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Doctor Who Encyclopedia (New Edition) Hardcover – October 13, 2011

4.8 out of 5 stars 57 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Gary Russell has done an insane amount of work to bring all this together and for that he deserves the thanks of every parent whose bright nine-year-old wants the answer to specific Who-related questions,Lavishly illustrated with photographs and artwork, this is the definition of ‘in-depth’. There is nothing left out.

About the Author

Gary Russell is one of the script editing team for Doctor Who, Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Adventures, and the author of many novels and reference books in the Doctor Who range. A former editor of Doctor Who Magazine, he also was the producer of Doctor Who audio dramas for Big Finish Productions for eight years. He lives in Cardiff.
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Product Details

  • Series: Doctor Who (Book 158)
  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: BBC Books; 1St Edition edition (October 13, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1849902313
  • ISBN-13: 978-1849902311
  • Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 1.2 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #340,407 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Karen F. Blocher on March 10, 2008
Format: Hardcover
(Please note that Doctor Who Encyclopedia (New Edition) has now replaced the edition I originally reviewed. This is a good thing.)

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.
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Format: Hardcover
As another reviewer has noted, this encyclopedia focuses virtually exclusively on the adventures of the "new" Doctors from the series reboot, covering Eccleston's single season and Tennant's first two. It's very handsomely illustrated with numerous color photos and packed with short and pithy entries and character biographies. It is NOT an episode guide, so be certain you know that you're getting a quick reference manual and not detailed synopses and reviews.

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.
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Format: Hardcover
I loved this book. I read a little at a time when I am in between things. It is great for the current Doctor Who fan or for anyone who would like to get into the show.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is a handy reference to the series as far as the 9th, 10th, and 11th Doctors are concerned. It goes all the way from "Rose" to "The Wedding of River Song". It has entries for every character that appears in the new series, and cites each episode and special related to each entry. The book is also a good reference if you want information on things you might have missed watching the episode. For instance, the entry on the Time War is very good.

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.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you have a child like mine who will quite happily spend hours discussing Doctor Who's pasts, present and futures, then this tome is a perfect way to satisfy their hunger for all things Whovian while literally buying you a moment's peace.
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Format: Hardcover
The good:
Book is large, with glossy pages and full of colored photos. Tabbed colors on crisp edges indicate letters to thumb through to get to exact letter for reference. The photos are worrisome, as there are no captions to guide you if you are unfamiliar with a specific entry. There's a coding system in place to tell you the season and episode. This book focuses only on the new series of Who; classic Who seems to be ignored quite a bit. In all, learning a lot about the series.

The bad: the book binding itself. It's glued to spine and already falling apart. Now everyone whom has owned a hardcover book before should know there is a proper and specific way to open hardcovers, as to ripen the spine and not quickly jolt it. This will cause breakage and such. I barely touched the book and it clearly has a gaping hole when viewed from top that my fingernail can slip under between board and glued spine. Ridiculous. No way should I still be smelling a book so well in its newness and a binding come apart like this.

So, good book. Bad...well bad binding.
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