Maybe not every writer can have their cake and eat it when it comes to getting involved with Doctor Who!
Writer Mark Ravenhill, whose new version of Bertolt Brecht’s A Life of Galileo opened last week at the Swan Theatre in Stratford-Upon-Avon to some very positive reviews, discussed with the BBC his passion for Doctor Who and how, although he tried to drop a few hints that he wanted to write for the show to former executive producer Russell T Davies, he never got the chance to write his own Doctor Who episode.
While discussing his experiences in writing, his future projects and his preparation for a charity run this year, Ravenhill also talked about the beast that is Doctor Who and how it got to him from a young age. He described his early Doctor Who experiences:
My first memory is having a playground conversation in 1973 about the Jon Pertwee story, Carnival of Monsters…I went to the first convention and Tom Baker was there with [writer and script editor] Robert Holmes…I asked Robert Holmes how he solved the dramatic problem of writing an episode where the Doctor doesn’t have a companion. So even then I must have had some sort of interest in the writing process!
He also mentioned that Doctor Who was one of his original foundations when learning about writing:
A book called The Making of Doctor Who that came out in 1973 that showed me how scripts were laid out and explained what a read-through was.
But best of all, Ravenhill describes his brief talk with Russell T Davies regarding Doctor Who and the consolation prize he received instead of being awarded an episode to write:
I did once go and see Russell T Davies and he said he thought I was far too adult for Doctor Who. But he was creating Torchwood and so he said to go away and come up with some ideas. I had very few clues what it was about, so it was like throwing darts at a dartboard in the dark…That was the closest I ever came. Although I love Doctor Who – maybe I’m not the right person to write it.
Perhaps a writer with such depth and passion for the profession who is not seen as necessarily audience friendly could be exactly the thing that Doctor Who needs in order to push the boundaries of the show a little!
You can read the full interview at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-21506855
A Life of Galileo runs at The Swan Theatre, RSC Stratford, until 30 March 2013.