Doctor Who: Then And Now Volume One Review

Then and Now Vol 1 Cover F 100

By Will Barber Taylor

Doctor Who is one of the most reviewed and talked about shows that the BBC has ever broadcast. It has enjoyed over fifty years of popularity, and continues to thrill children and adults all over the world. Now noted Doctor Who historian and writer David J Howe presents his own views and thoughts on the ‘second incarnation’ of the series, which started in March 2005 with Christopher Eccleston playing the Doctor, and then continued until January 2010 with David Tennant at the helm. Every episode, including some of the special mini-episodes, are analysed and reviewed, and the path of the Doctor’s adventures through the series is charted. From the highlights to the low points, David J Howe considers the show against its broad history both as a viewer at the time, and also with the benefit of hindsight, with a current re-watch of the episodes. A marvellous romp through four years of time travel, come along and enjoy the ride!

Doctor Who historian, David J Howe is one of the foremost authorities on the subject of Doctor Who. He has written books about the show for decades now ranging from the marvellous Howe’s Celestial Toybox to co-authoring Jon Pertwee’s book on his time as The Doctor, I am The Doctor. Howe’s knowledge about Who is immense and he weaves this deftly through the book with a sense of good humour.

Starting with the first series, Howe begins by showing his initial reaction to the episode followed by his reaction upon re watching the series. Howe joins the two sections together effortlessly and they flow in to one another naturally. It is interesting to compare how, with foreknowledge Howe’s reaction to the first series has a greater element of enjoyment while the previous reviews demonstrate how the series, when it was first aired, kept the viewer guessing as to what things like “Bad Wolf” meant; or in later series and later reviews the “story arc” of Series Two with Torchwood and in Series 3 Harold Saxon’s election as Prime Minister.

Another of Howe’s talents is that he can imbue each review with personality that demonstrates his love of Doctor Who and also highlights his fun side. His writing is witty and this is what helps make the book stand out – Howe’s real passion for Who added into the mix makes for a fascinating and funny book which reflects on the most recent run of Doctor Who in an engaging and new way. This is truly a delight of a book, I would strongly recommend buying it.

With thanks to David J Howe. You can buy Then and Now here, visit David’s website here and buy any other Telos books here.

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