The Black Archive #29: The Impossible Astronaut / Day of the Moon by John Toon (Obverse Books, 2019) A slim volume given the double episode. Toon touches on conspiracy theories (as a tonal setting) and the nomenclature of historical stories, while concentrating mainly on the moral ambiguity of the Doctor’s actions. Some easily digestible philosophical points are tabled for discussion.…
The Black Archive #31: Warriors’ Gate by Frank Collins (Obverse Books, 2019) Warriors’ Gate, one of the standouts of Doctor Who’s original run, arose from an unlikely concatenation of circumstances. Collins delves deep into the specifics of its shared authorship (interesting) and also the more nebulous resonances of literary and cinematic influence (less so).
The Black Archive #34: Battlefield by Philip Purser-Hallard (Obverse Books, 2019) The sections on Arthurian legend outstrip the casual reader’s needs (Purser-Hallard is an authority). The remaining chapters delve astutely into Battlefield’s production-level evolution and aspirations, piecing together a cogent analysis of where this unheralded story succeeds and what it might have offered.
The Black Archive #35: Timelash by Phil Pascoe (Obverse Books, 2019) Pascoe approaches Timelash without an obvious agenda to push, motivated by a fondness for the story yet making no attempt to proselytise. His exposition is centred around the use of HG Wells as a character, and evinces the creative bleed-through between texts.
The Black Archive #33: Horror of Fang Rock by Matthew Guerrieri (Obverse Books, 2019) Guerrieri is clearly an erudite writer and diligent researcher. However, the four constructs by which he interprets Horror of Fang Rock seem associatively rather than directly relevant; the non-Who works he analyses tend rather to dominate, relegating Horror itself to the background.