“Look! It’s that JNT chap with his question marks – we best run!”
Fish Fingers and Custard Issue 9
Exciting Times Ahead! Doctor Who isn’t on our screens at the moment, and you know what? That makes me happy. Happier than a pig rolling around in its own faeces, happier than a bank manager every pay day and even more happier than a middle-aged Doctor Who fan when a new classic series toy is released. Why so? Because it means that Steven Moffat and his team are away planning, plotting and doing whatever it is they do. Filming is ongoing as I type this and rumours suggest that the 50th anniversary celebrations will be included in a 12 month-long block. They’ve had months to plan this and the excitement is slowly building up. I don’t know what to expect in 2013 (or 2012!), but I think not knowing just adds to all that anticipation. All we can do is hope that its worth all the hype (which has been generated by us fans, to be fair!) I’ve often commentated to myself (which could see me locked up, I know) that since doing this fanzine, I’ve kept myself away from all the spoilers, which will only make the return of Doctor Who more exciting. However, there’s always that publicity shot, trailer, newspaper article or website link that catches me out. I’m using this editorial to implore upon the BBC to stop spoiling things just to score cheap publicity points. Doctor Who is better than that and doesn’t need to do it. Steven Moffat has gone on record with his ‘dislike’ for people who push spoilers, but when he stands by and lets Doctor Who
Magazine publish 4 front covers with a theme of WHO WILL DIE? just days before the opening episode of Series 6, then it runs the risk of sounding a little bit hypocritical to those who aren’t fully versed into how promotion works.
There’s promoting something, then there’s being desperate for publicity. Doctor Who doesn’t need that extra fair-weather viewer to tune in - it already has a huge hardcore audience, so I really don’t buy into ‘well, we need more viewers’ line. We don’t. If people want to tune into Doctor Who, they will. And anyway – surely people buying DWM will tune in regardless? It reminds me of all the ‘big’ shows that you see constantly advertised. I don’t watch them personally, because I feel like it’s being forced upon me, many
Fish Fingers and Custard Issue 9 Finally, can I just thank all the kind folk who have either bought/downloaded/contributed to the fanzine so far. We only exist to offer fans a platform to air their views about Doctor Who, so if YOU would like to say anything, please feel free to e-mail us at anytime! We can only print what we receive from our readers, otherwise it’ll be crap(pier)!
people feel the same. If people know the basic plot of something, then nothing will surprise them when they watch it. They’ll just think its rubbish and not tune in again. In the run-up to the 50th, they’ve got a great opportunity to hide potential spoilers behind the celebrations. Let’s hope they do! In other (exciting) news – two missing episodes have been found! You can read our view in the next couple of pages, but what fantastic news this is, leading into this exciting time for Doctor Who fans. Is it too much to hope that another may be found in the run-up to the 50th?
Here’s to an exciting few months for Doctor Who! Cheers Danny
This Issue of Fish Fingers and Custard has been put together by the following people. And aliens. Editor: Daniel Gee Contributors: Nicola Pilkington, Cory Eadson, Tabitha Mounteer, Will Barber, Alex Giles, Caron Lindsay, James Heath Lantz, Davide Dickinson, Steve James and Chloe Hardy. If you want to contribute to future issues of the fanzine please e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org Doctor Who is © BBC - AND DON’T YOU FORGET IT! Fish Fingers and Custard is an independent publication and has got nothing to do with the adult video series of the same name. Just so you know.
Fish Fingers and Custard is a non-profit fanzine that is distributed as a free PDF or in print, at a small cost to cover production. If enjoy our content, please consider slipping a quid or two to our adopted charity, KidsOut, who’s aim is to bring a bit of fun to the lives of children, all over the UK, who are ill, disabled or disadvantaged. There's no pressure to give anything, we're just 'passing the hat around' for a good cause. It's totally up to you! You can view our JustGiving page at http://www.justgiving.com/fishcustardfanzine Cheers!
Fish Fingers and Custard Issue 9
The Lost and Found It's an aspect of Doctor Who that has always fascinated me. Missing episodes. 106 still remain missing, as the BBC made the short-sighted decision to wipe their video tapes. Many were recovered by overseas broadcasters and fans, but as the world grows smaller, finding them all, or just even a few, seemed like a massive uphill task. Like walking up Everest in just your socks. So what a great moment it was on th the 11 December 2011, when it was revealed that episode 3 of 1965 serial 'Galaxy 4' and episode 2 of 1967's 'The Underwater Menace' were recovered by a private collector in the 1980's, and only came to light a few months ago! I was in the pub when I found out and I may have alarmed people with my excitement! It's fantastic news for Doctor Who fans everywhere, as apart from getting those episodes back - it also gives us fresh hope that more will be recovered. How many other collectors are sitting on unlabelled film cans? How many Television stations around the world have got film cans that haven't been checked? There's still the long-standing belief that many countries around the world could be a potential goldmine for lost BBC material. It's a fascinating and exciting prospect! I'm hoping the BBC and fans alike can make this news go global, to remind people that they are still searching for a long-lost episode that is held in a dusty film can. Galaxy 4 is arguably the most important discovery of the two, as the only existing clips were censor cuts which were made by ABC, the Australian broadcasters. Episode 3 contains The Rills, which were aliens that were thought to be lost forever and would never been seen on film. Episode 2 of The Underwater Menace has been added to episode 3 and now just 2 episodes of that serial remaining missing. The last missing episode discoveries were in 2004 and it seemed unlikely that any more would be found, but fans never gave up hope - and here we are. If you read the message boards, it's amazing to see what people (volunteers) actually do, just to find a 40-odd yearold episode of a children's sci-fi series that they love so much. From going through piles and piles of tapes in Africa and Asia, to pulling old film cans out of skips - it would make a decent Panorama documentary (hint, hint BBC - get it sorted!) Its things like this that stands Doctor Who out from the rest of television and shows people that it isn't just a program. Ironically, the last year or so has seen the BBC turn to Big Finish and their partners, to produce an animated version of 'The Reign of Terror', which has two episodes missing. With the technology available these days, it seems a logical step towards filling those gaps. All the soundtracks of the episodes exist, so it's just the pictures we're missing! But nothing will ever replace those originals broadcasts, grainy footage and all, so it's great news that at least 2 missing episodes won't be animated!
Fish Fingers and Custard Issue 9 The two episodes in question were found by a collector who picked them up for a couple of quid off a car boot sale. That sentence alone just paints a clear picture of what we’re dealing with! Due to the missing censor clips, we can say that The Galaxy 4 episode originated from ABC and on its return to the UK, passed through a number of hands, over a number of years before it found its way back to the BBC. The problem with retrieving episodes is that all of the world’s television studios are not that fastidious with their paperwork. For those who don’t know, film cans were shipped all around the world, from country to country. This is known as ‘bicycling’ and the last country on the list was instructed to send the film back to the BBC, or destroy it themselves. It’s not too outrageous to believe that they did neither of these, it’s how many of the episodes were found after all, but its tracing them that provides the biggest headache. They could be anywhere. Is it too much to hope that greedy film collectors are hoarding more lost episodes? With fans, being fans, unbelievably, they’ve been moaning about the fact that the episodes recovered are The Underwater Menace and Galaxy 4! Can you believe it? From just a soundtrack, novelisation and pictures, they’ve somehow come to the conclusion that these stories aren’t the best. Who gives a shit? We NEVER had these episodes before and now we do! I really don’t know how you can judge a television story on something that doesn’t physically exist on film, anyway! We have to be grateful for every single second of film that can be recovered. Never look a Gift Arthur in the mouth! It can be so easy today to write off an episode. We’ve got DVD’s, Blue-rays and downloads of Doctor Who content, which we can keep. Back in the 60’s, they just filmed something and threw it on a shelf somewhere. As someone who became a fan of the series in 2005, I thought it was fascinating (as well as silly!) that television took that policy. I can understand why they didn’t repeat anything (3 channels, so little time) I can understand why they wiped expensive film, but I just can’t understand why they couldn’t have made that extra copy when they were transferring it to cheaper film and selling it aboard. Why didn’t the idea of building an archive come along a lot sooner? These are programmes that cost the public money, for goodness sake! Surely it was in the public interest to keep these programs for the future? Sadly, we’ve lost some valuable art which we’ll never get back. Doctor Who wasn’t the only victim of this - hundreds, perhaps thousands, of radio and television shows don’t even exist anymore because of this policy. We should be glad that Doctor Who is pretty-much all there. In the meantime - check your attics and car boot sales! DANIEL GEE
Fish Fingers and Custard Issue 9 Missing Doctor Who Episodes The First Doctor
The Highlanders - all four episodes missing
Marco Polo - all seven episodes missing The Reign of Terror - episodes 4 and 5 (out of six) missing The Crusade - episodes 2 and 4 (out of four) missing Galaxy Four â€“ episodes 1, 2 and 4 (out of four) Mission to the Unknown - single episode story, missing The Myth Makers - all four episodes missing The Daleks' Master Plan - episodes 1, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11 and 12 (of twelve episodes) missing. The Massacre - all four episodes missing The Celestial Toymaker - episodes 1, 2 and 3 (out of four) are missing
The Underwater Menace - episodes 1 and 4 (out of four) missing The Moonbase - episodes 1 & 3 (out of four) missing The Macra Terror - all four episodes missing The Faceless Ones - episodes 2, 4, 5 & 6 (out of six) missing The Evil of the Daleks - episodes 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7 (out of seven) missing The Abominable Snowmen - episodes 1, 3, 4, 5 and 6 (out of six) missing The Ice Warriors - episodes 2 and 3 (out of six) missing The Enemy of the World- episodes 1, 2, 4, 5 and 6 (out of six) missing The Web of Fear - episodes 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 (out of six) missing
The Savages - all four episodes missing The Smugglers - all four episodes missing The Tenth Planet - episode 4 (out of four) missing
Fury from the Deep - all six episodes missing The Wheel in Space - episodes 1, 2, 4 and 5 (out of six) missing
The Second Doctor
The Invasion - episodes 1 and 4 (out of eight) missing, but re-animated
The Power of the Daleks - all six episodes missing
The Space Pirates - episodes 1, 3, 4, 5 and 6 (out of six) missing
For more information on how the search is going, visit the Missing Episodes Forum http://missingepisodes.proboards.com/ 6
Fish Fingers and Custard Issue 9
The Doctor, The Widow And The Wardrobe: Reviewed
A Long Wait Until The New Series! In recent years, one of the highlights of Christmas Day has been to gather round the television in the early evening for the Doctor Who Christmas Special. It's certainly more essential than watching the Queen in our house. We've gone from the Sycorax running amok while the Tenth Doctor sleeps off his regeneration to the searing poignancy of the final build up to his farewell with a futuristic Titanic with Kylie as a waitress, an unwitting Doctor imposter and flying fish soothed only by Katharine Jenkins along the way. What would this year have to offer? Let's put it in context first. The last series saw the Doctor's public murder and private escape. Of course, it's an open secret amongst those close to him that he's still alive, but he's keeping a low profile and staying away from them. So,
it's a lonely Doctor who's wandering around the universe getting himself into scrapes. He starts the episode by falling from a spaceship. If it were River, he'd be waiting with the TARDIS swimming pool roof open or something, but there's nobody to catch him. He has to make do with fighting his way into a space suit, back to front, before crashing to earth in some sleepy little English village. Didn't he do that before and leave a little girl heartbroken? Anyway, he finds himself at the bottom of a crater in 1938 and he's rescued and driven by Madge Arwell, who seems to be a very accepting soul. Not many of us would casually help a spaceman from the future with a suit on the wrong way round - especially one who criticised their driving. Three years on, Madge, played by Outnumbered mum Claire Skinner, receives the awful news that her RAF pilot husband has been killed in action
Fish Fingers and Custard Issue 9 just before Christmas. She decides not to tell her two children, Lily and Cyril, because she doesn't want them to forever associate Christmas with their Dad's death and packs up the family to spend the holiday at the unseen Uncle Digby's home, run by a mysterious and slightly bonkers caretaker - our Doctor. He's clearly going for the Mary Poppins style. The children's room, complete with hammocks has all sorts of magical treats. However, typically, all that magic within their bedroom is not enough to keep young Cyril occupied. He just has to open the huge present under the Christmas tree downstairs - which is a portal into a magical world, just like Narnia. Like all good Who adventures, the main protagonists are separated and each work out bits of the story. A good idea of the Doctor's, to give the kids some happiness and fun, goes awry, as you might expect. From flying fish twelve months ago, we've moved on to trees with little starry souls seeking escape before the landscape is plundered for energy. No parallels with anything modern there, then. Bill Bailey and Arabella Weir are absolutely brilliant as hapless representatives of the company destroying the forest. It just goes to show that there are jobsworths alive and well in the 24th century. Weir wrote about her experience for the Telegraph recently. These characters' contribution was quite brief but very funny and I want the Doctor to meet them sometime. The way the story unfolds, which amounts to the ever accepting Madge carrying an entire planet's worth of tree souls in her head and thinking them to their new home, is both funny and poignant and has an unintended consequence. However, Moffat did make a huge howler in an effort to shoehorn a superfluous plot line into the script. I'm fine with our heroes illuminating the time
vortex at exactly the right spot to guide our RAF heroes home, but I'm not ok with stalking being shown as an appropriate courtship ritual. We learn through flashbacks that Madge's husband followed her home every night until she agreed to marry him. I'm sure it wasn't meant to be as offensive as it was, especially as he didn't much seem to mind having a wife who was as open and accepting of strange, futuristic concepts as Madge. However, it is simply not right for a bloke to repeatedly follow a woman through a lonely, dark, scary forest at night until he gets his way. Earlier in the episode, the Doctor tells the children that the TARDIS is his wardrobe. A casual glance at the clock as the wartime story concluded told me there was more to come. As soon as Madge claps eyes on the TARDIS, she knows that the caretaker is the man she helped out all these years ago and when he tells her he can't see his friends because they think he's dead, she basically tells him not to be so daft.
He then turns up at Rory and Amy's TARDIS like house. I have to say I'm not convinced that our Amy is so po-faced that she'd take a water pistol to carol singers, but what was undeniable about that scene was the amazing on screen chemistry between Karen Gillan and Matt Smith. I know that there probably wasn't much further to go in the whole Amy-Rory-River story arc, but the recent news, announced by Steven Moffat, that
Fish Fingers and Custard Issue 9 Karen and Arthur Darvill would be leaving during the new series, made me very unhappy. I wouldn't have minded if they were to disappear but remain contactable, like Sarah Jane Smith did, but it seems that there will be some heartbreak involved. Why? It's just not necessary to do that to some muchloved characters. I wonder if it'll involve them going back to the library to try to get River out of the computer. You never know. But back to the matter in hand. The Doctor's Christmassy indulgence in going back to Amy and Rory's will surely have alerted the Silence that he's still alive. After all, even the most incompetent group of people would keep an eye on their enemy's associates, just in case. The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe was searingly sad in places. Watching Madge having to experience that emotional pain to the maximum was really tough but, unlike last year, we know that the pain ends there. There were moments of comedy gold and some good old sentimentality. Moffat took the idea of Narnia and, as Louis Walsh would say, ‘made it his own’. I'm not quite sure he'd remind anyone of a young C S Lewis, though. It wasn't my favourite Christmas Special and, to be honest, I think I preferred the flying fish last year, but it ticked all the boxes it needed to tick.
Christmas Carol was beautifully done. I had high hopes for The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe. Unfortunately, they were quickly crushed like pavement under the feet of the Incredible Hulk. An episode that had the potential to be a stunning tribute to C. S. Lewis' The Chronicles of Narnia turned out to be a huge mess. Much of the story felt like random scenes better suited for a trailer than a full holiday offering. In its defense, The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe did start well. However, at some point, it seems like Steven Moffat and company got lost along the way. Much of this special gave me the impression that left over plot threads for unused scripts were sitting in a file cabinet or computer hard disk waiting to be used. Had they been utilized in a good way that made sense, I wouldn't be complaining, but I continue to find myself questioning the entire point of most of this episode as it is right now.
It's going to be a long wait for the new series. CARON LINDSAY Holiday Depression Ever since I first saw David Tennant's debut in The Christmas Invasion, I've found myself looking forward to the Doctor Who specials. I've enjoyed the previous outings immensely. In fact, A
Ensemble casts, the Doctor Who Christmas specials have been full of them, and The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe is no exception. Still, I cannot help but wonder what Bill Bailey was doing in it. His part is was nothing
Fish Fingers and Custard Issue 9 but a mere cameo that served nothing more than to kill time and say to the audience, "Hey, look who we got to star in this." Quite frankly, this episode is a waste of Bailey's talent. Anyone who has seen him in things like Black Books would probably agree with me. Hopefully, if Bill Bailey shows up in Doctor Who again, he'll play a character that works for the story and shows off his acting abilities well.
Widow and the Wardrobe. Unfortunately, I was left disappointed with the overall final product. Let's hope this Christmas special isn't the shape of things to come for Doctor Who. It would certainly be a shame for such a quality television series to become as unwatchable and boring as this was. See ya in the TARDIS! JAMES HEATH LANTZ
There is a lot of talk in internet forums about The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe being too sappy and sentimental. I can let that slide as it is a Christmas special. However, two things bother me a little more than poor Bill Bailey not having a decent part in this episode. First, how the hell did the Doctor get on that alien ship in the beginning? There was no explanation for it, and I felt like we were put into the middle of the story without any background information. The prequel scene, unlike the ones for the episodes in series six, did nothing to help this. The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe makes viewers wonder about things that never come to a satisfying conclusion. That in addition to various plot threads thrown together in what looks to be a rushed job of randomness make it a big let down. I said that two things got my goat about The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe. Well, the second thing is the concluding scene with Amy and Rory. I mentioned in my review of series six part two that I'm not a big fan of those companions of the Doctor. Now, in spite of that, they have had some good moments in Doctor Who. However, this episode is not one of them. The Ponds feel forced into this particular Christmas special. To be brutally honest, The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe would have been better off without Rory and Amy. They were utterly useless in it. I really wanted to like The Doctor, the
Always Watch Again! You know what? It’s taken me two months to watch The Doctor, The Widow and The Wardrobe again. Usually, I’ll watch an episode at least twice, so I can pass judgement properly, before throwing it to one side for a future rewatch. I don’t know what it is with this episode, it wasn’t terrible or anything, it was just that it didn’t excite me enough to go and pick it up again. Needless to say, I actually thought it was okay when I watched it again, but that excitement factor still wasn’t there. What it did have going for it, was the pace of the whole thing. I was really surprised (both times) when we reached the end and an hour had gone. The pacing and the gorgeous look of the episode was spot on. There’s always been a criticism of Doctor Who that it’s always looked shabby. I really don’t know how much more they can do to this episode to make it look any better – and that’s been achieved with the shoestring budget they have! Saying that, the cast is a small one and guest stars - Bill Bailey, Arabella Weir and Paul Bazely, can’t have been on set for long, judging by the amount of time they had in the episode! That was probably the biggest disappointment of the whole thing, although I do have the feeling that they could come back for some reason…or maybe I’m just being hopeful!
Fish Fingers and Custard Issue 9 It started off brightly enough – The Doctor (an alien who can actually conserve oxygen for a small period) falling to earth try to catch his IMPACT suit (it’s NOT a Spacesuit, all you pedantics!) only for him to put his helmet on backwards! What follows is a nice comic piece that introduces The Doctor to Madge. I’m not really fond of the ‘make a wish’ line, but I took this as being some sort of fluffy coincidence, rather than a Doctor Who canonchanging piece. From there though, I just feel it slowly starts to wane. The direction and build up is beautiful, however it seems we can’t go 30 seconds without any music in the background. Great music, yes. But when it’s played too much and too loud, it does get a bit annoying. Another thing that could have been annoying, was The Doctor acting like Willa Wonka (The Gene Wilder version, not the Michael Jackson one) whilst showing the kids around the house. I felt it was pitched just about right though and something that would probably make children giggle, so it’s fine by me. What I didn’t think they pitched right, was the moment they went through onto the planet. Fans seem to be wetting themselves over the fact that the 3 Stooges were from Androzani Major. Sadly, they didn’t do any hilarious camera asides, so they can’t have been from Androzani! In all seriousness though, I didn’t really feel anything and I think that’s a problem when you can’t connect with the drama. I couldn’t really give a toss about those trees, I didn’t really feel anything for Madge, I just wanted the episode to come to its conclusion so I could watch Coronation Street! Maybe it’s my fault? Maybe I’m not the audience they should be appealing to?
but throughout the episode we had a couple of examples of people ‘crying when they’re happy’, which The Doctor couldn’t understand. But when he learns that people do actually care about him, it brings a tear to his eye. Its beautiful writing and beautiful acting. Just a shame the latter wasn’t applied throughout the episode! The problem I find with these Christmas episodes though, is that they go out of the norm than they usually do. I can understand that they need to appeal to the casual viewer, but it can be done so much better. Thankfully we didn’t have any Cyber Kings in this, stomping around, so that’s to its credit. But I’m taking about the need to make Doctor Who into a fairy tale and fantasy show just to appeal to people. It doesn’t need to do it. Doctor Who has been great for a number of years and can produce Christmas episodes that are so much better than we’ve had. I know Voyage of the Damned gets a lot of stick, which I can’t understand as I enjoy it. The villain of the piece wasn’t a monster. It wasn’t a supercomputer. It was a greedy man who wanted to cream off insurance money. Sometimes, like in life, its doing something simple that produces the best results. We’ll ignore all the dialogue disasters (Madge knowing about Radar…even the pilots didn’t know about Radar until after the war!) and the kids not growing in 3 years, as it’s something not really worth getting angry about! Overall, The Doctor, The Widow and The Wardrobe won’t go down as one of the classics. It doesn’t do anything spectacular or memorable. It’s just a decent, solid episode. Let’s move on and enjoy what the next series has to offer! STEVE JAMES
What I DID enjoy though, was the ending. Yes it’s Amy and Rory again,
Fish Fingers and Custard Issue 9
He’s Back! We took the mickey out of Tom Baker in the first Issue of the fanzine by giving a list of TEN ridiculous things that would happen before he does any Big Finish audios. Thankfully, none of those ten things have actually happened - and Tom is now recording as The Doctor again. So everyone is a winner! This has been a chase that has been going on since the early days of Big Finish and Tom, who has always seemed protective over his role, simply didn’t want to reprise his Doctor. The fans saw this as an absolute shame, as Big Finish always turn out a high quality production and Tom, with his relentless energy, could have easily slotted into the role again. As time went on there was a feeling that we (and Tom himself, but mainly ‘we’, as we’re selfish fans!) were missing out. But fair play to the man, I believe he’s a man of integrity and could have sold out years ago to play The Doctor again. Instead, he decided that once he left in 1980, that he wouldn’t return to a role that he’s so fiercely protective of, give or take his appearance in Dimensions In Time. Don’t forget that this is the man who called upon a random house to see how one of his episodes (that infamous drowning scene in The Deadly Assassin) affected the kids! So I think it’s safe to say Tom Baker is more concerned about the legacy of the show, which certainly puts him up in my estimation! In recent years, Tom did a u-turn and reprised his role for BBC Audio, to play The Doctor in The Nest Cottage stories - Hornets Nest, Demon Quest and Serpents Crest. These stories come in the form of 5 episodes apiece and are half-drama/half-narration. Due to this, fans were hoping he had softened his approach and would eventually agree to work for Big Finish. And low and behold he was officially announced nearly 2 years later! (Although the deal would have been going on for quite a bit, I’d like to think the June 2010 Issue of Fish Custard had a small bearing on this!) The Issues I do have with Tom’s BBC Audios was that it seemed like it was Tom Baker playing Tom Baker! The direction wasn’t as tight as you would like and it just seemed Tom was having a ball with the whole thing. That isn’t a bad thing - I just feel it takes you out of the story a bit, when The Doctor is quite clearly, not sounding like The Doctor. There are some scenes in Serpents Crest where he sounded very much his 78 years - I was concerned that he wouldn’t be able to recreate his Doctor again for Big Finish. Thankfully, those concerns are never realised as he hands in a magnificent performance as The Doctor. The audios are well worth listening to for Tom and Louise (who also winds back the clock 40 years superbly) alone. But a better reason to listen is that it just captures that era. The music, the atmosphere…everything. Well, apart from the effects!
Fish Fingers and Custard Issue 9 Big Finish are releasing a Fourth Doctor audio a month in their ‘Fourth Doctor Adventures’ series. The first of which is ‘Destination Nerva’. They have also released a box-set of 2 ‘Lost Stories’, ‘The Foe From The Future’ and ‘Valley of Death’. You can purchase these (and much more!) from www.bigfinish.com In the meantime, here are our reviews of the first lot of stories: The Foe From The Future I wasted a tweet, asking Louise Brealey (Molly in Sherlock) about whether she auditioned to play Rose Tyler (she did), but looking back now, I should have really asked her about Foe From The Future. I’m not going to ask again, as A) I got a reply first time, so I’m not going to push my luck and B) I don’t want to come across as a stalker. Anyway, Loo guests in this, a six-part epic that WILL keep your earphones glued into head. The story was originally devised by Robert Banks Stewart for the 1977 series, and by listening to this, you can easily fit this 6-part epic in there. In a word, it’s brilliant. ‘Adapted’ by John Dorney (although in fairness, he actually wrote quite a bit!) the story sees The Doctor and Leela encounter a village which seems to have been manipulated by someone. Or something. It’s very much in the style of Classic Who, with its (compared to today) complicated plot, but it works really well and knocks spots off anything the New Series has produced recently. Personally, I like my Doctor Who to be one long adventure, without any emotional padding and this certainly delivers - the last three parts of the story flow very well indeed, as it’s pretty much all-action. In a way, I’m thankful that this wasn’t made for television, as the main villains in the piece just wouldn’t look the part! The good thing with audio, is that the special effects budget is in your head! Tom and Louise have pleasantly surprised me with their performances, not in a bad way, but I was just a bit worried that they wouldn’t be able to sound like they did in 1977. Thankfully, they pretty much nail it, due in no small part to the great direction. Just close your eyes, listen and it really is 1977 all over again! The Valley of Death The adventure theme continues, as The Doctor and Leela end up in the jungle! They’re there to aid the great-grandson of a famous (but missing) explorer to uncover the mystery of what happened to his expedition. Tom Baker is clearly hitting his stride in this, as the first couple of episodes are a really fun listen. I felt it waned towards the end, but it’s still a decent listen nonetheless. The extras on the disc are confident that this story would have been done justice on television, but I disagree. It’s one thing creating the Amazon jungle in a studio, it’s another to pull off the rest of the story, which contains orange aliens, angry
Fish Fingers and Custard Issue 9 tribes, cities of gold and aeroplanes from times gone by. This is something which is perfect for audio and I’m actually quite glad we’ve got it in that medium! I must admit that I’m a fan of Conan Doyle’s The Lost World and this very much reminded me of that. There’s something about jungle exploring that screams ADVENTURE at you, as there’s many things you can put anything into the deepest, darkest places that we know nothing about. It reminds me of the great saying about the fact that we know more about the surface of the moon than we do about our own ocean. Perhaps a sea-faring adventure next please, Big Finish? I’ll write it for you! Overall, the box-set is well worth a listen if you’re a fan of Tom. The quote we keep hearing from Big Finish is that ‘It’s 1977 all over again’. It is. But it’s better than that! Destination Nerva It seems odd listening to a Tom Baker story and it all being over in just under an hour. Destination Nerva is the opening story in ‘The Fourth Doctor Adventures’ which is a series akin to that of Paul McGann’s 8th Doctor, due to the fact that they’re 2 parts of half-an-hour. I suppose this is a good choice in a number of ways, first it’ll help those new to Big Finish (who may have purchased this release solely because of Tom) to settle in straight away. Secondly, it’ll help Tom himself, as I would imagine he could record a story in a day, rather than spending a couple of days working all hours in the studio. As an old-school audio fan, I do enjoy the long-winded stories, but if it means better, tighter stories, then I’m all for it. As you may have gathered from the title, The Doctor and Leela return to Nerva, which was a Space Station that provided the backdrop to Tom’s first season in 1974-75. The early part of the story recreates that sense of horror that was evident during the 1977 series. In fact, the story ticks along rather nicely, but as soon as it gets interesting, it all fizzles out. I just got the impression that the story was fit around the time, rather than the time fit around the story, and as a result, the resolution is a bit rushed. With the size of the cast and the backdrop to the story, it’s understandable why it was fit into this format, but a bit more time for the story to settle down would have been apt. Perhaps I’m totally wrong with what I’m saying, but I did think ‘is that it?’ when it ended, so I agree with myself. I think. Those grievances aside, I believe Destination Nerva is a decent listen for any Who fan. There’s some great guest turns (Raquel Cassidy – Cleaves in The Almost People/The Rebel Flesh), some excellent horror build-up and Tom is on top form. What more do you want? A free taster? Well you can download that from the Big Finish website! I’m very much looking forward to the next few releases, but I’m really hoping that some more Lost Stories appear. We need more Tom! DANIEL GEE (Photos © Big Finish)
Fish Fingers and Custard Issue 9
Season 6B: Officially An Unofficial Season Season 6B: A whole season, a whole era of Doctor Who, created purely to fill in a few critical gaps in the shows’ continuity. Devised by the authors of The Discontinuity Guide (Cornell, Day, and Topping, 1995), this fan theory has been widely regarded and accepted as canon, with the legendary Doctor Who writer and script-editor Terrance Dicks even utilising it for two of his own spin-off novels! Before we look at the proposed season itself, let’s first examine where the gaps in continuity sprung from in the first place.
remember him. This surely puts the story, from the Second Doctor’s perspective, after the events of The War Games. The Two Doctors (1985) is even more complicated. The Doctor and Jamie, looking much older than they did during their original set of adventures, are under the control of the Time Lords, being sent on missions by them, despite the fact that initially, their first and only meeting with the Time Lords resulted in Jamie’s memory being wiped and the Doctor’s regeneration. Jamie is already fully familiar with the Time Lords, despite never having met them before part 10 of The War Games!
Bending the Rules a Little At the end of the epic 10-part story The War Games (1969), the Doctor goes back to his home planet for the first time in the series’ 6-year history. Before that final episode, there was never a mention of Time Lords or any inclination that he had any contact with them prior to leaving Gallifrey in the first place (the Meddling Monk aside). The story ends with the Doctor’s two travelling companions (Jamie and Zoe) having their memories wiped, and returned to their own time streams. The Doctor is then forced to regenerate, before being exiled to Earth for his crimes of interference. There is no inclination that the Second Doctor had any other adventures at the end of this story. As far as the viewer is concerned, the Second Doctor is gone. In The Five Doctors (1983), the Second Doctor has a certain amount of control over the steering of his TARDIS, unlike in his earlier television adventures. Also, during the story, when he comes face to face with phantoms of Jamie and Zoe, he says they can’t be real because they had had their memories erased and wouldn’t
“Officially I'm Here Quite Unofficially” or What is Season 6B? In 1995, a trio of dedicated Whovians sought to resolve this continuity mess, by combining what little evidence there is on screen with their own imaginations. Hence the birth of Season 6B! According to Paul Cornell, via Twitter of all places, the 6B theory was born out of the mystery behind the wood-panelled control room in The Masque of Mandragora (1976) – which featured the Second Doctor’s recorder on its console - and the mess of inconsistency that is The Two Doctors. Here then, I will lay out the proposed timeline of Season 6B, in
Fish Fingers and Custard Issue 9 chronological order so that it will be easier to follow. I will highlight where the elements of 6B fit into established Wholore, and I will include some of my own speculations. Then, I will delve into why some of the continuity errors listed above may have occurred in the first place. This will be followed by a brief look at the ‘original Season 6B’ – a comic strip featuring the Second Doctor published and set after The War Games, but before Jon Pertwee’s debut in Spearhead from Space (1970)!
Our story starts with the Celestial Intervention Agency. This agency was a covert group of Time Lords put together to protect the Time Lords’ interests. Various spin-off novels and short stories describe them as spies and potential traitors, whose motives are deeply hidden and secretive. During the Doctor’s trial in The War Games, speculation suggests that the CIA were involved, and that although the Doctor was ‘officially’ exiled to Earth and regenerated, they used him in his Second persona to do a few missions and jobs for them first. The CIA’s involvement was suggested because of the actor Bernard Horsfall, who appeared both as an unnamed Time Lord during the Doctor’s trial, and as Chancellor Goth in The Deadly Assassin (1976), a part-time agent of the CIA. It is suggested that Horsfall could have been playing the same character in both stories, therefore ‘proving’ CIA involvement.
So, the Doctor isn’t regenerated or exiled. Instead, he is given back his TARDIS and assigned certain missions to put a halt to issues that threaten both the Time Lords and the Universe. It could be suggested that during these early stages of his ‘freedom’, the Doctor uses the wood-panelled console we see in …Mandragora, as there is nothing onscreen to disprove this theory. We then come to The Five Doctors, where the Doctor is able to steer his TARDIS, something he was unable to do during his years as a renegade. I, however, put forth the suggestion that when the Doctor visits the Brigadier in this story, the CIA may have brought him there deliberately, in order to take part in the events that follow. The Doctor may have been unaware of their involvement, and his capture by Borusa deemed another of his unfortunate coincidences. Also, him being aware of Jamie and Zoe’s memories being wiped, later in the story, shows that at this time he has no companions travelling with him, and puts the story into context in terms of the 6B Season. I am, for the purpose of this article, focussing almost wholly on television stories, as the wealth of spin-off fiction regarding 6B is too wide and complex! However, the novel World Game (2005) is set explicitly during season 6B, has a brief recap of the Second Doctor’s trial, and shows what happens next. Furthermore, as well as being an official BBC Book, it is also written by Terrance Dicks himself! The reason I present World Game next in this chronology is because it explains why the Doctor gets Jamie back as a companion, bridging a neat gap between the Five and Two Doctors stories. Dicks proposes that the Doctor works better with a companion, so the CIA let him have Jamie back. But Jamie has had his memories altered slightly, believing that Victoria has been travelling with him and the Doctor again when she hasn’t. The Doctor mentioning
Fish Fingers and Custard Issue 9 Victoria learning graphology in the latter multi-Doctor story is merely to keep up appearances, keep Jamie thinking she’s out there somewhere. As this is a novel, rather than a televised story, nobody can be sure of whether it can be counted as canon or not. Some fans may disregard World Game, while others may embrace it. A Doctor Who veteran, embracing a fanmade theory and using it to tidy up some continuity errors…I personally adore it! There’s even mention of the Doctor getting a streak of grey in his hair due to the stress! Now that World Game has revealed why the Doctor has gone grey, why he is doing missions for the CIA, and why Jamie is back with him, within the context of Season 6B, The Two Doctors suddenly makes a lot more sense. Indeed, the lovely quote, “Officially, I’m here quite unofficially!” (The Two Doctors, Part One, Robert Holmes, 1985) sums up not only that particular story, but the season as a whole. It is a much more entertaining story when viewed from a 6B perspective, with everything falling into an ‘unofficial’ place. Once again though, some speculation is required. We have to assume The Doctor has now stopped using that wooden control room, and has now moved onto something more akin to what his Fourth persona used. We can also assume that the Time Lords take explicit control of his TARDIS here due to his ‘bending’ of the laws in The Five Doctors (that’s if you ignore my theory about him being brought to the Brigadier deliberately, of course!). So where to from there? The element of 6B arrives in Spearhead from Space, when the Doctor wakes up with a ring, a homing watch, and a bracelet – none of these in his possession at the end of The War Games. But this doesn’t explain why the Doctor ended up here, exiled and earthbound.
Did the Time Lords tire of the Second Doctor, and give him his originally proposed punishment in cold blood? I personally like to think that the Second Doctor attempted to sabotage his TARDIS, to escape the shackles of the CIA. This obviously enraged them, and without giving him another chance, delivered the punishment he should have had in the first place. Jamie would have been returned to Earth with his mind wiped, and everything would have been covered up neatly by the CIA.
And there you have it. Season 6B. A complicated yet straightforward, confusing yet accessible series of officially unofficial adventures that evolved from a few messy holes and errors in the fiction of the show. Maybe you have your own theories and speculations. Maybe you didn’t even know Season 6B existed until now! Whatever the case, you must remember that it is all theory. I have embraced it, because I’m a huge Two Doctors fan and the theory works. There is nothing onscreen then or now to disprove the Season 6B theory. And when somebody like Terrance Dicks utilises it for his own means…well, surely that’s the ultimate stamp of approval? Whatever the case, Season 6B is just a framework. The tip of the iceberg. A device continuing to built upon. Maybe one day Big Finish will do their own take on Season 6B? Or maybe it should remain distant. Something unique to each and every fan. An ‘undiscovered
Fish Fingers and Custard Issue 9 country’, as Paul Castle wrote for Shooty Dog Thing (6b Or Not 6b?, 2010). Continuity Error Why do we have a Season 6B in the first place? Where did these continuity errors come from, and why? Sadly, the answers are lost in the mists of time. But let us ponder anyway... The Five Doctors Steering the TARDIS, looking a bit older…these are things that can be glossed over or ignored. Little blips that on their own wouldn’t cause much in the way of headaches for fans, and certainly wouldn’t result in home-made seasons and essays on the subject! But why did Terrance Dicks acknowledge, explicitly, the fact that Jamie and Zoe had had their memories wiped? My answer is simply this – plot convenience. When the Third Doctor sees the phantoms of Mike and Liz, he realises that they are fakes by an uneasy feeling he gets. As chilling as the moment is, it doesn’t pack a dramatic punch. The Second Doctor, on the other hand, so close to wandering into a trap, ingeniously remembers that Jamie and Zoe wouldn’t possibly recognise him or the Brigadier, proving them to be ghosts of the mind. It’s more exciting, it shows the Doctor using his intelligence. It works as a scene. This may be why Dicks chose that approach, but then again it might not be. The Two Doctors Robert Holmes was one of the strongest writers on Doctor Who, crafting some of the best loved stories of the whole show. So why, then, did he make such explicit continuity errors in his penultimate story? Was he misremembering the past? Having written the Third Doctor’s debut story, he may have wrongly assumed that the Second Doctor had been a Time Lord Agent too. He may
have been oblivious to the events of The War Games, having no idea just how little the Time Lords were involved in the series’ earliest years. This doesn’t tally with Holmes’ style at all though. He was well-versed in the shows’ history – indeed, he created a lot of it! Naming Gallifrey and reimagining it as a corrupt regime, writing the first Master story, creating the Autons and Sontarans…The list goes on. Maybe Holmes was consciously shaking up the established past of the show, going out of his way to do something different. It may also have been a simple matter of plot convenience. A ploy to bring the two Doctors together that wouldn’t need much explanation. It’s hard to imagine John-Nathan Turner letting this glaring blip on the continuity map slip by, though. As a producer, JNT was very aware of the shows’ past, as so it must be assumed that despite being aware of the errors in this story, he let them slide. Maybe it was the pull of having the Time Lords involved? Time Lords were traditionally involved in multi-Doctor stories, so maybe nostalgia weighed in his favour? We will never truth. Neither producer nor writer are with us anymore, and so speculation is all that us fans have. Whatever the reasons, we should be grateful that Paul Cornell, Keith Topping and Martin Day came up with the theory in the first place, and that Terrance Dicks liked it so much that he embraced it himself. He may not be able to give us answers for his own little blip in The Five Doctors (it was a long time ago!), but he has gladly filled in the gaps since. I would urge you to watch The Two Doctors again with the 6B theory in your mind, because it is a wonderful, witty story, and one that ought to be appreciated.
Fish Fingers and Custard Issue 9 And Finally: The ‘Other 6B’
nice little slice of history that shows a different media format to the TV series carving its’ own little part of continuity, diverting slightly from the established path. I have not yet managed to track down this strip, so if anybody reading this knows where I could acquire a copy, I would be most grateful! I hope you have enjoyed this rather lengthy journey through Season 6B. Perhaps it has inspired you to add your own little thoughts and theories to this expanding framework. Maybe it has given you inclination to create your own theory to explain some continuity error, or the past of a character etc…One thing you must take away from this, more than anything else, is that with an imagination, you can work wonders! Further Reading and Viewing
It would seem that none of the authors of The Discontinuity Guide were influenced by a quaint little comic strip from the 1960’s, but nonetheless, Action In Exile is a little bit of history, very much inkeeping with the eccentric nature of the TV Comic strips. The story was created quite simply because the publishers didn’t want to stop Doctor Who strips while the show wasn’t on the air. And so, in the gap between The War Games and Spearhead from Space, readers of the time were treated to an adventure explicitly set after the Second Doctor’s final bow, in which he is an exile on Earth, having a great many adventures and even becoming a local celebrity! The story ends with the Doctor being captured by some Time Lord-controlled scarecrows, and regenerated…just in time for Jon Pertwee’s on-screen debut just days later! The scarecrows even send the Doctor on one last trip in the TARDIS, leading to the intro of Spearhead where it lands back on Earth. Like many of the TV Comic strips, this story doesn’t really fit into canon due to its’ bizarre nature. However, it is a
If you have enjoyed this article, here are some more books that explain, discuss, or utilise Season 6B: Discontinuity Guide, The (1995) Cornell, P., Day, M., and Topping, K. London: Virgin Publishing, Ltd Shooty Dog Thing (2010) Castle, P. Andover: Hirst Books World Game (2005) Dicks, T. London: BBC Books And the episodes that inspired the Season 6B Theory are: The War Games (1969), by Malcolm Hulke – BBC DVD The Masque of Mandragora (1976), by Louis Marks – BBC DVD The Five Doctors (1983), by Terrance Dicks – BBC DVD The Two Doctors (1985), by Robert Holmes – BBC DVD CORY EADSON @Timelord89 on Twitter
Fish Fingers and Custard Issue 9
“A superb read. Almost as good as The Daily Mail” 20
Fish Fingers and Custard Issue 9
Can The Brits Do Conventions? I’ve just returned from my first ever Doctor Who convention. It was Gallifrey One in Los Angeles and I now fear I’m spoiled for life. I thought it was time I finally attended a gathering of like-minded Whovians. The result was three days in the Los Angeles Airport Marriot with 2,000 US fans. On paper, a recipe for disaster. In reality, bloody fantastic. Despite serious jet lag and flu, I had a ball. At one point, I found myself sitting in a room of a couple of hundred people all discussing whether Stephen Moffat had been a positive influence. I have strong views on the matter but couldn’t help stopping for a moment and thinking ‘I am SO happy’. It was pure luxury. Where else could you get that? Gallifrey One (or Gally) is actually at least three conventions, all happening at the same time and overlapping each other to some extent. They are: 1.
Panels and guest appearances – essentially endless self-indulgent, fan-led discussion of Doctor Who from every possible angle. I attended debates about companions, the history of the TARDIS, the legacy of Sarah Jane Smith, the impact of Moffat and use of music. What joy! Cosplay – diverse and beautiful costumery of all kinds – from straightforward replicas of character clothing to steampunk and period reinterpretations of classic outfits. My favourite was Peter Davidson’s cricket whites re-imagined as an Edwardian lady’s dress. Surprisingly, the majority of cosplayers were in their late-teens and twenties. Social – lots of delegates were regulars, year in year out, and went as much for the social scene as for the content. American convention-goers seem to love their hot-tubbing – largely a friendly networking vibe rather than people on the pull (though no doubt there was a lot of that).
Importantly, there was very little competitive trivia (‘I think you’ll find that in classic series five, episode four…’) and people were very relaxed about sharing their love of Doctor Who, regardless of their depth of knowledge. After the party was over, I looked up the forthcoming official UK convention. Compared to the past few days, it seemed so sterile – little more than a round of autograph signings and promotional appearances. I haven’t been to any UK conventions yet. So, here’s my question: can we do it like the Americans? Do we have anything remotely comparable? Do we host discussions about whether Amy Pond is emotionally damaged or just incredibly irritating, and what implications that has for a feminist interpretation of Doctor Who? Can we let ourselves go and enjoy the challenge of creating new costumes out of classics? And if not, why not? CHLOE HARDY
Fish Fingers and Custard Issue 9
Doctor Who: Where To Start? Faced with the prospect of choosing an episode of Doctor Who to get someone started, can prove to be difficult. You’re looking for the perfect one, something that encapsulates everything that Doctor Who is all about and more importantly - one that will intrigue your intended victim. Intrigue them that much that they’ll too will be buying crap merchandise and attending conventions dressed as something from 1974! With all that in mind, I’ve put together a list of episodes that I think would be a perfect start: An Unearthly Child (episode 1) – A bit obvious I know, but that first episode really does encapsulate everything that Doctor Who is about! We start with an eerie junkyard, a weird child, nosy teachers and a funny old man. The episode ends with them travelling back in time. That’s pretty much Doctor Who in a nutshell! The first time I saw An Unearthly Child was very late on in my fandom, so I very much enjoyed all the little moments and comments from the characters, that were later expanded as the series went on. It actually isn’t that common for television shows to flesh out the premise in the first episode, but Doctor Who does. I would advise you to only show the first episode though, as the next 3 are pretty pedestrian and only a full-time fan will be able to appreciate it! What helps too, is that the episode is barely 20 minutes long, which makes it perfect for making someone new to wonder what happens next… Rose – I was going to put in the 1996 TV Movie, but Rose was everything that ‘The Enemy Within’ should have been. In Rose, we don’t have someone carrying back the remains of his greatest enemy, who suddenly breaks out (surprise!), escapes and then this man lands in San Francisco and gets caught in the crossfire of some naughty gentleman. Now, if you don’t know what I was on about then, that was pretty much how the Movie started. Imagine if you NEVER even heard about Doctor Who before. Who is this Doctor? Who is this Master? Why do these gang members look about as threatening as a Care Bear? No wonder it wasn’t quite a hit in the US! The TV Movie is decent, don’t get me wrong, but would I show it to someone who had never seen Doctor Who before? No. Rose on the other hand… I have a soft spot for Rose (the episode – the character less so!) It was the episode that got me into Doctor Who and I believe that, apart from An Unearthly Child, it’s a perfect start for someone who hasn’t seen Doctor Who before. There’s no back-story to be bogged down with, there’s no information needed to understand – you just have to sit down and watch. That’s what I did in 2005 and here I am. Blink – This is a popular one with fans who discuss this very subject, as it doesn’t actually contain much of The Doctor! Blink is a mystery, set in modern times, with a strong lead investigating the horrific goings-on. You don’t really need to know about Doctor Who to understand it and its quality from start to finish. I don’t particularly share the view that you
Fish Fingers and Custard Issue 9 should show this to someone first though, as those questions about who The Doctor is, will certainly pop up, as he and Martha do on those Easter Eggs! It’s perfect for a first view of Tennant, as a new viewer would probably want to see more of this Doctor and what he’s all about, but as a first episode for someone? Probably not. The Eleventh Hour – This is the story that made me fall in love with Doctor Who again. At the end of Series 4, up until The End of Time, I felt that Doctor Who was starting to get stale and badly needed that injection of something new. That’s what we got – new Doctor, new Production team and a brand-new outlook on things. Whatever your view on this era of the show, there isn’t many that would say that The Eleventh Hour wasn’t a great introduction to a new Doctor. And seeing as Matt Smith is the current incumbent – I believe this episode is perfect to show someone first. Get them into the current series and let them go back and find out for themselves what Doctor Who is all about. Since The Eleventh Hour, the show seems to have exploded Stateside and pretty much all around the world, like it has never done before. So there must be something in it. Spearhead From Space – People like comparing this Jon Pertwee story to The Eleventh Hour, but apart from nicking clothes from a hospital, I can’t see the similarities. Both stories stand up on their own and Spearhead is one of those classics that will never get boring. This is the first John Pertwee story and as soon as he falls out of the TARDIS, your attention is gripped throughout. There’s no regeneration, no overhanging back-story that needs to be explained beforehand, just the mystery of this man falling out of a wooden box. I think it works as a ‘first story’ because it kicks off the new UNIT era and all the information you need to know is explained in the story. Not just that – but it has The Autons. Even Rose didn’t quite pull off the sheer terror that this lot provide. It would be taken up a level in the later story The Terror of The Autons, but this story also works as a perfect introduction to one of Doctor Who’s most iconic adversaries. Historically this story is important too – it was the first Doctor Who episode to be filmed in colour and it was the only Doctor Who story to be entirely filmed on film (shows were generally filmed on videotape), so it looks beautiful. Also, because of its existence on film, it has to be a candidate to be upgraded to HD at some point. Oh and this story has shots of naked Pertwee. So there’s something for the ladies (and tattoo enthusiasts) too! The Time Warrior – I think that there’s something about introductions to new characters that new viewers will be able to play off. Here we see the introduction of Sarah Jane Smith and with a bit of luck, your intended victim will be able to follow her as she asks the questions that they have in their heads! I think this works as A) It’s a great story. B) It also
Fish Fingers and Custard Issue 9 serves as an introduction to The Sontarans AND time travel and C) Apart from The Doctor being based with UNIT, it doesn’t need much explanation as it’s quite obvious what’s happening. Easy! Three Doctors/Five Doctors/Two Doctors – No, I’m not saying you should show any of these, quite the opposite in fact! I’ve seen/heard many people mention these as a good introduction to Doctor Who, but I think they only lead to utter confusion! New viewers will have more questions than Bruce Forthsyth did in his pomp. I mean, can you imagine somebody trying to understand The Five Doctors when they’ve never seen a second of Doctor Who before? Even I didn’t fully understand it on first watch - and I had been watching Doctor Who for about 4 years by this point! I enjoyed these stories, but they would be better off working as introductions to individual Doctors, rather than introductions to the entire series. Robot – I must admit that I don’t particularly think that you should show this story to new viewers first, I just have a soft spot for it because it was the first classic story that I ever saw. Like An Unearthly Child, Rose, The Eleventh Hour and Spearhead From Space, they’re all introductions to The Doctor, so there must be something about opening stories that appeal to new audiences. They have to be really, as when a Doctor’s era ends, a new Doctor faces the challenge of pleasing the old fans as well as new people (who may have been too young/not interested to tune in beforehand). By this point in Doctor Who history, Pertwee had been The Doctor for five years, so it’s not that much of a stretch to rule out that children aged 4-10 would be starting to watch Doctor Who for the first time with Tom Baker. Robot kicks off with the regeneration of Pertwee-Baker, then The Doctor goes bonkers for a bit. Meanwhile, there’s a mystery afoot when something seems to be going round killing people and stealing things. As soon as you know it, The Doctor is in the thick of the investigation and you are taken along for the ride. I think as Doctor Who goes, Robot isn’t a bad shout for an introduction story. Yes we have the regeneration at the start, but again, that’s what Doctor Who is about. What helps is that The Doctor is quickly thrown into the action and his earlier comic bits can be quickly traced back to his ‘change’. Yes we have UNIT and some timeless SFX, so maybe that counts against it. To be fair though, all that it needs is an explanation from yourself that ‘The Doctor works for these guys’ and ‘well, it is 1974!’ As an whole, I really love series 12 and Robot is a great introduction the most iconic Doctor of them all. Plus you have The Ark In Space next. Now that’s proper Doctor Who!
The above are just my own personal recommendations, so if you have your own, tell us why by e-mailing them in! The beauty with Doctor Who is, that when you get past the alien that can change his face and the fact he travels in a ship shaped like a Police Box, it’s actually quite simple to understand! In the real world, people have discovered Doctor Who at different points and they are in love with series as much as anyone. But you never forget your first Doctor Who episode. Just make it a good one. Not Time and The Rani or The End of Time, for goodness sake! DANIEL GEE
Fish Fingers and Custard Issue 9
The Wedding of River Song Review The Doctor travels to Lake Silencio for his date with destiny. However, he doesn’t reckon on the love of River Song, who decides not to kill him. If The Doctor lives then time will collapse. The plot is excellent. Starting off with all of time happening at once, the episode takes us to a flashback, telling the audience how time was corrupted. The second half of the episode is set in the corrupted timeline where The Doctor has to die or time will die instead. The story flows beautifully and shows that Moffat is on top form. The whole River Song/Doctor story arc is weaved brilliantly into the story and without the story arc as a backbone, the story wouldn’t be as convincing as it is. The Doctor faking his own death to fool the Silence is similar to Sherlock Holmes faking his death to fool Moriarty’s criminal empire. Seeing as Moffat has brought Holmes back this could be a sneaky reference. The ending of the story is sublime in its ambiguity. Steven Moffat writes Doctor Who as a magically, dark fairytale, which is how it should be. The acting is magnificent. Matt Smith very much plays all sides of The Doctor in this story. One minute he is angry and very similar to Hartnell; the next he is winking at the camera just like Troughton with a great mix of Baker as well. The scene where The Doctor hears of The Brigadier’s death is also very well played. Smith should get the next BAFTA for this episode alone.
Arthur Darvill’s acting skills are strongly demonstrated when he tells the others to leave whilst he battles with the Silence.
Karen Gillian’s versatility as an actress is obvious - when one moment she is happy to see The Doctor and then she ruthlessly kills Madam Kovarian. I believe that Amy Pond has earned the right to take her place amongst the ultimate companion list. Alex Kingston is excellent as River Song. Like her mother, she has gone through a change. We see a different River from the one who shot the Dalek in the last series to the River who is determined to save The Doctor’s life in this series. This does not mean the acting/writing has gone worse but it has changed how we look at River. We now know why she is like she is and why she does what she does. This change makes
Fish Fingers and Custard Issue 9 the character more interesting. Francis Barber is excellent (though sadly under used) as the evil Madam Kovarian, particularly when she pleads for her life before Amy kills her. Ian McNeice is great as the holy Roman Emperor Winston Churchill. The guest appearances from Simon Callow as Charles Dickens and Mark Gattis as Gantok are noted and are both played exceedingly well. The direction is very good, particularly the shots in Area 52. They have a real feeling of darkness
and expectation of events about to happen. The Wedding of River Song is a dark, exciting , moving, fairy tale. The acting, directing and most of all the writing are excellent and set a new standard for Doctor Who. Series Six has been one of the most interesting series of Doctor Who and Moffat has ended it with fireworks. This episode answers a lot of questions but it also brings back the oldest question - Doctor Who? ď‚ˇ WILL BARBER
SEPARATED AT BIRTH?? A MILEY CYRUS
The Terrible Zodin A free 'zine for fans of Doctor Who new and old, welcoming all view points but particularly those of female fans. Its pages are packed with art, fiction, poetry, reviews, analysis, parodies, filk and general silliness with an aim to entertain, share and elucidate. Visit http://www.doctorwhottz.blogspot.com
Fish Fingers and Custard Issue 9
Cyber-Moan I was with the Missus at the Doctor Who Experience, looking around, enjoying the exhibits, when she suddenly gasped. Being the protective Gentleman I am, I immediately stopped showing (the clothes of) River Song my quite magnificent jacket and ran to her aid. “Doesn’t that look scary?” No it wasn’t my jacket – it was a Cyberman! The original ‘cloth face’ from The Tenth Planet, that nonfans like to poke fun at. But you know what? It IS scary. Terrifying in fact. Much more terrifying than these fake-looking new series Cybermen anyway… The history of the Cybermen is more intriguing to me than the Daleks, simply because it could actually come true. No, not the earth invasions and duelling with Nazi’s and mythical figures, I mean the whole question of ‘replacing all your body parts with machinery, does that make you human any more?’ If we look around now, scientists are developing robotic limbs and organs just to extend a person’s life. The main point in The Tenth Planet was that the occupants of Mondas, Earth’s Twin Planet, wanted to extend their lives due to the planet drifting out of orbit. But how far will future scientists go just to preserve someone’s life? It’s a fascinating issue, but thankfully we’ll be long gone by the time the Cyborgs turn on us! Back to the Tenth Planet and it’s clear that the ‘costumes’ used for the Cybermen are everyday household items, that have been sprayed grey/sliver! But if you think about it, how grotesque does that sound? Replacing your body parts with everyday metal objects, just so you can live a little longer? That cloth mask, the material of which has been beautifully made, covering up the horror behind it. It’s almost poetic. The mask looks wrong and it just seems like that there’s a person trapped inside, screaming to escape, which makes it all the more sinister to look at. The voices, although easily to mimic (which can get pretty annoying, I’ll admit!) add another edge to the terror. The speech is delivered at various pitches and speeds and it sounds like a malfunctioning machine is making this funny-suited man talk. It just plays on your perception, making you think “is this person actually there? What the hell I am talking to?” I don’t know what goes down on your street, but I’ve never had a half-man, halfmachine threaten to kill me before (and I’ve had some heavy nights out in the past!) Another thing I like about the Cybermen is that they look a little different in (almost) every story, as their technology advances. The Doctor’s comments about ‘You won’t change, you’ll just stop’ was absolute rubbish and is one of the many things I really dislike about the two-parter in the 2006 series. There they had a chance to do a ‘Genesis of the Cybermen’ story, an opportunity to rebuild the Cyberman myth and improving the Tenth Planet look slightly (with less obvious household items!) but I just felt they missed the opportunity to strengthen the legacy, started by Kit Pelder and Gerry Davis, some 45 years ago. These Cybermen won’t advance, they’ll just provide an outlet to fill up an episode quota and to
Fish Fingers and Custard Issue 9 make money for the BBC in the way of merchandise. True, they served as a device to get rid of Rose (which can’t be sniffed at) but I just feel they could have done that anyway, without the use of alternative-universe Cybermen. My main gripe is that I just don’t think that the ‘Cybus’ Cybermen look threatening enough. Although to their credit, the costumes are excellent from a design POV, but they just lack that little bit of humanity that was there in the Classic Series. Cybermen are supposed to Cyborgs – half-human, half-machine – not robots, which is exactly how they look today. I don’t particularly want my Cybermen to be stomping around, I want them being all sinister and creepy by sneaking up on people. Like a milkman used to do, when you was a couple of days overdue paying the bill. Sadly, you can’t tell these Cyberman that your Mum is out at the bingo and won’t back until late. They’ll just ‘delete’ you where you stand. And that’s what I’m trying to get that – the Classic Cybermen were cunning and sly, hatching plans and not showing their hand until the very last moment, giving The Doctor and his companions (and the viewers too) not much time to think a way out of their predicament. These Cybusman are just, to put it kindly, thick. It’s easy to see how The Doctor will foil them and each episode seems them being reduced to the fabled ‘behind the sofa monster’, before being dispatched as quickly as Tiger Woods dispatches his balls down a tight hole. And when he putts his golf ball too. For me, Closing Time was the last straw. For a few seconds I thought we had that threat back when Craig looked like he was about to have himself a nice new head. But then he escaped with ‘love’ (which I actually bought this time, to be fair – what wouldn’t you do for your own crying child?) and the Cyberman were beaten by something that I can’t remember what it is, because I’m not really bothered to remember what it is. Adric (wearing pyjamas) went down with a Cyberman during prehistoric times, for goodness sake. Craig beats them and still has time to change his baby’s nappy! I would have loved to see a story, set on Mondas (which is a TWIN of Earth – so no expensive sets or an explanation of how parallel worlds work, are needed) which involved the beginning of the Cyberman. This could have been the starting point for new fans to follow from and would have added to the whole Cyberman mythos in one fell swoop. I don’t really buy into the ‘well, people can’t relate to another planet’ argument. Isn’t trying to relate to another reality, a bit more confusing than a new planet? You try to explain to someone about a different reality and they’ll ask you questions. Explain to them that it’s a different planet and they’ll shut up and accept it. I’m sure if people of the 1960’s st could understand it, people of the 21 century could! After just a handful of Cybus Cybermen stories, the creative well has run dry and it seems that Moffat is turning back to the Mondas Cyberman - except on evidence from A Good Man Goes To War and Closing Time - they look exactly the same as their Cybus counterparts, give or take a logo! I think one mistake the New Series makes is constantly going back to things (yeah, I know that’s a bit rich, after I said we should have returned to Mondas, but that isn’t quite the
Fish Fingers and Custard Issue 9 same point!) I don’t understand why we can’t keep moving forwards with new and exciting things and only occasionally returning to something. Revenge of The Cybermen might be a duffer with fans (I don’t mind it personally) but it was the first Cyberman story for 7 years, since The Invasion, so the impact it had with viewers must have been something (and all the Cybermen had cute arses too. Apparently.) And speaking of impact – the following Cyberman story didn’t follow for another 7 years in the shape of the magnificent Earthshock. The cliffhanger at the end of THAT first episode must have been something at the time and even the producers went to some trouble disguising the fact that Cybermen were in it. Don’t even get me started on Tom Baker only facing the Daleks twice in 7 years, when the new series has a Dalek every single year! It just saddens me when Doctor Who’s greatest assets are being diluted, overused and (eventually) made into a joke, just so people can make a few quid, be it in merchandise or deals with estates of former writers. As fans, we just want to enjoy the best Doctor Who possible, and I think the handling of the Cybermen, just sums up what is wrong with the st revived series. But this is the 21 century and we’re all slaves to money until we die. So what do I know! Whoops, I said to myself that this wasn’t a rant! DANIEL GEE
Fish Fingers and Custard Issue 9
The Bee-Bee-Cee Bazaar Since our rant about the dealings of BBC Worldwide in the last Issue went down like the spaceship Titanic, we’ve decided to offer an olive branch and sell-out to them, like all fans should. Here are some of our merchandising ideas for BBC Worldwide to mull over. Condoms (with a Doctor’s face adorning the outside of the rubber sheath) Safe sex, as we know, is a must. But those years where a gentleman wouldn’t give out his phone number to a lady, have long gone. This is the age of Facebook, and the women are nuttier than ever. Would it work for Doctor Who fans though? Pop legends JLS launched their own range a few years ago and teen pregnancies are on the slide. (As are the sales of alcopops and barely-legal-strength cider) But with Doctor Who fans being Doctor Who fans, it’s unlikely that they’ll find themselves involved in a sexual encounter. And who on earth would like to have Tom Baker’s cheeky grin or Sylvester McCoy’s wink approaching their person anyway? The only real selling point is to market them as balloons to bat around a Doctor Who Convention. But not the OFFICIAL Convention. We need them buying as much as possible, without any time delays or items broken due to over-vigorous activities. Producer Costumes Yes YOU TOO can dress up as one of the producers from Doctor Who. We’ll have Hawaiian shirts for JNT, smart suits for RTD and a three-sizes-too-small jumper for Moffat. We also have a ladies line, which will include Verity Lambert and Beth Willis*. Each set is accompanied by a list of ‘comebacks’ just in case some spotty simpleton decides to berate you in the street, for something that doesn’t really matter in the grand scheme of things. *please note that you’ll have to buy your own boots for this set. We take NO responsibility for any unwelcome attention that you may get. Although we do have a set of mace sprays that are available for purchase.
Sensorite/Chris Boucher Mask Whilst pottering about the OFFICIAL Doctor Who Convention, fans can attend as the legendary classic series aliens The Sensorites. If being an alien isn’t your bag, then the mask also doubles up as Doctor Who, Blakes 7 and Star Cops writer, Chris Boucher.
Fish Fingers and Custard Issue 9 Coincidentally, the recent DVD release of The Sensorities and the canon of Chris Boucher’s Doctor Who work will be on sale in the OFFICIAL Convention shop. Action Figures (They’re NOT Toys!) Yes, we know that these items already do big business, but this time we’ll actually make sure that the action figures are correct, without any bits/details missing. Not just that – but the figures will actually be from the episode that they’re supposed to be in. Ambitious I know, but it may just work… Fruit Machines We can theme the machines with Daleks and for the kids (as they have pocket money too) - cartoons of cute baby monsters. Due to some silly rule by the Gambling Commission, we actually have to let people win at some point. So instead of paying out with those heavy coins, which can only cause a lucky winner an injury, why not pay out in tokens? This system will allow the lucky, lucky winners to spend the tokens on some OFFICIAL BBC Worldwide Doctor Who Merchandise (1000 tokens per Adipose pencil topper). They’ll be so entranced with the cuteness of the machine, that they won’t mind lobbing money in. Talking Soap Why not make money whilst helping out people? It’s a great concept and something which will get us some admirers. With big wallets. We all know that Doctor Who fans don’t scrub up well, so why not introduce some soap products that tells them to get a wash? It’ll be sure to fly off the shelves and people will be able to smell nice too. We can have the Dalek themed soap saying “Get a wash…or you’ll be exterminated” or something. Maybe we can put in some friendly reminders about other BBC Worldwide products too? The list of possibilities is endless. (Batteries are not included) Pillow Buddies Have you ever wanted to wrestle a Nimon? Would you feel safe if The Doctor is sleeping beside you at night? Ever wondered what Amy’s boobs feel like? With Doctor Who PILLOW BUDDIES you can do all that and more! The concept is simple – a pillow in the shape of a Doctor Who character that you can sleep on, throw around and have pillow fights with your bestest pals (well, with yourself, as you’re a Doctor Who fan, so you don’t have any pals). What’s more, Doctor Who fans never grow up, so people of all ages will queue around the block to purchase a PILLOW BUDDY! Think they’re cute? You should see what we’ve put inside them… It’ll be like printing our own money!
Fish Fingers and Custard Issue 9
Crafty Who In this section, we’re going to show you some examples of home-made items made by Doctor Who fans. For this Issue, Tabitha Mounteer has very kindly shown us how she makes a TARDIS blanket, which is truly is bigger on the inside – it doubles up as a pillow! These instructions and templates are available from http://www.instructables.com/id/Make-a-Tardis-Blanket/
When I thought of the idea I knew I had to make it. This type of thing is often called a “quillow” it is a blanket that folds into a pocket and becomes a pillow. You don’t have to use my exact methods and measurements and what not but I’ve tried my best to share what I did and how I did it so you can reproduce it or use it as a base to figure out your own. I consider myself a high level seamstress since I mostly create my own patterns but that being said, I feel this project can be accomplished by a medium level sewer. You need to know how to use a sewing machine and an iron but you shouldn’t have to be an expert and have sewn complicated things like wedding dresses, it’s almost entirely straight lines and I’ve done the math and measurements all ready which for me was one of the bigger challenges. Hope you like it!
Directions 1. Cut the selvedge edges off of the large blue fleece and the large black fleece. The selvedge edge on fleece is a bit curled and it’s a lot easier to sew and work with if you cut it off. It was easiest to buy a really large piece of blue fleece and then cut it so lay the black fleece on top of the blue fleece and cut so they are the same size. 2. Now take the marking chalk and mark out the outside of the TARDIS on the black fleece – be sure to wrap
Blue fleece large piece, 60“x40“ plus small piece 12”x12“ Black fleece 60“x40“ Dark Blue fleece 60“x60“ White fleece 60“x60“ White fabric with high polyester content 2 pieces 8“ x7“ Sewing scissors White, black and blue thread Measuring tape or stick T square or straight edge Marking chalk Tacky fabric glue Fabric iron on crayons Iron Sewing machine Inside and Outside measurement diagram White letters template Door sign template Sticky lint roller
Fish Fingers and Custard Issue 9 chalk in a paper towel to keep your fingers clean. Use the T square or straight edge to make sure your lines are 3. After I had the outline drawn, I used paper patterns to figure out the size of the squares - I laid them out to make sure it all looked right. Cut out the TARDIS outline from the black fleece. 4. Take the black fleece you just cut out, and cut a strip that is 3” x 30” to be the sign where the “Police Public Call Box” goes. 5. Cut out 6 squares that measure 8.5”x8.5” from the dark blue fleece. 6. Cut out 12 rectangles that measure 4.5” x 3” from the white fleece. 7. You need two handles, kind of a rounded rectangle shape with two bumps on each end, and a circle for a lock and a rectangle with a pointed top that’s 3” across and 3.5” tall for the light on the top of the TARDIS all cut out of the white fleece. 8. Take the white letters template and cut the letters out from the white fleece at first I tried to pin the paper on and then cut but I found it was easier to just hold a small square of fleece with one letter cut out of the paper and then cut around the paper while holding it onto the fabric. There’s a quilters trick of ironing on freezer paper with the template drawn on but I’m not sure if that would work with fleece. 9. Lay all your pieces out to see if it looks right. (Note: fleece sticks to each other nicely so at this point you can lay everything on and roll it up together to put away for a bit if you need to hide it from the person you’re making it for or you need to get it out of the reach of kids and cats and other various small things that would love to pull it all apart) You can pin fleece but due to it sticking together nicely I found it easiest to not
straight so your TARDIS doesn’t look lopsided. pin the majority of the sewing. For most of the blanket, I used tacky fabric glue to glue the pieces on, but for some areas, such as the outer edge, I simply held the fabric together. (Note: fleece picks up everything so use a clean floor and use a sticky lint roller to get off any fuzzies, stray threads, etc. before you stick pieces together) 10. Lay the large piece of black fleece on top of the blue fleece and using black thread, sew all along the edge using a straight stitch that’s a 2.5 to a 3 stitch length. Check on the blue side to make sure you didn’t miss any spots and if you did then sew over them. Clip the corners and flip the black to the other side – the entire outside edge should be bound now with the seam on the inside. 11. Now sew all around the edge, about an inch in to give a nice finish. Lay out the blanket on a table so you can work flat – it’s ok if some of the blanket hangs of the table. 12. Using the tacky fabric glue, glue the inside edge of the black fleece down. Now glue the white letters onto the black strip. Then glue the dark blue boxes (except for the one with the door sign) and the white window pieces all into place (using the glue is much easier than trying to pin all the little pieces on and making sure they stay where you want them too) at this point I let the glue dry overnight since it was bedtime anyway but you can let it dry while you watch a couple of episodes of Doctor Who or while you make the door sign. To make the door sign 13. Printout a door sign template and lay behind one square of the polyester fabric. (Note: I used a piece of cotton fabric I had and it worked out ok but the fabric crayon instructions mentioned that
Fish Fingers and Custard Issue 9 the higher the polyester content the better the crayons will iron into the fabric. Mine smudged a bit due to it being cotton) If you can’t see the words behind the fabric you can use a light box or tape it onto a window. I taped both the template and the fabric into a shoe box lid to hold it steady and give me a nice surface to work on.
strip where it goes as well as the blue square with the door sign.
14. Trace the letters from the template with a black fabric crayon. I found I couldn’t get all the small letters to come out clear so I skipped some of the words and lined the other stuff up such that it looked nice.
19. Now you can stitch all around all the different pieces, I did a straight stitch. I found it easiest to sew all the white parts down and then all the dark blue so I could use the same colour of thread for a long time. It can be a bit tricky getting all that bulky blanket through the sewing machine. A trick that helped me was to roll up the end I wasn’t sewing and then it would fit through the machine a little easier. At times it was like playing twister with the sewing machine but I got through it.
15. Once you have gotten all the words traced nice and dark it’s time to set it with the iron. You want to put a cloth under the fabric to catch any that might seep through and according to the directions for the fabric crayons you put a piece of white paper on top and then you iron on top of that.
20. Once you’ve sewn around everything, make sure to clip all the loose threads and some of the pieces may need to be trimmed slightly if you don’t sew totally straight or if you didn’t cut them straight, which I had a bit but you just trim a tiny bit so it looks even and it’ll look fine.
16. Once your sign is ironed and set, you can place the other piece of white fabric on top, right sides together, and sew all around the edge except leave a little opening.
17. Clip the corners and turn it right side out through the little opening you left. 18. Now you can glue the sign on top of the top left dark blue square (which you should still have separate and not glued to the TARDIS). Since the sign fabric isn’t fleece, I found it looked a lot better to go around the edge with a tight zigzag stitch. I went over it twice to give it a better look. To be honest, the zigzag look would have looked nice for the whole blanket but it takes a lot more time and a whole lot more thread and it didn’t work very well around the letters. Speaking of letters, you need to sew the letters to the black strip (go slow and take your time as they can be a bit tricky) and then you can glue the black
21. At this point, fold the blanket long ways into three sections and then fold that two times to figure out the measurements for the pillow. You can fold it a couple of different ways and if you look up “quillow” on the internet there’s a lot of great tutorials out there, but I found that if I folded it this way it gave me the shape I wanted which was a smaller version of the big TARDIS design on the blanket. The size of the finished pillow I made was about 12” x 24” so the beginning fabric was cut a little bigger than that. 22. Cut a rectangle of black fleece that will fit slightly bigger than your folded blanket. Fold one of the edges of one of the short ends over and sew it down to so it will have a nice finish. 23. Now cut out a mini TARDIS from the small piece of blue fleece and little windows and dark blue squares. I don’t
Fish Fingers and Custard Issue 9 have measurements because I just went off of what looked nice. For the door sign on the mini TARDIS I just drew a few lines with the fabric crayon since from a distance words look like lines. 24. Just like the large TARDIS, I glued the different sections on and then I sewed them down. One difference is I used a quilting trick where you cut away a bit of the back fabric to reduce the bulk, I did this by cutting a bit of the blue fabric away that was behind the dark blue squares. This is a little tricky because you want to only cut the blue fabric and not the dark blue. When it’s all sewn together you can sew it onto the black pillow pocket, make sure the top is the edge you folded over and sewed down. 25. Now position the black pillow pocket on the WRONG side of your blanket with the mini TARDIS facing the blanket. It will look like a black rectangle on top of the big blue rectangle. This was the one time I used pins when I sewed this and I
pinned it in place, right in the centre bottom of the back of the blanket. 26. Sew around the sides and the bottom (this is why you folded down the other edge which you leave open). I ran into a bit of trouble at this point as my pillow pocket overlapped some of the dark blue squares and the blue background. I didn’t want the thread to show so I switched colours as I went. I also didn’t back stitch but instead pulled my stitching to the back and tied a knot so it wouldn’t show on the front. I couldn’t figure out any way around this but thankfully the stitching doesn’t show too much and since it’s at the bottom of the blanket it didn’t matter plus it was necessary in order to achieve the pillow and thus the “bigger on the inside” effect. 27. Now all you have to do is lay the blanket face up, fold in thirds, flip the pillow pocket right side out, and fold the blanket in thirds into the pillow pocket.
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Fish Fingers and Custard Issue 9
Whilst Doctor Who Is Away… Who better to tell you what merchandise you can check out, than our resident merchandise expert, Davide Dickinson? Okay, plenty of people, but our budget is even smaller than the one used on a BBV video. Or that Abducted By The Daleks ‘adult entertainment’ film that was banned from using the name. What I’m trying to say, is that paying someone with 125ml tubes of Clarins Delicious Self Tanning Cream is cheaper. Now if anyone actually bought a fanzine, we’d get someone from DWM, not some buffoon we met in a pub. Anyway, enjoy… Yes, I know it can be frustrating when Doctor Who isn’t on our screens. Some say its frustrating when Doctor Who IS on our screens! But if you’re stuck, why not dip into the bottomless pit that is Doctor Who Spin-off material? It’s got to be better than watching Glee or something. Please don’t let your mind melt away like a dead Dalek, or the bodily juices of a fanboy when their eyes (all three of them) are drawn to a half-naked Karen Gillan – check out some more Doctor Who! Big Finish Audios I’m a big fan of these, simply because half of them are better than anything on screen! The beauty with audio is that you don’t need to sit down and make an effort to concentrate your eyes on a screen! There are literally hundreds of full-cast Doctor Who adventures on there, from Doctors 4-8. Big Finish don’t just produce Doctor Who though – there’s a number of other different shows on there! Check out http://www.bigfinish.com MY TIP: Big Finish for a Fiver (http://www.bigfinish.com/big-finish-for-a-fiver) – there are many Big Finish CD releases on sale for just £5! These include Doctor Who audios that were only previously available to subscribers as well as a selection of Gallifrey, Dalek Empire, Bernice Summerfield and UNIT series’. So if you’re new to audio, this is a great (and affordable!) way to start. From time to time, Big Finish also hold a number of sales on their main Doctor Who range – stay tuned to their website or their podcast for details. Doctor Who Fiction Books Finding Doctor Who fiction is like finding a sexual partner in Amsterdam – easy if you have the money. You can buy these new, but if you want to save some money – we recommend buying second hand. Sites such as Ebay have books that cost as little as a chocolate bar. Or half a chocolate bar, if you compare today’s prices. MY TIP: You can’t go far wrong with some of the new series novels. These are produced on a regular basis (along with audiobooks of them). If you want something more classic, you can check out The New Adventures, Past Doctor Adventures, Eighth Doctor
Fish Fingers and Custard Issue 9 Adventures, Target Novelisations…the list is endless! Check out this site http://www.drwhoguide.com/books.htm - which contains a comprehensive list to get you started. Other Doctor Who Books Too many to mention here, but considering recent events, I would urge you to track down a copy of Wiped! by Richard Molesworth, which is a comprehensive guide to the how’s, where’s, what’s and why’s of missing episodes. You can look for 2nd hand copies, but you can buy it in brand new expensive form from http://www.telos.co.uk/ MY TIPS: Autobiographies of Who actors (Matthew Waterhouse has written one for goodness sake!) and fan writing, such as Chicks Dig Timelords (no, it’s not a girls guide to digging up Hartnell, Troughton or Pertwee), Shooty Dog Thing (it’s not about shooting dogs), Time Unincorporated (er…) Comics Before they made a mockery* of Doctor Who and Star Trek by producing a crossover comic, IDW actually produced some decent Doctor Who comics. Others worth checking out are the classic DWM strips and the marvellous ’The 10 Doctors’ strip, which is available for free online. Go and Google it, you lazy buggers. Also, if you like Torchwood, check out ‘Torchwood Babiez’ despite the grammar, it’s actually pretty decent. Again, use Google if you want to find it. I bet you get your parents to dress you as well? MY TIP: The Eighth Doctor DWM Graphic Novels. They’re a thing of beauty. Like my tan-tastic tan. Classic Doctor Who A bit obvious I know, but you wouldn’t believe how many New Series fans haven’t even checked out a single second of it. The show today is only a success because of the Classic series. I mean, what would David Tennant be doing now if he haven’t have had watched Doctor Who? Probably an Hollywood star – so be thankful! MY TIP: I implore you to go and check out at least ANY story. Apart from Timelash. Or Silly Nemesis. DAVIDE DICKINSON *Ed’s note: Mr Dickinson’s views do not necessarily represent those of Fish Custard Fanzine. Although he says he may change his views if he’s sent free copies.
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Fish Fingers and Custard Issue 9
Of All Ages As a parent I am blessed with two amazing kids, both well behaved (most of the time), both polite and both Doctor Who fans. It makes me smile when I see how good they are compared to most other kids but I really know I have done my job well when I see both of them getting excited at Doctor Who. Whether it be my little boy Sonny, who just turned five in October, getting excited and jumping about like a loony, every time he hears the theme tune, or when my nine year old daughter Freya is sitting on the computer, watching a fanmade Time War video on YouTube. My son is still young so I interviewed my daughter to try and get an insight into what kids like about Doctor Who. Freya has been watching Who ever since it came back in 2005 with th the 9 Doctor. She has all the new series’ on DVD and loads of toys and gets the Doctor Who Adventures magazine every week. I’m 32 and started watching since 1987 as a 9 year old because I had a crush on Ace! I have asked Freya a few questions to try compare with my own and to see why the show appeals to adults and children alike. I started off by asking who her favourite Doctor is and was a bit surprised by her answer she tells me it’s Christopher Eccleston. I must admit that I thought she would have chose Tennant, as she seems to watch his episodes more, but I was wrong. This got me wondering, as my favourite Doctor is Sylvester McCoy (who was The Doctor when I started to watch) if there is just something special about ‘your first Doctor’? I asked a few more questions trying to get what she really liked about it and why such a program had us both hooked. There were lots of moments we agreed on, like our funniest moment between Tennant’s Doctor and Donna during Partners in Crime and both of us having The Pandorica Opens/The Big Bang down as best finale. Just when I was thinking that the interview wasn’t going to get me any answers, Freya went on to tell me that the furthest back she can actually remember getting excited about Doctor Who is Doomsday at the end of Series 2. Although now, I’m starting to wonder if the reason for her being a massive fan is down to brainwashing and the fact I was always talking about it and letting her stay up to watch Doctor Who and have her bath late! After laughing at this thought I think perhaps a little of it is true because she wouldn’t have watched the first two seasons of so-called ‘New Who’ if me and the missus hadn’t made it a family Saturday night ritual with the popcorn/crisps and kids late baths. Then again, I do think she would have eventually ended up a fan, perhaps after she started to watch the Sarah Jane Adventures, which as we know, is more child-orientated. Personally I think kids like Who best when its fun and there are gadgets and ‘cool monsters’ where perhaps adults like more thought out and complex episodes. However, as a 32 year-old father of two, who still gets excited by an army of marching Cybermen, I suppose that theory is already shot to pieces! The truth is that Doctor Who has fantastic writers, brilliant stories, amazing actors, (and since 2005) great effects and has ALWAYS had great costumes. With these combinations you are onto a winner, whether it be child/teen/adult. ALEX GILES
Fish Fingers and Custard Issue 9
High Fives 5 Things You Shouldn’t Do Whilst Watching Doctor Who
Talk Eat crisps, loudly Go on Twitter Make a drink Masturbate
5 Annoying Internet Sayings
People who put .com after a word (i.e. bored.com) People who start a line with “That awkward moment when…” “I love Bieber/One Direction/Harry Sedgewick” Tweets
5 (21st Century) Convention Things
5 Things We Thought of Whilst Watching The Christmas Special
Cross-Playing Fans asking generic questions Guests turning up drunk Horrible toilets Rip-off prices for food and drink
5 Things You Need For The OFFICIAL Doctor Who Con(vention)
Lots of money No Children No taste No brain Decent shoes to wait in
5 Things We’ve Been Criticised For
Using Comic Sans Using ‘too much text’ Comparing Rose Tyler to ‘a tramp’ Swearing Speling Mistakes
Text Speak “I hate Matt Smith” Yawn!
Casting young-looking 19 yearolds to avoid Child Labour laws Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory Overboard reactions from fans Why does the floor stink of beer? What time is Coronation Street on?
5 Things We’re Looking Forward To This Year
More Doctor Who Whooverville 4 (1st September @ Quad, Derby) European Football Championships (At least for the first 2 weeks anyway) Doing more fanzines Chloe Webber and the Scribble Monster attacking The Olympics
Fish Fingers and Custard Issue 9