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About Time was a series of reference books written by Tat Wood and Lawrence Miles (with additional material by Lars Pearson and contributions by Dorothy Ail and Robert Shearman), billed as the largest single work of reference on Doctor Who. According to the publishers, the series stands at 1.7 million words. The series featured seven volumes, the latest of which discussed the first and second series of the revived show.
Publisher's summary Edit
In About Time, the whole of classic Doctor Who is examined through the lens of the real-world social and political changes — as well as ongoing developments in television production — that influenced the series in ways big and small over the course of a generation. Armed with these guidebooks, readers will be able to cast their minds back to 1975, 1982 and other years to best appreciate the series' content and character.
Subject matter Edit
A critical and cultural analysis of every televised Doctor Who story up to Doomsday (TV story), as well as the Peter Cushing films, assorted one-off specials, and The TV Movie. Areas of examination include production notes; logical flaws in the story; detailed catalogues of facts about planets, alien races, the Doctor, the TARDIS and the companions; and an attempt to examine where each story came from, and why each was made in the contemporary cultural climate of Great Britain and Earth.
Notable features Edit
- Each story is broken down into many segments, including: Which One Is This? (very brief introduction, as the writers eschewed dense plot summaries), Firsts and Lasts, Continuity - encompassing The Doctor, The TARDIS, The Time Lords, The Supporting Cast, The Supporting Cast (Evil), Planet Notes, Non-Humans and History -, Where Did This Come From?, Things That Don't Make Sense, Critique (often divided into Prosection and Defence), Facts (writer, director, ratings, guest cast and list of cliffhangers) and The Lore (behind-the-scenes notes).
- Complementing most serial entries are essays on a number of topics, such as timelines for Daleks, Cybermen, UNIT and the Earth Empire; the science of regeneration, Gallifreyan history and time travel, sexual relationships between members of the TARDIS crew, the absence of Torchwood from the UNIT stories, and examinations of why the BBC and the production team made the decisions they did.
Authors Tat Wood and Lawrence Miles initially published volumes 3, 4 and 5 (as they were aware that these volumes covered the most well-remembered eras) in 2004. In 2006, volumes 1 and 2 were published. Miles subsequently left the team, and Wood wrote Volume 6, with additional material supplied by Lars Pearson, which was released in 2007.
In 2009, Wood authored a significantly expanded edition of volume 3, which — as it was published first — had not been as in-depth as the following works. This second edition, at almost three times the size of the original, included much of Miles' original material. 2013 saw the release of volume 7, covering the first two series of the revived Doctor Who. That volume announces the future release of two further volumes: volume 8 will cover the remainder of the Tenth Doctor's era, with volume 9 covering an unspecified amount of the Eleventh Doctor.
List of volumes Edit
- Rather than dividing each volume by Doctor, the authors instead focus on the "production era". The books are broken down as follows:
- Volume 1: 1963 - 1966 (Seasons 1 - 3)
- Volume 2: 1966 - 1969 (Seasons 4 - 6)
- Volume 3: 1970 - 1974 (Seasons 7 - 11)
- Volume 4: 1975 - 1979 (Season 12 - 17)
- Volume 5: 1980 - 1984 (Seasons 18 - 21, plus K9 and Company])
- Volume 6: 1985 - 1989, 1996 (Seasons 22 - 26, TVM, Dimensions in Time, The Curse of Fatal Death, Dr. Who and the Daleks, Daleks' Invasion Earth 2150 A.D.)
- Volume 7: 2005 - 2006 (Series 1 - 2)