Sunday, November 4, 2012

Doctor Who - the Dalek and Tardis handbooks

The first episode of the television show, Dr Who, went to air on 23 November 1963. Eleven doctors later the show continues to entertain viewers throughout the world. Designed originally as a children's show the later episodes of the program are shown in prime viewing time to be watched by the whole family, particularly those who watched Dr Who as children.

The TARDIS Handbook and The Dalek Handbook published in 2010 and 2011 provide background information about the machine used by the doctor to travel through time and probably his most popular adversaries, the daleks. Earlier this year we went to a concert where the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra played music form recent series of Dr Who. Clips from the shows were projected on large screens and some of the characters, including daleks, made an appearance. It is a little unnerving to look up and make 'eye' contact with a dalek.

The books include copious illustrations from the shows and trace history of the tardis and daleks in the shows. The TARDIS, on the outside a Police Box which for many years were to be found on corners of London streets, is a time machine. TARDIS stands for Time and Relative Dimension in Space. Inside the TARDIS is large with the control room being the main feature plus other spaces that may sometimes make an appearance. The second book covers the evolution of the daleks in the programs. They have been described as human sized salt and pepper pots and their cry 'Exterminate, exterminate' is the immediate reaction provided, usually with pointed arms, when people talk about the daleks. In early series the BBC could only afford to make three daleks but now with computer graphic imaging masses of daleks can appear at one time.

For the many fans of Dr Who, these books will bring back memories of series and doctors seen many years ago as well as filling in the back story for these two important features of the show.

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