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Simon F. (Hertfordshire, England)

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Sounds From The Inferno (7" Vinyl Ep) (2013)
Sounds From The Inferno (7" Vinyl Ep) (2013)
Offered by actionrecords
Price: £6.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Who is John Smith?, 18 Aug. 2015
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Of all the chancer’s and characters who have become part of the rich tapestry of British pop over the past 50 years, none is more mysterious and enigmatic than John Smith. It is said that he is really the Honourable Aubrey Waites, but this cannot be ascertained as there is no mention of him in Debrett’s Peerage, and it is assumed that Waites (who ever he may be) just used the title in order to gain attention.

He formed his first group Chris Waites and the Carollers in 1962. They then became John Smith & The Common Men, scoring a major chart hit in November 1963 with “Three Guitars Mood 2” which was issued on the tiny TRDS label. It entered the chart at #19, and peaked at #2 the following week before quickly dropping out of the chart altogether.
Despite it’s success, some critics accused the band of being a Shadows rip-off, claiming that “Three Guitars” was just a re-write of the Shadows’ 1960 hit, “Man Of Mystery”.
This criticism deeply hurt the group, and nothing more was heard of them until 1966 when they began to make regular appearances at a new London discotheque, The Inferno. This legendary club was said to be so far ahead of its rivals, that the DJ’s were able to play records that had not even been recorded yet!
A second John Smith single, “Sounds From The Inferno” EP appeared on the bands own Inferno label, leading to speculation that Smith/Waites owned the club. The A-side featured their old hit, whilst two new titles, “The Eyelash” and “Latin Gear” showed how the group had moved away from their initial Shadows influence, and was by now a far more groovy affair, with organ and saxophone to the fore. The single was not a hit, and by the end of ’66 John Smith and The Common Men had disappeared.

Smith/Waites resurfaced again in 1971 as one of the major financial backers of the infamous Inferno project, which it was claimed would have solved the world’s energy problems. It is said that Waites persuaded the government to use the name Inferno after his club. Despite a massive cover-up over why the entire project was cancelled, we do know that a brilliant if somewhat erratic scientist named Doctor John Smith (!) warned that if the project went ahead it would unleash such energy that the entire planet would have been destroyed.
Nothing more was heard from Smith/Waites until now with the very welcome re-issue of this 1966 EP. Sadly the tapes for the B-side of “Three Guitar Moods” have long since vanished, believed destroyed, but there are still the other three tracks to enjoy. John Smith and The Common Men maybe now just a footnote in British pop, but at one time they could have been bigger than the Beatles.

Converse Ctas Core Hi 015860-610-8, Schwarz (Noir), EU 45
Converse Ctas Core Hi 015860-610-8, Schwarz (Noir), EU 45
Price: Click here to see our price

5.0 out of 5 stars If the shoe fits..., 16 July 2015
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I find that other types of trainers make my feet hot and tired, so I switched to Converse Hi Tops a few years ago. Excellent all round shoe, very light weight, and given the sky high cost of some trainers, these are excellent value for money. If only local shoe shops would stock them then I wouldn't have to get them from Amazon!

The Catch-Up Guide to Doctor Who: Repeat Characters, Plot Arcs, Heroes, Monsters, and the Doctor All Made Clear
The Catch-Up Guide to Doctor Who: Repeat Characters, Plot Arcs, Heroes, Monsters, and the Doctor All Made Clear
by Valerie Estelle Frankel
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Sorting out Moffat's muddle? Sadly not, 13 May 2015
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This is an odd and deeply disappointing book. I bought it due to the fact that it was advertised as making sense of the over-complex River Song/Pond Life story arc that dominated series 5-7 of the New Doctor Who. But having read it, I’m still as confused as ever, and indeed that section is only a small part of the whole.
The book has the general air of a school project written by an enthusiastic young fan who has grown up on the New Series, but has never experienced the Classic Series, and therefore has to rely on second hand information for research. There is an awful lot of stuff drawn from other publications and Internet blogs throughout, (all are fully credited at the back end of the book), along with large chunks of dialogue. There is also an annoying habit of suddenly switching from black print to grey for no apparent reason before returning to black. Is this a printing problem?
Overall the book is badly written, full of spelling and punctuation mistakes, along with some factual errors. One could understand and forgive this somewhat if it had been written by a 12 year old, but judging from her photo in the back of the book, Ms. Frankel is probably around thirty, and has a large number of books covering various sci-fi/fantasy films and TV dramas to her credit.
I just don’t know whom this book is aimed at. Long-time fans will gain nothing new from it, and newcomers would be best to avoid it at all costs unless they want a messy and muddled guide to the Whonoverse.

Thunderbirds Are Go: Vol. 1 [DVD]
Thunderbirds Are Go: Vol. 1 [DVD]
Price: £8.99

20 of 38 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Thunderbirds Are Go(ing?), 5 April 2015
Reviving a cult classic television series is always fraught with difficulty. You have to be able to attract a new audience without alienating fans of the original too much.
Star Trek succeeded with The Next Generation and all it’s various spin-offs and with some stumbling blocks, the rebooted Doctor Who has also been a major success. But there have also been failures; e.g. the 2009 reboot of The Prisoner.
Thunderbirds’ original 32 episodes enjoyed constant re-runs on ITV during the 1960’s and 70’s, appeared on video (and later DVD) in the 80’s, and found a whole new post-Star Wars generation of fans when BBC 2 re-ran the series in the early 1990’s, resulting in a new best-selling Thunderbirds comic and the hugely successful Tracy Island toy. But that was 25 years ago. Is Thunderbirds still relevant to today’s CGI-raised audiences?
Thunderbirds co-creator and producer Gerry Anderson often talked about doing a remake, but for many and varied reasons it never got off the ground. He did succeed in creating a CGI version of Captain Scarlet in 2005 but original fans gave it the thumbs down. Personally I felt it was like a watching a computer game that you could not interact with.
The previous year saw the release the truly terribly live action Thunderbirds The Movie (2004) which Anderson rightly described as “the biggest load of crap I have ever seen”, and he turned down a substantial sum of money to help promote the film.
The movie flopped so badly that it took the studio down with it. We all retreated back to our Thunderbirds DVD box sets, and that appeared to be the end of International Rescue. Then in 2013, a year or so after the tragic death of Gerry Anderson came news that the New Zealand based Weta Workshop company, who had produced the stunning effects for Peter Jackson’s Lord Of The Rings and Hobbit movies were working on a new version of Thunderbirds to be launched in 2015.
It would feature computer-generated characters mixed with models and miniatures. Fans around the world held their breath – would it work? What would it look like? For the next couple of years it was a matter of constantly scouring the Internet for any gems of information, photos or footage. Little teasers such as the opening doors of the Thunderbird 2 hanger were ever so slowly dribbled out online until late 2014 when the first official trailers and publicity photos appeared.
There were a few grumbles particularly when the revamped Tracy brothers were first unveiled but by and large the reception was fairly positive.
More trailers followed; with some fans worrying that this series would be stuck away on CITV, making it difficult to watch.
But ITV, who have been extremely supportive of the new series thankfully saw sense and gave this opening hour long episode, titled Ring Of Fire, pride of place on Easter Saturday at 5:00pm.
I sat and watched with a great deal of trepidation; my feelings towards it being fuelled by my attitude to the new Doctor Who, which I still have a great many problems with.
The opening pre-credit sequence involving the rescue of a father and son from a hot-air balloon sets up the general look and feel of the series; it’s very fast moving CGI, and is burdened with a script that just speaks in clichés throughout. Some parts of Barry Gray’s truly magnificent title theme tune have survived, but much of it is buried in an overblown new arrangement, and the remainder of the incidental music is just utterly forgettable, rather like Murray Gold’s music for Doctor Who.
Much has been made of the actors who are voicing the characters this time around, but quite honestly it was sometimes difficult to work out which Tracy brother was speaking. The originals all had very distinctive different voices, which were immediately recognisable, here everyone sounds remarkably similar. Another huge disappointment is the new Lady Penelope who, with her long blonde tresses now looks rather similar to Madonna during her Ray Of Light album in 1998. Sylvia Anderson’s wonderful cut glass accent has been replaced by something quite ordinary and uneventful. Lady P. now just looks and sounds like the girl next door. She also now owns a horrible yappy dog, which reminded me of the 2004 South Park episode, Stupid Spoiled Whore Video Playset which rips on Paris Hilton and her horrible yappy dog! Parker, thankfully still being voiced by the magnificent David Graham (now aged around 90!) has lost his chauffeur’s uniform, and now sports a dark turtle neck top and slacks, making him look like he’s on a permanent day off, and he did not really get a chance to shine in this opening episode.
And what have they done to Grandma?! The sweet little old lady of the original has now become a chav! Dressed in a horrible lurid pink tracksuit with attitude to match, expect to see her turn up on the Jeremy Kyle show any day now!
Brains for some inexplicable reason has been given an Indian accent, and his stammer that made up so much of his character has all but disappeared. There is also no Jeff Tracy, the man who created and headed International Rescue. We learn that he has ‘disappeared’ in a plane crash caused it seems by arch villain the Hood, although I suspect that he may well turn up later in the series as part of a major story arc.
Speaking of the Hood, here is another character that has undergone a major change. Gone are his East Asian origins and in his place is of course the clichéd Brit-villain, coming over as a cross between Ian Carmichael and Terry Thomas. I remember as a child being absolutely terrified of the Hood, especially when his eyes lit up as be began to hypnotise someone. This new Hood seems to be played strictly for laughs but he may well improve.
Although one would like to think that the 2004 movie is dead and buried, I could not help but feel that it’s ghost overshadowed much of this opening episode. The undeveloped Tracy brothers in particular, and the fact that Thunderbird 2 still looks like a prototype rather than the finished product, and it’s interesting to note how this new series is set in 2060, five years earlier than the original. There is also far too much reliance on holograms throughout the story as an easy-sell way of explaining things which could fast become a cliché.
The main plot involved a series of mysterious undersea earthquakes, and after rescuing the occupants of an undersea research base, the front part of which resembled the nose cone of the spacecraft used in Space 1999 (and did anyone else spot the Stingray cameo?), International Rescue set out to discover what has been causing these quakes. They find that Hood is behind it all in a major plan to take control of all the Thunderbirds and use them for his own ends, whilst a sub-plot involving the saving of a city from being destroyed by fire caused by a damaged giant solar reflecting dish has been lifted from the original series episode Lord Parker’s ’Oliday. So much for originality.
There is also a new character named Kayo. She takes the place of Tin-Tin, and as usual with female characters in modern sci-fi, she comes across as feisty, strong, independent and definitely lacking in the sense of humour department. She has a secret to keep in that she is related to the Hood, as was Tin-Tin in the original. But the major difference in the original series was that IR had no knowledge of the Hood, and it was only in his final appearance that Scot and Virgil began to put two and two together, realising that this guy was the same one who had been causing them so much trouble in the past. If Thunderbirds had continued who knows, maybe this storyline would have been developed further.
Overall, it looks very good, the combination of CGI and model work blends well, and the animators have done their best to make the characters reflect their puppet-like origins rather than make them totally human-like such as those seen in Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within (2001), but the script is a mess. There is none of the subtle humour that ran throughout the original, or any real feeling of danger or urgency and as stated before, the main characters are all underdeveloped, which given their legacy is unforgivable. There were times during the launch sequences when I felt I was watching Wallace & Gromit, particularly when Virgil, Alan and Kayo are being suited up in their uniforms. Also watching Kayo doing her running and jumping stuff as she makes her way into the Hood’s hideout reminded me of similar scenes from the Toy Story movies with Buzz Lightyear!
The original Thunderbirds was a magnificent creation which used it’s hour long episodes well to build upon it’s characters and plots. This new series I fear is just going to be a sugar rush; cramming each episode into just 30 minutes (22 to be precise once you’ve removed the endless ad breaks). I shall not be abandoning it just yet; it’s going to be interesting to see how it develops over the remainder of it’s 25 episodes, and ITV have reportedly already commissioned a second series so they obviously have great hopes for it. Whether Thunderbirds Are Go becomes a classic slice of television like it’s predecessor only time will tell.

Update: June 2015. So with 13 episodes down (the show is now taking a mid season break, probably returning around September), I have decided that enough is enough, and I shall not be watching any more. The whole show is being played just for laughs which is a real shame. It had potential, but that has long since disappeared, and it has just become silly and childish. The DVD itself contains just the first 13 episodes and no bonus features whatsoever. Young audiences and older fans deserve better. IMO Thunderbirds is most definitely gone.
Comment Comments (20) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 24, 2015 2:31 PM BST

Jupiter Ascending [DVD] [2015]
Jupiter Ascending [DVD] [2015]
Dvd ~ Mila Kunis
Price: £6.99

10 of 21 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Jupiter Descending, 13 Feb. 2015
As a long-time admirer of the work of the Wachowski’s, I was really looking forward to ‘Jupiter Ascending’.
I yield to no one in my love of the Matrix Trilogy, whilst ‘Cloud Atlas’ (2012) was another hugely ambitious outing, which really made the audience do some work.

Sadly the same cannot be said of ‘Jupiter Ascending’. Although it looks absolutely spectacular, the entire film feels that it was dreamt up on a wet Tuesday afternoon; just take your favourite science fiction ‘space opera’ movies, bolt them together and chuck over the top an ultra-thin plot about a poor girl who finds that she is heir to the Earth… or something…

It has all the ingredients to be a lot of fun, but it just turns out to be dull and boring, with uninteresting cipher-like characters, and apart from the registration sequence where Mila Kunis, Channing Tatum and Sean Bean are constantly directed from booth to booth, there’s no sense of humour; something that is desperately needed in a film like this.

I also felt that Jupiter Jones (Kunis) would have greatly benefited from a mentor like Obi Wan Kenobi, Gandalf or Dumbledore to explain things to both her and the audience. Instead we just get Tatum whizzing around in his jet boots, squaring up to Bean, both in full-on testosterone fuelled mode.
So a huge disappointment. Let’s just hope that like‘ the Wachowski’s other disaster,Speed Racer (2008)’ this is a quickly forgotten copybook blot and that they can really return to making a really intelligent thought provoking movie next time around.

Doctor Who - The Keys Of Marinus [DVD] [1964]
Doctor Who - The Keys Of Marinus [DVD] [1964]
Dvd ~ William Hartnell
Price: £6.80

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Keys to the Planet, 17 Oct. 2013
One of the main problems of a planet-hopping sci-fi series like Doctor Who is that planets are usually represented by a tiny microcosm of their entirety, meaning that we only get to see a minute fraction of their terrains and life forms.
Even alien invasions of Earth always seemed to take place in a square mile or so of West London (never too far from the BBC Television Centre), whilst the rest of the city, indeed the entire Earth remains blissfully unaware of what is happening!
In the Keys of Marinus, writer Terry Nation attempts to change this, by having the Doctor and his companion's travel around the planet, experiencing many different landscapes and those that populate them, including jungles, Polar Regions and even a mysterious city where it seems all desires can be made real.
Their task is to locate the four keys to a machine known as the Conscience of Marinus, which is said to remove all evil thoughts from the population. Now under attack from the Voord (one of the programmes more rubbish alien creations), the keys must be recovered to stop the planet from falling into the wrong hands.
Because Doctor Who was then an all year-round production, actors had to take breaks whenever they got the chance, and this is the first story in which the Doctor disappears for two episodes so that William Hartnell could go on holiday. It was a policy that would continue right up until the end of the Patrick Troughton era.
But it does give a chance for his co-actors to really come into their own, and there are excellent performances from William Russell (Ian) and especially Jacqueline Hill (Barbara), with a real chemistry between them. Sadly the same can not be said of Carole-Ann Ford who's character Susan begins to rapidly change from the mysterious teenager she was to become little more than a screaming cipher, apparently scared of everybody and everything. A real waste.
For designer Raymond Cusick this production was a real challenge, producing new sets for every episode, all squeezed into the BBC's tiny studio at Lime Grove, along with having to produce demanding miniatures and special effects all on a tiny budget, and it is a tribute to him and his team that the results are for the most part, very impressive.
This DVD's main feature is an interview with Cusick in which he talks about the difficulties of creating the different areas of the planet. There is also a collection of fifty picture cards which came from packets of candy sweet cigarettes (yes kids, you used to be able to buy sweets that looked like cigarettes!). They tell a story featuring a war between the Daleks and the Voord.
Oh and look out for the plug for the Doctor Who DVD series before the main menu appears; the theme tune has been given a bizarre drum'n'bass makeover!
The Keys Of Marinus is not a Doctor Who classic, but it is ambitious, and is worth a look just to see what could be achieved back in those early pioneering days.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 19, 2014 9:22 PM BST

Doctor Who - The Beginning (An Unearthly Child [1963] / The Daleks [1963] / The Edge of Destruction [1964]) [DVD]
Doctor Who - The Beginning (An Unearthly Child [1963] / The Daleks [1963] / The Edge of Destruction [1964]) [DVD]
Dvd ~ William Hartnell
Price: £9.99

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wanderers in the Forth Dimension, 15 Oct. 2013
With so much early British television lost forever due to the policy of wiping videotapes, this three-disc box set is a real cause for celebration as it contains complete versions of the first three Doctor Who stories.
The programme was created to fill a gap on Saturday afternoons between the end of the sports show Grandstand and the beginning of early evening viewing.
There had been the `classic serial'; adaptations of novels by the likes of Dickens and Bronte etc. But poor viewing figures indicated that something new was needed for younger viewers.
A new head of drama at the BBC, Sydney Newman suggested something in the field of science fiction, and gradually via a series of endless meetings and reports, Doctor Who was born.
With an initial budget of just £2,500 per episode, making the show was always going to be a struggle, but the sheer enthusiasm of it's young producer Verity Lambert rubbed off on cast and crew, and helped bring it all to fruition.
The opening episode was broadcast on November 23rd 1963, and remains a classic TV debut.
It is dark, mysterious and beautifully underplayed thanks to some wonderful direction from Waris Hussein, and there are great performances particularly from William Hartnell who's Doctor is crotchety, irritable and argumentative; a really refreshing change from the stereo-typical hero type.
The first story, now collectively known as `An Unearthly Child' sees the TARDIS plunge back in time to the year 100,000BC where the travelers are captured by a Stone Age tribe who have lost the secret of how to make fire, along with a power struggle between their two would-be leaders.
It may not sound all that exciting but is in fact one of the most dark and bleak Doctor Who stories of them all. Extra features include two cuts of the original pilot, which are fascinating to compare to the final broadcast version; here the Doctor is even more irascible than ever!
Disc two features the story that secured the Doctors future, The Daleks! Watching this for the first time I was struck by how slow it is; the whole story could have easily be condensed into five episodes instead of seven. Nevertheless there are many triumphant moments; the model of the Dalek city, and the cave sequences spring to mind, and of course the Dalek's themselves. We also see the first kiss in Doctor Who between Barbara and the Thal Ganatus as they say goodbye. Along with the usual commentaries, there is a fifteen-minute featurette on the creation of the Daleks, and a photo gallery, which includes a number of full colour shots, which really do look great, and I personally would love to see the entire Hartnell/Troughton eras colourised.
Finally there is `The Edge Of Destruction'. This two-parter was put together to make up a complete thirteen episode series. With no budget left for new sets or other actors, writer David Whitaker created a hugely important story set entirely in the TARDIS that starts out full of mistrust and paranoia between the four characters, and features a wonderful performance from Jacqueline Hill (Barbara) who at one point flies at the Doctor, calling him a "stupid old man", and rightly blaming him for putting all their lives in danger not once but twice. Once resolved however, the story ends with a far more positive Doctor than before now respecting his fellow travellers.
No longer the anti-hero of the first two stories, this is the beginning of the Doctor we know and love today.
A brilliant hour long documentary on the origins of the programme follows, along with featurettes on the Radiophonic Workshop and the TARDIS, plus a 30 minute reconstruction of the forth story, "Marco Polo" which is completely missing from the BBC vaults. It has been created using the original TV soundtrack and telesnaps, and works fairly well.
So there you have it. A real slice of both television and Doctor Who history, and great value for money as well. If you only ever buy one Doctor Who DVD box set, then make sure it's this one.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 19, 2014 9:23 PM BST

Insidious [DVD]
Insidious [DVD]
Dvd ~ Patrick Wilson
Offered by MusicnMedia
Price: £3.18

2.0 out of 5 stars Insidiously Horrible, 8 Sept. 2013
This review is from: Insidious [DVD] (DVD)
A few weeks ago I saw the 1982 cult horror movie `The Entity'The Entity [1982] [DVD]. Based on supposedly real events from 1976, it stars Barbara Hershey as a single mother haunted by attempted demonic possession, and despite it's small budget it's a really impressive watch,
Last night I finally got to see `Insidious' (2011) which shares a lot in common with `The Entity'. It too is about a family haunted by demonic possession, was made on a low budget, and features Barbara Hershey in a supporting role.
But there the similarities end. Whilst `The Entity' really does leave you with a feeling of dread, `Insidious' just fails to move on every level.
Created by writer/actor Leigh Whannell and director James Wan, the geniuses behind that other low budget shocker `Saw' (2004),`Insidious' tries hard but never hits the target. It's like Whannell and Wan have tried to remake `The Entity' for a 21st century audience but have fallen flat on their faces. There are no jumps, no scares, no surprises, no nothing. It pains me to say it but `Insidious' is just dull, and that is probably the worst thing you can ever say about a horror movie. Indeed the only scary thing is the use of Tiny Tim's rendition of "Tip-Toe Through The Tulips" whenever the main demon appears!
Bitterly disappointing all round, the film also features the most rubbish pair of ghost hunters since those two fakes who turned up in a episode of `Catweazle' Catweazle, Series 2 [DVD] [1971] Yes, `Insidious' is that bad...

Doctor Who: The Television Companion: The Official BBC Guide to Every TV Story (Doctor Who)
Doctor Who: The Television Companion: The Official BBC Guide to Every TV Story (Doctor Who)
by David J. Howe
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars Travels with my TARDIS, 1 Sept. 2013
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Being familiar with Messrs Howe and Walker’s meticulous research and writing via four of their excellent Doctor Who Handbooks, I had no hesitation in buying this guide. Indeed if you combine the information included here with that in the separate Handbooks, then you will arguably have the most complete and detailed guide to Classic Era Doctor Who.
Covering every single TV story from 1963-1989, plus the 1996 feature movie, the book opens with an essay on the origins of the programme, followed by a piece on the first Doctor, William Hartnell.
The debut episode is the pilot (not seen in public until 1991), and then it’s into the first season.
After major cast and crew credits, there is a brief plot synopsis, followed by a description of each episodes cliff-hanger (something sadly missing from nu-Who), lots of facts and trivia, with various popular myths being exploded, and finally a critical analysis, which, unlike certain other Doctor Who guides never becomes overbearing.
And that’s how it continues throughout the rest of this books 548 pages. The remaining ten pages are given over to a full checklist of all Doctor Who stories available on either video or novel form, which of course is now rather out of date!
What sets this book above it’s many rivals is the fact that it is recognised by the BBC as the official guide; indeed great chunks of it appear on the BBC’s own Doctor Who episode guide website.
Having it in print however is still the best way; just grab it off the shelf and turn to the entry you want to read, and having it all in one single publication makes this book highly recommended.

Who is the Doctor
Who is the Doctor
by Graeme Burk
Edition: Paperback
Price: £14.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars New TARDIS travels, 15 Aug. 2013
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This review is from: Who is the Doctor (Paperback)
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.
The reviews of season one (the only one I have watched in full so far) are mostly gushing with high praise; only the third episode ‘The Unquiet Dead’ gets a real thumbs down. But having had a sneak look at some of the later season reviews, I can reveal that it’s not acclaim and adoration all the way. Thank goodness for that; it could get very wearing otherwise.
The book does assume that the reader has a complete set of DW DVD’s of all the featured seasons and specials. If you’re reading this book not having watched the episodes since their original TV broadcasts, you could find yourself having problems trying to remember it all!

I do wish however that they could have enlarged slightly on plot synopsis, and also included full reviews on the show’s two spin-offs, ‘Torchwood’ and ‘The Sarah Jane Adventures’ oh, and an index would have been nice. Despite these slight grumbles if you are a fan of nu-Who and just want to know more, then this book comes highly recommended.

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