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Doctor Who Magazine: Do You Remember The First Time?

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DWM 184I grew up in Carlisle, an English town so far north that at various times in its history it actually used to be in Scotland. Let that sink for a moment…

Good God…

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.

DWM aceIt 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.

DWM 352It 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.

DWM COVERBut 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..?

 

DWM va

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Author: Matthew Stott

Writer. http://mrmatthewstott.com/

4 thoughts on “Doctor Who Magazine: Do You Remember The First Time?

  1. Yes! I grew up in Charleston, South Carolina in the US. I knew about DWM and found an ad for international subscriptions in the back of a Target novelization. After a lot of strenuous begging and pleading on my part, Mom broke down and ordered it for me. I remember the moment when I took that first issue (#152) out of the mailbox. Bliss! I poured over that thing. Reading the news was like breathing fresh air. I didn’t know anyone else who liked the show, so my fannish activity consisted of exactly what you’re describing: watching videos and reading the NA’s and those precious DWMs.

    • Ah Great to hear similar DWM stories out there; we are not alone! (Used to love those Target books, too; still have piles of them in boxes under the bed!) Thanks for reading, Amanda.

  2. In the dark days of the early 90s I went into a High Wycombe newsagent to buy DWM only to find it on the top shelf. Next to the ‘gentleman’s interest’ magazines. When I took it to the counter she put it in a brown paper bag as if I’d be too embarrassed to be seen outside with it. Very weird times to be a Doctor Who fan.

    Anyway I think my first issue would have been somewhere around 120. And regular purchase from 145. But I threw all my old copies away a long time ago.

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