Under The Spotlight: Doctor Who Fanzines

Even before the wilderness years (1989-1996 & 1996-2005), Doctor Who fanzines have played an important role in the fandom of the show. Often produced in black and white, these periodical mailings were produced by the fans themselves, and contained all sorts of cool creations, from fan fiction, to reviews, articles, interviews, quizzes, artwork and competitions.

Since the emergence of online fandom, and the ability for fans to make their own websites, forums and social groups, fanzines appear to have drastically fallen in their numbers. But does this mean that there is no longer a place for them in our lives? Are fans content with just having Doctor Who Magazine (as awesome as it is)?

Having spoken with fans over the years at conventions and events, it seems that fanzines are still very much an important output, but it is the younger generations that are either unaware they exist or unsure of how to contribute. With this in mind, we wanted to cast a quick spotlight on Doctor Who fanzines and focus on some of the fantastic publications out there, with details on how you can join in, or even start your own!

If this is a completely new area of fandom to you, you may take heart in the knowledge that one particular fan who contributed to fanzines was none other than our 12th Doctor, Peter Capaldi! Below is an excerpt from an article Peter wrote for a fanzine back in 1976:

"Watching the abstracted light forms & patterns which appear in the opening sequence of Dr. Who has become a familiar ritual for all of us. The wonder of the opening is that it manages to capture in only a very few moments of screen time the atmosphere of Dr. Who.”


You can see Peter Capaldi's full page article in the images column to the right!

Of the few fanzines that are still around, the quality is of an incredibly high calibre; take Vworp Vworp!, for example - perhaps one of the most popular of the current wave of fan publications. Their latest issue has been hailed as one of the greatest fanzines in Doctor Who history, and we've heard nothing but positivity surrounding it - it even comes with a FREE full-cast audio play!

DWO got in touch with Vworp Vworp's publisher, Gareth Kavanagh, regarding the importance of fanzines and why they enjoy producing them:


"
Originally, fanzines were our own Gutenburg Press. A place for fans to share news, gossip, opinions and thoughts on the show without any filters in place. Well that's before the internet provided a more immediate platform for these, although who can forget some of those lurid DWB news headlines (The AFRO TAPES: THEY EXIST!!!)?  But this in no way means that fanzines no longer have a place. Indeed, despite the net doing news and gossip very well and providing an immediate way for people to vent / gush, it's not as good at considered analysis, depth and opinion. This, really is what we see ourselves as being about with Vworp. Exploring lesser explored niches of Doctor Who; fandom, the comics, art and bringing new perspectives and knowledge to the table.  It's something a printed work can do so much better in my opinion.


The other thing that fanzines can do better is by being a beautiful, gorgeous piece of art. Now we recognise that not everyone has the time or resources Vworp Vworp! has, but I do think taking the time to make it look and feel special is important. It's a point Bryan Talbot made to me when he launched Alice in Sunderland as a beautiful volume at a time when digital downloads of comics were beginning to take off.  By making Alice a gorgeous physical artefact, his reckoning was that there would always be a place in someone's collection for it.  And I think he's right. The same goes for free gifts. The transfers for Vworp Vworp! #1 were an attempt to reconnect with people's ingrained and treasured sense of excitement at getting home with #1 of Doctor Who Weekly in October 1979. That sense of nostalgia is something I feel for all the great fanzines and I hope, in our own small way we've been able to add to that with Weetabix cards and vinyl Century Dalek records."


If you would like to contribute to Vworp Vworp!, you can email them directly at: info@vworpvworp.co.uk

We also got in touch with Jamie Beckwith, features writer for The Terrible Zodin fanzine, who shared his thoughts:


"The Terrible Zodin was trying to juggle an old media format but make it accessible for new media so it's released as a downloadable PDF. TTZ has grown in the 9 years we've been running and gives fans the opportunity to write about the series and showcase their artwork.

 

We always aim to have something interesting to say and whilst our initial focus was on female fandom as we felt this was an underrepresented voice, we welcome viewpoints from all. We're pleased to say we've had contributors from all over the world, not just the UK, US & Australia but places like Colombia, Poland and Japan. Fanzines are a great way of being creative about the very show which has inspired that creativity."


If you would like to contribute to The Terrible Zodin, you can email them directly at: theterriblezodinezine@yahoo.co.uk


Other fanzines worth checking out are The Tides Of Time, Fish Fingers And Custard & Celestial Toyroom - the longest-running Doctor Who fanzine in the world! You can also keep your eyes peeled for a brand new fanzine called 'Sacred Flame', produced by the London-based LGBT Doctor Who group, The Sisterhood Of Karn. (Thanks to Richard Unwin for the heads-up on that one).

Having run this site for 21 years now, we have seen an incredible amount of creativity from our visitors and followers, and it's clear that Doctor Who is responsible for creating one of the most dedicated fandoms in history. This is a show where anything is possible; a fan writing an article for a fanzine can become The Doctor! Fan artists can see their creations on actual pieces of merchandise. Fan fiction writers can become show runners or writers for the actual TV show - as we say, ANYTHING is possible!

So if you feel you have something to offer, fanzines are one of the best places to start, and we heartily recommend getting in touch with any of the aforementioned publications. Some of you may be interested in starting your own fanzines (we've put a few resources together in the links down below), but if you're struggling getting off the ground, why not get in touch with a Doctor Who group near you (USA groups here), and collaborate with likeminded fans. Come up with a catchy name, and pull together some content from local contributors, and before long you'll be well on your way!


Get in touch!

Are you thinking of starting up a fanzine? If so, we'd love to hear from you in the comments box, below, or in the DWO Forums! Likewise, if you run or recommend a particular fanzine, please also leave details below or in the Forums!

Fanzine Resources:

Doctor Who Image Archive - A fantastic archive of Doctor Who related images.
The Doctor Who Logo Collection - Throup's excellent transparent Doctor Who logos.

Brochure Prints (UK) - a cost-effective fanzine printing service, based in the UK.
Brochure Prints (USA) - a cost-effective fanzine printing service, based in the USA.


[Source: DWO]

 

Thin Ice – Publicity

The BBC have released a number of new publicity images to promote this week's episode of Doctor Who, Thin Ice:

Thin Ice
Written by Sarah Dollard and directed by Bill Anderson

In Regency England, beneath the frozen Thames, something is stirring.

The Doctor and Bill arrive at the last of the great frost fairs, and find themselves investigating a string of impossible disappearances - people have been vanishing on the ice! Bill is about to discover that the past is more like her world than she expected, and that not all monsters come from outer space...

The Doctor is played by Peter Capaldi, Bill by Pearl Mackie and Nardole by Matt Lucas.


Profile images feature Austin Tailer as Spider, Ellie Shenker as Dot, Tomi May as Dowell, Kishaina Thiruselvan as Harriet, Badger Skelton as Perry, Asiatu Koroma as Kitty, and Nicholas Burns as Lord Sutcliffe.

This Bank Holiday weekend sees Doctor Who sitting between Pointless Celebrities and Casualty, with primary opposition on ITV being Take Me Out and Britain's Got Talent. World Snooker continues on BBC2, whilst Channel 4 serve up The Restoration Man followed by Walking Through Time; Channel 5 will be showing new episodes of two incarnations of NCIS, whilst Sky 1 have The Simpsons followed by Inside the Freemasons, and the Sky Movie Premiere in the time-slot is X-Men: Apocalypse. The previous weeks have seen Doctor Who achieve third place for The Pilot and fourth for Smile, with Britain's Got Talent the most-watched show of both evenings followed by the BBC's All Round to Mrs Brown's - last weekend also had the live FA Cup Semi-Final football game gaining slightly more viewers than Doctor Who, but this weekend doesn't suggest any other surprises ratings-wise!


BBC One continues to show Doctor Who at 7;20pm, with BBC First simulcasting the episode across the Middle-East - see the table below for other broadcasts around the world. Meanwhile, Danish broadcaster DR has now schedueled the series on its DR3 channel, with The Pilot receiving its premiere at 8:00pm CEST on Saturday.

Thin Ice: Known Broadcast Details
United KingdomBBC OneSat 29 Apr 20177:20pm BST
Middle EastBBC FirstSat 29 Apr 20179:20pm AST(Sat 7:20pm BST)
United States of AmericaBBC AmericaSat 29 Apr 20179:00pm EDT(Sun 2:00am BST)
CanadaSPACESat 29 Apr 20179:00pm EDT(Sun 2:00am BST)
FinlandYLE2Sun 30 Apr 201711:00am EEST(Sun 9:00am BST)
AustraliaABCSun 30 Apr 20177:40pm AEST(Sun 10:40am BST, also on ABC ME)
BrazilSyFySun 30 Apr 20178:00pm BRT(Sun 11:00pm BST)
Latin AmericaSyFySun 30 Apr 201711:00pm CDT(Mon 4:00am BST)
New ZealandPRIMESun 30 Apr 20177:30pm NZST(Mon 8:30am BST)
DenmarkDR3Sat 13 May 20178:00pm CEST(Sat 7:00pm BST)

The Pilot – Official Ratings



Official figures released by the Broadcasters’ Audience Research Board or BARB, gives Doctor Who - The Pilot an official rating of 6.68 million viewers.

The rating includes all those who recorded the programme and watched it within 7 days. It is over 2 million higher than the initially reported overnight figure.

Doctor Who is the tenth most watched programme for the week, the highest chart position for a non-Christmas episode since Listen in 2014.

Top for the week was ITV's Britain's Got Talent, which had 11.04 million viewers. Incoming showrunner Chris Chibnall's Broadchurch, starring David Tennant, was 2nd for the week.