Some New Telefantasy Books

In my last couple of posts, I’ve been listing a bunch of Gerry Anderson-related items (mainly DVDs) that I’ve bought recently. Admittedly, I’ve been on a bit of a roll in recent weeks with all things Anderson, but I haven’t been neglecting my other favourite TV shows. I’ve also been picking up a few good Doctor Who books, so it isn’t just Anderson that I’m focusing on at the moment.

Back many years ago, when I started collecting the Virgin Books range of Doctor Who novels, Blood Heat quickly became my favourite novel of all the Virgin books. Well, the author, Jim Mortimore has recently released a greatly revised and expanded version of Blood Heat, and I’ve managed to grab a copy of the lovely hardback edition. At twice the length of the original, this should be a cracking read.

Second up is a real classic among Doctor Who reference books. I’ve finally managed to nab a decent condition paperback copy of The Discontinuity Guide, by Paul Cornell, Keith Topping and Martin Day. Even back twenty years ago in the mid-90s, when this book was first published, those three names would’ve featured high on any “Who’s Who” list of the giants of Doctor Who fan writing, and already starting to move onto even bigger things. I’ve been waiting so long to read this one, I can barely contain myself.

Thirdly is a very detailed and comprehensive reference book, the Classic Doctor Who DVD Compendium, written by Paul Smith. A very useful book, indexing every single DVD (up until the book’s publication date in 2014), every episode and every extra on every disc. I’d say that this was a definite “must have” for any Doctor Who fan, and on initial quick flick through, this certainly looks like it will be my main reference on all things to do with Doctor Who DVDs.

Finally, we have not one but two books by the same author, the prolific John
, creator of (and contributor to) so many classic fanzines over the years, Top and Faze being two of the most famous (I dunno how this guy ever sleeps). John is also the author of two blogs, Timelines, a Doctor Who blog, and This Way Up, a more general telefantasy blog which also features posts on Top of the Pops and any other non-telefantasy topics that might tickle John’s fancy. The two books collect some of the best articles from both the blogs and the classic Faze zine. Saturday Night Monsters is the Doctor Who-specific book, and Tomorrow Is Now: The Best of This Way Up 2002-2004 covers the best of pretty much everything else. I’m working my way through these books at the moment, and I’m enjoying both of them immensely.

I’ll be making individual posts on each of these books at some point. After I read ’em all, of course. 🙂

Doctor Who: 50 Years in Space & Time (Part 10)

Here’s the next part of my look back at the Best of the Bunch from Doctor Who’s 50th Anniversary:

  • The November DVD release of Scream of the Shalka

10. Scream of the Shalka

This November DVD release almost slipped by unnoticed in the midst of the 50th Anniversary celebrations, but is worth a place on any Doctor Who fan’s shelf.

Originally produced during the “wilderness years” when Doctor Who had been off the air for quite a long time, Scream of the Shalka was intended as a celebration of Doctor Who’s 40th Anniversary (there was little else happening to celebrate it).

Using then state-of-the-art flash animation, and first broadcast in six parts on the classic BBC’s Doctor Who website from 13th November – 18th December 2003, Scream of the Shalka was the first true Doctor Who web animation. Up until the surprising return of the live TV series, web animation was generally accepted by many to be the future of Doctor Who.

The return of Doctor Who to television in 2005 relegated Scream of the Shalka to the level of a mere historical curiosity. But Doctor Who fans just love that kind of thing, and this DVD is worth getting for the excellent extra features on the disc alone.

The main story, written by Paul Cornell, is also pretty good, and the excellent performance of Richard E. Grant as the Doctor showed that he’d have been perfect for the role, if he’d been selected for the live series. It’s a great pity that he only had this one bite at the cherry. I bet he thought he’d last a little longer as the Doctor!

To Be Continued…