What are you reading?

Discussion of Doctor Who books, from annuals to Target, Virgin and BBC Books to Fanzines and the official Doctor Who Magazine
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shuzbot
 
 
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Tardis Eruditorum 2, I started at 4 and now I am working my way back for some reason. I also read the Black Archive book for Scream of the Shalka which wasn't bad.
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shuzbot wrote:Tardis Eruditorum 2, I started at 4 and now I am working my way back for some reason. I also read the Black Archive book for Scream of the Shalka which wasn't bad.
Yeah I'm also on volume 2, they're great books and I've just read his entry for Evil of the Daleks and it brilliant! His essay on it probably adds to the enjoyment of that story (one of my all-time favourites!). He's right, Whitaker has to be the best writer for the Daleks in their whole history.
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TheDentistOfDavros wrote:
shuzbot wrote:Tardis Eruditorum 2, I started at 4 and now I am working my way back for some reason. I also read the Black Archive book for Scream of the Shalka which wasn't bad.
Yeah I'm also on volume 2, they're great books and I've just read his entry for Evil of the Daleks and it brilliant! His essay on it probably adds to the enjoyment of that story (one of my all-time favourites!). He's right, Whitaker has to be the best writer for the Daleks in their whole history.
Indeed, I am only just finished the Macra Terror essay. I need to do some catching up. Can't say I agree with his comparison between Davros' virus moment and the 'Nothing in ze world can stop me know' bit in UWM. Davros contemplated the Doctor's suggestion of a virus but it implies (to me at least) that he would somehow exclude himself and his Daleks, whereas, blowing up the planet you are on when you don't have access to space travel doesn't. Plus Davros isn't camp. I do like that Sandifer's books are so full of ideas even if I don't always agree with them. :)
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TheDentistOfDavros
 
 
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shuzbot wrote:
TheDentistOfDavros wrote:
shuzbot wrote:Tardis Eruditorum 2, I started at 4 and now I am working my way back for some reason. I also read the Black Archive book for Scream of the Shalka which wasn't bad.
Yeah I'm also on volume 2, they're great books and I've just read his entry for Evil of the Daleks and it brilliant! His essay on it probably adds to the enjoyment of that story (one of my all-time favourites!). He's right, Whitaker has to be the best writer for the Daleks in their whole history.
Indeed, I am only just finished the Macra Terror essay. I need to do some catching up. Can't say I agree with his comparison between Davros' virus moment and the 'Nothing in ze world can stop me know' bit in UWM. Davros contemplated the Doctor's suggestion of a virus but it implies (to me at least) that he would somehow exclude himself and his Daleks, whereas, blowing up the planet you are on when you don't have access to space travel doesn't. Plus Davros isn't camp. I do like that Sandifer's books are so full of ideas even if I don't always agree with them. :)
Yeah I don't always agree with him either, in particular with his theory that The Chase is in fact a narrative collapse story. To be fair he did admit that he was being a bit sympathetic to it!
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shuzbot wrote:Time and Relative Dissertations in Space - Taking a leaf out the Doctor's book and reading it out of order :P
I shouldn't have done that because I had to put it down for a bit and forgot where I was.

Finished Andrew Cartmel's Script Doctor. It really was a day in the life of Doctor Who's script editor. The only thing I wasn't keen on was him moaning about the SFX and saying that the Doctor previously had just been a chump Time Lord.

What was really odd to me, though, was that he still seems to think all the writing (apart from Time and the Rani) was perfect. Most people would have loads of stuff they wanted to change.

Bloody good book, though. Genuinely funny and Cartmel has a wonderful, clear writing style.
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I bought a book for a quid, Made of Steel by Terrance Dicks from the Quick Reads range of Doctor Who books that were intended to promote reading and literacy among children as part of the BBC RaW (reading and writing) Campaign. It was published in 2007 and is only 99 pages long. I am a bit pushed for time and it is nice to have a quick easy read for the hectic periods in our lives. I started reading Target books when I was at school and Doctor Who was taken off the air and they were a definite boost so I am really glad that someone somewhere felt the same and that the program hopefully had a positive effect on people's lives.

It is a shame then that this is such a poorly printed book. There are whole lines of text that make certain bits hard to discern and interrupt any momentum from chapter five onwards. I can only guess what young children must have thought reading this at the time. Imagine how trying to return a book that had words missing? "I am sorry but I want a refund because some of the words are missing," you would sound like a right nutter!

The basic premise that after the tenth Doctor sealed the Cybermen into the void a few stragglers have escaped and are trying to locate the Doctor by staging robberies to gather the equipment required so they can free their brethren and attract the Doctor's attention as his assistance is vital.

I am only halfway through but Dicks biggest strength also seems to be his weakness. The dialogue for the Doctor and Martha really summons their voices but the Cybermen's dialogue is awkward and a bit clumsy. Not much has happened in terms of the narrative, despite being halfway through the book, as Dicks is just manoeuvring the characters to where he wants them. Oddly, the second chapter seems to be filler - in a 99-page book? Plus the Cybermen seem to have some strange technology that allows them to locate the Doctor's twin heart beat but not know exactly where he is! I find the idea of technology that powerful yet still inadequate rather puzzling.

Only halfway through but it's an odd little book...
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Actually, the seem to aimed at adults with literacy issues: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quick_Reads_Initiative
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Read Tardis Eruditorum 5 the other week, still haven't read 1 yet. 6 is massive, I think I will save that for Christmas. I recently bought Madman in a Box: The Social History of Doctor Who by David Johnson from Telos cos it's only 174 pages and looks rather interesting. :)

Read Kate Orman's Black Archive entry for Pyramids of Mars. The beginning was a tad boring but it picked up. Now reading the Evil of the Daleks one which is soooo much better!
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‘Madman in a Box: The Social History of Doctor Who’ is listed as 174 pages, but unless you are going to read the bibliography it’s actually 162 pages which makes the £12 price of a printed edition rather exorbitant.

It reads like it was written by a history professor because it was. The word remarkable is on the first page of the introduction six times and then twice more at the top of the following page. He even links back to ‘remarkable’ at the beginning of the conclusion. A lot of the opening sentences are observations that are so obvious they are patronising. The beginning of the Gender, Science and Society chapter begins by informing the reader that since the beginning The Doctor has travelled with a companion and most of them have been female. Before then informing us, just so we are under no illusion, that some of the Doctor’s companions have been male! *Gasp*

His reading of the programme is often overly literal and often when he gets to an interesting point he avoids it but uses the footnotes to point the reader in the direction of the scholarly works of Adorno and Kracauer. How is an explanation of the methodology the book is based on beyond the remit of the introduction? It’s not like the book is particularly long or that the author doesn’t have a habit of wasting ink on explaining the obvious.

The prose style is unengaging and has some terribly knotty sentences. Did I mention this was written by a history professor?
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The Inner World of Doctor Who: Psychoanalytic Reflections in Time and Space (The Psychoanalysis and Popular Culture Series)

This book focuses on a selection of episodes from the new series of Doctor Who. As it was published in 2013, this predates series 8 and later. The book sets out to deal with the emotional beats of Doctor Who through the lens of psychoanalysis, which is odd considering the dispassionate tone of the book.

The prose style is dry and there is a synopsis of each story at the beginning of each chapter and discussion of another story. In the preface, they say this is a necessary residual effect of critical readings. And that is true, but this is tedious for people who are extremely familiar with the show. Who else is going to buy this book? It would have been very simple to break the descriptive parts up and only include what was necessary to support the observations of the authors.

As for the psychoanalytic side, they describe most concepts using plain language. I realise this isn't necessarily intended as an educational book but I would have liked to have learned something about the subject. This makes it slightly awkward discerning what is the author's opinion and what is psychoanalytical observation.

Tarvis Langley's anthology of essays 'Doctor Who Psychology: A Madman with a Box' is much more enjoyable and informative.

The Greatest Show in the Galaxy: The Discerning Fans Guide to Doctor Who
by Marc Schuster and Tom Powers


It's such an odd book. It can be engaging but can also veer off into irrelevance. The author has a tendency to use quotes from literary theorists like Barthes or Saussure when the ideas could be expressed in plain simple English and often the points feel tacked on. Also, the relevance of Hegelian dialectics is never explained, just thrown in.

As an academic analysis, it is deeply flawed. The psychology chapter focuses almost solely on Freud, the largely debunked Victorian - with no mention of Jung, Lacan, Adler, or Maslow. And yet, Doctor Who is often filled with Jungian archetypes.

The chapter on linguistics fails to mention the debate of linguistic relativity. The idea that without having a word for something one cannot have an idea for something; though it does become a chicken-and-the-egg argument: Which comes first? The word, the idea?

Not sure I would recommend this.
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Currently reading Doctor Who and the Crusaders by David Whitaker. It’s not nearly as engaging as my previous read (Marco Polo by John Lucarotti).

Next up is the Doctor Who Programme Guide Volumes 1 and 2.
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Doctor Who Scratchman by some dude called Tom Baker (and James Goss).

Never heard of him, but quite a talent I believe.
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The Wife in Space: The Miserable Git

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/249 ... erable-git

Find that I keep dipping into these a lot on the kindle - and laughing out loud at some of the quips at our beloved show's expense.

The Wife and Blake ones I enjoy too.
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