12 April 2013

Review: (The Best of) Shooty Dog Thing by Paul Castle and Friends

Trade paperback, 256 pages
Published 2010 (contents: 2007-10)
Acquired November 2011
Read April 2013
(The Best of) Shooty Dog Thing
by Paul Castle and… Jon Arnold, Elizabeth Burak, Lawrence Burton, Lee Catigen-Cooper, Danielle Ellison, Terry Francis, James Gent, Angela Giblin, Stephen Gray, James Hadwen, Tim Hirst, Arfie Mansfield, Iain Martin, Nick Mellish, Patrick Mulready, Wesley Osam, Richard Parker, Erik Pollitt, and James Powell

This volume collects the best material from the first few issues of Shooty Dog Thing, a now-defunct fanzine devoted to all things Doctor Who. And I mean all things-- old and new, televised and audio and books and God knows what else, it's all in here. There's an astonishingly wide variety of material here: some stuff rehashes old continuity debates (there's an article about Season 6B, and another about Ace), but there's personal reminiscences, some strong reviews of old material, ideas for stories and episodes that could have been, and some flat-out new and unusual approaches to Doctor Who.

  • Iain Martin imagines what crap monsters the new show could have brought back other than the Macra
  • Patrick Mulready picks apart what Doctor Who has told us about the twenty-first century
  • Paul Castle provides an overview of every Sontaran story-- truthfully, from every genre
  • [my favorite] Lawrence Burton uses his knowledge of Nahuatl to suggest what the vaguely Aztec-sounding names John Lucarotti made up fro The Aztecs might actually mean
  • James Hadwin reviews some sixth Doctor Doctor Who Magazine comic strips, while Wesley Osam looks at how the novel Time of Your Life (one of my favorites, though not one of his) tried to relaunch the sixth Doctor after The Trial of a Time Lord, and Jon Arnold discusses the best-ever Doctor Who short story, "Teach Yourself Ballroom Dancing"
  • Paul Castle gives an overview and analysis of the Cybermen in every 1960s stories... including some rather awful-sounding comics
  • Nick Mellish and Paul Castle explore some ways Doctor Who could have gone differently, the most interesting being how it could have attempted to continue if "regeneration" hadn't been introduced in The Tenth Planet
  • Paul Castle looks at all of Doctor Who's various "hiatuses," which aren't always in the places and of the lengths you'd expect
Continuity, monsters, linguistics, love, jokes, this book has it all. I've never read a fanzine before, but this book makes me want to.

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