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Doctor Who Encyclopedia (New Edition) Hardcover – October 13, 2011
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I suppose one could use Doctor Who: The Encyclopedia to actually look things up, but really, I think it's more fun to start with the letter A and peruse its entries in order. This ensures that you don't miss any of the goodies within, while providing almost as chaotic a tour of the worlds of Doctor Who as one might get in the TARDIS itself.
Take the letter D, for example. Here you learn why Madame de Pompadour was once called Madame d'Etoiles, what newspaper the Absorbaloff was reading when Ursula noticed his alien hands, the name of the beach where Rose said goodbye to the Doctor, the human name of the Slitheen in charge of the North Sea Boating Club, the provenance of the Doctor's claim that Martha was from Freedonia, the name of the Cabinet minister who called Saxon "insane" - and, of course, quite a bit about the words "Doctor" and "Daleks." The above list doesn't cover even half of the D entries found in the book, ranging in length from a sentence to an entire page each.
Doctor Who: The Encyclopedia covers the first three seasons of the 2005-present revival of the series, plus the occasional mention of real-world creators of songs, films, etc. that appear in the show. (The new edition more than doubles the period covered, taking us into the Eleventh Doctor era.) I imagine the book could prove invaluable for the novice Doctor Who fan in learning more about the show's characters and continuity.Read more ›
There's a lot of material here, but a surprising amount of it smacks of filler. For instance, every song that was ever heard for more than three pico-seconds in any episode is included here--along with separate entries for the band or singer. And in some cases, for the composer. So, we get to read a bit about Jeff Lynne--because he wrote an ELO song that was featured in one episode. That's...just a little oddly obsessive to me. Where do you draw the line? Why not comment on the brand of spark plugs used by a taxi the Doctor rode in?
Another minor annoyance is that the author seems to pay overwhelming attention to two animated episodes ("Attack of the Graske" and "The Infinite Quest") that are probably not canonical and that are not very likely to be known to American viewers. I mean--sometimes it seems that every third or fourth entry pertains to one of these. It's a bit frustrating.
The wealth of photos makes this a pretty good value, but overall this encyclopedia just seems a bit lightweight and has a lot of questionable entries. Try to get someone to buy it for you as a gift.
However, for those who want information on Classic Who (1st Doctor-8th Doctor), this book is sorely lacking. Nothing that wasn't covered in the new series is nonexistent. This includes information on previous Doctors and companions, something I was hoping for in a "Doctor Who Encyclopedia". The book also does not include anything from series 7 onward (starting with "Asylum of the Daleks"), but since this is due to the book's publication date and not any fault of the authors, I won't count that against the book.
I also found the book to be a bit too comprehensive in places. For example, do we really need to know what song was playing at Donna's Christmas party? Still, all things considered, this is a great reference guide for all things new Who.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Bought for my girlfriend for chirstmas. Good coffee table book.Published 16 days ago by Adam Sievers