Tuesday, February 24, 2015

The Doctor's Lives and Times

What I try to do with reviews at this Bookshelf blog is keep it simple and spoiler-free, and let you know whether I'd recommend you pick up a copy of what I just read. Seems to work okay. This time, a brief review of The Doctor's Lives and Times (Harper, 2014).

I loved this book completely and enormously! The Doctor's Lives and Times is a ridiculously fun book of found objects from another world - objects from the fictional universe of Doctor Who. Its breezy, photo-filled format makes it a great gift for readers of all ages; younger readers will be captivated by all the illustrations, and even the nerdiest of us will thrill to all the connections between stories.

James Goss and Steve Tribe have created a collection that includes an example of the "Karkus" comic strip that Zoe Herriot mentioned in 1968's "The Mind Robber," conspiracy buffs debunking some "cheap" 8mm color film footage of the Loch Ness Monster the same way that people in our world debunk the Patterson–Gimlin Bigfoot film from '67, blog posts from Mickey complaining about Rose going off into space with that Doctor, K-9 obliviously breaking Sarah Jane's heart by telling her about the companions that the Doctor took on board after her, and dozens and dozens of other things.

Each Doctor gets a chapter of fiction, followed by a few pages and photos of production information about their era, informed entirely by quotes from actors, writers, and producers. The authors intrude so little that their own opinions are not seen at all, which is a really novel approach to a Doctor Who book these days. The approach is one of tribute to the whole program and its narrative, not picking favorites or torching anything. It's a sweet and loving 50th anniversary book. Happily recommended for anybody with an interest in the show, of any age.

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