Wednesday, 9 September 2015

The Complete History

I popped into WH Smiths on my home from work this evening and bought the first volume of The Complete History partwork. I have read a few things about this, and seen a few images, but decided to hold fire on subscribing until I had actually seen the thing for real.
As someone who has bought DWM since the first issue of what was then DWW, I am familiar with Andrew Pixley's detailed archive features. (For some of the missing episode Hartnell / Troughton stories this was my first real idea of what the plots were - beyond a brief paragraph - as I gave up on the Target novelisations way back in 1979).
Hearing that these would be a natural successor to the Archives did set my mind at rest. (there is a feature on these volumes in the most recent DWM).
The first volume (No. 55) covers four early Series 3 stories. An odd choice for a launch. Yes, Tennant is arguably the most popular of the New Series Doctors, and it does feature a Dalek story, but an odd pick none the less. (It was voted not terribly popular, this particular story).
No Tom Baker in the first 4 volumes, and the first Peter Capaldi one will actually be given free to subscribers - along with the Pertwee second volume. If you are going to buy them in the shops and not subscribe, it will be the third release,
So, what's the content like? Very good in my view.
Lots of photos I haven't seen before. Excellent art work. Each story gets a substantial page count.
The plot is covered only briefly (two pages per episode). We then get a look at Pre-Production, Production, Post Production, Publicity, Broadcast, Merchandise, full Cast / Crew credits. There are also little "Connections" pieces - to other stories as well as bits of other popular media. The Lazarus Experiment, for instance, has bits about Spinal Tap (turning the volume up to 11), Beethoven (who the Doctor wants to learn under), the unlucky tuxedo, TS Elliot (one of his poems gets quoted) and so forth.
Along with the volume itself, there is a fold out "mag" which plugs the History on one side, but gives you the Daleks In Manhattan / Evolution of the Daleks art work as a free poster on the reverse.
Will I be getting the next volume? Definitely. Will be subscribing. A few free gifts will be available to subscribers (£9.99 per fortnight). Add another quid and you get a number of sets of DWM collected comics.

PS: I was going to post about the latest figurines tonight as well, but need to buy some super-glue to stick the gold / black Dalek Supreme's sucker stick back on before I photograph it. I think this is the third time I've had to do this with a Dalek figurine :-(

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