The Universal Databank
Book review by Jon Preddle
Having written my own version of an A-Z of Doctor Who (released in part as The Sixth Doctor Dictionary) I know precisely the kind of problems that Jean-Marc Lofficier would have encountered when writing The Universal Databank. However I am certain that my attempt does not have as many errors! Yes, there are some unforgivable cock-ups (to list them would take up an entire issue of TSV!), but the worst aspect of the book is its 'bending of the rules'. J-ML (why is it that people of infamy in Who fandom have three initials?), has used the novelisations and comics to create entries, but has not indicated under which entries this has occurred. Granted, The Universal Databank has its good points - the entries that are correct are accurate enough to be useful for reference, but that is only because I know which parts are correct. The average punter will not be able to differentiate fact from fiction.
Sorry, Virgin, but after the failures of the Illustrated A-Z and David Saunders' curtailed Encyclopedia of the Worlds of Doctor Who, I think an index to everything and everyone in Doctor Who should be just that and nothing else; sadly the book that deserves that honour seems to be nothing more than wishful thinking...
This item appeared in TSV 33 (April 1993).