Fan Scene CT 1983 #4

October introduces us to The Sixth Doctor, 40 year old Colin Baker and the lead story has a brief resume noting he’s the first actor to play the Doctor who had previously had a role in the series. There’s nothing especially unusual in this announcement which comes accompanied by a shot from the official photocall though it’s impossible not to think of what happened next. As often is the case, the actor looks Doctorly enough in what he was wearing that day but, oh no, someone had to conjure up a costume! That’s all in the future in October 1983 though. Other news this month includes news of the theft of an art display from the Blackpool exhibition with over £1,000 and guest star news for the forthcoming `Resurrection of the Daleks`. The DWAS’ 20th anniversary party event which had barely been mentioned in CT has now happened as well and it seems was successful. 

Some interesting sounding fanzines available include Issue 4 of `Eye of Horus which includes a Lalla Ward interview in which she talks about Romana and also when she left; “I felt very much a stranger in a world I every much knew” is the headline. The Society’s own zine `Tardis` has interviews with Kevin Stoney and Leonard Sachs and there’s new issues ot top zines like `Laserson Probe`, `Aggedor` and `Views, News and Reviews.`
The ongoing season polls reach the third Doctor  hence the number of points awarded seems much higher than earlier as more people remember these stories. Season 7’s result almost follow transmission order with `Inferno` leaping over `Ambassadors of Death`. `Spearhead from Space` beats `The Silurians` by 99 points in a convincing victory. For season 8 perennial favourite `The Daemons wins though by only 23 points over `Terror of the Autons`. Surprisingly it sees `Claws of Axos` in third place.

As November is the 20th anniversary month the cover of CT is printed on blue paper and features some artwork on the cover featuring images from all eras of the show. Yet the issue itself is fairly standard- and ad heavy- meaning there is little to distinguish it. An opportunity missed perhaps? From this distance though it is interesting to see news of forthcoming stories including `Caves of Androzani` which we’re told will be written by a Doctor Who veteran but it doesn’t name them. There is something momentous inside though and that’s news of the very first BBC Doctor Who Video to be released on 10 October 1983. This was the start of course of a new accessibility for fans- at least those who could afford it. `Revenge of the Cybermen` was the unlikely choice to debut the range and you could have it for what was at the time an astronomical £39.95. Even now you don’t pay that for a blu ray and what’s more the version released edited together the episodes. I suppose it was aimed at those people who had actually been to Voga and picked up some of that gold!
The anniversary poll results continue with `The Green Death` winning season 10 by a giant maggot sized length of 9 points over `The Three Doctors`. Whatever people say about `Frontier in Space` it finished third here some way ahead of `Planet of the Daleks` with `Carnival of Monsters` bringing up the rear. Season 11 has `Planet of the Spiders` a clear winner ahead of `The Time Warrior` and again a story people don’t seem to care for much these days `Monster of Peladon` is third.  Fanzine highlights this issue include a Lis Sladen interview in `Cloister Bell` issue 6/7,  the first Sarah Sutton Fan Club newsletter and – yikes- a Jeremy Bentham interview in `Wilf’s Eye View.

Oddly issue 12 is larger than the anniversary issue and December is heralded by a list of `The New Season` stories. Interestingly Peri’s name is still being listed in its full version the unlikely moniker Perpugilliam. Imagine if they’d shortened the end bit instead; she would be known as Gilliam!  This proves to be a fanzine ad filled issue so if you were feeling flush you could buy-
`The Animus` issue 3  -fiction called `Kestrel`, a pictorial record of Longleat- `The Doctor Who Fiasco` as they call - it plus 20th season reviews and a look at the society of Peladon (do they know its not a real a place then?) Scott Mitchell’s the editor and the issue costs 45p or an SAE.
Chronotis``- They seem to be a Doctor Who history bunch with seasons 2, 8, 12 and 15 available at various prices containing all the Radio Times clippings for that season. This is actually a great idea, Richard Bignall.
`Arc of Infinity` issue 2 costs 75p and features a Pennant Roberts interview promising “fascinating behind the scenes revelations”, an article about the moral strengths and weaknesses of the Doctor, Gary Russell of all people questioning the need for organised Doctor Who fandom and some criticism of JNT’s apparent belief in “that the programme should be shrouded in secrecy”. Wonder what they’d make of today’s No Information line. This sounds like it was an excellent issue, Nick Setchfield was the editor and he went on to edit SFX magazine.
`APC Net`- Well it’s issue 3 but some very odd early computer graphics makes that unclear. Amusingly they suggest you send them a £1 note and they’ll send you a copy plus 15p so you can ring them to say what you thought of it. As the issue asks `who should play the Sixth Doctor` it shows just how fanzines could never keep up with news. They have a comic strip, reviews aplenty plus a review of the BFI October event. Simon Robinson edits.
`Skaro` has a new look. Yes the Daleks have decorated. Well no, for volume 4 no 2 they’ve got “far more print on each page” though hopefully that means words and not smudges. For 75p you would get a review of the then ultra rare `Shada` footage, 13th season reviews plus `Meanings Of Morbius`.  Duncan Hooper is the editor here.
`Doctor Who- Citizen of the Universe` is a special in which a “team of top writers” review twenty years of the series. Colin Jenkins is responsible for this one that costs £1.10.
`Skonnos` issue 4 is 60p and manages to interview John Nathan Turner – you could find out which two stories he nearly directed. There’s also features on recent stories and “a cynical look” at the last 20 years titled `Is Nothing New?”
`Dynatrope` is regenerating as well and in issue 5 edited by Robert Franks you’ll find interesting looking articles on `The Celestial Toymaker`, The Sontaran Experiment` and `The Five Doctors` plus the Mara, the tenth anniversary season and some fiction. 95p plus- you guessed – an SAE.
`DWB`- I think this is the first ever ad for the soon to be controversial newszine edited as only he knew how by Gary Levy and these are early days for the publication; issue 5 in fact. It all looks fairly normal at this stage though one article is about “the BBC’s increasingly disturbing attitude of putting the British viewer second in favour of the Americans”. 70p including p&p.
`Mawdryn` issue 3 edited by Paul Powell and includes stuff on `Meglos`, the 1984 annual, The Doctor Who Anniversary Party and `Claws of Axos`, 40p plus SAE.
`Space Rat` issue 5 seems to be one of those rare zines that ventured into non Doctor Who territory so there’s Hitch Hikers and Blake’s Seven stuff in issue 5 as well. £1.10 from Val Douglas.
`Colony In Space` has a special issue to celebrate the anniversary including articles on 60s merchandise and interviews with both Michael Craze and Mark Strickson. 80p from Gavin French.
`Matrix` volume 1 issue 2 courtesy of Liam Rudden costs 70p and includes Paul Jerricho talking (presumably slowly) about the Castellan and some letters from Mike Yates’ mum. Strange.
`Phaos Project` has a debut issue and they also interview Mark Strickson as well as fiction “if you can stand it” says self deprecating editor Kevin Gardner.
Finally, `Console` issue 8 celebrates the anniversary and manages to interview Anthony Ainley. Oh and Mark Strickson! He’ll be interviewed by anybody it seems. 70p gets you this zine from Keith Pickering.
That’s 15 independents zines this month! Just one more thing of note- a planned membership fee increase has been avoided and it will remain at £5 until at least 1985. Huzzah!

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