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Too few Doctors: 'Who' iPad app truncates the timeline

BBC Books releases iOS app, but though the show will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2013, the new compendium only covers the show since 2005.

Random House

As "Doctor Who" prepares to celebrate its 50th birthday and cement its status as the longest-running science fiction TV show of all time, Digital agency Brandwidth and BBC Books have released a new high-tech compendium to the show's long run--well, almost.

The $7.49 Doctor Who Encyclopedia for iPad is a high-tech record of the show's heroes, villains, monsters, and stories. The app includes more than 3,000 separate entries written by former Doctor Who script editor Gary Russell, as well as interactive portals for the Doctor, Amy, Rory, River, and other major characters.

Unfortunately, the app ignores the long history of the series, focusing only on the "rebirth" of the show since 2005. Three actors (Christopher Eccleston, David Tennant, and Matt Smith) have played the lead role of The Doctor since the BBC brought "Doctor Who" back from a long hiatus. In those last six years, the show became the crown jewel of the BBC.

But eight other men also played the show's hero and helped to forge that jewel, and they're ignored by the app's history lesson.

So, this sci-fi encyclopedia is like having a set of Britannicas that runs only from X to Z. Hopefully, the BBC will better embrace the show's history in time to celebrate that upcoming five-decade mark.

Random House