In fact, Radio Times is one of the main reasons why I first watched the new series way back in 2005 (only that long?!). Yes, more than I’d thought. If I hadn’t had that particular Radio Times on the first weekend of the first series, I may never have watched it on that spring evening. It could have been one of the biggest mistakes I’d never have known about. I can’t particularly remember that first cover of the Tardis, but I can’t say I didn’t notice it at all. I assume it’s what first showed me that bright, spectacular, ‘coral’ interior of the famous time machine. I remember most definitely the 16-page guide to the series. I loved that, and was most upset that it wasn’t a pull-out guide again the next year. I’ll never forget highlighting/colouring the episode titles and guides on the back page. I didn’t know much about the series, so I doubt that there was even a simple key to the colours. But certainly, if it weren’t for that Radio Times it would have been very different.
Of course, I don’t want to necessarily give my whole life story here, so I should take a look at the book itself. Just from the cover, you just know that you have something special in front of you, sporting an exclusive image of the Tenth Doctor taken before ‘The End of Time’. But that is NOT the only exclusive image presented before you once you venture inside. Oh No! Nothing is more eye-catching than the first page with every cover of Doctor Who Radio Times for the past five years. I’m sure you’d look at each one and see if you remember it or wonder if you still have it, at the top of your dusty cupboard. I can’t say that the creators of this book haven’t worked hard at all, it’s just so perfect, attractive to look at and exclusive filled. There is even a foreword from ex-executive producer and head writer Russell T. Davies, with a very old picture of him from 2005. I remember that! I hadn’t a clue who he was then, nor the fact that in a few years I’d meet him in person! There are occasional inputs from the cast and producers for more relevance to the show, rather than it just being written by Radio Times.
I literally could talk for days about all the features in book, but I’d rather not, so straight on. The main layout is episode guides in order for each series, from ‘Rose’ to ‘The End Of Time’, so we’re all up-to-date (for now, at least). Although, I don’t think I could really call them episode guides. They wouldn’t fare well for any reader who is not really a fan. I can confidently say that this is predominantly a ‘fan’s’ souvenir, because any ‘fan’ should be ashamed if they don’t look through it and jump for joy at least once. Any Doctor Who ‘muggles’ would look at the pictures and think they’re pretty, probably. There is a short guide for each episode, which is just enough to be satisfying and so to not make the layout too complex. Next to most of the pictures are extended captions to provide us with great facts for each topic of picture. It does also include transmission dates, writers and directors for each episode. But then there’s also a rating. Don’t get me wrong, it’s great to have a rating and I was pleasantly surprised to see them, but I can’t help but notice that a lot of them are very subjective. I don’t know who’s rated the episodes, or if it was a joint effort, but I hope to god that nobody takes these as official ratings, which you should bide by or die. They could have gone in the direction of having readers vote, I suppose, but this is pretty minor. I’ve probably gone and made a fool of myself though, as they probably have done this or something of the sort. I can’t help but pull a face at the ‘Love & Monsters’ rating of 5/5! I thought it was somewhat unpopular. Anyway…
One of the best and most memorable things about the book it the sheer simplicity and colours used throughout. The layout, the colours. It all works, all looks spacious and appealing to any person with a crafted mind. In whatever mood you’re in, it’s so easy to look at, and this honestly cannot be said of a lot of things. The black background on every picture and page is a real advantage for this. It’s a very unique thing in the Doctor Who universe because I think it’s the first real thing like this I’ve ever seen. The pictures released in places such as the Doctor Who site would never work in this form.
I never thought I’d write this much already, but I’m nearing the end, so I have to say this. You have to get this if you like Doctor Who even in the slightest, as there’s a lot to enjoy. Is it worth £6.99? Yes! In fact, for the effort and content of 164 pages, it’s absolutely amazing value, so don’t miss out as there’s nothing like it! In fact, I bet, apart from tiny words, ‘exclusive’ has been one of my most used words, so that may just tell you something…
This is such a good book for keeping around (as long as no one spoils it) to just pick up and look at, by yourself or with others. There’s enough in it to keep you satisfied for at least a couple of months. It’s an absolute treasure and if you purchase it I’m sure it will be something you’ll keep very safe for at least the rest of your life. You may never think that, but it’s just one of those things!
I must admit, there really isn’t much bad about it, that the only truly major downfall is that it doesn’t include anything exclusive on Series 5! Or am I pushing my luck?