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Doctor Who Magazine

Reviewed by Jon Preddle

[DWM 254] [DWM 255] [DWM 256] [DWM 257]

Issue 254 (30 July 1997)

This issue carries a Patrick Troughton theme, with interviews with directors Peter Moffatt (The Five Doctors, The Two Doctors), John Davies (supporting The Macra Terror telesnaps), and Tristan de Vere Cole (to tie in with Andrew Pixley's Archive on The Wheel In Space). The Macra Terror Episode 4 panels on page 47 are the very images I can recall watching three days after my sixth birthday on 14 August 1970! Great stuff. But despite being second Doctor-heavy the lead feature is the cleverly titled 'The Trial Of A Crime Lord', in which the Master is put 'on trial' and readers are invited to post in their verdict. Issue Highlight: TSV 50 is voted Fanzine of the Month, though sadly it's yet to result in any new subscribers...

Issue 255 (27 August 1997)

Another theme issue, this time with a 1980s flavour. This month is the 10th anniversary of the first appearance of Ace. And how do they celebrate? By inviting Sophie Aldred to be a guest editor; although one does wonder exactly how much of the issue was put together by the recently married ex-companion! Whatever the truth, this is a very fine issue. In fact, having a complete collection of DWM, I can honestly say that this would have to be one of the best issues - if not the best. As one would expect, the Archive is on Dragonfire, Sophie's first story. This issue also sees the first of a major feature examining the Doctor Who material that resides in the BBC Film and Video archive. However, the highlight of the issue has to be "What If?", an examination of what Seasons 27 and 28 could have been had the BBC not cancelled the series. Supported by mini-interviews with John Nathan-Turner, Andrew Cartmel, Marc Platt, Ben Aaronovitch and the other writers who had storylines or scripts in preparation at the time the series was cancelled in 1989, Dave Owen has fabricated a 'review' of Sylvester McCoy's 'fourth' season, and the eighth Doctor's 'first and only'. The eighth Doctor in this hypothetical account is actor Richard Griffiths, and his companion safecracker Kate Tollinger, 'played' by Julie (Ab Fab) Sawalha. The article is illustrated by cleverly designed mock-up DWM, book and video covers, Radio Times clippings, script extracts and production design sketches. Although semi-fictional it is a unique way of presenting the factual interview material. DWM should do more features on 'lost' stories in this manner. Well done Sophie!

Issue 256 (24 September 1997)

After the magnificence of the last issue, it is business as usual with the August edition, which sports what would have to be the ugliest cover layout that has ever graced this magazine! Two companions are interviewed: Sarah Sutton (doesn't she look old!) and Katy Manning (why are there no photos of her as she looks today?). The Archive on Planet Of Giants is supported by an interview with script writer Louis Marks, who also discusses his three other scripts for the series. The 1970s archive holdings are examined, in a highly informative article. Issue Highlight: the photo of the Taran beast on page 51!

Issue 257 (22 October 1997)

This issue carries a Season Eighteen theme; with a longer than usual Archive on Logopolis and reviews of the E-Space trilogy videos acting as a tie-in to the first of a major three-part interview with script editor and writer Christopher H Bidmead. Bidmead was interviewed in DWM many years ago, and a return has been long overdue. I was intrigued by the photo of Anthony Ainley in the feature on the forth coming Doctor Who CD-ROM; he reminds me of the 'old' Master in the Paul McGann TV movie. Was this look deliberate? The final part of the BBC Film and Video Archive article covers the 1960s. The piece has been carefully worded so as not to point any blame at New Zealand censors, who have been given conflicting press recently in the pages of DWM with regard to The War Machines. Knowing now that every single episode existed in the BBC's archives until 1972, one laughingly recalls intoxicated discussions with friends at New Years Eve parties at Maraetai beach about where one would go if one could make a journey in a time machine... Another fine issue.

This item appeared in TSV 52 (November 1997).