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Doctor Who: The Doctor’s Lives And Times Book Review

Doctor Who- The Doctor's Lives and Times Book

“Doctor Who: The Doctor’s Lives and Times” is a creative DW book.

Written by James Goss and Steve Tribe, “Doctor Who: The Doctor’s Lives and Times” is stuffed with a wide variety of textual goodies such as “journal entries,” an overview of the first 11 Doctor (with the Other Doctor being mentioned briefly), sidebars, factoids, episode photos, “letters from companions,” an enormous amount of cast and crew member quotes, prop pictures, transcripts, images that are tied into episodes, newspaper clippings, as well as thoughts on episodes by everyone from Neil Gaiman to John Barrowman.

If you’re looking for a straight up “Doctor Who” reference book or are indeed expecting “Doctor Who: The Doctor’s Lives and Times” to simply summarize the history of the franchise, you might want to pick up a title like “Doctor Who: The Vault” instead. While there’s certainly plenty of material and information about the show’s various eras here (256 pages worth to be exact), ‘Lives’ has a rather unique layout in comparison to other books about “Doctor Who.” Instead of merely just stating the facts, this book includes companion letters and several POV pieces. To be frank, it can be all be a bit cluttered and cheesy and the tie in images (like the buy and sell Cybermen web page, the Kinda proverb, the Face of Boe obituary, etc.) are equally (if not more) groan inducing. With that said, Goss and Tribe deserve credit for their unexpected approach towards this project. Even if certain elements are corny, it’s clear that the writers’ knowledge of the Whoniverse is vast and it shows in their sometimes clever scripted work. There’s no question that a lot of time and effort went into making this book as entertaining and accessible to fans as possible.

If the POV material is a turn off, you’ll be happy to know that there is a ton of insightful cast and crew quotes. To me, reading these comments and stories from people who worked on the show was infinitely more engaging than any of the stories written as certain characters. If I wanted to read about the adventures of the Doctor and his companions, I’d read one of the many DW fiction novels out there.

Overall Thoughts: “Doctor Who: The Doctor’s Lives and Times” may not be the end all, be all take on the long-running sci-fi series, but it’s worth picking up if you’re a fan who collects “Doctor Who” books.

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July 5, 2014 - Posted by | Book review | , , ,

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