Hasslein Books has just releasesd Who Beyond 50: Celebrating Five Decades of Doctor Who, written by Brian J. Robb and Paul Simpson and introduced by Dalek voice actor Nicholas Briggs.
Few television series have remained in production for decades. Fewer have come back from cancellation to spawn multiple spinoffs. And even fewer have thrived following the loss of their lead actor. Amazingly, Doctor Who can proudly boast all three claims and Who Beyond 50 celebrates those achievements – and more besides.
Brian and Paul have assembled 50 thematic, chronological essays for this 330-page book, covering a wide variety of Who icons over the past five decades. The long-time collaborators posted preliminary versions of some of these essays at Sci-Fi Bulletin, but have delved into far greater detail for this collected edition, examining not only the show itself, but the background of each actor to play the role of the Doctor and each showrunner who helped keep the series alive, as well as the novels, audios, monsters, companions, music, effects, fandom, and much more.
Admittedly, the book only gives a couple of passing mentions to the Doctor’s comics incarnations, but it does cover, with fascinating insight, the work of some of the comic strip creators who have worked on the show itself such as Paul Cornell and Andrew Cartmel.
Who Beyond 50 is described as “a celebration of Who‘s surprises and successes, and an honest account of its faults and failures” and it achieves those aims with aplomb.
I’ve had the privilege of working with both the book’s talented writers on numerous occasions. Brian J. Robb is a New York Times and Sunday Times best-selling author whose works include Timeless Adventures: How Doctor Who Conquered TV, A Brief History of Star Trek, A Brief History of Star Wars, Counterfeit Worlds: Philip K. Dick on Film and Screams and Nightmares: The Films of Wes Craven. Paul Simpson has written official guides for Farscape, Smallville, The Hitchhikers’ Guide to the Galaxy and Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit, as well as unofficial books about subjects as diverse as James Bond, Nicole Kidman, The O.C., the Oz mythos and CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. The two authors recently collaborated on Middleearth Envisioned: The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings: On Screen, On Stage, and Beyond.
Hasslein Publishing, a New York-based publisher of reference guides by geeks, for geeks, is named after Doctor Otto Hasslein, a time-travel expert portrayed by actor Eric Braeden in the film Escape from the Planet of the Apes. In addition to Who Beyond 50, the company’s line-up of genre-based reference books includes Timeline of the Planet of the Apes, Lexicon of the Planet of the Apes, The Back to the Future Lexicon, The Back to the Future Chronology, The Red Dwarf Encyclopedia and Lost in Time and Space: An Unofficial Guide to the Uncharted Journeys of Doctor Who, with future volumes to feature James Bond, G.I. Joe, Alien vs. Predator, Battlestar Galactica, Ghostbusters, Universal Monsters, The Man From U.N.C.L.E. and more.
• Who Beyond 50 is now available at Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk and CreateSpace.com, and will soon also be available to consumers at BarnesandNoble.com, and to resellers via Ingram, NACSCORP and CreateSpace Direct Resellers. For more information, visit hassleinbooks.com/pages/book_who50.php. To learn about Hasslein’s other titles, visit the company’s website (hassleinbooks.com), follow them on Twitter @hassleinbooks, Facebook or visit their blog: hassleinbooks.blogspot.com