Review of ‘Matt Berry – Television Themes’ by Paul Ferry

A teaser from the reviews section of Strange Skins #6, coming soon. Matt Berry is best known as a comedian in the UK, his bullish persona and booming voice familiar to a whole nation of TV viewers from shows like The I.T, Crowd, House of Fools and Toast of London; but he has another life as a successful musician, producing prog and jazz albums. Television Themes is his sixth album and most likely to grab public attention, for it features a whole host of nostalgic theme tunes familiar to anyone who grew up in the UK during the seventies and … Continue reading Review of ‘Matt Berry – Television Themes’ by Paul Ferry

Kill Your Heroes: A History of Toxic Fandom by Bob Sheppard

Originally published in Strange Skins Digital #5 It’s easy to look at the endless stream of vitriol that spews onto the internet from certain areas of sci-fi fandom and to imagine that this is a new thing; a product of our broken, greedy, uncaring society. It’s not. Don’t take that as meaning that I am for one moment suggesting that our society is not broken, greedy and uncaring. It most certainly is; we live in a world where the President of the United States can be openly racist and misogynistic and people applaud him for it. What I’m saying is that … Continue reading Kill Your Heroes: A History of Toxic Fandom by Bob Sheppard

Review of ‘Borrowed Time’ by Naomi A. Alderman

Borrowed time is the second new release from BBC Books and, like The Triple Knife, it has been previously published in some form previously. Written by prize-winning author Naomi A. Alderman, it was previously released in hardback during the tenure of the Eleventh Doctor, but this attractive re-branded paperback is well worth a second look. Doctor Who doesn’t have a terrific track record when it comes to stories in which time itself is a pivotal element – The Time Monster, Timelash, the TV Movie – none of them are the series’ brightest moments, but where Borrowed Time scores over all … Continue reading Review of ‘Borrowed Time’ by Naomi A. Alderman

Review of ‘The Triple Knife and Other Doctor Who Stories’ by Jenny T. Colgan

The Triple Knife is one of two Doctor Who paperbacks released under the new brand. They’re not featuring the forthcoming new Doctor, of course – that would be giving too much away ahead of the new series – but they are both by prominent female writers in promotion of Doctor Who’s Year of the Woman. Written by Jenny T. Colgan, The Triple Knife is a collection of short stories either starring or told from the perspective of a significant female character from the recent years of Doctor Who. There are five stories of varying lengths in this collection: the story … Continue reading Review of ‘The Triple Knife and Other Doctor Who Stories’ by Jenny T. Colgan

100% Cotton*: The Target Novelisations of Donald Cotton

A classic feature from the archives of Strange Skins 2013. Donald Cotton, an acclaimed TV and radio writer and co-creator of Adam Adamant Lives, only ever wrote two stories for Doctor Who… and neither of them is particularly acclaimed. His first, The Myth Makers, is often overlooked because it is one of those sad cases where 100% of the footage is missing from the BBC archive. Not even so much as a tiny clip exists! His second (and, as it turned out, final) script, The Gunfighters, exists in its entirety, but for a long time was unfairly (and rather inaccurately) … Continue reading 100% Cotton*: The Target Novelisations of Donald Cotton

Doctor Who Magazine Special: The World of Fandom

Fans of Doctor Who fan videos (too much use of the word fan in that phrase, probably) should check out the latest Doctor Who Magazine special, The World of Fandom, which has got a great feature about those lovely home-made slices of Doctor Who. There’s lots of other cool stuff in there too, including a feature on Audio Visuals, the seminal high-quality fan-produced audio series of the 80s and 90s. Nice! doctorwhomagazine.com Continue reading Doctor Who Magazine Special: The World of Fandom

Adult Situations: Is New Who More Grown-Up Than the Classic Series?

It’s often stated that one of the areas in which the modern version of Doctor Who succeeds over the classic series is that it is more grown up. But is it really? Could it be that two eras of Doctor Who simply wear their maturity in different ways and approach the issue of what it means to be an adult from completely different angles, informed by the society in which they were shaped? The aspects of the modern series that people label as more sophisticated are mostly emotional. The classic series rarely dwelt on open displays of emotion – unless, … Continue reading Adult Situations: Is New Who More Grown-Up Than the Classic Series?

The Doctor: He’s Always Been My Hero and She always Will Be!

BY PAUL FERRY I’ve always wanted to be the Doctor, ever since I was a small child and Tom Baker’s fascinating Fourth Doctor dominated my Saturday teatimes. I mean, who wouldn’t? The Doctor is the ultimate hero – brave, caring, resourceful and although there are sometimes difficult decisions to be made, the end result is always to make the universe a better place to live. When I was 11 years old, I dressed as the Doctor for a school costume party in a Fourth Doctor outfit that my mother made for me. She made the coat from scratch and knitted … Continue reading The Doctor: He’s Always Been My Hero and She always Will Be!