ANYWAY- we were an isolated, grey skied sort of a place and as I went about doing whatever it was northern children did at the time (staring at dry stone walls, standing near sheep, drinking foamy pints of bitter), I lived in blissful ignorance of the existence of a certain magazine. And that magazine, was Bunty. Also, Doctor Who Magazine.
It was when I made a trip one fateful day to my local corner shop that I first discovered DWM (as all the cool kids refer to it as). I probably went there that morning to check out the latest issue of The Beano, or to pilfer a few packets of wrestling stickers (HEY, you needed a fat wad of WWF stickers for swapsies at break time or you were nuthin’, and I didn’t have sticker-buying-cash just laying around: DON’T YOU DARE JUDGE ME). That’s when I saw it peering at me from the magazine rack; a monstrous Cyberman, forcing its way out of its tomb. DWM issue 184.
The existence of such a magazine was a shock, why had the world conspired to keep this thing from me?! That afternoon I convinced my Mam to give me the money to buy it and I hungrily poured over its pages. THEN DISASTER: next month the shop didn’t have it. I went in every day for weeks in case it turned up, but nope. I didn’t actually ask the person running the shop if they were going to have it, as the very idea of talking to them was terrifying; far better to skulk and accept that DWM’s magical appearance was a mysterious one-off, never to be repeated in my life time. Only then it wasn’t! A few weeks later and there it was again, locking me in to a lifelong relationship with this magazine to a (at the time) deader-than-corduroy TV show.
It became every bit as important to this Who fan as the show itself. You watched the video’s, you read the Virgin New Adventures, and you toddled off to the nearest shop that stocked it and bought DWM. You’d immediately turn to the news section to see who was being rumoured as the new Doctor for when/if the show returned to our screens. More often than not it was TV magician Paul Daniels, or TV hairy man David Hasselhoff, so highly thought of was the role post-cancellation.
It was in DWM that I first learned that they were making a new special, The Dark Dimension, to feature all the surviving Doctors! And where I discovered, the very next month, that the project was already dead. There was none of your internet then, so DWM was where you got your news.
But the news section is really the least important part of DWM, it’s the articles, the analysis, the interviews and reviews, the wealth of archive photo’s. It was and is, even in the internet age, a vital and joyful resource for all Doctor Who fans.
I still own my first issue, issue 184 (it currently lives inside a bag in an attic in Birmingham, of all places), and I still look forward to each shiny new issue.
So, do you remember the first time..?