Thoughts from the Oxford Doctor Who Society on the most recent series, condensed from several weeks of discussion on Facebook Messenger, are now available in one document downloadable from The Tides of Time blog.
The public face: going into Blackwells, photographing the new reissues of some old Target Doctor Who books, and Tweeting it with the handles of BBC Books and Blackwells noted.

BBC Books notice this and retweet.

I then send BBC Books a private message correcting the indicia on six of the titles, which have listed the wrong original publisher. They have at least not unfollowed me yet.
"As the antients had their Capitoline and their Olympian Jupiter, so we had our virgin of Winchester and our virgin of Walsingham: and as there were temples to the Capitoline Jupiter in other places, as well as on the Capitoline hill, and one at Athens in particular; so we had places dedicated to the virgin of Winchester, in other places as well as Winchester; and one at Oxford in particular. The society at Oxford (to which I am obliged more than I could easily express, for passing the best part of my life, in a most agreeable manner) was established before the light of the Reformation had begun to dawn on England; by one of the noblest patrons of learning, that ever was. As he was, in those times, bishop of Winchester, he founded a seminary there; and a college to be supplied with students from it, at Oxford. This college, at Oxford, was dedicated Sanctae Mariae Wintoniensi; and both of them are called, the two St. Mary-Winton colleges, on some occasions, to this day."

---Joseph Spence Polymetis (1747), p 48 note 7
For Brasenose, Robert Hewison and Michael Palin produced John Mortimer's radio play Call Me a Liar. A slight school-of-Billy-Liar piece, Philip Hodgson played the anti-hero Sammy Noles amusingly, a compulsive a defensive liar who is finally redeemed by the love of Martha Heinz. Good attention to detail, marred only by a recalcitrant moustache. Ingeniously staged with a three part revolving set.

Of Teddy Hall's production of the third act of Dannie Abse's Fire in Heaven, I hardly know what to say. I suppose the piece was as well-performed as the last death-rattle of a worn out verse convention allows.

---David Wright, Theatre, Isis 20 November 1963.

I cited Teddy Hall as there's a strong possibility Ian Marter was in that production, but I need to research further.
For those interested in oldish Doctor Who stuff, issue 26 of Oxford's Tides of Time fanzine, published in 2000, is now online as a pdf. More information here.
Issue 37 of The Tides of Time, the Oxford (University) Doctor Who Society magazine, has now been uploaded to the internet. It was published in print form in November 2013 and marks the fiftieth anniversary of the programme. Contents include:


  • Crossword - Fifty Years of Villains
  • Return to Earth. Review of the Wii video game, by Adam Kendrick
  • The Eternity Clock. Review of the game for PC, PS3 and PSVita, by Graham Cooper
  • Rusling the Isis. The second part of a look at Russell T Davies's Oxford University media career in the 1980s, by Matthew Kilburn
  • Fifty Years, Fifty Moments. The scenes which encapsulate Doctor Who's Doctor Who-ness, compiled and written by Graham Cooper and Sara James, with Thomas Keyton, Matthew Kilburn, and Jonathan Martindale
  • Doctor Who and Philosophy. Jonathan Martindale reviews the 55th volume in the Open Court Press series 'Pop Culture and Philosophy', which turns its attention to Doctor Who.
  • Lost in Translation? Sara James reports on the status of Doctor Who in Germany with particular regard to pronouns!


The magazine itself can be downloaded from this link in pdf form.
The official 2012 video, it seems (corrected from my earlier impression that it was this year's):

I've been uploading an old Oxford Doctor Who Society fanzine again - this time issue 18 of Tides of Time, from June 1995. It's a domestic scan of something created on a mid-1990s inkjet (I think) and then duplicated by a photocopier which had I think seen better days. The PDF is a bit larger than one would be used to from a digital-native publication, but enjoy anyway. More details here and here.
I really wish I'd had some way of recording this event. Messrs Gaiman and Pullman ranged over subjects from their attire at their last conversation (where Neil was dressed as Badger from The Wind in the Willows, Philip as Long John Silver from Treasure Island, as part of a yet-to-be-released publicity drive for the Oxford Story Museum; Pullman said Gaiman looked more like a badger pretending to be Neil Gaiman than vice versa); religion (the difficulties of keeping kosher at a Church of England school, in Gaiman's case; he discovered that an unpleasant chicken soup was actually rabbit stew when his spoon pulled out a rabbit's paw); the role of A.A. Milne in reinventing Kenneth Grahame's reputation around The Wind in the Willows and his restructuring of that story around Toad so Toad of Toad Hall could have a plot); comics, from "woodland creatures having adventures with jam" through the discovery of American comics (both Gaiman and Pullman had epiphanies at comparable ages though in different decades and with different ranges of titles) and Gaiman's addiction to the Odhams Power Comics range (Pow, Wham, Fantastic, Terrific and others) which reprinted Marvel and DC material in the UK in the late 1960s. Gaiman also read from his latest two books and Pullman read a section too in the context of some critical writing by C.S. Lewis, the precise content of which I've forgotten but which occasioned Pullman to make his traditional "a better critic than a novelist" statement, to a flutter of gasps (some self-mocking) in the audience.

There was of course much more, the first question from the audience eliciting an unsurprising endorsement of Peter Capaldi's casting as the twelfth Doctor from Gaiman, and a wish that Steven Moffat could get the BBC contracts department to pay him in weeks so he can find time to write for the next series.
The Oxford Doctor Who Society fanzine The Tides of Time's summer 2012 edition is now online. More details here.
sir_guinglain: (Sylvester)
( Oct. 29th, 2012 01:02 am)
For those interested in old and fairly obscure Doctor Who fanzines, issue 8 of Oxford University Doctor Who Society's Tides of Time can be found in PDF form beyond this page.
I can't keep away from the archive, and have scanned and uploaded issue 27 of Tides of Time, published by the Oxford University Doctor Who Society in October 2001. This is another good one from the years after the McGann TV Movie and demonstrates the society's wide focus at the time, with reflections on the similarities between Robin of Sherwood and Blake's 7, a study of Blake's 7's Travis, a look at the obsession with the rural in British telefantasy, ponderings on possible interpretations of The Daemons, The Professionals fiction, an exchange of views on why Doctor Who was taken off air in 1989, and the usual much more.

The PDF is over here - it's just under 27Mb so right-clicking is recommended.

ETA: A fuller listing of the contents is available here, with another link to the PDF.
sir_guinglain: (RadioTimesRichardDimbleby)
( Jan. 3rd, 2012 12:59 am)
Intensive deduction by ITV, guided by the need to extend further a successful franchise, has established that Inspector Morse was once Detective Constable Morse; and so audiences have been transported to 1965 to meet him (in the person of Shaun Evans) investigate his first Oxford case. Morse is one of many coppers transferred from a new town police force to help with the murder of an Oxford teenager, but his doggedness wins him the notice of Inspector Fred Thursday (a lugubrious Roger Allam) and together, as the saying goes, they fight crime. Russell Lewis's script was unadventurous, with Morse and Thursday embroiled among police corruption, the sex industry, the secret service and compromised government ministers; if council housing had been involved this would have been clearly Our Friends in the North Oxford. Even Our Friends's Danny Webb was cast as a police bad apple; but dialogue made the other familiar connection, with Cliveden and the Profumo affair, explicit.

There were a few obvious anachronisms; a street seen through a window displayed what looked like 1990s architecture (specifically, the Lincoln College buildings on Bear Lane) and following up an address in Jericho does not take you to the corner of King Edward Street and Oriel Square, with Oriel College in plain sight if soft focus. I'd have wanted to use the present-day New Theatre as an exterior, with added CGI for the sake of faux-authenticity, but instead a different theatre was used. The Lamb and Flag seemed very much its modern self, complete with pub sign, rather than the more run-down edifice which I first entered in 1988 or whatever it looked like in 1965. A plainer pub sign at least would have helped. In-jokes abounded - Morse's radio is a Zenith, which was the name of the independent production company which made the original Inspector Morse series for the old Midlands ITV contractor Central. The first bus we see is heading to Woodstock (as in Last Bus to...) though that was given an in-story justification. John Thaw's daughter Abigail was cast as an Oxford Mail staffer. Shaun Evans's eyes get to morph into John Thaw's at the end too, which was a bit obvious. As in all latterday instalments of the Morse franchise, the character of the university was simplified to make a tale of elite disdain for the lower orders easier to tell, though I was no doubt not the only viewer who felt flattered by the line that Morse was 'too decent' to thrive at Oxford. I expect this pilot to go to series, though its ending, looking forward twenty years, suggests it would be content with an honourable afterlife prefacing Inspector Morse on download and disc packages.
sir_guinglain: (MattKarenArthur)
( Dec. 4th, 2011 06:00 pm)
Tides of Time 35 - lots of Doctor Who from the usual (Oxford-based or connected) suspects, now uploaded as a PDF. More details here.
I've uploaded more articles and stories to the Tides of Time archive, this time concentrating on the third Doctor's era.
I've put together a release of articles and stories from old issues of Tides of Time (and one from Skaro) relating to the adventures of the eighth Doctor. The introduction and links can be found over here at the Tides archive blog.
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