Doctor Who: Fifty Stories For Fifty Years – An Unauthorised Guide To The Highlights Of Doctor Who
In the lead up to the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who, music, politics and pop culture blogger Andrew Hickey wrote 50 essays about the show, each one focusing on a different year in the show’shistory. I was most interested in the essays about the post-1989 pre-2005 time in Who history when there was no TV show being made, during which fans and creators continued to tell Doctor Who stories in novels, comics, fan-made videos and audio plays (it’s interesting to see how many of the authors – and even how many of the ideas – from that time have turned up as major players in the making of the current version of the show).
Sometimes close reading of pop culture reveals the subject of its investigation to be insubstantial and incapable of standing up to such analysis, but this collection doesn’t quite fall into that trap. Sure, it probably thinks about its subject a little too deeply, but Hickey’s prose is engaging and compelling and never too opaque (though I may be coming from a sympathetic perspective since I’m already a long-standing fan of the show in all its iterations).
Hickey’s enthusiasm obviously lies with the “classic” 1963-1989 version of the show, and he also demonstrates affection for the spin-off comics, novels and audio plays, but even though he’s clearly down on New Who, he has interesting things to say about the show’s current incarnation as well. As I read through this book I put together a list of episodes, comics, novels and audio plays to dig up and/or rewatch, and I’m going to enjoy working through that list with Hickey’s thoughts and interpretations in mind.
This is a great intro for people fans of the show who are interested in taking the plunge into the deeper levels of who fandom.
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