The TARDIS Handbook

If there’s one thing the new run of Doctor Who has brought us and that’s a plethora of colourful reference books that are packed with glossy snaps and loads of information. Usually they concentrate on the new series but some do have nods to the past which help new audience members and fans investigate the show’s past. This release looks more to the past than most and is all the better for it.

Doctor Who - The TARDIS HandbookWritten by Steve Tribe, The TARDIS Handbook is smart looking, pocket size hardback and is a one stop shop for everything you need to know about the most famous Type 40 of them all.

Across the 128 pages are lines and lines of informative text littered with a liberal amount of glossy images. Ironically a book about something that’s bigger on the inside than on the outside is actually in a small format, so some of the snap shots of the TARDIS interior look cramped and would have looked wonderful in a larger format book. Anyway, the aforementioned text is pitched just perfectly between newbie and long-time fan and packs each page with as much as it can. From the theory of its creation to how time travel has been adapted by the Daleks whilst touching on how the interior has changed during the duration of the show, author Steve Tribe keeps the reader enthralled as well as educated.

The inclusion of original script and designs help make this more than just a straight forward guide, allowing the reader to appreciate the thought process that goes into each TARDIS design. There’s also fun lists scattered around the book so look out for inventories of Unexpected Company (unusual travelers), Uninvited Guests (beings that have breached the TARDIS) and Blending In (TARDISes used by others and their appearance).

Finest and what appears to be the most researched section is Hold That One Down, a compendium that lists all the functions, features and components the TARDIS (at one time or another) has owned or being able to do. Can you recall Automatic Drift Control, Extreme Emergency Switch or the Linear Circulator? To be honest I didn’t!

Obviously there’s a brief history of the Police Box and a look at all the different exteriors the TARDIS has owned since 1963, again written in a friendly but authoritative style. One thing that did catch my eye is that this book should be filed under “Non-Fiction”, great stuff.

£12.99 does seem at first a bit steep but this is a well researched and very full book, just a shame that its pocket size.

The TARDIS Handbook is out now, and can be picked up from Amazon for just £7.94!

Further reviews of this book can be found at SFX and Outpost Skaro.


James has been a Doctor Who fan for as long as he can recall. A child of the 70s and 80s, he weathered all the storms and controversies the show encountered, though he didn’t buy the “Doctor In Distress” single.

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