purplecat: The Tardis (Doctor Who)

Cover of The Doctor Who Quiz Book by Nigel Robinson.  Foreword by John Nathan-Turner.  It has pixellated/space invaders style artwork showing a tardis, planets, stars and green blobs with yellow tails which look a bit like jelly fish but which I  suspect are supposed to be rockets.

Nigel Robinson, I have learned since joining LJ, got his start in publishing with a Tolkien Quiz Book in which enterprise he was aided and abetted by [livejournal.com profile] fredbassett. He went on to edit the Doctor Who book range. His wikipedia page peters out in the late 1990s though I believe Fred has managed to track him down since.
purplecat: The Tardis (Doctor Who)

A very yellow book cover with the 1980s Doctor Who `neon' logo followed by Travel without the Tardis The Doctor Who fan's guide to England, Scotland and Wales.  Then there is a photo of the third Doctor in bessie, followed by the authors Jean Airey and Laurie Haldeman

I'm not sure if this is the first of the Doctor Who location guides to get written, but it was certainly the first I came across. A novelty in the 1980s Who fandom landscape as I experienced it for being written a) by Americans and b) by women. "It is quite acceptable," they note, "for porters, newspaper vendors, and bus and train conductors to call a strange person of the opposite sex `Love (Luv),' 'Duck,' 'Dearie,' or even 'Darling'." (which is true, at least in some parts of the country, but I suspect a lot more visible to a female traveller than a male traveller in the 1980s).

The section of the book on British Terminology, as well as containing all the standard items, lists a definition for Underlinen (I'm sure this is the only place, outside a Victorian novel, I've come across this term in the wild - and why on Earth were they discussing their underwear with people (possibly I shouldn't ask)?). There is also a discourse on the difference between British and American bacon which caused me to look this up. The Internet tells me that British bacon is served in round slices, a claim I find odd. I get the impression that American bacon is what we would call crispy bacon, but it's all bacon. "Don't try to order a BLT," they warn but don't elaborate whether this is because of the strangeness of the bacon or that the term was a mystery to 1980s Britain.

Their packing list advises that the traveller bring a clothes line and toilet paper (! even in the 1980s I don't think the UK was so primitive that one did not generally find toilet paper in most toilets) and how long (and where) were they staying that they thought a clothes line would be necessary?

It's an odd book, half being a quick travellers guide to the UK (plus Paris, Seville, Amsterdam and Lanzarote) and half being a brief guide to Dr Who filming locations with particular emphasis on how to get to them. It was fascinating at the time and remains so.
purplecat: The Tardis (Doctor Who)

I had cause to pull this off the shelf the other day in order to write a Tides of Time article. I'm sure Perfect Timing wasn't the first Dr Who charity fanfiction anthology but it was the first of a new wave that started during the "wilderness years" when the line between fan and professional Dr Who fiction was particularly blurred. Perfect Timing 2, obviously, was its follow up and charity fanfiction anthologies, as far as I can tell, have continued to be published on a regular basis ever since.
purplecat: The Tardis (Doctor Who)

It is difficult to explain how incredibly amazing this book was when I first randomly purchased it from The Children's Book Shop on Oxford's Broad Street circa 1980. The truly incredible part about it was that it contained summaries of every Doctor Who story up to Sarah's departure in The Hand of Fear. I spent hours pouring over those summaries which were the only real access one had to information about those episodes though the book recommends to the reader, at the end, the range of Target novelisations of which there were "27 in print and more in preparation".
purplecat: The Tardis (Doctor Who)

Given how studiously Doctor Who, the show, has avoided giving us child companions, it is always a little jarring when a piece of spin-off media chooses to do so. Though, in the case of a choose your own adventure book, you can see why it might have been tempting, even if it does make your assumptions about your audience pretty explicit.


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