Non-Fiction Reviews

The Dalek Survival Guide

(2002) The Dalek Survival Guide, BBC, 9.99, pbk, ISBN 0-563-48600-7

All you wanted to know about Daleks - and a bit more besides! This essential guide tells you all about the most evil salt and pepper pots to roam the world of television - it tells you what makes up a Dalek in terms of its inner workings, quite what the sink plunger thingie does (it produces an intensely strong vacuum) and theories about why they have bumpers at their bases.

Before I took a look through this essential book I never knew that there were so many different types of Dalek in all different shapes and sizes, with distinctive markings and appendages - each signifying a rank and purpose... The all important point of this book is to tell you what to do if you see a Dalek, and how to avoid being "exterminated" by offering some creative tips and ideas, such as where to stand to avoid being zapped, where not to stand, how to communicate and not get exterminated and also the weaknesses the Daleks just don't want other races to know about...

This book is a brilliant laugh - and while its an interesting way to get acquainted with the background and finer points of one of Dr Who's most well known foes, a strong point is that it is not written in a serious manner at all. The tips are a brilliant laugh (such as getting a Dalek sighting form from your local Post Office - I want to know if anyone has actually tried that!). Having gained some important knowledge from that little book, I won't need to hide behind the sofa any more...!

Susan Griffiths

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