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The Doctor Who Chronicles: Season Five

By David Brunt & Andrew Pixley

Book review by Jon Preddle

In TSV 59 I reviewed Season Two of this excellent series of production guides. Given that Season Five follows the same format as the previous three Chronicles there is little more that I can say about this latest volume that hasn't already been praised, other than that these are the sorts of books I wish had been available 20 years ago when I first became a fan!

The John Cura telesnaps and other photos are used to illustrate a scene-by-scene breakdown of the episodes, with footnotes noting changes made to each script during production. It's never been clear to me exactly how part 5 of The Enemy of the World ends, but I think I have a pretty good idea now. Of the eight stories featured (no — I haven't miscounted: Pixley and Brunt wisely consider the repeat screening of The Evil of the Daleks as being part of the Season) it seems that The Web of Fear is the one that underwent the most changes between scripting and recording. On the basis of how much was cut from the script, it could possibly have been a seven part story...

The appendix includes details on several unmade stories, including eight by a gentleman called Roger Dixon. On reading these it is pretty clear why they were rejected! Mind you, had The Return of the Neanderthal been made then it would have been the first Doctor Who story to feature an alien invasion of New Zealand!

The next volumes will be Season 3 and 4. I can't wait!

This item appeared in TSV 61 (December 2000).