what this says about who the hell advertisers think reads the RT. Overweight pensioners who eat hotpot while surfing the net? That's my future, I reckon.


Lucy said...

Hah! I used to watch all the credits for TV shows when I was a kid too, is this some kind of sign that I too will grow up to write on Dr. Who?

Shit, I watched The Bill instead on weds nights. Better start boning up on it, then - starting with your ep, natch.

(I said "boning", double hah)

Matthew said...

I went to a Doctor Who event in Bedford Library in what must have been 1979. The guests were Terrance Dicks and Dick Mills. Dick Mills told me that he had, in fact, taken some time off for 'Stones of Blood' but the sound of the Ogri was just somebody moving a stone in a tray full of sand which was "pretty easy". He also brought a ring modulator with him and did Dalek voices - what a star!

And at least you'll get your name in the opening credits, not whizzing by at the end.

Matthew said...

Another memory from that Bedford Library event, from the great Terrance Dicks:

"There's this thing called The Doctor Who Appreciation Society and they like to write to us tell us about things we 'got wrong', like when K9 spun round and around and the Doctor said, 'He's never done that before,' when, in fact he had, in the previous season. Then we have to explain to them that time is more complicated than they think it is."

Obviously, I'm paraphrasing from my memories of being nine years old, but that was the gist of it. I am certain that he didn't use the phrase "Ming Mongs" though.

Matthew said...

And a quick look at the Outpost Gallifrey episode guide confirms that Liz Parker did Special Sounds for 'The Stones of Blood'.

Lina said...

There is a clip up from your episode
Looking v. cool.

patroclus said...

Aww, my brother and I used to have many arguments about which sound in particular was the 'special' sound.

Emma said...

I'm desperately excited about your Who episode - every single review I've seen has been ladling praise. *is impatient for Saturday*

BaaBaaDoodle said...

The new Pompeii clip on the BBC website is amazing and scary! Yay, three more days till Volcano Day. Some of my mates are hoping to see a quick glimpse of Captain Jack there but I am not holding out hope :).

I have a crass question and you don't have to answer it :). I was surprised (shocked) to learn that Dr Who book authors only get 5000 pounds per book for sales of 50,000 and below. So realistically I guess that's all they get. That seemed low for four months' hard labor. I have to ask how much one gets paid for an episode of Doctor Who or Torchwood. You don't have to answer though. :). Whatever it is, I am sure it's not enough :).

Matthew said...

I was just reading Neil Gaiman's blog and he was talking about royalties in this post. He says:

"Many Authors earn royalties of 15 percent on the cost of a hardback, which goes to repay an advance until the advance is earned back, and then continues on from there."

If that applied to a Doctor Who book with a RRP of £6.99, the author would get £1.05 per copy and should have paid back their advance after 5,000 copies. At 10% royalty pay off at about 7,300 copies. I think that would explain why an author with a book deal wouldn't want to write a Doctor Who book.

If you go to the UK Writers' Guild site you can find the minimum rates for TV screenwriting. I'm 99% sure that Doctor Who writers get more than this.

james henry said...

This is such a great episode. It has a lovely old-school Tom Baker feel.

simon kane said...

I just want to drop by and say congratulations. I thought Doctor Who was slipping a bit. I was apparently completely wrong when I thought the show had begun to run out of ideas, your episode was up there with the very best (a couple of years back). I googled this blog wondering what else you'd written, and found out this was your first. So I hope it's not the last. Really, James, I laughed I cried. That was excellent. I'm a fan. Thank you.