Doctor Who FAQ: All That's Left to Know about the Most Famous Time Lord in the Universe - Dave Thompson
Firstly, this is not a FAQ. It reads more like an encyclopedia/analysis of various aspects of Doctor Who, all very colored by the author's biases. However, it can be really hard to get through without an extensive knowledge of the classic series, simply because 90% of the book is about the classic series. I found myself skipping over quite a few of the classic series' companions and monsters, partly because I couldn't bring myself to care and it was hard to keep track of, and partly because I'm currently watching the classic series and don't want everything spoiled for me. Also, there were a couple inaccuracies, like calling Martha a nurse and saying that the Time Lords had already ascended to a higher plane of existence at the start of "The End of Time." I took off 1 star for this.

Now on to the author's opinions, which he makes abundantly clear throughout the book, to the point where every Doctor and companions' profiles are highly colored by it. The First, Second, and especially Third Doctor seem to be his favorites, and he adores Jo Grant, calling her "flawless" an saying the Doctor "adored the ground she walked on." This certainly doesn't fit with what I have seen of her. In all the (admittedly only 3) serials I've seen her in, she was basically fairly brave and kind, but by no means the sharpest knife in the drawer. He acknowledges that, but doesn't seem to mind. And I don't think the Doctor has ever adored the ground anyone walked on.

Now, I have no problem with the author stating his opinions. But his bias pervades the book to the point of making some of the descriptions questionable as far as their factuality, and it is more than a little annoying, especially if you disagree with him. But I could live with that if he would at least back up his opinions well. But even when he gives his opinions support, it is often insubstantial and/or not very well reasoned.

When he praises something, he describes it in a vivid, flowery way with lots of adjectives, (he seems to have a gift for descriptions) but he rarely shows what make those adjectives describe it. For just one example, when he said the Doctor worshipped the ground she walked on, he did not cite any examples of the Doctor's supposed admiration for her, nor did he adequately explain her abundance of virtues.

He seems to have a great hatred for most of the new series, but especially Steven Moffat, saying that all of the 11th Doctor's (and the 6th Doctor's) stories' "sole purpose is to likewise devour the viewer's own joy and will to live." Now that's just harsh. The only 11th Doctor episode he actually likes is "The Doctor's Wife." And he hates the 11th Doctor, mostly because his childish mannerisms irritate the author (which is a just a matter of personal taste and doesn't bother me) and because he thinks that, with everything the Doctor's experienced, he shouldn't be behaving like a child. This is where his reasoning fails. The 11th Doctor, as it has been shown multiple times (such as in the 50th and "The Doctor's Wife"), acts like a child with his silly antics, horrible metaphors, and his generally childlike attitude most of the time because it is a coping mechanism. He is the Doctor who forgets because he cannot bear to remember the Time War, in contrast to the 10th Doctor, who couldn't bear to forget. The most ironic thing about the author's failure to see this is that the 9th Doctor, who is the author's favorite new series Doctor, employs a similar strategy, only his mask is much thinner.

There are many more examples of the author's opinions throughout the book, and are too numerous to fully list. I have merely stated a few of the more irritating ones. While it had great information, the biases prevalent throughout the book made it a lot less enjoyable. I kind of wish I had just borrowed it from the library instead of buying it.

There are a couple of good things, however. His information on the classic series it complete, and as far as I can tell, accurate. It will be very helpful as I watch the classic series. The other great thing about it is that it has a complete list of episodes in the back, as well as a large list of Doctor Who audio plays and books, and in order by Doctor, no less, which I'm sure I will find immensely helpful. Overall: read it, but be prepared for the author's bias and get it from your local library so you can decide afterwards whether it's worth adding to your shelf.