The Doctors - The ArchiveBookmark and Share

Thursday, 28 November 2013 - Reviewed by John Bowman

The Doctors - The Archive
Published by Trinity Mirror in November 2013
Written by Kenny Smith
This year has, understandably, seen a plethora of publications marking the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who. Somewhat surprisingly, Radio Times didn't rise to the occasion as it has done so admirably in the past, but another national publication with an equally enviable photo archive has produced a magazine that will surely delight many a fan.

The Doctors - The Archive draws on pictures taken by the Daily Mirror at numerous press calls over the decades, and its 84 glossy pages are filled with numerous black-and-white and colour images, including many mouth-watering ones that are unlikely to have been seen before, such as Jean Marsh as Sara Kingdom on set for the Christmas Day 1965 episode The Feast of Steven.

Other goodies include the Cyber chorus line, staged during the location filming for Silver Nemesis - the 1988 story marking the show's 25th anniversary and in which, as the magazine proudly points out, the Mirror was turned to by Ace to find out the Charlton Athletic football result! (The researcher appears not to know, however, that the newspaper also appeared in the programme ten years earlier, with the edition reporting the sinking of Titanic seen being read by Chancellor Borusa in The Invasion of Time.) The newspaper's links with the show are nicely brought pretty much bang up to the present with a look at a visit to its Canary Wharf headquarters by Matt Smith and Karen Gillan in March 2010.

With so many spectacular images presented in this lavish offering, we are spoiled for highlights and everybody will undoubtedly have their own favourites, but mention must be made of the fabulous behind-the-scenes shots from the Web of Fear location filming, as well as the photocall for the announcement of Jon Pertwee as the Doctor.

Examples of the terrific pictorial content are given here, along with others in our report of its publication. The magazine also includes insightful interviews with many of the people associated with the show, including Raymond Cusick, Donald Tosh, Peter Purves, Wendy Padbury, Alexandra Tynan (formerly Sandra Reid), Louise Jameson, and former Daily Mirror reporter Robert Banks Stewart. In addition, it seizes the opportunity where possible to impart some delightful nuggets of knowledge - for instance, how many of you knew that William Mervyn, who portrayed Sir Charles Summer in The War Machines, was the father of current production designer Michael Pickwoad?!

The cover price of £4.99 (plus postage, where applicable, if ordered online via Amazon or the Mirror) is a refreshingly low sum to fork out in this merchandise-filled day and age in order to be able to drool over such fine professional pictures. As well as being available worldwide online, UK residents should be able to find it in WH Smith, selected supermarkets, and independent newsagents. And having had your appetite well and truly whetted, if you fancy copies of the rare images featured and you've got a bigger budget, they - and many more - are available from £9 per print at Mirror-Photos.co.uk.

There are some factual errors and regrettable literals, it has to be said, but don't let those very few, minor, nit-picking mistakes put you off. This magazine is most definitely all about the glorious pictures - and that's why it's an undeniable treat of an anniversary publication that deserves a place in Doctor Who collections: a truly impressive Time-Space Visualiser!