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Doctor Who: Impossible Worlds (Dr Who) Hardcover – 29 Oct 2015
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A lavish celebration of the creative vision behind Doctor Who.
About the Author
Stephen Nicholas (Author)
Stephen Nicholas was the supervising art director for Doctor Who, and had a big part to play in overseeing the regeneration of the art department for the new series in 2004. He also art directed Torchwood and the Sarah Jane Adventures. This is his first book.
Mike Tucker (Author)
Mike Tucker is an author specialising in books for children and young adults, and has written several original ‘Doctor Who’ novels, a number of ‘Merlin’ novelisations, and original fiction for other shared universes. He has also written numerous factual books relating to film and television, including a history of the BBC’s Visual Effects Department, where he used to work.
Alongside his writing, Mike works as a Visual Effects Designer, and his company - The Model Unit - recently won a BAFTA Craft Award for its miniature effects work on the 50th anniversary ‘Doctor Who’ episode ‘The Day of the Doctor’
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Top customer reviews
The book is weighted heavily in favour of the 2005 onward phase of the series, presumably because a much larger amount of pre-production material is available than is the case for the older incarnations. What is on offer is excellent however; a cornucopia of used and unused designs for Tardis interiors, Daleks, Cybermen and all manner of technology and locales. The slight downside of all this is you get to see what the show would look like with a higher budget and/or fewer limitations on what is considered acceptable viewing for a family audience. The section on the Sontarans is a case in point; when you see the terrifying creations they could have been, you will hate the current comedy versions forevermore.
A nice extra is an envelope in the back of the book, containing a good selection of frameable prints, mostly around A5 size.
Nothing to dislike here and a great deal to enjoy. A great gift for the Whovian in your life and if that whovian happens to be you, then all the better.
The publication (a lovely big coffee table book) is bursting with images and a wealth of information on the art and design of Doctor Who. Much of the content was stuff I had never seen before; I had not thought this would be possible having already seen countless sketches of just about everything. I soon realised that there was so much still to be discovered, and found myself 'wasting' huge amounts of time just leafing through the hefty volume (and this is before actually taking the time to read the individual description for each image, and the pages of text written by the insiders of it all).
The book also feels wonderful: the thick cover and quality paper do its contents justice. I hadn't realised before receiving this as a Christmas present that at the back is an envelope containing 15 wonderful art cards of 15 amazing designs (my favourite being the Zygon cave from the 2015 story The Zygon Invasion/The Zygon Inversion). This is a delightful touch, adding an extra level of quality to a book that doesn't even need it to be so incredible.
While presenting us with a few designs from the 'classic' era of the show, Impossible Worlds is very much focussed on Doctor Who post-2005. Although it would have been nice to have a more equal balance, I can see that there simply wouldn't have been space to fit the design history of the show's entire 50+ years into one book. I hope to see another version taking a look at the original run in depth.
Overall this is something that I would highly recommended to all fans, whether or not they have a keen interest in art and design. I cannot see why this book should fail to entrance anyone.
It's good that it focus's on the show from 1963 and not just the 2005 relaunch.
It also has a nice amount of reading too to explain why certain designs changed etc.
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