A Critical History of Doctor Who on Television


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About the Book

Since its inception in November 1963, the British science fiction television series Doctor Who has exerted an enormous impact on the world of science fiction (over 1,500 books have been written about the show). The series follows the adventures of a mysterious “Time Lord” from the distant planet Gallifrey who travels through time and space to fight evil and injustice. Along the way, he has visited Rome under the rule of Nero, played backgammon with Kublai Khan, and participated in the mythic gunfight at the O.K. Corral. Predating the Star Trek phenomenon by three years, Doctor Who seriously dealt with continuing characters, adult genre principles and futuristic philosophies.

Critical and historical examinations of the ideas, philosophies, conceits and morals put forth in the Doctor Who series, which ran for 26 seasons and 159 episodes, are provided here. Also analyzed are thematic concepts, genre antecedents, the overall cinematography and the special effects of the long-running cult favorite. The various incarnations of Doctor Who, including television, stage, film, radio, and spin-offs are discussed. In addition, the book provides an extensive listing of print, Internet, and fan club resources for Doctor Who.

About the Author(s)

John Kenneth Muir is an American literary critic and award-winning author. As of 2022, he has written 30 reference books in the fields of film and television, with a particular focus on the horror and science fiction genres.

Bibliographic Details

John Kenneth Muir

Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 504
Bibliographic Info: 50 photos, notes, appendices, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2008 [1999]
pISBN: 978-0-7864-3716-0
eISBN: 978-1-4766-0454-1
Imprint: McFarland

Book Reviews & Awards

  • “details the program from inception through to cancellation. Muir provides the reader with all the requisite cast, credit, and episode details, as well as synopsis and in-depth analysis…very well indexed…detailed bibliography and videography”—Booklist
  • “‘Doctor Who’ fans will be delighted with the book…the interviews are informative”—Classic Images
  • “a useful episode guide”—SFRA Review; “an extensive guide…an excellent reference…will be an indispensable reference. The episode guide alone is a fan-fiction writer’s dream come true…a must-have resource for fans and a useful tool for navigating the show’s history for scholars”—Science Fiction Studies
  • “excellent reference…a useful, informative, and pleasant reading”—Critical Mass
  • “[has] everything you would want to know about the show and who appeared in it”—Little Shoppe of Horrors
  • “definitive…covers almost every element of Doctor Who…provides excellent information on the series…scholarly…a strong bibliography and an outstanding index…the strongest of critical works on the program…a must”—Zepo
  • “provides an extensive listing of print, Internet, and fan club resources for the show. All fans of the series will find this book necessary reading”—Cult Movies
  • “most comprehensive”—Interzone
  • “detailed”—Psychotronic
  • “provides an extensive listing of print, Internet, and fan club resources for Doctor Who”—Communication Booknotes Quarterly
  • “spending time with Muir will breathe fresh life into your view of a series you thought you had sussed”—Doctor Who Magazine
  • “essential…provides critical and historical examinations of the ideas, morals and philosophies contained in the hit television series…for avid Dr. Who fans”—Midwest Book Review