Doctor Who: The Complete Series by Mark Campbell (book review).

May 27, 2014 | By | Reply More

A great title, ‘Doctor Who: The Complete Guide’ but no one book is ever quite going to cover the whole of ‘Doctor Who’, especially as they keep making new episodes these days and this is already a revised edition after two years, being released in December 2013. So is this guide worth reading?


The book is 257 pages long with a quite short index which refers to mostly episodes and some enemies of the Doctor. There are sections on the episodes that go up to the Big Bang and presumably may be republished if there is sufficient demand. Other sections cover other mediums such as audios, books and other spin-offs.

This is essentially a series guide and this time it’s personal, in the same manner that we’ve seen before in unauthorised guides with its own opinion of all the available series from the last 50 years. It has some nice little snippets, like the Nit Pickers Guides including the cast and trivia-the sort of inside information that is often added along the bottom of the screen when watching DVDs and it also sums up the overall story both the plot and realisation.

Mark Campbell is a fan but he is also honest and, in places, scathing but we all need to take the blinkers off when it comes to sacred cows if that’s not too many mixed metaphors. At the time Campbell wrote the forward, the new ‘Doctor Who’ was having a wobble and, to some extent, it is until Peter Capaldi comes and makes it all right again.

What the ‘Guide’ offers to those who might be thinking of completion or revisiting past series is a very concise opinion on whether it’s a good idea to watch or just forget it. He gives marks out of 10 and he is like a ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ judge (or ‘Dancing With The Stars’ for you US readers) and he does not give points willingly. As I said, I think he is genuine and candid and as noted in the forward by renowned writer Kim Newman we have to be honest and admit ‘Doctor Who’ doesn’t always come up smelling of rose-coloured spectacles.

‘Doctor Who’ continues to intrigue and irritate in equal measure and, much like the Premier League, everyone has an opinion and they all think they could run it better than anyone who is actually in charge. This book may do the same and it’s up to you whether you call Campbell out but hey he got into print and you didn’t.

This is a useful guide and it’s good to compare your own opinion with someone else and all without getting into a fight in the pub.

Sue Davies

May 2014

(pub: Constable Robinson. 257 page indexed small enlarged paperback. Price: £ 6.99 (UK). ISBN: 978-1-84901-587-5)

check out website: www.constablerobinson.com

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Category: Books, Doctor Who

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