30 December, 2005

Keeping the Spirit Alive

I've recently relinquished the editorship of Time Space Visualiser (TSV for short). TSV is a widely-read Doctor Who fanzine that I've been editing continuously since the beginning of 1991. In that time I've been responsible for over fifty issues. Many more than that if you want to start counting spin-offs and specials as well.

In early 1991 Doctor Who fans were just starting to come to terms with the loss of their series. The BBC ceased production of the programme at the end of 1989, but 1990 was spent in a state of optimism that the BBC might do an about face and bring it back or else it might find a new home in an independent production company. By 1991 the awful reality that Doctor Who had seemingly gone for good was sinking in. The series was still being released on VHS and would be for many years to come, and the Doctor was making the transition from television to the printed page with the launch of The New Adventures, a range of monthly full-length novels.

So that was the state of Doctor Who when I started editing TSV in 1991. I was in charge of a fanzine that was exclusively about a programme that, at least as far as television was concerned, was dead and buried.

Fast forward to late 2003. Well over a decade has passed and in that time we've had just one new television Doctor Who story (the ill-fated 1996 revival starring Paul McGann). I felt I'd served my time, helping in some small way to keep alive some degree of interest in a series that had all but completely slipped below the radar of popular culture. In 2003 I found an editor willing to take over editing TSV and we agreed that we would co-edit a few issues together over a couple of years whilst my successor found his feet.

With rather impeccable timing, no sooner had we done this than against all odds, the television series came back, fighting fit and full of life. TSV readers were not slow to see the irony, and comments were made that if this was what it took to get Doctor Who back, then I should have resigned a lot sooner. Ha ha.

Mind you, it does feel like in some way I was keeping the spirit alive through those 'wilderness years' and now that Doctor Who is well and truly back, my work is done. Time to pass the baton. I've earned my rest.

Photo of Me

Me, August 2005. Not pictured: Sylvester McCoy - who's sitting immediately to my right, murmuring hints to me about how he'd love to visit New Zealand again for a Doctor Who convention... all expenses paid of course! Posted by Picasa

Getting started

This is my first attempt at a blog.

No, hold on, it's my first attempt at a personal blog. I've already written a blog of sorts but that was an Editor's Log and was exclusively posts about editing a fanzine. This is time, it's just about me. Sure, fanzine editing will enter into it, because that's a key part of what interests me, but this blog will be more than that. It'll be about what's up with me; what I'm doing and what I'm thinking.

Or at least it will be if I keep posting. You see I have a uncanny knack for starting something with great fire and enthusiasm and then quietly dropping it again after a short while. (The aforementioned Editor's log was a casualty of this). It takes a lot of effort for me to stick at something. My mind wanders, I get bored, something more interesting comes along and behind me there's a trail of unfinished tasks. Actually, that sounds worse than it is and I'm no doubt like most of the population in this respect. I hasten to add that I'm talking about small things here - I don't think I'm that unreliable and I draw the line at letting other people down... well, at least not intentionally.

I'm not a great believer in New Years resolutions, but it just so happens that I've started this blog on the penultimate day of 2005, so it might as well be one.

Why did I start this blog? A friend of mine from the UK, Paul Cornell, emailed me a link to his own recently-created blog and after reading this I noticed that Paul had a link to another blog written by another UK friend of mine, David Bishop, so I read his as well. I haven't been in contact much with these two guys recently so the blogs were a great way of catching up on what they've been doing recently without badgering them with emails. I thought they seem to be enjoying themselves, why not jump in and join them?

So here I am. Let's see how it goes.