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"Books are cool!",
This review is from: The Brilliant Book of Doctor Who 2012 HC (Hardcover)
For anyone who enjoyed Doctor Who Series Six, this is absolutely essential reading. It's effectively the Annual for older fans, though on closer inspection it's even better than that. It's the ultimate companion to Series Six; all 13 episodes (plus A Christmas Carol) are covered in depth with facts, interviews with the writers, "Magic Moment" script extracts and even deleted scenes - in the case of The Doctor's Wife, the lost "Planet of the Rain Gods" scene has been adapted into a comic strip! And as you'd expect, there are exclusive interviews with all the main cast - Matt Smith, Karen Gillan, Arthur Darvill and Alex Kingston.
There is also a wealth of fictional material - letters, newspaper clippings and other media from all corners of the universe - that enriches the backstory of each episode and makes the world of Doctor Who come alive more than ever before. Just some of the many highlights include the Adventures of Madame Vastra, Amy and Mels's school reports, the user guide for the Teselecta, Charles Dickens' Twitter feed, and many more surprises I don't want to spoil. There's even written accounts from the Doctor, Amy, Rory and River, filling in what happened in the three-month period between The Impossible Astronaut and Day of the Moon. In-keeping with the spirit of the series, the book is also brimming with humour - some of which only die-hard fans will appreciate. The Doctor's job application in particular had me in stitches. The writers' love and geeky enthusiasm for the show is obvious; it shines on every page.
The style of The Brilliant Book is sort of like a deluxe hardback magazine, and some of the images are quite breathtaking, with the photoshopped illustrations for each episode reminiscent of the DVD covers of classic stories. It's the kind of book that can be easily dipped into and read in any order. While it appears to be mostly intended for teenagers and adults, there is still enough material here to interest the younger generation as well, such as the behind-the-scenes guides on how the monsters are made. It's certainly more intellectual than the Annuals, and is a book that I would delight in reading with my children, if I had any.
Fans will want to find a very special place on their bookshelf for the Brilliant Book, or even keep it on their bedside table so they can reach for it on demand. This is only the second Brilliant Book, but I hope that it becomes a tradition that continues for many years to come. I'm so impressed with the 2012 edition that I'm tempted to buy last year's one as well!
Someone should make a book for the earlier series as well, like the Christopher Eccleston era - The Fantastic Book, anyone?