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Animators Survival Kit

Terry Pratchett: Doctor Who is ludicrous

5th May 2010

Sir Terry Pratchett has criticised popular BBC One programme Doctor Who for being 'ludicrous'.

Writing a column in SFX, Pratchett - whose Discworld novels feature wizards and goblins living on a planet borne through space atop a giant turtle - said he still watches the science fiction show but is perturbed by its constant infringements of the laws of narrative.

'It's a law - well at least a guideline - in writing plays that if somebody is going to be killed with an axe in the third act, then the axe should be visible hanging on the wall in the first act,' he explained.

The writer pointed out that Doctor Who now concludes most episodes by resorting to the literary technique of deus ex machina - or an unexpected solution which arrives at the last minute and resolves the story's problems with little explanation.

Despite his criticism, Pratchett admitted that he will watch the show week after week as, once he ignores its flouting of narrative conventions, he recognises moments of light-hearted, funny and pathos-filled writing.

Next month, the author will present a keynote speech entitled Why Are You Listening To Me When You Should be at Home Writing? at the University of Winchester's Writers' Conference, Festival and Bookfair.

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