Sunday, January 29, 2012

Nothing At The End of the Lane

The third edition of this fascinating and pretty incredible Doctor Who fanzine is now available, and it lives up to the standards of the first two editions. Given that there has been six years between issue two and this one, and standard of research is pretty darn good, and the magazine sets out to answer some of those niggly questions which us Doctor Who fans ask every so often.

The issue kicks off with a very lovely pic of Peter Purves and Jackie Lane with Sheena Marshe during rehearsals for 'The Gunfighters', along with a selection of smaller shots. I won't keep saying that I have never seen the pictures before, but pretty much every photograph in the magazine is new, and for those fans who love photographs, they are worth the price of admission alone. Just one very minor gripe, and that is that some of them are printed quite small and I would have liked to have seen them larger.

Then we're into the written content and we kick off with a piece wondering (and answering) what happened to the Dalek props given away in the TV21 competition. Well now we know ... and at least one was auctioned in 1992 by Bonhams. We move on to the Quaker Oats competition as well ...

Way back in 1989, I printed information about a Peter Cushing Doctor Who radio show in my fanzine The Frame, and now we have all the available information about it, BBC memos, notes, background, and even the script for the pilot episode! It's an incredible piece of research, and wonderful to read.

Next up is a selection of colour photos from the location filming for 'The Smugglers', some of these are somewhat black and grainy, but they are lovely to see.

William Hartnell's stint in Panto after leaving Doctor Who is covered next with some nice vintage photographs and playbills, followed by some beautiful colour costume designs from 'The Space Pirates'. I'd never seen these before and they are superb. I especially like the designs for Zoe, and her outfit turned out pretty close to the design.

A long-running unknown is revealed next, with a piece all about just who was cast as the original actress to play Sarah Jane Smith ... this fact was recently revealed in the BBC DVD release of 'Invasion of the Dinosaurs', but it looks like Richard Bignell actually had the scoop here and was pipped to it by the DVD ...  There's a nice recreated Radio Times cover to accompany the piece.

Black and white pics from 'The Enemy of the World' follow, and it's great to see some new shots from the filming here. Then we have some more random facts covering a third big screen movie, lost Scorpion Automotive Daleks, toys from 'Galaxy 4' which never appeared, and a selection of Louis Marx Dalek prototypes which never made it to production.

Continuing the Dalek theme, and the next piece investigates the Daleks given away in the 'Write Your Own Adventure' competition run in the Radio Times in 1972. More brilliant photographs and investigations here, revealing much about these enigmatic creations.

'The Living Planet' is a lost storyline from the early days of the show, written by Alan Wakeman and commissioned as part of the build up to the first season. Here we have the complete storyline reprinted as well as the script for part one.

Colour photographs from the filming of 'The Invasion' are next, and it's good to see some of the costumes in colour for the first time ...

Next up is an extensive section which explores all the story ideas and storylines submitted by writer Brian Hayles (he who created the Ice Warriors). There are loads of them from all eras of the show. Very interesting stuff indeed.

Next up are some lovely photographs from 'The Evil of the Daleks' from designer Chris Thompson, along with more telly snaps from fans which have come to light.

Finally, the magazine presents an indepth look at the background to the aborted anniversay story 'The Dark Dimension', revealing far more than had been previously known about it's development, who was involved, and why it was ultimately never made. It's another tour de force of research from Richard Bignell, and contains designs and photographs to illustrate it, as well as story outlines of the plot in its varying incarnations.

Overall Nothing At the End of the Lane represents fan research and writing at it's very best and Richard Bignell is to be congratulated for pulling together such an incredible array of images and facts, covering areas of the show which were previously unknown or little known.

For copies, head to the website at:

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