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  1. #1
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    Default Christopher Hamilton Bidmead

    Script editor for just this one season, important part of the new look and feel of the series, writer of Tom Baker's exit and Peter Davison's arrival, pioneer of writing scripts on computer and the man whose name was not permitted to be longer than John Nathan Turner. What are your thoughts on CHB and his influence on Doctor Who?
    Dennis, Francois, Melba and Smasher are competing to see who can wine and dine Lola Whitecastle and win the contract to write her memoirs. Can Dennis learn how to be charming? Can Francois concentrate on anything else when food is on the table? Will Smasher keep his temper under control?

    If only the 28th century didn't keep popping up to get in Dennis's way...

    #dammitbrent



    The eleventh annual Brenty Four serial is another Planet Skaro exclusive. A new episode each day until Christmas in the Brenty Four-um.

  2. #2
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    I love the CHB era in general, even though I wasn't overly keen on the first couple of stories; but from Full Circle onwards things stepped up a gear, didn't they? Well thought out, intelligent stories which stood head and shoulders above what we would get in the Saward era...superficially the series looked the same, but the quality of the stories dropped after Bidmead left.

  3. #3
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    He's the only man who loves this season quite as much as I do, so of course I like him.

    I suspect he's not popular because he's actually desperately proud of this season and is perhaps more willing than most other people involved with the show to say so. He's not humble, he's willing to say that he thinks it's great and we're not used that being reserved British people (for the most part) who just don't do that sort of thing. I find it quite refreshing!

    Anyway, that's probably a different matter. What I like about this season that sets it apart from the rest of Doctor Who up to 2005 is that it's a season that makes sense as a whole. There's a real feel of progression in the stories and thematically they all work together beautifully. Entropy, decay and change sum up this series and there's a real feel of thos things in every story to a big or small degree. I'm sure that's down to Bidmead and his work on all the scripts.

    Si xx

    I've just got my handcuffs and my truncheon and that's enough.

  4. #4
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    He's a clever guy, but he's by far the biggest big-head I've ever had the displeasure to know of, so I'd say I'm a fan of his Season, but not of him.

  5. #5
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    I'm totally the opposite - I watched his Myth Makers interview last night and he comes across as such a nice bloke. He has that quality Barry Letts had of being someone who speaks passionately about a number of subjects and who you feel would speak just as passionately and just as interestingly if it was a one to one conversation without a television camera and a microphone.

    Bidmead may come across as arrogant - he says one or two things in the interview which could be taken that way - but I'd rather have that committed certainty than (say) Eric Saward's slightly smug, rather passive aggressive, sighingly dismissive tone which is no fun to listen to.
    Dennis, Francois, Melba and Smasher are competing to see who can wine and dine Lola Whitecastle and win the contract to write her memoirs. Can Dennis learn how to be charming? Can Francois concentrate on anything else when food is on the table? Will Smasher keep his temper under control?

    If only the 28th century didn't keep popping up to get in Dennis's way...

    #dammitbrent



    The eleventh annual Brenty Four serial is another Planet Skaro exclusive. A new episode each day until Christmas in the Brenty Four-um.

  6. #6
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    It probably doesn't help Bidmead's image that on a number of DVD features and commentaries he tends to be put up against Lalla Ward, who has a more or less opposite view of what Who should be, and is as confident as Bidmead in her opinions.

    I have mixed feelings- while I can see that probably half the stories he was involved in bringing to the screen are good, I'm not entirely convinced by his ability as a writer of drama or dialogue. Personally I don't think I've ever sat down and wanted to watch a Season 18 story for enjoyment and from what I can remember, I found his Target adaptations absolutely leaden.

  7. #7
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    I like him. I love his Who era, but I also really enjoy reading/hearing interviews with him. Yes, he has opinions but he never (to me) seems rude or arrogant about expressing them; quite the opposite, he comes across as quite a nice, polite chap.

    Narrowing it down to his work on S18, I have to agree with Si that CHB (I'd guess, in conjunction with Barry Letts) gives the run of stories a real cohesion - in obvious ways (the mini-trilogy mid season, the 'return' of the CVE in Logopolis) but also in subtle ways that you need to watch again to see. The entropy safe in Traken, the themes of aging/dying/a rebirth as early as The Leisure Hive... It's a very rich set of stories, and I think CHB can really take much of the credit for that.

  8. #8
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    Now is a good time to post this again:



    Si xx
    Last edited by SiHart; 9th Oct 2010 at 12:29 PM.

    I've just got my handcuffs and my truncheon and that's enough.

  9. #9
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    Still a classic!

  10. #10
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    I'm firmly in the Bidmeadean camp. I especially enjoyed Christopher H Bidmead's reading of Christopher H Bidmead's adaptation of Christopher H Bidmead's story for Christopher H Bidmead's Doctor Who, Logopolis. Bit of a classic, that one.

    The absolute best idea he had (I thought) was having a season that was linked thematically. It was a simple idea to have all the stories being about decay, but it brought a different kind of continuity to the season and created a far more wide-reaching and interesting linking ideas, much better than say, plastering Bad Wolf over everything.
    Pity. I have no understanding of the word. It is not registered in my vocabulary bank. EXTERMINATE!

  11. #11
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    I don't think the account of the spat with Terrance Dicks on the 'State of Decay' DVD does Bidmead any favours- although it may have been necessary to tinker with the scripts for practical reasons (not least replacing Leela with Romana, K9 and Adric), from a fan perspective the idea of script editing Terrance Dicks (particularly when said scripts had already been given the Robert Holmes once-over) comes across as the old grandmother-eggs-suction scenario.

    But it's a damp and misty day and I have a chesty cough, so I'm going to stay in and watch some S18 this afternoon.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lissa View Post
    I'm totally the opposite - He has that quality Barry Letts had of being someone who speaks passionately about a number of subjects and who you feel would speak just as passionately and just as interestingly if it was a one to one conversation without a television camera and a microphone.
    I would agree that he's passionate about things, but I just can't hear Barry Letts ever having asked one of his colleagues on a DVD commentary: "Was I any good as a producer? What did you think of my era on the show?", knowing full well that most people would be far too polite to say anything negative even if that's how they felt. That's what CHB did on one of his commentaries and I cringed like mad as soon as I heard it and almost had to switch it off.

    It smacks of someone who not only sees himself as the best thing since sliced bread, but also feels the need that everyone around him should tell him that too.

    As I say, I like Season 18 but not him.

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