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By Paul and Felicity Scoones

Day of the Daleks represents one of my earliest exposures to Doctor Who, way back in September 1975 on its first New Zealand transmission. I have distinct recollections of the soldiers battling Daleks in the stately mansion and in the caves beneath the house (rather like Batman's Batcave), where the Daleks were attacked by a giant metal snake. Clearly the memory is capable of considerable deceit. I discovered a few years later when I began reading the Target books that I had confused two stories screened here a year apart. Mind you, I also discovered that I'd merged scenes from The Three Doctors and Carnival of Monsters.

Jump forward eighteen years to 1993, and as Day of the Daleks is screened here for a third time I make a point of watching it in the 'old style' - at the rate of one episode a week. I'm reminded of the impressive performance delivered by Aubrey Woods as the Controller, but to my mind there's not a lot else to commend this story. The paucity of Daleks is all too painfully obvious, and as for their voices! Paul Bernard's directorial style is best described as 'flat'; the scene in which the delegates return calmly and happily to their cars in the midst of a Dalek attack is simply unforgivably awful. Jon Pertwee's Doctor is at his most boringly moralistic and arrogant, and Katy Manning's Jo Grant does the emancipation of women no favours. The child-like fascination is lost forever.

Still on a nostalgia kick of sorts, I'm very proud to have in this issue an in-depth interview with someone who (amongst other claims to fame), had a hand in the very earliest issues I encountered of Doctor Who Magazine. My collection coincidentally started with Gary Russell's first appearance on the editorial team. I read those 1984 issues cover-to-cover several times each, particularly Gary's articles. It is therefore a real buzz, for me, to discover that Gary so positively enjoys reading TSV, as he reveals in his interview.

Our promised second interview has been delayed until next issue. What do The Androids of Tara, The Armageddon Factor and City of Death all have in common? Find out next issue - if you haven't already guessed!


After receiving the interview with Gary Russell printed this issue, Paui and I were inspired to seek out some issues of Shada, the fanzine Gary edited in the early eighties. It was interesting to note that in the editorial of one issue, Gary expressed the hope that the zine would still appeal ten years on, specifically in 1993; and there we were, reading it. I wonder what the average life expectancy of an issue of TSV is. If you keep it reverently on your bookshelf, great, but if you donate it (unread?) to a passing Israeli library (this happened), I don't know that I want to know.


This item appeared in TSV 37 (January 1994).