Plenty of posh things are going on this year to mark Doctor Who’s 50th year, some, like the BFI season, Mark Gatiss docudrama, and of course the anniversary special are already in full swing, while others are being kept under wraps until closer to November the 23rd.
The glossy, official celebrations are one thing of course, and they’ll receive publicity aplenty. Alongside those, we want to highlight the smaller stuff, to support the publications, plans, and events being organised here in the UK and abroad by Doctor Who fans. To this end, here’s the first of our soon-to-be regular Doctor Who 50th anniversary local round-ups…
Comics & Magazines
Launched next week on Wednesday the 3rd of July is an ace-sounding magazine created by Ysgol-Pen-y-Bryn special school in Swansea. For this year’s sixth form enterprise project, the school, which has 114 pupils between the ages of 3-19 with a wide range of special needs, decided to create a one-off magazine celebrating five decades of Doctor Who. If we’re honest, we’re a little bit jealous (we’d have been told off for writing about Cybermen in our sixth form project on Jude the Obscure).
The nearly 100-page magazine they’ve produced sounds fantastic, and at just £3.50 a copy, extremely good value for Doctor Who fans. The mag features interviews with Colin Baker, Tom Baker, Russell T Davies, William Russell, Anthony Head, Bonnie Langford, Brian Blessed, Rula Lenska and many more, as well as a never-seen-before short story by special effects wizard and Who novelist, Mike Tucker. Master toy licensee, Character Options, have supported the publication, which is being launched next Wednesday the 3rd of July at the Cardiff Doctor Who Experience exhibition.
What’s more, all of the proceeds from sales of Ysgol-Pen-y-Bryn’s Who-themed Achieve It! magazine are going to the Wales Air Ambulance, so that’s some great content, by pupils who’ve worked very hard to make it, all for a good cause. Who can say fairer than that?
At present, the magazine is only available as a hard copy directly from the school here, in a limited run of 700 (with 200 of those earmarked by pre-order as at the time of writing). P&P is £2.50 and payment is by cheque or postal order. If any of you clever types might be able to suggest a free-of-charge way for the school to sell online copies of the magazine (with all proceeds to charity) at a later date, do please contact James Williams, here.
Celebrate Regenerate is the pleasingly melodic title of a fan-made, not-for-profit book covering every televised story of Doctor Who ever. You don’t need us telling you that’s quite a few.
The unofficial and unauthorised book features over 300 A4 pages of reviews, articles, exclusive interviews and artwork produced by over 250 fan writers. A year in the making, it’s a real labour of love and created by fans (none of whom will profit from it financially), wanting to wish the series a happy 50th birthday.
There’s a treat in store for Doctor Who fans in or around Brighton on Thursday the 22nd of August, as leading former producer Philip Hinchcliffe is giving a Q&A about his years on the show. Responsible for the series between 1975 and 1977, Hinchcliffe produced classic episodes including Genesis of the Daleks, Revenge of the Cybermen, Terror of the Zygons and many more.
What’s more, the evening event also features a Q&A with Utopia, Pulling and Matilda the Musical writer, Dennis Kelly. We’ve already bought our tickets, and you can do the same here.
Entry is £8 if you book between now and the 28th of July, and £10 thereafter. The Space venue (somewhat ironically) isn’t a large one, so make haste if you don’t want to miss it.
Who Are You Supposed To Be? is a Doctor Who-themed play running at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe, conceived as a tribute to fans for the 50th anniversary. It’s described as a love story between characters who bond over pop culture, and tackles the issue of whether the Doctor should be played by a woman. Read the press release below:
The classic tale of a boy in a TARDIS t-shirt standing in front of a girl dressed as the Fifth Doctor, asking her to love him… and a girl demanding to know why she can’t be the Doctor or Han Solo or Captain Reynolds. They’d be star-crossed lovers (Wars and Trek, obviously) but they have so much in common – surely they can find the time and space to fall in love? This is a story about wanting to feel safe, to be appreciated and how far we’ll go to find people like us.
That concludes our first round-up of fan celebrations. If you’re planning something of your own, whether it’s a big, posh event or just you and some mates dressing up as Zygons and having a barbeque to mark the anniversary, and would like to be featured in the next one, get in touch on firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know. Only if your Zygon costumes are really, really good though.
Please, if you can, support our charity horror stories ebook, Den Of Eek!, raising money for Geeks Vs Cancer. Details here.