Archive for the ‘Dr Who’ Category

Rathborne’s Dr Who portrait was worth the wait

May 3, 2017
Ray Rathborne's Radio Times cover of Jon Pertwee as Dr Who

Ray Rathborne’s Radio Times cover of Jon Pertwee as Dr Who

Ian Jack has done a fine obituary for The Guardian of Ray Rathborne, the photographer who took this striking, eye-popping portrait of Jon Pertwee, who had just taken on the eponymous role in Dr Who in 1970.

Jack notes that Rathborne ‘was driven by a search for perfection that occasionally tested the patience of those who worked with him’. I know the feeling, but when you get results like this, it was clearly worth the wait.

 

 

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Tracking down a magazine – Radio Times

June 1, 2016
Masthead of the 1923 first issue of Radio Times (RT Archive)

Masthead of the 1923 first issue of Radio Times (RT Archive)

Richard has emailed me trying to track down copies of the Radio Times from the 1970s. Here’s his query:

Hello Tony, I’m hoping you can help me as I’m desperately trying to get hold of the copies of Radio Times for 10th – 22nd March 1974. I believe one of them contains the programme details and an article about the Play for Today episode ‘Penda’s Fen‘ that was broadcast on 21st March 1974. The listing should be in the issues I’m looking for. However, the article, which is what I’m really after, I’m not sure.

As I say, I am struggling to find it anywhere and maybe you know of someone or an outlet that I am not aware of (I’ve looked at eBay, general internet search). Fingers-crossed. Thank you for your time.

My first thought is to do an eBay search for:

Radio Times” 1974. The quote marks find Radio Times as a phrase rather than separate words.

This turns up 74 results. One problem is that some sellers only put up the year, so you have to open up each lot to find the March issues. You can search within a page using Ctrl+F for the month, but use ‘Mar’ rather than ‘March’, because some listing only use the abbreviation. One of the lots that comes up is for the Radio Times of 23-29 March 1974, with Arthur Askey on the cover. The seller, sprocketflange40, not only puts the date in the listing headline but also lists the main articles – really useful for tracking things down. Richard can then contact the seller to see if this is the correct issue.

As Richard mentions, he’s not totally sure which issue he wants, so narrowing things down is really useful. A trick here is to look at completed listings:

“Radio Times” 1974 – completed listings .

This shows me pictures of the issues carrying the schedules for the weeks of Saturday, 2 March and 30 March. I can save the images so I know what the target issues look like. All of these listings are by Sprocketflange30, so he is definitely worth emailing. Go to my Collecting Magazines page if you’re not familiar with building eBay searches.

Radio Times from 2 March 1974 Radio Times from 9 March 1974, The last Caesars

   ?

Radio Times from 23 March 1974, with Arthur Askey on the cover Radio Times from 30 March 1974
2 Mar in completed listings search 9 Mar in completed listings search 16 Mar

not found

23 Mar from live listings search 30 Mar in completed listings search

Once you know each cover, it makes going through listings much quicker.

If you’re lucky, you might just find a digitised image of the listings page you’re after on Flicker. This is mainly because fans of Dr Who put the issues online.

The next stage is to look for specialised magazine sellers. I list these on my Collecting Magazines page. For this post, I started on Tilleys and my search produced 20 results, including a copy of the Arthur Askey issue.

If going to the specialists turns up nothing, you can do a picture search on “Radio Times” 1974 on Duckduckgo, Google and Yahoo and immediately see if there are more around on collectors’ websites or other retailers. Notice how different the results are for the various search engines.

All these techniques can be applied to any magazine. But the Radio Times is one of the biggest titles in the history of periodicals and there are many dedicated resources online to help Richard out. Three in particular stand out:

The BBC’s Genome project

The BBC’s Genome project has digitised all the listings text from the Radio Times for 1923-2009 and put it up free online. It is not a scan of the pages, however, so there are no illustrations; and the articles are not included. But Richard can use this to confirm he has the right issue. If you just need the text of the listing, it is there (a boon for those Dr Who fans!). Some of the programmes can be watched or listened to.

A search on Penda’s Fen produces three results:

  1. a discussion with David Rudkin, the author, that was broadcast after the play’s airing.
  2. the play’s first broadcast (21 Mar 1974). Clicking on the title takes you through to the details of the actors, etc.
  3. the repeat broadcast on 13 February 1975.

It’s worth noting a line at the bottom of the web page under ‘Tell us more’: ‘Do you know whether this programme was actually broadcast as scheduled?’ It is possible that a scheduled programme was not actually broadcast – remember that the Radio Times goes to press a fortnight before it appears in the shops and a lot can happen in that time!

Radio Times Back Numbers

Lynda Kelly of RadioTimesBackNumbers.com is one of the experts on radio and television literature of all kinds. Her site sells back issues and has menus that are easy to drill down through (title/decade/year) as well as a general search. Again, there’s a copy of the Arthur Askey issue, but note the technical detail in the listing:

RT 2628 – 21 Mar 1974 (23-29 Mar) (England).
This tells you:
– the issue number (2628)
– the date of publication (21 Mar)
– the week covered (23-29 Mar)
– which of the regions is covered (England). Some programmes would not be shown in all the regional editions, which include North, England, National and London.

Furthermore, Kellybooks.com publishes several books about the Radio Times.

The Radio Times archive

The Radio Times Archive carries articles about what’s happening now as well as the magazine’s history. It has pages of mastheads, and facts and figures as well as links to resources such as a PDF of the first Radio Times from 1923. The archive is ‘produced with the permission and support of The Radio Times and financial support from the Shiers Trust’ but I don’t know who actually runs it (the author is always just ‘I’). The archive credits several collectors:

Ralph Montagu, Head of Heritage at The Radio Times, a host of private collectors including Roger Bickerton (who set up the Vintage Radio Programme Collectors’ Circle in 1996, now the Radio Circle), Penny Fabb (The Complete Guide to Science Fiction on British Radio), and Ken Clark, and the staff at the BBC Written Archive Centre near Reading.
A large part of the work would not have been possible without the help of Lynda Kelly.

Hopefully, this page will be a help to you in your searches.


To see almost 500 magazine covers and pages, look out for my book, A History of British Magazine Design, from the Victoria & Albert Museum, the world’s leading museum of art and design

 

 


 

Naked Katy and her Dalek tempt Dr Who fans

May 28, 2016
Girl Illustrated front cover with Dr Who girl Katy Manning naked with a Dalek

Girl Illustrated cover with nude Dr Who girl Katy Manning cuddling a Dalek for a photo shoot

A whopping £275 is the asking price on eBay for a copy of a 1977 issue of Australian magazine Girl Illustrated with Dr Who girl Katy Manning naked on the cover with a Dalek – ‘Exclusive TV’s Katy strips’.

That’s quite a jump from the £120 a copy of the same issue of Girl Illustrated fetched in 2008.

Funnily enough, the boots Katy Manning’s wearing – she was Jo Grant, Doctor Who’s companion, in the 1970s – were a present from Derek Nimmo! The photo shoot created a stink at the BBC but the broadcaster did later use the same idea and issued publicity photos of Kylie Minogue in a cheeky pose with a Dalek (though not nude).

But will a copy of Girl Illustrated sell at that price? With 10 watchers, who knows?

Finally, a question for Dr Who experts – is the Dalek in the photo shoot naked? Or is the Dalek the name of the alien encased in the robot shell?

Men’s magazines at Magforum


To see almost 500 magazine covers and pages, look out for my book, A History of British Magazine Design, from the Victoria & Albert Museum, the world’s leading museum of art and design

 

 


 

Harry Linfield – a down-to-earth side of the Star Trek and Doctor Who artist

June 19, 2015
Harry Lindfield drawing for Annabel magazine in 1966

Harry Lindfield drawing for Annabel magazine in 1966

Type the name Harry Lindfield into a search engine and up will come a gang of results pointing to illustrations for Gerry Anderson-based comics such as Joe 90, TV21 and Lady Penelope from City Magazines and Polystyle’s Countdown. For Lindfield drew Star Trek, Doctor Who and others strips from about 1968 in the great heyday of TV-based comics – when some issues were selling in excess of half-a-million copies a week. The illustration above predates that – it’s from a September 1966 issue of DC Thomson’s monthly Annabel. Lindfield had already drawn strips for the Eagle‘s sister paper Swift at Hulton Press.

A colour centre spread of Star Trek by Harry Lindfield from Joe 90 . Click on the image to find a larger version on Beano cartoonist Nigel Parkinson's website

A colour centre spread of Star Trek by Harry Lindfield from Joe 90. Click on the image to see a larger version on Beano artist Nigel Parkinson’s website

The Gerry Anderson website quotes Look-In writer and TV21 script editor Angus Allan on Lindfield:

[Lady Penelope] went into colour, with an artist – a genius – called Harry Lindfield. If ever I had to choose something that I’d done, and was proud of, those strips would be the ones. Harry was brilliant, and it was a pleasure to write for him. And up went the sales. Not to a million, though. Not ever. But 750,000? That was money to Century 21 and City Magazines.

Annabel saw itself as a ‘New young and lively monthly for women’ and was just in its seventh issue. The large page format – almost A3 – could show off the photography and illustration.

Harry Lindfield's Dr Who cover for Countdown comic

A Harry Lindfield Dr Who cover for Countdown comic. Click on the image to see a larger version on comic artist Lew Stringer’s website

The shape that inspired the Daleks

June 15, 2015
Maxwell Wood Astra coffee set from the 1960s - favourite for the Dalek shape

Maxwell Wood Astra coffee set from the 1960s – favourite for the Dalek shape. Note the bobbles down the ‘skirt’

I mentioned last week in a Radio Times/Dr Who piece that the BBC designer Raymond Cusick had been quoted as saying that he got the idea for the look for Terry Nation’s Daleks ‘while fiddling with a pepper pot’. But it just doesn’t ring true. Top of my list of potential inspiration for the iconic aliens are the above 1960s Maxwell Wood coffee pot, called Astra, and conical kulfi moulds, below.

Mould for kulfi, the Indian ice-cream, with its screw-on lid. Definitely Dalek

Mould for kulfi, the Indian ice-cream, with its screw-on lid. Definitely Dalek

Kulfi moulds also used to have bobbles on the side. I’ve seen these in Britain and as far afield as Indonesia (where I won a symbolic 50p bet on the shape of the ice-cream in an Indian restaurant in Jakarta with a former editor of New Scientist!).

In a BBC obituary piece, Cusick is quoted as being more vague, and that the pepper pot was used during a lunch to describe how the Daleks should move:

[Cusick] explained that, in fact, the pepper pot detail came from a lunch with Bill Roberts, the special effects expert who would make the Daleks, when Mr Cusick picked up a pepper pot and moved it around the table, telling him: “It’s going to move like that – no visible means.”

“Ever since then people say I was inspired by a pepper pot – but it could have been the salt pot I picked up,” he said.

Incidentally, the pale green colour of the Astra pottery is ‘celadon’, the theme colour chosen for the revamp of the Savoy Hotel in 2010.

A Nation in thrall to the Daleks

June 13, 2015
The first Radio Times cover showing Dr Who in February 1964

The first Radio Times cover showing Dr Who – with Marco Polo and devious enemy Tegana – in February 1964

Doctor Who took to the nation’s TV screens in November 1963. The arrival was covered inside the Radio Times, but the first cover was not for another three months, in February.

The first Daleks cover for Radio Times in November 1964

The first Daleks cover for Radio Times in November 1964

In November that year, the Daleks got their first Radio Times cover treatment after the success of their first outing a year earlier. The article inside, below, noted that ‘Currently the robots are multiplying like rabbits for Christmas…’, a reference to the Dalek toys that were appearing the shops.

The Radio Times Dalek article showing the cyborgs on Westminster Bridge

The Radio Times Dalek article showing the cyborgs on Westminster Bridge

In 1965, the Daleks appeared in a comic strip in the comic TV Century 21 that was licensed by Dr Who writer Terry Nation. The story lines are totally different to the TV series because Nation owned the rights to the Daleks and some of the other early monsters, but not the Dr Who character. The two sides fell out in a big way and even 20 years later when the BBC launched its first Dr Who computer programs for the BBC Micro there was no mention of the Daleks.

The return of the Daleks to Dr Who in 2005 sparked this gatefold cover for the Radio Times

The return of the Daleks to Dr Who in 2005 sparked this gatefold cover for the Radio Times

The return of the Daleks to Dr Who in 2005 sparked this gatefold cover for the Radio Times, which recreated the 1964 scene of the Daleks on Westminster Bridge. It was voted the best magazine cover among 10 covers nominated by editors in a competition organised by the PPA, the magazine publishers’ trade association, for its 100th anniversary. Kate Moss, Darth Vader and Dennis the Menace were among the vanquished rivals.

Despite the appearance of Dalek as a word in the Oxford English Dictionary, US software packages and computers – Macs and iPads included – usually treat it as a spelling error and try to change it to ‘dales’ or something similar.  Strangely, though, trademarks such as Microsoft and iPad are accepted as valid words.

The OED entry is worth repeating here for its list of mentions of the word and statement of what inspired Nation to invent the name:

1963 Radio Times 26 Dec. 11/1 Dalek voices: Peter Hawkins, David Graham.
1966 BBC Handbk. 39 The main activity over the period in this ‘merchandising’ operation concerned the widely popular Daleks from the ‘Dr. Who’ series. Some sixty licences for the production of Dalek-inspired articles were issued.
1969 C. Hodder-Williams 98·4 iv. 49 Under what interesting new law do you propose to enforce this regime? Or have you hired the Daleks?
1971 Radio Times 30 Dec. 10/1 Who are the Daleks? Dr. Who’s most dangerous enemies, written into his second adventure in 1963 by Terry Nation, who named them after an encyclopaedia volume covering dal-lek.

The BBC designer Raymond Cusick has been quoted by Asa Briggs as saying that he got the idea for the look of the Daleks ‘while fiddling with a pepper pot’.

Naked, booted Katy and the Dalek live on

September 28, 2012
Naked, booted Katy Manning - Jo Grant in Dr Who - wrapped around a Dalek for a Girl Illustrated cover

Naughty girl: naked, booted Katy Manning – Jo Grant in Dr Who – wrapped around a Dalek for a Girl Illustrated cover

Katy Manning, a Dalek and a cup of cold sick‘ about an eBay sale of Girl Illustrated is one of the stranger headlines on this blog, but a popular one.  And, for the Dr Who actress who played Jo Grant, the image of her naked in boots and wrapped around a Dalek is never going to go away. The Radio Times has just done an interview with the Dr Who girl that refers to the Girl Illustrated magazine  cover. The post, ‘I’ve been a naughty girl‘ reveals that the boots were given to the young actress by Derek Nimmo:

I did it for a laugh. It was a lot of fun and it was my idea. Derek Nimmo [co-star in the West End farce Why Not Stay for Breakfast?] was furious because he’d given me those boots for my opening night. Then I wrapped them round a Dalek.

And she’s not the only starlet to have wrapped herself round a Dalek. Kylie did it for Dr Who magazine in 2007 when she appeared in the Voyage of the Damned episode. Kylie’s waitress costume worn in the Christmas special fetched £3,120 at Bonham’s in 2010.

Kylie Minogue with a Dalek to celebrate her appearance in an episode of Dr Who with David Tennant

Exterminate! Kylie Minogue with a Dalek to celebrate her appearance in a Dr Who Christmas special with David Tennant

Men’s magazines A to Z

WATCH OUT for my book on British Magazine Design from the V&A

BBC sheds magazines

August 16, 2011

BBC Worldwide has reached agreements to sell or licence its magazines to Exponent, a private equity firm that own Magicalia, for £121m and offload its joint venture in India.

Essentials of the deals include:

  • Exponent buys all non-BBC-branded magazines – including Radio Times;
  • Exponent to publish BBC titles under licence or as  contract  magazines;
  • Exponent to take subscriptions  and distribution businesses, Dovetail and Frontline;
  • BBC stake in Bath-based Origin also to go to Exponent;
  • Bennett, Coleman & Co, owner of Times of India, buys BBC’s half stake in Worldwide Media, a joint venture in India.

 

 

 

Future releases 14 magazine apps for iPads

December 13, 2010
Future's Dr Who app

Future's Dr Who from SFX magazine - one of 14 Christmas apps

T3 and Total Film publisher Future is jumping into the iPad in a big way with 14 paid apps for Christmas – aimed at fans of film, biking, cameras and Doctor Who – based on magazine content from its subscription website My Favourite Magazines:

• The 50 Best Guitars To Play Before You Die (Guitarist)
• Best Landscape Photos (Digital Camera World)
• 101 Best Movies Of All Time (Total Film)
• 200 Best Rock Albums of the 70s (Classic Rock)
• Sportsbike Legends (Fast Bikes)
• Photographer of the Year (Digital Camera)
• 25 Guitarist Wallpapers (Guitarist)
• Make The Most of Your Mac (MacFormat)
• The Essential iPhone 4 Handbook (MacFormat)
• iPad: The Essential Handbook (MacFormat)
• Doctor Who – A Celebration (SFX)
• ProCyling/Zinio
• MacFormat/Zinio
• Digital Camera World/Zinio

In the US, Future says its Guitar World ‘Lick of the Day’ was downloaded 330,000 times in its first week, and the Mac Life tablet edition for iPad was number one on the App Store with 450,000 downloads.

Katy Manning, a Dalek and a cup of cold sick

July 27, 2009
Naked Katy Manning in boots with Dalek from Dr Who

Naked Katy Manning in boots with a Dalek from Dr Who

What makes an old magazine worth money? This 1977 issue of Australian magazine Girl Illustrated, which has just sold for £120 on Ebay, combines a naked minor celebrity – Dr Who girl Katy Manning wearing a pair of knee-high boots – a Dalek and a scandal at the BBC! The cover flash reads: Exclusive! TV’s Katy strips. I’ll let the seller describe it:

Girl Illustrated (vol 8 no 10), featuring Dr Who girl Katy Manning.  This copy is in very good condition, slight crease on front and back cover, all internal pages practically mint, crisp, unmarked. The pictures of Katy include 6 poses, including a centrefold. Katy Manning was persuaded by the Australian men’s magazine to do the feature, much to the shock and anger of BBC management at the time. They had managed to get hold of a Dalek and the darling young Katy in the buff (and in one shot with only a pair of knee length boots) made a perfect match for the most dangerous machine/creature in the universe. She commented that news of her photo shoot went down ‘like a cup of cold sick’ with the BBC Managers. Needless to say, she never worked on BBC children’s programmes again…

Manning played the companion, Jo Grant, to Jon Pertwee’s Doctor in the 1970s.

The BBC’s Radio Times magazine did do an interview with Katy Manning in 2012 and it turns out that Kylie Minogue had also wrapped herself round a Dalek.

A-Z of men’s magazines

WATCH OUT for my book on British Magazine Design from the V&A