23 June 2017

Fan Scene #2 Tardis issues 3 & 4 1976



Early 1976 saw issue 3 which was, unsurprisingly, a Jon Pertwee special and the first to be edited by Gordon Blows. The great thing about this issue is that rather than being somewhat removed from what was happening on screen `Tardis` now has news and therefore becomes a much more essential read. Back in 1970s the print and tv media only covered major Doctor Who related stories like a change of Doctor or new companion. For anything else fanzines became the go-to place for details.

21 June 2017

Doctor Who The Eaters of Light review



2017 Series Episode 10 - tx 17/06/17. Written by Rona Munro. Directed by Charles Palmer. Episode reviewed by Sean Alexander.
“Time to grow up…Time to fight your fight.”
Irrespective of the wide range of screen, stage and TV credits that have subsequently been added to her name (most with great acclaim), for Doctor Who fans the name Rona Munro will always mean one thing: the last Doctor Who story for seven years, and the final episode of a Doctor Who series for sixteen.  ‘Survival’ came at the end of what, for many, signalled a continuing rise in the show’s creativity and freshness first instigated by script editor Andrew Cartmel on his arrival in 1987.  But for mainstream viewers – and more importantly, BBC executives Jonathan Powell and Peter Cregeen – the die was already cast.  By the time Cartmel would pen a hurriedly written coda to Munro’s story, Doctor Who’s fate as an ongoing BBC production was sealed.  And it would be a long time before any smoke-filled people or song-blessed cities would go out under its banner again.

16 June 2017

`Bold` Chris Chibnall, low ratings, next Doctors and The Fan Show



Incoming showrunner Chris Chibnall has been talking for the first time about his appointment hinting that his approach will be radically different to his two predecessors. For all the debate that’s gone on about the merits or otherwise of Russell T Davies’ versus Steven Moffat’s  Doctor Who the basic format has remained the same. It looks like this will not be the case soon. Chibnall has said he didn’t expect to get the job because the ideas he put forward were so different to the pattern of the past 12 years he thought the BBC would never go for it.  This has been interpreted as the series becoming one long standalone story like Broadchurch for example. To which I’m sure the response might be- `Trial of a Time Lord`.This was the only time such an exercise was attempted and look what happened. I’m sure Chris Chibnall remembers too.  It is very difficult to imagine a Doctor Who story of such complexity anyone could write that would inhabit 12 x 45 minute episodes yet also be affordable unless the series was to become like Twin Peaks with plots that develop at a snail’s pace.
Maybe what Chibnall is really taking about is recalibrating the show to an older audience? 

14 June 2017

NEW SERIES Fan Scene #1 Tardis zine 1975

A new series of occasional posts looking at early Doctor Who fan publications.

`Tardis` fanzine Issues 1 and 2 (1975)

As is quite well known amongst Doctor Who fans `Tardis` was the official fanzine of the Doctor Who Appreciation Society (DWAS) from its foundation in May 1976. However it’s less well known that the zine had already been going for a year before this and indeed it was the original `Tardis` that actually brought some of the fans who would form the DWAS together which is rather appropriate. The person who actually started the zine though was Andrew Johnson a lifelong fan of the series from Essex who already edited another zine and started `Tardis` because he realised that there was a lot to say about the series.

11 June 2017

Doctor Who Empress of Mars review




2017 Series Episode 9 - tx 10/06/17. Written by Mark Gatiss. Directed by Wayne Che Yip. Episode reviewed by John Connors.
Funny how things turn out. There we were getting excited about the return of the Ice Warriors when what Mark Gatiss’ lively episode does even better is the return of the supporting characters. It’s been a while. One of the aspects of the Steven Moffat era has been relatively brief appearances by cast members outside of the regular or returning cast. Once in a while someone pops up who gets more to do- David Suchet being a recent example- but generally those additional characters are just there to flesh out the plot. Delightfully in this episode Gatiss gives at least five of the guest cast significant chunks of material so that you feel as if you know them a bit. Makes a welcome change.
Ssssspoilerssss beyond this point…

6 June 2017

Doctor Who The Lie of the Land review



2017 Series Episode 8 - tx 03/06/17. Written by Toby Whithouse. Directed by Wayne Che Yip. Episode reviewed by Roger Jones.
Being the third instalment of a trilogy, shared by three writers puts a huge weight on the Lie of the Land and Toby Whithouse. The trailer already had speculation that this was a retread of `Last of the Timelords` or `Turn Left`, fuelling the over-familiar and wearisome accusations of creative bankruptcy. So how did they do? Pretty well thinks Roger Jones, who of his own free will, shares his thoughts, which are the Truth.....

(Spoilers below)

29 May 2017

Doctor Who The Pyramid at the End of the World review



2017 Series Episode 7 - tx 29/05/17. Written by Steven Moffat and Peter Harness. Directed by Daniel Nettheim. Episode reviewed by Estelle Hargraves.
Mid-way through an unusual three-parter, `The Pyramid at the End of the World` brings us more of the Monks from last weeks `Extremis`, this time in real life instead of cyberspace. Some might see the last episode as ultimately a waste of time, given that it involved a computer simulation. A programme run by the Monks to determine the most vulnerable point in Earth's history for their invasion, being a simulation, meant nothing much happened in the real world other than the Doctor receiving an email to himself about the Monk's hitherto invisible threat.