“Yes, One Day…”

On the cover of the latest DWM Catherine Tate is quoted as saying “Could Donna come back? In sci-fi, anything is possible”, and with the rumours buzzing around now about next year’s specials, you could quite easily believe that anything indeed could be possible. Even something as familiar and, well, as expected as just that.

I may not be alone in thinking last series’ return of Rose Tyler a pretty unnecesary distraction, prompting a resolution to a story arc that we’d likely all thought was already neatly finished, for better or worse. As one discussion thread on Tolkein fan site Theonering.net about the forthcoming Hobbit movie/s suggests, many reunions and familiar faces end up making universes once bursting with potential smaller with each return visit – the Star Wars prequels may be a case in point. So with Who I think there’s a fine path to be treaded. It might be a winner with the present audience (and that may be the bottom line for the show’s producers), but it’s not helping the ‘go-anywhere-do-anything’ promise the original series was built on, and which the new series’ first episode reaffirmed. New things, new faces, new places are as vital to the series as the changing of the lead actor- they’re all in themselves mini-regenerations. That said, there’s always room for some personal double-standarding, so with the buzz of this week’s rumour still in my ears, may I say to no-one’s surprise that this character’s return would be most welcome.  

But it’s also a certaintly in life that not everyone gets a certain return ticket, and your faithful editor is no different. Over the last year ZeusBlog has farewelled Jono, original co-editor of Zeus Plug, and now I feel it’s my turn to say “goodbye… soonish”. There’s a world beyond the blog that offers a chance to flex my sketching muscles a little more, spring and summer will inevtiably demand the DIY routine, and as some of you already know, there’s the issue of a third family member’s arrival in January to address, all going well. 

So it’s not quite goodbye from me, but ZeusBlog is likely to be a quieter place in the months to come, especially with no new episodes to review or further monstrous matches to contest. Fast Return will stick around – it writes itself. And then there’s the Christmas Special. And after that? Well, anything’s possible, isn’t it?

14 Responses to ““Yes, One Day…””

  1. Timb Says:

    I’d prefer that rumour coming true over Donna’s return any day!

    The details about you’re life outside ZB are a bit ‘sketchy’ – (Sorry couldn’t resist.) Any more info or have you told me already and I’ve forgotten? ;)

  2. Alden Says:

    Sadly the BBC has already quashed that rumour, thus upholding the old truth that if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is…

  3. Peter A Says:

    So it has. Fiddlesticks.

    I was goig to blog a fact Controller about this post-letdown, but realised that’d only live up to Paul S’s beloved theory that ‘when Adamson says he’s taking a break he does the complete opposite!’ :)

    The rumour’s as easily put together as anything the Sun could pull out of the Oggie Forum (as opposed to, in it’s heyday, it’s own ah-hah-harse) – McGann back, link to Time War, a known-known that he hated his wig. A few fans have probably put this together on the Forum as a ‘wouldn’t it be cool if…’ already over the last four years.

    In the cold daylight it seems so obvious <:(

  4. Al Says:

    Ah Peter, its absolutely the right thing for you to do, but personally, selfishly, a morning coffee without Zeus Blog is going to take some getting used to.
    As long as you really make sure you do utilise that magnificent illustrative talent of yours elsewhere we won’t be completely bereft, though. (I love that Editorial illustration above, by the way – a great one to end on!)

    As for the short-haired McGann, I thought it was recorded fact that the eighth Doctor was forced to regenerate after his wig caught fire at the gates of Arcadia?

  5. Paul Scoones Says:

    Remember to keep chanting the mantra, “I’m on a break.” Eventually it’ll stick!

    I’ve fans state that The Sun is fairly reliable when it comes to Doctor Who rumours, but to my mind it doesn’t add up. All too often their reports are culled from DWM or the Doctor Who Forum, and the times they’ve been way off the mark (Ben Kingsley as Davros, Zoe Lucker as the Rani…) seem to be forgotten after a while. So I treat everything printed in The Sun (or any other tabloid) with a very large dose of scepticism.

    I’m sorry to learn that Zeus Blog is winding down, but I’m not sure why it has to be this way. Have you considered bringing in a co-editor to keep things ticking over in your absence?

  6. Peter A Says:

    Thanks, Paul. This is something that has been on my mind for a long time – and you’re all excellent fellows, but casting a glance over this site’s regulars… three of you have your own blogs (as does Alex), Foo’s leaving the country soon, Dave’s experiencing fatherhood right now (so you can bet I’m taking notes!), and the more I look the less inclined I am to put the clamps of guilt on anyone.

    It’s ironic that the blog’s winding down just as the series is itself going to be less busy, but if I have any time next year… well, I’d still like to have a go at my own blog someday!

    And Al, your comments are as always welcome and flattering. I’ll definitely be keeping my hand in on artwork somewhere.

    Tim, there is a project I’m working on, ever so slowly. I may have told you already, but more information will come when things are more concrete!

  7. Paul Scoones Says:

    Fatherhood? Goodness, I’m out of touch these days! I mean, warmest congratulations to yourself and Bridget!

    Fair comment about not wanting to burden anyone else with ZB. I guess if there were any contenders with time, talent and inspiration they’d have waved a hand in the air by now.

    Why is it that fandom in general seems to be so much less creative these days? Has the all pervading internet sucked the juice out of them? There was a time when you couldn’t move for fanzines, chock full of fan writing; now fandom seems to post to forums grumbling about how they don’t have the latest book/DVD/CD/magazine (delete as applicable) yet.

    I’ll shut up now before I complete my transformation into a grumpy old man! (“Back when I were a boy, we had typewriters and glue sticks, and glad of it…”)

  8. Peter A Says:

    I’m sure there’s a good article to be had in the reasons for fandom ‘quietening down’ once the series is healthy (‘The Silence of the Fans’, anyone?). I’d recently thought that there must be an inverse relatinship going, which would explain the health of fan output during the ‘Wilderness Years’.

    Thing is, I’m not sure it’s so simple. Fanzines in the UK were big in the 80s when the show was, while no longer storming the ratings, still alive and kicking. The fandom of that age came of age and became the same fans who contributed to DWM, wrote novelisations, produced fan videos and got involved in Big Finish. And some of course went onto the new series. I think that with some exceptions we’ve lost a generation who would have come of age in the 90s. New fans – teens, are perhaps a bit young to be creatnig on a level equivalent to the 1980s UK fanzine boom, so what we get on the Net is typical of young fandom – mashups over fan fiction, and not a lot of examining the show in the context of the broader series (I bet if there’s a ‘I Kissed a Girl’ Who mash up out there it sure as hell won’t involve Nyssa, Susan or, er, Erato).

    Jamas tells me the D&D/RPG community has gone through this sort of soul searching too. We’re getting old, and the cavalry is some miles behind at the gymkhana.

  9. the_other_dave Says:

    I’ve been meaning to write an artical about fan apathy for ages, but…

    m’eh, I could never be bothered getting round to it…

  10. Paul Scoones Says:

    The huge surge in fanzines in the 1980s seems to have been at least partly attributable to a growing dissatisfaction with the direction the series was taking under Nathan-Turner, and when fans wrote about what perceived was wrong with the series it was invariably for a fanzine rather than the producer-censored DWM.

    With the lack of a series to rage about in the 1990s, coupled with the growth in professional outlets for fans (many of the staff of magazines like TV Zone and SFX are former fanzine editors & contributors), the whole fanzine revolution died away.

    Of course there are sections of fandom today who are just as critical of the new series, but internet forums have replaced fanzines as an medium for sounding off.

  11. rtpeditor Says:

    I think the apathy is in large part a reflection of a society where it is easier (and considered a better use of time) to post a quick 50 word complaint (poor grammar and txt speak a must!) on a forum than actually invest in writing something akin to a Uni level essay where the source material is examined in greater detail.

  12. Foo Says:

    U R so rite alx! hv 2 say tht predtve txt mks msgs ezr to unstan.

    Most forums I post on have rules about using txt speak and that it is unacceptable. So much can get lost in translation!

  13. the_other_dave Says:

    I was only partly kidding about the articles. There are about three of them in various stages of completion on my hard drive. The trouble is that trying to write about why we don’t write anymore just seems more than a little circular.
    One of the things I found doing them though is that there seem to be as many personal reasons for falling out of love with “creative fandom” as there are stories about finding the original series in the first place, and many people view their reasons as The Reasons. This is not to say those reasons aren’t valid (I particularly like Peter’s lost generation comments); just here are a few other thoughts to add into the grand tapestry.

    1, To me creative fandom seemed to explode to fill the void left when the series ended. It seems like no coincidence that fans made things they enjoyed when they stopped seeing it made by others, and the works they created sort of aged and matured with them. And once one fan group (and it only needed to be a few people) were able to put something together, it followed like a case of “monkey see monkey do”. I’m not suggesting they were easy, but printing your own fiction/stories/articles wasn’t technically difficult (not for the fledgling and often only first issue anyway). If you saw a gap you could fill it. Trouble is now the series is back everything is merchandised to pieces. There are no gaps to fill (books, audios, spinoffs) there is no need to do you own stuff, and in many instances it’s pretty hard to keep up with all the “official” merchandise.
    Which brings us to the second bit…

    2, It was pretty easy to be a creative fan in the days when the series was “dead”. It was like Latin. You could do what you liked with it. It was a closed system to study and everyone knew what you were on about. But now, by the time you’ve been able to get your stuff printed in a fanzine it’s very well out of date. It’s odd but you could write an scholarly analytical article about a twenty year old story and it could be fresh and interesting, but if you do one about an episode that aired a year before it sees print, it feels like yesterday’s news. A really bad analogy could be: it’s like a necrophiliac whose girlfriend’s come back to life.

    3, And part of it is the personal stake we all used to have in Doctor Who. When the series was off the fans ran the asylum. We took the ball and ran with it. We owned the show. Not in any legal sense, but in the way we invested time and effort, blood sweat and tears caring for it and nurturing it, keeping it going well after it’s use by date. It was like an abandoned toy you take home and repair and make yours, but now it’s back in the public domain, it’s hard to carry the nostalgia for something your kids are watching. With the toy example – the kids have come and claimed it back, and with the dodgier example previously – she’s come back to life and gone back to her old boyfriend…

  14. Peter A Says:

    That’s a truly disturbing analogy Dave!

    Paul’s comments are inteersting, but I wonder if the disconnenct between JN-T and the show’s fans in the 80s sufficiently describes the burst of activity elsewhere in the late 80s and early 90s? Did it promote the creation of TSV, for example? As one of the ‘creative’ fans, I know I was just inspired by what I saw around me and wanted to be part of it. If it hadn’ been DW, it would have been something else – probably Judge Dredd or something else comics-related. Time and place.

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