10 April, 2006

TSV 36 - reaching the halfway mark

TSV 36 is now online. This issue marks a milestone for the online archive project in that - numerically at least - we've now reached the halfway point (because as of writing, TSV 72 is the latest issue in print... but not for much longer).

There's far more material to cover in the thirty-six issues that have yet to appear online than in the ones we've already archived as recent issues are both considerably longer and also more densely packed with content than their earlier counterparts, but reaching the halfway mark is nonetheless an achievement in this huge project.

Issue 36 was a milestone at the time of publication too; it was published in November 1993 and as such marked the 30th anniversary of Doctor Who and according to the editorial it was mailed out just one day before the anniversary date. I recall stapling and folding the issues in the front room of the flat we'd recently moved into in Bayswater on Auckland's North Shore and Scott McPherson helped out with the envelope stuffing.

The content was geared to reflect the anniversary with a pull-out story guide, and a look back at the series' origins with a study of the differences between the pilot and the broadcast version of the very first episode. TARDIS Tales also got in on the celebration with a typically anarchic story featuring the first six Doctors turning up to an anniversary party in the TARDIS and discovering that Saucer has accidentally eaten the Seventh Doctor! The story also features the debut of an Eighth Doctor a couple of years before Paul McGann arrived on the scene.

The Space Museum, a long-running column that collected together snippets of Doctor Who cropping up in unexpected places, had its last outing in this issue. This regular feature relied entirely on readers' submissions and when these stopped, so did the column.

The front cover was the last in a run of artwork by Neil Lambess. Drawn with the anniversary issue in mind, Neil depicted the Time Space Visualiser (from The Chase), reasoning that it was an appropriate time for the TSV to make an appearance on the cover of TSV.

David J Howe's article on the making of his Timeframe book was written especially for TSV. Earlier that year I'd been supplied with galley proofs of selected pages from the book by the ever-supportive Virgin Publishing to use in TSV as advance publicity for Timeframe. The proofs weren't used alongside David's article due to a lack of space, but the online edition has provided an opportunity to dig these proof pages out of storage and finally display them in colour.

Jon Preddle and Graham Howard had both just returned from separate trips to the UK at the time of the issue's publication, and both writers submitted an article about UK conventions they'd attended, just in time to make it into the issue. Jon had a lot more to write about his trip, but this would have to wait for the following issue...

Read TSV 36 here .

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