The Sci­en­tific Se­crets Of Doc­tor Who

SFX - - Books -

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.

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