Looking not unlike a certain annually released book of more earthly records, Simon Guerrier’s new title, The Book of Whoniversal Records is similarly destined to be a much-given Christmas present for the Doctor Who fan.
Simon is no stranger to Doctor Who; he’s written many audio adventures, books, comics and even documentaries. He co-wrote the successful Scientific Secrets of Doctor Who and has appeared on Radio 4 as a consequence.
Coming in at just over 220 pages, this book is a glossy production, littered with photos, quotes and copious references to the show, offering suggestions for records from all eras and all Doctors (up until Peter Capaldi). Taking a random sample there’s the best beer in the United Kingdom as revealed in the 1989 story Battlefield, several most dangerous weapons depending on context, most involving Daleks or Time Lords, and a collection of contributions to literature, including several mentions Shakespeare. We learn about the most musical incarnation (which boils down to recorder (Troughton), spoons (McCoy) or electric guitar (Capaldi)).
The book is organised into several sections, covering obvious aspects such as the Doctor himself, alien worlds, the TARDIS, humanity and companions, and it all serves to bring some sense of order to what is otherwise a somewhat scattered set of records.
Destined to find its way into numerous Christmas stockings and be browsed through after dinner, and before the big regeneration story in the evening. Like a selection box of chocolates, it’s best taken in random order and readers can contemplate which Doctor has appeared in most audios (and it’s close) or agree with Peter Davison as to the best monster in the show. You might have your own view on the largest spaceship ever featured or which companion has been in most episodes. It’s all inside.
This then is why this book deserves to be on Christmas lists – it’s great fun to skim and sample. Fans of any era will be reminded of a few of their favourite things and wonder at just how much has gone into the show over the decades.
THE BOOK OF WHONIVERSAL RECORDS / AUTHOR: SIMON GUERRIER / PUBLISHER: BBC BOOKS / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW