DATE: Sunday 25 August 2019 TIME: 4pm VENUE: 2nd Floor Club Burwood, 97 Burwood Road, Burwood NSW AGENDA: President’s Report; Treasurer’s Report; and Election of Office Bearers.
Any candidate standing for election as an Office Bearer (President, Vice President, Secretary or Treasurer) must be a current DWCA member who has held membership for a minimum period of five years, including at least one year immediately prior to the election. Additionally, they should be able to attend regular committee meetings held in Sydney and demonstrate an ongoing commitment to the club.
To nominate for an Office Bearer position, download the form below and fill in the following information:
the name of the nominee;
the address of the nominee;
the Club member number of the nominee;
a statement that the member wishes to nominate for a specific Office Bearer position (a person can only nominate for one position in any election);
the signature of the nominee;
the date of the nomination; and
the signature and the Club member numbers of two members endorsing the nomination.
The form must be submitted to the following address by 26 July:
The Returning Officer DWCA PO Box 870 Epping NSW 1710
Eligible nominees will be notified by the Returning Officer once nominations are closed and invited to submit a statement to be provided to members in support of their nomination.
Actor and writer Paul Darrow has sadly passed away at the age of 78 following a short illness.
He first appeared in Doctor Who with Third Doctor Jon Pertwee in the 1970 story The Silurians as UNIT soldier Captain Hawkins. He returned as villain Tekker opposite Sixth Doctor Colin Baker in the 1985 story Timelash. Further to this he went on to play the part of Guidance with Eighth Doctor Paul McGann in the audio story The Next Life, as well as Kaston Iago in the Doctor Who spin-off audio series Kaldor City.
He was best known however for the role of Kerr Avon in Terry Nation’s Blake’s 7, the calculating criminal turned freedom fighter who was the balance to idealist Roj Blake in the show’s “Dirty Dozen in space” line-up. In addition to starring in all four seasons from 1978 to 1981, Darrow wrote the Blake’s 7 novels Avon: A Terrible Aspect (1989), Lucifer (2013), Lucifer: Revelation (2014) and Lucifer: Genesis (2015). His autobiography You’re Him, Aren’t You? was released in 2006, with an audio book version read by Darrow released in 2016, including an extra chapter.
Between 2012 and 2019 Darrow starred in over thirty original audio dramas for Big Finish, including multiple Blake’s 7 releases. Big Finish producer John Ainsworth stated: “I will cherish the memory of our days in the studio. How lucky I am to have worked with Paul. A real star and legend.”
The DWCA is pleased to announce that we will be exhibiting at Supanova Comic Con & Gaming, being held at Sydney Showground from 21-23 June.
The DWCA booth will feature a range of merchandise from across the Whoniverse, with DVDs and original audio dramas starring all your favourite characters – including limited edition Blu-ray boxsets featuring select full seasons of the classic era. This is in addition to a huge range of graphic novels, sonic screwdrivers, action figures, Pop! Vinyls, mugs and other collectables.
If you’re more interested in the activities of the club itself, you can sign up or renew your membership at the booth, as well as peruse back issues of the club magazine, Data Extract – and as a Supanova special, all membership purchases will include a bonus talking plush clip-on absolutely free (while stocks last). We’re also on the lookout for fresh faces to join the DWCA committee – including a new merchandise manager – so if you think you’ve got what it takes to help run the club, let us know!
The DWCA booth will be located with other general exhibitors in The Dome, with trade beginning on Friday 21 June at 1pm. Check us out at Booth #1202, circled on the map below.
2019 marks 30 years since the end of the classic series of Doctor Who, and the DWCA Book Club is recognising this significant anniversary by reading the first Seventh Doctor graphic novel from Titan Comics – Operation Volcano.
Written by Seventh Doctor veterans Andrew Cartmel and Ben Aaronovitch, the story sees the Doctor and his companion Ace reunited with Rachel, Allison and Group Captain Gilmore of the Counter-Measures team, last seen on screen in 1988’s Remembrance of the Daleks.
The Doctor, Ace and the Counter-Measures team are holed up on the remote plains of the Australian desert. But what is the true agenda of the traitor in Gilmore’s ranks? What sacrifices will Ace have to make for the sake of the future? And what connects the events of 1967 with an unidentified spacecraft orbiting the Earth in 2029…?
Do you consider yourself something of an armchair critic? Send us a written review of the current Book Club text, and your words just may end up published in our club fanzine, Data Extract. What’s more, you will go into the running to win a $5 voucher to spend at the DWCA Shop!
Are you passionate about Doctor Who merchandise? Do you enjoy interacting with fellow Doctor Who fans? Do you enjoy working in a team?
The Doctor Who Club of Australia is currently seeking applications for the non-office-bearing position of Merchandise Manager on the DWCA committee, which will be vacated in the coming months.
As with all roles on the committee, this is a non-remunerated position with a not-for-profit fan club, though membership of the club is free for the duration the position is held.
Responsibilities include the following:
Correspondence with suppliers and customers
Housing and transport of merchandise and related equipment
Customer service at club and third-party events
Packing and posting of merchandise to mail order/online customers
Upkeep of inventory and online shop
Float maintenance for shop cashbox
Promoting new merchandise via magazine columns, mail order forms and slideshow presentations
Contribution to monthly committee meetings and email discussions
The successful applicant will have the opportunity to shadow the incumbent Merchandise Manager for a fixed period, before assuming full duties.
Applications are open to anyone who has demonstrated experience with, and commitment to, a fan club or similar organisation. Applicants should be based in the Sydney area, with access to a garage or other storage space and their own vehicle. A background in retail/customer service will be highly regarded but is not essential.
For more information and to apply, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org letting us know your relevant skills and experience, your availability and your location. Applications will be assessed on a ‘first in, best dressed’ basis, so don’t be shy to get in touch – we’d love to hear from you!
Second Doctor lost story The Macra Terror was finally released on DVD and Blu-ray last month, almost 52 years after its original broadcast and five months after it was announced that surviving audio recordings of the serial would be combined with brand new animation. But while it may not feature the Daleks (like The Power ofthe Daleks) or be written by Douglas Adams (likeShada), there’s still plenty to love about this long-awaited release of an underrated gem.
The dystopian plot
The Macra Terror was originally broadcast as part of Doctor Who’s fourth season – an unusual and often overlooked period in the show’s history, where many elements of the programme were undergoing a steady transformation, storylines weren’t yet dominated by monster-of-the-week shenanigans and writers could still deliver slices of delightful ’60s weirdness. In the case of The Macra Terror, the plot is centred on a seemingly idyllic colony manipulated by an omnipresent overlord into an endless cycle of mundane labour and forcefully cheerful recreation. Think Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four meets The Wizard of Oz, but the Wizard was secretly a giant crab all along. The end result is a satirical story that is genuinely thrilling while also being very fun.
The TARDIS crew
The Macra Terror was the second-last story for the TARDIS team of the Second Doctor, Ben, Polly and Jamie, which is a shame as they’re really starting to work well together here. Jamie is a loveable goof throughout, from his confusion after the brainwashing scene (“They haven’t been able to get very far into your brain.” “Eh? I don’t understand.”) to his improvised dance during the cheerleading scene. Michael Craze meanwhile gets to show off his acting chops, as Ben is rather more susceptible to the brainwashing process – losing his Cockney accent when he’s under the influence and frightening Polly almost as much as the Macra. And while Polly plays a bit of a damsel while being attacked by Ben/the Macra, she’s also the Doctor’s main companion during the climactic final episode. This team may sometimes be forgotten, but The Macra Terror sees them at their best.
The visual upgrade
While the animated version of The Power of the Daleks sought to recreate the original production as closely as possible, the team behind The Macra Terror have taken some creative liberties and injected the story with a high degree of visual flair, taking it beyond what could have been produced by the original production team. Perhaps this is most obvious in their design of the Macra themselves: whereas the original Macra prop (there was only one) looked a bit like, well, how you might expect a giant crab built on a ‘60s BBC budget to look, the animated Macra are large, fierce and imposing. There’s even more than one of them! This makes their scenes all the more exciting and really sells the threat these spidery-crabs pose. We’re also treated to sprawling shots of the colony as the paranoid (or is he?) Medok makes his escape attempt, while Jamie’s perilous journey through the gas mine is atmospheric in a way that couldn’t have been achieved in studio.
Many fans have wondered what certain ‘60s stories would look like in colour, while others believe they should stay in monochrome as they were originally intended. This animated release gives viewers the option to view the story either way – so whether you think the adventure is creepier in black and white, or you’re curious to see how the animation team have played up the slightly psychedelic elements of the plot in their colour choices, the decision is entirely up to you. We would, however, recommend watching the opening titles in colour at least once – they look truly gorgeous. And if you’ve ever found yourself debating Ben’s true hair colour with another fan, you finally have a way to settle it!
The special features
Classic Doctor Who releases have long prided themselves on their comprehensive suite of special features, and The Macra Terror is a real doozy. The release is absolutely packed with extras, covering the original production, the animated version and everything in between. There’s audio commentary featuring members of the cast and crew, a digitally remastered compilation of the original story’s surviving footage (all 2 minutes of it!), behind-the-scenes footage showcasing construction of the Macra prop, and – in a move that is sure to please purists – a stills reconstruction available with or without a narration track read by Anneke Wills (Polly). That’s on top of a series of features covering how the new release went from initial storyboards to final animation, the full 1992 audio release narrated by Colin Baker, an animation of the first 10 minutes of Second Doctor story The Wheel in Space and more. The Blu-ray edition also has a bonus disc that includes the Macra’s return in Tenth Doctor story Gridlock, along with accompanying commentary and Doctor Who Confidential: Cut Down.
The fact that we’re able to watch it!
It seems obvious, but there’s something quite special about being able to watch something that has been unseen in its entirety for over 50 years. Of course in that time there have been reconstructions, novelisations and soundtrack releases, but they just don’t provide the same feeling you get from sitting on (or behind) the sofa, switching on the TV, and watching the TARDIS materialise in a new location for the first time. Having a fully visual dimension to the story also restores the nuance to the performances and the facial expressions of the characters – something that these animations are getting better at with each release. So while there have been no missing episode discoveries for some years now, the animated releases are going from strength to strength, suggesting that it may be only a matter of time before we get to experience a new (old) story all over again.
The Macra Terror is available from the DWCA Shop on DVD and Blu-ray. It can be purchased now from our online shop or in person at our upcoming Sydney day event, to be held on 19 May at Club Burwood – the theme of which is, appropriately enough, ‘Animations and Adaptations’.
If you have a few niggling gaps in your DVD collection, the DWCA Shop may be able to assist.
The Shop has recently acquired what we understand to be the last commercially available copies of eight classic series releases left in Australia. These titles have all been out of print for some time now – so once they’re gone, they’re gone.
To view each title in our online shop, click on the relevant image below. Other releases are available from our general DVD & Blu-ray section.
In 2016, the UNSW Doctor Who Society (DocSoc) put together their own original Doctor Who fan film. Titled ‘The TARDIS of UNSW’, the film was screened at the DWCA’s March day event in Burwood, Sydney, alongside a Q&A panel featuring members of the production team. But if you didn’t get to attend the day, you can now read a transcript of the interview right here. Make sure you watch the film first, to avoid spoilers!
DWCA: Welcome! Would you like to start off by introducing yourselves to the audience?
Thomas Walder: I’m Thomas. I was the director, and I also did the special effects and a small part of the editing.
Sarah Cobb-Clark: I’m Sarah, I played Jane aka the real Doctor.
Charles Mann: I’m Charles, I played the Doctor, but also the Master, the second time around? It’s really confusing.
Ewan Scott: I’m Ewan, I played the actual, definite Master, and I’m kind of responsible for the confusing plot as well.
DWCA: So how did your fan film, The TARDIS of UNSW, come about?
Thomas: Originally, the society was going to try and recreate some of the Classic Who effects, which you can kind of get from the aesthetic of it. But during the planning stages, Ewan and I, and one other member, we sat down and had a few drinks and decided to see if we could come up with a plot that we could use. But as we came up with an idea, we came up with this twist. It wasn’t originally even going to have a Doctor – it was going to have the Master fooling the Master and then double-crossing themselves. It was going to be this amazing Moffat-esque twist at the end.
Ewan: And then Moffat stole it from us!
Sarah: We attended Whovians together to see the Series 10 finale, and we were sitting next to each other in the audience as the episode played. I was sitting right next to Ewan, poking him, going, “The Master just killed the Master! This is our plot, this is our episode!”
Ewan: We clearly know the characters too well.
Thomas: It was a lot of effort. One of our other members who isn’t here, who did much of the editing – Heloise – we sat down with her and spent ages trying to wrap our heads around this time loop that we’d created. Some of the diagrams that you see in both the end-credits scene and some of the making-of shots – that was from us trying to make sure that we know exactly how to get this thing working, so that it actually sort of makes sense.
Charles: That took the longest, I think. Out of all of the things we did, that one diagram took the longest.
Thomas: As the special effects editor, I can say it didn’t.
DWCA: How did you manage to put together the special effects?
Thomas: I kind of taught myself After Effects. Mostly it was just looking up the effects online. The one that was particularly unique was what we tried to do with the opening scenes. ‘Cos we attempted to replicate the official howl-around effect that Classic Who used, using modern technology – which was kind of the original idea. So what we ended up doing was getting a webcam, pointing it at a computer, and then just kind of wiggling it around for a bit. In the editing, I took the shots that were made from that and tried to blend them together in reasonably visually appealing away, and add the other effects. And I was quite happy with the result.
Ewan: Tom’s effects are better than my acting.
Sarah: It’s a fan episode, it’s gonna be a cheesy. And it was fun.
DWCA: What about the props and other equipment? Did you film it on a phone?
Thomas: It was on my camera.
Charles: Tom supplied most of everything.
Ewan: As a fan club, we sort of went, “Hey, anyone who has anything you can lend us – Daleks, sonic screwdrivers – bring it in!” I think there’s a shot at the end of a table covered in TARDISes and Daleks.
Thomas: One thing you might notice is, I’m pretty sure each shot that has a sonic screwdriver in use is a different sonic screwdriver. That’s just an Easter egg.
Charles: We definitely went out of our way in at least one shot, when we’re all trying to open the one door, to make sure that every single time a sonic screwdriver was in shot, it was a different sonic screwdriver.
Thomas: Some of the props, such as the K9 and the Dalek parts, they were created by another member, Antonia, who also did much of the storage. K9’s kind of a dump truck underneath the box bit, so he was kind of a little trolley.
DWCA: Your film also has the twist of the female Doctor. Now that you’ve seen a real female Doctor on screen, how do you think they compare?
Sarah: I would have made a better Doctor. They should have hired me. No, I kid. I am enjoying Jodie Whittaker, and I’m sure that next season she’ll go from strength to strength.
Thomas: One of things we wanted to do was make it fit in with things that we’d seen in past parodies. And having a female Doctor, up until that point, was something that was very much a classic thing for a parody to do. So that was one of the goals when it came to building themes and stuff into the show.
DWCA: Overall, was the whole process easier or harder than you expected?
Thomas: Well Charlie and I had made a small film back in high school…
Charles: Very small.
Thomas: … So when it came to it, none of us knew that much about what we were doing – apart from Heloise, who was the only actual film student involved in the process. So a lot of it was kind of working it out as we went. Pretty much all of the actual dialogue, and most of the actual scenes, were worked out on the day.
Ewan: In terms of little details like continuity though, Heloise was very much on the ball in terms of “Hang on, you need to be wearing this shirt to regenerate.” She got mad at me when I got a haircut, and fair enough.
Charles: Yes, I remember that.
Thomas: So we had four filming days, out of an originally planned one. Do you want to tell the story about what happened with the jackets, and the temperature?
Charles: Oh man…
Sarah: I would love to tell that story! Alright – we started filming in winter. We finished filming in summer. Charles was in a wool coat, I was in a leather jacket and a wool turtleneck. We both regretted our costume choices.
Thomas: That’s the thing, right? Doctor Who has this whole clothing aesthetic. You’ve got to have the jackets and stuff.
Charles: You’ve got to make sure everything works in-universe, even if it causes you incredible discomfort and dehydration when you’re standing in the sun for a solid hour, making sure that the shot is exactly perfect. It was fun, but my goodness, I have so much respect now for professional actors, and anyone who wears that kind of stuff all the time.
Thomas: Looking back at it, there were a number of small things that we either could have done more smoothly or that we had to work in, in order to cover the small mistakes we made. And I think in part, that’s because it was quite exhausting, the process of actually filming. ‘Cos we’re trying to fit in between everyone’s uni and work schedules, so we’re trying to pack in as much as we can in the limited time we have together.
Ewan: I think I recorded the K9 lines several months later, at my computer, and sent them off to Heloise in the hope that she’d be able to get them in.
DWCA: Was it difficult finding the right people to take on various roles in the production?
Sarah: Well everyone involved was in the Doctor Who Society of UNSW, so we kind of worked with the people who were already there, and who would be interested in it.
Ewan: And it was a large enough club that it wasn’t so much “Oh, you’re good at this, you can do it” as “You want to help? Alright, could you learn how to do this?”
Charles: Exactly, there was a lot of that. There was a lot of multitasking in the crew; we were like, “Someone needs to hold this camera. Just hold it. You don’t even have to do anything, just hold the thing.” There were a lot of people, but at the end of the day it actually wasn’t quite as big as it could have been.
Thomas: When it came to filming the spaceship shot, I basically just filmed that in my living room, and got my mum to help. So she’s listed as one of the credits. In the end, it wasn’t a huge crew. It must have been… ten people involved in total?
DWCA: Are you happy with the finished product?
Thomas: I’m happy. We wanted to have it very Doctor Who flavoured, and the other thing I wanted to have was plenty of UNSW references, because it was there. That final twist – was that one of the things that we came up with on the first day?
Ewan: I think that was part of the core plot; that the library was actually a TARDIS.
Charles: The enormous thing that was in every single shot.
Sarah: It was very fun sitting in the audience just now, listening to the people in the back going, “Is it the library?”
DWCA: Do you have any advice for anyone who might be considering doing their own fan film?
Charles: Plan. No seriously, make sure that you have everyone’s schedules mapped out like 16 months in advance. Make sure everything lines up, make sure that you have a good group of people to work with. ‘Cos that, I think, is also key. If you have people who are willing to go the extra mile to make sure that everything’s in place, and they’re willing to sacrifice and stuff, then you’re going to have a much better experience overall.
Thomas: But conversely, as well as having to plan ahead, when stuff doesn’t go right, you’ve got to be a bit flexible as well. So be prepared for that to happen. Because our filming ended up getting pushed back, we ended up having our last filming day during the university shutdown period, which meant that we didn’t have any access to indoor facilities. So some scenes which happen outside, they only take place outside because that was all we had access to. Again, plan ahead, but in the event that planning ahead doesn’t end up covering everything, you’ve got to be ready to improvise.
Ewan: But then also, go for it. ‘Cos sometimes those restrictions lead to a better product than if we just sat, planning for years and years and gone, “Well, we might get around to filming this eventually.”
Thomas: Our whole UNIT scene? That happened because one of our writers was going to play a UNIT representative, but unfortunately he had a very limited time in which he could appear, and we couldn’t get his role working in time. So that’s when we rewrote and came up with the secret UNIT base scene, which was one of our crew members’ garages. We just came to Antonia’s house and said, “Hey Antonia, can we use your garage?”
Thomas, Sarah, Charles and Ewan appeared at the DWCA day event ‘Joker in the Pack’, which was themed around comedy in Doctor Who. The club’s next Sydney day event will be held on 19 May and is themed ‘Animations and Adaptations’, in honour of the recent animation of The Macra Terror. More information on the event can be found here and pre-orders for The Macra Terror can be placed here.
The DWCA Book Club is taking a trip back in time… to 2003. Russell T Davies’ revived series had only recently been announced, though of course the first episode would not air until March 2005. And so the “current” Doctor remained the Eighth, whose adventures at this point had been mainly confined to books – books such as The Eye of the Tyger from Telos Publishing.
Inhabiting a colony spaceship in the 32nd century are members of a religious cult that left Earth to find a world of their own. Their leader, Seraph, has downloaded his mind into the ship’s computers, but now he has gone silent, enticed and serenaded by a siren song coming from inside a black hole. Trapped in orbit around the void, Seraph’s followers are confused by his silence, and when the Doctor arrives with his friend Fyne seeking a cure to a raging Tyger-fever which has infected his companion, he finds a world on the brink of chaos.
The Eye of the Tyger has been out of print for several years but is currently stocked in very limited quantities at the DWCA Shop, with the deluxe edition of the text now at the special price of $30 (other deluxe Telos novellas also available at the standard price of $60). Signed by author Paul McAuley, illustrator Jim Burns and foreward writer Neil Gaiman (!), it’s a true collector’s item.
The Eye of the Tyger will be discussed at the DWCA Book Club meeting on Friday 7 June. You can also comment on our Facebook page if you can’t make the event.
SEND US YOUR REVIEWS AND WIN A PRIZE!
Do you consider yourself something of an armchair critic? Send us a written review of the current Book Club text, and your words just may end up published in our club fanzine, Data Extract. What’s more, you will go into the running to win a $5 voucher to spend at the DWCA Shop!
Award-winning sci-fi audio series Night Terrace, produced by Melbourne’s own Splendid Chaps Productions, is making its broadcast debut on BBC Radio 4 Extra – and Australian listeners will be able to tune in as well!
Created as a follow-up to the critically acclaimed Splendid Chaps Doctor Who podcast, Night Terrace is a half-hour narrative comedy series starring Jackie Woodburne (Susan Kennedy from Neighbours) as Anastasia Black – a government scientist who used to save the world but now wants a quiet retirement. So she’s understandably miffed when her house unexpectedly starts travelling through space and time.
Over two series and a total of sixteen episodes, taking place from the ancient past to the distant future and everywhere in between, Anastasia fights monsters and solves mysteries, all while trying to find a way home. And joining her on her interstellar trek are actor, comedian and series co-creator Ben McKenzie as hapless door-to-door salesman Eddie Jones, plus actor, singer and co-creator Petra Elliott as the myserious “Sue”.
The guest cast is meanwhile packed to the brim with Australian and New Zealand comedic talent – including Whovians regulars Cal Wilson and Adam Richard – as well as respected dramatic actors such as Colette Mann, Jane Badler, Virginia Gay and more. There are even cameos from Louise Jameson (Doctor Who’s Leela) and Nicholas Briggs (the voice of the Daleks), as well as Doctor Who writer and former Big Finish producer Gary Russell!
Originally crowdfunded for digital download, Night Terrace now comes to BBC Radio, premiering on Sunday 21 April on Radio 4 Extra at 6pm UK time (repeated at midnight) and continuing every Sunday for the duration of the first series – with each episode available internationally via BBC iPlayer (aka BBC Sounds) for 30 days afterwards. Series two will follow in the same timeslot from 25 August.
“I’m stunned we went from doing a podcast in Melbourne pubs to having our comedy series on BBC Radio,” said head writer John Richards. “It’s like we just won an Oscar for pole dancing. I’m a huge fan of radio drama and comedy – due to a long commute I currently listen to more drama than I watch. So it’s a thrill that Anastasia Black is heading to the home of The Goons, the Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy and that show that used to look at famous pipe organs.
“We came into Night Terrace wanting certain things – we wanted a female lead, we wanted her to be a bit grumpy but also the smartest person in any room. And we wanted it to be distinctly Australian. We wanted it to be big and bold and thoughtful and silly and it’s been all of those things. Jackie Woodburne – or ‘Susan From Neighbours’ as we like to call her – was our only choice to play Anastasia Black and she’s been phenomenal. And we’ve been blessed with an amazing and diverse cast. It’s all been a dream. Oh, is this a dream? This is a dream, isn’t it?”
Episode one of series one, Moving House, can be streamed now on the Splendid Chaps Soundcloud page or via the YouTube link below. You can also read our exclusive interview with Ben McKenzie, conducted ahead of the release of series two, in Issue #229 of Data Extract magazine, available from the DWCA Shop.