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Doomwatch Fanzine Goes On Sale

Doomwatch Fanzine by Doomwatch.orgA NEW fanzine celebrating the 40th anniversary of TV series Doomwatch is now available.

Doomwatch Fanzine is described as the “perfect introduction” to the groundbreaking show, which dealt with a scientific government agency responsible for investigating and combating various ecological and technological dangers.

Over a year in the making, the 24-page glossy colour magazine features an exclusive full series synopsis, “Embryonic Nazis on Four Legs”,  as well as new articles and artwork.

It is being released by website Doomwatch.org as a limited edition, priced £6. Proceeds will go to charity Cancer Research UK.

Publisher Scott Burditt says he expects the fanzine to “sell out fast”.

He added: “This is the perfect introduction to the series for those who are unfamiliar with it and would like to find out exactly what Doomwatch was all about and why it caused such a stir in the early 1970s with its prescient storylines.”

Doomwatch was created by writers Kit Pedler and Gerry Davis, who also devised the Cybermen in Doctor Who, and was produced throughout its original TV run by Terence Dudley.

In three series aired between 1970 and 1972, the Doomwatch team, led by the incorruptible Dr. Spencer Quist, dealt with threats including killer rats, a plastic-eating virus and nuclear weapons.

A feature film was made in 1972 by Tigon British Film Productions and a further TV movie, Winter Angel, was screened by Channel 5 in 1999.

As well as the series overview by Tony Darbyshire, Doomwatch Fanzine also includes contributions from Richard Thomas who looks at “Transhumanism in Doomwatch”, Michael Seely with his views on Season 3, and Stephen Dudley (Terence Dudley’s son) provides his thoughts on the series in “A Letter from the Front line”.

Scott Burditt has designed the entire fanzine and Brian Gorman has provided the illustration of Dr. Spencer Quist that appears on the front cover.

Presently, out of the original three 13-episode series of Doomwatch only season two resides complete in the BBC archives.

Five episodes from season one are missing along with nine from season three.

One of the biggest losses is season one’s thrilling finale “Survival Code” (tx 11/05/70), which is still remembered today for its shocking ending where main character Toby Wren (played by Robert Powell) was killed.

  • Doomwatch Fanzine is priced£6 (including postage and packing) and is available from Doomwatch.org.

READ ON: Scott Burditt and Anthony Brown have previously written an article on Doomwatch for Wiped, which you can find here.

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Weekly Round-up – 02/05/10

FRAGMENTS OF HOLLYWOOD

SNIPPETS from missing silent-era movies were screened as part of the first TCM Film Festival, held in Hollywood, last Sunday (April 25).

The program “Fragments (1916 – 1929)” featured a rare collection of scenes, reels and segments from lost silent films restored by the Academy Film Archive and the UCLA Film and Television Archive.

Included in the line-up were tantalizing clips from Clara Bow silents Red Hair and Three Weekends, early John Ford film The Village, Colleen Moore comedy Happiness Ahead, and Roman Novarro romance A lover’s Oath.

Trailers for 1928’s The Patriot, directed by Ernst Lubitsch and particularly notable for being the only best picture Oscar nominee that no longer exists as a complete or near-complete print, and Beau Sabreur, starring a young Gary Cooper, were also screened.

There’s a story on “Fragments” over at The Los Angeles Times.

MORE OUT OF THE UNKNOWN ON YOUTUBE

Last week’s round-up featured a link to the only surviving clips from Out of the Unknown episode Liar!, this week’s features a link to what’s left of Satisfaction Guaranteed.

YouTube user ‘snhbuk’ has uploaded the only extant footage from the series 2 episode, broadcast 29/12/66. The Isaac Asimov story was adapted for the small screen by High Leonard.

The clip lasts for 1’22” and is a scene featuring Wendy Craig (Claire Belmont) being introduced to her new domestic robot TN-3 or Tony (Hal Hamilton). Basic audio restoration work has been on the soundtrack:

http://www.youtube.com/snhbuk#p/a/u/1/zhqrdxooOd0

Also, ‘snhbuk’ has updated his video containing the remaining footage from ‘The Caves of Steel’ (tx 4/5/64), a BBC adaptation of Isaac Asimov’s novel of the same name broadcast as part of BBC2′s anthology strand Story Parade. We now get to hear star Peter Cushing speak:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t3HXyJhXpPo

RARE COMPUTER GAME ON EBAY

ONE OF only three copies of PlayStation 1 game NBA 2 Ball still in existence has come to light and is being auctioned on eBay.

Between 500 – 1,000 copies of the PSP game were given away at the 1998 NBA All Star Game at Madison Square Garden, New York, but almost all have been lost.

As Multiplayer Games.com posts, only two others are left, “one in the hands of the original programmer, and the other in the hands of a writer at Game-rave, his copy now unfortunately cracked in two.”

The third copy was bought at the time by an NBA fan for $5 from a friend, whose father had won two copies of the ultra-rare demo at the event.

It is now being sold on auctioning site eBay, with a starting bid of $300.

DOCTOR WHO HOAX

There was a minor flurry of excitement this week among Doctor Who fans after a poster on forum Gallifrey Base claimed to have footage from two missing TV adventures.

Writing on the Shada section of the forum, ‘Jethryk’ asserted that he had come into possession of 8mm home recordings of episodes of Patrick Troughton stories “The Abominable Snowmen” and “The Ice Warriors”, following the death of his grandfather.

It later emerged ‘Jethryk’ was a hoaxer. The thread on OG has now been deleted.

Looking back, the signs that this was another Who hoax (there are many, unfortunately), were clear:

  1. The poster claimed not to have much knowledge of Doctor Who, but at the same time knew enough to name himself after an item mentioned in Tom Baker story “The Ribos Operation”, one specifically concerned with a confidence trick.
  2. The poster said he would have access to the material shortly and would update the forum accordingly. In other words, dangling a carrot and making the gullible drool in anticipation.
  3. When the day came to prove his claim, the poster failed to provide clear evidence.
  4. He then tried to back out by further claiming the footage had gone to a private buyer – a trick to keep the flame of hope burning regardless of the current outcome.

This is a cruel deception but the lesson is clear: don’t be lured in by stories of discoveries until confirmed by a member of The Doctor Who Restoration Team. The best procedure is to point the poster in the direction of the RT, who have strong links with the BBC, and then wait for things to take their course.

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Desperately Seeking Doomwatch

A new fan-based website dedicated to 1970s BBC TV series Doomwatch is appealing for anyone with missing material to get in touch.

A website's quist: Scott Burditt is searching for missing episodes

A website's Quist: Doomwatch fan Scott Burditt is searching for missing episodes.

Scott Burditt of www.doomwatch.org hopes to track down more episodes, or soundtracks to episodes, of the highly-regarded science-fiction show, which ran for three seasons from 1970 – 2.

Presently, only season two resides complete in the BBC archives. Five episodes from season one are missing along with nine from season three. One of the biggest losses is season one’s thrilling finale “Survival Code” (tx 11/05/70), which is still remembered today for its shocking ending where main character Toby Wren (played by Robert Powell) was killed.

Scott is also looking for help with reviews, story submissions and memories from those who watched the series at the time, and those who produced it.

  • Scott has written a detailed feature on Doomwatch and the missing episodes for Wiped, which you can find here.

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