BOOK REVIEW: COMPANION PIECE / AUTHOR: VARIOUS / EDITOR: L.M. MYLES, LIZ BARR / PUBLISHER: MAD NORWEGIAN PRESS / RELEASE DATE: APRIL 7TH
Companion Piece is a collection of more than thirty essays on the theme of the companions of Doctor Who. The writers are all women and L.M. Myles (Chicks Unravel Time) and Liz Barr edited the various contributions (and also added some insight of their own). The contributions cover as many angles on Doctor Who companions as there are writers, making for an intriguing collection.
With a wealth of choice, there will definitely be something for every reader and the essays range from a few pages to around half-a-dozen. The themes are equally varied, covering personal views on writers’ favourite companions, more erudite discussions of the thematics of various women (and men) who have travelled in the TARDIS and, of course, K9 and Kamelion.
Of course, we all differ and will have different favourites amongst such a rich mix of essays. Some are merely I like X because but many of those give in insight into the power of the show and its influence on its fans. And the writers are all fans (and in same cases, such as Una McCormack, have written for the show in various media).
The book focuses on the television continuity, though other forms such as audio, comic and novel get mentioned. The various essays are written for a knowledgeable audience, but not anything more obscure.
While some essays don’t pass the so what? test, as a collection this is an admirable set. Even if individual pieces don’t add much to your personal repertory of Whovian obscurata, they do present or argue their points of view well, and there is plenty here to interest any fan.
If you’ve ever considered contributing an essay on Doctor Who to any publication you would do well to consider how these are written, and if you are in the position of producing a publication of your own look here and admire the seamless way Myles and Barr have combined these varied contributions into a whole.
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