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12 June 2007 @ 10:09 am
Doctor Who: The Complete[ly unofficial] Encylocedia  
This book is unashamed tie-in trash. One feels vaguely embarrassed to have spent money on it. Needless to say I enjoyed it immensely and no doubt ruined Bill's concentration (he's currently wading through the Narnia books in Japanese) by giggling inanely next to him.

This is actually the second version/sequel/whatever. The first (The Completely Useless Encyclopedia), also by Chris Howath and Steve Lyons, was probably funnier and also "Official" - for what its worth. Having devoted one book already to making fun of Dr Who via an encyclopedia format they are really only left with the events of the past ten years which gives them a rather smaller range of targets. Their running jokes are limited to the superiority of the extras on American DVD releases, the Space Pig (from Aliens of London), and new Who's supposed "Gay Agenda". The humour is rather more laddish than I recall from the previous version (although in the introduction they complain that its no longer as easy to be funny by simply saying something unexpectedly rude or offensize since the Internet means that fans can now be rude and offensive the whole time). I'm not sure how accessible this is to a casual Who fan and I'm not convinced how much many of the more serious New Who fans would like it (One of its many lists is "Ten Reasons Why Rose is Nowt Special" and it has entries on DAVIES EX MACHINA, 'IT'S NOT BEING MADE FOR US' and FANS, WHIRLING (as in End of the World) and obviously there is a rich seam of humour in the prospect of a sexual Doctor although the book itself seems a little too strenuously in favour of an asexual Doctor (see entries on TEARS and 'I WAS A DAD ONCE'), missing out some good jokes along the way I suspect).

I can't really recommend this book, because, as its previous version acknowledged, it is a blatant cash-in. But if, like me, you must waste your time and money on Dr Who tie-in mechandise then you'll get more value out of it than, frankly, most Big Finish Short Story Collections and Benny Novellas.
 
 
 
parrot_knightparrot_knight on June 12th, 2007 10:25 am (UTC)
Isn't this published by Mad Norwegian? I'm restricting my purchases from them to the About Time series at the moment. I always meant to send in my corrections, as well, but never got round to systematically going through the books with post-it notes in front of proprietary databases to provide grounds for my suspicions.
louisedennis: bookslouisedennis on June 12th, 2007 10:59 am (UTC)
"UNAUTHORIZED BUT VERY, VERY SEXY: Unusual claim of the first I, Who book from Sidewinder Press, presented above a photograph of a snogging couple. We're not sure what's so sexy about synopses of Doctor Who novels - unless they mean all those carefully itemised 'Ass-Whuppings' or... What's that? Sidewinder and Mad Norwegian are one and the same? Really? Er, how to we get out of this one, then? Wait, hang on, this ought to do it... :-) There, sorted. Phew!"
daniel_saunders: Outsiderdaniel_saunders on June 12th, 2007 12:03 pm (UTC)
I always meant to send in my corrections

I'm not entirely sure they'd thank you!

I've spotted so many errors across so many different fields that I suspect it would take a team of experts to track down them all.
Susanlil_shepherd on June 12th, 2007 11:34 am (UTC)
Makes me realise how lucky I am that the last Dr Who book I purchased was the Discontinuity Guide.

Which was funny.
daniel_saunders: Outsiderdaniel_saunders on June 12th, 2007 11:58 am (UTC)
The humour is rather more laddish than I recall from the previous version

I seem to recall the original being quite laddish. I don't have a copy to check (I borrowed it from a friend), but I seem to remember jokes about which monsters look rude. And the DWM review of it listed appreciating Nicola Briant's figure as one of the attitudes needed to enjoy the book.

I've been considering buying the book for a while, but I think you've talked me out of it. Then again "I'm not convinced how much many of the more serious New Who fans would like it" makes me tempted to try it after all...
louisedennislouisedennis on June 12th, 2007 02:28 pm (UTC)
I seem to recall the original being quite laddish. I don't have a copy to check (I borrowed it from a friend), but I seem to remember jokes about which monsters look rude. And the DWM review of it listed appreciating Nicola Briant's figure as one of the attitudes needed to enjoy the book.

I can't check either (I think it's in a box somewhere) but an appreciation of Peri's figure is still a requirement. My recollection of ten years ago was that the joke was much more about the extent to which Peri's figure was a topic of conversation in fandom rather than being a straigtforward joke based on the fact that the phrase "Peri's tits" is mildly rude. The authors adopt the stance of male teenagers fascinated by the female figure, revelling in any opportunity for innuendo while simultaneously repelled by the concept that the Doctor might have sex. 10 years ago I read this as a stance adopted for its comic potential, in this book it seemed uncomfortably like the actual attitude of the authors.

Of course the problem is that I'm 10 years older than I was then and have become more aware of the ways groups of men (in my experience entirely unintentionally) exclude women. This is not the book I would choose to entice an interested woman into further engagement with fandom.

philmophlegm: cyberleaderphilmophlegm on June 12th, 2007 05:12 pm (UTC)
Gratuitous...