Data Extract Turns Forty

Looking back from here and now 1980 seems like another world. The Rubik’s Cube was launched, the Voyager 1 probe investigated Janus – a moon of Saturn, Pac-Man was released in video arcades, The Empire Strikes Back was released in theatres, Tom Baker resigned from the role of the Doctor, and Data Extract launched its first issue! “This will be my first and probably last editorial.” Not exactly the words you’d expect to launch a publication that would still be going strong 40 years later, but that’s exactly how editor Dallas Jones chose to launch the first issue of Data Extract four decades ago.

Of course, it wasn’t actually called Data Extract at the time, it went out under the title of the Australasian Doctor Who Newsletter! It wasn’t until issue 23 in July-August 1983 that the titled changed to Data Extract following a competition for readers to come up with a catchy name. “I wish to thank all those people who sent in suggestions for the newsletter’s new name,” editor Dallas Jones wrote. “The response was very heartening. The winner is Kevin Smedley of Sunbury who sent in a beautifully designed logo. His choice was Australasian Who’s Who. Kevin will receive a lifetime subscription to the newsletter. Unfortunately Kevin’s choice will not be used as your editor has come up with a name himself… Data Extract.” And so the legend was born… hopefully Kevin is still reading!

The next two issues of Data Extract will feature a plethora of features celebrating this 40 year milestone, including recollections from past editors and articles about the history of the publication. The very next issue (247 due for release next week) looks at Christopher Eccleston’s return to the role of the Doctor, interviews Thomas Crawford on his Satellite 5 fan productions and goes behind the scenes with Brand Manager Edward Russell on recreating the Beatles Abbey Road cover with Peter Capaldi, Jenna Coleman and two Daleks. We also take part in a Whovian wedding, count down the best honeymoon locations in the Whoniverse, hunt for Campsie’s missing TARDIS library, discuss the conspiracy of The Curator with the Boffin, check out the Lockdown Season with UK correspondent Bel Bailey-Melouney, discover the origins of the Doctor’s dark side in War of the Valeyard and launch the first part of the Jason Towers comic ‘Old Sixie versus the Bridge of Doom’, telling the true tale of how the DWCA forced Colin Baker to climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge. All that and much, much more, so if you aren’t a current member of the DWCA make sure you subscribe today at http://dwca.org.au/products-page/membership/ to get yourself a copy and find out why after 40 years of publication, the fun is only just beginning!

 

 

 

Fury from the Deep returns

The long lost classic Fury from the Deep is set to return with a three disc Blu-ray release containing all new animation set to the original audio track. The set will contain the surviving clips from the original 1968 production as well as full colour and black and white versions of the animated story. Three of the original cast members, Frazer Hines, June Murphy and Brian Cullingford, revisit the filming locations with production assistant Michael Briant, assistant floor manager Margot Hayhoe and helicopter pilot Mike Smith in a special feature about the making of the show. There are also archive interviews, audio commentaries and more. The set is due for release in the UK on 14 September but there is no date available yet for the Australian release. The DWCA Shop will obtain copies as soon as possible and we will spread the news when the release date is known. The updated animated version of Power of the Daleks has just been released in Australia and is currently available along with Jodie Whittaker’s Series 12.

Eccleston Returns

While the short-lived tenure of Christopher Eccleston’s much loved Ninth Doctor has been revisited in comics, audios and even on the small screen through cameos in The Name of the Doctor and The Day of the Doctor, the man himself has thus far resisted the invitation to return to the role. Until now! “After 15 years it will be exciting to revisit the Ninth Doctor’s world, bringing back to life a character I love playing,” Eccleston commented as the news broke that Big Finish would be releasing twelve full-cast audio adventures across four audio box-sets. The first box-set is due to be released in May 2021, but Big Finish are keeping details about the content quiet for the time being. Whatever the stories contain, it will be exciting to hear this much loved character brought to life once again by the man himself!

Celebrating 40 Years of Data Extract

DWCA Publishing is back in action, following some unfortunate COVID-19 delays, with Data Extract #246 shipping next week. This latest release kicks off the celebrations for the publication’s 40th anniversary. It was November 1980 when a two-page newsletter was sent to Australian fans, leading with the shocking headline “Tom Baker Quits!”. Not even called Data Extract yet, headlined instead simply as the Australasian Doctor Who Newsletter, none could have known it would still be going strong four decades later. In fact, creator Dallas Jones started the premier editorial with the words: “This will be my first and probably last editorial”. Far from prophetic, the journey from 1980 to 2020 has seen the publication grow into a fully-fledged magazine and become the flagship publication for the DWCA.

This latest issue starts the countdown to #249, which will coincide with the release of the first issue 40 years earlier. Over the next four issues there will be various features and articles to celebrate, including a four-part series kicking off in #246 that counts down the publication history decade by decade. Artist Jason Towers will also be providing a full-colour serialised comic telling the true story of what happened to Colin Baker when the club forced him to climb the Harbour Bridge during his Whovention visit. Issue #246 has interviews with Whovians host Rove McManus and Doctor Who comic artist Stewart McKenny, followed by future issues featuring Doctor Who Brand Manager Edward Russell, a behind the scenes look at the Lockdown Season, news, reviews and the latest releases. Plus, the next four issues are running a new four-part serialised fiction piece titled War of the Valeyard. Ever wondered where the Valeyard came from or what he did during the Time War? Well, wonder no more as shocking answers are revealed about everyone’s favourite dark-side amalgamation. Plus, we road-test the strangest fan conspiracy theories with the Boffin in Theoretically Speaking, report on the latest local fan news with Regional Transmissions and dredge the lake of public opinion for new points of discussion and digression in the Junkyard.

Issue #246 starts the celebrations with designer Alan Russell’s cover reinterpreting the classic cover art of Chris Hale from DE’s milestone 200th issue. Plus a look at the history of Doctor Who in electronic gaming from Gemma Styles, a dive into the psychology of the Master by Seth Lukas Hynes and Tim Darby’s Countdown!

Data Extract is published exclusively for DWCA club members, so the only way to ensure you get a copy is to become a card-carrying member and join/subscribe today!

That’s far from the end of the celebratory releases from DWCA Publishing this year though, with numerous new releases currently in the works, some highlights of which are included below…

The Adventures of Eleanor Chaplette

The Eleanor saga continues from the pages of Data Extract (as collected in Zerinza Volume 4) in a series of new novels, the first of which is Trash Island by Dom Kelly. Twenty years after the attempted darkness invasion of Atlantis, Eleanor is still saving people from across time and space. While rescuing the doomed Chinese sailors of the Whitebelly however, she comes across something unexpected, an island of refuse displaced in time and space and laced with human skeletons. The search for answers will lead her across the stars and over acidic oceans to the corporate island of Polystrata and a world with no future!

Who’s Your Own Adventure

This is no ordinary book! Within these pages you must make the decisions that guide the story. You might choose to turn left and end up saving the world or instead turn right and create an alternate reality where everything falls apart – the choices will be yours! The Choose Your Own Adventure format of multiple-choice narrative is blended with the history of Doctor Who in this new series of books, that allow you to step into the real life history of your favourite show and experience it as never before. The first book delves into the little-known history of the Australian protest to stop the national broadcaster from dropping Doctor Who from its schedule. The protest ensured the show continued in Australia and was the event that formed the Doctor Who Club of Australia. Or did it? Every choice you make as reader will have a consequence and the very future of Doctor Who itself may be changed forever if you stray too far down the wrong path!

Zerinza Volume 5

With its usual eclectic mix of articles, interviews and fiction, the next volume of Zerinza will continue to deliver exciting long-form written pieces on Doctor Who.

Digital Comics

The DWCA will also be releasing another digital comic, following in the tradition of past comic specials Liberation from the Daleks, Wrath of the Cyber-Spider and Pyramids of Mars. The next comic special will feature Doctor Who stories alongside true tales of fandom, all brought to life in comic book format with stunning art from Australia’s best Whovian artists.

DWCA Publications are produced for club members, so the best way to ensure you get a copy is to join the club today!

Big Finish Return!

And They’re Back!

Shut down at the height of the pandemic in the UK, Big Finish have returned to shipping collector’s edition CDs and box sets to clear the backlog of orders. Big Finish warehouse staff returned to work on June 8 – with the company taking steps to protect workers including providing safety equipment and a regular schedule of deep cleaning. Big Finish company chairman Jason Haigh-Ellery thanked customers for their patience.

“Our listeners have been extremely patient over the past three months, while our warehouse staff have been furloughed, and as we operated a digital-first release schedule,” he said. “I would like to thank all our customers for their understanding during this time; we really couldn’t have done it without you. We are now delighted to be in a position to begin shipping the orders for physical products we have taken since 24 March. The team has put procedures in place to ensure the continued safety of our staff. However, we naturally have a lot of pending orders to work through, and our warehouse is not yet back to full capacity, so we ask that customers continue to bear with us as we start to clear the backlog. To make it fair for everyone, outstanding orders for collector’s edition CDs and box sets will be fulfilled on a ‘per month’ basis; so, orders placed in April will be batched up and mailed out first, followed by those placed in May and June. Please note we are still awaiting the delivery of some stock from our pressing plant and we cannot guarantee the status of local mail or postal services. We expect there to be continued delays, particularly for overseas customers.”

The DWCA Shop will be stocking all the latest releases as they become available. Make sure you check out the shop section of this website regularly to keep up with the latest Big Finish releases as they arrive from the UK.

Two Day Australian Watch-along this weekend (4 and 5 June)

No matter where you are in Australia or how you are impacted by COVID-19, this weekend you can come together with fellow fans in a two day watch-along marathon, organised by past DWCA president Dallas Jones! Full details of the epic two day event are included below.

THE 4TH & 5TH AUSTRALIAN DOCTOR WHO WATCH-ALONGS

4TH “DALEK” & “THE LONG GAME” ON SATURDAY JULY 4TH
5TH
“TERROR OF THE ZYGONS” ON SATURDAY JULY 11TH
HOW THEY WILL WORK

For Dalek and The Long Game we understand that you have the option to watch it streaming on either Stan or Amazon Prime. You can also watch it on a DVD you have bought or on a copy that you had recorded previously for your own personal use.

For Terror of the Zygons you will have to watch it on a DVD you have bought or on a copy that you had recorded previously for your own personal use.

The “watch-along” part will be where you can post comments, on

or on

or on

Twitter

  • By posting your comments using the tag #youwouldmakeagooddalek for the 4th Watch-along
  • By posting your comments using the tag #waveatentacle for the 5th Watch-along.

These comments should be about what you are watching and also will allow you, if you wish, to interact with other people who will also be posting comments.

So at 8.00pm AEST (6.00 pm WA, 7.30 pm SA & NT) you can start playing, on July 4th, Dalek followed by The Long Game; and on July 11th, you can start paying, The Terror of the Zygons; and then post your comments, as the story(ies) unfold(s), and interact(ing), if you wish, with what other people have commented.

Watchalong Tomb of the Cybermen Saturday 27 June

If you’ve been looking on enviously at the overseas watchalong events taking place during the COVID-19 Lockdown but have been unable to take part due to the crazy impossible time difference between the UK and Australia, then here’s something for you! Past DWCA President Dallas Jones is following up on his two successful Australian watchalongs with a third event on Saturday 27 June – and this time he has chosen one of the true greats of classic Who, the epic, gothic and totally cool (pun intended) Tomb of the Cybermen. Check out the details below to take part.

Life During Lockdown

One of the more extraordinary things to come from Doctor Who fandom during the time of COVID-19 was the creation of a variety of new videos, written and performed by the official stars and creators of Doctor Who. These videos were released on YouTube, timed to coincide with the Lockdown shared watching events of various classic episodes. The project was founded by Emily Cook from Doctor Who Magazine, proposing the idea that fans simulcast watch-alongs of classic stories. What started as supporting the watch-alongs with live tweeting, interviews and other online material, quickly developed into a series of funny, beautiful, poignant and moving short films. Not only did they revisit classic stories in new ways, but they contextualised the importance of Doctor Who and its fandom in the midst of a real life worldwide crisis. Often discounted as frivolous by those who don’t see the attraction, fandom has in fact never been more relevant, proven by the unifying and thought-provoking way in which it has reached out to fans around the world during this time. The full set of videos can be found on the Doctor Who Lockdown YouTube page, but some key examples are included below.

 

DWCA PO Box issue now rectified

Recently, there was an issue with the DWCA’s PO Box and that led to some mail being returned to the sender. The DWCA would like to assure club members that the problem has now been rectified. If people wish to resend any items that were inadvertently returned during this time they can now do so and are encouraged to. The club apologises most sincerely for any inconvenience caused during this time.

Power of the Daleks Reaminated

Fans of Doctor Who were overjoyed back in 2016 when Power of the Daleks became the first full missing story to be treated to an animated reconstruction. It was released worldwide in cinemas, online platforms, DVD and Blu-ray to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the story’s first transmission. However, due to the tight time frame to meet that anniversary date, the animators felt that some aspects were rushed. They’ve also been polishing their art further through subsequent releases such as Macra Terror and The Faceless Ones. So it was that when the BBC was casting around for another 2020 release from the Second Doctor’s era, to celebrate the 100th year of Patrick Troughton’s birth (born 25 March 1920) the idea was floated to create a new definitive animated version of the story. Completely rebuilt and with all new special features, it will see release in the UK in July this year (with the Australian release date yet to be confirmed). Many fans were also excited to see that The Highlanders was listed as a special feature in some press releases, however it has since been confirmed that this is not the case. The intention had been to include the audio track of The Highlanders, but there were already so many special features there wasn’t adequate room to add it in the end and those plans have had to be dropped. There is as yet no news on what further animated reconstructions are in the works following Fury from the Deep (due out later this year) but there are certainly more in the works. The Highlanders will alas not be one of them, as it has been noted by the animators that the challenge of animating characters in tartan costumes is likely to be put off for as long as possible. While other releases have included both colour and black and white versions of the animated reconstructions, that will not be the case with the new Power of the Daleks. Many of the animation team were less than impressed when BBC America colourised their 2016 version. Seeing the story as a noir style piece, they will be sticking to black and white only for creative reasons on this one. With numerous Troughton releases coming out through 2020 to celebrate 100 years since his birth, perhaps that means 2021 will focus on Hartnell stories instead. The Daleks’ Master Plan perhaps? Well, we can hope…