Customer Review

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A book for every Who fan to enjoy on many levels., 15 May 2013
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This review is from: Doctor Who: Who-ology (Dr Who) (Hardcover)
I have been anticipating the release of this book for almost a year - before I even knew what it was, in fact, due to teasing Twitter mentions by its illustrator Ben Morris. (Whose unique stylised work many Doctor Who fans will know from the pages of Doctor Who Magazine/Doctor Who Adventures and last year's charity Doctor Who book Behind the Sofa: Celebrity Memories of Doctor Who.)
I'm pleased to say the finished product does not disappoint. It never pretends to be more than it is - a fun, witty collection of assorted Doctor Who minutiae. It is very well presented; a nice, solid hardback volume in similar size to hardback novels, with a striking yet simple full colour cover (by Lee Binding) and then in black-and-white throughout. The illustrations (as previously mentioned, from Ben Morris) are in a simple, striking and effective black and white caricature style that sits well with the sometimes-less-than-serious (but certainly never comedic) content. Ben has a unique graphic style that remains both faithful to its sometimes complex subject matter and yet clear and dynamic to look at.

The authors, Cavan Scott and Mark Wright, have worked hard to compile a huge amount of information from both sides of Doctor Who. The fictional adventures of our favourite Time Lord are represented just as well as the behind-the-scenes production info. Expect timelines, actor biographies, character summaries, episode listings, fact compilations and quotations.
It's possible that the style of the book may not be to everyone's taste. There's a lot of detail for the casual fan to absorb, yet not as much real in-depth knowledge that the hard-core fan would expect. (The thanks section duly acknowledges the book's debt to painstaking Doctor Who researcher Andrew Pixley. His work, and that of others like David Howe, Mark Stammers and Stephen Walker, sets the standard in detailed television production research.) I believe, however, that this is a book that can be enjoyed as a fun collection of information. At this price (currently under £8 on Amazon) it costs no more than a couple of issues of Doctor Who magazine - and indeed LESS than the SFX Magazine Doctor Who special published in 2011. This should be bourne in mind when judging it. As always, I refer anyone seeking really in-depth Doctor Who production knowledge to the works of both Telos Publishing and Miwk Publishing. This is more of a digest, a gathering of numbers and facts to celebrate the huge achievement that is the show's Fiftieth anniversary. Fun to flick through and enjoy - there's bound to be something you didn't already know - plus there's all those pretty pictures too.
Don't let these words about in-depth content make you think the book is style-over-substance though. A reader who had never seen Doctor Who, given only this book, would come away knowing all the key dates, cast, events, stories, characters, production times, monsters and much more. Plus 40 different ways to destroy a Dalek, which can't be bad.

With the relatively high ratio of small-font text to pictures, maybe this isn't a book for the youngest of fans, but certainly anyone who loves the show and is aged (about) 10 years or older is likely to find much enjoyment within its pages.

To summarise, I think this is a book that all Doctor Who fans will enjoy. If you're seeking a gift for someone who likes the show, you'll be hard pressed to find anything that matches this in this price bracket.
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