Doctor Who Dummy Paperback

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dummy paperback
Yours truly leaving Wheelbarrow cottage

With The Life and Times of a Doctor Who Dummy paperback out I’ve enjoyed leafing through actual paper pages to revisit those days again, which began in 1965, the year Winston Churchill breathed his last, the Moors Murderers were in court, ‘The Sound of Music’ and the Beatles’ film ‘Help!’ were first released, the average price of a house in the UK was £3660, William Hartnell was playing Doctor Who in black and white, and a young chap called Robin Squire hitch-hiked down to the South of France where he happened to catch the Beatles in concert there, experienced Beatlemania at first hand, got it into his head to write a book about a pop group.

Four years later, because of it, he dressed up to look like a plastic shop dummy, known as an Auton, in boiler suit and green scarf, and stepped down off a piece of raised flooring in a pretend factory to become the first Doctor Who ‘monster’ to move in colour on the programme.  An ever-so-charming and wonderfully funny boyhood radio hero of his called Jon Pertwee was also making his debut as the previously testy, then dynamic, now rather dashing and in no way amusing Time Lord, because ex-wartime naval man Pertwee was very soon to show that he didn’t just do funny, he did tough and very serious and sincere with it too, and the said Squire, after a fashion and in the most modest of ways, could almost be said to become something of a friend.

I’m really impressed by the way the photos have been reproduced in the printed version of the book, having taken some time choosing which pics should go in. Inevitably there are shots of the BBC premises in those days, and I’ve included photos from my personal life as well as of places that were significant to me when it was all happening. Looking through these glossy pages, in fact, is a rather sighful experience for me, as it really is a journey back in time without the aid of a Tardis. I ask no more than that any who are interested in this particular era of Doctor Who, the bright new start of the dazzling Pertwee days, of a ‘swinging’ London of flower-power and psychedelia and Biba boutiques and Carnaby Street and beers in the BBC Club, come on in and join me for the ride. It’s all very real, and all very true, and I’ll be delighted to have your company.


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John Horton’s SFX wizardry




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Doctor Who Dummy Paperback


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Robin Squire is a novelist, screenwriter, farceur and irredeemable scribbler. a sometime rejectee from BBC writers room, diarist, jotter of notes on the backs of ticket stubs and petrol receipts, he once wrote a song for Paul McCartney that was never received by him.

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