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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb celebration of Doctor Who
This is arguably one of the best Doctor Who books that has been published in recent years: a warm-hearted celebration of the series and why its fans love it so much. Filled with over one hundred recollections by celebrities - the celebrity angle rarely matters hugely, they could in many cases be written by any enthusiastic fan - it is an absorbing and fascinating read...
Published 22 months ago by V. Dunstan

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Good fun
Really enjoyed. Full of humour and memories of one of the great continuing tv series. Well worth money paid and the money is going to a good cause.
Published 8 months ago by Emma Dargue


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb celebration of Doctor Who, 11 Nov 2012
By 
V. Dunstan "vivdunstan" (Dundee, Scotland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This is arguably one of the best Doctor Who books that has been published in recent years: a warm-hearted celebration of the series and why its fans love it so much. Filled with over one hundred recollections by celebrities - the celebrity angle rarely matters hugely, they could in many cases be written by any enthusiastic fan - it is an absorbing and fascinating read. There is a little repetition in places, for example quite a few of the people visited the Doctor Who exhibition in Blackpool as children - I wish I had! But generally the book is filled with variety, occasionally memories from adulthood, more usually childhood recollections. For anyone who has fallen in love with Doctor Who, particularly as a child, new series or classic, this is a must read. And as a bonus the book is raising money for Alzheimer's research.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book for a great cause, 30 Oct 2012
By 
B Connolly - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This book, which raises money for Alzheimer's Research, contains interesting and often very funny memories about Doctor Who. There's a really good mix of people involved, from celebrities like Charlie Brooker, Stephen Merchant and Jonathan Ross to former companions, people who worked on the series and even Michael Grade, who cancelled the original run of the programme in the late 1980s.

There are some great stories about the making of Doctor Who or watching particular episodes, but perhaps my favourite involves a young Paul Hartnoll of Orbital's terrifying meeting with a dalek and a beloved children's TV presenter.

It's a really good book to dip in and out of and, particularly as it's for a great cause, would make an excellent gift for any Doctor Who fan.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Share the excitement!, 30 Oct 2012
I was lucky enough to hear about Steve Berry's ambitious "Behind the Sofa" project via Twitter earlier in the year. It sounded like a great idea, so I became one of the pre-orders that helped to fund the book's creation. The journey to completion was fascinating to watch and it was great to feel involved, albeit vicariously, through Steve's Twitter updates (as well as those of the brilliant illustrator Ben Morris.) Along the way, obstacles such as PayPal blocking the funding were overcome and today the finished book is in my hands at last. Was it worth the wait? Absolutely!

The simple premise - gather memories of Doctor Who from celebrities from the world of its production as well as the wider public eye - allows it to be accessible to more than just the hardcore fan. That said, as an undeniable "Whovian" myself I still found lots in the book that felt fresh and not just a collection of oft-repeated anecdotes. In fact the contribution of (former Executive Producer) Mal Young alone has had more impact on me than any of the many books & articles written about the "wilderness years" of the series between the Sylvester McCoy era and the new Christopher Eccleston show in 2005. (You'll have to buy the book, I'll just quote three words here: "from 1997 onwards".)

There is input here from people close to the show, including past companions and production team members and people from the public eye such as Al Murray, Jonathan Ross and MP Louise Mensch. Everyone has their own anecdote about what the series means to them and it all feels very genuine and the complete opposite of a clichéd TV "talking heads" programme.

Mention must also go to the illustrations from Ben Morris, known to Who fans for his regular illustrations in the "Production Notes" column of Doctor Who Magazine and thus an inspired choice to illustrate this book in his unique style. He gives the whole volume a sense of uniformity and of fun. The amount of work and detail that has gone into matching the illustrations to the contributors is breathtaking and several of the full page illustrations capture the anecdote they accompany perfectly. There was an option for customers pre-ordering the book to order a limited edition print of Ben's artwork and I really regret now not taking up this chance. In fact, I think that is the best recommendation I can give for the book - having bought it my only wish is that I could have bought more of it!

Thank you Steve and Ben for this exciting and fulfilling journey.

(PS And I didn't even mention it's for charidee. Which it is. Buy it because it is a great book, the great cause is simply a bonus en-route!)
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Other peoples memories., 29 Oct 2012
I had a wonderful time reading through the celebrity memories, recollections and anecdotes of Doctor Who contributed by those who have starred in and worked on the show, as well as those who have simply followed, watched and admired it!
My favourites? Nicola Bryant, Hugh Bonneville, Neil Gaiman, Shaun Dingwall, Robin Ince, Frances Barber and Julian Glover to name but a few.

I'm a big fan of books which can be dipped in and out of, this is one of those books. The memories are interceded with a selection of beautiful illustrations by Ben Morris.

I'm sure this will be making it's way into a lot of peoples Christmas stockings this year.

Final verdict: Buy it!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This masterpiece 'exterminates' the competition, 20 Nov 2012
By 
Alessandro P. Monetti (USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
A beautifully presented, lovingly edited and utterly enjoyable book that will delight every Doctor Who fan and supports a wonderful cause.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A bittersweet celebration of Doctor Who, 15 Nov 2012
By 
J. Lee (Adelaide, South Australia) - See all my reviews
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This book is a fantastic celebration of Doctor Who and the wonderful effect it has on its fans. There are more than 130 entries, describing fond memories of the programme. There are some expected names, such as Terrance Dicks, Katy Manning and Paul Cornell; but there are real surprises in there (such as Michael Grade!) to make you smile.

I say it is bittersweet, because it truly is. Although there are numerous entries which will warm your heart, there are some genuinely moving entries due to people who are no longer with us. Daniel Blythe's moving tribute to Lis Sladen had me really choked up.

If you are hesitating in any way, stop. Buy this book and you will not regret it in the slightest.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential and for a great cause!, 13 Nov 2012
This is an essential purchase for any Doctor Who fan, perfect for a Christmas present. Entertaining and informative, I enjoyed the memories of 'real' people's experiences of watching my favourite programme and the profits go to a great cause. One for the Santa Claus list.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Memories of Doctor Who; timeless and time lord; though regenerated, always the same, 12 Nov 2012
If you've never picked up a Doctor Who book before, and you decide to one day, `Behind the Sofa - Celebrity Memories of Doctor Who', would be the one! From the first moment the book laid on the palms of my hands, to the moment it was finally closed at page 200, every word, moment and design, even smell was savoured.

Decked in a glossy hardcover black finish, the font in bold purple, grey and white, with beautiful illustrations of Doctor Who aliens in little circles, sixteen of them, which formed sort of a right angle depicting that of a sofa, the cover was gorgeous. I opened the book gingerly and the first illustration that greets me is that of the first Doctor. And, of course, there was also that `new book' print smell. From the first word "A", in the Foreword, I was hooked.

Every memory was like a trip down memory lane. I literally saw what was described in the book. It was akin to being told a glorious anecdote by a friend, in a pub, or a café, among other friends, on a beautiful weekend in London.

And, I learnt and discovered many things from the book. Being born in the 1985, I am, as someone aptly puts it in the book, `part of a lost generation'. Try as I might, I find it difficult to remember any distinct memories of Doctor Who as a kid. I must have liked it. My mum says I did and that the Daleks and their `Exterminate' voice used to scare me when I was three. Yet, any image I try to picture feels like an overexposed strip of photo negatives.

And so, the book was godsend. From it, I've learnt that Sylvester McCoy is rather a funny guy, in real life. I've learnt that Weetabix used to have Doctor Who characters as cardboard cut-outs for kids to collect. I've learnt that, unlike today, where a missed episode, could be easily recovered, the following day, any episode missed in the past, was really an episode missed! And, lastly, I've discovered how big a fan Russell T Davies is and how many adored him and his talent. Not that I didn't know this before, but it was nice to read about it. And it makes me wonder what RTD's memory of Doctor Who would have been...

Of course, there were the memories that make me smile. Especially, the ones of childhood and friendship. There were the ones of kids who met the `Doctor' but were too scared to say hi; that one kid who ran and hid when the Doctor walked up to him, and another who burst into tears upon finally seeing him. There were others of frightened kids, who adored Doctor Who to the ends of the universe, despite the programme giving them nightmares sometimes. There was one story of someone, who, as a kid, had wanted to visit the Doctor Who Exhibition in Blackpool for ages. But when he was finally there with his family, was terrified to go down the stairs when he heard the distinctive voice of the `Dalek' below, so much so, that his family went down and saw the exhibition without him, leaving him at the top of the stairs. The daleks! They were probably the most feared and beloved creature in Doctor Who. Kids pretended to be them. Milk bottles with bent straws that became daleks. Egg whisks to the foreheads and going "Exterminate"! These were wonderful memories. And then, there were ones of people who met other great and wonderful people, because of Doctor Who. And ones, who introduced Doctor Who to their kids. All of them, like kindred spirits across all of time and space.

But, my favourite memories were the ones of filming Doctor Who. I've always been interested in film and television; my mum once told me that, at age three, I could operate the VCR to help to record commercials and programmes for her work; she was traffic officer in the world of advertising. I had loved the technicalities of editing and I guess that fascination never wavered. So, reading memories of Doctor Who, in a Doctor Who Confidential style format, was brilliant. I smiled at the one of the artistes feet painting in the rehearsal room. I laughed at the `Cyberman' who sneezed behind his mask and another who almost threw up after being spun on a roundabout too fast. I laughed again at the `Carrionite' who scared a woman at a bus stop. I smiled at the advice of Matt Smith who memorises his lines like it was music; literally annotating the script like a musical score as if he was singing it. I giggled at the actress who got to hug David Tennant and Kylie Minogue in a scene for `Voyage of the Damned', in her head thinking, "Oh my god, David Tennant! I'm hugging David Tennant! I'm hugging Kylie!" I read in horror at the artiste who got covered in plaster of Paris and had straws stuck up her nose and mouth. And I smiled again at the story of how the rights to Doctor Who was released and that Russell T Davies got the call to bring it back...

Produced as a charity book by Steve Berry, in aid of Alzheimer's Research UK, with beautiful illustrations by Ben Morris, `Behind the Sofa' is indeed the most heartfelt book for any Whovian. For the Whovian inside anyone who has watched an episode of Doctor Who. For the Whovian who collects TARDISes and daleks. For the Whovian who goes to Comic Cons and cosplays. For the Whovian who has met the Doctor and for those who have not. For the Whovian who has acted in Doctor Who. For the Whovian who writes or has written an episode of Doctor Who, a Doctor Who book or Doctor Who music. And lastly, for the Whovian who hid behind the sofa as a kid.

On a personal note; I may not remember being scared of the daleks when I was three. And due to some wibbly wobbly timey wimey screening of Doctor Who episodes where I live (I'm currently based in Singapore), I vaguely remember my first reintroduction episode of the new series. I reckon it was either `The Lazarus Experiment' or `Rise of the Cyberman', because I have this image of David Tennant in a tuxedo. Perhaps, my early most memorable episode and scene was in `Rose', when the Doctor was describing the turn of the earth to her. That, and `The End of the World', when Rose describes planet Earth dying and no one noticing it, and later the Doctor saying the same of Gallifrey. I guess I fell in love with RTD's concept of the lonely time lord. To date, there are other memories I've had of, as I like to affectionately call, 'Doctor Ooo', that I will treasure like a fob watch of `memories'. The Doctor Who Symphonic Spectacular. Doomsday. Twitter. The Doctor Who Fan Orchestra. The AbsoluteDTfangirls and the Christmas project. The tears and smiles. And the many friends I've met along the way.

They're like this book. Timeless and time lord; though regenerated, always the same.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An amazingly insightful and entertaining read!, 5 Nov 2012
You might think that a book of 'reminiscences' about Dr Who would be a fairly dull read, but its anything but. The celebrities chosen go beyond just 'I was scared by the maggots in Green Death' to give actual insight or funny anecdotes with varied viewpoints. All of this is topped off with excellent illustrations from Ben Morris. Its a heartwarming trip though the many ways that fans have experienced Who. Highly recommended!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Superb Collection of Articles, 2 Nov 2012
The book contains a healthy mix of celebrities, including many who have worked or appeared in the show during its 49 years. It's a heart-warming read and makes one feel quite nostalgic.

Well worth buying, even more so as it's for charity.
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Behind the Sofa: Celebrity Memories of Doctor Who
Behind the Sofa: Celebrity Memories of Doctor Who by Various (Hardcover - 31 Oct 2013)
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