Click here to return to the main site.

Book Review

Book Cover

The Unofficial and Unauthorised Guide to Doctor Who Continuity
Volume Two


Author: Jon Preddle
Telos Publishing
RRP: £15.99, US $29.95
ISBN: 978 1 84583 005 2
Available 24 March 2011

More than fifteen years in the making, Timelink offers a different perspective on the history of the universe as told through the many adventures of the Doctor. Author Jon Preddle presents fresh theories and solutions to some of the many continuity anomalies and discrepancies in the series. Volume Two contains a complete and detailed timeline of every one of the Doctor’s on-screen exploits from 1963 to 2009, featuring notes on where the TARDIS lands, the duration of events, links between stories, unseen adventures, and every element of continuity seen and revealed along the way. This is a project that no self-respecting fan of Doctor Who can be without...

This is the second of two volumes of an updated edition of Jon Preddle’s exhaustive analysis of Doctor Who continuity. Whereas Volume One is structured thematically into chapters, Volume Two comprises a story-by-story analysis of the television show.

Each story entry contains observations on such matters as alien and foreign languages (which are usually presented in English for the benefit of the audience, often - but not always - via the Doctor’s telepathic “Time Lord gift”); the date(s) of the events; and the duration of the adventure. When there are links to other adventures, such as a continuation from the preceding episode, or references to other stories featuring a particular enemy or ally, these are highlighted, discussed and, if necessary, rationalised. References to unseen adventures are placed in their likely position between televised episodes.

Multi-Doctor stories such as The Three Doctors and The Five Doctors are listed several times, indicating their likely placement within each incarnation’s time-stream. The author argues convincingly against siting the Second Doctor’s involvement in The Two Doctors within the fan-theorised “Season 6B”, instead placing it between The Web of Fear and Fury from the Deep.

As this is a continuity guide, not every kind of nit-pick is covered here. For example, numerous examples of dodgy science in Doctor Who, such as the Cybermen’s ionisation of a distant star somehow managing to divert the course of meteorites within our solar system in The Wheel in Space, are overlooked. In such instances we must just assume that the physical laws of the Doctor Who universe differ from those of our own. However, historical events depicted in the show are compared with those of “our” Earth, and many other oddities are resolved - even the Doctor’s apparent address to the audience in The Feast of Steven!

At the end of the book is a timeline, listing every episode of Doctor Who, Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Adventures (up to 2009) in chronological order in terms of universal history, should you wish to embark upon watching them in that sequence.

Unfortunately for Preddle, the Doctor Who universe keeps on expanding. At the time of his original 2000 edition, there hadn’t been a new television episode since 1996. With the show back in more or less continuous production since 2005, there hasn’t been a convenient cut-off point in recent years, so this book contains only a brief overview of David Tennant’s final specials and Matt Smith’s first season. Given their release date, it’s a shame that these books couldn’t at least reach the end of the Tennant era. Hopefully Timelink will be updated again before too long.

It’s worth mentioning that you really do need to own both volumes. Although it would be possible to read and understand only one of them, the frequent cross-references from one to the other could get rather frustrating. Still, I’m sure that flipping between two volumes is more convenient than trying to handle one enormous 1250-page tome!

Owing to its episodic structure, Volume Two of Timelink inevitably makes for bittier reading than its more thematic companion. However, at 700 pages it’s the lengthier of the two, so you get plenty of Who for your money. That should help to pass the time.


Richard McGinlay

Buy this item online

We compare prices online so you get the cheapest deal
Click on the logo of the desired store below to purchase this item.

£15.99 (
£20.50 (
£15.99 (
£28.50 (
$19.99 (

All prices correct at time of going to press.