20 October, 2006

TSV 39 - the online edition

TSV issue 39, originally published way back in May 1994, has been dusted off and added to the online archive.

Unlike the issues immediately either side of TSV 39, there wasn't an interview this time around, but instead Kate Orman wrote a second article for TSV about her debut novel The Left-Handed Hummingbird. Kate was around this time a fairly regular contributor; (I reciprocated by sending Kate some material for her own fanzine, Dark Circus).

Graham Howard contributed another of his thoughtful essays, this time about the depiction of violence in Vengeance on Varos. This was to have been paired up with a 'Script to Screen' article featuring deleted scenes from the same story by Jon Preddle, but the Varos instalment of this regular series was delayed (it appeared a couple of issues later), and Remembrance of the Daleks appeared in its stead.

Life on Mars, an article which attempts to reconcile all the references to Mars in Doctor Who, was the first of many articles written by the multi-talented Peter Adamson, who was at this point just starting out in TSV and had yet to carve his niche as TSV's resident cartoonist and artist. In issues to come Peter became a prolific and versatile contributor, delivering huge quantities of artwork and writing, and also sub-editing work by others.

The Missing Adventures novels were just about to launch when this issue was published. I had a very friendly and helpful contact in Virgin Publishing's London office - Export Sales Manager Graham Eames - and he happily sent me whatever he could lay his hands on to help publicise the book ranges in TSV. One of the items I received was a writers guide for The Missing Adventures. I wrote a short article based on this guide, listing the various 'gaps' between TV stories that were available to prospective authors. For the online publication of this article, I've taken the opportunity to add in a retrospective look at which gaps had been used, and pointing out where Virgin hadn't always adhered to their own guidelines.

This issue was published in the fifth anniversary year of the end of the TV series, which was not exactly a cause for any sort of celebration, but the milestone was marked nevertheless with a speculative article about what Season 27 might have been like. In preparing the online version of this issue I discovered Jon Preddle's original version of this article stored away on my computer. It differs quite considerably to what was published, and veers off on all sorts of tangents, even suggesting at one point that the Doctor was from an earlier universe and had travelled to our universe aboard the spaceship from Terminus! It was nothing if not imaginative. Felicity (my then-wife & co-editor), took on the task of substantially re-editing the article and in collaboration with Jon produced a more focused piece. What's even more significant about this article though is that it speculates about the mysteriously reticient Andrew Cartmel's plans for the series; little did we know at the time that we'd be publishing an in-depth interview with the man himself in the following issue!

The front cover features another brilliant piece of artwork by Warwick (Scott) Gray, - his last front cover for TSV - featuring the Seventh Doctor, Ace and Bernice. I recall Warwick protested at the time that he didn't feel comfortable with his artwork getting pride of place on the front covers, but I thought his work was so good it was a shame not to show it off as much as possible.

Click here to begin reading TSV 39.

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