One of the oddest curios of classic Doctor Who merchandise was The Doctor Who Cookbook. Released in 1985 and written by the unlikely candidate of the show’s production manager at the time (and partner of ‘80s Who boss John Nathan-Turner) Gary Downie, the memorable cover depicted a Cyberman, a Dalek and a Yeti dressed as waiters and chefs. Given the original’s lofty status in the annals of Who tie-in books, then, the brand-new Doctor Who: The Official Cookbook had a lot to live up to. Thankfully, it is an all-round high-quality product.
Subtitled 40 Wibbly-Wobbly, Timey-Wimey Recipes, The Official Cookbook includes a broad range of Who-flavoured cuisine. There are spacey-wacey versions of classic treats (gingerbread Doctors), as well as in-universe favourites (jelly babies and fish custard, obviously) and some dubiously-connected ones (Captain Flapjacks, anyone?). Some might be put off having a go at the recipes as, being based off Doctor Who monsters and the like, most are fairly ambitious makes. Thankfully, Cook’s Tips are inserted throughout and contain some extra advice to ensure things go smoothly. Plus, there are several pages of Timey-Wimey Templates at the back of the book to aid you in getting the scale right.
Writer Joanna Farrow is clearly a big Who fan as well as a foodie, as the book is littered with references and quotes from Doctor Who history. Handily, it allows you to top up your Whoniverse general knowledge while you are waiting for your food to cook. And if you are a connoisseur of puns as well as good grub, you will also find much to love on that front, as the book is full of food-related Who word play. For example, the chapter on cakes is called Egg-Stir-Mix Bake. You just can’t fault that level of punnery.
So whether you are the greatest chef in the galaxy or are yet to make your first (TAR)dish, Doctor Who: The Official Cookbook thoroughly deserves a place on your kitchen shelf. It is gorgeously-made, provides lots of helpful tips and, most importantly, is full of dalek-table treats.
DOCTOR WHO: THE OFFICIAL COOKBOOK / AUTHOR: JOANNA FARROW / PUBLISHER: BBC BOOKS / RELEASE DATE: AUGUST 11TH