The Doctor: His Lives and Times

Around the time of last year’s 50th anniversary of Doctor Who, there were a load of books published. I bought a couple of the more official ones, and this one recently reminded me that I hadn’t got around to reading it[1], a matter which I have now dealt with.

Now there are number of approaches you can take to a run through of the history of Doctor Who. You could look at it from the pure production side, talking about writers, actors, directors, BBC management and the like, or you could go for the “act as if it’s real[3]” side and talk about the Doctor, his friends and enemies.

Or, as in the case of this book, you could do both. The idea here is that River Song, while acting under the influence of the delightful Madame Kovarian[5], has travelled through time and space gathering data on the Doctor’s activities, producing a dossier of interviews[6], documents, news clippings and the like. Stories are referred to in an oblique way that will make fans smile, rather than described in detail.

This material is organised in the order of the Doctor’s timeline, and alternates with a history of Doctor Who mostly made up of quotes from all the usual suspects[7], and a few less usual ones.  This material comes from a variety of sources, contemporary, current, and from various times in between. Probably not a lot of information that’ll be new to fans, but nice to gather a lot of it together in a permanent form.

Being an official BBC publication, this book benefits from on-set photographs and BBC documents. Good stuff, which manages to be a lot of fun and nicely informative.

[1] Really[2] – it was jumping up and down on the pile of books
[2] For an arbitrarily “not” value of “really”, of course
[3] Which of course, it is[4]
[4] For an arbitrarily “something or other” value of “is”, of course
[5] Known and loved by all as “eye-patch lady”
[6] All carefully stilted to make the Doctor look as irresponsible as possible
[7] Anyone who’s watched the special features on classic Doctor Who DVDs will recognise many of the names

One thought on “The Doctor: His Lives and Times

  1. Pingback: Doctor Who – The Vault | Losing it

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