The Doctor – His Lives and Times, by James Goss and Steve Tribe

Second paragraph of Third Doctor section (presented as the Brigadier’s memoirs):

Memory is odd (says he, writing his memoirs) but in some ways my recollections of my years with UNIT’s infuriating scientific adviser are sharper than my time in Peru, or even my recent visit in the Black Archive with Sarah Jane Smith (of whom, more anon, I’ll bet).

One of the glossy volumes produced by the BBC in the run-up to the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who – and isn’t it weird that we’ll get to the 60th anniversary next year? This is really very nice indeed. For each Doctor, we get an account of the TV stories written from the perspective of one or more of the characters – Susan, Ian Chesterton, the Brigadier, occasionally the Doctor himself – combined with a collage of other mocked-up material, of which one of my favourites is this Salamander election poster:

Each chapter then includes a box on the lead actor, and an assembly of quotes about the making of the show from those who were involved. There are also a few short commentaries on individual stories by guest commentators, most of whom have strong connections with the show, the exception being Sir Tim Berners-Lee on The War Machines. As my regular reader knows, I rate James Goss very highly as one of the best Who writers, and this really doesn’t disappoint. It’s the sort of thing that could, perhaps, be easily updated to include the next ten years and two Doctors for 2023; and would it be too much to hope that such an update could also include Torchwood, the Sarah Jane Adventures and Class?

You can get it here (really cheaply).

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