The Fourth Dimension – 50th Anniversary Edition by Steven Miscandlon

The Fourth Dimension 50th Anniversary Special Edition is a special hardback edition of Steven Miscandlon’s Doctor Who book. Proceeds go to the charity Unite Against Cancer. The book is available from http://fourthdimensionbook.weebly.com/

The Fourth Dimension is a collection of Miscandlon’s writings, from short stories to reviews of selected Virgin New Adventures and television stories. Mostly written in the nineties, it’s hugely nostalgic for those of us who lived through those ‘wilderness years’. I remember well those days of spending pocket money on sending stamped, addressed envelopes to get copies of exciting-sounding fanzines like Seventh Door and Silver Carrier. I’ve wonder what happened to them all, I certainly wouldn’t have thrown them out.

It was a time when being a Doctor Who fan took a certain level of commitment. Once the UK Gold repeats dried up, you had to buy them on VHS (and they weren’t reduced after a few months like the DVDs are now). The well-written and snappy short stories in this collection reflect this atmospehre. A lot of them have a satisfying twist that involves bringing together disparate elements from across the twenty-six years of stories; which you could confidently expect the readers of the time to appreciate and enjoy trying to work out what’s going on before the final reveal.

Alongside the vignettes is a longer, previously unpublished tale, for the Seventh Doctor, Ace and Benny called The Gallifrey Incursion, It’s an enjoyable and fast-paced story, in the style of, and equal to, the Virgin output that inspired it. The reviews of the New Adventures brought memories flooding back of reading these twenty years ago. I’ve still got them all in my TARDIS video cabinet (too shallow for DVDs) and reading these critiques made me want to re-read them.

The television episode reviews cover all the first seven Doctors except the Second. They were originally published in Capitol Spires fanzine, in a strand that involved Miscandlon writing about his favourite stories, so they are generally positive reviews. This very much appeals to me. I try to write this blog about what I enjoy about Doctor Who, and so I appreciate reading about what people celebrate than a lot of ranting and negativity.

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