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Publisher's Summary

Premiering the day after the JFK assassination, Doctor Who humbly launched one of the entertainment world's first super-brands. We begin with a look at TV programming of the day and the original pitch documents before delving into the Daleks, which almost didn't make the cut but inspired many monsters to follow.

After three years, First Doctor William Hartnell left, prompting the BBC to recast their hit rather than end it, giving us the first "regeneration" and making TV history. We follow the succession of Doctors - including Third Doctor Jon Pertwee, exiled to Earth and targeted by the Master - and see how the program reflected the feminism of the 1970s while gaining mainstream popularity with Fourth Doctor Tom Baker…until declining support from the BBC eventually led to cancelation. Fan outcry saved the series, only for it to suffer a repeat cancelation. Yet many continued to enjoy the "Whoniverse" in syndication, novels, audio dramas, and Doctor Who magazine.

Paul McGann impressed many as the Eighth Doctor in a 1996 TV movie, but it failed to reignite the series. A new age dawned in 2005 with Ninth Doctor Christopher Eccleston and a serious special effects budget before Tenth Doctor David Tennant helped rocket the series to international popularity and a new era of spinoffs. With Eleventh Doctor Matt Smith, the show became a bona fide success in America. For the program's fiftieth anniversary, Peter Capaldi became the Twelfth Doctor, ushering in yet another era for our unstoppable Time Lord.

Featuring discussions of concepts and characters, with insights from producers, writers, and actors from across the years, here is a rich, behind-the-camera investigation into the dazzling multiverse of Doctor Who.

©2013 Alan Kistler (P)2013 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved.

Critic Reviews

"The world would be a poorer place without Doctor Who."(Steven Spielberg)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

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Not a Good Reference, a Good Springboard

This is not an encyclopedia of all Doctor Who incarnations, companions and villains. It is a brief history of the Doctor both on-screen and off-screen from the beginning, focusing especially on the politics behind the scenes.

There is an entire chapter on the Daleks, and an emphasis on Gallifrey. As a viewer of the modern series with no knowledge of the classic Doctors, this was a brilliant journey through time (pun intended) which helped me appreciate the show even more.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Bradford
  • Omaha, NE, United States
  • 11-20-13

A wonderful, comprehensive history for any Whovian

This book is a great and thorough introduction to the development, history, story lines and the cast/crew behind the show. I thought I knew a lot about the show. By the end of the second chapter I knew I was going to learn much more. And I did! This book has tons of small stories and "sidebars" about various aspects of the show's plot lines, characters, and focused on the major figures of the show with shocking honesty. Quotes from the show's producers and actors provide the book with a wonderful, unquestionable authenticity. Does the book cover every story about the show? No, but what single novel could? What is perhaps most wonderful about this book is that it is 100% up-to-date at the time I read it (November 2013). I know that details that had come out just this year were included in the history of the whole show, showing deliberate links between the modern and classic versions. Kistler is an adequate narrator. As the writer he did a great job gathering all the information, interviews, quotes and details together into a very easy to listen narrative that added significantly to my knowledge and appreciation of one of my favorite TV shows of all time. A must read for any fan of the show who'd like to learn more about the show and the decisions that made it what it was and is.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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It's bigger on the inside

This book is s great resource for both old and new whovian fans. Gaining back to the inception of the show the early days, the highlight times of Tom Baker the years in the wilderness to the new series debut. Some of it old news but new insights abound.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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A great overview strong on Classic Who

If you're relatively new to the franchise A History will give you a great overview of both the on-screen and behind-the-scenes story of Classic Who. If you're a fan of Classic Who, this book may have a lot of new trivia about dismissed creative ideas, personality conflicts, reversals, etc. of great interest to you. I found it to be weakest in terms of New Who, with the basic story of the production already widely distributed through official channels and the juicier, more detailed gossip still kept tightly under wraps. There was almost nothing about New Who that was new to me, making this a good record for the future but a better take on Classic Who for now.

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Very Enlightening

This was actually my first audible book! I got this only a couple years after first getting into Doctor Who and I felt it really allowed me to catch up on all that I missed during the history of the first 11 doctors. Highly recommended!

Audible 20 Review Sweepstakes Entry

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Clumsy presentation

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

Accuracy. Along about the third time I heard 'Quatermass' incorrectly pronounced as 'Quartermass,' I had no confidence in the research of the product. Given such an error on a formative genre trilogy, it bodes ill for the material to come.

What could Alan Kistler have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

Recheck and correct errors.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful