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Running Through Corridors, volume one by Robert Shearman & Toby Hadoke - book review

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Celebrity Doctor Who fans watch “The Space Museum” – so you don’t have to

Authors: Robert Shearman and Toby Hadoke
Publisher: Mad Norwegian Press * 336 pages * $24.95
ISBN: 978-1-93523-406-7
14 December 2010

Fans of SFX ’s very own Couch Potato will know the drill here, as Robert Shearman (writer of 2005 episode “Dalek”) and Toby Hadoke (creator of stand-up hit Moths Ate My Doctor Who Scarf ) sit down to watch old episodes of their favourite show, and then talk about it.

Or, in this case, write about it: instead of sharing a sofa, the pair vow to watch two Doctor Who episodes per day, every day, throughout 2009, then email each other with their thoughts. In this volume, they start on 1 January with debut story “An Unearthly Child” and, by mid-May, have covered the whole of Who ’s monochrome era (or what’s left of it, anyway).

One self-imposed caveat is that they must ac-cent-tchu-ate the positive – it’s a journey to rediscover why they love Doctor Who , not an exercise in fanboy nitpicking. This is both admirable and a little disappointing – a bucket of bile from two such renowned wits would no doubt prove good value. But not to worry, as they soon find their Pollyannish enthusiasm being sorely tested by the likes of “Galaxy 4”, “The Dominators” and “The Space Pirates”.

Along the way, there are numerous digressions from the task at hand – including a lengthy discussion on the casting of Matt Smith – but that only adds to the feeling of a genuine conversation between friends. The real triumph of the format, though, is the way it continually throws up topics and observations not previously covered by the forest of literature on this show. You may think you’ve heard everything there is to say about Doctor Who , but when was the last time you considered the contribution of Laidlaw Dalling, Barrie Ingham or Wolfe Morris?

Paul Kirkley

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