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Adding a soul to The Doctor's two hearts

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2005-05-14 Express & Star.jpg


Stand by for tears in the Tardis. ROGER CLARK founder of a Black Country Dr Who appreciation society, talks to Paul Cornell, writer of tonight's episode

TONIGHT sees one of the most emotional episodes of Doctor Who since its amazing resurrection earlier this year

For the writer of the episode, "Father Day," Paul Cornell, it's a dream come true. He has written novels radio plays, comics and a variety of popular TV shows. But it might not have gone that way and we could have been looking at the next Patrick Moore instead.

I was planning to be a scientist, but I realised that the maths at graduate level was far too much for me. So I dropped out dropped out, ended up unemployed and had to find something to make some money. I turned my hobby into my profession.

His interest lay in the stars. Had this helped with the science fiction stories?"

"Very much an and still does. If I had a back yard [illegible] I think that's what led me into writing initially SF and then writing in general."

Doctor Who has been credited with stirring up interest in many writers. For Paul it was a 1970 story called "The Brain of Morbrus" that started it all.

I wrote a lot of Doctor Who fan fiction for fanzines (fan magazines) and that was the first time anyone had seen anything I'd written in terms of fiction."

Paul then got three lucky breaks at once. "I won a BBC competition to have a short play broadcast on BBC2. That happened hack in the early 1990s. At almost the same time I got accepted to write for a BBC Radio 4 comedy show, The Arnold Brown Show, and also got the commission for a Doctor Who novel. Things happened very quickly"

The Doctor Who novela surprised many a reviewer with their emotionally driven stories and deep reflective approach to life.

While developing a teenage drama series, Paul met Russel T Davies (executive producer of Doctor Who and writer of such hits as Casanova, Second Coming and Queer as Folk). He suggested Paul had a go at writing for Coronation Street.

"It's largely down to Russell, as I was doing Children's Ward in Manchester and then Springhill and it was a privilege to have a go at Corrie.

I did the first episode which introduced Deidre's con man but I wasn't interested in him and concentrated on Fred Elliott on a golf course! I would have sacked myself if they hadn't got there before me."


Not so long after, the Tardis beckoned again. Time to write the episode

"There is no scarier word than Doctor when you type it and then start the dialogue. It's a large responsibility"

With Paul's reputation for strong emotional stories, was no surprise that Billie Piper recently said that she cried when she read his script.

"Bless her! That's very nice of her. We were all assigned an episode based on two or three sentences in the series story document. I knew when I read it that mine would be the tear jerker."

The story features giant winged creatures that swoop down on people. A number of publications have already referred to them as [?], citing them as thescariest monster for years.

"The BBC campaign is absolutely fantastic. They have succeeded in making Doctor Who quite fashionable again. It's OK to like it."

Doctor Who: Father's Day will be broadcast at 7pm tonight an BBC1

Caption: Christopher Eccleston as The Doctor

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  • APA 6th ed.: Clark, Roger (2005-05-14). Adding a soul to The Doctor's two hearts. Express & Star .
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  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=Adding a soul to The Doctor's two hearts | url= | work=Express & Star | pages= | date=2005-05-14 | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=22 July 2024 }}</ref>
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