Faze is back!!

After fourteen and a half years the acclaimed fanzine Faze is back! 
To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the first issue I've created a brand new one.
Issue 25 includes:
Key changes in media, tech, entertainment and the world in the past twenty years
Doctor Who’s Anniversary Stories – The Three Doctors, The Five Doctors and Day of the Doctor
One Glorious Year- Doctor Who 1964 mini mag
The 1983 Longleat event
It Is Midnight, Doctor Schweitzer- the story of the oldest surviving recording of a British television drama
Catching the bus!
Henry Van Statten’s Dalek- where did it come from?
Doctor in Distress- the worst song ever?
Plus lots of lots more. 48 pages of tasty goodness.
Writers: Tim Worthington, Sean Alexander, John Connors, Oliver Wake, Chris Arnsby and Albert Grunge
What's more it is totally free!
You can view a downloadable PDF or a printed version or even both.
Limited Edition Print VersionUse the form at the foot of the right hand column of this blog and remember to include a full postal address. 
(The message goes to a personal webmail account and will not be seen by anyone else)
Download Version
Click on the links below to view. The links open into a new window and the issue may take about 10 seconds to appear.
 1964 Mini Mag

If either of these links don't work please let me know. 
If you want to know more about Faze then flip over to my other blog Time Lines where you'll find- yes-  more!


Humans Series One

When the first episode of Humans was broadcast earlier this year it netted Channel 4 nearly 7 million viewers, one of its largest audiences for some time and overall the series is the highest rated drama ton the channel since 1992. That may be because there is something intangibly fascinating about Humans even though it seems to touch familiar bases. There have been so many science fiction stories in this area that it is difficult to think of a different angle – and even this script namechecks Asimov- but the route taken gives the show the biggest chance of success. The clue’s in the title. There may be robots aplenty but this series is about humans, about being human and what it means and whether robots can become like humans. Humans deals first and foremost with what might be our emotional response to having some sort of robots in our everyday lives.


Adam Adamant Lives! S1 E1

A Vintage Year for Scoundrels
Yes, it’s time to watch another old tv series and waffle on about it. This time we’re travelling back in time to 1966 to meet someone who’s travelled forward in time, sort of. I’ve never seen this show before so should be interesting…
It is 1902 and renowned protector of the Crown Adam Adamant falls into the hands of his arch nemesis The Face (oddly he doesn’t show his actual Face) who promptly freezes him in a block of ice. 64 years later he is uncovered during demolition work and when he wakes up finds things have changed rather a lot. Quite what expressions passed across the faces of television executives when this proposal reached their desks is unknown but judging from this opening episode their leap of faith paid off handsomely. Belying its 49 year vintage, this is a smart, crisp well produced 50 minutes that still ticks most boxes in 2015 which is an achievement in itself. You’d expect it to creak and groan but just like its sprightly 99 year old hero, it is positively sizzling with energy and style. Somehow it manages to encompass two different decades by positioning Adamant as a champion in another, equally crime ridden era. It’s a great match.


Jigsaw Puzzle Blues

twuarchive: occasional snapshots from the print issues.

This is the story of Danny Kirwan who was a blues guitarist with early line ups of Fleetwood Mac in the late 60s and early 70s but ended up living at a hospice for alcoholics. First printed 2003. 
Fleetwood Mac is a group that means different things to different people. Probably the largest section of the public remember them as all conquering stadium celebs of the late 1970s and early 1980’s thanks to `Rumours`, one of the biggest selling records of all time which is full of songs chronicling the dysfunctional relationships between the band members. You may recall their later success with the `Tango In The Night` LP or the fact that they performed at Bill Clinton’s inaugural party. Nowadays they are one of those groups who surface once in a while to enjoy a little nostalgic attention and there are even some who remember how they used a marching band for their only really left field record, `Tusk`.

The Fleetwood Mac of 1968 was a very different animal indeed. They were an English based blues band that had established a reputation based largely on the genius of their leader Peter Green. The rest of the line up included the rhythm section that gave the group it’s name; Mick Fleetwood on drums and John McVie on bass plus guitarist Jeremy Spencer. They had released two albums already, the second of which  `Mr Wonderful` had topped the British album charts. Meanwhile, a group called Boilerhouse had supported Mac and Green was so impressed with the playing skills of their guitarist Danny Kirwan that he arranged some gigs for them at the legendary Marquee club in London and suggested the amateur band turn professional. Kirwan was enthusiastic but the other two were not, so the group fell apart and Green helped Kirwan to try and put together a new band. When that too fell through, the offer was extended to the young guitarist to join Mac. 


Cutting Edge

In our busy digital lives, is it time for Splayde revival?
Hybrid cutlery is something that sounds a bit menacing but it’s actually a term to describe the much maligned likes of the Splayde or the Spork. These are single items of cutlery combining more than one function. It’s probably the name that puts people off, the name makes them seem more like a toy than something genuinely useful. They’ve been around for some time yet it seems that this decade could be where they come into their own, if only people knew about them.


Doctor Who The Magician's Apprentice

Doctor Who The Magician’s Apprentice
BBC One, Saturday 19th September 2015

Review by Sean Alexander

Starring: Peter Capaldi, Jenna Coleman, Michelle Gomez, Jemma Redgrave, Jami Reid-Quarrell
Written by Steven Moffat, Directed by Hettie MacDonald
“Where is the Doctor…?”

Spoilers – dontcha hate ‘em?  In this saturated multimedia world we are now enforced to live in, avoiding anything from sports results, soap storylines or what’s happening in the next series of Doctor Who is only achievable with hermit levels of reclusiveness.  Even if you try your best they’re there on the front of TV guides, in Twitter feeds or on the sides of double-decker buses.  The price of living in a multichannel landscape that has hundreds of channels demanding your attention is that a certain amount of ‘spoilering’ is now deemed necessary rather than optional.  Soaps plaster their storylines all over the tabloid press and TV Quick, while those notorious ‘moles’ that seemingly get wind of even the most covert of TV secrets are so invidious you can only assume they’re also on the programmes’ payroll.  Russell T Davies, himself far from being a stranger to ‘sexing up’ his own products once called them ‘ruiners’, and that’s exactly what they do nine times out ten.  Past the visceral thrill of discovering (blank) is the new (blank) in the first episode of (blank), these ruiners just leave us marking time while watching the final programme until our suspicions are confirmed, rendering their impact hollow and empty.  It’s a tightrope that Doctor Who has trodden with mixed success since 2005, with notable wins (Jenna as Oswin the Dalek, Capaldi’s eyebrows) and losses (Yana is the Master, 11th’s final phone call to the future Clara) that are as much down to carefully guarded choices as the very real presence of the show’s filming on the streets of London and Cardiff.  But tonight felt like another of those defeats, in more ways than one.
Warning- Spoilers past this point


Agent Carter Season One

Though only eight episodes long, this debut season of the latest Marvel spin off proves to be a deceptively clever affair. It manages to dance effortlessly between 1940s police procedural to sci-fi lite to spy motifs to adventure in the space of each packed 45 minute episode. It can be witty, it can be extremely violent, often moments apart. With one central plot that encompasses a number of aspects it is also full of twists and turns. In short it is hugely enjoyable and frequently surprising.
In terms of approach Agent Carter draws in influences from the two old comic pulp staples- detective stories and  fantasy tales which the Forties settings really suit.  Set after the events of the first Captain America film it sees his beloved Peggy Carter attempting to move on with her life working for the Strategic Scientific Reserve, a sort of prototype SHIELD. However her colleagues, not surprisingly given the time, have little respect for any contribution she may make to their investigations. When Howard Stark approaches her to help him retrieve a number of dangerous devices which have been stolen she becomes embroiled in a wider conspiracy. When these weapons start to be used, everyone else is convinced Stark has turned traitor so Peggy has to hide her own involvement in a series of daring investigations. She’s aided by Starks’ stiff collared butler Jarvis.


Doomwatch Winter Angel

This 1999 TV Movie was an attempt to revive the series some 27 years after it had ended. Intended as a pilot for a potential series, `Winter Angel` looks slightly awkward as it tries to stay faithful to the core of the original yet also relevant to viewers in 1999. While it is certainly more in tune with the tenor of the series than the 1972 movie was it chooses to tackle a topic that strays into the realms of science fiction and no doubt its science would amuse actual scientists. In an old nuclear power station a team succeeds in creating a black hole as they try to generate unlimited energy. Only matters go awry when environmentalists get footage of an accident and are pursued aggressively by secretive agents. The narrative, whatever the scientific inaccuracies- and let’s face it most of us don’t care too much about them- has possibilities but seems to take a large amount of time to get going. Despite ample running time it seems foggy about some things and lacks much in the way of interesting characterisation.