Space Helmet For A Cow

Space Helmet for a Cow: The Mad, True Story of Doctor Who was published by the award-winning Mad Norwegian Press in March 2015.

Here's the publisher's blurb:

In Space Helmet for a Cow, award-winning writer Paul Kirkley (SFX magazine) provides a sweeping, wry and warm look at the behind-the-scenes story of Doctor Who – not just the greatest TV show ever made, but frequently the most insane TV show ever made. Which other programme, for example, would attempt to sink Atlantis, wage inter-planetary war and crash Concorde – all in BBC Television Centre, on a budget that would barely cover a sitcom?

This is the story of how, over 50 years, a bunch of very clever, very dedicated and sometimes plain crazy people made Doctor Whohappen, often against seemingly insuperable odds; a story of triumph and tragedy, tears and tantrums, and an awful lot of men called Donald.

Space Helmet for a Cow also answers the burning questions few have dared tackle before. Questions like: How does a talking cabbage get an Equity card? What would have been in William Hartnell’s Glastonbury set? And if you meet a Yeti coming out of a loo in Tooting Bec, how long should you give it?

Praise for Space Helmet for a Cow:

“Excellently written, jaw-droppingly comprehensive… A fantastic read that isn’t just for Doctor Who fans, it’s for everyone who loved and misses a very specific golden age of British television” ★★★★★★★★★★


“The author says he set out to write as entertaining a history of Doctor Who as possible. It’s hard to disagree.”

Doctor Who Magazine

“A treat” ★★★★


“A very fine book… I enjoyed it enormously”

Frank Skinner, Absolute Radio

★★★★★ Amazon customer rating

The book is available here – or get a free download of the first section here

Volume II of Space Helmet for a Cow was published in December 2016.

Here's the publisher's blurb:

In Space Helmet for a Cow 2, Paul Kirkley (Doctor Who MagazineRadio TimesSFX) continues his witty and irreverent history of Doctor Who, from the wilderness years of the 1990s - when the 30th anniversary special was so bad, it didn't even go straight to video - to its triumphant 50th birthday celebrations, when every single person in the world sat down to watch Doctor Who together (except Christopher Eccleston, who was busy).

It's the book that answers such burning questions as: Did Benny and Bjorn from Abba really plan a Torchwood musical called Weevil Rock You? Which Doctors shared a bed? Did Blue Peter and Sad Tony eventually find love? How did David Tennant become his own son-in-law? And was there really a sequel to Carnival of Monsters at Wembley Arena, or did we dream it?

Praise for Space Helmet for a Cow Volume II:

"Paul Kirkley's style has the air of a particularly droll seminar, revelling in the show's absurdities on both sides of the camera... Many of the stories in this book cover familiar ground, but rarely have they been shared so entertainingly."

Doctor Who Magazine

"With so much having been written about Doctor Who in recent years, it’s fair to ask whether any new book is worth your attention. The two volumes of Space Helmet for a Cow are enjoyable reminders that, like the show itself, the potential to discuss Doctor Who is limited only by the attitude and imagination of those doing it."

We Are Cult

★★★★★ Amazon customer rating

The book is available here – or get a free download of the first section here