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4.8 out of 5 stars
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4.8 out of 5 stars
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TOP 50 REVIEWERon 29 December 2013
This is another book released in time to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the show. Written by Marcus Hearn, this book covers in over 300 packed pages, the 50 years (so far) of Doctor Who. Largely presented in a chronological order, with `chapters' from 1963 to 2013, each year shows the episodes made in that year, and has a written overview of the year. Within some of the years, larger (less time-dependent) topics are briefly covered; included among these are the Master, companions, the Daleks, the Targel novelisations, Doctor Who in the theatre, and many more.

The articles presented in each of the sections are highly informative and very interesting. What makes this book a real treasure are all of the photographs - of props, designs, costumes, publicity shots, convention tickets and programs, actors headshots, script pages, even a phone message typed in 1964 for Verity Lambert. Who would have thought they would have kept such things from so long ago? But thank goodness they did, for now we get to enjoy them in a way that would never previously have been possible.

I was astounded to see photos and pictures of so many things I had no idea existed, and I was delighted to be reminded by the articles and images of so many stories that were (after so many years) now rather vague in my memory. They all come flooding back when you see them in a wonderfully presented book like this, which is designed to be lovingly treasured for many years. The book is a large format, and has really quality paper and solid covers, so should last as a memento of the good Doctor on our small screens (and more) for many years to come. Absolutely fantastic stuff.
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on 18 November 2013
"Doctor Who: The Vault" by Marcus Hearn is a book that every fan of the popular series Dr. Who would like to have.

This book is another product that was released on the occasion of its 50th anniversary from date the first episode was shown on TV.

It's not an exaggeration to say that this book is everything that someone interested in Dr. Who would like to know because it offers information and pictures about each season of the show broadcasting providing summary of the season and accompanying text that tells all about the events which marked that season.

Where the book really excels are its illustrations because a picture says more than 1000 words allowing longtime fans of the series to remember all good and bad things their favorite TV hero went through.

Although the text is of decent quality, it might be even better if the author was able to add more details, and not only speaking generally about show components and also somehow the book lacks more active participation from actors who are represented only with quotes from interviews.

Nevertheless, "Doctor Who: The Vault" is a nostalgic piece that recalls the rich history of this TV show that during its long term broadcast has become much more than a TV show.

And this book that celebrates its 50 years manages to explain precisely this popularity and longevity phenomenon, why it happened and due to that it can be recommended...
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on 18 November 2013
Excellent reference book on the series from the very beginning. The photos are interesting, a fascinating look at the behind the scenes of the series through the years. As other reviews have saidit's not really a vault without the pullout photos, design sketches, retro images like the Alien vault. Still it is a real treat to read about the entire series thanks to Marcus Hearn's spot on research. Will recommend the vault to other family members.
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on 10 January 2014
This marvellous book tells the story of Who from Hartnell to Smith including the gaps in the show's televised run. For a new and maybe not so knowledgeable fan this will bring you up to speed and for 4th Dan anoraks like me it's well enough written enough to enjoy anyway. Even for superfans there may be a few surprises, I know I'd never heard of Terry Nation & David Whittaker having a fist fight! (my money was on the Welshman!). Also we learn a making of programme was started then quickly abandoned during the shooting of Robot.

There are plenty of soundbites from those who were there at various points and some chapters break off the narrative to consider a specific aspect e.g. the Daleks.

What really makes this unmissable is that Mr Hearn persuauded current owners of props and costumes to let him have a photo (I'm assuming he doesn't own the lot himse1f!) and they are all well taken and reproduced. Fancy a look at an original Cyber head or Mavic Chen's spaceship in colour? Look no further than this book. The photo of Mavic Chen's spaceship show that it was a much better model than it appears onscreen in surviving footage.

Generally choice of photos is top notch, steering clear of only using the well worn endlessly reproduced shots. There are some you'll have seen before but also some rarer ones.

There are also reproductions of original costume designs (the Fish People from Underwater Menace looked better on paper) and other rare bits.

Hearn does not shy away from controversial topics e.g. the downside of JNT's long tenure but where such subjects are covered you hear from both sides.

A much better book than the 40th anniversary publication Dr Who: The Legend, whether you're buying it now or when it goes down in price, I'll be surprised if you don't find something to like.
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on 9 June 2016
"Doctor Who:The Vault" is a very interesting book about the history of the ever popular TV show and what I like about it is that each chapter represents a year in the show's history and it summarises what episodes were shown in that year, which my favourite year has to be Jon Pertwee's first year 1970. What I love about the book is that it's like a museum, which you get brilliant photos and drawings of the costumes, props and stages and you also get behind the scenes photos. If you are a fan of "Doctor Who" like me then this great book is well worth buying.
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on 2 December 2015
Makes a great dipping-into book for leaving on the coffee table. If you are a fan of the series as a whole - new or old or better both! - this makes a useful addition to your library of all things Dr. Who. for anyone new to the series, there's so much to inform and entertain along the way, to see how and why it got to where it is today. What amazes me is how more information and still-previously unpublished photographs keep turning up to allow new tomes of this kind to be produced. Incredible value this was as I obtained this for a Fiver. Get it while you can - it's worth it.
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on 1 November 2013
I received this as a present and as a fan of the show from my childhood when Tom Baker was "my" doctor, this was a great, nostalgia inducing tribute to the whole 50 years of the programme.

It is difficult after all this time to find a new way to look at Doctor Who, but the author has done a good job. Although basically a chronological look at the show (each year the programme was on the air has a separate chapter), within each chapter are short essays on various topics, such as the controversial use of horror in the stories, or the explosion of merchandise related to the show, and these pull together information from all eras of the programme. This theme based approach works well, and makes dipping in and out of the book a joy.

The production values of the book are very high, from the "squidgy" hard cover (lovely feel!), to the front and end papers reproducing the original studio floor plans from An Unearthly Child, to the large number of detailed photographs of often rare props, costumes documents and other paraphernalia. This brought back lots of memories for me of my childhood, ("I remember that issue of Doctor Who magazine" "I had that old annual") as well as showing many interesting items from earlier days, right back to the inception of the show.

Small criticisms of the book are that the coverage of the "wilderness years" when the programme was off the air is a little brief, and it certainly steers clear of any of the behind the scenes controversies that are fairly well known, and perhaps is a little too reverential towards the modern era (2005 onward) of the show, but overall is a lovely book for any fan interested in the history of the show.
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on 12 December 2015
Someone will be thrilled with their Christmas gift. Just delivered and it's excellent.The price is originally £30 so you're getting a fairly large and heavy book. It's filled to the hilt with pictures and information that covers the entire history of the program. No genuine fan of Dr. Who will be disappointed.
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on 18 December 2013
The book itself has a great look before you even open the cover. Nice size and wonderfully bound and glossy, its definitely of great quality. I have not read the entire thing but it is clear it is jam-packed full of the history of Doctor Who, including schematics of studio layouts, Tardis designs. A great compliment to the 50th anniversary.
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on 12 March 2015
Beautifully presented book, huge and lavish, covering all a aspects of merchandising and media around our favourite time traveller. A must for anyone into Doctor Who, a lovely coffee table book that will reward hours of browsing.
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