A review by sfian
Doctor Who: A Celebration - Two Decades Through Time and Space by Peter Haining


I suppose it's inevitable that a book written nearly forty years ago, for the then twentieth anniversary of Doctor Who is now more of an historical document. Things have moved on - there have been multiple single episode stories, at least a partial return to historical and, quite frankly, Jon Nathan-Turner's assertion that there will never be a female Doctor is ludicrous based on current events.

Still, taken in the context of when it was written, this is an informative tome. Even the story guide section, which I mistakenly assumed would just be a brief guide to the stories themselves, turned out to be a minor minefield of facts, many of which I had forgotten (I first read this book on publication).

The essays by the five actors to have, at the time, played the Doctor, as well as various people involved in the making of the show, are nicely done, being their own words rather than interview-fed replies. (The late Hartnell is represented by quotations.) The history of the show, perhaps brief, is informative but, I have to say, the short diversion into the actual science of time travel left me scratching my head.

There are lists (episodes which exist in the archives, Target novelisations, etc) but not many. There are a couple of printing mistakes and the whole thing is written in quite "stiff upper lip" style that, perhaps, reflects the age of the book, but these are minor distractions.