Five Hundred Eyes

The Letters Page

Paul McGrade
Omagh, Co. Tyrone

Five Hundred Eyes 3 is definitely the best yet, although I'm sure I've said that before somewhere. Ian Levy surpassed himself with some wonderful articles which, apart from the 'serious' ones in Star Begotten, are surely the best in fandom. The Panopticon epic especially was magnificent, and the surrealism piece was excellent as well, although I'm not sure that Harold Pinter could be spoken of as a "surrealist" playwright. Although I'm one of the "airheads" so tolerantly described by Ian, I really do enjoy his articles; he has a wonderfully scathing, witty and yet somehow despairing style which really does lift the whole zine. The reviews were pretty good as well, a nice change to see you doing some less well known and less well thought of stories; I've always thought that Ribos Operation and Nightmare of Eden were grossly underrated stories, though I'm not so sure about Creature from the Pit.

Interesting articles, 'Mrs Who' and 'Untold History' especially, and as for the letters page ...! What a wondrous letters page. I only hope that such anti-JNT criticisms are there are in #3 will raise the hackles of the "I'm not against criticising ..." hypocrites as much as the (I thought) fairly mild issue two did. (God knows what sort of letters Messrs. Cooper and Munro, or even Gary Levy, must get.) Keep it up, a bit of controversy always makes interesting reading, and surely doesn't do sales any harm. (Sorry, a bit of blatant appeal to your crass commercialism and greed there.)

Pete Murphy
Morecambe, Lancs.

What an excellent zine FHE 3 was, the highlight of the issue being the review of Panopticon. I also met Blue-Stripe (who was this character?).

The reviews of the stories were good, but why were they mainly from the Tom Baker era (except Terror of the Autons, and that was originally meant to be City of Death)? Dave's 'No, Not the Mind Probe' was funny and I hope this will become regular in FHE in future episodes.

Stephen O'Brien
Bath, Avon

No, I think I'll probably get the Qualcast 21B model. Have you seen Jonesy's new lawn-mower? You don't want to! He said to me ... oh sorry, aren't I supposed to be writing a critique of FHE 3?

It arrived a week ago, but I only managed to read it today. You understand, don't you? Andy Crane and Simon Parkin are presenting all the Chrimbo children's programmes which are utterly delightful and really, to be frighteningly honest for just one terrifying moment, one really doesn't have the time. But having said that of course I did read it. Yes I did. I think.

There's only one word to describe Five Hundred Eyes 3 ... "valueformoney". Well, actually there's a few other ones but you all know them and they're so dreadfully predictable. Enough inane waffle o editor of Peladon (was that a plug?) - onto the articles ...

'Surrealism in DW' - look, I'm a philistine. It was good though. Maybe too good. Whatever that means. Hmm, moving on I rather enjoyed the Creature review - this guy obviously has an 'O' in his name, not to mention an 'H'. 'Nostalgia' - come on Dave, surely this is just another "Ain't JNT a silly bugger?" article. You obviously realise this and I wouldn't dwell on it if it wasn't repeated elsewhere in the ish in the same unoriginal manner. Still, it was well-written ...

'Write Your Own Terry Nation Story' was simply a bad joke which went over the edge after the first line. Sorry ... it was too similar to ish 1's slightly more amusing Dicks send-up. Apologies Ian ... I'm sure Cybermag is really quite good.

Little Johnny's Nightmare thingy was nice. As all you people know, I like Season 17, however Nightmare is probably its worst ... oh, what's the word, oh yes ... story. Still, it was refreshing to see a positive review. I like Richie's Mrs Who piece. Original, witty, but with only an absence of lavatorial references letting it down. Moving on, 'Blood Transfusion' was just another anti-JNT article, though with a fresh viewpoint.

Oh Jeez, I can't go on looking at each individual article, can I? I know, I'll just highlight the best bits. That's the answer.

Ah, the Terror of the Autons review. Now, I like Terror of the Autons. It's a perfect story. It was a perfect review. Sorry, I'm fawning. 'Pigs' ... innovative. Where was Ted Ray? 'How to Buy a Copy of DWM' ... funny. Amusing. Happy. Wish I'd written it. Ah, Burty's Ribos review. Yes, Jonathan my fellow, it is underrated, but why doesn't anyone say "overrated" anymore?

Oh, I hadn't seen this bit. Hold on, I'll just read it ... Hey, this con report is the best bit of the zine. Personal, waffly, intelligent. Too long? Nah way man!

Five Hundred Eyes 3 was one of the best zines I've seen for a long, long time. I have faith in Monoid to keep the standard up. You inherited a good zine, Mon ... roll on Summer 89.

Jaqueline Roe
Cloisterham, Kent

Many thanks for FHE 3. The first rule of publishing fanzines is to never meet the publishing date! If people started to actually get things into print when they said they were going to, it would totally screw up a time-honoured tradition of the 'excuses page', which is always so entertaining.

Of course, it's always helpful to have a postal strike at the right time ... then you can hold things back because you're "allowing time for the backlog to clear". Blaming the printers is another good one (unless like us you print your own!).

I'm secretary of a Star Trek club, and one of the things I like doing is reading people's convention reports. I wish to God we could get someone to write us epics like the PanoptiCon one that featured in FHE 3. I really felt for that guy. For a couple of years I've really wanted to get involved with Dr Who fandom, but have repeatedly been put off by some of the stories about DWAS and the way some of the cons are run.

I had friends who went to last year's bash at Imperial College and came away feeling diddled. Apart from the awful food, they found the 'heavy' security too heavy, the events non-existent and the overall atmosphere very oppressive. It's almost as if people aren't allowed to laugh at conventions anymore!

The other thing that hit home from FHE 3 was the article on how to buy DWM. May I venture to suggest that the gentleman concerned is very lucky in that his local WH Smiths sell it. Ours doesn't! Also you are just as likely to get funny looks buying it from Forbidden Planet. They also have no sense of humour. Since moving to New Oxford Street it's been easier to find by virtue of the fact that the outside pavement is littered with gasping souls fighting for breath before they dive back inside in search of their latest copy of 2000AD. In order to stop this needless suffering they've splashed out on some ventilation, consisting of several hundred yards of very wide silver metal drainpipes which were strategically placed around the shop the last time I visited. When I asked if it was their intention to install it so that media fans would have to crawl through the ventilation system to reach their favourite books etc., I was given a withering look and totally ignored. I'm sure their shop assistants have been to the 'Tesco School of Customer Service Training'.

But I digress. Back to Smiths. What's really embarrassing is getting into an argument with another adult over who had seen the last copy of a Dr Who novel first (he won), especially when Smiths insist on placing them in the children's section! Nevertheless, we both had to laugh when we saw that Smiths have also placed the reprints of Robert Asprins' 'Myth' books in the children's section. There are going to be some very enlightened kids in my part of town.

It could be my imagination, but I think I hear the sound of massed toilet cistern emptying as the news filters through fandom that JNT is staying. All those people who have been particularly vitriolic in their attacks on the aforementioned producer must be a little concerned. Especially if they're expecting tit bits from him to boost their zine sales ...

Jamie Woolley
Darkest Cumbria

Thanks for my copy of FHE 3. I must start by saying that it is by far the best fanzine I have read this year, if not in the past five years. It harks back to those old "classic" zines, and its style reminds me of my single issue of Skaro. We need more zines like this, and if Dwarf Star (Jamie's own zine) was anything like this, I'd be very, very happy. I don't know why it is so good, just that it is, and that every DWAS member should read it. There's a good quote for you to use. Well done.

Firstly, I'm going to have to have words with you about pinching bits out of Dwarf Star! Get your own material! Seriously, two mentions can't be bad publicity. And get rid of that Levy person. How on earth can he Tolkien "dreadful"?!? His Surrealism thingy was ... interesting, and I shamefacedly admit that I still haven't read the 'Gothic Art' feature in FHE 2. I am very ignorant and had not previously heard of Magritte, Strindberg or Dal' (who seems to be obsessed with sodomy. Does he have anything to do with "Hair"?), but then I like Tolkien. Ian's probably a really nice guy (I like his humour), but he can't describe Tolkien as ...

Yes, well, that's enough of that. I haven't read the story reviews yet, but I'm sure they're absolutely super, loveys. Ian's (hello again) Panopticon review was rather pessimistic in atmosphere but, again, laced with his witty, stylistic humour (whatever that means), but I enjoyed myself thoroughly, even though I was chained to the dealer's room for most of the weekend, but that was due to meeting so many nice people. Shame I didn't meet Ian ...

But what of the rest? Very good indeed, but unfortunately I'm horrendously bad at writing letters (also I happen to be listening to Radio One at the moment, which obviously has some effect). Your 'Pigs' thingy has a ring of truth, but using brains not just livers etc. is a bit far-fetched so you shouldn't worry. But you have a point. I'm sure Dr Who seen in my formative years has had a good deal of effect on me.

Gareth Preston

Thank you for sending me my copy of FHE 3. I must congratulate you on producing an excellent fanzine which I really enjoyed reading. This was my first FHE, and I hope it will not be my last.

Going into detail: the reviews were uniformly interesting, with Terror of the Autons coming out on top because Ian Levy has pointed out a whole new slant to this story, although I still think Spearhead is the better of the two because I'm a sucker for the Quatermass style of SF.

'Fear and Loathing' was an unusually bleak article for a fanzine that left me slightly angry at the writer for his lifestyle (still, it's a free country and all that) but fascinated by his description of the fan fringe. In particular his conversations with Blue Stripe struck a chord since I remember being stuck next to a total dipstick at Cybercon who kept asking questions like "Were there any Cybermats in Earthshock?" and "Do you think the production team should have used the Revenge costumes in Earthshock?" amongst others. (Sounds like you encountered the other convention horror, affectionately known to his victims as 'Cyberloon'.) At the end of the day I am glad I did not go to last year's event because I have yet to read a good review of it.

The problem with conventions nowadays is that we are running out of both guests and original stories. The quality of questions leaves something to be desired too. If I hear "Did anything funny happen when you were on the programme?" again I shall personally rip the enquirer's throat out.

The Terry Nation story creator was very funny. Full marks to Ian Berriman for an extremely well-aimed quiver of barbed observations.

The article on surrealism was intriguing, but I don't think a truly surreal story would work; it is better to have surreal bits interspersed as in Greatest Show which was full of great images like the clowns in the hearse and Bellboy's suicide.

Speaking of Season 25, I would just like to say I have enjoyed it immensely. All four stories had good production values and a tougher, more mysterious atmosphere. Sylvester is simply sublime. His Doctor combines eccentricity, compassion and a zest for life. He is always totally watchable and is second only to Tom Baker in my estimation (ooh, that'll ruffle some feathers, but I mean what I say).

To respond to a couple of remarks made: what is so dreadful about Tolkien's books? They rank as the most influential works of popular culture this century. Besides which, The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings are eminently readable and engrossing. The detail with which Tolkien planned Middle Earth is astonishing.

Also : what is so embarrassing about that excellent publication, Starburst? (You want a list?) For the broadminded SF fan (which is why it's on the top shelf, presumably) every issue is a mine of information. Its Doctor Who coverage is exemplary, particularly now that the movie is in the offing. An essential purchase. (And he said that with a straight face.)

So, well done again to all concerned, and I hope that Richard can keep up the good work. I wish you every success and a great Season 26.

John Lumb
Bracknell, Berkshire

Issue three made interesting reading. It had several 'meaty', well thought-out articles. In fact every article had been written with care.

I enjoyed the two reviews of Creature from the Pit and Nightmare of Eden. Creature was a great story, even if the ending stretched the credulity of even dedicated science-fiction enthusiasts. As for Nightmare, I remember feeling disappointed by it. Parts of it were very good, but somehow the characters lacked depth. Everyone rushed about, but the pace did not improve my opinion or create excitement in me. I did like the culmination of ideas and the Doctor's dismissal of Tryst in episode four. But I remember comparing it with the Blake's 7 episode 'Shadow' ... I felt their treatment of drugs in the future produced a better script. (I think 'Shadow' was broadcast about two months later.)

The Mandrels were not a good advertisment to the general public, who always take the mickey of the programme anyway. It all goes back to the problem of the show'a budget, which is rather out of our hands.

Do keep in your humorous articles and adverts. They maintain a balance with the analytical stuff. Perhaps it's a virtue of some fans that although we enjoy Doctor Who, we can laugh at some of the failings of it. (Although in the case of Horns of Nimon, it's more likely to reduce you to tears.) Keep up the good work.

Jon Fraser
Aldington, Kent

I felt a tingling in my toes. Each hair on the back of my neck tugged suicidily at its own root. My left little finger twitched. And then my feet exploded with fiery heat, my mouth evaporated and my body fell off.


Ian Levy has read far too many books.

I'm afraid I can't forgive him for being unnice to JRRT. Lord of the Rings is still one of my most favourite books and I am baffled by anyone who thinks it dreadful. Some of the happiest days of my life ... two years ago (1987/88) at university, sitting at the window with the Autumn sun valiantly shing, reading LOTR for the second time. I always think a good book is a thousand times better on the second read (as is a good film); you don't have to concentrate on the plot, it just unfolds, and you notice the small details that make the whole thing so much more complete. And one thing LOTR is (more or less) is complete. The Silmarrilion is brilliant too.

But then I'm addicted to Sainsbury's wholemeal rolls.

Well, Ian Levy's dream has come true and we have finally had a non-narrative Doctor Who. Yes, Battlefield has done for story-telling what the BRIT Awards did for Sam Fox's "career". JNT is the Who world's Stock Aitken and Waterman, filling the mags/zines with endless arguments about whether he is any good or not, and if he has mediocred the music industry ()* to death.

[* I couldn't think of anything to put in these.]

Ian Berriman

I got a package this morning. Oh good, I thought, a letter ... golly, pretty fat one ... oh it's from David ... eh ... there's a ZINE in here too! Well, not very staggering size but as you'd probably say, it's not the size that counts. In fact, considering the panic-stricken conditions it was produced in (yes?), amazing ... yes, that's what I'll say. I don't actually know how much this thing costs, so I may say something slightly less complementary when you ask me for the money ... I suppose I'd better comment on the contents.

Firstly, the editorial. You know what you are David Gibbs? Firstly, a mug; secondly, a walking disaster zone. Nobody else seems to manage to get up shit creek without a paddle quite as much as you do : zines months late (I can talk ...), strange arrangements whereby you nearly-but-not-quite relinquish editorial control, and finally, all this deadlines jallopy. How do you do it? You haven't been levering open Egyptian tombs stuffed full of ancient curses have you?

Iceworld review. Crikey, sounds awful. Strangely enough, it wasn't till the end that I realised that this wasn't the average David Gibbs churn-out but was in fact by someone else. I share Jackie's horror at the questions being asked ... if I hear "What do you think is the difference between American and British fans?" or "What was it like working with K9?" again I'll ... I'll ... well, I'll just sit there, frown, and try desperately hard to think of something more interesting to ask ... which is probably what everyone else in the room except the person who asked the question, will be doing. Sigh. Life's just a bowl of bitter cherries, isn't it?

The DIY Dr Who fan construction kit. Very amusing. Also absolutely terrifying. Ah well, I'm sure I'm not the only one suddenly having anxiety attacks and thinking ... do they really think I'm a prat? (yes) ... do I really look like that? (oh god, yes ...) If anyone's interested ... I'll probably get disembowelled with a corkscrew for this at the next LG meeting for this, since a corkscrew is the most likely thing David will have 'to hand' ... but the best way of rating David using this system is probably :

  1. SIX (well ... the others are so insulting I daren't risk them)
  2. ONE (ditto)
  3. definitely FOUR
  4. definitely THREE
  5. er ... FIVE I suppose
  6. FOUR I should think, judging by the Four I gave him in the third column
  7. quite definitely ONE (or possibly TWO, depending on how much caffeine he's had)
  8. TWO
  9. THREE
  10. SIX (yep ...)
  11. TWO (yep ...)
  12. probably SIX judging by his last couple of articles (all variations on "Sigh ... I'm growing out of Dr Who ... it's no fun anymore")
  13. THREE, like everyone else (Who is this "God" person anyway? Does he collect dictionaries? Does he imbibe large quantities of whisky? Did he present The Book Tower when I was ten years old? What's so good about him then?)
  14. and finally, it has to be SIX, which probably also applies to me. It's the "My god, this person's mad as well, quick, I must talk to them for as long as possible before they go away again" syndrome.

I also enjoyed the "cut-out" fan and all its little clothes. It made me nostalgic for all those young-girls' comics like Twinkle ... oh damn ... the cat's out of the bag ... you won't print that bit will you David? If you do I'll want that copy of the 1979 Jackie annual back.

Overall, very amusing, but a pity that since its publication I can't wear waistcoats without being castigated.

'Overkill'. No, The Daemons isn't that good is it? Well, it's not. It's good all right, but, to rip off Ian Levy's line, chuck it in with Season 7 and it stands out like a freshly minted coin tossed onto a shitpile. (Is that really what you meant to say, Ian?) Its major fault is that it's not The Silurians ("lovely, lovely, lovely"). Anyway, back to the plot. Re: "Too much examination of detail and not enough enjoyment", speak for yourself crumbly. I still enjoy the series, and aren't you sad you don't? Phew, barbed eh?

As far as the videos go you are probably right. Only the other day I was trying to work out which stories I haven't seen, and making a list out of those of the ones I really want to see ... and there aren't that many ... which made me sad. The excitement of seeing old stories has faded. Time was I used to wait with bated breath for a package of audio tapes of The Three Doctors and Keeper of Traken ... tapes which would usually sound like they'd been recorded on the top of a Welsh mountainside next to someone tuning a radio, and had then been stored under a large magnet for several weeks. Then when Postman Pat, Postman Pat, Postman Pat, Put the parcel on the mat, I'd set upon the envelope like a dervish, ripping the brown paper asunder to get at that little fantasy world inside. Then I'd put the tape in a ghetto blaster, and crowned with the headphones, curl up on the sofa gurgling with happiness, until the story dissolved into electronic hiss and the tape clicked to an end ... sigh.

Now I don't.

However, I have a remedy for you, David. Do what I've done, involuntarily. Get someone to take your video recorder away!

The physical withdrawal symptoms are worst in the first couple of days ... sort of quivering and spasms, and an unconscious twitching of the fingers that usually operate the VCR remote control. The real killer, though, is the psychological torment you suffer after a few days, when you suddenly realise you can't watch Songs of Praise on BBC1 and tape Crown Green Bowls on the other side. I tell you, when I realised I'd have to miss David Bryant sucking on his pipe I was sent down to the tenth circle of Hell.

Then I'd be sitting about on a Sunday afternoon and think "I think I'll watch The Sunmakers again". I'd get the tape out, go over to the video recorder, and put the cassette into thin air, where it would drop onto the sideboard. It's terrible.

Anyway, it's all right now. I've got a video recorder again now. And even without the VCR, things weren't that bad after a while. All I had to do was learn how to talk, walk and read again and everything was rosy.

Next, Ian's article. Hmm. Envy, envy.

Very interesting idea, actually, and he could well be right ... but ... oh, it just seems a bit too much really. I don't think Traken was based on these stories if that's what Ian's trying to say. They may have some common ideas, but I don't really think it was intentional.

I wondered, why didn't Ian mention the parallels between the Holy Grail and Traken, eg. the Knights who say 'Ni' = characters who can kill with one word = like characters who can kill with one look = Melkur, and their shrubberies = vegetation = garden = the grove? Admit it, Ian ... you MISSED it. Sorry for embarrassing you dear chap, but it had to be said.

On the other hand, he is so convincing. Re-reading it I'm almost believing the first half of the article (the comprehensible, pre-Wagner half ... that Tesco's wine must be stronger than I imagined) but then again ... it probably is a load of poop after all. For a start, there's that 'incredible coincidence' that the story's also been compared to King Lear. Hmm. How common is this, I wonder? Dig out the books everyone and look hard, check up your Secret Seven book, maybe they too feature a blasted garden and maybe Scamper the dog is really based on Sir Lancelot. Maybe if I'd read the actual stuff myself, rather than Ian's recitation of the plot (which is bound to be somewhat rephrased to make it seem more like Traken's plot) I could believe this was where Johnny Byrne ripped off some ideas from. Here's a novel idea. Why doesn't someone ask him if that stuff gave him any inspiration, instead of "What did you think of the director on Warriors of the Deep?" or "What was it like working with Tom Baker?", etc.

Why don't I have a go myself if I'm so clever ...? Well, I think the Source isn't sprung from the Holy Grail (I don't think some incredible power source can really be based on some old mug with light shining off it ... it's a tenuous link isn't it?), but something far more modern ... Star Wars. Sigh ... yes, it's so obvious, isn't it, the Source, mysterious power for Good is an unsubtle ripoff of the Force, mysterious power for Good. I've been listening to a tapezine interview with Johnny Byrne, and at first he doesn't refer to the Source, he calls it the Force. Maybe that's what it suggested to him. I doubt it myself to be honest ... what self-respecting writer would ripoff Star Wars? ... but it's a fun idea. Which, I suppose, is exactly what Ian's articles are about too.

What next for an encore ... ah yes, Ian's going to explain why Terrance Dicks is the best novelisation writer ... I remember you mentioning that. Should be very interesting.

I suppose you could argue that Terrance Dicks is the best writer on the grounds that his books are easy to understand and so got younger readers interested in Doctor Who. Perhaps you could say that it lent a nice continuity to the books when they were all written using the same half-dozen phrases ... but I can't think of much else you could credit old 'pack-in-the-cliches' Dicks with. Wasn't it Five Hundred Eyes that did a 'Write Your Own Terrance Dicks Novelisation' dice-thing? All right, so he's not totally incapable, but I don't think you can argue he's the best Target writer and really believe it. I makes for a nice original article which no one's done before (and we're all digging for those, aren't we dearies?) but Ian will have a job making me believe he believes what he's arguing about. Still, he'll probably do it. Clever swine.

I was much interested in what Ian had to say about Season 25 ... pity he says what he thinks with so much vitriol. (I don't think he was so strong about Season Twenty-FOUR?!?)

If you water down what he said about it, I agree with him really; ie. Remembrance was shallow, hackneyed and plastic, Happiness was disappointing, wrapping up the Kandyman (god, I loved him ... and I'm sure he scared kids under the carpet) with a creaky old dictatorship plot, Silver Nemesis was really shallow poop (tho' good fun ... has Ian got a comment to make on Brigid Cherry's review in CT where she said it was the "thinking fan's Doctor Who"?!) and Greatest Show was a dead nice little story definitely spoiled by an insufficient fourth episode and a horrible magic scene. (Not that dissimilar to the scene in Talons of Weng-Chiang with Tom Baker, but there it was a bit of incidental humour, not the 'big climax'.) (You can tell a zine's a tad late when the letter column is full of comments on the season before last.)

Ian's Happiness Patrol sounds wonderful. A 'weirdo sinister fantasy' would be nice. A sort of black chocolate comedy. Tasty, but would the BBC make it today? and what's wrong with Charlie and the Chocolate factory anyway? I've got a friend who's just finished reading it! I think she's got the right idea. It beats Dostoyvsky hands down. Dossy may have slightly more skill at creating pale, stumbling neurotics (er ... Raskolnikov/ Golyadkin/probably lots of others), but you tell me, who's got the more interesting plots? And did Dossy invent 'the Vermicious Knids'? No. Mind you, he did write some truly inspiring prose in Crime and Punishment about people with pints of vodka, so maybe old Dossy has chutzpah after all.

Come to think of it, nowadays Charlie and the Chocolate Factory has a faint aura of innocent psychedelic to it. In my mind it's grouped together with other wonders such as Yellow Submarine, that fantastic moment when Chitty Chitty Bang Bang turns into a boat, pictures of John Lennon with hypnotic eyes, Jamie and the Magic Torch, and the Magic Roundabout, that beautiful little storybook you get with 'Magical Mystery Tour', the instrumental break in 'Being for the Benefit of Mr Kite' (wow) and 'Hurdy Gurdy Man' by Donovan (cue Julie Andrews singing 'These are a few of my favourite things').

I rather liked the faint Willy Wonka ripoffs in The Happiness Patrol, both in the incidental music and in the look of the Kandy Kitchen. The latter was wonderful, with all those big cogs and wheels and tubes (seeing the fondant surprise going up the tubes was reminiscent of watching Augustus Gloop going up the tubes after falling into the chocolate lake in the Gene Wilder film).

Incidentally: "Willy Wonka". It's strange how the names of old children's characters seem mildly obscene these days. It reminds me of that story about Captain Pugwash, where apparently the cabin-boy was constantly called "Master Bates", and there was also a crewman called "Seaman Staines" ... ahem, let's move on, shall we ...?

Ian is pretty much right about Remembrance, it is the Dr Who equivalent of a pot noodle, except for one point : I've never actually eaten a pot noodle (I'm a coward) but I would imagine that they taste like boiled crap. Remembrance 'tasted' quite sweet. Bit of an unpleasant after-taste, admittedly (rather like 'Chewitts' ... although they seem to be getting rid of the after-taste these days ... ahem ...), but it was still an enjoyable chew at the time.

By the way, on the last page, Jerome K Beelzebub isn't an anagram of John Nathan-Turner. I've tried it and it doesn't work. Do I get a prize for spotting the deliberate mistake, or was it another of your foul-ups?

And finally, with the phone numbers, why didn't you mention line number nine, 0482 650676 ... "Tom Baker and the Rod of Rassilon"? Simply ring Beckerment 650676 and ask for Jamie ... you're guaranteed a 'hot' time.

(Letter writer exits stage left, rubbing hands together and cackling madly ...)

  • Tat Wood
  • David Hookham
  • Edward Lord
  • Jonathan Burt
  • David Metcalfe
  • Simon Colenutt
  • Nick Cooper
  • Ian Berriman (again)

Issue five contents
Five Hundred Eyes index