Terence's Reviews > Ahistory: An Unauthorized History of the Doctor Who Universe

Ahistory by Lance Parkin
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Mar 16, 2009

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bookshelves: sf-fantasy, reference-works
Recommended for: Doctor Who fanatics
Read in March, 2009

I love books like this since I have an insatiable curiousity about the "back story." This book really does trace the history of the universe as it follows our favorite Gallifreyan from the Big Bang to the final hours of the cosmos, and tries to encompass several variant timelines. That Parkin succeeds considering the 40+ years of material he had to wrestle with is a remarkable achievement (though it does beg the question - "Doesn't he have anything better to do with his time?" (As if I can talk considering I read and am reviewing the volume.)

I first met the good Doctor in his fourth incarnation - Tom Baker - when my PBS station in St. Louis began running the series; he became the iconic "Doctor" figure for me and all subsequent (and former) incarnations were measured against him. I never liked the 5th, 6th and 7th incarnations as much, and I only ever saw a handful of the 2nd and 3rd, and I lost track of the series after its cancellation in the '80s (as I recall). I caught the first season of the new Doctor Who on one of my PBS stations in Los Angeles (no - I don't have cable) and thoroughly enjoyed Eccleston's portrayal (I was seriously disappointed when he left after only one season).

(One of the best lines in the new series is Eccleston's Doctor's response to Rose's question about not having a "real" name: "Nine centuries in, I'm coping.")

I see efforts like this as a modern-age mythology: "Doctor Who," "Star Trek," various RPGs and videogames. They embody the hopes & fears of the masses, and mirrors their problems, in the same way Akhilleos and Herakles and all their kin have entertained and comforted people since the dawn of the species.
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Mary JL I read parts of this as well and did find it interesting. Of course, I am definitely a Doctor Who fanatic.


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