He may be best-known for writing a Bafta winning drama about a GP these days but screenwriter Mike Bartlett has revealed that a very different kind of doctor actually inspired him to pursue a career in television.
“I loved Doctor Who when I was a kid,” the Doctor Foster scribe writes in the latest edition of Radio Times. “When I was nine I found a copy of Doctor Who: the Making of a Television Series in the school library. It had a picture of Peter Davison on the front and it was a formative book for me. It explained all the different departments like the script, cameras and sets, and explained how a television show is put together.”
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Bartlett says the book, written by Alan Road and featuring an introduction by Davison, opened his eyes to the fact that everything he was watching on television was actually being made by people.
“That book started my career so when I eventually wrote an episode of Doctor Who last year, Knock Knock, it was pretty special,” Bartlett says.
Bartlett’s new drama, Trauma, features Doctor Who’s very own Master, John Simm, so he’s certainly continuing to nod to his old favourite TV show. Now if only he could find a way to write Simm and Suranne Jones (who played the Tardis in corporeal form during Matt Smith’s run as the Eleventh Doctor) back into the series opposite Jodie Whittaker…
We think that’d be pretty special too.
Read Mike Bartlett’s full account of his Life in TV in the new issue of Radio Times magazine, which comes in three different covers and includes a free 16-day guide to the Winter Olympics