Back to the future: Tides of Time 28, October 2002

Although some articles from Tides of Time 28 have appeared on the site already, I thought it was time to extend the PDF archive further, and so here is the entire issue. It was the last to be edited by Matthew Peacock, and has some claim to be his magnum opus as editor. Behind the knife-wielding image of Ray Winstone as Will Scarlet from Robin of Sherwood, several articles express Mat’s own clear views on issues from the success or otherwise of the 1996 TV movie, the meaning of The Prisoner, and a world-weariness towards Doctor Who as a niche product perpetuated in novels and audio plays but not as mass-market television. Balancing these, Mat published several enthusiastic and inspired stories featuring characters and concepts from the BBC Doctor Who novels and Big Finish CDs (downloads were some years away) and entirely new characters, largely provided by Alex Cameron and William Ramsden.

This was the end of an era for Tides in more ways than just a change of editor. This was the last issue to date published at A4 size, and the last to be financed separately from the membership fee. When Tides returned it would be smaller, and contrary to Mat’s expectations that he would be succeeded by an undergraduate or at least someone close to undergraduate age, in the hands of someone who had been in the Oxford Doctor Who Society even longer than Mat.

Most importantly, though, the age of Doctor Who as a minority product, caught between nostalgia for childhood television and experimental adult fiction lines, was coming to an end. As Mat’s final article noted, there were strange noises from the BBC which could actually mean Doctor Who would return to mainstream television, and by the time Tides resurfaced in 2004, production was getting underway at BBC Wales. For October 2002, though, it was fitting that the magazine ended with pictures of Paul Cornell, Caroline Symcox, Terrance Dicks, and a miniature steam train.

The PDF is made from domestic scans of the original issue, made up of colour pages from Mat’s inkjet and photocopied black and white pages from inkjet masters. The size of the file might mean it is easier to download it than open it directly into a browser.

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