10 August 2018

Scheduling, leaks plus the great Alan Bennion

The persistent rumour that the forthcoming series of Doctor Who will be shown on Sunday rather than Saturday has not gone away and often when something lurks for that long it turns out to be true. Such a move would make sense given that the two primary programmes surrounding it cannot be moved. Strictly Come Dancing has to go out live as they record the results show afterwards and Casualty seems rooted to Saturday night. Thus Doctor Who has often had to go out too early or too late. Plus people are in general much busier on a Saturday evening than a Sunday evening. Put it on Sunday before the 7.15 Strictly results and it kick starts the evening. It also takes it away from potential ITV big hitters.

8 August 2018

Fan Scene Tardis77 Issues 7 & 8

Issue 7: This issue sees another re-organisation due to the difficulties of combining CT and Tardis as one publication. From 1978 CT will be a separate monthly newsletter. It doesn’t say how regularly Tardis will come out but anyway this would be the format that the DWAS would use from here on and may well still be using today if they still publish zines? Membership fees of £1.50 per year (yikes!) will pay for this. Debate Corner is a feature that seems to come and go but this issue is still rattling on about whether the Meddling Monk is The Master. NO, HE WASN’T!!! Delightfully on the letters page the idea of female Time Lords is discussed by someone. Of course in 2018 it is interesting that the letter does not seem to suggest that male Time Lords could regenerate into female ones but perhaps a young S. Moffatt was reading this issue? I should mention The Song of Taliesyn a comic strip which is well drawn but seems nothing like a Doctor Who story at all. I wonder how many people read it back then? 

25 July 2018

Fan Scene Tardis77 Issues 5 & 6

Issue 5: The cover heralds the start of a new series called The Doctor’s Diary and inside another new feature called Debate Corner aims to iron out inconsistencies in the series. However it is printing problems that catch the eye when you turn the page as parts of this issue are barely readable due to fading print and large foggy splodges of something or other across them. It’s a shame for Geraldine Landen whose debut issue as editor this is. The first Debate Corner is actually only half a page and runs with a theory that the Meddling Monk is The Master even though no episode ever suggested he was! Secondly it asks how come `Evil of the Daleks` was not “the final end” of the metal meanies as the Doctor suggested it was. The trouble with this sort of thing is that fans are aware of both the fictional and factual background of stories so while speculation can be fun the real answer to such a conundrum is that different production teams had different ideas. Talking of fannish speculation there’s a particularly teeth clenching piece of fiction in this issue that lays out an alternative history of the Doctor and it’s not clear if this is a spoof or not but it is best flicked past.

20 July 2018

Would you be my new best friends?

You know what, Jodie, I think we would! The second trailer for next season has appeared this week and while not as enigmatic as last Sundays it does give people some actual bits from stories to consider. We glimpse burning equipment (hope it’s not the Tardis!) scattered about, a sort of desert landscape, what looks like a 1950s deprived area with big metal tanks, a tunnel and some sort of warehouse. What they have in common is an industrial grittiness – there’s a lot of metal - that seems to complement the idea that the series starts off in Sheffield once the home of steel. Notably the Doctor and her friends seem to go to most places together like a gang. The look seems quite cinematic due no doubt to those super new cameras they’re using. The Doctors’ voiceover (“All of this is new to me”) tempers the usual post regeneration confusion opting for a child-like request for Graham, Yasmin and Ryan- and by implication us viewers - if we will be her new best friends. 

15 July 2018

The Universe is Calling....

Reacting to the first Chibnallian trailer! You wouldn’t imagine that many people watching a World Cup final between France and Croatia would be interested in Doctor Who. Had England been playing it might have been a larger audience overall but that’s a whole other timeline! In truth you can’t always tell much from trailers- I’ve seen some amazing examples for which the finished product has proved to be mediocre and vice versa. A year on from the unveiling of Jodie Whitaker as the Doctor, this trailer is our first glimpse at the Chibnallverse so is being scrutinised even more than usual for clues. Though it appears to tell you very little there's actually rather alot in this 51 seconds.

9 July 2018

Some Doctor Who things that are also real things

The Gravitron

Doctor Who- Weather control device in `The Moonbase` (1966)

Real life- An amusement ride that first appeared in the US in 1983. Brandon Flowers memorably referenced it in his 2015 song `Lonely Town` when he sang about “Spinning like a Gravitron”. At least we don’t think he was talking about the weather machine.
A Gravitron. Patrick Troughton not pictured.


Doctor Who- Grumpy, squishy faced aliens from `The Android Invasion` (1976)

Real Life - A traditional African village of huts, typically enclosed by a fence. I don’t think Styggron would like to live there. Mind you he doesn’t like most things.

4 July 2018

Fan Scene Tardis 77 Issue 4

The fourth issue heralds news of Robert Holmes’ replacement in the form of Anthony Read as well as more information about the DWAS’ forthcoming first ever convention. We also find out that the new editor of the zine will be Geraldine Landen. The season poll results are in and in the introduction it is commented that members did find it harder to vote for than the previous year. I wonder how people today would rate these stories especially people who voted in this poll 41 years ago. The results are interspersed with dramatized scenes from the top four stories penned by Andrew Smith. Is this the same Andrew Smith who would write `Full Circle` three years later?