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parrot_knight [userpic]

Fannish juxtaposition

November 2nd, 2006 (01:41 am)

current mood: sleepy
current music: Fairport Convention, 'Matty Groves'

One of the reasons I'm anxious to pay my credit card bill is that I've been spending small sums building up my collection of old Doctor Who fanzines from the early 1980s. The 1980/81 volume of TARDIS, the principal fanzine of the Doctor Who Appreciation Society in the late 70s and early 80s, arrived today from my not having been to bed yet perspective (Monday). The delivery seemed appropriate as today in calendar terms (Tuesday) is the twenty-fifth anniversary of the start of The Five Faces of Doctor Who, the 1981 series of archive repeats which broke the BBC's taboo on showing 'out of Doctor' stories. In the age of multichannel televisions and the regular plundering of the archives, not to mention DVD, BitTorrent, and the regular posting of links to old episodes on a dedicated LiveJournal community, it's difficult to imagine how revolutionary this was, not just for public perceptions of the programme as a whole - summoning up the predecessors of Tom Baker as a way of legitimizing his successor and at the same time setting a precedent for the undermining of Peter Davison by repeating the adventures of his predecessors - but also for fandom, where a generation who had grown up with Tom Baker now felt they could speak with authority on earlier Doctors and their stories which had previously been the preserve of an elite of relative greybeards.


Posted by: wellinghall (wellinghall)
Posted at: November 2nd, 2006 05:45 pm (UTC)

*blinks at idea of someone actually recording and releasing "Matty Groves"*

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: November 2nd, 2006 05:52 pm (UTC)

Multiple times by Fairport alone; I have three, but dislike the one on 'Fairport Live Convention'. There are bound to be others, and I have a Christy Moore 'Little Musgrave' as well. The version sung by Socs A and T is, I think, derived from that sung by Fairport.

Posted by: philmophlegm (philmophlegm)
Posted at: November 3rd, 2006 12:21 am (UTC)

I returned from a business trip to beautiful Milton Keynes tonight to find a couple of eBay purchases waiting for me. One of these was the manuscript of an issue of Far Traveller magazine (Traveller as in the Traveller RPG) that was never published because the publishers (FASA, back in the days before they did Battletech) lost the licence to produce Traveller material. I admitted to Bunn that this was a bit of a niche purchase even for a Traveller collector. She said that you were her benchmark for this sort of thing...

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: November 3rd, 2006 12:47 am (UTC)

I've never heard of Battletech before now (but have now skimmed the Wikipedia entry to give me a little enlightenment) but have heard of Traveller, dimly. This sort of licensing problem can happen - I remember nursing the grievances of readers of The X Files Magazine in a past life, who couldn't believe that proofs of several issues were held up on a desk in Los Angeles and until we had them back we couldn't publish - this lasted for about five months.

I buy old fanzines selectively - I can't afford all the ones that come up at the moment. There's a collection of The Frame up on eBay which I can't go for, and a few DWBs with choice headlines. Most of the articles from TARDIS c.1980 aren't that well-written and betray the extreme youth of many of the authors, but the reviews of season 17 include phrases that were soon after recycled by John Nathan-Turner in his early interviews, and there are some revealing contributions from the professionals of the day, such as editor Paul Neary defending the move of Doctor Who Weekly towards the lower end of the children's market in spring 1980.

Still, it's good to be recognised as setting standards in this field.