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DWM Review

By Jon Preddle

Doctor Who Magazine 235 (14 February 1996)

The feature article this issue is an examination of Doctor Who in terms of whether it holds up to the pre-teens of the nineties who have been brought up on Power Rangers and Aussie soaps. The story shown to these 10 and 11-year-olds is Terror of the Zygons. The kids' comments are quite humorous; and thankfully they all agreed that they would like to see more. Only two interviews this issue: Bob Baker and Dave Martin talk of their time writing for the show, and Verity Lambert talks about her final year as producer. The centre pages are given to an Archive on the Troughton classic The Web of Fear. I was somewhat surprised that there was no reference to the planned third Yeti serial in this article. I had expected that at least the title, The Laird of McCrimmon, would be mentioned. For the last year or so DWM has been running a series of one-panel cartoons, in which the writer, who goes by the mysterious name 'Quiquaequod', takes one of the internal illustrations from the early Target books and gives it a new caption. The one in this issue is quite effective; the new caption suits the drawing far better than the original!

Doctor Who Magazine 236 (13 March 1996)

'Paul McGann is the Doctor!' exclaims the cover of this issue, and with the new TV Movie heading the news, Gallifrey Guardian moves back to the front of the magazine. McGann also appears on the final pages of this issue, in a 'rogues' gallery' of photos of some of his previous roles. I get the impression that the photo of McGann from The Hanging Gale may have been the inspiration for the Eighth Doctor's look and costume. There are three interviews: Nicola Bryant (part one); Sheila Ruskin, to supplement the Archive feature on The Keeper Of Traken; and the second part of Bob Baker and Dave Martin's piece, which reveals a few hitherto unknown facts about their work on the show. This issue sees the first instalment of a new regular piece written by yet another unidentified individual, known only as 'The Monitor'. Here, the writer looks at the many plot and character similarities between Earthshock and Resurrection of the Daleks. I would like to make the prediction that the parallels between Remembrance of the Daleks and Silver Nemesis appear in this column some time in the not too distant future! Finally, JNT covers Season 20, and The Highlanders telesnaps come to an end.

Doctor Who Magazine 237 (10 April 1996)

Despite a splendid cover photo showing McGann in costume there is very little on the new Movie bar that which is covered in Gallifrey Guardian. All the interviews and set/location reports advertised in DWM 236 as being in 237 will now appear (hopefully!) next issue. (I imagine there will now be a plethora of McGann covers for a while, just as there were Davison covers back in the early 1980s). The Monitor returns, this time casting a glance at the uncanny similarities between the James Bond film series and Doctor Who, an article I always had in mind to write for TSV. The Evil of the Daleks telesnaps get off to an impressive start. I wish this story still existed on video; I am convinced it deserves its status as a true classic. The Archives is given a new layout, with a side-panel presentation highlighting interesting facts about the serial. Silver Nemesis had previously been advertised as being the story for this issue, but instead we get The Sontaran Experiment. Gary Russell's three-part comic strip, Black Destiny, comes to a conclusion, with the unexpected revelation that this and the previous two strip stories have all been linked in some way. All we know is that the mysterious 'watcher' has a TARDIS. Could it be the Meddling Monk..? Jean Marsh discusses her three roles in the programme; and the second part of the Nicola Bryant interview is rather revealing; and I'm not referring to her comments! Beauty And The Beast, indeed. Maybe the 'r' is missing from the last word? JNT covers the making of The Five Doctors and the 1983 Longleat 20th anniversary exhibition/festival in this latest chapter of his memoirs. This feature has proven to be the eye-opener I was hoping it would be. I wouldn't be surprised if the team writing Doctor Who - The Eighties uses this column as a major source document.

Doctor Who Magazine Spring Special: The Sixties Dalek Movies (February 1996)

I was disappointed in this special. The magazine gives a very basic look behind-the-scenes on the two Peter Cushing Dalek movies. There is very little information on the actual production of the films. Perhaps far too much emphasis is made on the marketing and merchandise aspect. I guess I was expecting a full examination of the making of the movies along the lines of the Archives in the monthly magazine. Instead, we get a less than effective version of the Dalekmania video. Indeed, I am sure that many of the quotes used come from the video! Given that 'Dalek-film expert' Marcus Hearn appeared on the video talking about the films and was the chief writer for the Special, one would have expected more information. But there is no mention of the fact that someone else dubbed Yvonne Antrobus's dialogue or that the extras playing Thals demanded more money to have their chest-hair shaved off! The token comic strip doesn't quite capture the style and humorous tone of the films. Seeing Cushing's Doctor battling a Martian war-robot just doesn't ring true. The magazine does have one positive side; the photos are nice to look at.

This item appeared in TSV 47 (April 1996).