Doctor Who Magazine Flashback – Issue 193

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Recently I’ve been digging through my piles of DWW and DWM. 40+ years of collecting the magazine means that a chronological re-read would be a little impractical (although it would make a good blog project for someone). Instead I’ve decided to use the randomizer (a useful device, even if it lacks true discrimination) to select some issues for me to peruse. First landing spot is issue 193 (November 1992) with Gary Russell in the editors seat.

Top news in the Gallifrey Guardian was the fact that Who would be running six days a week on UK Gold. Hurrah! Difficult to imagine now, but in those far off days access to the series was pretty limited unless you had access to the pirate video network. And even if you did, you may very well have been struggling to make out blobs in a snowstorm (some of those nth generation dubs were very hard on the eyes).

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Marcus Hearn interviewed Roy Castle about his career and specifically his role as big-screen Ian. Castle always came across as a lovely chap and this interview does nothing to dispel this view. He had fond memories of Peter Cushing (another person you never hear a bad word about).

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Controversy Corner tackled the thorny topic of canon. Shudder. That’s a kettle of worms you never really want to open.

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The Android Invasion received a typically thorough archive feature from Andrew Pixley whilst the comic strip featured part one of Pureblood. Slightly squidgy looking Sontarans were the baddies whilst there were a fair few swearwords (well, “cruck”) thrown about – possibly in homage to the New Adventures. After all, this was still at the point when the various spin offs (comics, books) were attempting to live in harmony – hence Benny accompanying the Doctor on his travels.

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There’s an interesting interview with Brian Hodgson which covers all the bases you’d expect (such as how a piano and a key were integral to creating the TARDIS sound).

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The postbag was still mildly fuming at Gary Russell’s review of Earthshock in DWM 191. Although if you really want to read a thorough demolition of the story then you’d be advised to check out Martin Wiggins’ piece in the relevant issue of In Vision.

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And that’s about that for this issue, apart from a back-page plug for issue one of Classic Comics. Which are also probably worth digging out for a re-read ….

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9 thoughts on “Doctor Who Magazine Flashback – Issue 193

  1. I always enjoy your posts. I was first drawn to your blog because of Doctor Who, but I’m an American who has always been an Anglophile, so where I started out looking for posts on the one show, I now look forward to all you post, as you give me many good lessons on British Television.

    In your post here about DWM, you include the article about canon. Have you ever, or have you seen anyone else, try to look at the “formal” arguments about it (not sure that’s the best word, but DWM is closer to presenting an authoritative answer than Facebook posts)? This is a topic I’ve always found fascinating (my first encounters with it were in the days of rec.arts.drwho and being told 1) being televised wasn’t enough, as that person didn’t want to “count” K9 & Company or “Feast of Steven” & 2) “canon is just what you make it” (which seems to be the big push these days, even though it goes against my understanding of the term). I’d love to read other articles that might tackle the topic, or your take on the matter.

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    • That’s an interesting one, I’ve never heard of attempting to remove The Feast of Steven from the canon before! (but then I was never a regular on rec.arts.drwho).

      In the old days it was fairly easy – what happened on tv was canon and anything else (annuals, etc) wasn’t. That’s how most people seemed to take it anyway.

      But the rise of Big Finish and others has muddied the waters somewhat. And these days many seem content to ignore chunks of the series too ….

      I’m sure there’s some articles on canon in the fanzines I have, I’ll keep an eye out and pop anything of interest in another post in the future.

      Thanks for the kind comments about the blog, btw. Very much appreciated 👍

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      • I wouldn’t say removing “Feast of Steven” went beyond this one person who was posting it (perhaps he’s out there, reading this, ready to explain), but the argument was based on the fact that the episode was basically a holiday diversion and not “serious Who” and centered around the Doctor breaking the fourth wall at the very end. The issue with K9 & Company was that it wasn’t under the DW titles; I had countered that Sarah Jane’s intro scene in “Five Doctors” seemed to confirm it, and that’s when I got the “canon is what you make of it” response. After this latest series, that seems to be how many see it, and I have definitely seen that sentence or a close variation said many times over.

        I remember as the New Adventures novels were coming out (with, I suppose, the feeling that this was all we’d have) that they were officially licensed by the BBC, so they would/could/should (depending on speaker) count, and, of course, once it went to BBC Books there was a further argument for that (never mind the annuals and such were also licensed through the BBC). And, of course, there’s always the issue of things like the Pescatons LP, “Dimensions in Time,” etc.

        Thanks!

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  2. One thing that did muck up what was and wasn’t canon were the spin-off that came out while Doctor Who was off the air, particularly the ones that came after the tv movie

    A couple of years after the Sylvester McCoy series we got the New Adventures novels. After the tv movie we got a series of BBC Books novels with the eighth Doctor and some new assistants, and the Paul McGann did some audio adventures with a completely different set of assistants.

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    • Of course, having different assistants can work, but you’re right that things got spread pretty thin, without an agreed upon set of companions for the Doctor (and with some contradictory stories even).

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  3. The Night Of The Doctor, does at least bring Charley, C’rizz, Lucie, Tamsin & Molly, from the Big Finish into the fold.

    Now watch people scream that it was webisode & doesn’t count (Despite Eight & (Young (Caligula – I Claudius?)) Granddad.

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    • To be blunt, that line is the main reason I consider that minisode apocryphal at best. Not only was it out of date about five minutes after it was made, but it seemed like Steven Moffat making an Armed With Canon attempt to elevate Big Finish to the status of the “proper” story of the Eighth Doctor’s life at the expense of the DWM comic strip, the BBC Books novels and the Radio Times strip. He seemed to belatedly realised that he’d annoyed as many people as he’d pleased and slipped a reference to Fitz into the novelisation.

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  4. I hate to be That Guy but, er, you do realise this is Issue 193, right? Issue 197 was March 1993, with the Return to Devil’s End cover, Image of the Fendahl archive, preview of Dalek Attack, first episode of Emperor of the Daleks (confusing everyone by featuring the Sixth Doctor without any hoo-hah) and…hang on let me get my copy out to check the lead story in Gallifrey Guardian: Ah, first mention of the forthcoming radio play that became The Paradise of Death!

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