Doctor Who, after 50 years on television screens and thousands of years of fictional time travelling around space, time and varying Universes, is a myriad of data, addenda and errata.
Facts, figures and information are part of what many Doctor Who fans love to spend their time pouring over, discovering critical and important data on their favourite show. But of course, sometimes this can be a difficult task to undertake; there are many books on Doctor Who and not all of them are as easy to read and get through as others.
So a welcome addition to Doctor Who’s rich history is Time & Space Visualiser by Paul Smith (no relation, we presume) who has poured over Doctor Who data since it’s very inception all the way up to the 21st century in order to provide a book that provides fascinating infographs on the most important Doctor Who details in front of and behind the camera.
To describe this publication as a labour of love is simply not enough, the effort and research that must have gone into it have to be read to be believed.
Graphs of all shapes, sizes and varieties cover the Doctor’s televised adventures, the companions that accompanied him, the producers for each story, the writers and the monsters as well. But that’s just scratching the surface: chapters then proceed to discuss stories that have the prevalence of beginning with ‘the’, the BBC hierarchy of people in charge of Doctor Who from 1963-1989, the BBC studio’s used for recording Doctor Who in the 1960’s, the share of stories that have been worked on by each one of Doctor Who’s incidental music composers, the location of Doctor Who stories set on Earth, then London, then the rest of the UK, the range of experiences gained by some of the Doctor’s closest companions, the gender balance of the Doctor’s major enemies over 4 decades, how each main antagonist got their comeuppance in the new series stories, transmission patterns for each year that Doctor Who has been shown, most common time slots for first broadcast of episodes, total time required to watch all of Doctor Who to date, changes in audience sizes for the new series (this is a real eye opener for those stating that rating have diminished over the years) and even the share of Terrance Dicks books featuring each Doctor… and that’s not including all of the details that the book covers.
Whilst it’s always impressive to read a Doctor Who book that goes into detail about the history of the show, never has one gone to quite such lengths in order to prove its point. The visual side of this book is delightful and offers something truly fresh and original for the reader, especially the more seasoned of you that have been reading Doctor Who non-fiction for many a year now, there is genuinely something new here for you to enjoy.
As a book, Time & Space Visualiser is excellent; as a coffee table memoir, chronicling Doctor Who’s factual and fictional journey for the first 50 years, it’s one of the most important releases that you can get your hands on.