Alwyn W Turner

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The Man Who Invented the Daleks
The Strange Worlds of Terry Nation

Terry Nation was one of the most successful and prolific writers for television that Britain ever produced. Survivors, his vision of a post-apocalyptic England, so haunted audiences in the 1970s that the BBC revived it over thirty years on. Blake's 7, constantly rumoured for return, endures as a cult sci-fi classic. And his most famous creations, the Daleks, ensured and at times eclipsed the success of Doctor Who.

Indeed, almost half a century after their first appearance, new additions to Dalek mythology continue to top the Saturday-night ratings, while the word itself has entered the Oxford English Dictionary, passing into the language as the name of the most fearsome race of aliens in fiction.

But while his genocidal pepper pots brought him notoriety and riches, Terry Nation played a much wider role in British broadcasting's golden age. As part of the legendary Associated London Scripts, he wrote for Spike Milligan, Peter Sellers, Frankie Howerd and an increasingly troubled Tony Hancock. And as one of the key figures behind the adventure series of the 1960s and 1970s - including The Avengers, The Saint and The Persuaders! - he turned the pulp classics of his boyhood into a major British export.

Like Arthur Conan Doyle before him, Nation was frequently bemused by the appeal of his most famous creations and sometimes similarly cavalier toward them. Now The Man Who Invented the Daleks explores their curious and contested origins, and sheds light on a strange world of ambitious young writers, producers and performers without whom British culture today would look very different.

'It's a book SFX readers should love ... compelling' SFX magazine
'As an account of a career, the book can't be faulted.' Daily Mail
'Highly enjoyable' Financial Times
'Spectacular' Dominic Sandbrook
'His life as a storyteller and his legacy as a mythmaker animates this history of pulp screen classics' The Times
'Absorbing, detailed and intricately researched' Starburst
'Incisive social history of British TV's golden age' The Word
'From classic '60s spy capers to Hancock, it's a window into a world long gone.' Time Out

The Man Who Invented the Daleks:
The Strange Worlds of Terry Nation

by Alwyn W Turner
published by Aurum Press, 2011

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