‘The (Still) Mad One: The Wife in Space Volume 5’ reviewed

❉ The fifth volume of the Wife in Space travels through the second half of the Tom Baker years.

Essential reading for fans who take the show too bloody seriously.

They’ve done it again! Neil Perryman and friends – that’s Graham Kibble-White, Andrew Orton and, of course, the ‘wife in space’, Sue Perryman – have lovingly (and I bet exhaustingly) compiled Neil’s successful blog into another highly readable volume.

‘The (Still) Mad One: Wife in Space Volume 5’ is a joy to read from cover to cover.

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The basic premise of the blog is a life-long fan of Doctor Who getting his ‘not-we’ wife to marathon watch the entire show from An Unearthly Child to the 1996 TV Movie.

Between Neil’s sardonic wit and Sue’s bafflement plus her, sometimes brutal but always honest, analysis of the show, the blog offers an interesting look at the classic series.

In fact, I’d suggest it as essential reading to fans. Especially the ones who take it too bloody seriously (You know who you are.)

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The wife in space.

This volume covers Season 16 through 18, which was Tom Baker’s last. Not only that but it also have several bonus essays including ‘K9 and Company’ (K-9! Da da da da duuunnn!), Shada (which doesn’t count, y’know), its 1980 ITV network nemesis ‘Buck Rogers’ (just to highlight that Doctor Who is supreme) and rather touchingly, The Auntie Matter, a Big Finish audio that reunited Mary Tamm and Tom Baker just before the actress’ untimely death. The Auntie Matter is one of my favourites and it ends the book on a bittersweet note as clearly they both have affection for Tamm and her character.

Sue’s assessments for these later seasons are rather spot on with my takes on them. The Ribos Operation is near perfect but Logopolis could’ve been a bit better couldn’t it? From her spotting soap actors a mile away, ignoring fan consensus and having a passion for carpentry, it’s all rather endearing and highly quotable, and Graham Kibble-White’s illustrations of this couple of Northern marathoners in iconic Doctor Who scenes are nothing short of hilarious.

The introduction by Andy Miller (of ‘The Year of Reading Dangerously’ and Blacklisted Podcast fame) is a good read too. Miller talks about his ‘Doctor Who’ and how the show helped his love of reading. It rather touched a chord as I too was one of those bookish children.

All in all, the real question I have left is why don’t you own a copy, you silly person. Also that’s some lovely carpentry work, isn’t it?


‘The (Still) Mad One: The Wife in Space Volume 5’ was published on 23 November by SueMe Books.

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