Thursday, 29 September 2016

TV SUPER HITS ISSUE 4: THE PROFESSIONALS POSTER MAGAZINE

From sometime after 1977: THE PROFESSIONALS OFFICIAL POSTER MAGAZINE, part of the TV SUPER HITS series, based on the LWT production for ITV.

This is Number 4 is the series but I suspect the numbering belongs to TV SUPER HITS rather than specifically the fourth issue dedicated to this series. I'm sure I've seen issues devoted to other shows (the edition I spotted on display, for a price I wasn't willing to pay, featured THE DUKES OF HAZZARD) so I suspect this was a flexible umbrella title that allowed the publisher to target whatever show looked hot at that moment.

Network are currently releasing the show on Blu Ray disc... and the season box sets are well worth snapping up. Not only do the shop-on-film episodes look gorgeous in their fully restored glory (I doubt the prints have ever looked so fine... the restoration work is amazing) but each set also comes with an incredibly detailed book by Andrew Pixley devoted to the making of each season. Londoners will also delight in some gosh-hasn't-it-changed location spotting as well.


1994: DWB INTERVIEW FILE

From 1994: the softcover DWB INTERVIEW FILE, a collection of the best interviews (with a predictable bias to all things WHO) from the first 100 issues of DWB/ DOCTOR WHO BULLETIN.

This was published alongside the black-covered Compendium (see previous post) and - between them - make for a great overview of the bulk of the fanzine's run (it continued for a bit longer but then rebooted into DREAMWATCH... and began to loose its edge somewhat).



1993: THE UK STAR WARS FAN CLUB MAGAZINE ISSUE 7

From Spring 1993: the seventh issue of Britain's unofficial UK STAR WARS FAN CLUB magazine, celebrating the tenth anniversary of REVENGE RETURN OF THE JEDI.


Tuesday, 27 September 2016

1993: THE DWB COMPENDIUM

From 1993:THE DWB COMPENDIUM - THE BEST OF DWB, a softcover book collecting many of the best articles and features (some updated or - at the very least - with new formatting and layouts to compensate for the mag's sometimes primitive production values) from the fanzine/ magazine's first 100 issues in print.

This - and the companion compilation of the best interviews - were offered for sale through the magazine and (I think) through shops as well. I have an idea that I picked up my copies several years later as remaindered stock. DWB itself was still trying to shift unsold copies way into the DREAMWATCH era. Copies seldom seem to surface now (although I don't attend any WHO conventions... which may be awash with copies for all I know) which suggests that limited initial interest has translated as scarcity in the secondary market.

Both are well worth grabbing if you find copies. The emphasis is on WHO (of course) bua t there is enough other telefantasy in both to generate a bit of diversity.



1986: 2000AD's DICEMAN ISSUE 5 (IPC)

From 1986: 2000AD's DICEMAN bows out with its final offering... You Are Ronald Reagan! Yes indeed.

As I've said before, I put DICEMAN's failure down to the whopping cover price (way above the weekly or IPC's holiday specials), sporadic scheduling (although the issues were given hefty promotion in 2000AD itself which did at least alert readers thst the new issue was due) and some random racking by newsagents which saw it flip-flop between the bottom shelf and buried with the hobby magazines. These were the days before comics would legitimately make a land grab for space on the upper shelves.

Nevertheless, it was a bold experiment which did - at the very least - explore the different ways Tharg's growing stash of intellectual property could be deployed in different creative ways.

Anyone for You Are Donald Trump?


Monday, 26 September 2016

1993: STAR WARS TECHNICAL JOURNAL ISSUE 3 (STARLOG PRESS)

From 1993: the third and final issue of Starlog's STAR WARS TECHNICAL JOURNAL, dedicated to the tech and hardware used by the forces of the Rebel Alliance.

I'm not quite sure how Leia's slave girl outfit ticks the tech box but presumably the edit was apply the same logic thst demands beautiful ladies must be photographed close to inanimate hardware.


1995: DOCTOR WHO POSTER MAGAZINE ISSUE 4 (MARVEL UK)

From June 1995: A rare opportunity to put a poster of men in military uniform on your wall... and use your love of a cult TV show as total justification. The fourth issue of DOCTOR WHO POSTER MAGAZINE turns its attention to U.N.I.T.


1993: CAPTAIN SCARLET ISSUE 1 (FLEETWAY)

From October 1993: the first issue of Fleetway's CAPTAIN SCARLET revival, timed to coincide with the arrival of reruns on BBC TWO.

The series had last been seen in the UK roughly a decade esrlier when ITV had bought a package of Gerry Anderson shows (including Thunderbirds, Stingray, Scarlet, Joe 90 and even Fireball XL5) to play in daytime and at weekends.

The BBC were able to make a similiar deal in the early 1990s because ITC were no longer affiliated to ITV and were free to seel their back catalogue of ATV/ ITC series and movies to any UK broadcaster (a large package wss also sold to cable/ satellite outfit Bravo). Latterly they returned to the fold when Carlton acquired the business.

The Fleetway fortnightly comic, which used strips originally created in the 1960s, ran for only 14 issues before folding into the pages of THE NEW THUNDERBIRDS COMIC from issue 67 (May 1994).

Scarlet returned to comics in 2005 to tie-in with the CGI revival. Poor scheduling of the TV show also helped the seal the early fate of the new title.


Friday, 23 September 2016

1989: MIDNIGHT COP UK VHS RELEASE (NEW WORLD VIDEO)

From 1989: the UK rental release (aka 'big box') of MIDNIGHT COP (aka NICK KNIGHT) from NEW WORLD VIDEO.

This stylish tele-flick was a pilot for what would have been a regular US drama about a night shift cop who just happens to be a vampire. Unfortunately, the tele types bounced the idea of a hero who was also undead and the Rick Springfield (memorable for his early departure from the good ship GALACTICA a decade earlier) vehicle stalled.

Except. It didn't. The concept was reworked - and recast - and rebooted as the late night cheap-as-chips cult drama FOREVER NIGHT.

New World Video repackaged as much of the US studio's TV work as possible for the UK rental market. And this was no exception. There was no rental release and it seems to have been all but forgotten in the digital era (although FOREVER KNIGHT did get some R1 box sets way-back-when.

It's a good watch and - for my money - betger than the series.


1994: THE 5 TIMES ISSUE 2 (BABYLON FIVE UK FAN CLUB)

From Autumn 1994: the second issue of the fanzine/ newsletter THE 5 TIMES, published by the UK BABYLON FIVE FAN CLUB, reports on the cast changes between the show's first two seasons.


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