Doctor Who Cuttings Archive

From telly to type

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1966-11-27 Observer.jpg


OUT this week is a book which looks like the sign of another new trend in the quickly changing world of paperbacks. It's a Pan version of the television series The Power Game,' described' in the blurb as ' a fascinating novel.' It's been adapted from the TV scripts by John Burke, Pan's resident novelist;' in quotes, and also one in his own right, without quotes.

This is his thirteenth conversion job. The others have all been made from original screenplays — ' Dr Terror's House of Horrors,' The Hammer Horror Omnibus,' ' The Trap' and, coming up, Peter Watkins's ' Privilege.' These books of the film have sold over 760,000 copies. Burke has, enthuses Pan, ' the ability to enthuse himself about other people's creations.'

But because this is their first television venture, the publishers are treating the operation warily. There are no plans, they say, for any more books. And the reason for choosing ' The Power Game' seems' to be that so many. Pan people watch it themselves: ' an audience of more weight—and more fanatical,'. as they put it.

A Fontana spokesman explained: Films sell books—tele-vision doesn't have such an enormous effect.. An audience coming out of the cinema may feel that something was left out which was in the book. People watching TV every night get saturated.'

But Fontana, too, have dipped a cautious toe into the TV pond. They bought the rights of ABC's series ' Intrigue ' and published an ' original novel' of the same title, plus a volume of stories from the ' Mystery and Imagination' series. And half a million 'Thunderbirds Are Go ' go on sale this-Christmas.

Fontana have really made hay with reissues of original novels which were turned into films. Dr Zhivago,' with a still from the film, will soon have sold a million copies, helped by allied publicity with MGM. ' Born Free,' due to be released in over '100 cinemas this Christmas, also has a two-way trade.' The film publicity used the original book-jacket ; the paperback reissue uses a picture of Virginia McKenna, the film's star.

Sound of success

The same publishers are dead certain ' that their best-seller this year, ' The Sound of Music' (a million copies), would 'have remained unread, under their religious label, were it not for the film. ' It was the kind of story no one would look at in paperback—by 'an ex-nun, with nothing anybody could take exception to.' Now the sequel, ' The Trapp Family on Wheels,' is also a bestseller, and the third instalment is due out in January:

Sales are mainly through newsagents, smaller bookshops and stalls. Cinemas show little interest in' flogging books. But one firm which shows no caution about TV and pushes its wares in outlets like Boots and Woolworths is World Distributors (Manchester).

The chairman, Sydney Pemberton, now 58, started in Stockport Market with two sacks of books. Ten years ago he brought out a children's book, based on the ' Lone Ranger.' This Christmas he is publishing 42 annuals at 10s. 6d. each: 90 per cent of them are based on television characters.

But beneath this is a 2s. 6d. sub-world of toy books, puzzle books, games, activities — dress Lady Penelope,' chase Yogi. Bear through the maze.' Since he negotiated the rights to Batman in March; Mr Pemberton has sold over three million paperbacks.

He once thought that television might destroy the children's market, but 'Stingray,' Dr Who,' 'The Man from UNCLE' and ' The Flintstones ' have changed all that. At least for children who play with books rather than read them.

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  • APA 6th ed.: (1966-11-27). From telly to type. The Observer p. 23.
  • MLA 7th ed.: "From telly to type." The Observer [add city] 1966-11-27, 23. Print.
  • Chicago 15th ed.: "From telly to type." The Observer, edition, sec., 1966-11-27
  • Turabian: "From telly to type." The Observer, 1966-11-27, section, 23 edition.
  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=From telly to type | url= | work=The Observer | pages=23 | date=1966-11-27 | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=24 February 2024 }}</ref>
  • Wikipedia (this page): <ref>{{cite web | title=From telly to type | url= | work=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=24 February 2024}}</ref>