After a while, any popular franchise will produce maps and perhaps an atlas. The problem with Doctor Who is that it covers all of time and space, making the idea of creating an atlas of the Time Lord’s adventures somewhat daunting. Whoniverse handles this particularly thorny problem by being more of an encyclopaedia and travel guide than a book of maps.
Whoniverse is a very unofficial guide and as such is free from the sort of restrictions you get with officially licensed products. This means we get notes and references from all sorts of sources, including the Faction Paradox books, the comic strips and bits of Big Finish audio dramas. It’s certainly a comprehensive guide, though this all or nothing approach can be a bit of a surprise at times.
The first chapter deals with the cosmology of Doctor Who. We get an explanation of parallel dimension, e-space, pocket universes and the like. We also get a brief introduction to the Mutter Spiral, that part of the galaxy that the planet Earth happens to occupy.
The next two chapters cover Earth, its immediate planets and the worlds of the human empire throughout the show. We get to learn about Mar’s rich history, the various problems man has had with the moon and so on. The book also lingers on Kaldor City, the home of the Robots of Death, before going on the describe Old Earth, New Earth and all the other parts of the Whoniverse man has settled.
Worlds such as Gallifrey, Skaro and Mondas are covered in planets of origin. This also functions as something of a monster guide. The book does not spare the details. For example, despite having only one TV appearance, the alien race known as the Draconians get an entry detailing their history and origin, as well as details of their appearance in the various novels, comic books and audio dramas they’ve been in. The Distant Planets section serves as a miscellaneous slot for anything they couldn’t define easily, and the final chapter deals with worlds that exist at the end of time. All in all, very comprehensive.
Each entry gets at least two pages, and the whole thing is a lavish affair, filled with full colour plates. It’s a hefty book at 288 full colour over-sized pages, and if you’re a Who fan then this labour of love deserves a space on your shelf.
WHONIVERSE: AN UNOFFICIAL PLANET-BY-PLANET GUIDE TO THE WORLDS OF THE DOCTOR FROM GALIFREY TO SKARO / AUTHOR: LANCE PARKIN / PUBLISHER: AURUM PRESS LTD / RELEASE DATE: OCTOBER 15TH