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Who is the Doctor Paperback – 14 Jul 2012

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Product details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: ECW PRESS (14 July 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1550229842
  • ISBN-13: 978-1550229844
  • Product Dimensions: 17 x 2.5 x 24.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 586,378 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Simon F. on 15 Aug. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Since Doctor Who returned to our TV screens in 2005, it has become a runaway success so it’s astonishing that this unofficial DW episode guide appears to be the only one currently available for the new series.
It’s not even a British affair; the two authors are Canadian, and the book is published by the Toronto based ECW Press.

So is it worth shelling out for? TV episode guidebooks usually fall into two categories. There are those that are just ego trips for the writers, full of bombast and nit picking, with little in the way of episode plot, trivia and facts.
The other type gives you an overload of detail and facts on each episode, with just a small amount of criticism.
‘Who Is The Doctor’ falls somewhere in the middle; well researched in it’s episodic facts and figures, but also weighed down with lengthy criticisms.
This book covers in detail the first six seasons, plus all the specials, whilst articles known as Psychic Papers provide actor and writer biog’s, plus other information concerning characters and events from the Classic Series which link through to nu-Who.
There’s an opening essay on the history of the programme from it’s beginnings in 1963 up to 2005, but I would like to have seen an essay on how original show runner Russell T. Davies overhauled DW, and his thinking on how to present it to a 21st century audience, with the influences of modern television drama presentation.

It goes without saying that Doctor Who now looks absolutely astonishing, with a lavish production design courtesy of a budget that the Classic Series could only dream of, and our two authors are over the moon about it. But in the end it all comes down to the writing; all the CGI effects in the world can’t hide a lousy script.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Beginning when the show returned in 2005, this book is a comprehensive guide to all the episodes from 'Rose' until the end of series 6 and 'The Wedding of River Song'.

It's an enjoyable read, not too technical or over geeky. Whether you agree or not with the view of the writers, it's a fun book to either read right through or dip into as you watch the episodes.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 15 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
A must-have for Doctor Who fans. 3 April 2012
By Sean Brady - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This is a terrific book that fans of Doctor Who will really enjoy. Its focus is the new series which began in 2005. I have a lot of books that review Doctor Who episodes (the About Time series, Running Through Corridors, Doctor Who - The Television Companion, etc) and this is one of the very best I've read. The format is very similar to Mad Norwegian's About Time series...two writers offer up details and their opinions on each episode. There are also pieces giving background on aspects of the show that originally appeared in the previous incarnation of the series which is handy for those fans who only began watching in 2005 or more recently. For example, the book starts with a brief (but thorough enough) history of the original series and the previous Doctors.

It's a fun read and a real page turner. Highly recommended!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
A must-have for any fan of the reboot 17 Aug. 2012
By thewritersjourney - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
"We are here today because Doctor Who is the greatest show on television. We really mean this, by the way. That's not hyperbole." Thus begins the unofficial episode guide written by Graeme Burk and Robert Smith? (the question mark is a part of his name). Covering every episode of Doctor Who beginning in 2005, including the mini-episodes and animated specials, Who Is The Doctor is a must-have for any fan of the BBC's rebooted science fiction series.

Burk and Smith? do a fantastic job covering the series and the performers. Written from a fan's perspective with a great deal of levity, Who Is The Doctor is a fun read, but not suggested for those who have not yet watched the series. After all, it's an episode guide, taking you from the first episode of the reboot, "Rose," to the last episode of the sixth season, "The Wedding of River Song." The authors point out holes in the story, things that the casual viewer may not notice until it is pointed out, but they also praise the good points of each tale. They are unabashed fans of the current Doctor, portrayed by Matt Smith, and heap enormous amounts of praise upon him for his work in the role.

The book itself has rightly received praise from such genre heroes as author Neil Gaiman and Doctor Who writer Robert Shearman. Anyone who is a fan of the television program starring Christopher Eccleston, David Tennant, Matt Smith, Billie Piper, Freema Agyeman, and Karen Gillan will enjoy and learn from Who Is The Doctor.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
This book is MY companion through time and space... 8 Jun. 2013
By Spunk Monkey - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm an old-school Who fan [Whovian, I guess, although I prefer Whomo], and I've been watching Doctor Who ever since the "Classic" series played on our local PBS station [Channel 11] every Sunday night at 11pm back in the 80's. I used to buy every Doctor Who guide or review book I could find, such as The Discontinuity Guide or Who's Next. This book is by far the best. I'm actually astonished at how good it is. Doctor Who is sometimes refereed to as a "children's show," but nothing about this text is childish: It is extremely smart, thoughtful, mature, detailed, and nuanced. It not sophomoric or slight in the least. Then again, it isn't a tome of academic articles either. It is a critically engaged but passionate examination of the stories in the "New" series. The "reviews" are excellent, because, first of all, there are always two of them, written by Graeme Burk and Robert Smith. What we get are two perspectives -- which always seem well considered -- unique to the hearts and thoughts of the two men. Both notice different things, enjoy different things, become irked by different things, etc. Sometimes they both enjoy an episode, sometimes they both problems with an episode, but they always make compelling arguments for their thoughts/ideas/opinions. Even if I disagree with something, I usually feel that they've made good points. But then again, they don't often seem wildly off the mark. But to simply call this a review book would be to underestimate all what it has to offer. It includes some production details, it briefly summarizes the stories, it includes "Roots and References," it tracks developing threads and motifs, it lists details about the Doctor's back-story/travels/history which are revealed in a particular episode, and it includes favorite moments ["Stand Up and Cheer"], least favorite moments ["Roll Your Eyes"], and discontinuity or logic errors ["You're Not Making Any Sense"]. The sheer volume of details explored in the book really facilitates my appreciation for the show. And then there are sections called "The Psychic Papers" which periodically appear in which various topics are discussed: such as the Doctor's changing relationship to the subject of "changing" history, retcons, the Timelords, the "wilderness" period between the Classic series and New series and the novels and audios which were produced during that period, etc. Basically, the way I used the book was I watched an episode and then read the text related to that episode. The guide goes up through season 6, and maybe, hopefully, it will be updated from time to time. That said, even as it is I consider it essential and I recommend it to ALL fans. It was the perfect companion through series. This book was my Sarah Jane Smith.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Excellent discussion and reviews 1 Oct. 2012
By Kathleen Cobcroft - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Chock full of in depth episode discussions written by genuine fans, with enough points of interest to engage the hardcore Whovian. Each episode is reviewed by both authors, who frequently disagree.

My paperback came with an invitation to email the company with proof of purchase for a copy of the DRM-free ebook, which came promptly. Excellent service!
Learning Who Is The Doctor 16 April 2012
By Boomerocity - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
If you are like I was, you may not be able to readily identify a "Dalek", and if someone utters "Doctor Who", you probably assume it's a question.

I challenge you to partake in one episode of the revamped BBC series, Doctor Who, and not be captivated by the adventures of the Doctor as he travels through time saving people and battling evil. Once you are inevitably hooked, quickly get your hands on Who Is The Doctor by Graeme Burk and Robert Smith? (the question mark is not, in fact, a typo). From the most ardent devotees to new-on-the-scene followers, every fan has something to gain from this indispensable handbook.

This book is not a play-by-play plot synopsis to gulp down in one sitting so you can fake your way through a conversation. It is, however, a thought-provoking and educational supplement to the first six series of the re-launched Doctor Who. For new fans, the authors do include a briefing on the original program which aired from 1963 to 1989 making it the longest-running science fiction television series in the world. Once readers are up to speed, Burk and Smith add delightful flavor to current episodes with their witty and thorough analysis. Each section includes a brief overview of the plot, a dissection of references to previous Who episodes and other media, trivia, and a breakdown of irregularities and inconsistencies.

But perhaps the most insightful (and entertaining) element is the authors' opinions at the end of each entry where Burk and Smith lay out their critiques separately. At the very least, the reader is given plenty of food for thought when watching this layer cake of a production. Though as an added treat, the two often disagree, and the debate that ensues becomes icing... well, you know where I'm headed.

Grab your copy and... Allons-y!

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