Pull To Open: new book takes a fresh look at Doctor Who’s creation

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Paul Hayes, writer of The Long Game, has returned to the birth of Doctor Who

Back in October 2021, Ten Acre Films released a remarkable book about Doctor Who‘s triumphant 2005 revival.

In The Long Game, writer Paul Hayes spoke to the people who restored the show’s place as a national institution. His fascinating interviews, weaved into a compelling narrative, offered an insight into the world of drama commissioning. It also shone a light on some hitherto unknown heroes. If you’ve not picked up a copy, consider this a hearty recommendation!

Now, Paul has turned his attentions to the classic show’s formative period. His new book, Pull to Open, covers 1962 – 1963 and tells the inside story on the creation and launch of Doctor Who. While a seemingly well-documented period, it promises a fresh take on the world our favourite show was born into.

Pull To Open by Paul Hayes cover art

Here’s what the publisher has to say:

When Doctor Who began on Saturday November 23 1963, few could have guessed that it marked the start of perhaps the most extraordinary story in the history of BBC television drama. But there had already been another story, equally extraordinary yet unseen, leading up to the transmission of that opening episode – the creation of the series itself.

Pull to Open explores the behind-the-scenes saga of Doctor Who in 1963, when a chain of events at the BBC brought together a disparate group to launch what would become one of British TV’s best-loved and most successful programmes. It’s the story of why these events happened; the BBC creative culture into which Doctor Who was born; how television drama was made in the early 1960s; and an insight into the people who started this epic journey.

Drawing from the BBC’s written archives and new interviews with some of those who were there, including Doctor Who’s first director Waris Hussein and original co-star Carole Ann Ford, Pull to Open is a detailed and comprehensive account of the programme’s path to the screen. Immerse yourself in the world of BBC Television in 1963 and discover how a series which was almost cancelled before a single episode was shown survived to cement its place in the popular culture of a nation.

The book, published on 24th July 2023, comes with a forward from Toby Hadoke who calls it “Fresh and compelling… As definitive an account of those early years as I have read.”

To further endorse the book, writer Simon Guerrier tweeted:

You can pre-order a copy of Pull To Open now from Ten Acre Films.