The greatest magazine in the galaxy has reached the Big 4-0
It’s the 11th of October in 1979 and a new publication hits newsagents around the UK. One which will change the face of Doctor Who fandom forever. Doctor Who Weekly #1, complete with transfers, had arrived. Forty years later, and Doctor Who Magazine #544 is about to take its own turn on our shelves.
It’s been a remarkable journey from one to the other and one which has seen DWM being undisputedly the longest running, most successful official tie-in magazine in the world. It’s all the more astonishing an achievement when you consider that the TV show to which it was dedicated wasn’t even on television for fifteen out of those forty years.
There have been many reasons for Doctor Who Magazine’s enduring appeal. Some of them have been canny decision making. Such as the original decision to change the schedule to first monthly and then every four weeks. Others were strokes of good fortune. Such as Doctor Who never officially being cancelled, the 1996 TV movie appearing, or the rise of Big Finish. And some of them have been the result of DWM developing a fandom of its own, with successive 21st century showrunners who grew up reading the magazine supporting its unique role as independent, yet official.
Over decades, Doctor Who Magazine has become as indispensable part of fandom as the show itself
But the main reason for DWM still being around all these years later is simple. It’s love. None of the other official tie-in magazines that have come and gone over the decades (The X-Files Magazine, anyone?) have been so clearly a product of love for the material being covered. And none of those others have become such an active factor at the heart of fandom. Where would Doctor Who fandom be without Andrew Pixley’s tireless research for the DWM Archive? How many future Doctor Who writers kept the spark of a dream of writing for the show alive in their hearts every time they saw DWM sitting stubbornly on the newsagents shelf? What would fans have to call the TARDIS’ unique sound if not for the ‘VWORP! VWORP!’ coined by DWM? And who would keep fighting the good fight to call the first Dalek serial The Mutants?
So as the great and the good of Doctor Who and Doctor Who Magazine gather to celebrate, Blogtor Who wishes them a fantastic night. And a well deserved lie-in in the morning.