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M. Nicholson (London N16)

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TARDIS Eruditorum - An Unauthorized Critical History of Doctor Who Volume 2: Patrick Troughton
TARDIS Eruditorum - An Unauthorized Critical History of Doctor Who Volume 2: Patrick Troughton
by Philip Sandifer
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Second to None, 30 Nov. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
What a great read - saw about this book via the UK Dr. Who magazine and took a chance (some of the new wave of pseudo-academic book riding the back of show's success over the last few years can be impenetrable or plain dull).
This is one hell of an undertaking from the author - it seems he intends to cover the whole history of the show eventually - but the writing always engaging and indeed often funny as well as insightful - lots of interesting cultural asides to give the show context not just to what's gone before or will come in terms of its own history but also to wider global - and local - culture.
As Troughton was the Doctor when I first became aware of the show as a kid this was an enlightening find and I can HIGHLY recommend it. Here's to more (on the strength of this I went back to buy the 1st (Hartnell-centric) volume.
Well done Mister Sandifer.

The Remains of An Altar (Merrily Watkins Mystery)
The Remains of An Altar (Merrily Watkins Mystery)
by Phil Rickman
Edition: Hardcover

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars raising spirits, 22 Mar. 2007
'The Remains of an Altar'?

A typically compulsive, eagerly- anticipated addition to the Merrily Watkins series. There are few authors who snare me as Phil Rickman has, and with each new volume these past several years I have willingly immersed myself in the parallel world of Ledwardine and its Deliverance Consultant.

There's so much that makes these stories distinctive, and it strikes me they gain power from underlying juxtapositions - the woman of God in a male-dominated Church - issues of spirituality in an increasingly secular society - strange characters within small, compressed communities clashing with those even stranger denizens from the teetering society of nearby town and city.

Of course the primary clash is between The Light and The Dark, Good and Evil, but the books, while driven by that, are all the more involving because they evoke the grey areas between - grey areas of human nature, belief, fear, hope and fear, and all that is stirred up between.

Merrily herself stands at a point between both her personal and public roles, throwing up great drama even between her and the series' regular supporting cast, including the sublime guru of Plant Hire, Gomer Parry and invaluable companion Lol Robinson, himself gaining strength with each outing. Closest of all is daughter Jane, a character who, inexplicably to me, appears to divide opinion with Rickman's readership. (I deal with today's teenagers in my job as a lecturer and only wish more of them displayed Jane's compassion, barbed intelligence and sheer involvement in what the world throws in front of them. A ballsy, non-materialist teenager, hungry for a 'bigger meaning'? Kind of unbelievable, sadly, but I do believe, every time I read the latest .

All of these marvellous characters develop and deepen as the books progress. It's a unique series, reflecting influences within modern British life as much as it does the dread forces that circle it, and to which Merrily is fundamentally opposed.

No plot details here - you can just read the book - but I envy those who have yet to open it, or any others in this wonderful series.

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