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Book Review

Book Cover

Doctor Who
Character Encyclopedia (Hardback)


Authors: Jason Loborik, Annabel Gibson and Moray Laing
RRP: £12.99, US $16.99
ISBN: 978 1 40932 571 0
Available 02 April 2013

DK have a history of producing attractive looking books, usually aimed just above novice level on a number of subjects, both real and fictional. They add to this growing catalogue with the recent publication of Doctor Who Character Encyclopedia, written by Jason Loborik, Annabel Gibson and Moray Laing, a two hundred plus paged book detailing the Doctor, his companions and the heroes and villains he has met throughout his travels.

The book is probably best suited to a new, younger fan, who has grown up on the latest spate of Doctors and has an interest in dipping their toe into the longer history of the show. There is little here to interest long standing fans or those with a good working knowledge of the show's history.

In fact, the omissions may, for some, stand out more than the inclusions, poor old Anthony Ainley doesn’t even get a mention under the section for the Master. There are other oddities with Mary Tamm getting an almost full page picture and Lalla Ward getting one about an inch high, where she is mostly hidden behind Tom Baker.

I could go on, but that’s not really the purpose of the book and whilst there are omissions, there are no incorrect facts, as far as I could tell. The inclusion of Peter Cushing is still contentious amongst fans as being Dr Who and even were it not, the big BBC logo on the tome indicates that there would have been some licencing issues if he were included.

The format follows that of many DK books. Pages have the name of the character at the top, the subtext indicating their role in the show, below which there is an almost full page and, in most cases, full length picture of the character, around which small pieces of text tells you something about them.

Most pages also contain one or two smaller pictures, which help to break up the text. There are annotations to the pictures, most of which state the bleeding obvious. So, if they are wearing a white robe you have a dubiously helpful annotation telling you it’s a white robe, as if actually being able to see the thing for yourself wasn’t enough.

Overall, it’s bright and light and would probably be just the right sort of introduction for a young teen or preteen audience.


Charles Packer

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