Book Review: The Best Doctor Who Poems in the Universe

Time Lord verse compiled and edited by Garry Vaux

The Best Doctor Who Poems in the Universe

Edited and compiled by Garry Vaux

(Published by GJB Publishing)

HE may have rubbed shoulders with the likes of William Shakespeare, but poetry isn’t really the first thing which springs to mind when thinking of television’s favourite Time Lord.

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But all that has changed with the publication of the first official book of poems inspired by the Doctor’s adventures, a smorgasbord of verse from a host of amateur writers.

Editor Garry Vaux has compiled work by fans from across the world, with poems about the Doctor himself, the Master, Cybermen, Sarah Jane, K9, The Green Death, The Mara, Gallifrey and even theme tune arranger Delia Derbyshire.

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The emphasis is definitely on the more emotional aspects of the revived series, such as the Doctor’s relationships with companions Donna and Rose, but there’s also a handful of contributions focusing on elements from the classic show. No mention of Daleks however, so perhaps the denizens of Skaro are too ruthless to inspire poems of any variety?

From a critical perspective, the standard of poetry here is of mixed quality, and this undoubtedly reflects the amateur nature of the publication. Make no mistake, some of these poems are very bad indeed, and even the authors’ obvious passion for the programme isn’t enough to save them.

Contrived rhyming couplets and unfortunate sentence constructions are commonplace, as is a tendency towards pretension. Proofing could also have been tighter, especially in the confusion between “minor” and “miner” found in one piece, some obviously muddled punctuation, and a flagrant disregard for the correct use of capital letters.

However, every so often a gem shines through the mire, including Monika Berberich’s Ten and Charles McGrath’s Dream Doctor, suggesting Garry’s efforts were not entirely in vain.

Of the 36 poems contained here, there are definitely some interesting verses worthy of further attention, but sadly if this is really a collection of the universe’s best Doctor Who poems then God alone knows what the worst efforts are like.

Kudos to Garry for producing what was obviously a labour of love, but this slim-line volume could probably have benefited from a more vigorous search for material. The strength of some of the contributions suggests some Doctor Who fans can actually write decent poetry, but when these are sat alongside the less successful works it really makes a mockery of the title.

The Best Doctor Who Poems in the Universe is available from for just �4.99

ISBN: 9780956334343

Paperback. 56 pages

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