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Inside the Tardis: The Worlds of "Doctor Who" Hardcover – 28 Apr 2006

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 262 pages
  • Publisher: I.B.Tauris (28 April 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1845111621
  • ISBN-13: 978-1845111625
  • Product Dimensions: 14.4 x 2.5 x 22.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,903,301 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

James Chapman (born 1968) is a cultural historian specialising in British cinema, television and popular culture. He studied History and Film Studies at the University of East Anglia (1988-1992) and undertook his doctoral research at Lancaster University (1992-95). He was Lecturer in Film and Television History at The Open University (1996-2005) and was appointed founding Professor of Film Studies at the University of Leicester in 2005.

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Review

'I suspect it may well be the best overview of Doctor Who that I have ever read' 'If you're keen to understand why this wonderful show has been such a success and have it set in context, now is your chance to enter the world of academia and see Dotor Who from a new and rewarding perspective.' -- Andrew Pixley, Doctor Who Magazine, March 2006 'Chapman's approach is unpretentious, readable, solidly authoritative and self-consciously anti-theoretical.' 'Chapman's nook is an extremely good starting point for anyone wishing to think seriously about Doctor Who.' - Independent on Sunday

About the Author

James Chapman is Professor of Film at the University of Leicester. His previous books for I.B.Tauris include Licence To Thrill: A Cultural History of the James Bond Films and Saints and Avengers: British Adventure Series of the 1960s.

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The origins of Doctor Who have become the subject of almost as many different narratives as the mythology of the Time Lords or the history of the Daleks. Read the first page
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Poldy on 13 July 2006
Format: Paperback
James Chapman has succeeded in writing a scholarly book which will appeal to the general fan. Eschewing academic jargon, Chapman seeks to place the TV series that was Doctor Who in its wider cultural context. The book contains no plot synopses or lists of great lines, goofs, etc., all of which have been done many times before. What he does provide is a detailed examination of how the programme was made, how it changed over the years, and how these changes influenced, and were influenced by, events in the wider world.

He does this by examining in detail the differing aims, priorities and remits of each production team. In the early development of the programme, producer Verity Lambert was tireless in her work on, and promotion of, the show, despite what appears to have been an increasing lack of interest from senior executives, who had commissioned the programme in the first place.

One of the most obvious ways in which Doctor Who changed over the years is in the different styles of the various producers, and Chapman has been tireless in his examination of the BBC's written archives to find as much original material as possible. In the mid-70's, Doctor Who came in for much criticism for being too violent. The producer of the time, Philip Hinchcliffe, was replaced by Graham Williams, and it was Williams who came in for a great deal of criticism from fans for making the programme too camp and pantomime-like. Chapman shows, however, that Williams was given far less freedom than most of his predecessors, and that he was kept on a very tight reign to ensure that viewer complaints were kept to an absolute minimum.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By kingofwessex on 19 Jun. 2006
Format: Paperback
On the whole, this is a well-written and likeable book. For a product that hails from the "cultural studies" corridor of the halls of learning it is surprisingly engaging and does not really get bogged down in self-serving jargon. In particular, there is lots of informative stuff here on the "internal politics" of the BBC and the author has mined the organisation's archives to good effect. There are some illuminating quotations in the form of internal BBC documentation: memoranda, reports and the like. The quotations he has used to illustrate audience reactions to the programme in recent decades are well-chosen and give the book a welcome "populist" edge. Indeed, it becomes clear that the controversy aroused by some of the more visibly violent or terrifying episodes went beyond the usual suspects of the Mary Whitehouse brigade. Many ordinary viewers of all ages evidently found some scenes too visceral and realistic in the 1970s. At times, reflecting its academic provenance, the author is straining a little too hard in to trying to link aspects of particular episodes to its external constraints. This leads to some rather loose, generalising assertions along the lines of, "this feature of such and such a story obviously was a result of such and such a trend/issue/trope in wider society." However, the author's discussion of the distinct periods of style and content which the programme underwent - say Tom Baker's "gothic" phase - is both thoughtful and stimulating. Also, it's nice to have a clear idea of which individuals were working on the programme during which periods, and the formative roles played by various producers/script editors, etc.Read more ›
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Sensible Cat on 2 Aug. 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you're intrigued by the Doctor's past after the last two series, but you haven't the time or the inclination to dig deep into the archives of fandom, this is an excellent primer. What it lacks in glossy illustrations is more than made up by intelligent and very readable analysis of the recurring themes in the show, the different qualities brought to the character by past actors, and the way the stories have reflected contemporary political and broadcasting trends. The final chapter takes the story up to "The Christmas Invasion."
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By StevenH on 21 April 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Quick response and delivery. Item as described. Very Satisfied.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Lisa on 17 Aug. 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Came quickly in good condition very informative and useful for study of Doctor Who but would be a good book for general reading
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