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April 8, 2008

Resurrection of the Daleks

So, back when Target was novelising Doctor Who stories, they ran into a bit of a snag with several of them. In the cases of Resurrection of the Daleks and Revelation of the Daleks, they were unable to come to an arrangement which writer Eric Saward and the estate of Terry Nation were all happy with. Nature abhors a vacuum (and so do fans), thus in January 2000 the NZDWFC published an unofficial novelisation of Resurrection of the Daleks along with reprints of the four previous unofficial novelisations. Time marches on, and now Resurrection of the Daleks is available to read online in both spiffy HTML and PDF formats.

As usual, there are a number of cool extras such as author's notes and an article on the history of the novelisation. As mentioned previously, I've still been getting emails asking if we're going to put the rest of the novelisations up, and I expect to continue to get them until the last one goes up. Perhaps I should put up a "coming soon" notice on the City of Death page (but then I'll probably just get "How soon?" emails).

See also: the write-up by Paul
Previously: TSV 56

Posted at 9:04 PM | Comments (1)

April 6, 2008

Torchwood Series 2 (spoilers)

James Marsters, I suspect, is trying to do a tour of the major SF franchises. So far he's been in Smallville, Torchwood (which is as near as spit to Doctor Who) and ISTR he has a non-speaking appearance as Tarkin in Episode III. Watch out for him in the new Star Trek movie! So, now Torchwood series 2 is over, I give you the ultra-short episode guide...

Continue reading "Torchwood Series 2 (spoilers)"

Posted at 1:45 PM | Comments (1)

March 26, 2008

"The Evil that is Doctor Who"

Dr Who Tardis on sale on eBay

"A TROWBRIDGE Christian who renounced the evil of Dr Who in favour of his religion is selling his collection on internet auction website eBay."

Posted at 9:07 AM | Comments (5)

March 14, 2008

TSV 56

And so we start on the last year of the 90s with issue 56 - the major item this issue was the Bottom Ten, another Doctor Who Magazine inspired article. Writers examined the ten stories which came lowest in the DWM mega-poll. I'm going to take a look at the stories myself further down this post. TSV 56 also contains not only the first installment of a new Erato comic Pex, but one of my favourite episodes of The Karkus (and the first Christmas episode, despite the issue coming out in January).

The big news this issue was the news about a missing episode, The Lion, turning up in Bruce Grenville's film collection. Paul Scoones wrote about this in the editorial, and Neil Lambess wrote up his first impressions in Indiana Who and the Lost Crusade. The full story is already online in TSV 57.

My favourite piece of artwork is Alistair Hughes' picture of the Destroyer from Battlefield. He also did the State of Decay picture on the back cover, for which we have a colour version as a bonus! Tom Baker looks a little familiar there... :) Also there is Peter Adamson's Mel and Pex artwork for the Bottom Ten entry on Paradise Towers.

See also: write-ups by Paul and Jamas.
Previously: TSV 55

Continue reading "TSV 56"

Posted at 11:17 PM | Comments (0)

March 2, 2008

Google Image Search fun!

If you do an image search on Google for Doctor Who title sequence, you'll see that I've managed to sneak a screenshot of the USS Voyager into fourth position. Screenshot with the image enhanced so you can see it better:

Google Image Search screenshot

Yes, I'm proud of my sneaking Trek into a Doctor Who search query.

Man, I really slacked off last month - 5 posts total, making it my slowest month since June 2006. Anyway, I'm having an unusually productive Sunday - I've caught up on most of my backload of DVDs, so I'm listening to The Blessing Tree and messing with things. Next task: work out why I can no longer edit templates in Movable Type.

Posted at 1:47 PM | Comments (1)

February 14, 2008

TSV 55

TSV 55 went online a few days ago, completing the set of 1998 issues. Two items were already up, though I've fancied up Notes from a Who Island a bit; More on the other item later! The current NZDWFC site scheme is beginning to bug me - the font is too small, the margins too narrow, and things could do with tidying up in general. However that's a job which is going to take Some Time, so I'm not sure when it'll be done. I have a vague idea for a new site scheme, which I'll be testing out on this blog, so stay tuned. Anyway, back to the issue!

Jon's Contextual Continuity article on the New Adventures (I'd love to see one for the new series!) is sure to be a useful resource. I was surprised to see myself thanked at the top, though I can't remember what, if anything, I contributed to the article! His Doctor's Dilemma column tackles a question about Seven Keys to Doomsday, but only explains how the UK version fits into continuity - what about the NZ performance? There's also a question about the TV movie console room; After last year's Children in Need sketch, it's apparent that the Doctor simply changed the desktop theme to "Steampunk".

Tenure without Trial was the other article which was already up. This was Peter's idea, inspired by an article Doctor Who Magazine had done detailing a fictional reality where Doctor Who wasn't cancelled after season 26. In our fictional history, the 1986 hiatus never took place, and Colin Baker continued as the Doctor for another three years, with the seasons being filled out with stories which were under consideration for production at the time, Slipback, a couple of the Trial of a Time Lord stories, and even Time and the Rani retitled and re-envisaged as a three-parter with Colin Baker and Nicola Bryant. I suspect our optimism may have been a little over the top at times, but it's difficult to say what Doctor Who might have become had things been different. Tenure is illustrated by Peter, of course, including a piece featuring the sixth Doctor and Mel which I'm bound as a Mel fan to mention.

The highlight of TSV 55 for me was Peter Adamson's comic strip Chrysalis, set on Vortis and featuring the eighth Doctor, which looks just as good online as it did in the printed issue. Fantastic artwork!

Next time on "What's Online": The worst Doctor Who stories ever!

See also: write-ups by Paul and Jamas.
Previously: TSV 54

Posted at 7:15 PM | Comments (2)

January 30, 2008

Doctor Who + Google Trends III

As Google has the data for 2007 up, we can now look at the Google Trends graph for Doctor Who last year:

[Google trends for 2007]

Comparing it with 2006's graph, it looks like there's a fairly consistant pattern emerging - queries roughly double once the show starts playing, spiking when the finale is aired, then in December there's another spike when the obligatory Christmas special airs.

[Google trends for 2005 - 2007]

Stacking all three years together, we can see that queries increased over 2006, though the difference between the Last of the Time Lords and Doomsday spikes is not as pronounced as the difference between Doomsday and The Parting of the Ways. I expect this trend will continue over 2008, though it will be interesting to see what effect decreasing output to 3 specials will have in 2009.

Continue reading "Doctor Who + Google Trends III"

Posted at 8:35 PM | Comments (4)

January 28, 2008

TSV 54

TSV 54 is online! 54 was done as a double issue with TSV 53, hence the lack of regular features such as the editorial.

The major article this time is Andrew Pixley's article By Any Other Name, exploring 60s BBC documentation to discover exactly what the names for the first twenty or so Doctor Who stories are. Back then, like now, each episode was individually named, and it wasn't until later in William Hartnell's era that stories were given an overall name onscreen. Thus the first Doctor Who story is known variously as "An Unearthly Child", "The Tribe of Gum", or "100,000 BC" with the title used in any particular reference book depending largely on when it was written and who it was written by.

Unfortunately it looks like they couldn't really decide on a title at the time, at least for most of the stories, so I tend to stick with the traditional titles as applied to the official BBC video and DVD releases. I'm therefore sticking to "An Unearthly Child" for Serial A. :)

There's also another comic strip, titled Whispers and featuring the fifth Doctor and Turlough. And an opinion piece by David Lawrence titled Why Paul McGann is the Best Doctor, though I'd be willing to bet that he's revised his opinion since the new series began...

I had two articles in TSV 54: Confessions of a Melaphile, and a collaboration with Peter Adamson and Jon Preddle: An Addition to the Discontinuity Guide: Slipback, both of which have been online for some time as part of the Mel Bush page and DiscContinuity Guide, respectively.

See also: write-ups by Paul and Jamas.
Previously: TSV 53

Posted at 7:36 PM | Comments (0)

January 25, 2008

An Open Mind

I help out in a technical capacity with a Doctor Who fanfiction archive where recently the moderators made a number of changes to the site policies. Some of the authors didn't like the changes, thus proving you can't please everyone all of the time, but I honestly think that the changes (I had little to do with them myself) have had a positive impact on the site.

Then there are the authors who tried to flagrantly break the rules, got abusive to moderators, and set up LiveJournals named "fighting_spoon" in order to complain about how unfair it was that they got banned. You can read about them in this fandom_wank post.

Which is why I try to avoid running anything.

Posted at 7:54 PM | Comments (0)

January 3, 2008

Boppin' Doctor Who screengrabs

A thread on the NZDWFC boards reminded me that there were a bunch of Doctor Who references in the Apogee game Boppin'. Check it out:

Rescuing a Dalek

Continue reading "Boppin' Doctor Who screengrabs"

Posted at 4:41 PM | Comments (1)

December 25, 2007

Religious Programming

From the current TV Guide:
Clipping: Religious Programming: Doctor Who Marathon

Merry Christmas. :)

Posted at 11:05 AM | Comments (0)

December 12, 2007

RTP 25 & TSV 75

On Monday, the latest issues of RTP and TSV both popped through my letterbox. Yesterday I was sick as a dog (don't ask) so I had the opportunity to read both from cover to cover.

RTP celebrates 10 years and 25 issues! Roughly half the issue is taken up by the last of the series of articles on Tardis Tales (including a reprint of the TSV 34 edition of Dr Hoo), and much of the rest is taken up by the end of Peter Adamson's comic strip masterpiece Cydonia. The latter was the highlight of the issue for me. Is there going to be an issue with Cydonia collected? The other major item being an interview with Kelly Buchanan of Random Static, a Wellington publishing firm who have taken over publishing the Faction Paradox line.

The only problem I had with this issue was an unfortunate choice of fonts. In the font used, the space under the tittle on the lower-case 'i' is very narrow, making it difficult to tell the difference between the 'i' and 'l'. As a result, the name "Billis" on the last page looks like a series of vertical lines with 'B' and 's' at opposite ends.

TSV, meanwhile, is celebrating 20 years and 75 issues with a slick and glossy full-colour cover. Oh, if only all the covers from now on could be colour!

One of the highlights of TSV for me, was Amy Mebberson's artwork for the Series 3 reviews, with a mixture of serious art and extremely funny cartoons. Some interesting view in the reviews themselves - I agreed with a lot of what was said, and it seems pretty much everyone agreed that the season ended on a bit of a duff note. The in-depth commentary on TSV 1 was fascinating, as was the screening history of Doctor Who in Singapore, though I suspect a more interesting question would be "Where did the tapes of the missing episodes go after Singapore screened them?!" (Jon addresses this a bit in the article).

In Doctor's Dilemma, Jon Preddle takes on the claim that Sylvester McCoy is the longest running Doctor, ad he technically held the title from 1987 to 1996, but Jon comes up with a different result. I think Jon's wrong though - Peter Davison has been playing the Doctor from 1981 to 2007 (last appearing onscreen in Time Crash this November, but also in the Big Finish audios) so, although he hasn't been the current Doctor all that time, technically he's still been the Doctor for the last 26 years!

I have two items in TSV 75 - two drabbles in fact, which were entered in the Drabble Who Challenge. If you want to read them, you'll have to get the issue. :)

You can preview the TSV 75 contents listing and cover on the NZDWFC site.

Posted at 7:43 PM | Comments (0)

December 11, 2007

TSV 53

Last Saturday, TSV issue 53 (published March 1998) went online. One of the two items I had published in this issue isn't up on the site - this was a brief note about NZDWFC web site:

"At time of writing, there are subscription information and contact details already up, and at time of printing, there should be a club history up as well. Also planned are a news page (mainly to detail upcoming conventions and chapter events - this will need the help of event organisers.) and a small archive of some of the articles and artwork which have appeared in TSV. Comments are welcome and appreciated."

"Small archive". Heh heh heh... That was the first time the website's URL appeared in the fanzine.

The other item was a comic strip which I co-wrote with Peter Adamson, and which he drew, called Dominion. It's one of only two comic strips I know of which feature companion Melanie Bush in a major role (the other being the DWM comic Plastic Millennium, which appeared in one of their specials).

Sadly, I don't still have the emails which flew back and forth between me and Peter during the writing of Dominion, but from memory he approached me with the idea of co-writing the comic strip. We wrote alternate panels and edited each other's work, with Peter also writing the first page pre-credit teaser and adding in a bunch of neat little touches, like the Nedla on the billboard the Doctor hides behind on page 10 (though admittedly I wasn't keen on this at the time!). I suspect I was responsible for several of the Dominators being named after game characters - Kano being from Mortal Kombat, and Rahn being an enemy wizard from Magic Carpet 2. Peter's designs are awesome, of course. Especially Anzor's costume and the flying Quarks.

And it has Mel dressed as a Dominatrix!

Also appearing in TSV 53 was A Question of Answers - a piece written by DWM Archivist Andrew Pixley which took a look at various esoteric questions relating to the history of Doctor Who. One of the questions he mentions that has never been answered is "Who was originally cast as Sarah Jane Smith?", and Andrew suggests some likely names, though naturally this is only speculation.

So, go read TSV 53. :)

See also: write-ups by Paul and Jamas.
Previously: TSV 52

Posted at 2:06 PM | Comments (2)

December 3, 2007

Heroes/Doctor Who Connection

As I was watching Heroes tonight (specifically the episode "Out of Time", which just screened here in New Zealand) I had a sudden sense of deja vu... Because this post refers to a series which is still being shown, I'm going to put the rest of this post behind a link to try to avoid spoiling anyone.

Continue reading "Heroes/Doctor Who Connection"

Posted at 10:45 PM | Comments (3)

November 20, 2007

Time Crash


[David Tennant staring at Peter Davison and vice versa]

Time Crash, the Children in Need mini-episode this year, was some 10% plot and 90% David Tennant bouncing around like an over-excited fan meeting Peter Davison for the first time. He should probably have gotten that out of his system before they started filming... Kidding: it's short and sweet and doesn't fit into continuity, but hopefully prompted some Doctor Who fans to donate to Children in Need. :)

I would, but when I tried it wouldn't recognise my post code. Typical!

In other Doctor Who news:

Posted at 8:07 PM | Comments (4)

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