THE DISUSED YETI

1999 SURVEY RESULTS

26 March 2000

Results compiled and presented by
Bruce Robinson (robinsba@ozemail.com.au)


Welcome to the results of the 1999 Disused Yeti survey. This is the third survey to be conducted by the editors of the DY newsletter. The results of the previous surveys (for 1996 & 1997 – there was no 1998 survey) can be located on the <www.telesnaps.com/dy> web-site.

Due to a healthy number of responses (418 in total), a huge amount of material has to be crammed into these results. Regrettably, this means that only a very small portion of respondents’ comments can be included. However, a supplementary list of comments has been compiled – this is mainly because we are very thankful to all respondents who provided extra comments and, at the very least, would like to provide you with some form of recognition. If you are interested in reading the supplementary comments, please send me an e-mail, or visit the following web-page:

http://www.telesnaps.com/dy/99s_supp.htm

In preparing the results below, questions were compiled in the usual points fashion. In other words, in any question where responses were provided in the form of three “top” choices, points were awarded on a “3-2-1” basis (ie 3 points for first, 2 for second, 1 for third). If people selected three stories without specifying an order, then 2 points was awarded to each choice. If anyone has any further queries on how the results were compiled, please send me an e-mail – it’s not worth going into excruciating detail here!

Finally, just a quick comment about the survey itself. A few people were slightly critical of some of the questions, and thought that they could have been redrafted in a more detailed fashion. While I certainly appreciated hearing your thoughts on the questions asked, most of the suggestions would be difficult to implement as they fall foul of the two most important criteria in designing a survey. And that is, the survey must be easy to respond to, and easy to compile. I think one of the main reasons why we had a high number of responses to this survey was the fact that the questions were deliberately kept as simple as possible. I will be the first to confess that some of the questions mightn’t be as flexible as they could be, but in the overall scheme of things, simplicity must come out on top.


 PRELIMINARY

To start off the results, let’s take a look of the total number of responses received, grouped by country :

This compares favourably with the previous survey, in which 272 responses were received in total. Interestingly, the USA had the most number of responses for the previous survey (111 versus 95 for the UK). However, with the rapid expansion of the Internet in other countries, it’s clear that more “long-term” DOCTOR WHO fans have connected to the Net over the past couple of years (these are exactly the sort of fans who would find the Disused Yeti and the recons to their taste). Not surprisingly, the majority of this group originate from the UK.

The “Other” countries included Singapore, Japan and Italy. Unfortunately, the two fellows who selected “Other” as their country, and then qualified their response by stating “Scotland”, had to be grouped in with the English. Terribly sorry about that!

As for how the responses were received ...

And finally, here are your choices on how you preferred to receive the newsletter :


PART A : MISSING EPISODES

A1) Currently, there are 109 missing episodes of DOCTOR WHO. How many do you think still exist, whether they be temporarily misplaced, or in the hands of private collectors?

In the previous survey, 64% of all respondents believed that there were no more than 30 missing episodes remaining to be discovered. Despite the fact that we’ve had an episode recovery since the last survey (The Lion in early 1999), it appears that people are now even more pessimistic about the chances of episodes being recovered. The percentage of respondents selecting 30 episodes or less, has now jumped up to 76%.

There are two possible reasons for this increase. Firstly, it may simply be due to the passage of time – as the years pass, and the episode discoveries become less frequent, people’s hopes are obviously reduced. Secondly, it may also be a case of people now being more satisfied with the alternatives available for experiencing these stories, such as the BBC released audios, and the reconstructions. As a result, there is no longer the same desire to view the episodes for real.

Still, I think every DOCTOR WHO fan will always maintain a faint glimmer of hope that we haven’t quite reached the end of the road yet ...

A2) Which three stories would you most like to see recovered IN FULL?

[The figure in square brackets immediately after the position indicates the result obtained in the 1997 survey.]

1. [1] The Daleks’ Master Plan – 444 
2. [2] The Power of the Daleks – 349 
3. [3] Marco Polo – 310 
4. [=4] The Evil of the Daleks – 291 
5. [6] The Web of Fear – 240 
6. [=7] Fury from the Deep – 174 
7. [=4] The Tenth Planet – 148 
8. [=7] The Celestial Toymaker – 110 
9. [12] The Abominable Snowmen – 73 
10. [9] The Massacre – 51 
11. [10] The Highlanders – 47 
12. [16] The Myth Makers – 37 
13. [=17] Galaxy 4 – 27 
14. [11] The Faceless Ones – 25 
15. [14] The Wheel in Space – 24 
16. [13] The Crusade – 22 
17. [15] The Invasion – 19 
18. [=17] The Macra Terror – 18 
19. [19] The Enemy of the World – 12 
20. [21] The Moonbase – 11
== [27] The Space Pirates – 11 
22. [=22] The Smugglers – 10 
23. [=24] The Reign of Terror – 9 
== [20] Mission to the Unknown – 9 
25. [=24] The Ice Warriors – 6
26. [=22] The Underwater Menace – 5 
27. [26] The Savages – 4

There aren’t any great surprises in the stories that people would most like to see recovered – the top six stories are all recognised as classics of their respective era. The Daleks’ Master Plan was an absolute run-away winner – not only are there a pile of episodes to recover (ten in total), but it’s also considered to be a very good story (or at the very least, a landmark story in the show’s history). Furthermore, it’s one of the few stories not available in any alternative format (such as a reconstruction or BBC audio), so many people would have little knowledge of the story, and thus, would be more interested in experiencing it for the first time.

It was also interesting to note those stories which increased and decreased in popularity since the last survey. The Tenth Planet is probably the most notable change (from equal 4th to 7th). For many years, fans have regarded it as an undisputed classic – however, now that more people have viewed the story, perhaps many are finding that it isn’t the high quality production they were expecting. On the other hand, there were a few stories which jumped up the list from last time – examples include The Abominable Snowmen (from 12th to 9th), The Myth Makers (from 16th to 12th), and rather strangely, The Space Pirates (from last place at 27 to equal 20th!).

As mentioned in the 1997 survey results, the number of episodes missing from a story also has to be considered in a question such as this. Obviously, stories such as The Ice Warriors and The Reign of Terror are never going to perform wonderfully well, as both are well-represented in the archives already. However, the top six stories on the list above all require five or more episodes to complete the story. Once again, though, this highlights just how sought after The Tenth Planet:4 – even though only a single episode is required, fans desire this more than say, a complete recovery of The Celestial Toymaker or The Abominable Snowmen.

A3) Do you have any additional comments on the missing episodes?

Yes, but my comments were wiped by the Beeb in 1972. (DAVID BRUNT)

The BBC is continuing to make considerable money by exploiting the DOCTOR WHO product – it’s time they got off their corporate rear ends and publicly committed themselves to aiding (NOT controlling) the work of the fans in searching for the missing episodes and doing something with them, rather than to feed their ideas for wringing more money out of DOCTOR WHO. (BRIAN DOWLING)

Any recovered material would be most welcome, of course. But I cannot help wondering what would be thought of a story like The Krotons, for example, if it were lost or The Evil of the Daleks (a bit slow and dull for my taste) if it were still in existence. (MICHAEL KING)

It’s easy to romanticise that the missing eps are all classics, then get disillusioned – they’re just like all the others, mostly good, a few clunkers and one or two real gems ... (IAN BARNETT)

If there were fifty episodes lying scattered around they would be more likely to have been found by now. As it is, there’s been one episode found in – what, around seven years? Not good signs. (ALEX ROHAN)

There was a time when I would have preferred a complete story to be found. Now, though, if six episodes were to be found, I would almost prefer it if each one was from a different story. (SIMON MOORE)

After watching Tenth Planet episodes 1 - 3 and reviewing both the original Tenth Planet recon and the Loose Cannon version, I for one have almost no interest in this story. It is in my opinion amazingly poor, especially when it had two such important historical things going for it – the introduction of the Cybermen and the regeneration. (CHARLES DANIELS)

This sounds a bit silly, maybe, but the fact that there *are* missing episodes is one of the few really cohesive forces in DOCTOR WHO fandom. I’d love to see them all back – but sometimes wonder whether we’d be the poorer as a group for the recovery. (ROB SHEARMAN)

Whilst it is clearly a shame that they are missing, I’m also very grateful that so much material from these episodes has survived. I think that we are actually very lucky to have the audios, telesnaps, camera scripts etc. (DAVID HERRICK)


PART B : THE RECONSTRUCTIONS

B1) Roughly speaking, how many reconstructions have you seen in total?

These results demonstrate a healthy increase in interest for the reconstructions over the last couple of years. In the 1997 survey, two-thirds of all respondents had either never seen a reconstruction, or had only seen a few stories. However, in this survey, only 47% of respondents fall within this category.

On behalf of all the creators, I’d just like to give a big “thank you” to all fans who’ve ever expressed an interest in the recons – the support certainly helps us to keep going, and provides us with the motivation to produce higher quality products!

B2) What are your three favourite reconstructions?

1. Marco Polo (COI) – 244 
2. The Web of Fear (JV) – 228 
3. The Power of the Daleks (COI) – 196 
4. The Evil of the Daleks (JV) – 182 
5. Fury from the Deep (JV) – 110 
6. The Tenth Planet (MPal) – 101 
7. The Abominable Snowmen (COI) – 80 
8. The Faceless Ones (JV) – 79 
9. The Wheel in Space (JV) – 56 
10. The Enemy of the World (COI) – 55 
11. The Myth Makers (LC) – 54 
12. The Reign of Terror (MPal) – 50 
13. The Savages (COI) – 49 
14. The Power of the Daleks (LC) – 48 
15. The Tenth Planet (LC) – 46 
16. The Ice Warriors (JV) – 38 
17. The Power of the Daleks (RDev) – 37 
18. The Moonbase (COI) – 36 
19. Mission to the Unknown (MPal) – 24 
20. Galaxy 4 (LC) – 21 
== The Celestial Toymaker (LC) – 21 
22. The Moonbase (JV) – 18 
23. The Highlanders (LC) – 16 
24. The Abominable Snowmen (RDev) – 15 
25. The Daleks’ Master Plan 1 (HAch) – 14 
== The Smugglers (LC) – 14 
27. The Macra Terror (LC) – 13 
28. The Underwater Menace (JV) – 11 
29. The Highlanders (RDev) – 10 
30. The Faceless Ones (LC) – 9 
31. The Massacre (LC) – 8 
== The Space Pirates (LC) – 8 
== The Savages (LC) – 8 
34. The Invasion (MPal) – 7 
35. The Smugglers (RDev) – 4

Recon Creators (in alphabetical order) : 

COI – Change of Identity 
HAch – Harold Achatz
JV – Joint Venture 
LC – Loose Cannon 
MPal – Michael Palmer 
RDev – Richard Develyn

Since the list of available recons has changed dramatically since the 1997 survey, a direct comparison with the previous results would be rather pointless. However, in a result that may come as a surprise to many (including the guy compiling these results!), the top recon in 1997, Marco Polo, still remains at the top of the list for 1999.

However, as pointed out by Loose Cannon team-member Derek Handley, this question could really be phrased as “what are your favourite three stories which have been completed as reconstructions?” In other words, the question doesn’t really demonstrate which are the best reconstructions from a technical point-of-view. Instead, people will simply vote for the stories that they enjoy the most. The fact that the COI version of Marco Polo came out on top tends to confirm what Derek has said. This particular recon is now over 3 years old, and is really rather dated when compared with more recent efforts. However, what holds it up is obviously a very, very strong story!

Another point to note about this question is that recent releases are *never* going to be perform well, for the simple reason that not many people would have viewed the recons when the survey was distributed. I would expect that the responses for the Loose Cannon version of Toymaker and Galaxy 4 would pick once more people have viewed these recons. Having said that, the response to the recent JV release of Fury was incredibly positive – though with a strong story and a unique documentary, can anyone be surprised by this?

Michael Palmer’s version of The Tenth Planet still continues to rate favourably with many fans, despite the fact that many others dislike the technique of re-using footage from the first three episodes. There is also a good level of support for the unusual recon of The Daleks’ Master Plan:1, completed by Harold Achatz. In fact, in many ways, both these reconstructions paved the way for further creative techniques later on. Nowadays, we even have “live action” scenes being created (LC version of Galaxy 4).

Finally, it was clear from a few responses, that people voted for the JV version of The Ice Warriors, when in reality, all they had seen was the mini-reconstruction released by the BBC. In these cases, the votes for the JV recon were not counted. On a similar point, a few people did express confusion over what version of a recon they had seen – although a particular version was marked, a note was provided to indicate that the respondent wasn’t 100% sure if they had selected the right version. In many ways, it’s hardly surprising that some confusion has developed – for a newcomer to the recons, it must be a little bit tricky deciding where to start. Fortunately, because the tapes are distributed on a non-profit basis, this allows the different styles to be sampled without an undue financial burden on the viewer.

B3) What did you think of the reconstruction featured on the BBC release of The Ice Warriors? (note – this question is ONLY referring to the reconstruction of episodes 2 & 3, and NOT the complete release)

Considering how critical DOCTOR WHO fans can be of the BBC at times, these results demonstrate a solid “thumbs-up” for the Ice Warriors recon. Many, many respondents qualified their choices by saying that they would have preferred a full reconstruction. However, most of these people accepted that what the BBC did with Ice Warriors was the best that could have been expected.

Positive aspects cited by respondents included the excellent picture quality, and the manner in which “movement” was added to the still images. Apart from the point mentioned above about the recon not being a complete one, there weren’t a great deal of negative comments. Most people were reasonably satisfied with the BBC’s first effort in completing a recon.

B4) What elements do you feel are important in a successful reconstruction?

(a) CAPTIONS 

Oh dear ... it’s the issue that always seems to attract never-ending discussion one way or the other.

I’ve always been of the opinion that there is considerable support for both the “descriptive text only” method (ie what appears in the JV recons), and the “full script” method (COI style). However, on reading various messages over the past 3-4 years, it appears that a lot of people aren’t convinced, preferring to believe that their particular favourite is also the “overwhelming” favourite of fandom. Thankfully, this isn’t the case (and I don’t think it *ever* has been the case). The above results prove quite decisively that there is solid level of support for both versions (the support is even more solid when the 85 people who selected the “variety” option is also factored in). Therefore, the good news for recon creators is that they can continue to use one style over another, and still be guaranteed a high level of support.

Regrettably though, there may be entirely separate reasons why a particular version has to be dropped ... more about this in the next Disused Yeti.

(b) COLOUR PHOTOS 

Similar to the debate about text captions, I’ve always suspected that the issue of whether colour photos should be included in the recons (AS colour photos, and not just converted to black/white), was one which would split fandom right down the line. And the above results certainly display an almost 50/50 split in those who prefer colour, to those who prefer that all photos be presented in black/white.

As announced in a recent Disused Yeti, the MPP recons will NOT be using colour photos in any of their productions. As a result, a few people may query why the above question was included in this survey, if there’s no chance of us changing our minds. However, I think there’s still a place in determining just how many people may be opposed to this decision!

It will be interesting to see if the results of this question differ once people have managed to watch the new MPP version of Marco Polo. Personally, I think the recon looks superb in just black/white photos, and I really can’t see the place for the occasional colour photo – it would completely ruin the flow of the picture scripting.

(c) AUTHENTIC USE OF PHOTOGRAPHIC MATERIAL 

In the introduction, I mentioned that some of the survey questions received a bit of flak – this question was certainly one of them. Some respondents felt that the question was too general, and that it should have been divided between telesnap and non-telesnap stories. The argument being that because there’s a wealth of material available for the telesnap stories (relatively speaking), one should adopt a more “pure” approach when completing a recon.

I accept the arguments raised here, and do agree that one’s viewpoint can differ depending on the sort of story being reconstructed. However, on the other hand, I think a “bottom line” can be drawn regardless of what sort of story is under discussion. Consider it this way – if a reconstruction creator is faced with a difficult scene (in ANY sort of story), then what would your general feeling be to how the scene should be designed. Would you still prefer a purist’s approach, or would you be more willing to use new material?

For instance, I generally don’t mind if the recon features images from other DOCTOR WHO stories. However, this is not to say that I will completely rule out the possibility of other TV shows and films (or even new material). Instead, my PREFERENCE is to stick to DOCTOR WHO stories – however, as I’ve discovered many times, my own feelings, and what is need in practical terms, is often a different kettle of fish!

Returning to our results above, it appears that there are three general approaches people have as to what photographic material to use. Even the third-ranked category, “other DOCTOR WHO stories”, still attracted a reasonable response with 86 votes. So it seems that no matter what approach is taken, some viewers will like the techniques used, while others may find it restricting / distracting.

(d) AUTHENTIC USE OF VIDEO MATERIAL 

Out of all the questions on this survey, this is the only one where at least 50% of respondents chose one particular option. It’s obvious when looking at these results, in comparison to the previous question, that people have a much more pure approach to the use of video footage. While many respondents might not complain about “un-authentic” photographic material being used, they much prefer that the creators stick to the video material from the actual story being reconstructed (and furthermore, judging by many of the comments, that the footage be used *only* in its correct location).

Having said that, there’s still a high percentage who like the idea of new clips being created (well over 25%). With this technique only being introduced fairly recently (most notably, with the Loose Cannon recon of Galaxy 4), it will be interesting to see if people’s opinions change on this particular issue.

If nothing else, this question highlights that most people (over 75%) prefer an “all or nothing” approach. In other words, either stick to just the authentic material, or go the “full monty” and create new material. Anything in the middle is just not worth the effort.

B5) Do you have any additional comments on the reconstructions?

I recall seeing a reconstruction that used a few pictures of the Doctor from other stories. Being very familiar with the other stories, I was able to spot it immediately and it was a bit off-putting. Such sub-textual references to other stories tends to bring a slew of extra meaning to a reconstruction. (MATTHEW BROOKE)

I felt that the BBC chose the best possible option when preparing Ice Warriors for release. A full reconstruction would never appeal to die-hard fans, but the chosen result will please those who had been disappointed with previous releases of incomplete stories. None of the important events in the story are missed because of the fact that the episodes are abridged, and it still keeps the attention of the viewer easily. (JON BILLINGHAM)

I’m praying that more documentaries like The Making of Fury ... are made. Wonderful idea. (BRUCE RICH)

I don’t mind new material (whether stills or video) being created for the recons, so long as they keep to the feel of the original story – which definitely means they should stay B/W! If anyone has the capability, I think creating new model sequences (for example) in CGI would be marvellous, so long as they don’t look too “modern” and out-of-place. (JOE SUEIRAS)

The Underwater Menace was a revelation. Sure, the fish people are a bit dumb and it’s not exactly an intellectually stimulating story, but what a delightful romp! It was a much better production than I was anticipating and I think the reconstruction, as opposed to merely an audio soundtrack, helped to reinforce that fact. (PETER FRANKUM)

I think I would tentatively suggest that almost anything goes [in terms of material] as long as used in moderation and only where there is little to work with. Thus, if using photos from other sources or video from other DOCTOR WHO would help with reconstructing The Massacre (for instance), then I wouldn’t object. On the other hand, I’d probably prefer that a more traditional approach be used for stories with a lot of telesnaps and stills, in case a misleading impression be given. (BEN HAKALA)

If the large majority of the photos are black and white, I imagine it could be jarring if a small fraction are colour, but I’m more interested in the stories than the reconstructions, if that makes sense! The less something reminds me that I’m watching a great reconstruction of a story rather than the real thing, the better. (GILLIAN HART)

The reconstructions serve a wonderful purpose in that they give those true fans of DOCTOR WHO a partial glimpse of stories that they otherwise would have very little hope of obtaining. Since it’s not a profit making organisation, this makes getting the releases affordable for people like me who are on a limited income. Excellent work. (VERN GODFREY)

I look forward to the day when I can watch the entire series from the beginning with reconstructions filling in the gaps. (STEVE MIZEN)

If ALL the photos were in colour, that would be okay – it is the shift between black/white and colour that I wouldn’t like. As this is unlikely, all black and white it is. (MICHAEL LEE)

I really, really loathe the obtrusive use of dialogue captions on the COI recons. So much so that I am now only really interested in the JV recons. I prefer the photos and soundtrack to tell the story with the odd essential caption to explain the action when needed. The JVs are excellent. (JOHN PETTIGREW)

For these stories with so few visuals, I’d rather listen to a high quality CD audio from the BBC, or read the Target novel. (JONATHAN MURPHY)

I think that one of the most important elements of the reconstructions is the sound quality. You can have the best picture quality available, but if you can’t hear the dialogue, then it’s pretty pointless (JEREMY HARRISON)

Recons ideally should include as much info as possible (hence the full script sub-titles), including photographs presented in their original condition (including colour!). Recons also serve an added purpose as a collection of all existing material. (TONY BLIESNER)

A good audio track and subtle captions go a long way toward creating a watchable representation of the original. DOCTOR WHO always was stronger in its dialogue and sound effects than its visuals, even into the eighties. (MICHELLE HURZELER)


PART C : AUDIOS

C1) Recently, The Massacre has been released on BBC Audio. Are you likely to purchase any future BBC releases of the audios?

This is a fairly positive response to the support likely to be given to future BBC audio releases. The vast majority of respondents are willing to sample some of the BBC audios, although many expressed personal reservations at listening to audios generally (basically, they find them boring). However, even these people seem willing to fork out the cash just to experience a few favourites.

C2) Which stories would you prefer to see released on BBC Audio? (or in some cases, you may wish a story to be re-released in better quality)

1. The Daleks’ Master Plan – 522 
2. Marco Polo – 315 
3. The Web of Fear – 146 
4. The Celestial Toymaker – 136 
5. The Evil of the Daleks – 105 
6. The Power of the Daleks – 104 
7. The Myth Makers – 99 
8. The Highlanders – 85 
9. Galaxy 4 – 75 
10. The Tenth Planet – 73 
== Abominable Snowmen – 73 
12. Fury from the Deep – 58 
13. The Space Pirates – 38 
14. The Faceless Ones – 37 
15. The Smugglers – 35 
16. The Enemy of the World – 33 
17. Mission to the Unknown – 29 
18. The Moonbase – 26 
19. The Wheel in Space – 24 
== The Reign of Terror – 24 
21. The Macra Terror – 22 
22. The Savages – 18 
23. The Underwater Menace – 12 
24. The Invasion – 8

[As noted on the survey form, The Massacre, The Crusade and The Ice Warriors were not included due to recent BBC releases.]

It’s not hard to see which stories would prove popular for future BBC releases. Master Plan was always going to be an obvious winner – partly due to the fact that a good quality audio isn’t really commonly available, and partly because it’s a popular story in any case! Most people commented on the excellent work performed by Mark Ayres to enhance the quality of the recent audio releases – the thought of having a crystal clear Master Plan or Marco Polo seems to have many salivating at the lips!

Stories already released by the BBC, but in poorer quality, also attracted a reasonable level of interest in regards to higher quality re-releases. Certainly, re-releases of the two Troughton Dalek stories would be welcomed by many people. In addition, many respondents mentioned that they’d also be interested in Evil if the story was released uncut (in the original release, episode 1 was trimmed due to copyright reasons). However, it’s arguable whether an unedited version of Evil will see the light of day.

The Web of Fear, which appeared as number 3 on the above list, should prove a popular choice when released. In fact, a few people even mentioned that they avoided voting for Web since they knew it was about to be released.

Many respondents also qualified their selections, saying they would only be interested in purchasing the story if “voice-over” narration was not provided. However, considering the commercial interests of the release, it appears highly unlikely that the BBC would ever want to release a “pure” version without narration. Still, with improving technology, perhaps some compromise may be reached in the future which would allow the audios to be released in a variety of formats, thus giving the consumer the choice of which version they prefer to listen to. Who knows what sort of audio-related questions we’ll be asking in future surveys!

C3) Do you have any additional comments on the audios?

I personally would be most interested in obtaining audio CDs of the stories that would benefit most from restoration by Mark Ayres. (STEVE MANFRED)

I’d be happier with a re-release of the video version with a CD and brief telesnap based linking sequence like The Ice Warriors. I’d certainly buy a copy of that (given that the good Mr Steve Roberts and his friends are allowed to work their restorative magic on the recordings!). (ROGER ANDERSON)

I don’t think that the availability of a reconstruction necessarily means that I would have no interest in purchasing a commercially available audio. It’s great to listen to those spooky Dalek voices whilst driving home from work! (PETER FRANKUM)

The Massacre ... was vastly superior to previous BBC releases – apart from its extremely poor packaging. (ANDREW PIXLEY)

My suggestion to the BBC would be to release the audios but also include other worthwhile tidbits on their tapes – for instance an interview with an actor involved or perhaps the writer and producer. Fans of cult television and science fiction live for extra information and want to have such special extras. (NICK SEIDLER)

Only bemoaning the difficulty of obtaining the BBC releases here in Australia. When will The Massacre be at my local ABC shop huh?! (GARY GEORGE)

I personally prefer the releases to be without narration, but I do not think that an audio in this form would be commercially viable for release to the general public. Perhaps as a compromise the narration could be placed only on one track and so could be effectively switched off by adjusting the balance. (DEREK HANDLEY)

It’s nice to see the BBC releasing audios but somehow I find it difficult to get myself worked up about them in the same way I do for a new BBC video release (like, say, The Ice Warriors, which was a “must-buy”). I think I’m the sort of person who prefers to have something for his eyes to do at the same time as his ears – I can listen to music in the background but only because it does not require my full attention and I can, say, read a book at the same time. I find it more difficult to listen to a DOCTOR WHO audio because it requires my full attention all the time to follow the story but yet my eyes are not doing anything. So watching a reconstruction is easier for me, even if I’m not actually paying that much attention to the pictures – just because it means my eyes can do something useful at the same time. (DOMINIC JACKSON)

Peter Purves, vastly to my surprise, narrated The Massacre perfectly by playing it dead straight, just as in the original serial. The narrator should not be obtrusive – it would be like having subtitles in a frivolous font at the bottom of the screen. (GRAHAM NELSON)

I would be buying all of the BBC Audio releases if it were not for the narration. I found mention of “Terileptil hunting knives” in Power of the Daleks out of place, obtrusive and self-congratulatory. If narration is really needed, it should be kept true to the programme and not go delving into all the fan pandering that destroyed the show. (CHRIS WILLIAMS)

My big problem is if I pay for the audios, and my hearing implant can’t hear the dialogue, I’ve wasted my brass. I now have three stories, Tomb of the Cybermen, The Macra Terror and The Paradise of Death. The third one is by far the best quality – I can’t hear most of the other two. So it stops me buying them, which I very much regret. (MICHAEL GERWAT)


PART D : NOTHING AT THE END OF THE LANE MAGAZINE

D1) Have you obtained a copy of issue #1 of Nothing at the End of the Lane?

As of writing, the number of respondents who chose “yes” roughly equated to 40% of the total number of people who obtained the magazine. This is a very healthy percentage, and certainly ensures that the editors receive good solid feedback from a wide variety of respondents.

Incidentally, those people who chose “No, but I intend to” may be interested to hear that as of writing, the 102 people in this group is more or less in line with the number of spare copies currently available. You have been warned!

D2) If you have obtained the magazine, what are your views on the end result?

(a) PAGE COUNT 

One of the perennial problems facing any editors of a new fanzine is just how long to make their publication. Obviously, a number of factors need to be considered – ensuring that enough good quality material is available, ensuring that there is still of plenty of material to cover in future issues, ensuring that costs are keep reasonably low, and ensuring that people don’t become too overwhelmed with a mass-load of written text!

Fortunately, it seems that we’ve achieved the right balance for issue #1. Keeping in mind that we’re aiming at roughly one issue per year, it seems that people think the current page count (of 64 pages) is the ideal length for this type of publication. Incidentally, the page-count may have to be dropped back to 60 pages for future issues, but this is more to do with current distribution problems.

(b) CHOICE OF ARTICLES 

Again, another positive response to the magazine. The majority of people who chose “most of the articles” cited the, ummm, rather sizeable length of one-particular script article as perhaps a little off-putting. However, even many of these people stated that this article was still a fascinating read, albeit requiring a fair bit of dedication to get through!

The editors have certainly taken note of these findings, and will attempt to ensure that all future articles are kept within a reasonable page-count. If we feel that a lengthier article is warranted, then a multi-part article will be considered. The good news is that issue #2 has already been planned with these thoughts in mind.

(c) OVERALL RESULT 

What a wonderful way to conclude this survey! The editors of NATEOTL are absolutely over-the-moon at this fantastic response, especially considering that it’s our first ever effort at a proper written publication. The good news is that we think issue #2 will be an improvement over the first issue – so even those people who didn’t find the first issue as enjoyable as others, may find the issue #2 content more to their tastes.

If nothing else, the magazine demonstrates that fans are still hungry for factual information on the show. With other fanzines already having exhaustively covered most other areas of the show, the “research and restoration” angle is probably the one area which hasn’t been completely explored. Although we have already seen some in-depth research books available for general consumption (most notably, the Handbook series), there are still many areas which can be explored in greater detail.

D3) Do you have any additional comments on the magazine?

From the instant I opened the first page and read the editorials, I was gripped. It was superbly laid out with clear print, and if I hadn’t known otherwise, I would never have guessed that this was a first attempt at a magazine/fanzine. Recording locations ... who cares about those – I DO!!! Well, NOW I do! Richard Bignell’s article about this was one of the best ones in the magazine, and I now have enthusiasm for an area of DOCTOR WHO that I had no interest in whatsoever a few months ago! (JON BILLINGHAM)

Aside from Andrew Pixley’s article being a little too long (it might have been a less tiresome read if broken into two or three parts and scattered throughout the issue), the magazine was absolutely perfect. Indeed, it was nothing less than looming university commitments that ultimately forced me to put the issue down and stop reading – although this didn’t last long, as I soon found myself continuing to power through it in my lectures! Easily the best A$10 I have ever spent on a DOCTOR WHO related item. (WITOLD TIETZE)

Having been involved with fanzine production, I have always found it difficult to obtain numerous quantity and quality articles for inclusion in the issue. Although it does not affect the reader’s enjoyment of the issue to hand, it may be good to reduce the page count and save articles for the next issue. That way we don’t have to wait ages between issues! (TREVOR GENSCH)

NATEOTL was an excellent product produced in an extremely good year for DOCTOR WHO. The production values were very good, in fact virtually “professional” and I certainly intend to buy any future issues which may be published. It was an excellent supplement to the recons. Well done to all involved. (DAVID MOSLEY)

The magazine’s strength was its exacting and simple explanations of research techniques – in fact, it is probably the best example of this sort of explanation I have ever seen in my many years of research, especially for DOCTOR WHO materials. (NICK SEIDLER)

My main point is that I would like to see this magazine continue on an occasional basis. Being the typical fanatic for detail that most WHO fans who will have bought this mag tend to be, I loved the lists and spreadsheets as much as the articles. (JEFF TRIM)

It’s rare for the first issue of any magazine to turn out as well as this one did. I honestly expected items that were rehashed from the Disused Yeti and was proved wrong. As much reading as I do about the BW era, I found things I was unaware of in the magazine. It was brilliant. It’s my hope that the magazine continues, even if only on an annual basis. You are all to be congratulated on a job very well done. (STEPHEN WOLTERSTORFF)

I’ve known three people living right next to one another who are unable to put together even a decent newsletter. To be able to produce a high quality magazine while living on three different continents is quite impressive! (BEN VAN DE WEGHE)

Andrew Pixley’s fascinating scripts article was rightly the centrepiece (much more amusing than his usually rather po-faced archive thingies in DWM) – especially the awful Terry Nation and Brian Hayles’ dialogue. Overall, a hugely enjoyable read. (PAUL TRICKETT)


BORING STUFF

The DOCTOR WHO reconstructions are fan-produced endeavours completed without the consent of BBC Worldwide, BBC Television, or any holders of the DOCTOR WHO licence. No infringement on any such copyright holder is intended nor are the tapes produced for any sort of monetary compensation. Tapes are distributed through the worldwide DOCTOR WHO fan network. Support the BBC releases!

All material published in this newsletter is copyright the Disused Yeti newsletter. Please do not reprint any of the contents in another publication (whether electronic or print) without obtaining the prior permission from the editors.

The newsletter is available in three formats – plain text, Word 6, and HTML. In addition, there is also an “announcement” mailing list which simply announces the release of a new issue, and provides details on how the issue can be downloaded. Please send an E-mail to Bruce if you wish to be added to any of these lists (or wish to have your details altered or removed). The back-issues (in text, Word and HTML format) can be located at the following web-site:

http://www.telesnaps.com/

1996 Survey Results

Index

1997 Survey Results