Through Time: An Unauthorised and Unofficial History of Doctor Who
The quirky British television series Doctor Who is a classic both of science fiction and television drama. First broadcast in 1963, it has remained an influential TV presence ever since, with an eagerly anticipated new series airing in 2005.
As a vehicle for satire, social commentary, or sheer fantasy adventure, Doctor Who is unparalleled. It was a show created for children, but it was immediately usurped by adults. Arriving at a time of upheaval in the popular arts in Britain, Doctor Who was born into a television tradition influenced by the TV plays of Dennis Potter, the cult television drama The Prisoner, the James Bond films and Stanley Kubrick's science fiction triptych Dr Strangelove, 2001: A Space Odyssey and A Clockwork Orange.
A British fantasy adventure that has unfolded across television screens over decades in the tradition of Lewis Carroll, Conan Doyle and HG Wells, the strength of Doctor Who has always been its writers and the ideas they nurtured. In this new history of the show, Andrew Cartmel (who was the script editor on Doctor Who from 1987 to 1990) looks into its social and cultural impact - providing a fascinating read for committed and casual fans alike.
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LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - LibraryThing
I found this book rather annoying in its tone. Cartmel clearly sees a wide gap between most classic Who and his own conceptions. He slights Who traditions/classic SF cliches such as separation of the Doctor and companion early in the story, separation from the TARDIS, or plot McGuffins, yet thinks the cliched supercomputer in The Green Death to be one of the best villains. He is obsessed with the notion that the character of the Doctor must be utterly central and uneclipsed in any way by any superior character or race. This is understandable after the marginalisation of the Doctor in some Colin Baker stories, but he carries it too far and this clearly resulted in the overblown Cartmel "masterplan" designed to restore some mystery and almost God-like significance to the central character. His section on missing episodes is full of hindsight judgements. He rather immaturely implies that those responsible for their destruction are Nazis. He gets some basic facts wrong, such as saying that the first Quatermass serial was a victim of this policy (it was in fact broadcast live and most episodes never recorded in the first place, so never existed to be destroyed). How can you trust the view of someone who thinks City of Death is dull and overlong?;)
Review: Through Time: An Unauthorised and Unofficial History of Doctor WhoUser Review - David - Goodreads
Cartmel comes from an enthusiast's POV without being a fanboy. He is happy to identify legitimate weaknesses in old stories (including those he worked on) but gives plenty of credit where it's due. Quite a cute read at times. Read full review
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