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Doctor Who: Essential Guide to 50 Years of Doctor Who
Doctor Who: Essential Guide to 50 Years of Doctor Who
by Justin Richards
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £10.39

17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An innocent and oft-charming 50th Anniversary read., 14 Oct 2013
These days, BBC Worldwide are scorned all too regularly for their attempts to release a variety of Doctor Who reference books aimed at a younger audience. In the case of 'Doctor Who: 50- The Essential Guide', we have a release which is unashamed in its clear purpose of appealing to younger fans, and it's all the better for it.

The book is structured via a chronological retrospective on each of the Eleven Doctors and their respective eras. Each section looks at that particular Doctor's main adventures, his companions, his enemies and his 'Time Tech', and despite the cringeworthy nature of the latter term, there's a decent level of depth in the author's recollection of these key aspects of the show throughout the past five decades.

Those looking for a simultaneous insight into Doctor Who's past behind-the-scenes will be left wanting, yet at no stage does author Justin Richards claim that such content will feature. Instead, there's broader reference to events such as the show's inception, hiatus and revival expressed in such a manner that kids and young teens will find informative and entertaining.

'The Essential Guide' can't be criticised for any remiss attitude in terms of recapping each and every major Who event/character, but at the same time this accuracy proves as much a curse as a blessing. Whereas past reference releases such as the 'Monsters & Villains' series and the 'Brilliant Books' have had the chance to expand upon their analyses of specific elements of the show's lore, by attempting to cover five decades' worth of content in their relative entirety, there's inevitably compromises made in order to keep to the relatively slim page count.

To put it straight then, 'Doctor Who: 50- An Essential Guide' isn't aimed at the older fan. However, that's not to say it isn't worth a purchase- it's dimensions above the usual dire content of the series' Annuals, even if it can't claim to possess the depth of other Who reference books. As a Christmas present for the kids, this will be nothing short of gold, and parents may find themselves surprised upon a glance at how much hidden treasure lies within.


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