On planet Vega VI, Susan Mendes and Alby Brook take their
first, tentative steps towards romance. She's a career geologist
and he's just a drifter, but the attraction between them is
undeniable. However, the Vega System is the first target of
the largest Dalek invasion fleet ever assembled...
hefty volume contains all eight of Nicholas Briggs' scripts
for the Dalek Empire and Dalek War miniseries
of audio dramas.
reading this, I had often wondered what the point of such
script books was. Why would anyone be interested in reading
printed versions of scripts to drama productions that are
themselves already available commercially (indeed, productions
that are only available commercially)? However, there's
far more material in this 330-page tome than we ever heard
scripts presented here are the versions taken into the studio
for each play's recording session. Any and all changes that
took place between this point and the final edit, including
even the tiniest deletions, additions and rearrangements,
are meticulously annotated in notes at the end of each chapter.
I would say, though, that footnotes at the base of each page
would have been more user-friendly than having to flip back
and forth to and from the notes pages.
between the chapters are "Q&A" segments in which Briggs answers
questions on a variety of topics, including his approach to
writing; the inspirations behind his characters and their
names; casting; and the initially lukewarm responses of certain
reviewers (hey, Nick, you forgot to mention Sci-fi Online's
glowing praise!) Curiously, no one is credited for the questions
in these Q&A segments, though Briggs is credited for the answers.
I hope he wasn't "interviewing" himself.
have occasionally criticised the writer's use of narration,
tending to see this as a rather lazy way to tell a story on
audio, considering the use of dialogue to be a preferable
method of conveying information. However, his convincing arguments
for the use of narration, especially in his over-arching framing
sequences, have won me over. He made me laugh out loud with
the basic example he gives on pages 184-5:
if you start a drama with someone walking down the road
and going into a shop, it all seems a bit mundane and unimportant.
However, if you [...] put in a narrator saying, 'It all
started that day I walked down the road and went into the
shop... and after that, things would never be the same'
you suddenly invest it with all sorts of potential significance."
was also amused to read about the development of Kalendorf's
character, which was largely led by the conviction of the
actor, Gareth Thomas, who believed his character, rather than
Suz or Alby, should be the dominant driving force of the drama!
The book also includes a few excerpts from even earlier drafts
of the scripts, which give a fascinating insight to the creative
process and provide valuable guidance to budding writers,
who need to learn not to be too precious about the first words
they set down on the page.
There are a few typos in evidence, especially on the opening
Editor's Note, which I suspect was probably one of the last
things to be added. Never mind getting it proofread - I doubt
this page was even spell-checked, not with its "SPOLIER" alert
at the foot of the page.
aside, if you're chomping at the bit waiting for the next
instalment of Dalek Empire III, this volume is the
perfect way to while away a few hours.
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