On their first publication, the Doctor Who Handbooks
were hailed for their comprehensive behind the scenes exploration
of the BBC's cult science fiction show Doctor Who. Now collected
in a revised and updated edition, this book is the definitive
guide to the background and production of a television classic...
we really need another book about the making of Doctor
Who? There are already bookshelves of them, many very
detailed. Is there really anything more to be said? The answer
is a resounding 'yes' as this mighty volume clearly demonstrates.
truth, these pages contain little that is revelatory but the
devil's in the detail, of which there is plenty. Each Doctor
gets a careful analytical eye cast of him and his reign in
the TARDIS along with the production techniques and writing
styles that characterised the show at any given time in its
run. The results are often very illuminating, especially for
the early years.
chapter on The Mind Robber is especially timely, adding
valuable background to the wealth of detail contained on the
But there really isn't a single page that doesn't contain
at least one fact you didn't previously know - and that's
no mean feat given the amount already committed to paper over
the only weakness with the book is that it tries to be even-handed
to each Doctor, an approach that's worthy but doomed to fail
as much of Doctor Who's later years were simply not
very interesting. However, by leaving personal prejudice to
one side does at least enable the reader to impose their own
opinions. There's even a section on the ill-fated US TV movie
which helps explain, at least in part, what happened during
its difficult production. You may not like the film any more
after reading the chapter, but you'll perhaps have a less
brutal opinion of it.
would have liked to have seen a handful of original documents
reproduced in the book but this is a minor quibble given the
quality of its writing and the sheer volume of facts - a testament
to the high level of research that went into its writing.
It may only be a book for the fans but devotees of Doctor
Who have never been better served.