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Hunted: The Unofficial And Unauthorised Guide To Supernatural Seasons 1-3 by Sam Ford and Antony Fogg

01/05/2012. Contributed by Geoff Willmetts

Buy Hunted: The Unofficial And Unauthorised Guide To Supernatural Seasons 1-3 in the USA - or Buy Hunted: The Unofficial And Unauthorised Guide To Supernatural Seasons 1-3 in the UK

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pub: Telos. 486 page small enlarged paperback. Price: GBP15.99 (UK), $34.95 (US), $34.95 (CAN). ISBN: 978-1-84583-039-7.

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I like book titles that tell you something about the contents and ‘Hunted: The Unofficial And Unauthorised Guide To Supernatural Seasons 1-3’ does just that. The authors, Sam Ford and Antony Fogg, do draw a lot of their information from authorised sources as well covering all manner of subjects related to all things ‘Supernatural’, the TV series, and its individual episodes. I hope one of these authors is female cos if they aren’t calling Dean ‘gorgeous’ all the time is going to become irritating to you. The same with the brothers’ sexual amores although I’m not sure if there is as much as they would want to believe in the stories cos it’s really less than a handful. After all, just because having two male leads as an attraction for female fans doesn’t mean that getting laid should dominate the fact that they are essentially demon hunters. I should point out that there is a lot of examination from the information gleaned that makes for good reading.

With so much information on all manner of detail, it’s inevitable that I ended up reading looking for mistakes. I’m sure that’s something most SF readers do with research books and with the amount in this book, there is bound to be some and it looks like it is the more general media things they get wrong. Considering how many names and other references come from media sources, there is a lot to cover.

Take page 37, the authors cite a ‘Bradys’ reference to the soap ‘Days Of Our Lives’ – would they watch these? – rather than to sit-com ‘The Brady Bunch’. When you consider that the Huxtables from ‘The Bill Cosby Show’ was mentioned in the same breath, you would have thought the connection would have been obvious and I got it in the original viewing.

Something I found interesting in Season One’s episode ‘The Benders’ is the police information for the Winchester brothers taken off screen indicates that neither of them had tattoos at the time, so it’ll be interesting to know when they had the talisman tattoos on their chests by season three. Season Two’s ‘The Time Of My Dying’ details what John Winchester put together to call the yellow-eyed demon. What puzzled me when watching the episode and reading here is if it was that easy to call that particular demon, why didn’t Winchester do this a long time ago and just kill it? Would have saved a lot of problems and probably have no series but it seems odd that he took so long to arrive at this solution.

With the episode ‘Simon Said’, I wouldn’t have chosen ‘Mirror, Mirror’ for evil counter-parts from ‘Star Trek’ but ‘The Enemy Within’ for having the two people being in the same reality.

With the episode ‘Playthings’, I would have thought the authors would have picked up on the fact that Padalacki’s nickname in real life was ‘Sasquatch’ and noted in the Internet Movie DataBase (IMDB). The same with the episode ‘Nightshifter’ that Henricksen was a reference to actor Lance Henricksen.

The comment about the Lone Ranger in regard the episode ‘The Magnificent Seven’ as never being seen unmasked in his original TV series isn’t totally correct. He did go unmasked when he investigates in disguise and I remember an episode of the series when someone spotted the white around his eyes as being a giveaway that he wore a domino mask.

A comment the authors made about the time discrepancy in ‘Red Sky At Morning’ between Sam and Gert leaving for the party before Dean and Bela and the latter pair getting there first, forgets that Gert might have taken Sam on the scenic route.

Another thing I wasn’t sure they understood was that the move to an arc storyline from Season Two on was to change it from simply chasing after a different monster each week. As a formula, it worked effectively in its forerunner, ‘The X-Files’, but even they realised they needed something else going on behind the scenes to stop it becoming too formulaic. With the likes of the late Kim Manners on-board as a co-producer/director, there was an obvious need to ensure a similar thing happened with ‘Supernatural’. If anything, I suspect it was the surprise that it dominated so much here.

From another perspective, considering how many of the various human hunters end up in Hell, it does make you wonder if their activity is truly worth such a fate.

What is useful about this book is the authors cross-reference back to previous episodes where information was first used which makes the book a handy reference as well as reading straight through as this reviewer did. I do wish they hadn’t used their footnotes just for episode names when it would make more sense to have had those in the text.

Despite my criticisms, this is a fascinating book and a real long read and there is far more right than the mistakes I pointed out. If you didn’t know enough about the first three seasons of ‘Supernatural’ before reading this book, then you will know after reading here.

GF Willmetts

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