01/07/2012. Contributed by Andy Whitaker
pub: ECW Press. 400 page book.. Price: £14.99 (UK). ISBN: 978-1-55022-984-4. ePub: Price: £7.12 (UK). ASN: B007HNAPWQ.
check out websites: www.ecwpress.comand www.turnaround-uk.com
'Who Is The Doctor: The Unofficial Guide To Doctor Who - The New Series' is a very well presented book detailing every episode of the six 'new' set of series and special editions in chronological order of 'Doctor Who' programmes which started in 2005. There is also an introduction to the authors and a short synopsis of what happened before the current incarnation of the 'Doctor Who' series of programmes. The appendix has a section on the animated series for yet more 'Doctor Who' information and, if that was not enough for the true fan, a list of recommended 'Doctor Who' resources is also included.
Each episode section starts with the program credits including the scriptwriter, director, the supporting cast and original airdate. It is then broken down into its main elements starting with 'The Big Idea' which provides a very, very short synopsis of the episodes plot. Other items include 'Roots And References 'which attempts to identify often tenuous links to the plots of previous films, TV shows and 'Doctor Who' episodes. There is a 'Monster Of The Week' element that provides background information on the episodes monsters. The number of elements varies as it depends on the content of the episode, any additional trivia, continuity problems or other mistakes, Each episode is rounded off with an opinion from Graham Burk and a second opinion from Robert Smith? (that's how he signs his name!). Bits of trivia relevant to each series is used to interspace the episode chapters.
I should point out that the two co-authors often disagree with the others opinion which adds humour. There is further discussion of the contested items which adds yet more background information. You could imagine a lot of the dialog being thrashed out in a pub over a beer with at times some heated debates over the implied meaning of a little noticed plot item in episode x. But don't underestimate this book, it is very well-presented, very well-written and, from what I can see, very well researched by two people passionate about the subject.
Anybody who has at least one of the boxed sets of the recent 'Doctor Who' series will enjoy this book. The more 'Doctor Who' DVDs you have, the more you will get out of this book. People who want to set really, really hard questions for the local pub quiz will also find it very useful. Apart from devoted 'Doctor Who' fans and people who set quiz questions, I can't see who else will buy this book. This is a shame as it is a work of devotion that has resulted in a work of art. The people involved in its creation should pat themselves on the back for a job well done.
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