Archive for May, 2007

TSV 74

Friday, May 4th, 2007

This time last year TSV began its regeneration from its former chatty self. Issue 74 features the latest change to the zine, the removal of a series news page, similarly the length of reviews (although still the largest component of the zine) has been reduced. So what’s making up the issue nowadays?

Let’s begin with the cover. A good, central image and focal point, although it does strike me as a tad generic; the third consecutive one in fact to scream ‘this never happened on the telly!’. No bad thing, but having done my fair share of illustrations like this, I’ve the feeling I’ve seen it all before. The back cover however is just lovely, and would have been a welcome front piece for a Survival review – hopefully earmarked for TSV 75 or, dare I say it, any feature on the McCoy Era.

Inside the illustrations are a step up from the wobbly lines of fanzines past, although theNth generation xerox-like’ Series 2 accompaniments lack any impact whatsoever, and Amy Mebberson’s cartoons for editorial and inside back cover, while very charming, needed some explanation on the message board as to who they represented, which is a pity following such a stunning online debut.

Beyond this the content is actually pretty varied once you take the reviews out: perhaps befitting the editor’s UK location and access to some of the show’s personnel there are two interviews, one of which could be reasonably filed under: Curious – but not earth-shattering. There’s also the continuing saga of David Lawrence’s long excursion through the EDAs. To call this a review would be to diminish it unnecessarily, as it’s David’s prose which keeps it moving along, and while they’re not my cup of tea, it’s good that the zine is still acknowledging other media this way. Audio reviews feature – although Paul McGann’s recent radio adventures are curiously overlooked, and Jon Preddle brings back Doctor’s Dilemma after a long absence, though it’s a quiet slip through the door rather than a fanfare and red carpet. Back in the ’90s you could be assured a little controversy with Jon’s regular piece, but I wonder whether in this age of Google and Wikipedia the reign of any Who oracle has passed? And speaking of such, Andrew Pixley gives us another of his exhaustive Missing Moments, this time from The Sea Devils. Not a story I’m greatly engaged by, and it’s telling that one of its excised scenes reveals the thrill of someone getting up from a chair, checking a monitor and sitting down again. Maybe my concentration span wasn’t built for such articles; but I did like the illustration Al! And Jamas’ drabbles were fun for me, a person with a limited attention span for fan fiction at the best of times.

The rest of TSV can be reliably summed up as reviews. There’s no way twenty years ago that even a six-monthly fanzine reviewing contemporary episodes would have been lumbered with twelve separate stories, so it must be acknowledged that some of TSV‘s repetition of these (the series, followed by the DVD releases) has to do with new series format. But something should address this in itself. TSV Being a bi-yearly zine we can expect this sort of carry-on every second issue. The zine is clearly swamped with the weight of new series material, edging out in this issue the original series DVD releases for one, but even this controlled pulling back is making reading a challenge, and if personal elements like a letters page and club update are being withdrawn to make room for reviews, then this can not be a good thing. A national fanzine has a responsibility to inform fans, document its achievements and help maintain its community. TSV won’t do this by series reviews and story files alone.

I see an occasion in a few years’ time where this issue of TSV might be looked at in retrospect to see what local fandom was busying itself with, and that investigation coming up rather lean. In fact, over the last twelve months of the life of the NZDWFC a reasonable amount has happened – a pretty serious dust-up on the message boards, the appearance of Zeus Plug and accompanying it the revival of the main centre chapters and fan gatherings. In short, we fans actually got together and did what you’d expect healthy creative fans to do. Six months down the track, and you’ll find no mention of this in the national fan club journal. Seemingly in dumping the new series news page TSV has also done away with the local news and sport.

So it’s another gradual shuffle forward. If the new series hit us like a double decker bus then TSV is gradually regaining its ability to walk. It will be a slow recovery. Next issue is the celebratory 75, surely an occasion to look back and tell that story about running issue one off on the University photocopier again. To paraphrase another thing that screened (and was overlooked) between issues, TSV 76 is where it’ll all happen, and the zine had better be ready.


Fast Return – April 2007

Tuesday, May 1st, 2007

Fast Return

A golden rule has been broken! There was blood! On screen! We saw it!
Poor Anne Reid – what with this, and Hot Fuzz, she’s kind of become
synonymous with the stuff this year.

“Where are my toes?”
“Gherkin in a Jar”
“It IS the Rani”
“Love the new costume!”

These days you’d think we’d seen it all and read it all thanks to the twin colossi of Outpost Gallifrey and the BBC’s own Doctor Who site. But what’s this? Spoilers? Exclusives? Screencaps and free-to-anywhere rips of the new series trailer? No, it’s not a fan site. Well, it is actually, but not what you’d think. Step up the new First Site To Visit in Who fandom!


We have to ask…Was the TSV 74 cover especially chosen for an Easter unveiling, or what? A Mel Gibson editorial’s surely just an issue away.








It’s a commonly held fanboy belief that things just aren’t the same with the new series than the old. The Doctor’s younger, there are fewer cliffhangers and the stories aren’t made to please just us anymore (dammit!) But gor’bless that Rusty Davies for not only sabotaging his newest writer’s cliffhanger with a Radio Times cover, but allowing, for just a few days, some fan outrage at the supposed casting of Kylie Minogue. And he made Fairfax media look like a bunch of twonks. It’s like the 1980s all over again – the man’s a genius!


and finally…