Archive for the ‘Lawrence Miles’ Category

Lawrence Miles (Various)

June 27, 2010

Lawrence Miles wrote some of the most interesting New Adventures novels, and now (among other things) has a blog that, whether or not you agree with him, is definitely worth a look. These quotes are from various interviews over the years. For a really good, really long interview, try here.

On the original TV series

Doctor Who’s my native mythology. If you read, say, the work of Salman Rushdie… forget about the blasphemy for a moment, it’s not important right now… there’s a lot of material in there that comes from traditional Indian culture, there are lots of links to Indian mythology. Which doesn’t mean he has to believe in gods with the heads of elephants, obviously. It’s just part of his background, those are the symbols he grew up with. That’s more or less the way I feel about Doctor Who. I’ve got a pretty low opinion of a lot of the original episodes, but it’s still my home territory.

Doctor Who always went for action over style, and that’s one of the things I like least about it. Plenty of interesting things happen, but there’s not a lot of artistry there. Which is probably why Logopolis is my favourite story, because it’s supposed to be the Fourth Doctor’s funeral, and it feels like a funeral.

If the TV series had survived, then I don’t think there’s any question that by Season Thirty they would’ve been doing stories like Warhead. That’s what’s most interesting about Doctor Who, I think, that constant development.

On Alien Bodies

One of the points of Alien Bodies… was to do something that felt like a Robert Holmes story, but set in the same universe as the TV Movie. I felt the TV Movie was only half a Doctor Who story, it was like a cross-breed of Doctor Who as we knew it and American SF television.

So, the idea was to do a kind of second-generation cross-breed, kind of 75% Doctor Who instead of just 50%. It needed an ‘old’ monster for it to work properly, and I felt fairly confident about using the Krotons because… well, it’s not really as if anybody’s that bothered about them.

On reinventing monsters

I’m not sure that “making over” monsters is such a good idea.If you’re writing a book about Daleks… oh, if only… then nobody’s going to want to read something that’s post-modern and ironic about the subject of Daleks.

They’re going to want a story with huge Dalek armies exterminating everything in sight and a great big Dalek battlefleet coming over the horizon. A good monster’s a good monster, there’s no reason to play around with it.

If you start playing around with Cybermen, then there’s a chance of you just spoiling the Cybermen, but I thought I could probably get away with doing whatever I liked to the Krotons. Not exactly a first-division monster.

On the prospect of Doctor Who returning (pre-2005)

Eventually, there will be another TV series of Doctor Who. And it will fail horribly, because inevitably it’ll be aimed at the kind of fan-targeted SF market that didn’t even exist until Star Trek: The Next Generation came along and spoiled everything. Doctor Who only works as a family adventure series, but when it finally comes back you can bet any money you want it’ll be like Babylon 5 or something. It’ll only last one series, maybe two. So then the TV programme will be dead forever.

On Doctor Who in 2010

Moffat tries to make the Doctor a fetish-object, because that’s how we think of him as long-term Doctor Who viewers, and because we’re the ones to whom he’s pandering. (Well, not me. But you know what I mean). What the author’s actually doing is ensuring the Doctor’s worthlessness. If you make someone all-powerful, then power’s worth nothing at all, especially if you do it just to reinforce fan-opinion of the safe and clean-cut Boy One.