Well then, what can I say? I loved issue one! I thought it was
very, very good. But enough of the hype, on to a more constructive critique. The layout
was one of the best features of the zine, in my view. Too often potentially good fanzines
have been ruined by a grotty typeface or dreadful layout ... The reviews of Season 7 were all entertaining; in fact I think
I've only ever read one review I've enjoyed more ... It was especially refreshing to see
someone enthuse over Ambassadors. The only suggestion
I can make is a very subjective one; I quite like it when, after a long review by one
person, another gives a small alternative point of view. Perhaps this needn't be done for
past seasons, but if you do Season 24 you could possibly bear this in mind. Your own
review of Death was a refreshing change in style from
Ian's, but perhaps it was slightly too long. Then again it was far better than the planned
one page job would have been. The Survivors piece was
interesting (obviously written by someone who has the story on tape!) but I think it was
slightly out of place. I don't know, but was it included because of the CT ad? Personally
I would have left it out of the issue and done it in the future when it might have fitted
in with the rest of the issue more. You don't agree? Ah, well! (Yes, I had The Dead
Planet on video, but the article was written by referring to the CMS data-file release.
And yes, I did write it at the last minute to satisfy the requirements of the ad, but that
said I feel that it was my favourite piece in the whole zine, not least because it was an
article that I'd been planning to write for a long time.) Another article I don't
feel fitted in particularly well was The Causal Nexus. I
suppose the fact that I couldn't really understand what it was getting at didn't help
matters! (I've been guilty of writing and printing articles myself where in retrospect I
just cannot see what the idea behind them was.) (I'm not sure that even Richard knows
exactly what that article was about, and he wrote it!) Possibly my favourite aspect
of the mag was how to find the steps! Having spent over
an hour twice trying to find them I'd given up hope! The rest of the article was very
good, and so much better than the very brief descriptions given in Travel Without the
Tardis and DWM. Re Ironbridge : the "adequate safety precautions" (page 15, para
5, last line) were lowering the lift cage to just below the surface, with about a foot of
foam on top, making Colin about two foot above it. Next, the humour. I liked the Terrance Dicks piece; it was a new approach to a theme I
thought had been done to death, but the "Use a Die" (good to see the proper
singular for a change) is quite novel and original. However, the only thing I disliked in
the entire fanzine was Dr Oho. I've never really been a fan of zine comic strip humour,
finding it rather tedious and unfunny ... sadly this also falls into the same group. A
constructive criticism - don 't do any more! Right then, I think I've saaid
just about everything, except well done, keep it up, and I can't wait for issue two!
Isle of Wight
Having just read the excellent first issue of Five Hundred
Eyes I thought I would write to congratulate you and your team. I thought the articles
about Season Seven were exceptionally well written,
especially the on about Inferno which is my favourite
story. Although I disagreed with the review of Death to the
Daleks - I think it is one of Pertwee's worst stories - I still enjoyed the review.
The Doctor Oho comic strip I found very funny and I look forward to more of this.
Omagh, Co. Tyrone
If someone had told me that Five Hundred Eyes would contain lengthy (three pages
minimum) reviews and articles about Terrance Dicks, Daleks, Longleat, three locations and Logopolitan
computers, I probably wouldn't have touched it. On paper these articles seem trivial,
but in the fanzine they are excellent. The reviews (Spearhead
and Silurians particularly) are superb, while the
articles on "Tel" Dicks and "The Survivors" are just as good. The Longleat report, well, everyone does them and all they are
doing is promoting Longleat, but they're still good for all that. Especially this one with
Mr Gibbs' (Oh, is that you?) (Quite possibly, but there are a lot of us about!)
angle on children, which raises an interesting point. Should Dr Who be produced for kids?
Obviously this would cause quite a furore in DWASland. The "show", in my
opinion, has been at its best when "unsuitable for children". There are few, for
example, who would doubt the effectiveness of the Hinchcliffe era, and, at the same time,
few who would condone it for children. The same goes for much of the Troughton era, eg.
Tomb, Web, Fury.
I was a bit dis-heartened to see you'd reviewed Death to the
Daleks, but was pleasantly surprised to see you had taken a more detailed approach.
I'm not sure about part one being a 525-line conversion. It certainly is poorer quality
than the rest, but if it is 525-line then it's a very good conversion (ie.
"poor" 625 looks like "good" 525). I think it probably is the 625-line
copy from Australia, it's just that the copy is of low quality. This is possible if the
storage conditions were worse than the BBC copies of 2-3. Being from different
"batches" and with different histories, the quality would certainly be expected
to vary somewhat. I think this is probably the case, since it is BBC Video policy not to
release 525-line or mixed 525 and 625-line commercially. The Sea Devils was probably
withdrawn for this reason (since only half of it exists on 625-line). It is permissable
for off-air transmissions, as was seen when the infamous "Undertakers" sketch
was returned to a recent Monty Python repeat by way of a very poor 525-line copy. The BBC
seem to be doing a lot of such reconstruction lately. Take the repeat of Dennis Potter's
play, "Vote, Vote, Vote for Nigel Barton". Whereas a lot of this programme was a
very poor quality 405-line tele-recording, the original location film had been edited into
it for much better quality in those sections. This is all very suspicious considering
that, on the demands of Equity, the BBC were supposed to destroy all such location footage
after a programme was edited onto VT (although I understand that the location film for
'Snowmen part two slipped through and still exists).
Issue Two - Contents