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Doctor Who: The Dalek Handbook (Doctor Who (BBC)) Hardcover – May 12, 2011

4.7 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

the complete guide to the Daleks - in and out of their casings.,This book stands above many Doctor Who reference books, of both the new series and the Classic. Its presentation is aimed perfectly at the younger audience for which it is intended, yet manages to remain interesting in tone for the older audience... an excellent introduction to the Daleks.,A highly informative tome on the factors that allow the Daleks to capture the imagination of Doctor Who fans everywhere ranging from the really young right to the old.

About the Author

Steve Tribe is the author of three Doctor Who books - The Time Traveller's Almanac, Companions and Allies and The TARDIS Handbook - and of the audiobook Doctor Who: The Essential Companion, and compiled The University Challenge Quiz Book. He has edited two or three hundred books, and contributes, occasionally, to Doctor Who Adventures and the official Torchwood magazine.

James Goss
has written two Torchwood novels and a radio play, as well as a Being Human book. His Doctor Who audiobook Dead Air won Best Audiobook 2010. James also spent seven years working on the BBC's official Doctor Who website and co-wrote the website for Torchwood Series One. In 2007, he won the Best Adaptation category in the annual LA Weekly Theatre Awards for his version of Douglas Adams' novel Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency.
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Product Details

  • Series: Doctor Who (BBC) (Book 154)
  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: BBC Books; 1St Edition edition (May 12, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1849902321
  • ISBN-13: 978-1849902328
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.7 x 8.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #769,227 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This truly is a lovely book. Despite the picture on the front of the book in which the new Dalek paradigm is portrayed rather prominently, this book discusses the Daleks from the beginning in the Classic series until today. Contrary to quite a few other recent publications (like the dictionary and the time traveller's guide) the space taken up by the Classic series is sufficient, even for someone who has been a fan since the early 70's when I was a highly interested 8-year-old. There is a lot of background stuff on Skaro, the Thals, the Dals (!?) and the Kaled's, and the Time War. All Dr. Who's confrontations with the Daleks are discussed extensively (including those serials with episodes that do not exist any more), while the authors even try to make something of the disturbingly complicated Dalek timelines in relation to the timelines of Earth.

Furthermore, information is provided about comics, plays, novels, audio plays and adaptations, and computer games as well (all categorised as Dalekmania). A nice touch is the fact that the Daleks have even asserted their right to be the supreme beings in this universe. You can find this statement in the colofon among the authors' rights, the BBC rights and the mentioning of the Daleks' creator Terry Nation. It made me laugh almost as much as when the Daleks were speaking German in the new series 4 episode Journey's end. I admire these kind of things.

Another nice touch is the illustrative showing of Daleks in all the time periods, starting in 1963, and ending with the new paradigm. I admit to be less than enthousiastic about this latest version. Despite the added size and mass, they seem to be more of a plaything or a toy than the earlier versions that were more spooky and scary.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you love Dr. Who and/or you love the Daleks YOU NEED THIS BOOK, it's much better and easier to follow than "TARDIS the Dr. Who Wikia" or finding and watching/reading all episodes, comics and books, if you want to know more about the Daleks.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The good:
This book seems to have just about everything you could ever want to know about the history and rise of the Daleks crammed into it's pages. It largely runs from the shows beginning through to Nu-Who. There are boxes with interesting information about what happened behind the scenes, as well as other aspects of dalek-specific pop culture outside of the tv series.

The bad:
The layout itself isn't done poorly, but looks as though it was designed to be on a much larger page. That means that the font size seems skirt between 8 and 9 point font. There also aren't many paragraph breaks and the result is mildly intimidating and aggravating. I should also note that the pages themselves are not glossy, as most books like this with image-heavy layouts are. I'm not sure how well the ink and images will hold up over the years, but we will see.

I had purchased this for my six year old son to look at and practice sounding out some of the words in the side boxes. Considering how tiny and crammed everything is, I don't foresee him picking this up to do more than browse through the pictures quickly.

Overall, I'm still glad I made the purchase, even though it won't get used as I'd originally hoped. Instead, I'll be able to read and share the info with the little one until he's old enough to read and appreciate on his own.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This was a gift for my daughter on her seventh birthday. She is the pig-tailed little girl shielding her eyes from the typical princess images at the store, or occasionally stretching out her imaginary plunger and shouting, "Ex-ter-mi-nate!!" at them.

The Dalek information is very thorough, and starts with the original series. It was clearly not written for little kids, but my little Whovian adores it. Thus far I haven't seen anything inappropriate for young eyes, and older Whovian eyes will treasure the photographs and images as well.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Doctor Who, certainly as the longest running sci fi series (as far as true fans are concerned), needs references. Since we are discussing a program that has history since November of 1963 something like the Dalek Handbook is very handy. In this book Tribe provides a good reference on the Daleks, Davros, and the evolution of this foe of the Doctor and the Time Lords that beats anything else out there. Is it perfect? No. But it is done very well in the style of his previous TARDIS handbook. Any fan of the series should have this book along with the TARDIS handbook.

I certainly hope the publisher and authors would add a couple more volumes to this series on perhaps a few other topics. I would suggest the following additional volumes:

Cybermen Handbook (on original and alternate universe cybermen)
Sontaran Handbook
The Time Lords and their Renegades Handbook (cover the Master, the Rani, Romana, Rassilon, Omega etc)
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was initially less than thrilled about the idea of this book when I first heard about it. After all, air one more Doctor Who episode regarding the Daleks, and this book can easily become redundant. But after reading most of this, I must admit, it's still a good read for the Dalek fan.

Realistically, it's not perfect. But realistically, what is? The authors try to make sense of the Daleks' convoluted time line, and do this reasonably well, even though they embellished a bit. And since I never tried to publish a book on this matter, my applause to them for trying.

Additionally, since there is some insight to some of the behind the scenes information on various episodes, I gained a further appreciation for them. For example, why was Terry Molloy's masque so different from the previous one? This has now been brought to light. And poor David Gooderson...

Aside from this, I thought the scattered info on Dalekmania was, well, too scattered, and would have rather have it presented it one lump sum. But the more I read this, the more I appreciated the fact that it was presented in a way that was specific to the era. And so again, I applaud the fact that they presented it this way. Nice gob gentlemen.

Although I would have loved to have more information on my favorite baddies, this is titled, "The Dalek Handbook," not "The Dalek Encyclopedia." So take it for what it is. That being, a quick reference guide with some really informative behind the scenes information. Ideally, I would have had the chapters as the individual stories, since the authors did use the chronological airing of the stories, and find an inventive way to explain certain discontinuities.
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