Shop now Learn more Shop now Shop Clothing clo_fly_aw15_NA_shoes Shop All Shop All Amazon Fashion Cloud Drive Photos Shop now Learn More Shop now Shop Fire HD 6 Shop Kindle Paperwhite Shop now Shop Now Shop now
Customer Review

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "...genius...", 5 Oct. 2012
This review is from: Doctor Who: A History of the Universe in 100 Objects (Hardcover)
Once in a while the DOCTOR WHO merchandise universe spawns a publication that eloquently mixes the cohort of analytically intelligent with a humorous incredulity that I cannot but recommend to fans, and, on 27 September 2012, DOCTOR WHO - A HISTORY OF THE UNIVERSE IN 100 OBJECTS is that singular tome.

I entered into an intimate - yes, reading it in bed over three nights - relationship with James Goss & Steven Tribe's 260-page eclectic collective of (seemingly) random items drawn from DOCTOR WHO 49-year old universe, and we never argued (never go to sleep without `making-up' after an argument, by the way, trust me, it could flare-up in the morning and shouting with morning breath is not pleasant. I digress) from start to finish.

Every chapter is like having Christmas Day such is the non-sequential surprise of the `object' and its relative narrative, and whilst the `object' choices are singular - categorised chronologically - there is a collaboration of insight by the authors that engages and entertains in equal measure.

`A Christmas Tree' juxtaposed with an Agatha Christie novel is joined by a humble `Hairdryer' and `Tegan Jovanka's Lipstick, followed by the archetypal DOCTOR WHO barrier-to-be-succumbed (`A Door') and loathed - in its juiced form - by the Sixth Doctor, `Carrots'. As you can see, there is neither rhyme nor reason to their selection, and there lies its strength.

Certainly, this is not another boring and earnest `encyclopaedia' and may be the first DOCTOR WHO `coffee-table book' that even the most casual of series viewers would not be embarrassed to have on display.

Charmingly, DOCTOR WHO - A HISTORY OF THE UNIVERSE IN 100 OBJECTS asks more question than it answers, and that conversation (or heated debate) is refreshingly astute, and unlike other publication released since the series was re-launched (2005) it's a cross-pollination of CLASSIC and NEW SERIES is reverentially balanced and a credit to Ebury Publishing and the authors.

To be honest, it is difficult to fault this book, not only in its content and but rationale but its exemplary print & production quality (the clarity print, the page stock and the overall design meets Ebury Publishing/BBC BOOKS exacting standards that DOCTOR WHO fans have come to expect), but I have to identify at least one criticism to justify an unbiased review. And this is where I am struggling. Struggling to find a singular excuse to chastise the authors but I think I have found one. Yes, only one as this `reference' book is that stunning.

So, what's the conflicting problem?

The authors skip lightly over the `other' main character, TARDIS, of the drama series with such alacrity that it seems to disregard its central importance. Chapter 052 is brief, far too brief, given the prestige nature of this storytelling device, especially as TARDIS' consciousness has finally, after decades of being hinted at, been realised as organic manifestation (see THE DOCTOR'S WIFE). In this chapter there is no mention of `nano-telepathic' technology (allowing its occupants to understand any/most languages of the universe/s without a second thought), nor (alleged) `state of temporal grace', nor the fact that the Doctor can remove (see INFERNO) its operational console from its main piloting area whilst retaining the transcendental dimensions within, nor the relative fact that an asteroid, discovered in 1984, was named after it (see 3325 TARDIS). However, yes, another positive - damn it - from the release, the two-page analysis of the Doctor's ability to pilot the time:space ship demonstrates that the random nature of traversing the Time Vortex has become too contrived (well, for this reviewer at least) throughout the NEW SERIES. The excitement of settling down with a plate of fish fingers and baked beans teetering on your lap in front of the affectionately named "goggle-box" (read: television set) and to guess where the Doctor would be materialising next was all part of the fun, rollercoaster ride of the series. Now, sadly, TARDIS is a mere taxi service (as the Fifth Doctor referred to it) with the element of uncertainty dramatically dissipated resulting in tempering the action.

Oh, and the publication's wraparound jacket. For impact, it may have been more substantial if all the cut-and-paste images had been removed, focusing purely on a typographic (with a gloss varnish matte) design. Unreservedly, this would have classically intriguing.

Overall, as you might have guessed, DOCTOR WHO - A HISTORY OF THE UNIVERSE IN 100 OBJECTS is, and I use this next word with only a minor hesitation, genius.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
Name:
Badge:
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the full guidelines ">here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking on the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
 
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in
 

Comments


Sort: Oldest first | Newest first
Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 7 Oct 2012 13:56:32 BDT
J. Goss says:
Hello - thanks for the amazing review. For more on the TARDIS, you might enjoy Steve Tribe's brilliant Doctor Who: The Tardis Handbook
‹ Previous 1 Next ›

Review Details

Item

Reviewer


Location: London, UK

Top Reviewer Ranking: 6,641