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About Time 6 was the sixth volume in the About Time series of Doctor Who reference books. It covered seasons 22 through 26 of the televised series, from Attack of the Cybermen to Survival, as well as the 1996 television movie. In addition, the book contained an appendix which covered the charity specials Dimensions in Time and The Curse of Fatal Death and to the 1960s films, Dr. Who and the Daleks and Daleks' Invasion Earth 2150 A.D..
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.
Volume 6 of this series covers Seasons 22 to 26 of Doctor Who, focusing on the tenures of Colin Baker and Sylvester McCoy, as well as the TV movie starring Paul McGann in mind-bending detail. In addition to the usual concerns such as the TV show s continuity (alien races, the Doctor s abilities, etc.) and lore (anecdotal, "Did You Know?"-style material), author Tat Wood will examine each Baker, McCoy and McGann story in the context of the year/historical period it was produced, determining just how topical the stories were.
Subject matter Edit
A critical and cultural analysis of every televised Doctor Who story between 1985 and 1996, as well as the two 1960s films, and the charity specials from the early 1990s. Areas of examination include production notes; logical flaws in the story; detailed catalogues of facts; 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. Carrying on from the previous chronological volume, this volume also charts why and how the series flagged in both the ratings and the public's estimation toward the end of its run.
- 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).
Most serials are accompanied by an essay, and the essays cover a very broad range of topics.
The essays in this volume are:
- Is continuity a pointless waste of time?
- Why are elements so weird in space?
- Why do Time Lords always meet in sequence?
- Was there a Season 6B?
- Did they think we'd buy just any old crap?
- What would the other Season 23 have been like?
- Who narrates this programme?
- How warped was the Doctor's mind?
- How "Good" is the Doctor?
- The Valeyard - err... How?
- What's all this stuff about anoraks?
- What are the oddest romances in the programme's history?
- The semiotic thickness of what?
- When did Susan go to school?
- What are the gayest things in Doctor Who?
- Did Cartmel have any plan at all?
- What were Josiah's "blasphemous" theories?
- Are these "gods" related?
- What about season 27?
- Does Paul McGann count?
- Lawrence Miles, co-author of the previous five volumes, chose to leave the series after they were done. As a result, Tat Wood took on the task of this book on his own, however additional material was provided by Lars Pearson — the founder of Mad Norwegian Press. On many occasions since the end of their writing partnership, Miles has used his blog to discuss his work with Wood, and his lengthy thoughts on Wood's work since.
- Rob Shearman writes a "guest defence" of The Two Doctors as Wood self-confessedly couldn't find anything good to write about it, and so provides the "prosecution" instead. This echoes the style of reviews in About Time 5 in which Wood and Miles took opposing viewpoints on each serial to discuss the alleged merits and flaws of the John Nathan-Turner era.
- Despite the cover's claim that the book only goes up to 1989, it incorporates the 1996 TV movie as well.
- The cover is designed by artist Jim Calafiore, and is his representation of The Greatest Show in the Galaxy.