Saturday, October 21, 1989

Doctur Huw: What Happened Last Week in the TARDIS (part 1)

I did this for of Cybernetix issue 2, (my own Doctor Who fanzine that I did in the late '80s). Reading it now it's pretty childish and naive, and not particularly funny (c'mon I was only 15 when I did it), but I still quite like how it looks visually and the concept behind it.

The idea of Doctur Huw was to have a humorous Doctor Who comic strip where the Doctor is a Welsh valleys lager lout. Adventures would generally involve him chain-smoking, swilling pints of Skol and shagging his assistants. Generally the TARDIS would be parked up in the corner of a valleys workingmen's club or in a pub carpark, and when it wasn't there he'd be off fighting slightly incompetent Daleks on distant planets or getting lagered up with the Master. I think it could have have been really filthy. Maybe I should pitch the idea to Viz!

Continuity – Who is the Doctor?

Right! The editor of this fanzine was so pleased with my "Hand of Omega" article in issue one that he asked me to become continuity editor. Being keen to impart my knowledge and have a moan every now and then, I said O.K, so here's my gripe for this issue;

There is supposed to be a revival in the mysterious element of "Doctor Who" once again, led by script editor, Andrew Cartmel. Along with the producer eternal and current Doctor, Sylvester McCoy, he is supposed to have brought the "Who" back into "Doctor Who" again by making us re-examine the Doctor's past and even consider his validity as an authentic timelord. My response to this alleged return of the mystery is simple - Balderdash!

It is impossible to make "Doctor Who" more mysterious again as we know too much about him now to even wonder about him as we once did. Of course the Doctor has become less mysterious over the years, but that is a natural process of evolution and cannot be altered. When we first met him in 1963, we didn't how who he was, where he came from or his reasons for leaving his own time and people, Over the years we have learnt of his origins, Piece by piece like a jig-saw
slowly being assembled we have discovered the truth about the Doctor and who he really is:
  • He is a timelord.
  • His home is Gallifrey.
  • He stole a TARDIS and left Gallifrey because he was tired of his people's stagnant lifestyles and non-interventionist policy.
  • He can change his appearance when his body is worn out or damaged by illness or injury.
The only area of mystery still left to be explored and discovered are the details of his personal life on Gallifrey, his family that he spoke briefly of in "Tomb of the Cybermen" and his true relationship with Susan. Was she really his Grand-daughter or was that just an affectionate term for her? These areas could be explored in the future along with his true relationship with the Master -was he just a student at the Academy, or a brother as has been suggested in the past?

Andrew Cartmel's philosophy of "hang the past! Let's invent a new mythology" is nothing short of sacrilege. The suggestions in "Silver Nemesis" that the Doctor was around in the "Old Time" and is therefore a contemporary of Rassilon and Omega is a load of rubbish, The Doctor's contemporaries are the people from his academy days - The Master, The Rani, Drax, and in all, probably the Monk. Equally absurd is the notion that the Doctor isn't a timelord! If that is so, Mr Clarke and Mr Cartmell then why, prey is he able to regenerate in the way all other timelords do? I'm sorry, but the Cartmell idea of re-introducing mystery into "Doctor Who" is so laughable that it would take an idiot to see any credibility in it.

Well that's it for this issue: Keep watching this space -and be nice to "Kinda". Until next time....,


Console Design

Having being interested with the earlier years of Doctor Who, particularly on the design side, I am inspired by the works of the designers of this era such as Peter Brachaki who designed the TARDIS console and particularly Ray Cusick who, of course is responsible for the famous design of the Dalek, I might add also that anyone who is interested in this type of thing, "The Early Years" by Jeremy Bentham is worth getting. Anyway, I'm straying from the subject of this article, so down to business.

As I said, having being interested in these original designs, a thought struck me quite recently on where Peter Brachaki got his idea for the design of the TARDIS console from. My belief (unless you have already worked this one out for yourself) is that the design of the TARDIS interior is based loosely on it's exterior, ie. the Police Box. The simplified drawings on this page are to give you an idea of what I'm going on about.

Take, for example the roof of the Police box. There are certain similarities here. ,The sloping sides bear a resemblance to the TARDIS console, Consider the light on the Police Box, This is central as it is on the console and they both illuminate. Note the bit just under the light on the police box is similar to the bit just at the base of the time rotor on the console, except on the console, the sides are at an angle. Also on the Police Box are inset panels which are similar to those on the earlier TARDIS console.

The above proves that back in the early years, the look of the exterior of' the TARDlS must have been decided or1 before its interior was designed by Peter Brachaki. Either that or it was the other way around, but the chances of designing the interior first and then finding an exterior to match are very slight. Then again, it could have all been a flook!

I can confirm, though that the exterior of the TARDIS was decided on before the interior was designed, because in an interview with Sydney Neman in the American Whovian Times, Sydney Newman stated that he had decided that the exterior of the TARDIS was to be a Metropolitan Police Box in his original conception of Doctor Who.

Do you remember all those hexagonal patterns which featured inside rooms of the TARDIS a great deal during most of the Davison era? The stuff made up most of Adric, Nyssa's ad Tegan's quarters aboard the TARDIS. Well, in case you don't know, that is the basic shape of a very strong supporting structure. It's called a Geo-detic structure and a Geo-detic structure was used as the framework of Lancaster bombers during the the second World War.

It looks like the set for the TARDIS interior has been sligntly altered again. In one of the trailers for the new season featuring a short preview on Battlefield, I noticed that the walls are much darker, like the master's TARDIS. I didn't get a look at the TARDIS console properly so I can't say anything about that. By the time this issue of Cybernetix reaches you, you will know anyway so I won't bother telling you what happened in the trailer for Battlefield because I expect you already know!


Editorial - Cybernetix issue 2.

Well, CYBERNETIX has managed to reach it's second issue, and very pleased with it I am too. Things are looking hopeful for the future so I can guarantee an issue 3.

As you can see, I've made a couple of changes to the format of issue 2 for example, this editorial page and of course the CYBERNETIX logo an the cover. This time I've made it a bit darker and slightly more readable. With a bit of luck, I won't get too fussy in the next issue and alter the logo again.

I hope you like the issue, even though it is only 12 pages long this time. The reason for issue one being priced at 35p was because the people at "The Harrison Brothers" where all the photocopying is done accidentally charged me the wrong price - half the price they should have charged me. That's why it was so amazingly cheap. At the moment of writing this, this issue of CYBERNETIX stands at 50p each which I hope is O.K. (If the price I charge you is about 25p, that means that good ol' "H.B." have buggered it up again!

At the time this issue goes to print, most of "Ghostlight'' will have been transmitted. So far I have seen all of "Battlefield". So far, I think the new season is O.K ish. I wasn't very keen on the actual story-line of "Battlefield" but I suppose it was alright as evening entertainment.

One thing I did find impressive in "Battlefield" was of course the destroyer even though blue wasn't the best colour to paint it and the voice reminded me of a character from "He-man". But fit was very good and the costume must have cost the BBC a packet. Pity such an excellent costume was so much under used in the story.

I am looking forward to "Ghostlight". I think it's going to be good as it is said to have elements from both "The Evil of the Daleks" and "The Talons of Weng-Chiang". These are the favorite stories of the writer. "The Curse of Fenric" looks quite promising and I'm not so sure about "Survival".

Anyway, that's enough of that. There are quite a variety of contributors to this issue and I am quite pleased with the contents of this issue. I hope you think we've got the right content of seriousness and humour in this issue. I'm hoping the Continuity page will be a regular in future issues, now that J.T. has been appointed as continuity editor. I've decided to drop the archive feature from this issue and I doubt it will include it in issue 3, I wish to apologise to P.M. I hope he doesn't mind too much about his Dalek spoof being altered, However, thanks to D.B. for editorial assistance with this article.

Well, enjoy the issue and buy the next,


What's On Gallifrey

This was the rear cover of Cybernetix Issue 2. Artwork was provided by P.M. and tidied up/re-arranged by DrGaz.

Sunday, October 01, 1989

Cybernetix - Issue 2 (October 1989)

Issue 2 of Cybernetix was published on Saturday 21st October 1989. It was slightly more polished in format than issue 1, and the overall layout and design was a bit more "together" I thought. A.S. drew what I thought was quite a striking Tom Baker front cover (pictured), which due to its composition led to the fanzine logo being spread, rather unconventially across the bottom of the page. An unusual layout, but I quite liked it.

There were one or two good articles in this issue, and looking through them again now, I quite enjoyed re-reading J.T's moan about the "mystery" that Andrew Cartmel was trying to instill in the seventh Doctor.

Welcome to issue 2!

Movie Doctor Cast! Sure-fire box office hit.
A spoof article on the casting of the proposed Doctor Who movie.

Overview – Tomb of the Cybermen
A review of the Titan Books script book.

Peter Davison – the case for and against
The Prosecution. Davison’s portrayal of the Doctor is put on trial.

Free audio cover
Photocopyable cover for an audio tape.

Overview – The Daleks (BBC Video)
Four members of the Cardiff Local Group review the 1989 BBC Video release of The Daleks.
DrGaz's Review, P.M's review, D.P's review, J.C1's review, S.F's Review

Console design
A discussion of the design of the TARDIS console.

Continuity – Who is the Doctor?
A discussion of Andrew Cartmel's attempt to restore “mystery” to the character of the Doctor.

Franchise of the Daleks
Spoof fiction based on Dalek stories.

Doctur Huw
The first outing of a beer swilling Welsh valleys version of the Doctor.

What’s On Gallifrey
Spoof Gallifreyan cinema listings.