back to article The Scientific Secrets of Doctor Who

The Scientific Secrets of Doctor Who is what you might call a publication with a rather bastardised nature, being both a new anthology of Doctor Who short stories with quotations included from the TV series, and short essays about the relevant attached science. The Scientific Secrets of Doctor Who book cover Extracting the …

  1. W Donelson

    Sorry, but using the word "science" with "Doctor Who" is like using the word "economy" with "Greece"

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      That's the problem with Greece - there is no Greek word for Economics ?

      1. John Savard

        They Do Have a Word for It

        Not at all; it's a Greek word to begin with: it came from "Tα Oικονομικά", the title of a book by Aristotle.

        1. Rich 11 Silver badge

          Re: They Do Have a Word for It

          Not at all; it's a Greek word to begin with

          I think that was a joke, along the same lines as the French having no word for entrepreneur.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: They Do Have a Word for It

          That whistling sound was a joke going right over your head.

    2. waldo kitty

      Sorry, but using the word "science" with "Doctor Who" is like using the word "economy" with "Greece"

      how is this any different than classifying horror stories/movies and wrestling as science fiction??

      really, though, dr who is much closer to science fiction than those... it is right up there with the works of Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke, Larry Niven, Ben Bova, Ray Bradbury and many more... especially, lest we forget, the venerable Douglas Adams... there are many others, too... these are just a few of those that i'm familiar with since childhood...

      1. Duffy Moon

        I'd say it's more science fantasy really. The new Who probably even more so. Different eras of Who have embraced many genres, from Gothic horror to fairy stories.

        Of course Mr Adams wrote a few Doctor Who stories, in addition to being the script editor for a while.

    3. Esme

      "Sorry, but using the word "science" with "Doctor Who" is like using the word "History" with "The Carry On Films" There, FTFY.

      Greece has an economy, it's simply in a very unfortunately poor state. Whereas Doctor Who as any fule kno, never was Science Fiction, it was somewhere on the borders of Space Opera and pure Fantasy.

      Sadly between Hollywood and the likes of Dr Who on TV, the general public that aren't into science fiction have been mis-sold other genres under the name of SF for so long that attempting to point out the error tends to lead to one being called pernickety at best, but the simple fact of the matter is that Dr Who's relationship to Science Fiction is about on a par with that of films like Carry on Cleo or Carry on up the Khyber are to good historical drama.

      Personally, I'm very fond of the better Carry On films, but I'm not about to mistake them for good historical dramas, and similarly, whilst the better episodes of Dr Who are very entertaining and good drama, science fiction they are not. I really don;t understand why so many can;t accept that it's a good example of what it actually is, and argue for its inclusion in a category it simply doesn't belong in, ie science fiction, and which if judged by the standards of science fiction, it is a pitifully poor example thereof.

      Space Opera has as long and honourable a history as science fiction - I;ve fond memories of Doc Smith's Lensman series from my youth, through to the first three Star Wars films - absolutely superb, and I love them! But science fiction they most certainly are not.

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  3. x 7

    next Doctor?

    I'd go for Richard Armitage

    1. Oldfogey


      Joanna Lumley, of course.

      1. MichaelBirks

        Re: Who?

        No, no , no, one cannot get to Joanna Lumley without going through the Heavy Transuranic elements like Rowan Atkinson and Hugh Grant.


        1. James Hughes 1

          Re: Who?

          Whooaa. Not seen a Sapphire and Steel reference for a while....

  4. Graham Marsden

    The Doctor is a hero...

    ... so much so that El Reg used the Hero Image twice!

    (Or was it just some sort of wibbly-wobbly-timey-wimey thing?)

  5. Zog_but_not_the_first

    What we seem to have forgotten

    "Certainty is the opposite of scientific knowledge. Science as we have seen, is a provisional series of statements based on evidence and testing, with tests that can be repeated. These tests depend on doubt."

    It was worth reading the review to be reminded of this very apposite quotation with respect to the modern world.

  6. TheProf


    Rather an uneven review of what now sounds like an uneven book.

    Who is going to buy this? Soft buggers like me who enjoy the whole silliness that is Doctor Who.

    Of course it isn't 'hard SF' but then it isn't intended to be. Maybe we could call Who (and Star Trek and Star Wars and Farscape and Lexx and .........) 'Popular SF'?

    Why the reverences to Murray Gold? Does the book have it's own soundtrack?

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The model for this book, the authors confess, are the four volumes of The Science of Discworld

    In that case, I'll give it a miss.

    I found that the Science of DIskworld books tried to be "Diskworld Story" and "Popular Science Book" at the same time, and somehow managed to be neither. I can't see this being any better.

  8. fruitoftheloon

    Paid by the word????

    Is it me, or does this 'review' need a review, or at the very least a sub to send it back to the author with 'have another go' on the draft in VERY BIG RED LETTERS?



    1. James Hughes 1

      Re: Paid by the word????

      Nope, not just you - had no idea what the reviewer was one about.

  9. Shady

    If the Doctor uses a Magic Wand to fix every issue

    Then he's a wizard, not a scientist.

    1. Francis Boyle

      Not according to

      Clarke's (Third) Law

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