Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Doctor Who: The Episode Guide Review

Written by Mark Campbell
Foreward by Kim Newman

6th Edition, published 2010

Mark Campbell’s sixth edition of the Doctor Who Episode Guide is exactly the same as the previous five, except now we have Matt Smiths’ first series included. For those of you who luckily don’t own a copy, Campbell lists every story of Doctor Who, accompanied by cast/crew, broadcast date, synopsis, a tiny review (sometimes containing just three words) and a rating out of ten.

This is a technique that gets very old, especially for fans that know this information better than their own mother and don’t really care about some guys (poor I might add) opinions. Pot, kettle, black, I know, but I’m not getting a book published over other fans who I’m sure have better ways of producing this book.

Saying this, however, it is interesting to see some of the ratings and views of Campbell as it’s always fun to see new sides to the story but giving views such as “Utter drivel, 2/10” followed by an afterward saying he loves every Doctor Who story ever is a little ridiculous. I’m glad he doesn’t give a 0/10 to anything, but I don’t understand how he gives ‘Utopia/The Sound Of Drums/Last Of The Time Lords’ a 2 whereas he’s happy to give an 8 to the Paul McGann movie.

The £12.99 burden this book brings is pathetic, I always find the updated edition in a cheap book shop for a couple quid, which, despite all it’s bad qualities, is a worthy price and a decent buy for that.

The pages following the afterward are just a waste and complete filler. Campbell decides to list every audio CD and novel but gives no information bar title, author and rating. What’s the point? It does prove good for a list for fans trying to collect everything, however, and the book is only good for crossing off the merchandise as you acquire it.

Surprisingly, I would definitely recommend this book to very new fans, but, then again, all the information it contains is available on the BBC’s official website as well as Wikipedia, amongst others. Kim Newman’s introduction is catchy though.

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