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The Scientific Secrets of Doctor Who

(Doctor Who short stories)

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  254 ratings  ·  43 reviews
The Scientific Secrets of Doctor Who is a mind-bending blend of story and science that will help you see Doctor Who in a whole new light, weaving together a series of all-new adventures, featuring every incarnation of the Doctor.

With commentary that explores the possibilities of time travel, life on other planets, artificial intelligence, parallel universes and more,
Hardcover, 408 pages
Published June 30th 2015 by Harper Design (first published June 4th 2015)
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Average rating 3.93  · 
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Reviewed for Science Fiction Book Club.
Reprinted with permission of Bookspan LLC.

"The Scientific Secrets of Doctor Who" is an interesting combination of science lecture interspersed with short-fiction from some of today's best known science-fiction authors. Science fiction author Simon Guerrier and astronomer Dr. Marek Kukula have collaborated on a collection of science fiction and sc
Short review because I'm completely wiped out by squeeing and fangirling over the brand new (as of the moment of writing this review) Doctor Who Series 9 trailer, but anyway, I finished this earlier today and, as the rating shows, really liked it.

I admit I was quite hesitant when I first heard about this book - it's been a long time really since I've read nonfiction, and also, I'm not very sure of the entire concept of "actual science" in combination with "Doctor Who" (~thinks Kill t
Jan 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Wow! This was a wonderful book! The book is divided into two sections: Storys and Informational. I found most of my interest in the informational. It had chapters about time travel, the multiverse, evolution, and many more topics. I learned a lot from reading this book, stuff like Schrödinger's cat, quantum mechanics, multi-dimensions and more! For any science nerd, I would recommend this book to you
Apr 01, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: english, doctor-who
"Never apply logic to Who" says the common fandom adage. With over 50 years of TV episodes that contradict each other almost constantly, and an approach to physics that involves the words "it goes ding when there's stuff," Doctor Who largely defies being scientifically explained.

Not to be deterred, this book nevertheless has a go at it. It takes every tiny bit of technobabble in the show at face value, matching Who lore with our current real-world understanding of time and space. Oddly, it limi
Daniel Kukwa
Jan 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: doctor-who
An absolutely delightful hybrid of non-fiction science lessons and short stories. The science chapters are accessible but uses language that doesn't talk down to the reader. Meanwhile, the collection of short stories ranges from the solid to the sublime. A wonderful reading experience all around.
Apr 20, 2018 rated it liked it
Although this took me nearly a year to finish, I enjoyed its small stories and scientific information.
The premise of this book is a good one - a collection of short stories featuring the Doctor in all (or most) of his incarnations up to the Twelfth Doctor with Clara as his companion. After each short story is a chapter of science material that is explored over the course of the shows run (going back to the First Doctor not just the shows revival).

Here’s the problem. It is very difficult to write a short story - in many ways more difficult than writing a full length novel. You have th
Aya Vandenbussche
Oct 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
From its inception Doctor Who was intended as an educational show and have put educators, science teacher Ian Chesterton and history teacher Barbara Wright at its centre. However, while there was some science thrown in here and there, it often felt as if history was the main interest of Doctor Who creators and science was mostly neglected. With time it seems that the show moved away from science and more and more towards magic with problems from recent years’ stories solved by storytelling, sing ...more
Daniel Woodworth
Jul 27, 2019 rated it it was ok
I suppose it serves me right for walking past a book, expressing disbelieve that anyone could make that premise work, then reading it...only to discover that my disbelief was likely justified.

That said, it's an easy read, and if you're a hardcore Whovian, perhaps it would be just the thing for you.
Jul 24, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2017
This was a decent book with a nice format. Fiction stories, each dealing with a different doctor, alternate with scientific discussions aimed at laypeople about cool things that are Doctor Who related. The stories were hit-or-miss for me, as were the scientific chapters. Overall, I liked the book - maybe it just didn't hit me like it might hit other people.
Oct 30, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science
Not a bad book, just not that meaty. Nice to see the things DW got right, as well as those it got wrong.
Kelly Fugate
DNF. Perhaps it’s potus45’s behavior & administration which poisons everything these days.
May 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Wifey got me this book for Christmas a few years ago. Just now read it. SO much magic (science, really). The stories are fantastic. The scientific explanations are accessible and good.
Jon Wood
Apr 16, 2019 rated it liked it
Short stories are fun, science is interesting for non-scientists, if you are majoring in physics, you can give this book a pass.
Aug 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A very good books. I learned things I dus not know.
Oct 08, 2019 rated it liked it
Interesting book for Doctor Who fans. There are short stories featuring almost all the different Doctors and scientific essays about topics related to the show. The essays are written in plain English and the stories are fun.
Granville Westecott
Mar 28, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: abandoned
This is okay in as far as it goes but the science side of the book appears to be aimed more at the younger reader. I didn't manage to get properly involved.
Brian Clegg
There have been a number of books on the science of the long running family science fiction TV show Doctor Who, notably the unimaginatively titled The Science of Doctor Who, and it might be imagined that The Scientific Secrets of Doctor Who is more of the same. But we are firmly told that The Scientific Secrets of Doctor Who isn't that kind of book in the introduction.

The biggest difficulty following this is to say just what this book is, and who it is aimed at. The format consists o
Chris Wing
Jun 05, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: doctor-who
I find it quite hard to rate anthologies - does one go story by story and figure out an average? Or does one get to the end and go for an over-arching feel?
I've gone with the latter, in this case.

This most recent of BBC Doctor Who anthologies has gone with a new and exciting method of publishing short stories and, as well as going along with a theme (of, well, science), it has managed to marry each short story with a wholely academic (per se) chapter. For every short story, the
Tara Lazetic
Dec 08, 2015 rated it liked it
A very interesting book. Provides a lot of interesting scientific theories and explanations for the numerous wacko things that go on in Doctor Who.


One thing that made this book stand out from all the others was that there were shorts stories within the chapters. I can't name each of them but they were all VERY VERY good and a nice break from all the information flowing in from the other pages.


There was one short in particular. ****SPOILER ALERT***** ...more
Timothy Hinkle
Aug 31, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: doctor-who

This would have been my favorite ever book when I was nine or ten. How would it have been to have received this book for my birthday instead of Doctor Who: Journey Through Time? (Not that I didn't love Journey Through Time, though I'm not sure I actually ever read all of it; I loved it most as a sort of talismanic object).

I think this book is the only time I've come across any Doctor Who fiction that doesn't identify which Doctor will be in the story before you start reading. There are usually enough clues (mentionsobject).


Brian Manville
Mar 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: doctor-who
Have you ever wondered how much real science is in Doctor Who? Well wonder no more as Simon Guerrier has written such a book! He, along with other noted Doctor Who authors, combine to make an interesting book that brings new Doctor stories along with lay explanations of many scientific concepts touched on in the stories.

Many of the stories are nuWho oriented as all four have at least one story, but 2, 4, 5 and 7 are covered along with an illusion to 1 (I say "illusion" because it's l
This is an anthology of short stories featuring the Doctor (all 13) plus Companions interspersed with scientific explanations of various concepts occurring in the story and/or the tv series. I read the first 111 pages in early January but put it aside until early December - for no reason other than getting distracted by other reading. As an anthology it is something that can be set aside without harm. As a Whovian I found it very enjoyable, and I think a non-Whovian would also find it entertaini ...more
Amanda Gardner
Aug 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
A wonderful read.

It's a book perfectly formatted for someone like me, who loves Doctor Who and has some interest in science - even if science isn't their strong-suit. It's a brilliant combination of short stories and chapters on the actual science (not to mention stories are a great way to learn and remember things).

I enjoyed it thoroughly, but it's hard for me to rate, what with all the different stories from different people and the varying topics of discussion in each chapter. Some stories
Anna Livingston
Jul 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
An entertaining and informative mix of science essays pitched at the layman and short stories to illustrate the scientific principles discussed in their accompanying chapter. Story quality in general is excellent, and while IMO the chapters sometimes veer a little too far into the realm of Doctor Who minutiae, it's in the service of connecting the show's events to the real-life scientific theories. The science itself is lucidly discussed and feels like it would be easily accessible to science no ...more
Nov 03, 2015 rated it it was ok
I am a Whovian who was thrilled to start reading this book... However, the stories themselves are great but the science parts are severely lacking. It took me forever to read this book! If it was just a book of Doctor Who short stories, I would have rated it higher, but for a book entitled "The Scientific Secrets of Doctor Who" it could have been a lot better! The science was boring (and I love science) and it was more of a history book than a science book.
Jan 09, 2017 rated it it was ok
I have mixed feelings about this book. While I really enjoyed the stories, the science part was a let down. I know, it was supposed to be approachable for an average reader, but I still found the science lacking and very watered-down (for example there was a 'science' chapter that told us about 3 different ways in which stories about Robin Hood were told on the show. really?). I learned nothing new from the book - which is a shame.
Next time, science up!
Dana Sullivan
Apr 04, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was really interesting! It mixed Doctor Who stories with the science behind the story and all of the Doctor Who episodes. For someone who isn't super science-savvy, this book gave a lot of interesting information without going over my head. The only reason this took so long to read was that I had taken a break from my kindle to read some physical books.
Catherine McClelland
Oct 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I love how this book talks about science in a way that liberal arts people like me can understand. I also like the short, interesting and original Doctor Who stories at the beginning of every section. What a fun read!
Sarah Brehm
Dec 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: doctor-who
What a fascinating book! It's part short story collection, part history of Doctor Who and part scientific discussion about space and time travel, artificial intelligence and even death and regeneration. I'm so glad I randomly found it at the bookstore.
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Simon Guerrier is a British science fiction author and dramatist, closely associated with the fictional universe of Doctor Who and its spinoffs. Although he has written three Doctor Who novels, for the BBC Books range, his work has mostly been for Big Finish Productions' audio drama and book ranges.

Guerrier's earliest published fiction appeared in Zodiac, the first of Big Finish's Shor

Other books in the series

Doctor Who short stories (1 - 10 of 17 books)
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  • Doctor Who: Heroes and Monsters Collection
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