The Scientific Secrets Of Doctor Who
Principles behind the paradoxes
Release Date: OUT NOW!
408 pages | Hardback/ ebook Authors: Simon Guerrier, Dr Marek Kukula Publisher: BBC Books
Part of Doctor Who’s
original remit was to be educational – to teach young viewers about science and history. This was swiftly forgotten in the success of aliens and spaceships, of course, but that hasn’t stopped generations of children being inspired by wonders they saw on screen, and several books have sought to explore the real- life science behind the fiction.
This volume contains 15 short stories, each touching on a scientific principle that’s followed up with a look at the real science behind it. A touching tale by Una McCormack about a woman who absorbed the memories of a dying culture leads into a look at how our short and long term memory work, for example, while Marc “Ghost Light” Platt’s story of adapting lifeforms moves into a discussion of evolution.
The book is split into three sections – Space, Time and Humanity – and covers topics from space flight to quantum theory, AI to bodily regeneration. The science commentaries are superb, deftly explaining tricky concepts in an engaging way. The stories, sadly, are less impressive, though a few manage to stand out. “The Room With All The Doors” by James Goss is by far the best, an original and intriguing Second Doctor tale of an infinite prison of possibilities. But it’s the science that’s the real star of the show. Rhian Drinkwater Dr Kukula works at the Royal Observatory Greenwich. Guerrier did GCSE Astronomy there as research for his Who fiction.