A Critical History of “Doctor Who” on Television

From Clockworks2
Jump to navigationJump to search

Muir, John Kenneth. A Critical History of “Doctor Who” on Television. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 1999. Paperback, 2008.

Reviewed by Karen Hellekson, SFRA Review #285 (Spring 2008): pp. 14-15.[1]

The book is divided into six large sections: “The History,” “Curriculum Vitae,” “The Series,” “Doctor Who Spin-offs,” “The Doctor Who Fan Matrix,” and a series of appendices. Notes (which seem all too brief) and an index are also included. The bulk of the text resides in part 3, “The Series,” which provides complete series information for all 26 seasons and 159 episodes of the original program, and this is where the interest in the book lies: as a reference guide to cast members and plot summaries. Black-and-white photographs of many subjects — from Doctor Who screen shots to movie stills to fan art to various actors in various roles — illustrate relevant factoids, but some of them seem to be a stretch. For example, the caption under a still from Quartermass and the Pit (TV version, 1958) indicates that Quartermass “is the spiritual ancestor” of the Third Doctor episode “The Daemons” (1971). The index is useful rather than exhaustive [...]. In his acknowledgments, Muir notes his debt to Jean-Marc Lofficier, Terrance Dicks, Jean Airey, and John Peel, and the factual information contained in reference works by these authors is repeated here, although it’s now all in one handy place. (Hellekson, p. 14)

Available for research on the various relevant episodes of Doctor Who, a number of which we cite, for which see link here.[2]

RDE, finishing, 11Jan21