Books : reviews

Robert Shearman, Toby Hadoke.
Running Through Corridors: volume 1: the 60s.
Mad Norweigan Press. 2010

rating : 3.5 : worth reading
review : 28 December 2021

In Running Through Corridors, two Doctor Who lovers of old – Robert Shearman and Toby Hadoke – embark on an epic quest of friendship: spend the “gap year” of 2009 (when Doctor Who consisted of a handful of specials rather than a full season) re-watching the whole of Who two episodes a day, every day, from the show’s start in 1963 and ending with David Tennant’s swan song on New Year’s, 2010.

This three-volume series contains Shearman and Hadoke’s diary of that experience – a grand opus of their wry observations about the show, their desire to see the good in every story, and their chronicle of the real-life changes to Who in that year.

We have been watching the old Doctor Who episodes (those that have survived) from the beginning. It seemed like the right thing to do to read this book in parallel, as Robert and Toby do the same thing (only moreso: also listening to the soundtracks of the missing episodes), appreciating their commentary in the context of having just watched the same episodes ourselves.

The authors are two fans with an encyclopaedic knowledge of the show, and a deep and abiding love and appreciation for it, full of corridors and daft scripts as it is. The entries aren’t summaries of the episodes – they assume you know what happens – but instead are critiques of the scripts, acting, and direction, and discussion of how the show is evolving.

I’m not sure how interesting this would be if I hadn’t just seen the actual episodes: the ones we didn’t watch because they have been wiped were somewhat less interesting to read about, but also frustrating where the authors waxed lyrical about the story. I did enjoy the insights into some of the more obscure nooks and crannies of the episodes.

Toby Hadoke, Robert Shearman.
Running Through Corridors: volume 2: the 70s.
Mad Norweigan Press. 2016