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Book Review

Book Cover

Doctor Who
Dalek Combat Training Manual (Hardback)


Authors: Richard Atkinson and Mike Tucker
Publisher: BBC Books
159 pages
RRP: £16.99, US $19.99, Cdn $31.99
ISBN: 978 1 78594 532 8
Publication Date: 18 February 2021

Published by BBC books, the Doctor Who: Dalek Combat Training Manual (159 pages) is a nice little book, whose conceit is that it purports to be all the information gathered by the Time Lords about their most implacable enemies. The book covers the appearance by the Daleks from the William Harnell era, right up to their last Jodie Whitaker story.

The book is authored by Richard Atkinson, who has contributed much material to the Who universe, Mike Tucker, a visual effects designer and Gavin Rymill, a digital artist who provided the illustrations.

The book opens with a two page timeline of Dalek history as well as a single page introduction. Counting the number of pages in any of the twelve sections is somewhat redundant as they vary because the book is generously stuffed with photographs and illustrations.

Each of the sections follow the same pattern, they are presented as a field report, which you have been given access to by General Kenossium as a newly appointed Chancery Guard recruit.

Each section follows the same pattern. You get a general introduction to the subject, whether it be Davros, the Dalek home world or differing Dalek Factions. There then follows ‘field reports’ which are taken from specific television stories. Because you are a lowly recruit some of this information may be redacted, though this isn’t used often. The text is supported by either shots from the show or, in the case of the Dalek City, a number of illustrations. The section is rounded off with a tactical analysis, to see if anything, of use can be discovered, to aid the Time Lords against the Daleks.

There probably isn’t much in the way of information provided that an older Dalek fan wouldn’t have run across before and it’s a shame they didn’t include anything from the Dalek comics, but I guess there would be a rights issue there.

Overall, the book is well put together and while it feels a little weighted towards new Who, it is a good reminder that the Daleks have a much longer and richer history.


Charles Packer

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