Anglicon Cancelled

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All of us here at Whotopia are extremely sad to hear that the Seattle-based Doctor Who and British media convention Anglicon has been cancelled due to low ticket sales and one of the celebrities booked unable to attend.  The cancellation announcement was made October 11th on their official website.

As reported on Anglicon.org, “It is with great regret we must announce that Anglicon 2018 will not happen. There are many factors that lead to this decision, including low ticket sales, insufficient hotel room reservations, and a major guest that had to cancel due to professional obligations.  Further updates will be forthcoming, including information about the refund of memberships.”

Anglicon had mounted an extremely successful event in December 2017 featuring Fifth and Seventh Doctors, Peter Davison and Sylvester McCoy after a 20+ year break.

This year’s event was to include guests: Nicola Bryant (Doctor Who), Eve Myles (Torchwood) and Patricia Quinn (Rocky Horror Picture Show). No mention has been made if the fan organized event will return in 2019.

The full announcement can be read on the Anglicon website.

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Torchwood Fans Take Note

Hey, are you a fan of Torchwood?  If so, you might want to take note of the new book series forthcoming from Pencil Tip Publishing.

WHAT THE FANS THINK is a new series of books from Pencil Tip Publishing where the fans will review and assess their favourite television series. Fan opinion can be extremely critical, often harsher than that of the meanest television critics. But when the fans love something, you know it. Praises are heaped in droves.

Each volume will concentrate on a specific show and will feature original reviews and analysis of every episode of that particular series. The fans will have their say on what they think are the best, worst and merely average, episodes of a series. You just might be surprised by what they have to say.

The first book in the series, What the Fans Think: Blake’s 7, will concentrate on the 1978-81 sci-fi series “Blake’s 7” while the second book, What the Fans Think: Torchwood, will concentrate on the Doctor Who spin-off series “Torchwood”.

Details on how you can contribute to the Torchwood, or Blake’s 7, volume can be found at: http://www.penciltippublishing.wordpress.com/what-the-fans-think

Canadian Doctor Who Fan Association DWIN to Fold

It appears the long-running Canadian Doctor Who fan club the Doctor Who Information Network (DWIN) is to cease operations effective October 31st.

As reported on the club’s official website the DWIN Executive revealed:

We have the sad news to tell you that Doctor Who Information Network’s era in Doctor Who fandom ends officially on October 31, 2018.

If there is one thing that Doctor Who has taught us, is that things have an end. Doctor Who fans are among the only ones who speak in terms of eras—the Tom Baker era; the David Tennant era; the Barry Letts / Terrance Dicks era; the Steven Moffat era. Now the DWIN era comes to a close

The Doctor Who Information Network began in 1980 out of the ashes of another bygone era, when Canadian and American Doctor Who fandom were part of the UK Doctor Who Appreciation Society. When the UK parent organization indicated they did not to supervise fan clubs abroad, DWIN took its place. It thrived in the 1980s, kept the torch alive in the 1990s and had a small renaissance in the 2000s with the dawning of the modern series.

But nothing is forever. Gradually DWIN’s time came to a close. There are a myriad of reasons: the generation of fans who had led it had families and personal life issues; it became too expensive to support a print fanzine; fandom found new means of expressing their interests. As a result, DWIN hasn’t been active since 2014, when it held its last formal event. It was time to admit that its era had come to an end.

As laid out in the by-laws of the organization when it was founded in the 1980s, any money on DWIN’s books after its dissolution will be donated to a charity related to sudden and unexpected infant deaths. This was done out of respect to the then-incumbent Doctor, Colin Baker, who had lost his son Jack to a crib death. We will honour the wishes of DWIN’s founders in this regard and will donate all our remaining money to Baby’s Breath (formerly SIDS Canada Foundation)

As we know from Doctor Who, this may be the end of DWIN, but it’s not for Doctor Who fandom in Canada and the US. There are plenty of organizations you can join, and many events and conventions where Doctor Who is celebrated. There are still lots of podcasts and blogs which one can enjoy. Other organizations will rise to take DWIN’s place.

For 38 years, the Doctor Who Information Network existed for the celebration and promotion of Doctor Who and its fandom. It was a privilege to do that.

This is a sad time for all of us who ever worked with DWIN, wrote for or read Enlightenment or Myth Makers, was part of a DWIN chapter or attended a Who Party. But a new season of Doctor Who is around the corner and there is much to celebrate as a Doctor Who fan.

As the first Doctor said, “…There must be no tears, no regrets. Just go forward in all your beliefs. And prove to me that I am not mistaken in mine.”

Whotopia Senior Editor Bob Furnell remarked that “this is a very sad day in Canadian Doctor Who fandom.  While DWIN has been relatively quiet these past few years, they were a large focal point in Canadian fandom.  I’m extremely sad to hear of their demise.”

DWIN also published the fanzine Enlightenment which ran from (1980-2014).  The last issue of the fanzine to be published was issue 174 in 2014.

With DWINs departure, this leaves Canadian Doctor Who fans with no official fan organization.

New Season Launches October 7

Doctor Who is to move from its traditional Saturday night slot, the BBC has confirmed.

The 10-episode run will be broadcast on Sunday evenings, starting on 7 October.  An hour-long episode titled The Woman Who Fell To Earth will launch the series.

It’s likely that the transmission day change to Sunday has been made in order ensure the series has a regular, earlier time slot. Previous series have sometimes seen the show’s transmission time varying from week to week, something that may now be avoided. While Saturday nights are often seen as the showcase for some of TV’s biggest shows, in recent years Sunday night programmes have often delivered some of the week’s highest ratings.

The most watched programme of 2017 was BBC One’s Blue Planet II, which was broadcast on a Sunday night. And in recent weeks Bodyguard has achieved the highest launch ratings for any new drama since 2006. Charlotte Moore, Director of BBC Content said: “With Chris Chibnall at the helm and Jodie Whittaker’s arrival as the new Doctor, we are heralding a brand new era for the show and so it feels only right to give it a new home on Sunday nights at the heart of BBC One’s Autumn schedule.”

Meanwhile, BBC Studios, which makes the time travel drama, has been criticized by many fans after entertainment website Cultbox was threatened with legal action for reporting the launch date a day before the BBC’s announcement. The site had referenced an official page for the BBC series on the iTunes store, which had published the launch date. A cease and desist letter sent on behalf of the BBC said that they considered the now removed story on Cultbox contained “classified information”, that it constituted “a breach of a trade secret”.

SPACE who broadcasts Doctor Who in Canada has not yet confirmed when the new season will be airing in Canada.

Jacqueline Pearce RIP

Tributes are being paid to Jacqueline Pearce, who played Supreme Commander Servalan in TV sci-fi drama Blake’s 7, following her death at the age of 74.

Pearce gained cult status for playing the ruthless but stylish leader of the evil Federation from 1978-81.

She was also known to Doctor Who fans for her role in 1985’s The Two Doctors.

Writer Russell T Davies described her as “a truly fine actor” as well as “glorious, vivid, passionate, filthy and the most wonderful company”.  Pearce worked with Davies in his first TV drama Dark Season, which was shown in 1991.

Pearce trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts alongside Anthony Hopkins and John Hurt. She also appeared in episodes of Danger Man, The Avengers and Moondial.

Her friend John Ainsworth told the Press Association: “She was outrageous, she was very honest and very straightforward, which didn’t always go down very well, but you knew where you were with her.

“She liked a glass of champagne and liked everyone to have a good time with her, and of course she was a brilliant actress and everyone who worked with her remembered her very fondly.”

After relocating to South Africa for several years, initially to care for orphaned monkeys, Pearce returned to the UK in 2015. Pearce died at her home in Lancashire, shortly after being diagnosed with lung cancer.

REMINDER: ISSUE 33 SUBMISSION DEADLINE

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A quick post to remind everyone the deadline for Whotopia Issue 33 is September 30, 2018.

The theme of #33 is ‘Out of the Shadows’, which looks at those moments or stories where a character or concept came fully into its own (e.g. Peter Davison in The Visitation, Colin Baker in Vengeance on Varos, Christopher Eccleston in Dalek, Janet Fielding in Kinda). Obviously there’s room for debate here, so I’m hoping this issue will stir up some healthy differences of opinion.

Issue 33 will also be our 15th Anniversary Issue.

If you’re a regular contributor you can submit material to the usual address, or if you’re a first time contributor, please send your submission to whotopia@whotopia.ca.