Quick DVD Review – ‘Myth Makers: Christopher Bidmead’

Hello everyone! 🙂

Welcome to ‘Bradley’s Basement’ blog and I’m Tim Bradley!

I decided to treat myself to another ‘Myth Makers’ DVD in the wake of my birthday recently. Because I’ve been revisiting Seasons 18 and 19 of ‘Doctor Who’ on Blu-ray lately, I purchased the ‘Myth Makers’ DVD for Christopher H. Bidmead, the show’s script editor for Season 18 in the 1980s.

Chris Bidmead also wrote ‘Logopolis’, ‘Castrovalva’ and ‘Frontios’ in the TV show. He also wrote the novelizations for these three adventures and would later contribute the story for ‘Renaissance of the Daleks’ at Big Finish as well as adapt his tale ‘The Hollows of Time’ into audio for the Lost Season 23.

This ‘Myth Makers’ interview for Chris Bidmead was recorded in 2006 before he contributed ‘Renaissance of the Daleks’ to Big Finish, I believe. I enjoyed Chris’ ‘Myth Makers’ interview, finding him an intriguing personality in terms of how he perceived the show and how he wanted to make it.

Chris Bidmead is a fascinating person being a script editor of ‘Doctor Who’. I have enjoyed his ‘Doctor Who’ stories very much, having watching ‘Logopolis’ and ‘Castrovalva’ countless times. I cannot say I agree with his philosophy for the show being a script editor, but I’ve found it fascinating.

It was intriguing to learn more about his upbringing and background in terms of when he first started off as an actor at RADA. I enjoyed his reminisces of being an actor and how things changed when he wanted to get into writing instead, including writing stage plays and eventually radio plays.

Most of the stuff Chris talks about has been said before in DVD and Blu-ray interviews about ‘Doctor Who’ over the years. I still enjoyed his reminisces of how he became a script editor of ‘Doctor Who’ and how he was surprised that executive producer Barry Letts approved of his attitude to the series.

I like how Chris shared his frustrations of being a script editor during and after he left the show. He talks about how he tried to understand what a script editor was; his experiences of being over-worked and underpaid, and soon he details how he attempted to obtain more money doing the job.

I appreciate how Chris gives praise to directors like Lovett Bickford and Paul Joyce who attempted to be bolder in directing stories like ‘The Leisure Hive’ and ‘Warriors’ Gate’. He also talks about the challenges of working with writers like David Fisher and Terrance Dicks on their stories in Season 18.

Chris’ ‘Myth Makers’ interview is presented by Nicholas Briggs: the voice of the Daleks in the new TV series and the Big Finish. However, it’s not Nick Briggs who’s interviewing Chris Bidmead in his home. It’s the producer/director Keith Barnfather of Reeltime Pictures who’s interviewing Chris Bidmead. 🙂

I know this because I’ve checked out the ‘bonus material’ that contains extra interview segments with Chris that weren’t used in the actual ‘Myth Makers’ programme and I could hear Keith’s voice interviewing Chris. I wish some of the interview segments were contained in the actual programme.

This includes Chris sharing his thoughts about writing Nyssa, Tegan and Adric in ‘Logopolis’ and how challenging it was to write for multiple characters. Incidentally, there’s not much detailed about his writing ‘Frontios’ when the script editor Eric Saward commissioned him, which I had been expecting.

I did like it when Chris shared his fondness of doing the novelizations for ‘Logopolis’, ‘Castrovalva’ and ‘Frontios’ when asked in the 1980s. It’s a shame Chris turned down the offer to novelize ‘The Hollows of Time’ as I think it would have been great checking out that story as a Target novelization.

Christopher H. Bidmead’s ‘Myth Makers’ interview has been enjoyable indeed. His enthusiasm for working on ‘Doctor Who’ is clearly shown, both in terms of being the script editor of the TV series and writing the novelizations. I also found it fascinating to hear more about his early acting career. 🙂

Thanks for reading!

Bye for now!

Tim. 🙂

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