Space Helmet for a Cow, by Paul Kirkley

Yet another history-of-Doctor-Who book, but one with a difference: rather than analysing the stories for content or cultural context, Kirkley tells the story from the production point of view, including inside details of how each Doctor was hired and how each departed, and what the background mood music was like in the production team. I knew some of this but by no means all, and the full gory details of the friction between Eric Saward and John Nathan-Turner really made my jaw drop. The whole is written in a breezy style, with invented conversations jostling with real interview material (the difference clearly signalled in that the real quotes are given proper citations). I think it ends up being rather a good gateway drug for those who think they might want to read more about Who but aren’t sure where to start – the end points, obviously, being Wood and Miles’ About Time series and Philip Sandifer’s TARDIS Eruditorum. And even those of us who thought we knew it all may get some surprises. This volume covers all of Old Who; I will get the second volume, which apparently starts with Dimensions in Time.