Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Nothing at the End of the Lane

The other day I received the second edition of a rather superb fanzine called Nothing at the End of the Lane ... now to actually have a print fanzine these days is a joy in itself as there are precious few still being produced, but to get something which is just so good ... The fanzine concentrates on Doctor Who research and restoration and this edition has numerous articles looking at just that.

First off is a piece chronicling the history of the Howe's Transcendental Toybox book to print. This piece was largely written by Richard Bignell from numerous interviews with myself and features unused covers and so on from the books.

John Cura is the next subject, and in a brilliantly researched and written piece, Cura's life and work is chronicled for the first time ever. For those who don't know, Cura was the man behind the tele-snaps - small black and white photographs from early Doctor Who taken from the television and which are now the only visual record of some of those early episodes. This article was superb ... showing how pioneering Cura was and how invaluable his service was to the television industry.

Then there's some articles looking at the BBC film vaults and video archives, detailing what is there and what has been found and so on. There's an interview with Michael Stevens from the BBC Audio Collection about the recent Power of the Daleks tele-snap reconstruction CD.

Derek Handley, who for many years has made his own reconstructions of missing episodes on video using the audio soundtrack and whatever images he can find looks at how his work compares with the telesnaps and with an episode rediscovered after he did his own reconstruction. This is fascinating stuff, and it's impressive how accurate Dereks's 'guesses' were as to what the visuals might be.

Then there's a very sad and poignant piece by Andrew Pixley about the junking of all the 60s episodes ... with a wipe they were gone for ever...

A piece about Doctor Who on 8mm film and what exists in that format is novel and informative both about the development, rise and fall of 8mm film, and of the various clips and film taken off the television which exist.

The whole magazine is topped off with a complete listing of what the BBC holds (or is known to exist) from all the missing Hartnell and Troughton Doctor Who episodes, and finally a selection of colourised telesnaps from some Hartnell episodes which are simply awesome. I loved these and would dearly love to see a true recolourised episode created by Stuart Humphreys who coloured these. Go on BBC DVD ... you know it makes sense to ask.

Overall the magazine is printed on really nice, good quality heavy stock, the print quality is superb and sharp and it's one of the most detailed and informative looks at the state of the archives in general that I have yet seen. I urge you to buy it. Visit the website at for details of how to do just that.

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