Notice of 2018 Annual General Meeting of the DWCA

DATE: Sunday 26 August 2018
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 27 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.

Nomination Form
Election of Office Bearers – Rules & Procedures (attached to the DWCA constitution as a special resolution)

DWCA Publishing releases 2018 Zerinza yearbook

The Doctor Who Club of Australia is pleased to announce the return of its Zerinza yearbook, and it’s full to the brim with interviews, fiction, comics and articles.

From the archives you can read Nicholas Courtney discussing his career as the Brigadier and Dudley Simpson reflecting on everything from composing scores to street racing with Jon Pertwee. Go behind the scenes on Whovians with show researcher Pat Magee, then from in front of the camera with Adam Richard. Camille (Jackie Tyler) Coduri discusses the departure of Christopher Eccleston and the arrival of David Tennant, writers Jon Blum and Kate Orman talk about writing for Big Finish, and Titan artist Simon Myers discusses his covers for the Doctor Who comics range. Plus the true story of how Rosemary Howe succeeded in writing the first ever novelisation of The Daleks’ Master Plan, without access to the script or ever having seen it! And just what did happen to Katy Manning on the drive to the recent DWCA day event?

Featuring a plethora of content designed to entertain Doctor Who fans everywhere, Zerinza Volume Two is available now as a free PDF to all current DWCA members – so check your inboxes now for your download link from DWCA Publishing. If you are a DWCA member but you haven’t received an email, contact us at enquiries@doctorwhoaustralia.org.

The book can also be purchased in hardcover or paperback formats via the DWCA Publishing store: www.lulu.com/spotlight/DoctorWhoClubOfAustralia.

A very, very big thank you to the many talents who contributed to the pages of this release. We hope you will enjoy their efforts and look forward to bringing you more exciting content from DWCA Publishing in the future.

DWCA Book Club August – The Missy Chronicles

In celebration of Michelle Gomez’s upcoming return to the Whoniverse in The Diary of River Song – Series 5, announced by Big Finish earlier this month, the DWCA Book Club will be reading six short stories following the adventures of the Doctor’s favourite frenemy: The Missy Chronicles.

When she’s not busy amassing armies of Cybermen, or manipulating the Doctor and his companions, Missy has plenty of time to kill (literally). In this all new collection of stories about the renegade Time Lord we all love to hate, you’ll discover just some of the mad and malevolent activities Missy gets up to while she isn’t distracted by the Doctor.

The Missy Chronicles is available now will be discussed at the DWCA Book Club meeting on Friday 3 August. 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!

Reviews should be sent to Dom Kelly at fsq@doctorwhoaustralia.org.

Gomez and Roberts make a Masterful debut at Big Finish

Have you ever wondered what it would be like if River Song met the Master? Well wonder no longer, because thanks to the magic of audio drama, River will soon be locking horns with not one, not two, but four incarnations of the Doctor’s oldest foe!

The Diary of River Song, Big Finish Productions’ spin-off series starring Alex Kingston, has seen River Song encounter the Eighth, Seventh, Sixth and Fifth Doctors – with the Fourth to follow later this year. Now our heroine is set to face her toughest challenge yet, meeting four Masters over the course of four hour-long adventures.

Yes, TV Movie Master Eric Roberts will be returning to the role for the first time in 22 years, while Michelle Gomez’s Missy will become the first Twelfth Doctor era character to join the Big Finish family. They will be accompanied by Geoffrey Beevers’ decayed Master and Derek Jacobi’s War Master, the latter having recently starred in both his own series for Big Finish as well as the much-anticipated Gallifrey: Time War.

“This is something we’ve been so incredibly excited about for so long,” said Nicholas Briggs, executive producer at Big Finish. “It’s been thrilling enough for us to work with Alex for all the River releases, but to put her against the Doctor’s former best friend turned arch enemy is not a little mind-blowing. Fantastic that we’re getting an opportunity to work with Michelle again, after her first appearance (at Big Finish) with Sylvester McCoy back in 2007! But somehow strangely incredible that Eric Roberts is back from the 1996 TV movie. It’s frankly ‘clash of the icons’ in a really mind-blowing box set.”

The fifth series of The Diary of River Song will be available from the DWCA Shop in early 2019. The fourth series, featuring Tom Baker as the Fourth Doctor, will be out in late 2018. The third series, with Peter Davison as the Fifth Doctor and Frances Barber as Madame Kovarian, is available now.

Six Times Steven Moffat Did the Impossible

The DWCA is bidding a fond farewell to outgoing showrunner Steven Moffat with a special day event celebrating some of his most significant contributions to the programme – tickets are available here. And it’s fair to say that the past eight years have been somewhat divisive, with the controversial executive producer never afraid to fly in the face of what fans had accepted as true. Here are six examples of fan “myths” Mr Moffat very firmly busted…

Companions Leave the Doctor When They Get Married

Ever since the Doctor’s granddaughter Susan fell in love during The Dalek Invasion of Earth back in 1964, there has been a clear trend of the Doctor’s female companions (some of them, at least) leaving behind life in the TARDIS in exchange for wedded bliss. Fiery redhead Amy Pond, the first companion of Moffat’s tenure as showrunner, was having none of that, jumping back into the TARDIS before her wedding night was even over – with her new husband Rory in tow. Even after “officially” leaving the Doctor at the end of The God Complex, Amy and Rory found themselves dragged back into TARDIS life in Asylum of the Daleks and travelled with him on and off over at least ten years, before their eventual departure in The Angels Take Manhattan. Their status as “part-time companions” was one that was subsequently taken up by Clara Oswald and Bill Potts, showing that Moffat remained willing to subvert the traditional companion role for the remainder of his tenure.

The Doctor Can’t Get Married

Unlike their companions, the Doctor’s own love life was somewhat lacklustre during the classic series, leading many to believe the character was in fact asexual. This all changed with the Doctor’s “first kiss” in the 1996 TV Movie, followed by the development of an intense emotional relationship with companion Rose Tyler in 2005. Steven Moffat went one step further, weaving a flirtatious relationship between the Doctor and River Song that overcame the rules of time itself – and ultimately culminated in their marriage in The Wedding of River Song. And while the wedding was apparently just a ruse of the Doctor’s in order to get River to kiss them and restore the correct timeline, further stories went on to confirm that their feelings for River were sincere all along. Nowhere is this clearer than The Husbands of River Song, the ending of which sees the couple looking lovingly into each other’s eyes.

Gallifrey Was Destroyed in the Time War

Long-time fans of Doctor Who were shocked in 2005 when the Ninth Doctor announced he was the last of the Time Lords – the result of then showrunner Russell T Davies wanting to wipe the slate clean for new viewers. Over the next eight years, fans gradually learned bits and pieces about the devastating war that had wiped out both the Time Lords and (most of) the Daleks. But while it was something of a surprise to see the last moments of the Time War covered in the 50th anniversary special, The Day of the Doctor, no one could have expected the story’s climax – the Doctor’s home planet of Gallifrey was saved! It was a bold move by Moffat to revise almost a decade’s worth of character development, but it just about worked, and has since allowed the Doctor to revisit Gallifrey in the Series 9 finale Hell Bent.

The Eighth Doctor Fought in the Time War

Of course, we cannot mention The Day of the Doctor without discussing the elephant (man) in the room – the late, great Sir John Hurt, aka the War Doctor. Steven Moffat has made it known that he could never really picture Paul McGann’s Eighth Doctor fighting in the Time War, and so approached Ninth Doctor actor Christopher Eccleston about a possible return – an offer that was ultimately turned down. But rather than abandoning his Time War plot, the resourceful showrunner pitched the idea of creating a hitherto unknown ‘War Doctor’, ideally to be played by an actor of exceptionally high calibre: “Someone like John Hurt.” Little did he know that the role would go on to be accepted by Hurt himself, who was embraced by fans and even returned to the part in four audio drama boxsets for Big Finish Productions.

You Can’t Show the Doctor as a Child

The Doctor’s pre-TARDIS life has been shrouded in mystery, with our hero offering only a few anecdotes over the decades to indicate what they were like as a youngster (several of which point to a somewhat rebellious youth spent at the Time Lord Academy). Moffat wound back the clock even further in Twelfth Doctor episode Listen, depicting a pre-pubescent Doctor (although we never see his face) sleeping in a barn on Gallifrey – apparently adjunct to a house he shares with several other young boys. When Clara impulsively grabs the lad’s ankle from the under his bed, she realises she has inadvertently become the source of her friend’s greatest fear. Her solution? To teach him that fear is a superpower; a force that will ultimately drive him to become the greatest and kindest hero the universe has ever seen. Clara’s influence on the Doctor’s life up until this moment has always been substantial – from telling them which TARDIS to steal to helping them avert the destruction of Gallifrey – but this moment truly trumps them all.

Time Lords Can’t Change Gender When They Regenerate

This is the big one. Over the course of the classic series, several Time Lords (and Ladies) appeared across various incarnations – but always retained the same gender. It was in The Doctor’s Wife, penned by Neil Gaiman during Moffat’s second series as showrunner, that viewers first heard anything otherwise, with dialogue indicating that the Doctor’s old friend the Corsair had experienced multiple female incarnations as well as male ones.

It was a revelation that Moffat would go on to revisit – three years later the character of Missy revealed herself as the latest incarnation of the Master, and one year later the process itself was depicted in Hell Bent with the regeneration of the Time Lord General. So while it was incoming showrunner Chris Chibnall who took the bold step of casting Jodie Whittaker as the first female Doctor, it was Moffat who laid much of the groundwork that allowed this to happen.

In his tenure as showrunner, Moffat has shown a playfully flexible attitude towards the do’s and don’ts of Doctor Who, taking the opportunity to reinvent the mythology of the programme at several points with an almost gleeful mischievousness. And why not? After all, aren’t reinvention, adaptation and change key to the show’s survival?

Our celebration of Steven Moffat’s time on Doctor Who is taking place on 27 May. Head here for more information and to grab your tickets.

 

In Pictures: DWCA Mega Picnic 2018

This gallery contains 12 photos.

The DWCA held our first ever Mega Picnic on Sunday 8 April, with members from our local groups in Allora, Central West NSW and Sydney getting together in their respective localities for an afternoon of food, fun and frivolity! Thanks to everybody who came along – we hope we can hold an even bigger and better event next year! Continue reading

Are You Interested in Doctor Who Biographies?

The DWCA Shop is looking to carry a greater number of non-fiction titles, particularly biographies and autobiographies. And we’re inviting you to come on this journey with us, by helping us select the books you’d most like to add to your collection!

Pictured below is a sample of some of the titles the Shop is looking to acquire, including biographies and autobiographies of Doctors, companions and other prominent figures from our favourite programme. If you would consider purchasing any of the below, please send an email to shop@doctorwhoaustralia.org listing your preferred titles and formats. If enough people express their interest, it is our hope that the Shop will be able to stock the most popular titles in the near future. Until that time, no form of deposit or payment will be required.

To view a larger version of each image with its caption, simply click on it.

Targeted – A Defence of the Target Novelisations

This month sees the much-anticipated release of four newly novelised New Who episodes from BBC Books, formatted in the style of the classic series novelisations from Target Books: Rose by Russell T Davies, The Christmas Invasion by Jenny T Colgan, Twice Upon a Time by Paul Cornell and The Day of the Doctor by Steven Moffat – the last of which the DWCA Book Club will be discussing at our June meeting.

But while the Target books are currently experiencing a resurgence in popularity, there have always been those who have looked down upon them as nothing more than throwaway fluff for children. Back in 2013, Mitchell Sutton submitted an article to Issue #219 of Data Extract magazine in which he outlined his case in defence of the Target books – an article which we now reproduce below for your reading pleasure.

Target novelisations seem to be the marmite of the Doctor Who fan community. On the one hand, there are those who had a large portion of their childhood invested in brilliant retellings of barely remembered episodes. For these fans, Terrance Dicks is a part of the Western Literary Canon, Chris Archilleos the greatest unrecognised artist of the 20th century and the term “pleasant, open face” the definitive description of manliness. For others, mostly those who never found them in childhood, the books are embarrassing throwbacks to a dark time before the Internet and home video: simplistic children’s literature churned out in a week so that the show’s writers could have some extra cash.

I fall squarely in the former category. For me, the Target books are probably the greatest item of merchandise the show ever produced and is ever likely to produce. From the brilliant covers of Alastair Pearson, Chris Archilleos and others to the completist part of my heart that really, really likes seeing them on my shelf in televised order, they are the definitive tellings of the Doctor’s adventures (and let’s face it, no matter how much money the BBC spends, it can’t rival imagination).

But first let’s look at some of the criticisms. The main charges I’ve seen levelled against them are that they were mostly filler pushed out by Terrance Dicks in a week, that they were simply transcripts of the episodes in novel form, and that they are embarrassingly childish when compared to the modern BBC books. Cue rabid defence.

Looking back on the range today, I’m not surprised by the number of filler novels that were produced, but rather by the lack of it. It was pretty much inevitable due to the sheer number of books produced over the thirty-year period that some would be poorly written cash-ins. But there was never a period when the good ones stopped being produced. Every Doctor has at least four or five outstanding novelisations, spanning from David Whitaker’s pre-Target effort to novelise The Daleks to Ben Aaronovitch’s expansive Remembrance of the Daleks.

Now on to Terrance Dicks. Alright, it is true that the man commonly known as Uncle Terry turned himself into a freakishly fast author of novelisations, was known to skimp on such trifles as originality and did re-use a lot of stock phrases. But wouldn’t we all be worse off if Terrace had never drummed up the phrases “pleasant, open face”, “wheezing-groaning sound” and “dominated by a many sided central console” into the minds of generations of impressionable children? Without Terrance Dicks the Target library would be a little less than half its present size (according to the ever reliable New Zealand fan club site he wrote 64 out of 154, or 42% of all the Target novelisations), and it might have died off altogether if he hadn’t been there to transcribe such beloved classics as State of Decay, The Smugglers and The Krotons in 128 pages. If the original authors couldn’t make them seem interesting then what chance did Terrance have? Someone had to transcribe them and nobody did that better than he.

The accusation that the novels were simply dull rehashes of the episodes they were based on is greatly exaggerated (dull television stories aside). There are even some novelisations so perfect that they’ve displaced the episodes they were based on in fan consciousness. Without Doctor Who and the Cybermen, The Moonbase would be a largely scorned rehash of The Tenth Planet rather than the tense, eerie adventure that it’s remembered as. I would also wager that the fond memories of old episodes created by the Target books during the 1980s contributed to the hatred directed towards one John Nathan-Turner and the idea that everything before the 1980s was beyond reproach. In many cases the Target books created memories that were better than the original television.

Likewise, when the author of a TV serial wrote the novelisation we often saw a better product than what we got on TV because the writers were able to flesh out the characters a little bit more and allowed us to see inside their heads. For example, in Malcolm Hulke’s novelisation of The Silurians we see the events that lead the Silurians to hibernate through the eyes of their leader, which makes them must more sympathetic creatures.

As for alleged childishness, whilst they were published as children’s books initially, there was a huge evolution in their tone, the quality of writing and content. Whilst they thankfully never achieved the sex, violence and convoluted story arcs of the desperately-trying-to-be-mature New Adventures, the novelisations grew up with the fanbase in many ways. By the end of their run during the 1990s, many of them were being written by authors like Marc Platt and Ben Aaronovitch, who included many elements of their fabled ‘masterplan’, going beyond the brief for children’s novelisations.

I hope my little rant has dispelled some myths about the Target novelisations and revealed a little of why I, and many others, love them so much. While I don’t think I’ll have created any new Target fans, I do hope that it has helped to restore the novelisations to their rightfully deserved place in Who canon.

The DWCA Book Club’s discussion of The Day of the Doctor is taking place on 1 June – join the conversation by coming to the event or heading to our Facebook page. The Book Club meets once every two months to chat about a given book relating to the Whoniverse. With a vast history of books to choose from, including original novels, comic books, short story collections, biographies and classic novelisations, there’s always something different at Book Club! Keep an eye out on our website for news about future books!

DWCA coming to Supanova Melbourne

The DWCA is excited to announce that we are exhibiting at Supanova Comic Con & Gaming, being held at Melbourne Showgrounds from 21-22 April – this weekend!

The club is a regular attendee of the Sydney show but this will be our first time in Melbourne, lured by the headline guests Peter Capaldi, John Barrowman and Pearl Mackie. You will find us in the Doctor Who Fan Zone in Fan Club Central, part of The Alley in the Grand Pavilion building.

The club will have on display some recent issues of our magazine, Data Extract, which is provided to all DWCA members four times per year as part of their membership. Featuring articles, interviews, reviews, short stories and more, the magazine accepts submissions from all Australian Doctor Who fans!

Back issues of Data Extract will be available at the table at a discounted rate of $5 each. Sign up as a member at the table and receive the issue of your choice for free!

New or renewing members will also be eligible to receive the 2018 issue of the club’s yearbook, Zerinza. Coming soon to the inboxes all DWCA members, this free e-book features a whole host of content – including never-before-printed interviews with Doctor Who luminaries such as Nicholas Courtney (the Brigadier), Camille Coduri (Jackie Tyler), composer Dudley Simpson and more!

So come by and say hello this weekend at Stall #258 in the Doctor Who Fan Zone, circled on the map below. We can’t wait to see you!

DWCA Book Club June – The Day of the Doctor

BBC Books is bringing back the classic Target-style Doctor Who novelisations for a select number of New Who stories, and the DWCA Book Club is celebrating by reading the most ambitious of them all: The Day of the Doctor.

Novelised by Steven Moffat himself, the book enables readers to relive the magic of the 50th anniversary special in a style that has been beloved by Doctor Who fans for generations. It is one of four New Series stories to receive the Target treatment, the others being Rose by Russell T Davies, The Christmas Invasion by Jenny T Colgan and Twice Upon a Time by Paul Cornell.

The Day of the Doctor will be released in Australia in eBook form on 5 April and as a paperbook on 16 April, and will be discussed at the DWCA Book Club meeting on Friday 1 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!

Reviews should be sent to Dom Kelly at fsq@doctorwhoaustralia.org.