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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Kim Newman’s BFI TV Classic Series range book: Doctor Who. And it felt like an analysis of the programmes greatest hits. I was aware this would be for the journeyman fan rather than obsessives; covering an entire history of the programme till that point (2006) in only just over a hundred pages was unlikely to lead to an in-depth analysis of the series.

The first couple of chapters were not bad; Kim made some good but not revelatory points but after that, it seemed to just be a list of synopsis and titles strung together. After a while, it just seemed to whizz through later periods as if they were worth less attention. Distinctly average and probably not worth a second read. Shame really, I had hoped Kim could have done something a bit better as I had only heard his name mentioned in a complimentary tone.
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The Doctor's Monsters: Meanings of the Monstrous in Doctor Who Paperback – 30 Aug 2012
by Graham Sleight : http://www.amazon.co.uk/Doctors-Monster ... oks&sr=1-1

Where to begin? Well, the contents page is very oddly structured and the book only features a selection of monsters and villains. Although, I doubt a comprehensive edition could be done in a single volume. On top of this, the writing style is overly simplistic and boring. The author admits this is his first book but claims to have an extensive library. It seems strange to me that someone so, apparently, well read would produce something so tediously written.

However, my biggest gripe is that it just doesn't do what the title suggests which is to get under the skin of the creatures that plague the Doctor's life and expose their deeper meanings. Most of each chapter is little more than a synopsis followed by a few brief but obvious points that do not constitute much of an analysis of the Doctors foes at all. For example, Kroll would have been more intimidating and impressive if he had appeared bigger. The content of this book is just far too shallow.
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Somebody recommended Doctor Who: The Taking of Planet Five by S. Bucher-Jones and Doctor Who: The Writer's Tale by Russell T. Davies. Anyone know if they are any good?
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shuzbot wrote:Somebody recommended Doctor Who: The Taking of Planet Five by S. Bucher-Jones and Doctor Who: The Writer's Tale by Russell T. Davies. Anyone know if they are any good?
Taking of Planet 5 is an excellent book, but I think you need to have read Interference 1 & 2 first.
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koschei kriegsleiter wrote:
shuzbot wrote:Somebody recommended Doctor Who: The Taking of Planet Five by S. Bucher-Jones and Doctor Who: The Writer's Tale by Russell T. Davies. Anyone know if they are any good?
Taking of Planet 5 is an excellent book, but I think you need to have read Interference 1 & 2 first.
Thanks, that's very helpful! :)
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shuzbot wrote:Doctor Who: The Writer's Tale by Russell T. Davies. Anyone know if they are any good?
I read the paperback version which has extra material, I found the book fascinating.
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Why was another thread created? There's already a thread called "WHAT BOOK ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING" or some such loud title, can these threads be merged?
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I think that one is general, i.e. anything you happen to be reading (e.g. "Scientific American" in my case) while this one is specifically about Dr Who-related books, magazines etc.
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LizR wrote:I think that one is general, i.e. anything you happen to be reading (e.g. "Scientific American" in my case) while this one is specifically about Dr Who-related books, magazines etc.
Oh right, thanks for clarifying
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Allons-y wrote:
LizR wrote:I think that one is general, i.e. anything you happen to be reading (e.g. "Scientific American" in my case) while this one is specifically about Dr Who-related books, magazines etc.
Oh right, thanks for clarifying
Glad to be of service :D
"[this story] dates from the period in which science fiction fans did not take themselves quite so seriously as nowadays, and those who made religion from an enthusiasm were generally mocked for it." -- Michael Moorcock, from the introduction to "Elric at the End of Time" (1983). Lucky that comment could never be applied to modern SF fans... :roll:

My crosswords are on my homepage & Android phones - install Alphacross and select "Māyā's Cryptic Puzzles" :D
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I'm currently re-reading The Power of the Daleks by John Peel, I bought the book on eBay about five or six years ago and haven't read it since then so I decided I'd give it another read seen as I enjoyed it greatly the first time round. Although Power is probably my favourite ever Doctor Who story I think Peel did a better job of adapting The Evil of the Daleks, another story I highly regard. There's nothing wrong with the book, which is very good, but it doesn't really have any "stylistic flourishes" or touches that I believe were present in his Evil adaptation, it also didn't flow quite as well as Evil, but I'm being a bit nit-picky here. There's one thing I certainly don't like about this though and it's that The Doctor at the end of the second chapter (I think?) and at the end of his regeneration announces to his companions that he is The Doctor, "The stranger drew himself up to his full height, I am the Doctor, he announced." this is what it says in the book but if I'm right I don't think he ever actually tells them that he is the Doctor in the TV story and instead he dodges the question which is nice and gives the whole first few episodes of the story a mysterious and dangerous edge which is sort of taken away by this, Ben still mistrusts him though for a large bit of the book which is good as it's this mistrust of the man who says he's the Doctor and the Doctor trying to win the trust of his companions that adds a great layer to the story and is one of the reasons why it's the best post-regeneration stories and why it is my favourite story of all time.

In many post-regeneration stories companions either quickly accept that he's the Doctor (Robot) or The Doctor doesn't have any companions so there is no one who is there to mistrust him (Spearhead). Regeneration is something that has become to familiar to the audience now and that's a great shame as it has the potential to be something quite scary and traumatic which it is in this story and which it should be in my opinion.

Anyway I haven't finished re-reading the book yet but I am enjoying it and of course I am it's my favourite story ever and nothing can change how good I think The Power of the Daleks is.
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I bought about a dozen or so cheap bin Titan Doctor Who comics.

Some are good, some are not. I prefer by far any story that features television Doctors and companions so with that bias in mind I found the stories with those elements quite enjoyable to read. The others not only suffered from the new companion syndrome, they went even further than on television if it were possible in making those stories about the companions and not the Doctor. To have a tie in publication blazoned with DOCTOR WHO and then to bait and switch with what seemed to be very generic and un-Doctory characters and story seems the height of pointlessness.

Its probably a licensing nightmare (why?) but adapting cherished Big Finish stories into comic book form would appeal more than some of these.


I am also re-reading the 'About Time' series. As much for the hilariously inept attempts at science in the commentary as anything else.
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Just finished TARDIS Eruditorum 6 - so all caught up there.

Started Red Dwarf - "Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers" yesterday.
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Whotopia Issue 30 - it's free to download, https://whotopiamagazine.wordpress.com/ ... le-dec-11/

Rather good Peter Davison Interview and it reviews the Black Archive books.
Will work for Rumours.
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Also been reading Tardis Eruditorum 4. First one of these that I have read. I prefer the approach of Wood and Miles in the About Time series but his range also has its merits.
Will work for Rumours.
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Time and Relative Dissertations in Space - Taking a leaf out the Doctor's book and reading it out of order :P
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I started Tardis Eruditorum 3 before Christmas and I still haven't finished reading it. 4 was great and I don't dislike this one but am having a hard time really getting into it.
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I hope to be reading the Robert Banks Stewart book from Miwk tomorrow. Their books are marvellous works, so much love goes into the product.

I'll be popping into The Works to pick up Davison's autobiography tomorrow as well. I'm not keen on Davo, but it's only £6.
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Hartnell's Wig wrote:I hope to be reading the Robert Banks Stewart book from Miwk tomorrow. Their books are marvellous works, so much love goes into the product.

I'll be popping into The Works to pick up Davison's autobiography tomorrow as well. I'm not keen on Davo, but it's only £6.
There were some interesting excerpts from his book in DWM a while ago. I hope you are pleasantly surprised :)
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Anneke Wills - Self Portrait: Bloody hell, that's a depressing read. An abusive childhood; treated like sh*t by men and then finds Michael Gough dangling her child out a third-floor window! Other stuff happened but that mostly awful too. :(
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