Yes I know that the “celebration” for the first 50 years of Doctor Who has pretty much settled down now but the talk is still there and let’s just be honest with our little whoivan hearts, I still geek out about it. We’ve done the specials (tv and theater), got our new Doctor, read all the articles and the blogs, got our anniversary Doctor Who swag on, some of us has had our chats at work and on Facebook about what we liked and didn’t like and what we expect (I happen to work with some pretty awesome nerds and we get our geek on at work). But let’s face it we (I) still get the urge for more.
With my Doctor Who obsession I am also a major nerd which means I LOVE books. So when I get the chance to have both together, I can’t resist. On one of my trips to the local bookstore I came across a book Treasures from the First 50 Years Doctor Who: The Vault written by Marcus Hearn and foreword by Steven Moffat. Now at the first glance of this book I was excited front to back it is gorgeous (and yes I am going to talk about the cover of this book) TARDIS blue and silver sorry, but yes it is pretty.
If you are a Doctor Who fan (which I am sure you are if you’re reading this) or a collector of things related to Doctor Who, this is the book for you. This is the full and official story of Doctor Who, from pre-production memos in 1963 to behind-the -scenes material from the latest season. Like we all know there is no central archive of Doctor Who’s props, costumes, merchandise and other ephemera. The Vault is a journey through the greatest Doctor Who museum that basically there never was.
Steven Moffat who I am sure we all have a love hate relationship with at this point in time, the foreword that he has written for this book is beyond amazing seriously by the time I read it I didn’t need anything else I got my fix I was done lol. I’ve read it several times and still enjoy reading it. The layout of this book is fantastic, each chapter is equal to a year in the shows history, or longer for the periods when the show was off the air. The chapter introductions set the scene for the chapter and the pictures (and their captions) tell the linear story of Doctor Who during the time frame. Each chapter includes box-outs featuring titles, credits, production and broadcast dates for all the canonical stories in that year. Writers, directors, and producers for each episode are also listed along with the date and or dates of the first UK broadcast. For those of us who like knowing who wrote a certain episode and who directed it, this is our cheaters guide.
Now what I loved and found interesting is that in each chapter (during that year of Doctor Who) the pictures are amazing. They aren’t just these blah blah pictures but they are actual sketches of costume and set designs, pre-production memo’s and other memorabilia throughout the 50 years, with captains letting you know who, what, and when. And yes you can read the memo’s that have been written before the beginning of it all, my favorite being the one in the first chapter describing “the ship” and “Dr.Who” about how he got the name Doctor Who (which is a no-no in whoivan land, it’s the Doctor we all know that) . But just the intent of how they seen him then compared to how we see him today is pretty damn awesome.
This book is a must have for any Doctor Who fan whether old or new you need this for your collection. And if you don’t have a collection this is a good place to start. This is Doctor Who history that you cannot find anywhere else.