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Book Review

Book Cover

River's Run
The Unofficial and Unauthorised Guide to Doctor Who 2011


Author: Stephen James Walker
Publisher: Telos Publishing
RRP: £15.99
ISBN: 978 1 84583 078 6
Publication Date: 31 August 2013

Telos has a history of producing excellent unofficial guides to science fiction and fantasy shows and with Doctor Who, given the longevity of the show; this has become a series of books.

River’s Run (399 pages), written by Stephen James Walker, continues this run at chronicling everything Who by providing an unofficial and unauthorised guide to Doctor Who 2011.

Now you may think that the only thing which happened that year was the thirteen episodes and the Christmas Special, but as this tome shows, so much more was going on. The book follows the same formula as the previous entries with a comprehensive look at what was going on in the months prior to the show's transmission, with quotes and insight in Part One: The Year as it Happened.

Part Two: Bio Data presents biographical data on all the most important people in front of and behind the camera. Those who didn’t get their own paragraph appear in the comprehensive list of literally everyone who had a hand in the show in Part Three: Credits.

Part Four and the greater part of the book is given over to the episode guide. Not just a list of who did what and a synopsis of the story, although that is there, the best part of this section is the analysis, which is invariably insightful, even if you don’t agree with the conclusions. This section also points out the errors in the stories, the continuity points and provides quotes and looks at the critical reactions.

The bulk of the book is followed with eight appendixes, covering the Doctor Who experience, the adventure games, the crash of Elysium, Doctor Who Confidential, ratings and rankings as well as sections covering that year's books, comics and original fiction.

For Who fans I could not recommend this series of books more highly. They are great to dip in and out of, invaluable for reference with its factual accuracy and potentially contentious as Walker does not bow to everything Who, but casts a loving, if critical, eye at the final product.


Charles Packer

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