Review: Fifty Years in Time and Space – A Short History of Doctor Who / Author: Frank Danes / Publisher: St Mark's Press / Release Date: Out Now
Somehow, we suspect that Fifty Years in Time and Space won’t be ending up in any stockings this Christmas. Talk of recurring themes and a dry, academic style make this a book that will be more appreciated by parents than by children.
Of course, books written in an academic style have an audience (academics). But the dry, functional writing doesn’t quite fit with the anarchic nature of the show itself. Books about Doctor Who should be funny, interesting (at least we can’t fault Fifty Years on that count) and a little bit off the wall. While it does serve up a host of facts that the reader might not have known before, it acts more as a reference book than a fun one.
The other major grievance with this book is that it’s abundantly clear that Danes has had basically no access to anyone working on the show (and apologies to the author if this is incorrect but it really does seem like that), which lends the whole text the air of being collated from a massive pile of existing facts. This take on the history of Doctor Who feels like it brings nothing new to the table, which is fatal when there are so many other books about the programme out there.