By Lance Parkin and Lars Pearson
Mad Norwegian Press, out now
An exhaustive chronology of the Doctor Who universe as revealed up to the end of 2011…
I’m not even going to pretend that I have read all three-quarters of a million words that comprise this latest edition of Ahistory – yet. Some point between now and the end of next year, I’m sure that I will, because as with every previous edition of the book, it is absolutely fascinating for any Doctor Who fan, particularly those of us who grew up with the show in the 1970s when we would probably have killed for a book like this.
I was lucky enough to have a sneak peek at one section earlier in the year (unfortunately time constraints meant I didn’t have time to contribute properly to the beta read – but that does mean I can review it without a conflict of interest!) The attention to detail is frankly beyond belief: any tiny reference in a story is crosschecked with all that’s come before, and slotted in.
There are numerous “sidebars” which deal with knotty problems, such as the dual statuses of Shada and Human Nature; the coming and going of Peri from the TARDIS (when the comic strips are taken into account); or which incarnation of the Doctor is featured in The Infinity Doctors. Including damn near everything in this edition means trying to make sense of a lot of conflicting information – and on occasions, the authors quite rightly opt to say that it’s almost impossible (the fate of Jo Grant as shown in Genocide or Death of the Doctor being a good case in point.)
If you’re looking for a gap to slot your missing adventure into, this won’t tell you where in the Doctor’s timeline, but it certainly shows the areas that haven’t been explored yet. And the ones that have been mined rather too many times!
Verdict: Not cheap, but worth every penny. 10/10