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This review is from: Doctor Who: The Dalek Handbook (Hardcover)
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.