Show Book List

Reviews elsewhere on the web:
Popular Science

Paul Parsons

The Science of Doctor Who

There are quite a number of books explaining the scientific basis of science fiction books and TV programmes. The Science of Doctor Who by Paul Parsons is one of the best of this type of books which I have come across. Parsons not only is aware of plenty of current science, he is also clearly a fan of the series he is writing about. Hence he is able to find plenty of links between what happens in the program and research that is going on in world of scientific research, without it seeming artificial. The book is ideal as a little light reading, and you may learn some new science along the way as a bonus.

One part of the book examines the aliens featuring in the series - the Daleks, Cybermen and so on. Another looks at the various gadgets which appear. The book also explains how the Tardis might work. It seems a shell of negative mass matter next to an equal and opposite shell of positive matter might achieve a lot - travel in time and space as well as dimensional transcendentalism. Not something we're likely to have soon, but I liked the fact that the book took a positive approach to such questions, rather than highlighting the difficulties. info
Hardcover 352 pages  
ISBN: 1840467371
Salesrank: 10217410
Published: 2006 ICON BOOKS (FABE)
Marketplace:New from $151.07:Used from $1.69
Buy from info
Hardcover 352 pages  
ISBN: 1840467371
Salesrank: 1147952
Weight:1.06 lbs
Published: 2006 Icon Books Ltd
Marketplace::Used from £0.01
Buy from info
ISBN: 1840467371
Salesrank: 4234783
Weight:1.06 lbs
Published: 2006 ICON BOOKS (FABE)
Amazon price CDN$ 139.48
Marketplace:New from CDN$ 139.48:Used from CDN$ 2.24
Buy from

Product Description

Almost fifty years after he first crossed the small screen, Doctor Who remains a science fiction touchstone. His exploits are thrilling, his world is mind-boggling, and that time travel machine―known as the Tardis―is almost certainly an old-fashioned blue police box, once commonly found in London.

Paul Parsons's plain-English account of the real science behind the fantastic universe portrayed in the Doctor Who television series provides answers to such burning questions as whether a sonic screwdriver is any use for putting up a shelf, how Cybermen make little Cybermen, where the toilets are in the Tardis, and much more.

Taking the show as a starting point―episode-by-episode in some cases―Parsons dissects its scientific concepts. In addition to explaining why time travel is possible and just how that blue police box works, Parsons

• discusses who the Time Lords are and how we may one day be able to regenerate just like them
• ponders the ways that the doctor's two hearts might work and introduces us to a terrestrial animal with five
• details the alien populations and cosmology of the Whovian Universe and relates them to what we currently know about our universe
• compares the robotics of the show with startlingly similar real-world applications

This slender, equation-free discussion is penned by a Ph.D. cosmologist and is ideal beach reading for anyone who loves science and watches the show―no matter which planet the beach is on.