|Edition: ||UK (hardback)|
|Released: ||October 1988|
|Publisher: ||WH Allen|
This is the official Doctor Who 25th anniversary book, marking 25 years of BBC television’s longest running and most successful science fiction series. From its very beginnings as a 25-minute black-and-white Saturday evening television series for children, Doctor Who has become a national institution and an international success story. With over 110 million viewers in 60 countries, the programme’s popularity is almost unparalleled in the history of entertainment.
When viewed against the background of competing shows on British TV during the past 25 years — particularly the various American series which have been screened — Doctor Who stands out as a trail-blazer of astonishing originality. Its strength has been in its flexibility, for it is not only the Doctor who has changed over the years, but also the companions, the producers and the scriptwriters who have put together what has become a very complex and highly technical series.
In this book, Peter Haining draws together and analyses all the elements which have helped retain the vitality and spark of the series over a quarter of a century. John Nathan-Turner, the show’s producer for the last ten years, and Sylvester McCoy, the seventh and most recent regeneration of the Doctor, discuss their views on this remarkable phenomenon and the author reviews the actors and actresses who have portrayed the Doctor Who characters in television, film and stage productions, and the ways in which they have contributed to the development of the various roles.
In its early days, the show was a pioneer in the field of TV character merchandising, and its subsequent development is unmatched in media history. Much of the souvenir memorabilia, from Dalek and Cybermen figures to TARDIS money-boxes and T-shirts, is now considered valuable by collectors. Doctor Who has also been featured in various comics over the years, and this anniversary book chronicles both the multi-million pound mechandising operation and the portrayal of the comic-strip Doctor in print.
Probably the biggest disappointment for Doctor Who fans throughout the world is that the BBC’s collection of programmes is incomplete. As a result of a policy adopted by the BBC in the early seventies, a considerable number of the Doctor’s early adventures were destroyed. Some of these “missing” episodes have amazingly since come to light from various sources, and Peter Haining records the loss and subsequent recovery of certain of these early episodes.
Doctor Who — 25 Glorious Years celebrates the success of a programme around which a mythology of remakable complexity has developed. The Who phenomenon is truly timeless. With a new generation of viewers meeting the Time Lord for the first time, the show could continue for many years to come.
Peter Haining has been the dubbed the “official” Doctor Who historian. He is an experienced author and journalist and has numerous bestselling Doctor Who books to his credit, including Doctor Who — The Time-Travellers’ Guide, Doctor Who — A Celebration, The Doctor Who File and Doctor Who — The Key to Time.