Dalek Survival Guide

Authors: Justin Richards, Nicholas Briggs, Stephen Cole, Jacqueline Rayner and Mike Tucker
BBC Books
RRP 9.99
ISBN 0 563 48600 7
Available now

What should you do in the event of a Dalek invasion? How can a mere human hope to overcome such a formidable foe? This book enables you to know your enemy, by learning its strengths and its weaknesses...

Written in the style of Terry Nation's notoriously earnest Dalek books of the 1960s, the Dalek Survival Guide has its tongue planted firmly in its cheek. The Daleks are treated as a very real and tangible threat, whose activities have been depicted in the "documentary series" Doctor Who.

The guide draws inspiration from a number of - often contradictory - sources, including the Daleks' television exploits, their comic strip adventures in TV21, and the Doctor Who Technical Manual from the 1980s. Conspicuous by their absence are John Peel's over-elaborate revisionist revelations about the Movellans in his novel War of the Daleks.

The team of writers pour cold water over some of the more ridiculous theories from the past, such as the notion that Dalek light bulbs - sorry, luminosity dischargers - perform any other function than to indicate which creature is speaking, or the idea that Daleks cannot see the colour red. In their place comes a whole new range of outlandish postulations, including the suggestion that Special Weapons Daleks secrete excessive amounts of a glandular fluid. And most of us just thought it was lubricant oil!

I have to admit that I didn't really see the point of this book until I had actually read some of it - and then I found it hard to put down. Several entries made me laugh out loud, including some suggestive illustrations demonstrating how to get a ride from a Dalek, and the revelation that the ivory-hued Imperial Daleks discourage the use of the term "cream" to describe their colour scheme.

My only reservation about this lovely little book is its price, which seems a bit steep. Sure, it's illustrated, but not in colour. But otherwise, Dalek fans will be extremely elated.

You will be ex-treme-ly e-lat-ed.

You will be ex-treme-ly e-lat-ed!

You will be ex-treme-ly e-lat-ed!!

Richard McGinlay

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