Artist: Jaime Martinez Rodriguez
An illustrated guide to the lives of four of the TV Doctors.
Logan’s Run writer Paul M. Salamoff is a dyed-in-the-wool Doctor Who fan (he’s the guy who purchased and renovated the TARDIS console from the 1996 TV movie which was recently on display at the Gallifrey One convention in Los Angeles). For this contribution to Bluewater’s biography line (previous subjects have included horror writer Stephen King), he presents a quick guide to the lives of William Hartnell, Tom Baker, Paul McGann and Matt Smith.
On the whole these are fun mini-bios, with Rodriguez (and D J Burgess for the Matt Smith section) painting interesting versions of various stock shots from the actors’ careers – there’s a great full page shot of the cast of The Mouse That Roared, with Hartnell looking with disdain at Peter Sellers, for example, although I’d advise flicking quickly past the picture of Pierce Brosnan as Remington Steele! We even get an artist’s rendition of a Big Finish cover, which has to be one of the weirder things in the book.
Certain bits of Who lore are inevitably amalgamated: the text suggests that the producers came up with the idea of “regeneration” to explain the Hartnell/Troughton change, but the word wasn’t used until nearly a decade later. However in the page count, this is a good quick primer, and there are appearances by many of the companions and other Doctors, with even Mr Moffat himself making a painted cameo!
There’s a bonus bio of movie Doctor Peter Cushing. The text is fine, but the art here is appalling. It eschews the sometimes photo-accurate style of the TV Doctors’ chapters and makes Laurel and Hardy, as well as Christopher Lee, unrecognisable, while poor Barbara (or is it Louise – it’s hard to tell) looks as if she’s been goosed by the Roboman behind her.
Verdict: Enjoy the four TV Doctors section. 6/10