Category Archives: fanzine

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.


Some publication history

Having been discussing fanzines elsewhere as well as having been asked questions about the reception of Doctor Who by a university society, I thought I’d add a pdf of Tides of Time: The Making of a Legend from issue 25 (Hilary Term 2000) to the site. The article is of course nearly fourteen years old at the time of this post, but is still useful for those interested in the history of Doctor Who fan writing in and around Oxford University as well as a small contribution to the upcoming fiftieth anniversary celebrations.

Coming in the next few weeks: issue 37, including Fifty Moments for Fifty Years – Tides writers select the most evocative, most Doctor Whoish moments of Doctor Who.

It’s the end, but the moment has been prepared for

At the Oxford Doctor Who Society elections last night, Adam Povey laid down the editorship of The Tides of Time after seven years. John Salway was elected to take his place. More details of John’s plans will emerge soon, but they are believed to involve more engagement with online publication. I’d like to thank Adam for everything he has done in keeping the magazine going.

Meanwhile, another Oxford University society with a history of membership overlap with the Doctor Who Society now have a blog as part of the evolution of their magazine. This is Taruithorn, the Oxford Tolkien Society, and their magazine is Miruvor.

The Tides of Time, issue 36

I’m pleased to report that there is a new issue of The Tides of Time, issue 36, on its way to being distributed to Oxford-resident members of the Oxford Doctor Who Society shortly. It can now (we add much later) be downloaded as a PDF. It is cover dated Summer Vacation 2012, and Adam Povey remains editor, assisted by John Salway.

Within this issue:

  • Aptly Named. Editorial musings on the regeneration of the student body by Adam Povey.
  • The Cybermen of The Tenth Planet. A defence of the Mondasian Cybermen by Jonathan P. Martindale.
  • The Gunpowder Plot. Adam Kendrick reviews the final Doctor Who Adventure Game for PC.
  • Digging around The Stones of Blood. Katrin Thier considers some of the inspirations and themes of the 1978 Doctor Who story, partly recorded at the Rollright Stones in Oxfordshire.
  • How I Met My Mother. Sara James reviews her first convention experiences and meets Sophie Aldred.
  • Crossword by Thomas Keyton
  • The Adventures of Jessica Chrome. Matthew Kilburn delves into Russell T Davies’s career in Oxford student media.
  • Morality and Integrity: The Philosophy of the Last of the Time Lords. Jonathan P. Martindale examines the Doctor’s philosophical outlook.
  • Bargains of Necessity: From the Cutting Room Floor. Some ideas on Doctor Who‘s treatment of historical settings, omitted from his essay in the book Time And Relative Dissertations In Space, by Matthew Kilburn.

The cover montage is by Matthew Kilburn.

This is a 40 page A5 issue, possibly rolling off laserprinters at a secret location even as I type.


Back to the future: Tides of Time 28, October 2002

Although some articles from Tides of Time 28 have appeared on the site already, I thought it was time to extend the PDF archive further, and so here is the entire issue. It was the last to be edited by Matthew Peacock, and has some claim to be his magnum opus as editor. Behind the knife-wielding image of Ray Winstone as Will Scarlet from Robin of Sherwood, several articles express Mat’s own clear views on issues from the success or otherwise of the 1996 TV movie, the meaning of The Prisoner, and a world-weariness towards Doctor Who as a niche product perpetuated in novels and audio plays but not as mass-market television. Balancing these, Mat published several enthusiastic and inspired stories featuring characters and concepts from the BBC Doctor Who novels and Big Finish CDs (downloads were some years away) and entirely new characters, largely provided by Alex Cameron and William Ramsden.

This was the end of an era for Tides in more ways than just a change of editor. This was the last issue to date published at A4 size, and the last to be financed separately from the membership fee. When Tides returned it would be smaller, and contrary to Mat’s expectations that he would be succeeded by an undergraduate or at least someone close to undergraduate age, in the hands of someone who had been in the Oxford Doctor Who Society even longer than Mat.

Most importantly, though, the age of Doctor Who as a minority product, caught between nostalgia for childhood television and experimental adult fiction lines, was coming to an end. As Mat’s final article noted, there were strange noises from the BBC which could actually mean Doctor Who would return to mainstream television, and by the time Tides resurfaced in 2004, production was getting underway at BBC Wales. For October 2002, though, it was fitting that the magazine ended with pictures of Paul Cornell, Caroline Symcox, Terrance Dicks, and a miniature steam train.

The PDF is made from domestic scans of the original issue, made up of colour pages from Mat’s inkjet and photocopied black and white pages from inkjet masters. The size of the file might mean it is easier to download it than open it directly into a browser.

The Tides of Time issue 35

  • Louise in Daleks: Invasion Earth 2150AD is Rose’s niece!
  • Davros the deconstructivist!
  • A dozen Nick Briggses!
  • “As slow and uneventful as your average first Doctor serial” – but which computer game is this, and has Peppa Pig anything to do with it?
  • Make sure hist’ry marches on/For Rassilon, Rassilon, Rassilon!

All this and more can be found in the latest issue of The Tides of Time, now online.

The Tides of Time issue 35 was published in September 2011. It was cover dated Summer 2011. It was edited by Adam Povey.

This issue can be downloaded as a PDF.


  • The Silent Pulpit. Editorial by Adam Povey
  • Silence in the Library. Adam Kendrick reviews Shadows of the Vashta Nerada and Evacuation Earth.
  • “You can believe this subject is a part of the Doctor Who universe. But we don’t.”
    Sara James explores the possibility that Journey’s End gave fandom a way to canonise the Peter Cushing films.
  • Season Seventeen – Douglas Adams and Doctor Who’s Lost Renaissance of 1979. The tale of Douglas Adams’ s tenure as script editor by Matthew Kilburn.
  • Season Five – A Survival Guide. Jonathan Nash bullet points how to survive the first year of Moffat’s tenure.
  • Moffat’s Revolution. Thoughts on the impact of the current Chief Whovian from Sara James.
  • The Gallifrey Rag. Lyrics by Thomas Keyton.
  • Burnt Orange. The good in Gridlock as seen by Matthew Kilburn.
  • Experiences: The Cardiff Exhibit and the Doctor Who Experience. Adam Povey recalls the Society trip to Cardiff and the new Doctor Who Experience.

Front cover design by Matthew Kilburn, with apologies to Smash Hits, c.1988

Format: A4 folded to A5, lasercopied, 40pp

Mining the archives

Another trawl through the box file has produced another selection of fiction and non-fiction from the Tides of Time archive, in this case from issues 1, 15 and 20. All the material in this release was published in the 1990s and reflects the opinions of the authors as they then held them. Please allow for the quality of the original photocopied pages and the limitations of domestic scanning equipment.


  • Grief Encounters: Sunrise. John Wilson’s tale sees the fifth Doctor, Nyssa and Tegan return to a fabled age of peace and prosperity, to fulfil a promise to an old friend of the Doctor.
  • Thieves Like Us. Another John Wilson story finds Barbara Chesterton dealing with a difficult character.
  • Chesterton’s Return. Ian goes home, by Brenda Foulkes


  • An Anomaly within an Inconsistency. The Doctor Who Society 1989. Jonathan Bryden recounted the Oxford (University) Doctor Who Society’s first year in The Tides of Time 1 (1990)
  • You Never Dream In Colour. Corinne Berg considers some issues raised by The Happiness Patrol. From Tides of Time issue 15 (1994)
  • From Skonnos to Perivale Revisited. Matthew Kilburn had looked back on how Doctor Who had fared in the 1980s in Tides of Time issue 1 in 1990 and in this article from Tides of Time issue 15 (1994) he returned to the subject nearly five years later to see what could be learned from his changed perspective.
  • The Doctor’s Darker Side. Taking evidence from adventures in television and book forms, Al Harrison examines how the Doctor could become or produce the Valeyard. Published in Tides of Time issue 20 (1997), but of possible interest to those entertained by the potential in the Dream Lord of ‘Amy’s Choice’ (2010)


  • The Scum. Lots of in-jokes from the OUDWS in the early 1990s, but also a Monsters v. Companions football match, and the legendary agony column of Aunty Ainley. Warning: some jokes might be considered in poor taste. From Tides of Time issue 15 (1994)

Thanks to Wild Republic for the image of their Cuddlekins panda!