22 October 2013

Review: Doctor Who: The Brilliant Book 2012 edited by Clayton Hickman

Hardcover, 162 pages
Published 2011

Acquired September 2012
Read September 2013
Doctor Who: The Brilliant Book 2012
edited by Clayton Hickman

Okay, the cover's not as nice, but in most other ways this is an improvement upon its already-quite-good predecessor. I remember not liking the 2011 series very much as it aired, but this book got me appreciating it-- even if the plots don't hang together, surely it's one of Doctor Who's most stylish and gorgeous-looking seasons? The episode guides are still good, but there's even better features than ever before:
  • notes from Amy and Rory to the Doctor during their honeymoon(s)
  • cut sequences from episodes (including a Fiddler on the Roof song in "The Impossible Astronaut," and all the drafts of "The Curse of the Black Spot"... including the ship-less one!)
  • an explanation of the three-month gap between "The Impossible Astronaut" and "Day of the Moon" (complete with map)
  • "The Changing Hats of Doctor Who"(!)
  • a scrapbook of Madame Vastra's history (including Henry Gordon Jago reference)
  • report cards for Rory, Mels, and Amy
  • a Teselecta user's guide ("The Teselecta comes with a range of pre-programed dance moves for scenarios when it is required to dance convincingly.... NEVER attempt manual improvisation - IT CAN COST LIVES!")
  • a TwoStreams Kindness Facility PR brochure
  • The White Flag, the newspaper of the always-surrending planet of Tivoli
  • Charles Dickens's twitter updates

Particularly awesome is a Neil Gaiman/Mark Buckingham comic strip prequel to "The Doctor's Wife" and the Doctor's job application for the department store in "Closing Time."

There's a real emphasis in here on how the show is made, which is both pleasing to someone like me and sure to inspire and thrill a whole new generation of younger fans. It's a shame that there don't seem to be any future Brilliant Books on the horizon-- no doubt a victim of the awful scheduling decisions that have plagued the show of later...

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