DOCTOR Who is 50 years old this year; it’s the longest running science fiction programme in the world and one of the longest running television series to boot.
To celebrate the Doctor’s big birthday, Fifty Years in Time and Space: A Short History of Doctor Who is published this week. Written by the Head of English at King’s Ely Senior, Frank Danes, the book is aimed at those who enjoy the show and would like to know more about it. Its 300 pages chronicle the behind the scenes gossip, the monsters, themes and stories from the series’ birth in 1963 (as a filler between Grandstand and Juke Box Jury) to its present incarnation with Matt Smith as the Doctor.
Frank, whose top literary loves also include Shakespeare, Dickens and Jane Austen, commented: “Some of my earliest memories are of watching Doctor Who. We only had a black and white television, so I would go down the road in the 1970s to watch Jon Pertwee at a friend’s house. Then I would come back and report what colour the monsters were to my dad – they were usually green.”
Frank has also produced academic titles and articles for science fiction magazines in the UK and abroad. His favourite Doctors are Patrick Troughton, Matt Smith and Tom Baker.
He wrote his latest book in the school holidays, and found it hard to deal with the 230 stories televised so far: “The book is a personal reading of the series, but I’ve managed to cover the Daleks, Cybermen, the Cold War, the influence of the Second World War, the Master, regeneration and much, much more.”
Signed copies of the book can be purchased from Topping & Company Booksellers of Ely and direct from the publishers at stmarkspress.com priced £11.95.