For over 40 years, the Doctor has battled against the monsters
and villains of the universe. Discover why the Daleks are
so deadly; how the Yeti invade London; the secret of the Loch
Ness Monster; and how the Cybermen have survived. Learn who
the Master is, and - above all - how the Doctor defeats them
all. Whether you read it on or behind the sofa, this book
provides a wealth of information about the monsters and villains
that have made Doctor Who the galactic phenomenon that
it is today...
to the success of the new series there's a whole new army
of Doctor Who fans. Many won't have seen the old series
so what better way could there be to tap into that rich history
than publish a book that helps tell the full story? Sadly,
the BBC has decided that its first new Who book should
be about the programme's monsters and villains - past and
In terms of production quality the book actually scores quite
well but overall it will make little sense to new fans because
there's simply no context to its contents. It's all well and
good spelling out the origins of the Daleks but without the
back story of the Doctor much of it seems unintelligible.
For example, the book explains that during The Chase
(1965) the Daleks' replica Doctor calls out for Susan rather
than Vicki thereby exposing himself as an impostor. But without
knowing who Susan and Vicki are this makes little sense.
fact, this lack of context makes much of the text pretty meaningless.
Talk of a newly regenerated Doctor in the plot synopsis for
Power of the Daleks once again falls foul of this central
flaw. Older fans know what regeneration entails but for anyone
new to the series it could describe pretty much anything.
Had the Doctor found a stash of sports drinks in the TARDIS
and quaffed the lot?
photos used to illustrate the rather perfunctory text are
pretty well chosen although there's little we've not seen
before. The screen grabs from Terror of the Autons are
especially bad as is the image of Roger Delgardo which looks
to have been scanned in from a magazine. Also, the picture
of a Varga plant on page 30 is a fake - and not a very good
the plus side there are some nice (albeit small) shots of
the new Dalek under construction and on page 92 there are
a couple of Web of Fear production stills that I'd
not seen previously. Oh how you wish these could have been
Monsters and Villains is yet another A to Z of aliens.
It's pretty well designed, the text is okay if you overlook
its lack of context and the pictures are generally fine. This
all adds up to something rather ordinary - even workmanlike
- which is a shame as the first book published about Doctor
Who since its return should have been so much better.
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