REVIEW: LOST IN TIME AND SPACE – AN UNOFFICIAL GUIDE TO THE UNCHARTED JOURNEYS OF DOCTOR WHO / AUTHOR: MATTHEW J. ELLIOTT / PUBLISHER: HASSLEIN BOOKS / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW
Lost in Time and Space: An Unofficial Guide to the Uncharted Journeys of Doctor Who – to give it its full fifteen word title – is a solid, 350 page guide to everything we think we know that the Doctor did when we weren’t watching.
If you pick this up and flick through it casually you might miss the point. This isn’t a guide to 50 years of the show with odd facts or curious connections, this is everything unseen. Take an example: prior to the episode Logopolis, the Doctor sees a hydrazine steam generator and visits the uninhabited rocky world of Kolkokron. The reason we know this is that in Logopolis neither Turlough nor Tegan recognises the machine that the Fifth Doctor will identify in episode one of Frontios. The Tractator Gravis is dropped off on Kolkokron at the end of the story.
What this means is we have a study of every transmitted episode of the show along with several books and Big Finish audios that suggests when a whole range of off-screen events must have happened. The book is succinctly written and keeps interest with a clean prose style and several touches of humour throughout. Although it can be read from cover to cover, it is as much fun to dip in and out. It might have benefited from an index but that is really a minor criticism. I also wonder what happens when fandom gets its teeth into the text and starts to debate the detail of some of the assertions. This can only be good for future updates to the text.
This is one of those books that would clearly have sold well in 2013 ahead of the anniversary and will instantly need updating as every episode is transmitted. Release in 2014 does mean it has had time to tie off the Eleventh Doctor. This also means, as Alan Barnes says in the foreword, that we can look forward to the incalculable number of future editions that Matthew J. Elliott will be forced to write. It is already difficult to conceive just how hard this was to write and the author has created a job for life with this treatise of Time Lord meanderings.
As essential books for every Whovian go, this is a good contender for a top 10 slot.