A Celebration - Two Decades Through Time and Space
 

No. 12 of 317 in the Miscellaneous factual books series
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By:Peter Haining
Rating:   7.6  (10 votes)  Vote here
Review:  A 20 Year Blast  Read more (1 in total)
Editions:  UK (hardback) | UK (deluxe hardback) | UK (paperback)

Cover image for A Celebration - Two Decades Through Time and Space
Edition: UK (hardback)
Released:  September 1983
Publisher:  WH Allen
ISBN:0-491-03351-6
Format: hardback
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Cover blurb:
With the benefit of hindsight it is difficult to see how BBC TV’s Doctor Who series could possibly have failed. In fact, it had a most inauspicious beginning. Due to the extensive television coverage devoted to the assassination of President John Kennedy the day before, the first episode of Doctor Who went out later than scheduled. Viewing figures were disappointing, but a decision was made to give the programme a second showing the following week. The response — tremendous, and after a shaky start the series was all set to run and run and run...

Peter Haining has compiled a fitting tribute to the success of this remarkable programme, to mark its twentieth anniversary. His book reflects the rich diversity of talent and ideas that have invested Doctor Who with its unique appeal to viewers of all ages and made it the vital and popular series it remains to this day — a popularity reinforced by W.H. Allen/Target’s novelisations of the series.

In addition to articles on key landmarks in the Doctor Who universe, this celebratory volume contains contributions from Verity Lambert, the first producer of the programme; Barry Letts, one-time director, producer and executive producer; Terrance Dicks, ex-script editor, script writer; and author of many of the Doctor Who novelisations; John Nathan-Turner, the current producer; and all five actors who have played the part of the Doctor give their views on this epic phenomenon.

For those who first saw the programme in 1963 to those who regularly watch it today, this W.H. Allen special will be a constant source of pleasure and a unique volume to treasure.

Cover image for A Celebration - Two Decades Through Time and Space
Edition: UK (deluxe hardback)
Released:  September 1983
Publisher:  WH Allen
ISBN:0-491-03353-2
Format: hardback
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Note:  Leather-bound edition, limited to 500 copies. The copyright page lists the same ISBN as the original hardback edition (0 491 03351 6) as well as a “Comet paperback edition” with ISBN 0 86379 031 3 which appears never to have happened.

Cover blurb:
None.

Cover image for A Celebration - Two Decades Through Time and Space
Edition: UK (paperback)
Released:  July 1995
Publisher:  Virgin
ISBN:0-86369-932-4
Format: paperback
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Note:  The reprint of The Key to Time mentioned on the back cover appears never to have happened — although The Time-Travellers’ Guide was indeed reprinted the following month.

Cover blurb:
First published in 1983 to mark Doctor Who’s twentieth birthday, A Celebration has long been out of print and has become a collector’s item.

When this book was first published in 1983 Doctor Who was at its popular peak: the highest-ever viewing figures had just been achieved in Britain, and massive success in the USA was just around the corner.

Doctor Who had become established as a British institution. After two decades of popular television, the TARDIS, the Cybermen and the Doctor himself were familiar to just about everyone.

This volume, compiled by Peter Haining, traces the history of the series. It includes contributions from some of the talented people who helped to shape Doctor Who: Verity Lambert, the first producer; Barry Letts, one-time director, producer and writer; Terrance Dicks, one-time script editor and prolific author; John Nathan-Turner, who in 1983 had only recently taken over as producer of the series; and all five of the actors who had at the time played the role of the Doctor on television.

This book, republished in its original, unchanged form, is a piece of Doctor Who history, available to a new generation of Doctor Who fans.

Peter Haining is the author of many books about the past and television. After A Celebration, he went on to write more books about Doctor Who, including The Time-Travellers’ Guide and The Key to Time, which are being reprinted, and 25 Glorious Years. He is also the author of Virgin Publishing’s The Television Sherlock Holmes.


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