The Science of Doctor Who

The Science of Dr. Who: The Highly Acclaimed Unofficial Guide, by Paul Parsons

TardisHave you ever wondered if any of the science in the BBC's Doctor Who is plausible?  Since its creation in 1963 fans have been awed by the idea of time travel, strange life-forms,  and all sorts of futurist technology. In his book Parsons tackles some of the technical and scientific issues that are raised in this series about a 900 year old alien from the planet Gallifrey.  As Parsons points out, the Doctor himself is an enigma--fighting evil without ever taking up arms--a paradoxical personality at best.

One of the fascinations of Dr Who is that it is not entirely science fiction. Another Doctor, Paul Parsons, has written this wonderfully entertaining book,"The Science of Doctor Who," in an attempt to bridge the gap between the science and the fiction. He wrote the book to "entertain, to boost enjoyment of the show and to answer the...questions of intelligent fans. He adds: “If I did manage to educate anyone along the way, then I sincerely apologize." He might well need to do some apologizing!
Review by Michael McCabe of the University of Portsmouth


SlitheenThe book begins with a discussion of The Doctor himself, and how his own body works, covering things like his having two hearts and his regeneration.  The book goes on to cover the origins and workings of items like the sonic screwdriver, the Tardis, as well as other items.  Different aliens of London, like the Slitheen and Daleks, are covered as well as the other worlds that are visited in the show. 

The reader learns that time travel is not ruled out by the law of physics, and why.  He also submits evidence of genetic engineering that is being used to breed Dalek-like designer lifeforms, NASA's real K-9 robot, and how regeneration isn't even all that far fetched with the help of future technologies.  With each discussion of technology there is also a short history of the science involved.

Paul ParsonsThis is a great read for those who are interested in physics as well as people who are fans of Dr. Who.