Memories and Magic

Proposed Book Cover

Memories and Magic was a book I was commissioned to write for Salamander around the end of 1995. The company specialised in large format, illustrated books about a variety of subjects, and they had just done a Beatles memorabilia title and were looking for something similarly 'cult'. The editor on the project was very keen on doing a Doctor Who title and so we developed the idea of a book which would give information about Doctor Who in a visual way, and which would allow us to use lots of photographs of merchandise as well.

The book was outlined in a proposal, which ran as follows:
November, 1963. Saturday.

This particular Saturday was dominated by the news that the American President, John Kennedy, had been killed, assassinated while on a Presidential visit to Dallas, Texas. That same afternoon Lyndon B. Johnson was sworn in as the 35th President of the United States, to serve the remainder of Kennedy’s office until January 1965.

Elsewhere, on BBC-1, viewers bade farewell to Deputy Dawg and his friends Muskie and Vince, and welcomed in something new. Something that was billed as ‘an adventure in space and time’. Doctor Who had arrived.

Since the first episode of Doctor Who was shown on BBC television, the series has achieved cult status world-wide. It’s icons and images have gone on to become household names and the legend of the Doctor and his companions has passed into true cult status.

Memories and Magic is an evocative exploration of that myth. Charting the series’ rise to popularity, the book looks at the reasons for the show’s success – is it the memorable monsters? The eccentricities of the different Doctors? Or the range of unusual gadgets? – and takes a light hearted look at the varied reactions the series has provoked ever since the beginning.

Where other books have taken an almost encyclopaedic approach to charting the details of the Doctor’s many adventures, Memories and Magic takes a highly visual look at the Doctor Who phenomenon. Using unusual photographs, press cuttings and fascinating facts and figures, author David J Howe explores the world of Doctor Who from the viewpoint of the audience in a way that will delight both the casual reader and the committed fan.

The book contains pictures of the huge range of Doctor Who merchandise that has been released to date – primarily from the author’s private collection, the biggest in the world – as well as a wealth of black and white and colour pictures, many previously unpublished.
We also had a session at a photographic studio in London to take some shots of several items of merchandise in studio conditions.

Unfortunately, the company underwent an upheaval at the time we were developing the book, and one of the things that happened was that it lost its American sales partner. Without this, the company felt that the book would not work for them and so it was cancelled.

Memories spread 1
Memories spread 2 Two page spreads produced so that the publishers could see what the book would look like.