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Time, Unincorporated 3: The Doctor Who Fanzine Archives: (Vol. 3: Writings on the New Series) Paperback – 15 Jun 2011

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In Time, Unincorporated, the best essays and commentary from a range of Doctor Who fanzines are collected and made available to a wider audience. In spirit, this series picks up the torch from Virgin's License Denied collection (1997), concentrating some of the most delightful, insightful and strange writings on Who into a single source.The third and final volume of this series contains nearly 65 essays that examine the new Doctor Who up to and including the 2010 series starring Matt Smith. The essays stem from a wide array of fanzines such as Enlightenment, Tides of Time, Shockeye's Kitchen, Movement and more.As a bonus, nearly 20 of the essays were written exclusively for this volume by the likes of Doctor Who script editor Andrew Cartmel; novelists Jonathan Blum, Kate Orman, Lloyd Rose and Steve Lyons; Tammy Garrison (Torchwood Babiez); and Lynne M. Thomas (Chicks Dig Time Lords). With a foreword by new-series writer Robert Shearman (Running Through Corridors).

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
New Who Under The Scope 17 Jan. 2012
By Matthew Kresal - Published on
Format: Paperback
For nearly fifty years now, the BBC television series Doctor Who has entertained countless viewers around the world. It also inspired many of its viewers to write about it not just in the realm of fiction, both officially licensed and fan written, but in fan magazines (better known as fanzines) as well. Often these fanzines would be read by only a small handful of fans and yet the articles inside them could cover a truly incredible range of topics. Now, thanks to Mad Norwegian Press, some of the best fanzine articles are available to a wider audience in the Time Unincorporated book series. The third, and sadly final, volume of the series looks at the first five series (read seasons) of the twenty-first century regeneration of the series (and its spinoffs) with a variety of fan opinions on it.

Following an introduction from noted Who writer Robert Shearman, plus a foreword from editors Graeme Burk and Robert Smith?, the book starts out with the 2005 return of the series and never looks back. Like the two previous volumes in the series, the essays in the book cover a wide range of topics regarding the new series. They range from Smith?'s essay on the short lived Eccleston era and his reassessment of the 2005 episode Boomtown, Burk and Deborah Stanish's two handed piece on the differences between the fans of the old series and fans of the new series/its spinoffs, Cheryl Twist with her hilarious yet truthful "Fan Wife's Survival Guide", Scott Clarke's essay "Wasn't It Glorious?" on how Russell T Davies brought the show back (with both its pros and cons), Nina Kolunovsky on the 2008 episode The Unicorn And The Wasp to Paul Magrs hilarious response to Russell T Davies' explanation of why his era was so centered around Earth to name but a few. That is just scratching the surface however of what is in the book.

What separates this volume from its immediate predecessor (which covered the original series of Doctor Who) is how much of it is actually new material. As editors Graeme Burke Robert Smith? point out in their forward, the amount of fanzines is significantly smaller in the new series era thanks in large part to the rise of the internet with both forums and social media. As a result, there are significantly more essays commissioned for the book then in volume two. Don't let that deter you though because what they have to say about the new series is intriguing.

In fact, the best essays in the book are amongst the commissioned essays. The book is opened and closed by commissioned essays for example. The first is by Dave Owen which explore how Doctor Who went from a show of the past to a hit series of the present while the latter, written by Shaun Lyon, looks at the perceived gap between "old" and "new" Who fans. Along the way the we are treated to Kate Orman's exploration of race in the new series, a FAQ on downloading and its legalities from Arnold T Blumberg, Jonathon Blum's essay on the complex morality of the new series, Burk's ten reasons why David Tennant became his Doctor, Lynne Thomas on the seemingly contradictory qualities of noir and camp in spinoff series Torchwood and Jon Arnold's celebration of the spinoff series the Sarah Jane Adventures (made all the more poignant by the passing of Elisabeth Sladen less than a year ago and just a short time before the book was released). Indeed almost the entire section on series five (which introduced Matt Smith as the eleventh Doctor) is made up of commissioned essays ranging from Keith Topping on how Matt Smith took on the role of the Doctor to Sean Twist's five reasons series why the season reinvented the series all over again. While the commissioned essays have a couple of misfires, such as Andrew Cartmel's which seems to have more place in the original series volume then here, they are nevertheless amongst the most exciting and thought provoking ones contained in the book.

If I had to level any criticism at the volume it is that it overwhelmingly pro-new series. Yes, there are definitely essays in the book which are critical of it (see Jim Mortimore's short and to the point review of the 2009 special Planet Of The Dead or Burk's essay "What Does It Take To Get Fired From Torchwood?" for example). Overall though, the book views the new series in a positive light. I'm not saying that it doesn't deserve to be seen in such light but that if ever there was a place where the new series could be viewed with a more critical eye, this would be the place to do it. The book is excellent as it is but perhaps might have benefited from some not so positive takes on the new series. To be fair though, it is a matter of personal taste at the end of the day.

Whatever your personal taste in Doctor Who might be, if you're a fan of the new series there's something to read here. The range is as incredible as the quality of the essays themselves, proving that just because something might not be widely read (or as is the case with many of the issues newly commissioned) doesn't mean it isn't well written. Overall then, Time Unincorporated Volume Three is a fine successor to both the Lance Parkin-centric volume one and the classic series centric volume two. While sadly the final volume in the series, it also ends the Time Unincorporated series on a high note.
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