The Black Archive
EditorPhilip Purser-Hallard, Stuart Douglas, Paul Driscoll
CategoriesMedia studies
First issueMarch 1, 2016; 6 years ago (2016-03-01)
CompanyObverse Books
CountryUnited Kingdom
Based inEdinburgh, Scotland

The Black Archive is a series of critical monographs about selected individual Doctor Who stories, from the series' earliest history to the present day.[1][2] Rather than focusing on behind-the-scenes production history as much Doctor Who fan scholarship has done, the series aims to analyse and explore the stories as broadcast.[3] It has been described by Sci-Fi Bulletin as "a fascinating series of short books",[4] and by Doctor Who Magazine as "a grandly ambitious thing to attempt with something as exhaustively detailed as Doctor Who. But they actually manage it."[5]

The series is edited by Stuart Douglas, Paul Driscoll and Philip Purser-Hallard, and is published by Obverse Books. Previous editors have included James Cooray Smith and Paul Simpson. The series showcases the criticism of prominent Doctor Who critics and authors such as Simon Bucher-Jones, James Cooray Smith, Simon Guerrier, Una McCormack, James F. McGrath, Fiona Moore, Jonathan Morris, Kate Orman, Ian Potter and Dale Smith, as well as of less established and new writers. It is named after the museum of alien artifacts seen in the Doctor Who stories "The Day of the Doctor" and "The Zygon Inversion".


The series was launched in March 2016 with the release of the first four books (on Rose (2005), The Massacre (1966), The Ambassadors of Death (1970) and "Dark Water" / "Death in Heaven" (2014)), to generally positive reviews.[6][7] James Cooray Smith's book on The Massacre was singled out for particular praise for its placing the serial in its historical context, both that of its 1570s setting and that of its writing and production in the 1960s.[5][8][9]

Subsequent titles were published every two months and continued to gain consistently positive reviews.[10][11] In 2018, the series moved to a monthly publication schedule: the books for that year were announced early in 2017.[12] The tenth volume, on the 2003 Doctor Who webcast Scream of the Shalka, reprinted the detailed episode breakdown treatment for "Blood of the Robots", the commissioned but unmade sequel story by Simon Clark.[13] The 25th book, on the 1996 Doctor Who TV movie, included a foreword by, and a new interview with, scriptwriter Matthew Jacobs, and others include new interviews with scriptwriter Chris Boucher and director Farren Blackburn.

John Toon's Black Archive on Full Circle won the 2019 Sir Julius Vogel Award for Best Professional Production/Publication.[14]

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