“How long, Tides of Time? How long have you lived? Back… back to the beginning!”

Tides01Over the last few weeks, to mark the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Oxford Doctor Who Society, I’ve been possibly placing the reputations of several people at risk and uploading many more of the early issues as pdfs,. Links to these have been quietly appearing on the ‘Issues online’ page. The first twelve issues are now all available and I’m grouping the links here.

(The) Tides of Time didn’t provide a nursery for an influential group of creative writers or inspire a new movement in cultural analysis, but it has provided a space for DoTides02ctor Who fans largely at or associated with Oxford University to put down and exchange some ideas about a television programme they grew up with and in the process practice writing in styles and about subjects for which it was difficult to find an audience before the internet age. These contributors are mainly undergraduate and graduate students across all disciplines, but have also included postdoctoral researchers, an ordinand and a learning-disabled admin staff member of a univerTides05sity department.

These issues were published between 1990 and 1994 and cover many of the subjects Tides09wider Doctor Who fandom was talking and writing about at the time, post-morteming the 1980s in general and the McCoy era in particular, enthusing about increasingly widely available old stories, however legitimate the source of the video tapes, and (from 1991) the New Adventures novels published by Virgin. Along the way the humour quotient increased, with stories such as ‘Apathy of the Daleks’ and ‘Sadness of the Sontarans’ being joined by cackling agony columnist Aunty Ainley. Similarly the format changes from photocopied A5 assembled using cut-and-paste to full-fledged DTP in A4, rather like the mainstream of Doctor Who fan publishing, though we could never aspire to the glossiness of The Frame or Skaro and the photocopier remained the main printing method until the 2000s. There are the inevitable shifts from material very much aimed at readers who were members of the university society, to articles which could easily have found a larger audience in the fanzines or indeed prozines of the day.

Tides12netcoverThe direct links to the pdfs are to the left on the list below; the contents links connect to the quasi-bibliographical blog posts which I made in 2010. For administrative reasons (known as cutting and pasting) they count down backwards to the first issue. Enjoy this look back to the work of privileged university students over twenty years ago.

Issue 12 (January 1994)contents

Issue 11 (May 1993) - contents

Issue 10 (January 1993)  – contents

Issue 9 (October 1992) - contents

Issue 8 (April 1992)contents

Issue 7 (January 1992)- contents

Issue 6 (October 1991) - contents

Issue 5 (April 1991)- contents

Issue 4 (January 1991)- contents

Issue 3 (October 1990)- contents

Issue 2 (April 1990)contents

Issue 1 (January 1990)contents

Millennial reflections: Tides of Time 26, Trinity Term 2000

Tides26Your archivist is suffering from a cold and has spent much of the last couple of days in bed; what work he has been able to do has not made as much sense as he would like, and he has therefore turned to the crafting of a new PDF. Welcome, therefore, to the internet issue 26 of Tides of Time, published in late spring 2000, and edited by Matthew Peacock. It’s a very strong mixture of material, including some of my favourite articles from the entire run, such as David Bickley’s confessions of explaining your fandom at job interviews (I’ve been there too), Fiona Moore’s ‘Continuity – A Modest Proposal’, Al Harrison’s look at the works of J.G. Ballard and Matthew Peacock’s own piece on the rail yards at Barry, unaware that in just over four years Doctor Who, revived, would be filming there. There’s fiction of the adventurous and traditional sorts too, all very much reflecting the era of BBC Books original fiction and showing great affection for the eighth and sixth doctors in particular, though there is an early Big Finish review examining then producer Gary Russell’s policies and how releases such as The Spectre of Lanyon Moor support them.

If you’ve not already downloaded the issue, you can do so here.

There’s also a contents listing for the issue in an earlier post.

The Tides of Time, issue 37, Michaelmas 2013

Tides37_colourcoverI’ve been promising something for the past few months which wasn’t actually in my power to deliver, and that was issue 37 of The Tides of Time. Editor John Salway has now provided me with the original file, which can be downloaded here, in colour. If you visited earlier today and had problems downloading, I’ve now reduced the file size to under 5Mb.

I was very pleased to be peripherally involved with this issue. It’s a good summary of the character of the Oxford Doctor Who Society at the start of the 2013/14 academic year.

Bibliographic details are as follows…

The Tides of Time, issue 37, was published in November 2013 by the Oxford Doctor Who Society. The editor was John Salway.

Contents include:

  • Editorial by John Salway
  • 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!

Page 39 is intentionally left blank.

The magazine’s print form is A5, lasercopied, with 40 pages.

Ten years after: Tides of Time 29. Easter 2004

Tides29I’m reluctant to add any more old content to the site at the moment, though it has come to mind that ten years ago I was close to completing my first issue of The Tides of Time and so an opportunity arose to re-present it. Issue 29 (direct link to pdf) marked several format changes: faced with less material, and a declining membership of the Doctor Who Society at Oxford University, I drew on precedents from other societies from my student days and gained approval from the committee to make a smaller magazine than usual but distribute it free to the membership. Given the wider accessibility of high quality print technology and the leaps and bounds that electronic publishing has made since 2004, I sometimes wonder what would have happened had I made a different decision.

The first issue which I edited was issue 29, published for the Easter Vacation. It is an issue marking a change of eras, with an editorial looking forward to the new series, still a year away from broadcast but about to enter production, but much of the content looking at other series roughly generically aligned with Doctor Who:  Star Trek, Buffy the Vampire Slayer‘s fascination with Britain, and the work of Brian Clemens. Doctor Who is largely represented by fiction, typical for a concept where leadership had been with fandom (both voluntary and professionalised wings) for so long. It’s very much of its time, and though not as lavish or varied as the issues conducted by Matthew Peacock and others between 1998 and 2002, still I think stands up.

Tides of Time issue 18, June 1995

As a belated way of marking Doctor Who‘s fiftieth anniversary, here’s a PDF of issue 18 of Tides of Time, from one of the magazine’s most creative periods. From its editorial, where Corinne Berg muses on archaeology and the Doctor, through several pieces of fiction (look out for mutilated air bleeding blue) and commentary which represents where several Doctor Who fans found themselves and the concept less than a year before the TV Movie (note that people were still thinking in terms of a series from Amblin at this point), the variety and quality of the contents make it one of my favourite editions, though of course there is a certain amount of nostalgia involved in this too.