If you liked the Brilliant Book of Doctor Who 2011 and its recently published sequel, then you’ll be pleased to hear of an interesting artefact that came up at auction recently and was purchased by one Paul Smith. Predating any other previous ‘making of’ book, The Wonderful Book of Doctor Who 1965 is in some ways ahead of its time, considering that on the surface it looks identical to the Brilliant Books.
It was discovered among the effects of the deceased designer of the book, Gordon Hamilton, and was apparently scheduled for release in October of 1964. For reasons unknown, perhaps because of its factually dubious content, the BBC decided not to proceed with the project and only one or two copies are known to exist; the one found by Mr. Smith and one that may well have been passed to Clayton Hickman to use as a template for the recent books.
Most of the information contained within is untrustworthy (especially considering there’s one section that claims Ian is naked under his dressing gown during The Edge Of Destruction and it has William Hartnell saying that he deliberately flubbed his lines to make the Doctor seem senile) but it’s still a good read and it’s interesting to see how closely it matches the design of the present day books.
Featuring a bevy of fascinating “interviews” with the cast and crew, guides to every serial in the first season and lots more behind the scenes stuff, fans old and new will be sure to appreciate the book, which you can read for free as a digital publication. Like the content on the classic DVD releases, the information also comes in as a PDF for those of you embracing the future with your eReaders!
[Note: the book does not actually exist – it was written by the above-mentioned Paul Smith in the present day and was intended as an homage to the Brilliant Books. However, it’s still an absolutely marvellous read, a superbly-executed project and it would be brilliant if something like this was actually uncovered.]