The Doctor Who Ratings Guide: By Fans, For Fans

The Sixth Doctor Handbook

Author IBSN #
David J. Howe, Mark Stammers Stephen J. Walker 0 426 20400 X

The Plot:An examination of Colin Baker's reign as Doctor. Includes a biography, interview materials from a variety of sources, a detailed episode guide along with the author's ratings of each story, and an in-depth examination of the production of Revelation of the Daleks.


A Review by Tom May 15/4/98

This, the second of the generally good Handbook series, from Howe-Stammers-Walker, is a decent book, reasonably but patchily detailing Doctor Who from 1984 to 1986. There are interesting articles on Revelation of the Daleks' convertion to screen (featuring comments from Saward, Harper, Alan Spalding and John Brace), and the cancellation crisis. There is also a large selection of Colin Baker's quotes and an all too brief study of his Doctor's character.

The stories are given interesting ratinds, with the three writers rarely in accord on one story, apart from The Two Doctors being a 7/10, and Timelash and The Twin Dilemma being, on average, 2/10. The only story they all really like is Vengeance on Varos, giving it overall 24/30. The most subjective and analytical reviews are on Trial of Time Lord, and I'm pleased they took it at face value. David J Howe giving Revelation of the Daleks 5/10 and Mark of the Rani 3/10 is baffling, although he does stand up for Timelash a bit, which, in my opinion is very underrated, if still hardly vintage Who. Still, one is entitled to their opinions, and it's great that fandom has such diversity in opinion. I enjoy these handbooks quite a lot, although the Hartnell/Troughton ones are the highlights of the range itself. They aren't as amusing and hearty as The Discontinuity Guide, but are invariably a good addition to any Doctor Who Fan's collection.

On the scale of Doctor Who Non-Fiction literature, this should be graded as 7/10.