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Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Fifty Years in Time and Space 16 - Magazine Watch: Radio Times Anniversary Special

If you thought the TV Times publishing their special Doctor Who issue with three different covers was a cynical money making scheme to fleece the most anal of Doctor Who fans, then the Radio Times is something else.The current issue, dated 23-29 November 2013, comes with twelve different covers, one for each Doctor, including John Hurt's War Doctor.

Inside the issue though there is a great 25 page feature on the history of the iconic show - each Doctor get his own page or two with some interesting features. I found the section on Christopher Eccleston very interesting in that it gives some information on why he quite the show.

'I didn't enjoy the environment and culture that we had to work in.' Christopher Eccleston.

There's also a section written by Doctor Who's greatest enemy - no not The Master, nor the Daleks but a being far more insidious - yep, Michael Grade, the man who famously cancelled the show back in 1985.

'I killed the bastard!' Grade boasts and goes on to explain that he felt the show had run its course, that it was a cult show and that you couldn't build a mass audience on a cult show.

'To cancel the show was absolutely the correct move. It was ghastly, it was pathetic. It was horrible to watch. It had lost its way.' Michael Grade.

Many would debate Grade's opinion but ultimately the decision to cancel the show would work for the best. After all without the show in limbo Russel T. Davies wouldn't have been able to reinvent it, and create the powerhouse it is today.

The issue is interactive using the Blippar app on your Android or Apple device in which certain pages contain links to online video and audio which can be accessed by scanning the page. I tried this myself though on my iPhone and couldn't get it to work. I kept getting the message: This page contains no information.

Each page contains a sidebar which is stuffed with trivia about the series - for instance the scarf Tom Baker wore was designed by James Acheson, a costume designer who later became a triple Oscar winner. And the 1979 story, City of Death still holds the record for the show's highest ever viewing figures - 16.9 million. Mind you that magazine fails to mention that independent television was on strike at the time and the BBC was the only network broadcasting. So even Dusty Bin's fans had no option other than to tune in.

This issue of the Radio Times then is something that most Who fans will want to add to their collection.

 Though I wonder if anyone will buy all twelve covers?

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