As a boy Matthew Waterhouse loved Doctor Who: he watched all the episodes and read all the novels and comic strips. What starts as a heart-warming story, of a boy growing up with Doctor Who as his trusted friend, engaging the listener with memories and nostalgia that will be familiar to any Doctor Who fan, takes a sudden twist when he is thrust into an alien and adult world - cast as Doctor Who's youngest ever travelling companion - for two of the series' most inventive seasons. Matthew's sense of wonder with his dream job and his love for the show are palpable; as is his shock at genuine hostilities between cast and crew members and considerable tensions on set, which are counterpointed with poignant reminders that he is just a boy, and still a fan, who finds himself in the absurd, comic world of minor celebrity. What follows is a story-by-story memoir of his time on the show, peppered with glimpses into Matthew's personal life, tales of conventions, DVD commentaries, and some revealing anecdotes about everyone from fellow actors to Doctor Who's more high-profile fans.
This memoir holds nothing back: written with honesty, warmth, a rapier wit and a good dose of self-depreciation, the book is essential listening for any "Doctor Who" fan. Finally, we get to hear Matthew's side of a story which has been told and embellished and imagined by fans and fellow actors for years. This affectionate and darkly humourous memoir is a record of what it was like to make Doctor Who, and to work for the BBC in early '80s, and is proof that you can take the actor out of Doctor Who, but you can never quite take Doctor Who out of the actor...
Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?
Yes. Especially fans of the television series Doctor Who (1963-89, 1994, 2005- ). It is a wonderful insight into the production of classic Doctor who.
What did you like best about this story?
Due to the subject matter, this book is largely for fans of the television series Doctor Who, and it was entertaining, funny and delightful.
Matthew has an excellent voice for narrating and is excellent with his voice characterisation and energetic portrayal of his stories. His sharing of what it is like to be both a childhood fan of a tv institution such as Doctor Who and then find what the reality is like when he joins that same show (good and bad) is really fascinating.
I appreciated his candid sharing and really for the most part it was very humble and earthy. occasionally it was barbed and a touch bitter, but it clearly reflects the wounds of his time in th at role. It becomes clear that some expected too much of an eighteen year old who had started in a major television show with not a lot of prior experience and who was struggling at times to deal as best he could with his own insecurities and issues let alone others. The only thing i found off-putting was his use of the third person when referring to himself. The book was originally written in the third person but how i wished Matthew had just changed it to "I" and "me" in the audio narration. it would then have been quite perfect.
One can resonate with his comment that a few of his humorous comments made during his acting career were taken the wrong way, because some people cannot understand comic irony and miss the joke and take a comment on its literal level to the detriment of the person. This book is the better for Matthew narrating it. he is a natural and entertaining and humorous story teller. at one point i thought "gosh he sounds like Colin Baker." i also thought, you know if he played Adric now he would be a million times better albeit older. i reckon he would be an excellent Doctor. yes, you read that line correctly.
A couple of vignettes in the book i found confusing. a bit of clarification would help. I enjoyed the book and found it poignant.
Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?
Yes and I did
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Just delightful to hear Matthew narrate not only some of his own Who performing story but to hear his heartfelt telling of his whole Who experience - before, during and after. Special, worthy listening indeed.
There is just something incredibly weird about an autobiography written in the third person. That offends is magnified when read by the author
If you could sum up Blue Box Boy in three words, what would they be?
Sparse, unsentimental language. The sparse, unsentimental language here ultimately gets me in the heart. Waterhouse takes the high road in his detached, third-person memoir and has the listener rooting with him all the way. He recounts his beginnings as a timid fan and his rise as a young actor on his favorite TV show, Doctor Who. (This was described as "unabridged," but it is abridged. If you read a printed version, there are a few small paragraphs here and there that would have added to the already good audio, and the book has longer scenes later that are omitted from the audio.) This poignant and hilarious memoir is a towering accomplishment. A few listeners will totally miss the wit and intellect at work here. But, sadly, some people will never be more than clods and we can only pity them. The sound design here and the performance by Waterhouse is a great pleasure. I've listened to it three times already. Waterhouse's love of the show compelled me to buy the 18th season DVDs, beginning with his appearance in 1980, and I'm enjoying them.
What about Matthew Waterhouse’s performance did you like?
He uses various accents for the many characters, which is fun, and his imitations of famous celebrities is surprisingly good.
If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?
Oh, PLEASE, let this be a movie! Maybe the tag line could be: "From innocent Doctor Who fan to controversial pinup stud on Britain's hottest TV show! At 18 he drew the envy -- and enmity -- of 7 million fans!"
Any additional comments?
As for writing this in the third person, the prologue to the 50th Anniversary of Doctor Who edition states: "I did not want to write about myself. I wanted to write about Doctor Who and the impressions it left on me, first as a boy viewer and then as an actor. I wanted the 'I' to be only a character among other characters. I suppose it would be possible for me to write a book about myself but this wasn't supposed to be it. The piece only began to fizz when I stopped writing in the first person and transferred to the third. I'd read several memoirs written in the third person and had found their air of coolness, of detachment, to my taste."
Although brief, there was one or two little gems of behind the scenes. of the classic era.
Why does he refer to his self as Mathew, when it's an autobiography?
Would recommend to fellow whovians.