Review: Doctor Who: Books: Impossible Worlds

Impossible WorldsBy Stephen Nicholas and Mike Tucker

BBC Books, out now

A lavishly illustrated guide to the design of the world’s longest running science fiction show.

If you’re a Doctor Who fan – whether confining yourself to the classic or new eras, or of the show as a whole – you’re going to want a copy of this book. It’s not cheap, so I can see some negotiating going on over Christmas presents…

Put simply, this is one of the best non-fiction books that’s ever been produced about the series, marrying well-written text – that neither assumes knowledge on the part of the reader nor hammers home points that the serious fan knows inside out and backwards – with beautifully designed pages of illustrations that are captioned concisely but informatively, sourced from the last 52 years of Doctor Who’s production. Some of the old favourites are here from the classic era, but there are new discoveries to be made – or at least new to the vast majority of fans who won’t necessarily have access to all the fanzines and even back issues of DWM in which some appeared.

That’s the genius of this book: it brings together all the different aspects that we may have glimpsed parts of over the years. The evolution of the new Cybermen design is a case in point: I’ve seen some of this drawings, paintings and designs before, but never in one place, and certainly never reproduced at the quality we see here.

Obviously there’s a predominance of material from the new series – as much as anything else because that will all be backed up (on servers probably still called Torchwood as a disguise!), but as with the equivalent recent Bond by Design book, the older material is still worth the entry price.

Verdict: If you’ve got any interest in the production of Doctor Who, you need this book. 10/10

Paul Simpson

Click here to order Doctor Who: Impossible Worlds from

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