Ultimate Doctor Who guide takes Whovians across the universe and back

Review by C.J. Bunce

Rarely does a book’s title so aptly describe its content.  Doctor Who: The Book of Whoniversal Records (Official Timey-Wimey Edition) is exactly right–a play on The Guinness Book of World Records–it is an ambitious achievement that could only be done for Doctor Who, a series whose time traveler hero has charted records across the universe like no other character in any franchise.  In this 55th year of the Doctor, Simon Guerrier (probably the person who knows Doctor Who front to back the best) combines a TV series encyclopedia and world almanac with the ultimate trivia source to create a worthy TARDIS ride with all the Doctors through their greatest feats, strangest encounters, their firsts, bests, biggests, and mosts.  It answers almost any question you could have about the last of the Time Lords and his (soon to be her) interesting adventures.

Guerrier, co-author of Whographica: An Infographic Guide to Space and Time and The Scientific Secrets of Doctor Who for BBC Books, and one of our favorite writers of Doctor Who books, comics, audio plays (his new tales of the Doctors have been performed by Doctor Who actors including Sylvester McCoy and Freema Agyeman), and even documentaries, simply soars through the history of the 12 Doctors and the War Doctor, providing significant coverage of each Doctor, their companions, their greatest stories, and strangest encounters.  For the Doctor Who fan it makes for a great resource, too, complete with nicely indexed and detailed chapters and subjects to allow readers to easily jump back to topics of interest later.

Today is the last day to pre-order Doctor Who: The Book of Whoniversal Records (Official Timey-Wimey Edition) at a discount off the cover price–it arrives in bookstores and ships from online retailers tomorrow.

Check out this excerpt, courtesy of Harper Design:

The guidebook is primarily in-universe, but it also dips back into reality to discuss the actors and creation of the series.  Who do most actors who played the Doctor agree is their favorite Doctor?  Which Doctor performed his own stunts?  Who had the most dangerous stunt?  Which companion was featured in the most episodes?  Who was the Doctor in the most episodes, including audio versions?  But the book really digs in deep inside the Doctor Who mythos.  What is the most important lesson in cybernetics?  What is the largest lifeform encountered by the Doctor?  And how old is the Doctor and each of his incarnations anyway?  That question is not so easy to answer.  What makes the book accessible to those not familiar with Doctor Who are the Guinness Book types of questions of general applicability, the kinds of questions a reader could use to decide what story or episode a newby may want to investigate first.

The choice of photography is excellent and the full-color designs are attractive.  You may find yourself reading the book cover to cover in a single sitting, take it a chapter at a time, or jump back and forth to references to your favorite Doctor.  The book even adds a 12-page appendix of awards the series has earned in its 55 years.

This year will be a big year for Doctor Who.  With the passing of the torch from Peter Capaldi’s 12th Doctor (and David Bradley’s incredible interpretation of the First Doctor) to Jodie Whittaker’s 13th Doctor on last month’s Christmas Day Special, a new audience is expected to join current Whovians to see what Doctor Who is all about.

A blast for fans of the series and a great entry point for sci-fans new to Doctor Who, Doctor Who: The Book of Whoniversal Records (Official Timey-Wimey Edition) is available for pre-order now here at Amazon in paperback or here in hardcover.  It arrives in bookstores and online retailers January 2, 2018.

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