DWM 413 The Collectors Edition - Nine

A short review of the special collectors edition of 'Doctor Who Magazine' celebrating the 'Empty Child/Doctor Dances' which was chosen 5th best Doctor Who episode by the readers.

First, the cover looks great - it's the first time I have had the thrill of seeing Nine on the cover since I became a fan, so that makes it very special to me.

Inside the magazine the top 200 episodes are counted down in reverse chronological order. The top ten episodes merit a couple of pages, the number one episode several pages and pictures of the stars and director receiving the magazine's award for top episode ('The Caves of Androzani' starring Peter Davison, Nicola Bryant and directed by Graeme Harper.)

Series One with Eccleston is well represented in the top 200 list - the episodes ended up at the following spots:

5. Empty Child/Doctor Dances

10. Bad Wolf/Parting of the Ways

15. Dalek

49. Father's Day

54. The Unquiet Dead

63. Rose

94. The End of the World

132. Aliens of London/World War 3

141. Boomtown

165. The Long Game

The essay for 'Empty Child/Doctor Dances' is decorated by photos of the gasmask people, Nancy and a half page picture of the Doctor, Rose, and Captain Jack. The copy is fanciful and convoluted as it covers the ground breaking sexual overtones of the episodes as is summed up in the final paragraph:
Destiny! Its a good Doctor Who-y word. In the Empty Child/Doctor Dances Time Lord's destiny is to embark on a supremely scary adventure, wherein he faces a truly iconic and imaginatively wrought foe. He meets a new friend, saves everyone's lives and kick-starts the welfare system. With all that going on, if you don't want to partake in the dancing, you don't have to. There is about a million other things to enjoy. But whether you do or do not buy into the subtext, everyone agrees: Doctor Who has never been quite this fanciable before.
(Graham Kibble-White, DWM)
There is also a sidebar with Stephen Moffat, who indicates the initial table read went terribly, half the cast wasn't there, an editor was reading the child's part and Moffat thought it was the worst thing he had written. He also goes to say the Eccleston series is like another era - which is understandable given his current position, I think.

As for 'Bad Wolf/Parting of the Ways', writer Patrick Mulkern is a little more straightforward in his essay, noting this is the only Russell T Davies story recognized in the Top Ten (although given what we now know about RTD's massive re-writes thanks to 'A Writers Tale' I am not so sure of that point!). Mulkern also notes that the resurrection like style of the regeneration was done standing up with a smile, "Flaking out on the floor becomes a thing of the past". He notes the bold strokes: Captain Jack's goodbye kisses, both he and Rose have their own resurrection, he finds the death of Lynda with a Y very affecting, and appreciates the "outstanding performances" of Barrowman and Piper and notes that "Eccleston is on ballistic form". A photo of the Dalek gets prominent play in this section, but there is a picture of Nine and an inset of glowing eyed Rose decorating the essay.

'Dalek' rates a couple of good paragraphs at #15 on the countdown - ending with:
It's all down to Nicholas Briggs' vocalisations, Joe Ahearne's inspired direction (all those close-ups of the Dalek's eye!) to Rob Shearman's perfectly constructed script, and most of all to Christopher Eccleston's stunning, embittered performance in his scenes with the Dalek.
There are other treats in DWM for Series One fans, in the letters section the customary historical "...years ago in the magazine" section is 5 years ago - putting the timeline in September 2004 and quotes some letters from folks who have seen their first glimpse of the Ninth Doctor's outfit and notes the casting of Barrowman in a mysterious role.

And finally, a fan note of my own to the lovely folks at 'Who North America' (whona.com) from whom I ordered this copy. I have purchased several stand alone issues of 'Doctor Who Magazine' through Whona, and while it costs a bit more than the bookstore foreign magazine mark-up, its not much more and the convenience of having the magazine delivered within a couple of days via the US Postal Service, in a pristine plastic sleeve with cardboard backing to keep the magazine in good condition is well worth it.

/ Chiclit