Doctor Who Extended Media Review – The Complete History Volume #36

Doctor Who The Complete History was a series of hardback volumes which came out every two weeks and covered 3-4 stories each. These were in-depth volumes covering the production of each episode from the first in 1963 to the end of the Peter Capaldi era of the show. In addition to the extensive production notes there were also merchandise and publicity updates and actor profiles. The quality of each volume was exceptional overseen by several different editors. The volumes were only available in the UK and Ireland so were difficult to obtain in other locations. I am more of a Watsonian fan but if you are a Doyalist you will greatly appreciate these books. Even so I give the entire series a solid 8 out of 10. I will rate each episode covered below.

This volume covers the first three serials of the twentieth season of Doctor Who. This season had a returning monster or character in every story in celebration of the anniversary. The first story Arc of Infinity sees the Doctor and Nyssa returning to Gallifrey and encountering Omega with Tegan also returning to the TARDIS team. It was nice seeing The Fifth Doctor and Nyssa flying solo for a while as they make a great team. It is a shame we had to wait for Big Finish to see further adventures of the pair. Colin Baker as Maxil stole the show whenever he was on screen. The Amsterdam location shoots were not very necessary and the annoying Tegan’s return was met with a look of dread with both the Fifth Doctor and myself. 8 out of 10.

Snakedance sees the return of the Mara from the 19th season story Kinda. Martin Clunes long before his star performance in Doc Martin makes an appearance as the spoiled Prince Lon. The psychological horror of the Mara and Janet Fielding‘s performance make for a nice story 7.5 out of 10.

The Brigadier makes his welcome return in Mawdryn Undead. Although it was nice seeing Nicholas Courtney return to his iconic role I am disappointed that William Russell could not participate in the story as Ian Chesterton. The Brigadier is shoe-horned into the story that was obviously written for Ian, this resulted in the creation of the UNIT dating controversy. David Collings as Mawdryn is good but not as memorable as his turn as Ander Poul in the Robots of Death and subsequent audios. 8 out of 10.

Doctor Who Extended Media Review – The Church on Ruby Road by Esmie Jikiemi-Pearson

The Church on Ruby Road by Esmie Jikiemi-Pearson is the Target novelization of the Fifteenth Doctor‘s debut story written by Russell T Davies for television.

The TV story was a great first adventure for the Fifteenth Doctor which did good service to both the Doctor and Ruby Sunday. For a review of the TV episode watch it here on our Whovian Academy YouTube channel. The novelization does not expand on the story like the best of the Target books accomplish. I cannot think of a single instance where there is expansion of the narrative from the TV story. The TV story 10 out of 10 but this novelization 8 out of 10.

Doctor Who Extended Media Review – Adventures With the Wife in Space Living With Doctor Who by Neil Perryman

Adventures With the Wife in Space by Neil Perryman began as a blog when a long time fan watched the entire classic series with his wife who was not a fan of the series. They chronicled their mutual reactions and reminiscences in the blog and collected the highlights into this book.

I get the feeling from reading this book that Perryman if I knew him in real life I would find extremely annoying and not very likable. His constant allusions to his smoking habit and disparaging comment about “liberal Democrats” only lead to reinforcing this idea. His obsession with the show does mirror my own mindset and some of his anecdotes ring true. I attempted a similar endeavor with my own wife Rita but we only reached The Sensorites before we reached a roadblock. Maybe if we had been documenting our undertaking we would have been able to continue. 6 out of 10.

Doctor Who Extended Media Review – The Angel of Redemption by Nikita Gill

The Angel of Redemption by Nikita Gill was the sixth book in the Decades Collection which was published in 2023 to celebrate the programs 60th anniversary. The book was written mainly as poetry with a few prose pages as an epilog.

The book follows the Weeping Angel that was responsible for sending Amy and Rory back to 1930s New York City at the end of the TV story The Angels Take Manhattan. The format makes for an easy and fast read as we follow the Angel as she begins to feel the loneliness as one of the last of her kind. She follows the trail of the Doctor in her search for redemption. The unique story telling style in the form of an epic poem makes for an interesting change of pace and we get some insight into the Angels as a species. 7 out of 10.

Doctor Who Extended Media Review – Thunderbirds Classic Comic Strips from TV Century 21

This set of Thunderbirds comic strips from TV Century 21 was compiled and edited by Graham Bleathman and Sam Denham. It is one of many collections available through Amazon or other vendors. TV Century 21 was first published in 1965 and carried strips of many of Gerry Anderson‘s programs. It quickly became the UK’s best selling comic magazine.

There were text pieces and faux newspaper in-universe pages interspersed with the comic strips

The works of Gerry Anderson tie into Doctor Who with the Second Doctor novel The Indestructible Man. There are a number of Lady Penelope strips at the beginning of the volume that give the origin of Parker and Lady Penelope’s recruitment by Jeff Tracy as a Thunderbirds agent. There is one strip about an African leader who needs a heart operation but some Masai tribesmen kidnap the surgeon. The strip has some very unfortunate 1960’s style racism that is off-putting but the rest of the strips are well illustrated and interesting. Even though some of this material is upsetting it is nice that it is reproduced as a product of its time. 7 out of 10.