You Were Expecting Someone Else 22 (Eccleston Comics, the 2006 Annual, Doctor Who Magazine)

(18 comments)

Let us pause for a moment to consider the survivors of the Wilderness Years in the general case. Big Finish, of course, was relatively untouched. We covered much of their future at the tail end of the Wilderness Years, and will check in on them a few times more (off the top of my head I can think of at least six Big Finish essays on post-2005 material that I intend to write, some as book-exclusives, some here), but the basic arc is sensible enough: they got their license renewed fairly soon after the new series started, largely through the personal intervention of Davies, who actively kept the issue from crossing Mal Young’s desk. They were forbidden from making any new series references, and in fact occasionally had characters taken away from them when the TV series wanted them, but they quickly developed their niche of the classic series.

The book line, as we’ve seen, fared rather more poorly, a final victim of the decision to take the license away from Virgin. Under a third party license they could well have survived in the same way that Big Finish did, particularly if, like Big Finish, they had a bunch of respectable and upstanding people involved with them. (e.g. Rebecca Levene) But having been taken in house they were a victim of the BBC’s Great Leap Forward, cut off as part of a sensible but nevertheless painful decision to thoroughly rebrand Doctor Who as a show of the present instead of the past. It’s the worst sort of decision. On the one hand, it’s next to impossible to argue with as any sort of a business move - only the most blinkered fan would seriously suggest that the new series would have been more successful if it had played up the forty-two years of prior continuity more. On the other, for anyone who loves that history it’s a body blow.

And then there’s Doctor Who Magazine. Russell T Davies was a huge fan of the magazine, and upon taking over Doctor Who promptly approached them to cement the relationship between show and magazine. We have, of course, seen this before in the period where John Nathan-Turner saw the transformation of Doctor Who Weekly, a glorified Doctor Who comic book, into Doctor Who Monthly, a paratext to the series that elicited continual fan engagement. The results were, to say the least, mixed, in no small part because Nathan-Turner’s skill at publicity outstripped his skill at making television.

Tied into the problems, however, was what I have in the past referred to as the fan-industrial complex - the often toxic interplay in which prominent fans were tacitly bribed with access in exchange for their endorsement of the party line. This process led to deeply unfortunate moments like the canonization of the “fact” that John Nathan-Turner saved the program from the “crap” version that Graham Williams made, which we’ve discussed previously. Actually, let’s pause here for a moment and offer something of an addendum to previous blog posts, since there are several spots where, shall we say, new information has come to light that alters past stories. Let’s just go to the best example ever to surface of how mind-wrenchingly vile the fan-industrial complex is, so that when we circle back to Doctor Who Magazine and the comics we understand the stakes involved in this.

Since writing up the John Nathan-Turner era Richard Marson’s biography of Nathan-Turner, JN-T, has come out and gotten press coverage. I’ve still not gotten around to importing my copy yet - $25 paperbacks I have to import from the UK are a bit of a pain in the neck, and I figure I’ll wait until I’m revising the era to get really into that. But one thing that came out of that was a series of tabloid-fodder revelations about Nathan-Turner’s sexual escapades with young men. I’m not going to litigate the extent of the scandal here, but I want to point out something about fandom’s relationship with it. Let’s look at Ian Levine, unofficial continuity advisor to the Nathan-Turner era and exemplar of the problems with the fan industrial complex. In a 2012 interview about the Marson book, Levine proclaimed that “things went on that were horrible, corrupt, too awful to discuss.”

Levine, let’s stress, was one of the fans routinely paid in access - indeed, that was the crux of his status as unofficial continuity advisor. Levine provided interviews for the book, in other words, and is one of the sources Marson’s book is based on. His quote about the horrors of what happened under Nathan-Turner, in other words, is made by someone who knew about them at the time and was in a position to do something about it, or at the very least walk away. Instead he stayed for his access, in exactly the way that you’d expect someone who considers making fewer than fourteen episodes of Doctor Who a year evil and boycotts grocery stores for promoting Britain’s Got Talent due purely to it being on opposite Doctor Who to do. Ian Levine at once thought what was going on was horrible and corrupt and willingly remained a part of it just so that he could be in contact with Doctor Who.

That’s the toxicity of the fan-industrial complex in a nutshell, and why the use of Doctor Who Magazine primarily as a promotional vehicle for the new series is at least slightly chilling. Not, to be clear, that Doctor Who Magazine’s editorial staff in the 1980s have any culpability in the sex scandals. Rather that the relationship of having an official mouthpiece within fandom is one fraught with peril. If Levine provides the most ethically unnerving example, we can go for the far tamer and sillier one of Doctor Who Magazine running positive reviews of Warriors of the Deep and The Twin Dilemma if we want an example that merely makes Doctor Who Magazine look kind of crap instead of hinting at a sweeping ethical denunciation. I’d argue that one is just the other in miniature, but never mind that.

All of which said, it’s not as though Doctor Who Magazine in the wilderness years was without fault. It ground its axes when it saw fit. The transformation at the start of the John Nathan-Turner era was not a transformation of the magazine into something that was on the production team’s side, it was a transformation of it into something that was on any side at all instead of just producing Doctor Who comics. Nobody seriously expects the official magazine to badmouth the series. This is how the relationship has to work. That it was so disastrous in the past is less a product of the inherent corruption of engaging with fandom and more a product of the fact that in the 1980s the notion of fandom was still so undeveloped that Nathan-Turner’s pioneering fan engagement was doomed to failure even though it was, in fact, the wave of the future.

All of which is to say that by 2005 Doctor Who Magazine was an altogether more competent package, a fact that both Davies and the magazine’s editors deserve credit for. The heart of this is that things had changed dramatically in twenty years. “Professional fan,” in 2005, was a designation that existed, and Doctor Who Magazine was well staffed with dutiful professionals (who, notably, were not employed directly by the BBC). Davies, meanwhile, was himself enough of a fan of Doctor Who Magazine to want it to succeed, as opposed to just treating it as a product line he inherited (which, let’s be honest, it always rather seemed like he did with the books). And perhaps most importantly, Davies lived in Doctor Who fandom - the actual, bitchily wonderful fandom that existed - and had no interest in its dismantling or undermining.

The result was that even as Doctor Who Magazine became a glossy echo chamber of praise for the very act of making Doctor Who in which every episode is previewed extensively, every actor and designer is interviewed in glowing terms, and the entire magazine is caught up in a sort of unceasing frenzied ecstasy over the existence of Doctor Who, it remained… surprisingly intelligent. Sure, there are fawning interviews with everybody under the sun, but it turns out that the people working on Doctor Who are often really intelligent people with interesting things to say. Yes, Davies’s production notes are full of unapologetic teases and hype, but they’ve also got a refreshing candidness over the material realities of making a television program. And yes, it’s new series obsessed, but unlike almost everything else coming out it continued to actually acknowledge the classic series, continuing the Time Team feature and cheerily reviewing all the DVDs.

Perhaps most interesting, however, are the reviews of the first series, which are given over to Rebecca Levene, editor of the New Adventures. Levene is, as one would expect, largely warm to the program, but she’s also thoughtful and willing to make detailed and intelligent critiques. The resulting tone is “very much in love with Doctor Who, but interested in it enough to find critique valuable.” Which is pretty much perfect and what Doctor Who Magazine should be.

And then of course there are the comics, which must be mentioned. They were, of course, very good in the Eighth Doctor era, and that quality continues here. There are blips - Robert Shearman turns in something of a career low with a four-parter that just doesn’t have enough room for its involved plot to breathe. But other bits are absolutely lovely; Gareth Roberts turns out two delightful strips, for instance. We should again pause and remember that Russell T Davies is both a massive comics fan and a devotee of the old Doctor Who Magazine strips - hence him offering the McGann/Eccleston regeneration to them and slipping kronkburgers into The Long Game. And in that regard the comic strips are a return to form - compelling side trips for Doctor Who. It’s too early by decades, in 2013, to say whether “The Love Invasion” will have the same impact as “The Iron Legion,” but it’s at least as good.

And there are other fun bits to be had. Gareth Roberts celebrating the old World Distributors annuals with a style pastiche about Doctor Who and Rose Taylor is one of the most wonderfully mad bits of nostalgia ever penned, and speaks volumes about what Doctor Who Magazine sees itself as being in the age of the new series: both chronicler and repository for the wide range of extra stuff that Doctor Who is.

We’d be remiss, in talking about all of this, if we did not also look at the 2006 Doctor Who Annual published by Panini Press. The annual is known for two things, both of which speak to the ways in which this sort of publication is taken seriously. The first, of course, is Steven Moffat’s “What I Did On My Christmas Holidays by Sally Sparrow,” which is a prototype of Blink and is a wonderful bit of children’s adventure fantasy mixed with structural cleverness. While it lacks the Weeping Angels, there’s a sweet charm to it - remember that the annuals are really designed as Christmas presents - that actually makes it, to my mind, easier to love. If the kid-friendly Christmas annuals have a purpose other than sweet stories about ordinary people getting caught up in the Doctor’s adventures around the holidays then I don’t know what it is.

Well, except perhaps massive and joyful fanwank. Which brings us to Russell T Davies’s “Meet the Doctor,” a two page intro to the character that is actually just a brief history of the Time War that opens the floodgates of fanservice in a breathtaking way. In ten paragraphs we have references to a Terry Nation prose piece in the 1973 Radio Times special, Enlightenment, Resurrection of the Daleks, Genesis of the Daleks, the TV Movie, Lungbarrow, The Apocalypse Element, State of Decay, Alan Moore’s Doctor Who comics, and The Web Planet, alongside a tease of the survival of the Master, including the phrase “you are not alone.” It is, needless to say, completely mental - but in a way that reaffirms the importance of things like this. It’s not the TV references that make it, but rather the acknowledgment of all sorts of weird spin-offs - the Radio Times special, Big Finish, the New Adventures, and the Doctor Who Magazine comics - that cement the tone of the piece as a giddy confirmation of Doctor Who’s history.

Which is, perhaps, the last piece of the puzzle here. Yes, there’s an ecstatic tone to much of the paratext here. Yes, the content of a lot of it - magazine, books, annual, et cetera - amounts to brand management to encourage financial devotion to being a Doctor Who fan. But if much of it amounts to an endless praise of the basic fact of making Doctor Who, we should perhaps remember that the people making Doctor Who are, in fact, drunk on the excitement of doing it, and that the fannish legacy of Doctor Who is a part of it. Put another way, it’s tough to be cynical about the commercialization of Doctor Who when it’s being headed up by the most joyfully obsessive Doctor Who fan it’s possible to imagine. Unless one is so bloody-minded about the public service mission of the BBC as to deny the sensibility of an official tie-in magazine (and its utility in bolstering the BBC’s overall budget is hard to argue with - let’s remember that Doctor Who exists in part to fund things like the low-earning high-cost BBC News), it’s hard to argue that Doctor Who Magazine in 2005 was not exactly what an official tie-in magazine should be.

Comments

Seth Aaron Hershman 4 years, 2 months ago

Well, dammit, now I want to subscribe and I can't afford to. Thanks.

Link | Reply

Simon Cooper 4 years, 2 months ago

Speaking of DWM, rumours are afoot that change is in the air. The most extreme is that Panini has lost the license, the other that Tom Spilsbury is on the way out to be replaced by Marcus Hearn (The guy who writes those books on Hammer and is writing the BBC's big 50th Anniversary book.) Interestingly, some recent Tweets from Spilsbury would suggest that he's not as concerned with being a 100% uncritical cheerleader for the series/the BBC as he always has been

Link | Reply

Steven Clubb 4 years, 2 months ago

I still maintain that Who fandom is among the sanest fandoms, although not because it's particularly sane.

I like to credit the "There Is No Canon" ethos, which seems to dull the edge on a lot of arguments. Unlike comics where anal retentive fans become anal retentive pros and set about trying to distort Continuity to their liking, there seems to be very little of that in Who. Sure the late 90s saw the comics, novels, and audios go off in different directions starting a bit of a fan-war... but that all got sorted easily enough.

Mostly you just have the ever-present group of people who loudly hate NOW, although a quick look at Gallifrey Base's review polls will show just how tiny a group they are among the tiny sub-set of fans who are hardcore enough to post on a message board about the show.

I've been involved in a number of fandoms over the years and Who seems to create more of the good kind of fans than any I've stumbled across.

Link | Reply

encyclops 4 years, 2 months ago

I've only bought the magazine occasionally over the years, and so only recently discovered Gary Gillatt's DVD reviews. I adore his treatment of the Mara Tales box set in particular: http://gillatt.wordpress.com/2011/10/10/mara-tales/

And especially this bit. A friend recently asked me what I would change about the current series if I could, and I think it would probably be this:

“I’m a gentleman of the Universe” is how the First Doctor described himself, but over the years, there’s been a steady inflation of his place in that Universe. From gentleman to Lord, from Lord to Lord President; and over the last decade, a fannish desire to make the Doctor sound as special as we believe Doctor Who to be means he’s become the focus of overzealous mythologising. He is star fire! He is ice! He’s Time’s Champion, the Upcoming Wind. He is the tear on the face of the little baby Jesus… Oh, it’s all very stirring and melodramatic, but I don’t want the Doctor to be some cross between Peter Pan, Santa Claus and God – that would be so insufferable of him. I want the Doctor of Kinda and Snakedance. A man, not a superman, with as much to learn about the Universe as we do, and who defeats wickedness with wisdom and wit alone, rather than time travel slight-of-hand or a cocky demand that his foes merely “look him up”. Can we have that Doctor back, please?

Link | Reply

Assad K 4 years, 2 months ago

After looking at a couple of the reviews there, much obliged for that.. I do get DWM, but I guess I did not appreciate Gillatt's reviews (or rather, didn't pay attention to the bylines).. another website to explore, and another name to watch for!

Link | Reply

Daibhid C 4 years, 2 months ago

It's one of only two fandoms I know where I generally feel like I actually want to be part of fandom, rather than being a fan but not interacting with others too much because they're scary. (The other is Discworld.)

Link | Reply

Matthew Blanchette 4 years, 2 months ago

...I was expecting "Boomtown". :-(

Link | Reply

Assad K 4 years, 2 months ago

I'm ok with putting off that evil day. :p

Link | Reply

Philip Sandifer 4 years, 2 months ago

I historically do slow down and do a lot of extra entries at the end of a Doctor. I probably could have spaced these over the month more, but I preferred the fast start and slower finish, as season one seems to me to be shaped like that as a cultural object. So Boom Town on Monday, and the finale a week later.

Series Two is currently a near-straight run of thirteen television posts though.

Link | Reply

Lewis Christian 4 years, 2 months ago

I'm quite happy with how you're working at the mo, especially with Series 1 being the only (and very brief!) period with Eccleston's Doctor. 10 straight posts for the TV stories would've been far too fast.

Looking forward to seeing what else is in store!

Link | Reply

Ununnilium 4 years, 2 months ago

Fast start also helped clear the hangover of the Wilderness Years out.

Link | Reply

George Potter 4 years, 2 months ago

LOL. Understood, understandable. I love Firefly but 'The Browncoats' simply make me back away slowly, smiling, showin' my hands to prove I'm harmless.

Link | Reply

George Potter 4 years, 2 months ago

encyclops --

I understand that perfectly well, but I think it's a forlorn hope. The Doctor is, symbolically -- to both fans and the casual audience -- absolutely a legend.

My beloved young cousin Nicole (who has been a fan since infancy thanks to my videotaped T. Baker and McCoy episodes) is annoyed when the Doctor ISN'T treated as a legend. She'll turn 15 in August, and she's a Matt Smith fan girl. But, she will instantly correct any of her fellow WHO loving friends if they dare not realize that the show existed before 'Rose' -- and will be amazingly hard-ass about it. This is a kid who, at age 4, would put on her bathing suit and drag around a cardboard box attached to a string playing 'Leela and K9.'

I think there's another level between 'hardcore fan' and 'casual audience' and it's the kids we hardcore fans raised or helped raise between cancellation and revival.

No matter. At a few years ago birthday slumber party she amazed me by pulling out the Remembrance Of The Daleks DVD and telling her friends "I'm going to show you something REALLY cool." I actually had to walk away and have a bit of a cry.

(They were all on the edge of their seats during the show, btw. :) )

Link | Reply

George Potter 4 years, 2 months ago

I've only read three issues of DWM, but they were hugely important to me.

If a bit of biography will be forgiven:

My first exposure to Doctor Who came in 1979, when I was 7 years old. I was only allowed to watch television on Saturdays, and didn't care much for it. The only channel we received was PBS.

On that amazing Saturday my mother called me in from playing outside. She sat me down in front of the television and said 'I think you'll like this, baby.'

It was part-way through The Invisible Enemy. The scene onscreen was Leela and K-9 playing Horatio-At-The-Bridge in a space station corridor.

Hooked? Dear lord, that barely covers it!

Fast forward to '86. We'd moved to Florida and went, every weekend, to a VAST flea market. I discovered, on one of the tables, three issues of DWM and a shoebox full of Target novelizations. I was actually shaking when I asked the man how much he wanted for them. To his credit I think he saw the utter lust in my eyes and, smiling, said: 'I'll take a buck, kid." (I only had two dollars to spend.)

I'd always suspected that WHO was this vast universe that I might truly understand if only I had more information.

Those three issues, and that glorious shoebox, proved it. :)

Link | Reply

Clay Hickman 4 years, 2 months ago

That was a very interesting take on things, Philip, thanks. As the bloke behind DWM back then, including those strips and the Annual, I reckoned I'd post a few thoughts.

I'd been friends with Russell since I met him in a convention bar back in 1997 so he'd been in touch about DWM (and lots of other stuff) for years before he was involved in the show returning. Which was very lucky for me and for the magazine. As you said with Big Finish, he smoothed the way for us with the BBC and I made sure I made myself as helpful and tractable to all the folks at BBC Worldwide as possible (becoming the sort of go-to guy for the new folks at Worldwide, someone who knew DW and could advise on all manner of stuff, eventually including going through the photos for them and choosing the best ones for Picture Publicity).

This was, remember, before DW Adventures or DVD partworks or anything else magazine-based had been thought of, and even before we knew DW Confidential would exist as a weekly making-of (which meant that our first instinct - to meticulously cover every aspect of production as we had done with the classic series - needed to be rethought as we went along). But the things Russell influenced in the early days - like arranging us some of the very-carefully-guarded new photos for our front covers months before transmission, thus allowing us to relaunch all glossy and with a spine in January rather than March of 2005, and even giving permission for us to mess with the new logo and print it in all manner of colours and metallic inks - made a huge difference. Cos also, for the first time, we were battling other SF magazines for news and exclusives and the like, so Russell helping us along was a godsend.

Panini were obviously delighted that we kept the license and were so supportive in all the plans I was making to expand the magazine as the new series got closer, and I really pushed to get the Annual license too. Mainly cos I wanted to do it right - no 'Space Facts' or articles on the Hydra for once! This was, unfortunately, a deal which had to be re-wrangled in future years when it turned out that Penguin had first dibs on all DW publications of that type, hence they had the Annuals license from then on and we were allowed to do a similar sort of thing as The DW Storybook, though without the fun features. I even had to fight to get a comic strip in there, I recall. But it was so heartening that the TV show writers and writers-to-be were willing to contribute, so we had new stories by The Moff, Rob Shearman, Paul Cornell and Gareth Roberts - and plenty more when the Storybooks arrived. To have played even a tiny part in the genesis of Blink or The Shakespeare Code or The Lodger is incredible - and shows how the writers gave their all even for what some might just dismiss as 'spin-off merchandise'. (Cont)

Link | Reply

Clay Hickman 4 years, 2 months ago

So anyway, back in the day we were giddy with excitement about everything - so much newness! -and I can see that it might sometimes have come across as fawning, but they really were heady times - DWM had survived the wilderness years and was still pretty healthy (a miracle in itself), but with Andrew Pixley's Archives completed we'd lost a key part of the magazine, and even though Ben Cook was coming up trumps with far more candid interviews, and was tracking down long-lost people like Christopher Bailey, we had covered SO much already so new episodes were really like manna from heaven.

Russell was unbelievably good to personally look over the stuff we were printing - which allowed us to bypass approval of every word by BBC Worldwide - as he really did want us to keep the 'voice' that DWM had developed over the years. Hence unvetted reviews, no strictures against covering the classic series, and even encouraging us not to dump the silly, fun bits like Space-Time Telegraph, which got away with so many naughty pokes and jokes, and would never have been allowed if the Beeb themselves were approving all our content I'm sure. Russell's advice was always based on protecting his cast and crew and protecting the show (and us) from inadvertently writing anything the tabloids might pounce on and twist (which was a genuine problem - they trawled DWM for stories every month!). His input was a million miles away from the dreaded blue pencil of JN-T I can assure you.

Glad you liked the run, however short, of Ninth Doctor strips. Gareth and I are seriously in your debt for the Iron Legion comparison! One thing to note there is that, not really knowing how much of a new, young readership the show would bring us, and there being no dedicated title yet for kids, we initially skewed them a little younger. Though in fact that doesn't show much as both Russell, co-editor Scott Gray and I were such fans of the old DW Weekly strips which never talked down to their readers, so we sort of ended up echoing those - which we basically already were with the McGann strips! (As a side note we even tried to get classic artist Dave Gibbons back for a strip that Russell would have written. It wasn't possible given Dave's schedule of mega-high profile comics work in the USA, and so the basic story Russell had worked out ended up on screen a bit later as Love & Monsters. There's something for the fact fans!)

With things like Production Notes and the 'Meet the Doctor' feature in the Annual, it was frankly amazing that Russell took the time to do that for us - completely unpaid I might add - given the mad amount of things he had on his plate. That really shows how much he cared about DWM. As does things like getting us such great access to the set, and letting me do the first - and still pretty much only - big interview with Chris Eccleston just as he was cast, which the UK press picked up on hugely, giving the magazine some amazing publicity.

I'm not saying we got everything right, but I still think DWM kept a lot of the same feel post-relaunch (and developed as each series came along and we got used to having a popular, current TV show as our subject matter after 16 years of niche-dom!), and that's down to Russell trusting us.

Link | Reply

Clay Hickman 4 years, 2 months ago

Just look at other licensed magazines and the strictures they're made to operate under (I remember one I knew of that was instructed never to give less than 3/5 for any review they ran) and I think DWM felt - and still feels - very different. There's also the fact that me and Tom Spilsbury and our team had been there through the wilderness years and were all massive fanboys at heart. We worked very hard to do justice to the show after dreaming of it coming back for SO long. The thing is, DWM is really a full time job, as in ALL the time, cos you never really stop thinking about it when you're working on it. There was no extra time or extra manpower given to cover the increased page count of the new-look issues, 100-page Specials for each season, or things like the graphic novels and the Annual/Storybooks - but we all somehow did it cos we cared so much. And never more so than when the show came back.

Cos I remember as a kid being very disappointed by the coverage given to McCoy's seasons in DWM - you might get a couple of pages on visual effects and a page of previews for upcoming stories, then an 8-page article about The Web Planet! I wanted more! Gary Gillatt showed how it should be done with he and his team's coverage of the TV Movie, and he had virtually no support from the makers back in 1996. So we had no excuse not to go to town given the doors Russell - and others at BBC Wales, I should say, who also showed great faith in the magazine - had opened for us.

And, yes, Gareth's Rosie Taylor Annual-style spoof is one of the things nobody else but DWM could have gotten away with. And it still makes me laugh now.

As for "professional fans", that isn't something I ever felt applied to me. There were no 'rewards' offered for taking any sort of party line. Just help given and support if we faced any big problems. I just worked (bloody hard) at DWM, and 99% of the time sent my writers out for set visits and the like. I did try to get down there once in a while to sort-of smile at everyone and thank them for helping us as 'The Editor of DWM', but frankly it's a very long way from Kent to Cardiff (or Newport in those days) and we really had a lot of work to get through in the office and I wanted SOME sleep!

I did get called upon to be a talking head for the first couple of series of DW Confidential, but that mainly came out of them wanting someone who could string a sentence together, who knew their Who, and could link disparate things from their other, more important, interviewees. And again that was something I had to fit in around my DWM workload and did for free. Same when Russell put me forward to be a judge on the 'Companion Academy' segment of Totally Doctor Who - it just sounded like fun, and it would get the words 'Doctor Who Magazine' on BBC 1 under my name. It also led to that show running a feature on our comic strips, so it was worth being locked in a hot cupboard for three days making children cry by judging them! I never sought out a career as a TV pundit or anything -I have more of a face for radio anyway. My main focus was always the magazine. Honest!

Anyway, thanks again for an interesting article. Hope there's been something of interest in my ramblings, too.

All the best,
Clay
(who edited DWM from 2002-7)
X

Link | Reply

landru 4 years, 2 months ago

I've grown a little exhausted in the last few years with DWM, but I have a massive collection of them. I think an entire storage tub. I'm not certain it's the magazine itself. I have a threshold limit for the series (or at least fandom) and it usually involves doing other things.

I never felt the magazine was "fawning," merely grabbing the rope with all its might. In many ways, it was always nice to have the balance of old and new. With the new series, yes, you weren't going to find out any juicy gossip, but that also meant the juicy gossip or at least criticisms were getting a bit louder from the old series. And, it should be noted, I wouldn't have been curious about previous Doctor's if they hadn't been discussed here and there in the 80's Monthly, so to do that with the new series is really a good lure for new people to look back at the history.

However, to fault JNT for the "the fan-industrial complex" is a bit ... well, let's face it, silly, since that is exactly what the magazine is doing now. Clearly in a manner that you approve, but nonetheless ... I mean, it's not listening to ME, is it? There is and has always been an inner circle of fans who just know people. Now, how that is used now vs. then is probably of interest to the readers of the JNT biography, but as a casual fan ... it appears no different. The new group is reshaping history just as much. There are always "Professional Fans" and they will always be friends of a sort with the current producer/show-runner.

And, that is just fact, not even something I care one way or another about. Clayton Hickman's last paragraph might be a little more where the "fawning" started to be annoying ... I suspect that aspect can't be avoided with DW Confidential, which was hardly "confidential" in any way. I'm waiting for the behind the scenes future re-releases when people tell the truth about what happened. But, hey, that's just me. (No offense to Mr. Hickman ... we'd all have done the same ... Totally Doctor Who was absurdly fun.)

Link | Reply

New Comment

required

required (not published)

optional

Recent Posts

Archive

Tags

Authors

Feeds

RSS / Atom