01/08/2012. Contributed by Geoff Willmetts
pub: Telos. 329 page small hardback. Price: £30.00 (UK), $39.71 (US), $34.44 (CAN). ISBN: 978-1-84583-064-9).
check out website: www.telos.co.uk
With 'Cracks In Time', Telos continues its book series examining the seasons of 'Doctor Who' with the opening season of Matt Smith in the title role. Depending on how you do your season counting, this is either number 31 or number 5, although my counting goes a bit wonky when one has to consider a year of specials. Before getting into the episode analysis itself, author Stephen Walker examining the media reaction first of all prior to starting with separate details there.
There are a lot of things I agree with Walker about, especially as I thought the new Dalek colours making them look more like bath foam bottles now. Yes, it would make sense for them to look a little more individual or at least have a chain of command than all being rubber-ringed soldiers as they were originally coloured but this makes them look too plastic and not menacing but mincing.
If you're confused about River Song's history when she re-appeared in 'The Time Of Angels', Walker brings everything into perspective, not to mention a few events that we haven't seen yet. I doubt if show-runner/writer Stephen Moffat will let them happen off-screen. As to River Song's comment that the Doctor materialises the TARDIS with its brakes on, considering that all others who have piloted were taught by the Doctor, then they would also have picked up his bad habit. Naughty Time Lord. Of course, this could have also been the original fault with the TARDIS in the first place and he never corrected it.
Walker also points out that Moffat, unlike Russell T Davies, doesn't do any re-writes of other writers' scripts. Although I can appreciate Moffat probably doesn't like to interfere with other writers, I would have thought that he would pick them up some of the inconsistencies that have appeared. Then again, Walker also points out that several episodes were edited down for being too long which would also account for some of the visual inconsistencies.
Using giant space whale-like creatures for space vehicles isn't new in 'The Beast Below'. It was used in 'The Uncanny X-Men' back in the mid-1980s with the Brood taking over space-whales so I expect there is something even pre-dating that.
There is some discussion from Walker, in regards to 'The Lodger', about ideas from the tie-ins and comicstrips being used in the TV series. Granted, it would be a shame to waste a good idea, but that doesn't necessarily make this other material canon, especially when so many elements are changed in the TV incarnation.
Something Walker brings up about the Weevils being unintelligent in 'Torchwood' but appearing in 'Cracks In Time' does make me ponder if the Doctor had something to do with them being dumbed down at some point. Then again, with Moffat rebooting the entire Whoniverse, who knows what is correct or false any more.
For those interested in the viewing statistics, one thing I did observe myself out of all the statistics is for all the high-fluting in the media about High-Definition TV, the number of people who use it or at least involved in the polls is surprisingly small. Am I seeing a Beta-Max moment here?
Although I might be seen as arguing the toss with my comments above, these books are actually a brilliant time capsule examining the 2010 year of 'Doctor Who' both as an episode guide, media interpretation and production to give you all the gen you need to have at your fingertips when you re-watch the series for things you might have missed the first time around.
If you're a Who fan, then you already know this or have been picking up these books since my earlier reviews and just want to know when this book was being released. If you've only just caught on to the Matt Smith regeneration, then now's the time to pick up this book. Don't miss it.
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