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Ace! The Inside Story of the End of an Era is a non-fiction book by Sophie Aldred, who played the companion Ace during the Sylvester McCoy era of the late 1980s, and visual effects designer Mike Tucker.
Doctor Who became a British institution almost from the first episode, broadcast in 1963. It went on to become the country's longest-running science fiction television series. There were seven different Doctors: scores of actors played the Doctors' companions.
Doctor Who had its ups and downs, but the late 1980s — the tenure of Sylvester McCoy as the seventh and last Doctor (so far) — saw the series flower creatively even as the audience figures continued gently to decline. There was a new Doctor; a new script editor; new writers with big new ideas.
There were new techniques in special effects — and Mike Tucker was part of the visual effects team on the series from 1985.
And in 1987 the final TV companion arrived: Sophie Aldred played the rebellious, moody, streetwise and lionhearted teenager Ace, who rapidly became one of the all-time favourite Doctor's companions among the legions of fans.
Mike and Sophie have collaborated to produce the ultimate insiders' guide to the last great era of Doctor Who, packed with hundreds of never-before-seen photographs from their private collections.
Written by two of those most closely involved with the last era of Doctor Who, Ace! provides a unique, story-by-story insight into the making of this much-loved television programme.
The book contains reminiscences from both behind and in front of the camera including revealing interviews with Sylvester McCoy, John Nathan-Turner, Andrew Cartmel and many others involved in the writing and production of the programme. It features over three hundred never-before-seen photographs from the private collections of the two authors. And it shows for the first time the original sketches for many of the show's special effects and costumes — as well as those for some which never made it to the screen.
- Foreword by John Nathan-Turner
- Introduction by Sophie Aldred
- Introduction by Mike Tucker
- Life Before Ace
- Season 24
- Season 25
- Season 26
- Season 27
- Surviving Survival
- Books & Comics
- Strips & Covers
- Questions & Answers by Sophie Aldred
- The stories are covered in production order, which sometimes differed from the transmitted running order.
- Full Cast and Production Team credits are given for each story following a season overview.
- Besides the season stories themselves, Dimensions in Time and work for the More than 30 Years in the TARDIS video release are featured.
- The book is packed with behind-the-scenes shots and models in construction.
- This book was dedicated to the memory of Richard Croft and Tip Tipping.
- The cover photographs (taken by Robin Prichard) were specially staged in a car park at North Acton. Also shot were photos of Aldred depicting Ace as the character was at the time being depicted in the Virgin New Adventures novels.
- This hardback only title, with a dust jacket covering a plain black cover, was priced £17.99 (UK).