Wednesday, 30 May 2007

Fanzines Reviewing Fanzines - Telos #15

In a continued celebration of RTP! #1 this week, this blog brings you a review of the fanzine that in many ways helped spawn RTP! in the first place. Jonathan Park's Telos as reviewed in RTP! #1:
Telos #15 — The Last Laugh!!!

Farewell to a slice of Doctor Who fandom in New Zealand.

There aren't that many adjectives around that would sum this one up. Quirky comes to mind as the most appropriate however. What should have been 'the last laugh' was more of a cough, a splutter that was the last regular issue of Telos. Reprinted in the middle of it all was Telos #1. Telos had come a long way since that issue, so it was interesting to see it and such initiatives as 'The Telos Prediction Line'.
Back to the main body, and Telos^2* looked to be interesting with a well written article by David Ronayne about the dark path taken by recent TV sci-fi shows, and an often indepth review of Doctor Who Season Nine.
Unfortunately, this issue was all too neglected, and a sad farewell to a fine piece of New Zealand fandom history.

- Wade Campbell
* Telos^2 was an aborted attempt to transition Telos from a purely Doctor Who fanzine to a multi-show one. What was completed of it appeared as part of issue 15.

A tad on the short side, so help pad out this post is a brand new review of the same issue a little over ten years later:

Telos #15 — The Last Laugh!!! (April 1997)

Telos came to an end in April 1997 with its fifteenth and final issue, identified on the cover as 'The Last Laugh!!!'. Telos was something that I'd been aware of ever since Paul Scoones had begun reviewing it in the pages of TSV, but it was not something that I'd ever read. I eventually stumbled over a copy of a previous issue (#12) while working on RTP! some time after it had folded.

Issue 15 is something of an unfortunate issue to bow out on as it is incredibly half-hearted in execution, the fanzine finally getting a decent send off with Telos Unearthed, which was edited by Peter Adamson and published in 1998.

A hefty chunk of the issue (twenty of the fifty-two pages) is given over to a complete reprint of Issue 1, which does at least allow the reader to appreciate just how much the fanzine had improved in every area since its first issue. Four pages are lost to large type face announcements and another two to reprinted material, one of which is Graham Muir's "Saucer" comic.

The new material that does make it into the issue all comes from the aborted Telos^2 fanzine that Jonathan Park had dabbled with the idea of. Thus the purely Doctor Who material is limited to reviews of merchandise (trading cards and a video release), an interview with Evan Hercules (who worked on The Mind Robber), a report on the then recently restarted Christchurch Chapter of the NZDWFC, and an overview of Season Nine.

Not as bad as it potentially might have been given that Jonathan had lost interest in continuing the fanzine, but as a way to either remember those heady days or sample what Telos was like you are better off tracking down a copy of Telos Unearthed.

- Alexander Ballingall

Jonathan Park's latest fanzine, Zeus Plug, can now be viewed in its blog incarnation. Click on the link in the 'more interesting blogs' spot to enjoy.

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