Archive for the ‘ DWM ’ Category

DWM #446

My subs copy of DWM #446 has arrived. A little thrill every fourth Wednesday as the only magazine to which I subscribe, falls somewhere in the vicinity of the doormat. A great effort by the team this month as not only did they manage to grab an interview with Jenna-Louise on 23rd March and get it ready, complete with cover shot and even a sneaky pic from the Official Convention and delivered on time. Well done to Tom Spillsbury and the team!

I’ve not managed to read much of it yet… I’ll be adding some comments to this blog post as and when over the coming days. However, what I’ve gleaned so far is that the new companion is not called Jasmine and there will be more episodes in 2013 than the 8 episodes of the second half of Series Seven already announced. Exciting, eh!?

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DWM 433 – Review

Look what turned up on the doormat this lunchtime! It’s only my subscription copy of the mighty Doctor Who Magazine, number 433 for those keeping score. This time (for the fourth time in its history) we get a choice of four covers… Amy, the Doctor, Rory or River. The ‘choice’ thing isn’t really a factor for the subscribers of the world because, as my mum used to tell me, you get what you’re given. I really rather wanted the River cover but it wasn’t to be. The question, therefore, is… am I fan enough to buy another copy? My mum also used to tell me “It’s what’s on the inside that counts” and that is true here as well. Wise woman, my mum.

Well, it’s everything you would expect in the weeks leading up to transmission of Series 32. Tom effervesces in the editorial, Steven causes much hilarity in the Production Notes, and the Gallifrey Guardian is replete with news, including the correct titles for the first seven episodes and also two more from the second half of the series: just ignore what I told you yesterday. Episode 3 gets the moniker of The Curse of the Black Spot, 6 becomes The Almost People, 9 will be What Little Boys Are Made Of, and 11 will be the God Complex. All this and we’re only on page seven. Then we get to the juicy stuff. Previews of episodes 1 and 2 (seemingly not being broadcast on the Easter Saturday and Sunday as some had speculated) as well as (happily) the new look DW Confidential coming soon to BBC3 and a monster interview with the Boss, Steven Moffat. I’ve not read any of this you understand, I do have a job to do, but it looks sumptuous as ever.

Now, I don’t usually get into the Big Finish material. I have about a dozen or so CD’s but for the most part the ever-expanding corner of the Whoniverse remains an unexplored mystery to me. However, the feature here on the unmade 1990 series that has now found its way on to a new BF series, really tantalises. I will have to have a listen to them. The rest of the magazine features the now familiar Countdown to 50 (series 4), the comic strip (Forever Dream by Jonathan Morris with art by Adrian Salmon), Time Team (Aliens of London), Fact of Fiction (of the TV movie), Battle of Wits (is the Doctor half human?), a quick interview (Geoffrey Beavers), reviews, previews, competitions, and the Next Month teaser. It’s a lot to take in. I also got another Who-related delivery but more on that tomorrow.

Review of Doctor Who Magazine 430

So, the much anticipated DWM #430 hit the shelves last Thursday, with its (slightly) new look, (very slight) price increase, a few new features and the (controversial) return of an old one. Polybags were the order of the day for the second month in a row as the mag came complete with another set of three new “art cards”. These plastic coverings cause much consternation among the fans, although I am not entirely sure why this might be, because I much would rather put up with a plastic bag, than have my goodies missing from the inside or, worse, having things glued to the cover. I guess there is a storage issue for those who like to have a pristine and complete archive of older copies but in my mind it’s a small price to pay.

Inside, I didn’t enjoy opening up to find a gaudy advert for Marvel comics adorning pages 2 and 3 but happily this was the last of the disappointments. The must-read features of Production Notes and Gallifrey Guardian (complete with new font) are right there at the front and still manage, in this up-to-the-minute internet age, to get the skinny on one or two exclusive slices of news. The “Galaxy Forum” (or Letters Page to its friends) has been expanded to include Tweets and YouTube as well as texts, Facebook messages and, you know, actual letters too. Nice to see the new mediums being embraced although I always find myself skimming this section if I’m honest.

Interviews in this installment come from fun little chats with Matt and Karen and the much more enlightening piece with Christmas Carol director, Toby Haynes. Sacrificed this issue appears to be the little interview that has been included of late just inside the back cover but instead, elsewhere in the mag, we get a piece called “Double Trouble” in which Nev Fountain and Nicola Bryant interview one another. This has the potential to be quite fun if DWM continue with more of the same, depending, of course, on who gets paired up. Another new feature is “Battle of Wits” in which two notable experts argue the case over a “hot Doctor Who topic”. Again, this has the potential to be fun if the first one is anything to go by (btw, Johnny Candon won this one: Tom is way more influential than Pat!). Two more new features include the frivolous “Wotcha” and the surprising inclusion of a Prize Crossword (not that I would ever write on my copy of DWM).

Lots of the usual features continue unabated, with The Fact of Fiction up to its usual standards, and the Reviews and Coming Soon sections doing exactly what they say on the tin, but there is still an opportunity for a couple of noteworthy articles. Firstly, in another acknowledgement of the online fan community, we get a feature from @benjamin_cook examining 40 people every fan should follow on Twitter. As a fan of this particular social network, it didn’t tell me much that I didn’t know (with only 5 of the 40 not being followed by me already) but I think that the feature was timely… although I cannot believe that @fazzinchi didn’t get a mention. Secondly, came the rather revealing 2Entertain discussion that exclusively revealed the whole of the 2011 release schedule for the classic DVDs. I always wonder why such things are typically kept under wraps, so it was nice to be able to see where all my money will be going throughout the year. Some odd combinations of stories have found their way in to certain boxsets, such as The Awakening and The Gunfighters being paired together. There is some sense to the combinations if you tilt your head to one side and squint hard enough but you really, really need to want to see it.

No review of DWM would be complete without a look at the comic strip. Jonathan Morris’ story “The Screams of Death” seems to evoke the spirit of TV’s The Unquiet Dead, as Eleven and Amy arrive in Paris in the mid-nineteenth century to find mysterious goings on at the opera house. All in all it was a pretty good first part that rattled along at a brisk pace and set things up well. I think that the character of Amy was captured a bit better than that of Matt Smith’s Doctor though, and Dan McDaid’s art continues to grow on me despite a few panels failing to capture a good likeness. Enjoyed it and am looking forward to part two. Where was Rory though?

And finally, the Time Team are back. Well, it’s a new team for a new series and the Cliche Counter and Adrian Salmon’s art are the only things to have survived. I feel like joining in with their mission to re-watch the modern era of DW starting with Rose, and that might be the start of a new feature on this very blog. Watch this space.

DW Magazine – 429 Review

12 Blogs of Christmas: #3

As mentioned previously, my copy of Doctor Who Magazine #429 was delivered one week late following the snow and pre Christmas rush. However, it finally turned up a couple of days before Christmas and, I’ll be honest with you, I haven’t had a chance to read it all. But I promised you a review and that’s what you’re gonna get. The first thing to note is that it turned up in a polybag. These things are controversial within the circles of fandom who choose to debate such things but they are required to keep additional content in place such as this issues “three limited edition art cards”. I still can’t fathom what exactly they were doing there. The second thing to note is that there is a fair heft to this volume as it is 84 pages in length. According to Tom Spilsbury in the editorial, from #430 this will become the norm for DWM and they’ll certainly have no trouble in filling it.

Kicking things off is a 6-page preview of A Christmas Carol. Not a single spoiler was contained therein because I didn’t read it till after seeing the Christmas special. The Moff teases us in his usual fashion within the Production Notes and makes some comments about story arcs that makes me think they’ll play some significant role in 2011, or at least more so than in previous years. Then, after the news, previews and letters we arrive at a nice looking eight page interview with Tom Baker. Always a fascinating man but still on the “to be read” section. This month’s comic strip is an old-fashioned looking one with interesting artwork from Rob Davis. At times it looks a little too simplistic for my tastes, but “The Professor, The Queen and The Bookshop” has some moments when the essence of Matt Smith’s Doctor is brilliantly captured. It’s a nice little one-part Chistmas-y tale without being anything to do with Christmas. Works well, as my mother-in-law would say.

There follows a timely interview with Katy Manning (again unread by me so far) complete with obligatory saucy photos. I would love to see her return to our screens again following her successful appearance in SJA earlier this year, should the opportunity arise. The Review of 2010 doesn’t reveal anything we didn’t know already but that doesn’t stop it being a good idea and one that I will nick for a forthcoming post on this very blog. The Fact of Fiction turns its attention to much disliked Horns of Nimon. I will dig out the DVD and read this piece to see if I can locate some redeeming qualities. The reviews this month, as well as the usual CD/DVD bias, feature a long overdue look at the successful range of action figures produced by Character Options.

The issue closes with a bit of a mish-mash, including the 2010 survey, some attempted humour in the Space-Time Telegraph, a whole host of competitions for things I never win, a fiendish Christmas quiz and a nice little “Who on Earth is…” interview with Carole Ann Ford. And finally. the most intriguing thing about the whole issue is saved for the final page, which promises a “Bold New Look [and] Brand New Features” in issue 430. Sometime after 13th January, I might be able to tell you about them too. I’ll have probably finished 429 by then.

Waiting For 429

Greetings loyal readers… yes, both of you. Just a quick update for you as I sit here, one week in to my wait for the latest subscription copy of DWM to arrive. A combination of the wrong kind of snow, postal backlogs, the general pre-Christmas rush and who knows what else means that my wait for issue 429 of the greatest magazine in the world goes on. As I sit here and twiddle my thumbs, I have been working on a list: Doctor Who fans love a good list. Mine is the list of the Twelve Blogs of Christmas that I will be writing for your general entertainment in the days from Boxing Day to the Epiphany. The latter, for those who don’t know, is the celebration of the arrival of the three wise men bearing gifts for that Palestinian kid donkey’s years ago. These dozen missives will my gift to you as a way of saying sorry for being absent for the best part of 2010.

  • 26th Dec – Review of the 2010 Christmas special,”A Christmas Carol”
  • 27th Dec – Doctor Who Confidential: What the Future Might Hold
  • 28th Dec – Doctor Who Magazine #429 Reviewed
  • 29th Dec – The Rise and Fall of Torchwood Magazine
  • 30th Dec – Sarah Jane Adventures 2010: A Review
  • 31st Dec – Doctor Who 2010 in Review
  • 1st Jan – Looking Forward to Doctor Who in 2011
  • 2nd Jan – The Mazes of Time: DW in new formats
  • 3rd Jan – Coming of the Terraphiles: A Review
  • 4th Jan – Five Inches of Plastic: DW Action Figures on Parade
  • 5th Jan – 2010 DVD Round-Up
  • 6th Jan – Change, My Dear