Thursday, November 03, 2011

Diary Notes

For several years now Danilo have been publishing the annual Doctor Who Calendar, and in recent years have added a diary and other items to their release list. This year's offerings are the Calendar and Pocket Diary, and also a Desk Calendar.

The main release is the large square Calendar, covering all of 2012. The cover features the main players and promotional image from the 2011 season: the 11th Doctor, Amy and Rory reflected in an Astronaut's helmet. The internal pages cover the main characters to have appeared in the season, but the selection is poor and is centred on the first half of the season only. One assumes that Danilo didn't have available to them pictures from the latter part. So we have Pirates and Gangers and Ood and Sontaran and Cybermen, but no Dolls, Minotaur, Silurian or Cybermats.  The design is also very basic - cut out photos of the characters against a starfield background - given some of the amazing design work out there, it's a shame that the product doesn't take advantage of it.

While researching the Calendar, I discovered that a personalised calendar can be obtained from This is a nice idea, and allows for something slightly different to be produced and tailored for the fan who likes to see their name in everything.

The Pocket Diary is a slim affair with a cover of the 11th Doctor and Sonic Screwdriver. Inside it has colour pictures on each page, but disappointingly, there are only 6 pictures repeated over and over: 11th Doctor; Ganger; Amy; Silent; Rory; and Ood. There are also no Doctor Who dates noted (for example the 23rd November being the show's 49th birthday) which is again a shame.

The final item is the desk diary. This features the Doctor, Rory and Amy on the cover, and contains a page per month. The imagery is similar to the main wall Calendar, and features cut out images against a star background. At least here we find Madame Vastra, Headless Monks and Madame Kovarian alongside the more standard fare which makes it more interesting, but strangely Rory the Roman makes an appearance (was he in the 2011 season?). Again, there's nothing featured from the latter part of the season.

Overall the Danilo items are well produced and printed. It's a shame that they don't cover the 2011 season more broadly, but for this I blame the BBC for not supplying them with imagery early enough. It's also a shame that the imagery is somewhat unimaginative, giving the items a very bland feeling compared with the magnificent collage art on display in The Brilliant Book or on the Ravensburger jigsaws to name but two licensed products which really went the extra mile. But then again, maybe this generic look is what Danilo and/or the BBC want from the licensed calendars and diaries ... hopefully they will be able to provide something more visually interesting for 2013, which is, after all, the 50th anniversary of the show.

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