Home : Archive : TSV 41-50 : TSV 48 : Review

Doctor Who Magazine Review

By Paul Scoones

Doctor Who Magazine 238 (8 May 1996); 239 (5 June 1996); 240 (3 July 1996); 241 (31 July 1996)

For more than eighty issues, Doctor Who Magazine has thrived in spite of the fact that the show was effectively a thing of the past, at least in the eyes of the buying public, whose continued interest is essential for any commercial publication. Now that situation has been rectified, and the magazine has not been slow to embrace the new television movie.

The intensive coverage led off in issue 238 - a full two months before the movie went to air - with interviews with Paul McGann, Daphne Ashbrook and director Geoffrey Sax, followed by Sylvester McCoy, Eric Roberts and writer Matthew Jacobs in 239 and executive producer Philip Segal in 240. The McGann, Ashbrook, Sax, Roberts and Segal interviews were conducted and written by Gary Gillatt, whose clarity of writing contains such vividness that I almost felt as if I had sat in on the interviews myself. The talk with Paul McGann particularly sticks in the mind for capturing the personality of this man who is now the focus of fans worldwide. Doctor Who Magazine deserves praise for its detailed and lengthy coverage of this exciting new development, and I hope that Gary has further material accumulated on his trip to Vancouver with which to enthrall us in forthcoming issues. How long before we see an Archive feature on the movie, I wonder?

Issue 241, the most recent issue received, steered away from coverage of the movie to present a tribute to Jon Pertwee. It was fortunate timing that saw Pertwee interviewed for the semi regular 'Out of the TARDIS' feature just one month before his death, as this extensive and candid talk with the man who was the third Doctor provided an effective final impression of a fine actor and entertainer. Fittingly, Pertwee's favourite story, The Daemons was selected as that issue's Archive. Previous issues featured Colony in Space (238) Earthshock (239) and Marco Polo (240).

The current epic comic strip story, Ground Zero is one of the most controversial in the magazine's history. Back in 1992, a deliberate effort was made to reconcile the continuity of the comic strip with the New Adventures. Bernice joined Ace in the strip and events in the novels were mentioned in passing. Reciprocally, Doctor Who Magazine's Abslom Daak cropped up in a New Adventure. Now, apparently inspired in part by the movie, the latest strip ignores so much that has gone before to present a story in which the New Adventures apparently never took place. The violent demise of Ace in 241 (with artwork clearly inspired by the Batman comic A Death in the Family), is perhaps effectively setting the scene for the dark brooding Seventh Doctor of the movie but I believe that to have done it at the expense of so much previously established continuity is misjudged.

Is it just me or do the long-awaited The Evil of the Daleks telesnaps revealing an impression of the story which is slightly at odds with the classic that it has always been made out to be? It just doesn't look that enthralling in the photographs; but there are still two episodes to go - I'm looking forward to seeing the final climatic Dalek battle on Skaro.

This item appeared in TSV 48 (August 1996).