Sometime in the 1970's I first encountered the Doctor as portrayed by Jon Pertwee (#3), and I greatly enjoyed all the programs I was able to receive in which he starred. I was also able to catch a few previous ones (of Doctors 1 & 2) as well as the first several Tom Baker (#4) episodes. Then nothing. It wasn't until David Tennant (#10) and the remarkable fifth series adventures of the incredible 11th Doctor (Matt Smith) that I once again began to watch with some degree of regularity. But in reconnecting with the series after a lapse of so many years, I had many gaps to fill-in. I also had many questions, not only about the previous programs I had missed, but even about the NEW shows I was currently watching. The plots of those new shows tended to be somewhat convoluted and (to me) bewildering, especially when they alluded to past Doctors, villains, and events which I had either forgotten or never experienced. Even more confusing to me was when they reimagined, reinterpreted, and/or otherwise revised hitherto foundational story elements. I found myself more than a litttle befuddled by the CHAOS of it all.
Then I came across this VERY INFORMATIVE ebook by Terry Warner in the Kindle Store. It successfully addressed the majority of my questions and provided a rhyme-and-reason for much of what had confused me. As described in the blurb, numerous aspects of the on-going, 50-year-old television series are examined, usually in an interesting and enjoyable manner. (Admittedly, however, some sections do become a bit tedious in the telling due in large measure not to any inability on the part of the author, but to the sheer volume and complexity of what needs to be told.) The book is well-formatted, systematically organized, and has an active TOC. Every Doctor gets his due, as do companions, significant villains and alien creatures. There are also references to novels, audio versions, and movie treatments. It's all a lot of fun (and revisiting some of the earliest TV programs is almost like traveling back in time in the TARDIS).
The comprehensiveness of the plot summaries varies, with some accounts being more thorough than others. Some focus primarily on significant or particularly interesting aspects of a given episode to the neglect of the total story. Quite often I sensed the author's expert analysis of story content seemed specifically directed to (and most appropriate for) those who were already as familiar with the episode(s) being examined as he. Someone totally new to the "Doctor Who" series would likely be more baffled than enlightened by such detailed references and discussions (insightful and invaluable though they may be to more knowledgeable fans); to newbies (and to casual fans like myself) lacking the proper background information to be able to process and appreciate such in-depth revelations, their full worth is obviously diminished. Nevertheless, while this is hardly written at the level of a Who primer, there is enough material throughout this book for motivated fans at ANY level to be able to understand and (hopefully) enjoy.
The book is good but far from perfect. I would have preferred some more appropriate photographs to accompany the text; those which appear are of front-cover book-jackets from novelizations of TV episodes, some magazine covers, and numerous toy character-figures. Though well-photographed, such photos (especially of the cleverly-posed toy figures) tend to give this ebook a homemade, self-published (i.e., "cheap") feel. And while some of the toy figures look remarkably like their real-life counterparts, others do not. Actual, full-face photographs of each doctor and key players would have greatly contributed to the book's value to longtime fans and newbies alike (though their likenesses DO appear on some of the reproduced book covers). Some editorial oversight would have helped, too; novel and program titles cited in the text are not distinguished in any way (as, for instance, by italics or quotation marks), rules of grammar are not infrequently broken, appropriate punctuation is sometimes missing, words are occasionally misspelled, and there are some typos. A sprinkling of Britishisms (or were they additional typos?) also caused this American reader to ponder the author's intended meaning more than a few times. But this list of imperfections makes these flaws sound far worse than (in toto) they actually are; few of these things proved to be more detrimental than momentary distractions, and none (except, perhaps, the aforementioned lack of title distinction) greatly annoyed me or seriously affected an otherwise pleasurable reading experience.
I purchased this ebook primarily for the wealth of information it promised--and it DID deliver. The text was written in a pleasantly informal and enjoyable-to-read manner reflecting the exuberance and vitality of a devoted fan and author who obviously truly knows and loves his subject. For similarly adoring fans, this can serve as a "souvenir" of the TV series, allowing them to reminisce about favorite Doctors and shows even as they discover quite a few things they probably didn't already know. On the other hand, I suspect particularly savvy, longtime, die-hard fans will probably find some omissions to bemoan, opinions to dispute, and/or details to fault; such is the nature of impassioned fandom. But for someone like me, who is just trying to catch-up and struggling to make sense of it all, this is an informative and fun-to-read general overview of the entire "Doctor Who" television series. It may not have cleared up ALL my confusion, but it certainly entertained me as it attempted to do so.
ADDENDUM: Since I wrote the above, other DOCTOR WHO histories have appeared, but these have only served to increase my appreciation of this one. Imparting a wealth of information somewhat haphazardly revealed over a period of 50 years of TV programming, the newest books I have read tend to early-on bombard unprepared readers with facts and overwhelm them with details. This book, though no less informative, better organizes its content and presents that same material in a more appropriate and user-friendly manner. In re-reading this book in light of those others, I now regard it as even better than I first thought it to be.