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Doctor Who: The Vault: Treasures From The First 50 Years Book Review

Doctor Who- The Vault- Treasures From The First 50 Years Book

Reading “Doctor Who: The Vault: Treasures From The First 50 Years” is a “brilliant” way to celebrate the 50th anniversary of “Doctor Who.”

With the 50th anniversary of “Doctor Who” approaching (only 14 days to go!), BBC is going all out to celebrate it with theatrical screenings of the anniversary special (“The Day of the Doctor”), new merchandise, the recent revelation of newly discovered missing episodes, and much more. One of the latest DW related product releases is a big blue book from Harper Design titled “Doctor Who: The Vault: Treasures From The First 50 Years.”

While there has been many a “Doctor Who” book about every era imaginable, this handy book covers every single year of the show’s current 50 year run from 1963 to 2013. The year by year coverage breaks down episode airings, merchandise and multimedia releases, the Big Finish audio plays, behind-the-scenes stories, cast changes, home video releases, the ratings, the spin-offs (“Torchwood” and “The Sarah Jane Adventures”), the highs and lows of the long running program, the technological changes, the evolution of the series, etc. On top of that, the pages are plastered with glossy photographs of toys, props (such as the Bus Conductor head from ‘The Greatest Show In The Galaxy”), alien characters (such as a up close and personal look at the Millennium FX Judoon mask), publicity photos, costume close-ups, comic books, records, books, models, design sketches, and magazine covers. It’s a real feast for the eyes to say the least.

Considering there is 50 years of “Doctor Who” history, it’s to be expected that a lot of material is glossed over and or only touched upon briefly. Every fan knows that 10 pages or more could be devoted to each year, but, for time, space, and money, the deep history of Who is condensed to 320 pages. While this may disappoint some fans, I’m here to tell you that this is a very thorough book (unlike some of the glorified DW picture books that are out there).

If you’re a hardcore Whovian, a good chunk of the stories and information here should be familiar to you. If you’re a relatively new fan, however, this book not only works as a great DW history lesson, but it’s also an informative Wikipedia esque reference guide. This book is especially useful to fans that may only be familiar with the modern era of “Doctor Who.” Now, that’s not to say that there is nothing here for Whovians like myself. There were a plethora of things I had never read or seen before such as the TARDIS tuner, a Doctor WHO USA tour 87-88 map, a theater photo of Bonnie Langford (as Peter Pan) with Colin Baker, pictures of Dalek’s Death Ray ice cream bars, and a typed proposal of what the Second Doctor was originally envisioned as, unrecorded dialogue, a 1960’s “Doctor Who” radio series, a proposed spin-off from William Hartnell, the list goes on. Simply put, there’s something here for every Who fan.

Overall Thoughts: As the Ninth Doctor would say, “Doctor Who: The Vault: Treasures From The First 50 Years” is fantastic. It’s the perfect gift for the Who fan on your list and it’s just an all-around must own book for anyone who adores the Whoniverse.

November 9, 2013 - Posted by | Book review | , , , , ,

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