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Once Upon A Bookshelf

Where Fiction and Reality Meet

Who is the Doctor

Authors: Graeme Burk & Robert Smith?
Originally Published: 2012
Publisher: ECW Press
Source: Won from ECW Press at FanExpo 2012

The Story

Who Is The DoctorFrom the back of the book:

Doctor Who is the television program that’s bigger on the inside. It’s no wonder that, after five decades on the air, the Doctor, the TARDIS and his enemies are icons of British culture. Who is The Doctor is a fun and insightful guide to Doctor Who‘s triumphant return to television in 2005. Doctor Who experts Graeme Burk and Robert Smith? bring insights into everything about the New Series, including:

  • an in-depth assessment of every episode of the first six seasons of the New Series, examining each story’s place in Doctor Who history, the characters and the ongoing story arcs, along with trivia, nitpicks and thoughtful, irreverent reviews
  • special examinations of Doctor Who history from the Classic Series
  • sidebars on the writers, creators, actors, spinoffs such as Torchwood, the theme music, the sonic screwdriver and more

The Response

On one hand, this was awesome. All kinds of trivia and behind the scenes stuff that I didn’t know before? Stuff that I may have missed out on because I wasn’t obsessed about it earlier in my life? Yes please! Educate me! Make me realize even more how awesome Doctor Who is! Make me astonished with the fact that Matt Smith is actually good at football because he was all into football until an injury forced him into acting! Tell me about why Neil Gaiman’s episode is called The Doctor’s Wife – as a throwback to when the production company tried to find a leak on staff in the Classic Series! Tell me about exactly how many people the Doctor has kissed on screen, and how they all happened in the New Series! Love all this random trivia stuffs!

On the other hand, it will be difficult to rewatch some of these episodes because I will now have another person’s thoughts about why this episode was awesome or why it sucked going through my head, and gosh darn it, I like to watch Doctor Who to be entertained, not to analyze it!

Part of me wished I had read just a few sections of each episode (what the relationship between the Doctor and his current companion is, interesting trivia, pop culture references, how previous episodes tied to this one, etc), instead of reading what both of the authors thought about the episode. Sometimes it was quite interesting, especially when the two authors completely disagreed about what they thought worked or didn’t work about the episode. But now, as mentioned, their thoughts are going to completely colour my thoughts to some episodes.

That said, though, it did make me realize exactly wasn’t sitting right with me in the episodes of season 6 – there were never any consequences for anything the Doctor, Amy, Rory or River did. At the end of each episode, things just went back happily to what they were at the beginning of the episode.

The Bottom Line

Definitely not recommended for people who aren’t fans of the new series of Doctor Who. Fans will get some enjoyment out of it though.

Posted by Courtney Wilson @ 7:21 am March 22, 2013.
Category: Non-Fiction
Book Author(s): ,

  • Susan

    We are such big Dr Who fans here now at my house. We have started watching the very old ones for the first time. I bought a book for Christmas, Dr Who the Episode Guide, and it’s very good for rating the episodes up to the second season with Amy. I try not to let it colour my view of the episodes, though. I like to make my own mind up for why I like one or not. I think of it as fans getting together to discuss why it’s good or not.

    I enjoyed your review, and this is a book we don’t have, but will be when I can find it!

  • Cheryl @ Tales of the Marvelous

    Oooh…I had no idea this existed, and now I think I want to read it! I definitely see your point about having impressions coloured, but I think I’d love all the trivia and the backstory–not to mention how it all fits together, which can get pretty wibbly wobbly at times (but I guess it’s all just timey wimey stuff…)