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Friday, 23 June 2023 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Pull To Open (Credit: Paul Hayes/Ten Acre Films)

Ten Acre Films have announced a new Doctor Who non-fiction book to be published next month. Called Pull to Open, it tells the story of the creation of Doctor Who in 1963 and is written by Paul Hayes, a regular contributor to Doctor Who Magazine whose previous Doctor Who book from Ten Acre, 2021’s The Long Game, told the story of how the programme came to be recommissioned in 2003 and was described by Starburst as an “astonishingly interesting and page-turning... an essential book for anyone interested in the arcane world of British television production.”

Speaking to Doctor Who News about the new book, Paul said:

I very much wanted to try and bring the same approach to the creation of the show in 1963 as The Long Game did for the 1996-2003 period, The idea is to try and provide the same wider background and context to the events – so not just what happened, but why it happened. To give an idea of how BBC television drama worked at that time, the world into which Doctor Who was born, and also to flesh out some of the lives of people we normally only see as names on a list – the likes of Eric Maschwitz and Alice Frick, for example. Pull to Open tells the story from Maschwitz first asking the Script Department about science-fiction in the spring of 1962, to the Daleks first appearing at the end of 1963 – so it’s a book which pretty much entirely concentrates on the creation of the show. That is the story in this book, rather than simply being the start of the story as it sometimes is when told elsewhere. It’s a period which has long fascinated me, and I hope people enjoy reading about it as much as I have enjoyed researching and writing it!

Pull to Open is due for publication on 24 July from Ten Acre Films, the company which has previously published new editions of popular Doctor Who books such as Richard Marson’s biographies of Verity Lambert and John Nathan-Turner and Andrew Cartmel’s diaries. They have also provided documentary features for the Doctor Who classic series Blu-ray range. The foreword is written by actor, comedian and Doctor Who historian Toby Hadoke, who describes Pull to Open as “fresh and compelling… as definitive an account of those early years as I have read.”

The book is available to pre-order now via Ten Acre's website.