It’s bigger on the inside!
Temporal engineering is surely the only way to explain how Alex has managed to fit such an embarrassment of riches into what is still a relatively slim volume. An interview, articles, reviews, artwork, comic strips and cartoons – there’s even a crossword, for heavens sake! You can keep your official activity books – get RTP! instead.
But to get inside, you must first get past the cover.
Are we about to read RTP! 26, or Doctor Who and the Sorcer’s (sic) Weapon? It’s wonderful to see RTP! with a colour cover and always charming to see some artwork from a young and enthusiastic fan, but in this case the result is definitely less than the sum of its parts. What we actually have is a landmark full-colour cover which looks as if it’s been hand-drawn by a young and enthusiastic fan. Instead of taking the opportunity to enhance RTP!’s own brand by adding colour to that sharp masthead logo, we see it instead shrunk and stuck somewhere near the bottom – in black and white! Cropping, angling, or drop-shadowing the illustration might have helped to make it an element of, rather than becoming the cover so that RTP!’s traditionally clean typography could still have been maintained. Never mind there’s always the back cover, where we have – a black and white illustration! (An extremely good one, but another missed opportunity for colour, regardless).
Alright, we’re now inside, and despite the terrifyingly narrow outside page margin (getting to the end of right-hand sentences is like playing chicken with the page edge, at times) RTP! 26 is, as usual, a delight. As implied earlier, there’s far too much on offer to do justice to in a short review – but three of the main features deserve focussing upon.
If the 8 page first part of ‘The Tower of Angum’ was a film, I’d have to say that it’s stylishly directed; with the panel composition and content both innovative and adept at communicating the story visually. I’m looking forward to Part 2.
James Grant’s reply (or rebuttal?) to Lorna Fleming’s recent TSV article ‘Planet of Fear’ is a well-researched piece which could so easily have become inflammatory, or at the very least pedantic. In fact, the Fleming TSV article is not just deconstructed with sensitivity and respect, but Grant offers equally fascinating alternative theories and observations for us to mull over. Articles like this show how much Fandom has grown up – leaving behind the days when differences of opinion often seemed centred on whether a story, Doctor or entire ‘era’ was ‘crap’ or not.
Speaking of intelligent opinion, the Morgan Davie interview also contains many thoughtful and balanced views on Fandom and writing in general. Davie also communicates the enviable excitement of living in Britain as the ‘new series tsunami’ built and broke in 2005 – something the rest of us can only imagine.
I’ll close by urging that everyone contribute to the always excellent ‘Fanboy Confidential’ at least once in their lives. It’s enormous fun, a cornerstone of RTP! and, as compiler Peter Adamson says:
“When we share, we heal.”