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4.8 out of 5 stars
Doctor Who: The Vault
Format: HardcoverChange
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
This is another book released in time to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the show. Written by Marcus Hearn, this book covers in over 300 packed pages, the 50 years (so far) of Doctor Who. Largely presented in a chronological order, with `chapters' from 1963 to 2013, each year shows the episodes made in that year, and has a written overview of the year. Within some of the years, larger (less time-dependent) topics are briefly covered; included among these are the Master, companions, the Daleks, the Targel novelisations, Doctor Who in the theatre, and many more.

The articles presented in each of the sections are highly informative and very interesting. What makes this book a real treasure are all of the photographs - of props, designs, costumes, publicity shots, convention tickets and programs, actors headshots, script pages, even a phone message typed in 1964 for Verity Lambert. Who would have thought they would have kept such things from so long ago? But thank goodness they did, for now we get to enjoy them in a way that would never previously have been possible.

I was astounded to see photos and pictures of so many things I had no idea existed, and I was delighted to be reminded by the articles and images of so many stories that were (after so many years) now rather vague in my memory. They all come flooding back when you see them in a wonderfully presented book like this, which is designed to be lovingly treasured for many years. The book is a large format, and has really quality paper and solid covers, so should last as a memento of the good Doctor on our small screens (and more) for many years to come. Absolutely fantastic stuff.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on 18 November 2013
"Doctor Who: The Vault" by Marcus Hearn is a book that every fan of the popular series Dr. Who would like to have.

This book is another product that was released on the occasion of its 50th anniversary from date the first episode was shown on TV.

It's not an exaggeration to say that this book is everything that someone interested in Dr. Who would like to know because it offers information and pictures about each season of the show broadcasting providing summary of the season and accompanying text that tells all about the events which marked that season.

Where the book really excels are its illustrations because a picture says more than 1000 words allowing longtime fans of the series to remember all good and bad things their favorite TV hero went through.

Although the text is of decent quality, it might be even better if the author was able to add more details, and not only speaking generally about show components and also somehow the book lacks more active participation from actors who are represented only with quotes from interviews.

Nevertheless, "Doctor Who: The Vault" is a nostalgic piece that recalls the rich history of this TV show that during its long term broadcast has become much more than a TV show.

And this book that celebrates its 50 years manages to explain precisely this popularity and longevity phenomenon, why it happened and due to that it can be recommended...
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 10 January 2014
This marvellous book tells the story of Who from Hartnell to Smith including the gaps in the show's televised run. For a new and maybe not so knowledgeable fan this will bring you up to speed and for 4th Dan anoraks like me it's well enough written enough to enjoy anyway. Even for superfans there may be a few surprises, I know I'd never heard of Terry Nation & David Whittaker having a fist fight! (my money was on the Welshman!). Also we learn a making of programme was started then quickly abandoned during the shooting of Robot.

There are plenty of soundbites from those who were there at various points and some chapters break off the narrative to consider a specific aspect e.g. the Daleks.

What really makes this unmissable is that Mr Hearn persuauded current owners of props and costumes to let him have a photo (I'm assuming he doesn't own the lot himse1f!) and they are all well taken and reproduced. Fancy a look at an original Cyber head or Mavic Chen's spaceship in colour? Look no further than this book. The photo of Mavic Chen's spaceship show that it was a much better model than it appears onscreen in surviving footage.

Generally choice of photos is top notch, steering clear of only using the well worn endlessly reproduced shots. There are some you'll have seen before but also some rarer ones.

There are also reproductions of original costume designs (the Fish People from Underwater Menace looked better on paper) and other rare bits.

Hearn does not shy away from controversial topics e.g. the downside of JNT's long tenure but where such subjects are covered you hear from both sides.

A much better book than the 40th anniversary publication Dr Who: The Legend, whether you're buying it now or when it goes down in price, I'll be surprised if you don't find something to like.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 18 November 2013
Excellent reference book on the series from the very beginning. The photos are interesting, a fascinating look at the behind the scenes of the series through the years. As other reviews have saidit's not really a vault without the pullout photos, design sketches, retro images like the Alien vault. Still it is a real treat to read about the entire series thanks to Marcus Hearn's spot on research. Will recommend the vault to other family members.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 1 November 2013
I received this as a present and as a fan of the show from my childhood when Tom Baker was "my" doctor, this was a great, nostalgia inducing tribute to the whole 50 years of the programme.

It is difficult after all this time to find a new way to look at Doctor Who, but the author has done a good job. Although basically a chronological look at the show (each year the programme was on the air has a separate chapter), within each chapter are short essays on various topics, such as the controversial use of horror in the stories, or the explosion of merchandise related to the show, and these pull together information from all eras of the programme. This theme based approach works well, and makes dipping in and out of the book a joy.

The production values of the book are very high, from the "squidgy" hard cover (lovely feel!), to the front and end papers reproducing the original studio floor plans from An Unearthly Child, to the large number of detailed photographs of often rare props, costumes documents and other paraphernalia. This brought back lots of memories for me of my childhood, ("I remember that issue of Doctor Who magazine" "I had that old annual") as well as showing many interesting items from earlier days, right back to the inception of the show.

Small criticisms of the book are that the coverage of the "wilderness years" when the programme was off the air is a little brief, and it certainly steers clear of any of the behind the scenes controversies that are fairly well known, and perhaps is a little too reverential towards the modern era (2005 onward) of the show, but overall is a lovely book for any fan interested in the history of the show.
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on 28 November 2014
£5.00 what a DEAL!

My boyfriend is a huge fan of the Dr. Who and at this price it's a great additional gift for christmas!

I'm only after watching the latest series of Dr. Who and even I think this book is brilliant even for newbies like me…Loads of details about all past series (up to and including 2013). I didn't read much in detail as I don't want to spoil the series :)

Hardcore fans of Dr. Who will love it because it gives behind the scenes content on each season and loads more, the images are so unique on every page and its very colourful.

Pros:
£5.00 price rage - Think it was £60 when it was released, then it dropped to £30. Now it's a special £5 price.
Cover - The cover of the book feels great, kind of soft to touch and thick. And it looks really good
Page Number - 300+ pages of glossy photos
Great Content - Year by Year content about the series up to and including 2013 !
Fast Delivery - Got it within 3 days
Condition - Great ! Didn't come with plastic around it, but it wasn't used. Brand New.

Cons:
None
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 18 December 2013
The book itself has a great look before you even open the cover. Nice size and wonderfully bound and glossy, its definitely of great quality. I have not read the entire thing but it is clear it is jam-packed full of the history of Doctor Who, including schematics of studio layouts, Tardis designs. A great compliment to the 50th anniversary.
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on 22 November 2013
My main reason for selecting a 5 star rating, for "Doctor Who:- The Vault" is because I consider this to be an absolutely superb book, beautifully produced and illustrated.
An in depth and informative year by year guide, that covers and scrutinizes in detail the vast array of products and merchandise that the program has generated over an incredible 50 year period.
Printed on high quality semi gloss paper, this hard cover feels slightly semi padded to the touch thus addiing to its beauty.
Not cheap, but quality of this magnitude never is.
An absolute MUST for the die hard fan and casual viewer alike.
Peter.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
I thoroughly recommend this book. It offers a commentary on a much-loved television series but also recognises that Doctor Who rapidly became a phenomenon that embedded itself as an integral part of British life.

It is a testimony to the enduring qualities of the programme that the early years are just as heavily documented as the later ones, and I was pleased to see this. For people of my generation, William Hartnell's adventures were like nothing ever seen before on television. The slightly sinister first incarnation of the Doctor, the electronic music and, in the second adventure, the introduction of the Daleks - these were ground-breaking. This book records well the difficult decisions that had to be taken and the risks associated with launching a programme like this.

The illustrations do as much as the words to draw out the impact made by the programme: by page 24 we are seeing sweet packets with the Daleks, and by 1965 there are comics featuring Doctor Who and the Daleks. Annuals and all types of merchandising and branding follow, showing that Doctor Who was a potent force in the psyche of 1960s Britain. And so it remained, with ups and downs, through to the present day (very much an 'up').

This book is a chronology of the Doctor Who phenomenon, showing year-by-year how the programme developed, how the actors changed, who was writing the scripts and what were the behind-the-scenes tensions and pressures. Every episode of every adventure is listed, right up to the present day.

The subtitle of this book is 'Treasures from the First 50 Years'. It is an important phrase. This book is more than a text book on the history of a television programme. It documents, through its 'treasures' the huge and important impact that the programme has made. The book can be accessed, therefore in two ways: it can be read, word by word. Or it can be skimmed, using the pictures to evoke memories.

I don't mind admitting that I treasure my memories of Doctor Who and so does my family. I would therefore be sad if a book was released that failed to live up to my memories and their expectations. This book is one that I feel meets in every way the burden placed on it. It properly documents this very important part of British TV culture. Had it not been so meticulous in its approach and its affection for the programme, I should have found it wanting. As it is, I found it a pleasure to receive this as a present and to read it. It is a book that I recommend without reservation. Five stars.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 19 November 2014
Unbelievable good value for £5! Had finished my christmas shopping but couldn't resist this bargain and so glad I got it Best part is after hubby's read it I get to as well!
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