Once in a while,we get the chance to review something really special on Kasterborous. It might be an audio adventure, a DVD release, an ornament… whatever the piece of Doctor Who merchandise turns out to be, you can guarantee we’ll be shocked and surprised at the care and detail that has gone into it.
A case in point is the new Radio Times Collectors Edition. Available only via an order form in the weekly TV listings magazine or via a 24-hour order line, this is 163 pages of nuWho joy, featuring several never-before-seen photos, brief story summaries and ratings, quotes from Russell T Davies, Billie Piper, David Tennant, Neill Gorton, Catherine Tate, Freema Agyeman, Camille Coduri, Noel Clarke, Lindsay Duncan and so many others.
Covering the entire Russell T Davies era – the period from Rose to The End of Time – the Radio Times Collectors Edition is a glossy collection of behind the scenes photos and specially-snapped promo stills. Some of these are marvellous, such as the alternative Cyberman cover image to coincide with Rise of the Cybermen, and they’re each and every one beautifully brought together in a collection that seems to be worth far more than the modest Â£6.99.
It’s a great way to celebrate the adventures of the Doctor with Rose Tyler, Martha Jones, Donna Noble and all of the other friends and companions that the Time Lord has amassed since 2005 (and in the case of Sarah Jane Smith, earlier) and features images of Daleks (including the design of the classic Vote Dalek! cover from 2005), Davros (a frighteningly realistic Julian Bleach) the Cybermen, the Weeping Angels, Sontarans and so much more. Oh and there are photos that cover the building of the TARDIS interior, too!
Although it isn’t all perfect – the section covering the 2005 series (Rose through to Parting of the Ways) seems thin on the ground and features no quote attributed to the star, Ninth Doctor Christopher Eccleston -Â several sections of the Radio Times Collectors Edition are particularly memorable, mainly those dealing with the specials and the two-parters.
As a collection of material previously created and compiled to feature in the Radio Times, this is just about excusable when you consider the amount of images available here, but it does seem a shame that Eccleston is missing.
Equally odd are the ratings given to various episodes, particularly across the 2006 run of adventures – Love & Monsters gets 5 stars, for instance, which seems a strange way to score an episode that was so divisive. Conversely Fear Her is given a paltry 1 star when it could be argued that there is far more to offend in New Earth.
These are minor niggles, however – this is a glossy, lush, coffee table appreciation of Doctor Who, and one of the best bits of Whoniverse merchandise we’ve seen at Kasterborous yet.
With so much to recommend here, if you’re looking for something to celebrate the entire 5 year run of Doctor Who under the guiding hand of Russell T Davies, then this is the collectors edition to buy!
Remember – the new Radio Times Collectors Edition is available only through an order form in Radio Times magazine or via the 24-hour order line 0844 543 9822 (calls cost 5p per minute at all times from a BT landline). The book is Â£6.99 and includes free P&P.