At over 90,000 words, this is the most comprehensive fan guide yet published to the 2012-2013 season of Doctor Who. After the first part of the season provided an emotional ending to the Doctor's travels with his friends Amy and Rory, Steven Moffat presented an innovative and intriguing new mystery, as the Doctor puzzled over the “woman twice dead” that is Clara Oswald, who had the most spectacular introduction(s) of any companion. This series was the most demanding yet for Moffat; no other Doctor Who showrunner had previously faced an assignment like writing a series finale, an anniversary story, and a combined Christmas Special/Doctor finale in quick succession. We are with Moffat every step of the way as he rises to this unique challenge.
The format of this book is the same as our previous Doctor Who guides. Steven Cooper has written excellent detailed analyses of each episode, which Slant Magazine published online in their House Next Door blog soon after each episode was broadcast. In this way, Steven’s reviews provide an invaluable record of how a long-standing fan reacted to each twist of the plot as it occurred. House Next Door published Steven’s 2013 episode reviews in abridged form; he then expanded upon his analyses, so this book contains far more of his insights than those published online. Kevin Mahoney then follows Steven’s analyses with his reviews, which he wrote from the perspective of having watched the entire series. This enabled him to gauge exactly how Steven Moffat had put this season together, and to assess the success of his various hoodwinks and sleights of hand.
In this series, Steven Moffat was just as ambitious as ever - perhaps too ambitious at times, when the scripting became uneven or the production team was not able to realize an episode as well as they might have done. Despite this, there were several episodes that rank among the best of the show's achievements, which we applaud in this celebration of Doctor Who's 50th Anniversary.