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!