ISSUE 2 VOLUME 3
Edited by David J. Howe A5 Format
David Howe, like today, was a very busy man back then in '79 as he was heavily involved with the running of THE DOCTOR WHO APPRECIATION SOCIETY and still had time to produce his own fanzine, 'ORACLE'. During his editorial he wondered how "I can't honestly see how they (Target) can justify 95p for it (Dalek Special). I'll say one thing though it makes you appreciate the novels!" He also was saddened at the news "that Beatrix Lehmann who played Professor Rumford in 'STONES OF BLOOD' died in July aged 76?" and asked, "-does this mean that 'Stones' was her last acting job?" His editorial went on to praise the current season of Doctor Who: "It's far better than most of Baker's stuff so far." and feels that, "I certainly couldn't predict the season poll (although it will probably be 'Destiny'...yes, those Daleks again)."
Martin Wiggins is probably best known today as the man responsible for many of the screen notes on the DVD releases but back in 1979 he was contributing left, right and centre in the fanzine world. Here, he had supplied two articles. With the first 'BLASTING FEVER' he decided to have a go at 'DEATH TO THE DALEKS' after watching the first episode with family friends, who never knew what a Dalek was, and that "...the ineffectiveness of the end of the first episode as it appeared on screen. As it was written, and as it appears in the BBC synopsis, the ending was on the order of total extermination. However, the film was miscut by a few seconds, with the result that the extermination had already begun, and the viewer had seen that the Daleks were harmless."
In his second article, SHADOW FROM THE PAST Martin looked at THE CLAWS OF AXOS and how the story was "...much more than a story about the dangers of tampering with the forces of nature...By use of the now over-worked Earth setting, they were able to juxtapose Axos with twentieth-century human civilisation. The result of this was yet another anti-technology story...The story therefore, took a stance against the mis-use of science by those not yet mature enough to understand it - something which shows the influence of Barry Letts with his conservationist ideas."
YOUNGER OPINIONS has Tim Westmacott interview his twelve year old neighbour, Tony Iannelli following "...some hardened followers of Dr.Who have voiced the opinion that the programme as produced these days is aimed more than ever at the sub-teens..." Questions about companions, monsters and past Doctors were used to try and jog Tony's memory about the series to find that he wasn't an avid viewer and what he thought of other Science Fiction on television at the time. "Finally, I asked Tony if he thought he'd ever stop watching the programme. After a pause he said, "Yes, perhaps when I'm older"..."
Gordon Blows reviewed the latest release from TARGET BOOKS - THE WAR GAMES and it seems was not best pleased by the end result: "...most of you will be more than aware, this novel was postponed from several months back whilst an extensive re-write was undertaken to Malcolm Hulke's original manuscript. Apparently, it was too long. Remembering that the serial was ten episodes, perhaps it would have been wiser to have released it as two books...The 'necessary' cuts are annoying and badly done...large areas of the story have simply been dropped and the characters within the adventure made to do things that they did not, so that they are in different places..." and went on to declare, "The final awakening of what this book could have been comes when you place ( it ) on your bookshelf alongside...'THE AUTON INVASION'...from Holmes/Dicks cost 25p and spanned 156 pages...'THE WAR GAMES' costs 75p and has 143 pages."
The highlight of this issue of ORACLE was THE MAKING OF 'DESTINY OF THE DALEKS' part 2 by David J. Howe and Peter Logan. The article follows Visual Effects Peter Logan's time working on the serial and including the extensive repairs that had to be made to the Daleks on more than one occasion and finding that the cost of making a new mask for Davros just proved too costly and thus resulted in a 'make do' with the original mask being used for the serial. The article features Peter Logan's original design sketches for 'DESTINY OF THE DALEKS'.
Extracts of THE SPACE PIRATES continued with episode six followed by a short story by John Fencher, A TWIST IN TIME and a couple of cartoons concluded this issue.