The Doctors Are In by Graeme Burk and Robert Smith is a look back at the twelve Doctors and the Warrior of Doctor Who as they appeared on TV. The two are unabashed fans of the show who usually find something good to say about even the most abysmal of the episodes they review. They are lively writers who take turns commenting on each Doctor and the chosen episodes and Companions, sometimes disagreeing with one another, sometimes adding to the list of things to appreciate.
Each Doctor has his own section (the Fourth Doctor has two) in which there is a brief description of the Doctor in question, a short biography of the actor, a sketch of that Doctor’s top companion and chief enemy together with a list of the Doctor’s best and worst moments. These are followed by short, enthusiastic reviews of the five most notable episodes of that Doctor’s tenure—the five most notable, not necessarily the best, as readers will find once they start reading.
The Doctors Are In not a behind the scenes look at the making of Doctor Who or an expose of its darkest moments. Nor is it a backdoor biography of the authors. It is a fan appreciation of a show that has become increasingly popular over the last several years and has kept fans glued to the screen. It is fun to read and to argue with the authors, and there are moments where looking at a critique makes allows the reader to see the episode or Doctor in question from a different viewpoint. The choice to title the John Hurt Doctor the Warrior not only gives him a title but removes him from the Doctor-count, which is fortunate for those of us trying to decide whether the Eleventh Doctor is now the Twelfth or Thirteenth (There is still a not-really-aborted after all regeneration to figure in).
It is a good book to relax and appreciate the show with, something to read in the off-hours between air time and a good book to bring to a science-fiction oriented book club in order to inspire discussion.
The Doctors Are In: The Essential and Unofficial Guide to Doctor Who’s Greatest Time Lord by Graeme Burk and Robert Smith comes out September 1, 2015. Look for it on Amazon