I am a happy owner of all of the original Doctor Who Handbooks written by Howe, Stammers, and Walker. These books are fantastic, filled with interesting stories of the character of the Doctor, the actors who played him, and the production of the stories. I have devoured these handbooks over the years, and each one of the 7 that I own (one for each of the original Doctors) is falling apart, faded, and dog-eared. They have been well-loved.
Imagine my delight then on learning that the 7 handbooks, long out of print, had been collected in a single volume. "Finally," I said, "I can retire my original copies and read instead from this massive tome! And look, it has been updated!" So I orderd this book, and eagerly awaited it's arrival.
So my disappointment was supreme yesterday when it arrived, and I settled down to reacquaint myself with the great Handbook series, and I discovered that this is NOT a complete collection of the Handbooks, despite what the cover print may claim. Rather, this is a collection that composes about 2/3s of each handbook, leaving out the truly excellent episode listings. These listings consisted of a good summary (essential for some of the episodes which no longer exist), as well as information on their novelizations, and on their various video releases. There was info on the budgets of the episodes, and interesting trivia related to their production. The authors would review the episodes, and provide their opinions. NONE of these episode guides have made it into the book.
So, my opinion on this book? The content that is in there is excellent, but it is incomplete. I am disappointed in the misleading description of this book (which is not cheap), which claims that it is a collection of the Handbooks, for it certainly is not.
I guess I'll be sending this one back for a refund, and I'll keep refering to my old dog-eared copies for the foreseeable future.