on 15 May 2011
At a 160 pages, this crams a lot of facts, storylines, Dalekmania and much more.. all in one pocket size hardbook that is just sensational.
The authors of the 'Dalek Handbook' have done a great job in their research. Not only is every single TV Dalek story is compiled but a host of theatre productions, films, and books. All the Dalek paradigms are included from their first appearance from the 1960s.
The book is wonderfully layed out with colour/b & w photographs throughout, with rare photo shots as well as minor screen captures here and there. There's some terrific photos from 'Day of the Daleks' and 'Planet of the Daleks'.
I found the book really absorbing. For the average fan, they may know a lot of the stuff in this book, but the way the book is richly researched, it makes this book a must buy. Just look at the samples above in the picture pages on this Amazon website to see what I mean.
There have been similar Dalek books in the past like the wonderful 1979's Target book 'Terry Nation's Dalek Special' which actually gets featured in this 'Dalek Handbook'.
This book is not just for die hard fans of Dr Who, but anyone who likes the Daleks from Classic Dr Who to the 'New' series one.
on 14 June 2011
This book is arguably one of the best Dr Who Books out there and there are a lot of them! If you are interested in Dr Who (if you aren't don't worry, there is help out there!, an interest in sc-fi/fantasy will do) then this book is essential for both the collector and/or casual reader.
The book as well as giving a very detailed account of the Daleks - Rank, Episode Guide, related stories - books and other media such as audio and computer games is a worthwhile read, the main problem is once you start, there may be a search party out for you as you will be completely drawn into the book.
As mentioned although the book is primarily a Dalek book, there is accounts of Davros, enemies, planets; notably Skaro their home land and a nostalgic look at comics and magazines from previous decades such as Dalek Specials and the Annuals.
The book is fairly recent, being published this year (2011) so is pretty up to date including the new daleks from the Matt Smith / Eleventh Doctor era.
At the end of the book is a chart showing all* the daleks from the 1960's to the present showing the evolution of the machines, and throughout the book is the development stage of certain types with proposed variations and designs - including the very first to the very last (so far)
* There is however no mention of the Red Dalek (Saucer Commander of the movie version) but that's the only fault, if you can call it that.
All in all a very informative and worthwhile book to get and as I said if you are a DR Who fan AND in particular the Daleks this is a No Questions Asked/No Brainer item for your collection
As the owner of the original Dalek Handbook (including A Space Travellers Guide) which was published during the mid-60's, I was keen to see how this BBC Books latest version faired and I was pleasantly surprised.
The book is jammed cover to cover with facts, photographs and illustrations on everything to do with the Daleks on-screen, film and stage and in the media including TV21, Dalek annuals and novelisations. Exploration of the Dalek roots is covered from Davros and the Dals and Thals through the Dalek conquests involving Mechonoids, Cybermen and the Doctor.
If I had to make one criticism it would be that some of the smaller photographs are of very poor quality and this should not be the case with recent digitally remastered copies of the original stories now available on DVD.
Overall, though, I would highly recommend this book to any Doctor Who and Dalek fan.
on 4 October 2011
This truly is a lovely book. Despite the picture on the front of the book in which the new Dalek paradigm is portrayed rather prominently, this book discusses the Daleks from the beginning in the Classic series until today. Contrary to quite a few other recent publications (like the dictionary and the time traveller's guide) the space taken up by the Classic series is sufficient, even for someone who has been a fan since the early 70's when I was a highly interested 8-year-old. There is a lot of background stuff on Skaro, the Thals, the Dals (!?) and the Kaled's, and the Time War. All Dr. Who's confrontations with the Daleks are discussed extensively (including those serials with episodes that do not exist any more), while the authors even try to make something of the disturbingly complicated Dalek timelines in relation to the timelines of Earth.
Furthermore, information is provided about comics, plays, novels, audio plays and adaptations, and computer games as well (all categorised as Dalekmania). A nice touch is the fact that the Daleks have even asserted their right to be the supreme beings in this universe. You can find this statement in the colofon among the authors' rights, the BBC rights and the mentioning of the Daleks' creator Terry Nation. It made me laugh almost as much as when the Daleks were speaking German in the new series 4 episode Journey's end. I admire these kind of things.
Another nice touch is the illustrative showing of Daleks in all the time periods, starting in 1963, and ending with the new paradigm. I admit to be less than enthousiastic about this latest version. Despite the added size and mass, they seem to be more of a plaything or a toy than the earlier versions that were more spooky and scary. Even if you could sometimes see quite easily that they were well past their date of minimum durability for a TV prop!But they always remained true to form. The only saving grace on t.v. is the voice, but alas, that connot be put into a book like this. The first Daleks in the new series (serie 1-4) were great, highly recognizable and, as one of the designers states in the book: as daleky as you can get with no real changes in the design (even if they changed quite a lot of so-called little things).
Contrary to this negative evaluation of the new, toyish and even somewhat cute (instead of frightening and Daleky), Daleks, the ironsides were actually quite good. And hurray, the authors included a picture of an ironside actually serving tea with the tray on the sucker arm. Great picture.
Thankfully, the new Daleks only take up a relatively small part of the book, which otherwise is packed with all the other versions we love so much! I would advise any fan to buy this. Excellent and great fun.
on 29 January 2013
I bought this book off Amazon for my brother for Christmas, with the condition that once he'd read it, he would let me read it. When the book came, I was a little bit disappointed because it was smaller than I thought it would have been, but since he is convinced that the Daleks are the ultimate Doctor Who monster, he was more than happy with it. For the meagre sum of £6.99 you get 160 pages of Dalek related information. This is split into 3 sections per chapter. The best thing you get is the fictional history of the Daleks, as well as other races connected to them, like the Thals for example. Part of these include a Dalek timeline, which can be a bit confusing. Next you get the behind the scene section, how they designed the Daleks, how they got the voices, creating (recreating) Davros. There are also black and white photographs, colour photographs, drawings and sketches and a blueprint. The only two bits of behind the scenes I skipped were who was inside the Daleks and who voiced them. The last section per chapter is Dalek Mania, which basically tells you all about the magazines, comic strips, graphic novels and merchandise. Having not finished the book, since Christmas Day, my brother loaned me it and I read it in two days. The writers have packed a lot of information; some of which is not in the other Dr Who books I have read, into the little book and I thoroughly enjoyed reading about the fictional history, the behind the scenes, not so much. I still, however, recommend this title.
The Dalek Handbook is a very comprehensive guide to everyone's favourite Skarosians. The Daleks have been ever-present during the near 50-year run of Doctor Who, firstly appearing in the Timelord's second adventure, The Daleks. Of course, the famous story (retold in this book) is that Doctor Who`s producers didn't want BEMs ("Bug Eyed Monsters") in the programme, but had to run with The Daleks as it was the only script ready for production, and thus the whole impetus of Doctor Who changed forever with their arrival.
Since the Daleks have been in the programme for 50 years, it can be quite difficult to present a coherent history for them. This is mostly due to the fact that the show's original producers didn't let continuity get in the way of a good story, and also because they had no idea that they had created such a long lasting institution. Steve Tribe and James Goss do a very good job of recounting this history, although I did take exception to their surmise that the race of Dals mentioned in the original story must have been usurped by the Kaleds (the race that created the Daleks in the later adventure Genesis of the Daleks), as I would have thought that this inconsistency could have been explained away by them just having two names, just as our enemies in the Second World War could either be called Nazis or Germans.
Steve Tribe and James Goss make it abundantly clear just how influenced Terry Nation was by Nazi Germany in his creation of the Daleks, as they were doing Nazi salutes with their plungers way back in their original adventure, long before Nyder sported an Iron Cross in Genesis of the Daleks (a medal which has Germanic, rather than Nazi origins, although overwhelmingly associated with the Nazis since Hitler reintroduced it as a decoration in the Second World War). Interestingly enough, the authors relate that Terry Nation's original script featured a third alien race which had assaulted both the Dals and the Thals... However, this is very much a factual book, so criticism is very much on the back burner. Thus the similarities between The Daleks and George Pal's 1960 adaptation of H. G. Wells' The Time Machine are not brought to light (e.g. the word `Morlock' is not a million miles away from `Dalek', and the stolen fluid link is a rather obvious replacement for the purloined time machine of the film).
There are several splendid anecdotes, such as the time when Doctor Who`s original producer, Verity Lambert, ran into the man who had the license to make Dalek merchandise, who was hence considerably far richer than her... There's also the revelation (to me anyway) that Terry Nation's plans for a US Dalek series were quite advanced, to the point that he'd written an actual script called The Destroyers (which was recently adapted into an audio adventure by Big Finish). It's also great to see the sketches created in the wake of the 1996 Paul McGann Doctor Who TV movie, which envisaged a redesign of the Daleks far more radical than that of the current production team with their `new Dalek paradigm' (one which I heartily criticise in Steven Moffat's Doctor Who 2010). In addition to this, it's very interesting to learn that Russell T Davies was planning to use the human spheres from The Sound of Drums (the Toclafane) instead of our favourite Skarosians in Robert Shearman's 2005 script in case permission to utilise the Daleks didn't come through in time for the revived series.
I found quite a few of the images of the classic series' adventures to be very grainy, letting down what is otherwise a very lavishly illustrated book. I guess the editors of the book were attempting to get away from the more polished (but overly-familiar) publicity photos from these adventures by adding in many actual screenshots, but these screenshots could have done with a great deal of enhancement in order not to detract from the quality of the book. Steve Tribe has a great track record as an author of factual Doctor Who books, and James Goss (editor of the BBC's Doctor Who website) similarly knows his stuff, but their prose is quite dry. Indeed, I feel that James Goss' prose really comes to life when he's writing fiction, especially his recent excellent Doctor Who novel, Dead of Winter. Yet you can't beat a lovely dose of nostalgia, which this book provides in ample amounts, even to the point of recounting the Daleks' many comic book adventures. Ah, for the days when Abslom Daak was wont to cut through the Daleks with a chainsaw!
on 26 November 2012
This book is a very impressive and colourful guide to the Doctor's biggest foes. It covers the history of the daleks from day one to the present, and explains how they began fictionally and in the real world. There is information on their dimensions, Skaro, Davros, their ranks and all the different types of dalek. Once you have read this you will understand about each and every time they have fought the Doctor, and how they were re-invented for the new series. A well informed and enjoyable guide.
on 18 November 2015
Great book delivered quickly and in excellent condition. As a Christmas present for a big Dr Who fan the book is packed with everything you need to know about the Daleks and I'm sure it will be a hit with the recipient. Great service and value thank you
on 27 January 2013
It is a very good book but I was surprised by the size of it (maybe I did not read the dimensions, if they were given). I thought it would be A4 size but it is a lot smaller. A lot of information in it, both written and pictorial.
on 27 December 2013
A complete encyclopedia of the daleks
From there skaro birth to their iconic regeneration into the 21st century.
The entire history of one of the scariest TV monsters of all time (and space).
After reading for the seventh or sixth time I started to realise that you keep coming back to it for help even though you've read the same paragraph 5 times.
It has information from and on 1963 to 2010 episodes, audiobooks, annuals, films, scripts, design sketches and so much more.
If you are new to Doctor Who it's a great book to help you get refreshed with the past,
or if you are an old fan it can help with finding those little bits that you missed.
There is actually NO faults I can find with it.
So go out and buy it now!