7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Bigger isn't always better,
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This review is from: About Time 1970-1974 Seasons 7 to 11 (About Time; The Unauthorized Guide to Dr. Who (Mad Norwegian Press)) (Paperback)
This is a review of the expanded second edition.
This is nearly three times the size of the first edition, but does that make it three times the value? I would have to say it probably doesn't. I've been a fan of the About Time books since I bought the first edition of this book. But they have had a tendency to get more and more waffly as the series has progressed. This expanded second edition seems to be the culmination of that process.
Now, I can't deny that a lot of this book is very interesting, but it is largely off-topic for most of the time. The author clearly has a great knowledge of the pop-culture of the time, and of the general political and world context of the early 70s, but it seems that sharing all this knowledge is his real passion, and the fact that it is a Doctor Who reference book is just a pretext to get all this published. Another reviewer mentions the end notes of the book numbering 147 entries, as opposed to just 5 in the original book, but these are mainly quite irrelevant and it becomes a bit of a drag to have to flick to the back of the book every other page to read them. For example, one entry is just explaining what a Ploughman's Lunch is. Not, as you may think, because the Doctor eats one in a particular episode, or even casually mentions one, but simply because the author himself advised the reader to eat one whilst reading a particularly long section. When you read things like this you get the strong feeling you are totally indulging the author as he just writes about whatever he likes.
In addition, as has often been the case with this series of books, you can't help but feel an extra proof-reading wouldn't have gone amiss. You will often find typos, extraneous words, and even entire paragraphs that appear to make no sense at all. In fact, I have found many areas where the original edition actually gets the same point across much more clearly, possibly a benefit of having two authors as opposed to just the one for this edition?
This is by no means a bad book, but if you own the first edition it is also by no means the essential upgrade it appears to be. Far from being sparse and less detailed, the first edition is, if anything, a tighter and more accessible version. This version seems more of a thesis on Media Studies, with occasional references to Doctor Who. All very interesting, but it may not be what you want.