Doctor Who: Series 11 (2018) in review

Series 11 of Doctor Who finished on Monday, 10th December 2018. It was the first full season to feature the new Thirteenth Doctor (played by Jodie Whittaker), the first female Doctor in the show’s 55-year history. It also had fewer but longer episodes than previous seasons, and the new production team decided to change the use of the traditional story arc (instead of being a largely plot-driven arc, it was mainly character-driven).

Despite these changes, I think Series 11 generally didn’t do that well, though it definitely had its bright spots.

I liked Jodie Whittaker as the Thirteenth Doctor, though I think she still has to bring something new and different to the role. She merely came across as a copy of the Tenth and Eleventh Doctors (played by David Tennant and Matt Smith, respectively). She demonstrated limitless manic energy and sometimes phrased things in a ‘timey-wimey’ way, which were the main traits of the Tenth and Eleventh Doctors.

The increased length of the episodes was a positive, because the extra time allows more time for character development and also lets the narrative/plot to flow better. But Series 11, for me, felt more like a spin-off of Doctor Who instead of an actual continuation of the show. I think it would’ve benefitted from a plot-driven story arc, though it did fine without one. I also think old villains, like the Master or the Daleks, should’ve returned at some point during the series. It would’ve been good to have villains who are familiar come back to face off against a character who has just been reinvented. Despite there being references to previous episodes and the use of old tools, like the psychic paper, the new cast and crew didn’t bridge the gap well enough. I felt like the new production team are trying to make it an entirely new (or, at least, entirely different) show, which isn’t good in Doctor Who’s case because it’s supposed to rely heavily on its past. It has worked in the past, though, such as when the show came back in 2005.

Series 11 featured a lot more diversity when compared to previous seasons. I think introducing a bit more diversity into the show is good, though it shoved racism and sexism down viewers’ throats at some points.

Series 11 also featured three new companions: Graham; Ryan (the grandson of Graham’s wife, Grace); and Yaz. Graham and Ryan received a lot of the attention. I think Yaz only really had one episode (“Demons of the Punjab”) to shine. She seems like a wasted character to me. She came across two-dimensional and wooden at times.

Below are my thoughts about every episode of Series 11.

Episode 1: The Woman Who Fell to Earth

The Woman Who Fell to Earth had a Torchwood vibe to it. This is probably because Chris Chibnall, who wrote the episode, was the head writer of Torchwood for a couple of years.

The episode follows the same basic formula as other episodes featuring a new Doctor: newly-regenerated Doctor shows up, meets new people while a villain causes havoc, but the Doctor saves the day – all the while adapting to his/her new body.

But it was a decent enough episode.

I was expecting the Doctor now in female form to be the main focus, but it actually wasn’t. It was briefly mentioned, though. Instead, the focus of the episode is stopping the villain from killing innocent people. I think this is a much better focus, because it allows the other characters to shine.

Jodie Whittaker did an outstanding job in this episode. She came across as the Doctor. Normally it takes a while for a new Doctor to settle into the role, but Jodie managed to do it straight away. This is an impressive feat, and she deserves to be applauded for that. I like how she created a new sonic screwdriver from scratch, but I don’t think the design is as good as previous designs. A sonic screwdriver is a piece of highly-advanced technology, and so it should have an elegant (or, at least, decent) design. The new design doesn’t even look good, in my eyes.

The episode did a good job introducing the new companions.

I believe the concluding part of the episode was disappointing, but I loved the cliffhanger.

Episode 2: The Ghost Monument

The Ghost Monument has a very basic plot, but the acting/performances are amazing, and the cinematography is as well. The episode had a Classic Doctor Who vibe to it.

The episode introduced a new TARDIS interior, which I don’t really like.

Episode 3: Rosa

Another episode with a Classic Doctor Who vibe to it. The episode is about Rosa Parks, someone from history I never really knew about. I learned a lot about her from this episode.

A major theme of the episode was racism. I feel as though it was shoved down our throats throughout the episode. I understand that people were more racist in the 1950s (where the episode is set), but I personally believe it should’ve been toned down a notch.

Episode 4: Arachnids in the UK

I think Arachnids in the UK was a very unremarkable and underwhelming episode, but it certainly wasn’t bad.

There’s no surprise in “Arachnids in the UK”. The title gives it all away. But episode’s pacing does a good job at building tension.

The arachnids in the episode were mutations. The cause of the mutation was toxic waste. I think the cause should’ve been more sci fi-related and unique, because it instead comes off as dull and uninspired.

The episode’s ‘bad guy’ was Robertson, a businessman who owns a chain of hotels. He’s a very unlikable person. He comes across as an analogue for Trump.

Episode 5: The Tsuranga Conundrum

The Tsuranga Conundrum was a ‘base under siege’-type episode, like those from the Classic Series.

The flow/pace of the episode is great; it’s never slow. There’s a constant sense of urgency and danger throughout the episode.

The episode featured a pregnant man. This is unique to Doctor Who, but I liked it. It never felt forced. It instead came across as normal, which, for the character, it was. Having the character question whether he’d make a good dad, and Ryan and Graham trying to convince him that he will be, helped it come across as normal, because a lot of parents, in real life, question whether they’re going to be good parents.

The TARDIS only features in the opening scene of the episode. The Doctor said early on in the episode that it could be stolen, so I would’ve liked to see the gang return to the TARDIS, just so I’d know it wasn’t. Instead, the episode’s conclusion left me wondering if it’d been stolen.

Overall, the episode wasn’t bad, but nothing really stood out either (except, maybe, for the pregnant man).

Episode 6: Demons of the Punjab

I loved this episode.

I liked how the Doctor was proved wrong about the ‘villains’, an alien species called the Thijarian.

Character was a major focus of the episode. I especially loved the emotional connections between the Yaz and her grandmother.

I think the episode reminiscent of Father’s Day from Series 1.

Episode 7: Kerblam!

I think Kerblam! was okay. It wasn’t great, but it wasn’t bad, either. It was a bit unremarkable.

The main theme/issue of Kerblam! was technology replacing people in jobs. I feel as though this was forced. The relationships between the characters came across as cliché as well, especially the relationship between the cleaner and the warehouse worker.

The Doctor getting a fez delivered to the TARDIS was a great call-back to the Matt Smith era.

Episode 8: “The Witchfinders”

The Witchfinders featured King James I, played by Alan Cumming. Cumming’s portrayal of the king was stereotyped, though, which ruined the whole episode for me. His posh English accent is annoying, and he comes across as sexist. 

Episode 9: It Takes You Away

It Takes You Away is my favourite episode of Series 11. It reminded me of Fear Her from Series 2. I loved the scene where the Doctor and the Solitract talked about being friends. It was the highlight of the episode for me. I think Jodie Whittaker gave a great performance in this episode.

The episode’s themes include friendship, love, and family. There was a strong focus on Graham and Ryan, and the bond they share (Ryan calls Graham ‘Grandad’ for the first time).

Episode 10: The Battle of Ranskoor Av Kolos

The Battle of Ranskoor Av Kolos is a really, really good series finale, in my mind. It had references to previous series finales (like Journey’s End from Series 4), which I liked. It also featured references to The Woman Who Fell to Earth, The Ghost Monument, and Rosa.

The villain from The Woman Who Fell to Earth was the villain again in The Battle of Ranskoor Av Kolos. I wasn’t expecting this, so I was surprised when he showed up. There was no build-up to his reveal in the episode. But I think he was the perfect villain for the series finale.

The episode guest starred Mark Addy. I thought his character’s name (Paltraki) was silly, but I think Addy himself did a good job.

The episode had a strong focus on Graham & Ryan, which I loved. It didn’t focus on Yaz too much, though, which I think is a shame. She has heaps of potential. Hopefully she’ll have more time to shine in Series 12.


Words by Callum J Jones

The History of Doctor Who

The eleventh season of Doctor Who premiered on 7th October with the episode, ‘The Woman Who Fell to Earth’. It featured the show’s first female incarnation of the Doctor.
No doubt there are some viewers out there who watch the revived version of the show. Some of them may not know the full history of it. If you’re one of them, stick around: I’m going to run through it all for you.
Sydney Newman, a fan of the science-fiction genre, became the new Head of Drama at the BBC in December 1962. When he was informed of a gap between programmes on Saturday evenings, he subsequently came up with the idea of having a science-fiction show fill the 25-minute slot. He co-wrote the show’s first formal document with two BBC staff writers, who heavily influenced the format of the show and the characters. But it was Newman who created the character of the Doctor, and who came up with the idea for the TARDIS. Producer Verity Lambert then took over production with a story editor named David Whitaker. The script for the very first episode, An Unearthly Child, was written by staff writer Anthony Coburn. Composer Ron Grainer created the show’s iconic theme music with the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. Actor William Hartnell was persuaded to play the Doctor, and when the other actors were brought on board, production got underway.
‘An Unearthly Child’ was broadcast on 23rd November 1963, but was understandably overshadowed by news coverage of the JFK assassination (which happened the day before); so it was repeated the following Saturday before the second episode. The fifth episode was the first to feature the now iconic Daleks. The show quickly became a success, with large amounts of viewers tuning every Saturday night to watch it.
Production continued smoothly throughout the rest of 1963 and 1964. But difficulties arose during the third season in 1965: Lambert was replaced by a new producer, whom William Hartnell did not get along with; and it was getting harder for Hartnell himself to remember his lines (he was suffering from the early stages of arteriosclerosis, which would go on to cause his death). By 1966, it was obvious Hartnell couldn’t continue playing the Doctor: his health was deteriorating fast. Innes Lloyd, who replaced the producer who replaced Lambert, talked to Hartnell about the possibility of leaving the show, and Hartnell agreed it’d be the best thing to do.
This was how the ingenious idea of regeneration came about. Lloyd and story editor Gerry Davis needed a viable way to write Hartnell out of the show, and both decided that since the Doctor was an alien, he could change his body when it was mortally wounded or deteriorating from old age. They initially called this process ‘a renewal’; it wasn’t until much later that it would come to be called ‘regeneration’. Patrick Troughton was cast as the Second Doctor, and first appeared at the end of the 1966 episode The Tenth Planet. Troughton had big shoes to fill after Hartnell left, but he did an outstanding job. Troughton maintained the character’s hatred of evil, but played the Doctor in a more light-hearted way.
After three years, though, Troughton was burnt-out due to the show’s gruelling production schedule, and was also worried about being typecast. He eventually decided to leave at the end of 1969, and Jon Pertwee was brought onboard to replace him.
Pertwee’s debut as the Third Doctor in 1970 was a significant moment in the show’s history: it was the first time it was filmed and broadcast in colour. Pertwee played the Third Doctor in a very straight and action-orientated way. Because of a tight budget and the possibility of cancellation in 1969, the decision was made to shake things up and set the majority of the Third Doctor’s episodes exclusively on Earth. This decision seemed to save the show from cancellation and saved money. But having almost every episode set on Earth became stale over time, and the production team decided to go back to having more episodes set in space and on other planets. It was also during the Pertwee era that the character of the Master was introduced.
The actor who played the Master, Roger Delgado, tragically died in a car accident in 1973. This, as well as chronic back problems and the break-up of the production team he saw as his family, made Pertwee consider leaving the show. He apparently asked for a pay rise if the new production team wanted to keep him on, but his request was denied and he subsequently left the show in 1974.
Tom Baker replaced Pertwee, and played the Doctor on TV for seven years, far longer than any actor before or since. It’s because of this longevity that many people who grew up during his era on the show always think of him when Doctor Who is mentioned. Baker played the Doctor as a more eccentric, aloof, and alien character. When new producer John Nathan-Turner came onboard in 1980, he made numerous changes that Baker fundamentally disagreed with, leading him to resign the role. His last episode was broadcast in in 1981.
Peter Davison was then cast as the Fifth Doctor, with his debut season being broadcast in 1982. Davison was the youngest actor to play the Doctor at the time. He played the character as more human and more vulnerable. The show’s twentieth anniversary took place in 1983, during Davison’s tenure. The occasion was celebrated with a special feature-length episode called The Five Doctors, which saw the return of Troughton and Pertwee as the Second and Third Doctors respectively. Actor Richard Hurndall was brought in to replace William Hartnell (who had died in 1975) as the First Doctor. Tom Baker declined to take part in the episode, and footage from an unfinished episode from his era was subsequently (and cleverly) inserted into the episode to portray the Fourth Doctor. Davison had been advised by Troughton to only play the role for three years, and Davison followed this advice, leaving in 1984.
Colin Baker was selected as the Sixth Doctor, and debuted in the final episode of the 1984 season. He’d previously played another character (also a Time Lord) on the show in 1983. Baker’s Doctor was often overbearing and bombastic, more so than his predecessors, and this sparked criticism from viewers. There was also an increase in violence on the show during Baker’s time as the Doctor.
A man named Michael Grade became the new BBC 1 Controller in 1984, and he disliked Doctor Who so much that he wanted to cancel it. In 1985, he decided to move the show’s production back a financial year, leading to the belief that Doctor Who was going to be cancelled for good.
There was a huge public outcry, and those who worked on the show were frustrated because they’d already began preparing for the next season. Despite this, Grade stuck to his decision. Eighteen months passed before the next season was aired in 1986. All previous plans for this season were dropped and an overarching story arc was incorporated into it.
Grade allowed the Doctor Who to continue beyond 1986, but ordered John Nathan-Turner, who was still the show’s producer, to dismiss Baker and find a new actor to play the Doctor. Grade also moved the show from its traditional Saturday slot to a mid-week one.
Nathan-Turner quickly chose Sylvester McCoy, a well-known comedy actor, to play the Seventh Doctor. McCoy initially played the part in a light-hearted, clown-like way, but new script editor Andrew Cartmel developed the character into a much darker one who was very manipulative. The show started receiving praise again, but viewing figures were plummeting because episodes were broadcast opposite the very popular soap opera, Coronation Street.
Grade left as Controller of BBC 1 in 1987, and was replaced by Jonathan Powell, who suspended production indefinitely at the end of the 1989 season.
The show remained off the air for sixteen years, though novels and comics picked up where the show left off. In 1996, after much negotiation between the BBC and the Fox Network in America, a Doctor Who television movie was filmed and edited in the U.S. and broadcast there and the U.K. The movie depicted the regeneration of the Seventh Doctor into the Eighth, played brilliantly by Paul McGann. McGann, whose costume was reminiscent of William Hartnell’s, played the Eighth Doctor as a boyish figure who viewed the universe with glee and wonder. People were hoping the movie would spark a new series, but it didn’t.
An animated episode called Scream of the Shalka was produced for the show’s fortieth anniversary in 2003, starring Richard E. Grant as the Ninth Doctor. The episode debuted via webcasting.
Shortly after Scream of the Shalka was released, it was announced that Doctor Who would finally return to TV, with renowned scriptwriter Russell T. Davies as Executive Producer and head writer. Christopher Eccleston was cast as the Ninth Doctor, with the Ninth Doctor played by Richard E. Grant re-named as the “Shalka Doctor”. Eccleston’s Doctor was less eccentric than previous Doctors, spoke with a Northern accent, and was traumatised by the Last Great Time War, which wasn’t depicted on-screen until 2013.
The first season of the revived show was broadcast in 2005 to much praise, but Eccleston only did this first season. He was replaced by David Tennant at the end of 2005, whose Tenth Doctor was energetic, friendly, and human in nature. Tennant quickly became the Doctor for many new viewers, so when he announced in 2008 he was going to leave Doctor Who at the start of 2010, people were devastated. Russell T. Davies also decided to leave alongside Tennant, and Steven Moffatt, who had scripted some of the most popular episodes of the revived version of the show, replaced him at the start of the fifth season.
Little-known actor Matt Smith took over from Tennant, and became the youngest ever actor to play the role. Smith played the Doctor similarly to the Tennant, only more youthful and alien. Smith’s first season was broadcast in 2010.
The year 2013 was Doctor Who’s fiftieth anniversary, and it was treated as a momentous occasion (and rightfully so). A special anniversary special, ‘The Day of the Doctor’, was broadcast on 23rd November, the date An Unearthly Child was broadcast in 1963. It starred Smith, who was still playing the Eleventh Doctor. David Tennant reprised the Tenth Doctor in the special, and all previous Doctors featured via archive footage. Tom Baker also appeared as a character called the Curator, who was later revealed to be a future incarnation of the Doctor.
Smith stepped down at the end of 2013, with Peter Capaldi taking over as the Twelfth Doctor. Capaldi had played a different character in the Tenth Doctor episode ‘The Fires of Pompeii’ and also appeared in the third season of Torchwood, which was a spin-off of Doctor Who. The Twelfth Doctor, a blend of the Third, Fourth, and Ninth Doctors, was even more alien than the Eleventh was, and was also more removed as a character.
Both Capaldi and Steven Moffat left the show at the end of 2017. Moffat was replaced by Chris Chibnall, who occasionally wrote for Doctor Who in the past and was the head writer of the first two seasons of Torchwood. Capaldi was replaced by Jodie Whittaker, who’s playing the Thirteenth Doctor and is the first female to play the character.

 


Words by Callum J. Jones

The Day of the Doctor (novelisation)

Doctor Who, which follows the adventures of the Time Lord who goes by the name of Doctor, is one of the most successful sci-fi shows in the world.

2013 marked the show’s 50th anniversary, and a special feature-length episode, The Day of the Doctor, was broadcast simultaneously around the world on 23rd November, the date the very first episode was broadcast in 1963. The script was written by Steven Moffat, who stepped down last year as the show’s lead writer and executive producer after eight years in the role.

This year, Moffat novelised The Day of the Doctor.

The-Day-of-the-Doctor-paperback-book
The Day of the Doctor
novelisation cover.

This is how the story goes: the War, Tenth, and Eleventh Doctors (the John Hurt, David Tennant, and Matt Smith incarnations, respectively) join up and save Earth from an alien invasion, with the Tenth Doctor marrying Queen Elizabeth I in the process. They then unite with their other incarnations to save their home planet Gallifrey from destruction at the end of the Last Great Time War by putting it into a pocket universe. Gallifrey was previously considered destroyed by the entire universe, including the Doctor himself.

The novel is told from various points of view, mostly the War, Tenth, and Eleventh Doctors. The chapters are presented out of order, with Chapter 9 not being included (a nod to Christopher Eccleston, who declined to return as the Ninth Doctor in the episode). Each chapter is introduced by the Curator, who was played by Tom Baker in the episode.

It includes great interactions between the Tenth and Eleventh Doctors, and presents excellent narration about the inner conflict of the War Doctor, who contemplated destroying the Time Lords (along with Gallifrey) and the Daleks to end the Time War. He was close to doing so until the Eleventh Doctor suggested saving the Time Lords and Gallifrey, but still destroying the Daleks.

The novel also includes several differences from the episode. The wedding between the Tenth Doctor and Elizabeth I wasn’t included in the novel, only mentioned in passing. The desktop of the TARDIS console room didn’t ‘glitch’ when three Doctors, each from a different time zone, were inside. None of the Doctors, except for the First, War, Tenth, and Eleventh, showed up via holograms in the War Room on Gallifrey; the Twelfth Doctor physically appeared in the Room.

It includes new scenes as well, including one between the Tenth Doctor and River Song before the main events of The Day of the Doctor but after Forest of the Dead. There are new scenes with the Tenth Doctor and Elizabeth I leading up to their picnic date, which was their first scene in the episode. And new scenes were included explaining what happened while all the Doctors were putting Gallifrey into the pocket universe. More excitingly, the last chapter is a completely new scene told from the point-of-view of the new Thirteenth Doctor (played by Jodie Whittaker), who made her debut in last year’s Christmas episode.

Various things are expanded on in the novel, as well. For example, in the episode, the Eleventh Doctor tells the War and Tenth Doctors they won’t remember the events of The Day of the Doctor because three of them together put their timeline out of sync. He doesn’t elaborate further in the episode. (For those who aren’t Doctor Who fans, all incarnations of the Doctor are the same person, just at different points in time). In the novel, a little more information is provided:

‘However hard the Doctor concentrated, two of them standing together played havoc with the timelines and made it all but impossible to form lasting memories […] the timelines were tied in a knot and [the Doctor’s] memory was all over the place.’ (p. 99)

In other words: if you time travel to a point of meeting yourself results in your younger self’s timeline not being synchronised, leading to them not retaining any memory of meeting your future self. So your present self will remember meeting your younger self, but your younger self won’t remember meeting your present self. (It’s all very complicated!).

Out-of-sync timelines were never a factor in past multi-Doctor stories, as all Doctors seemed to have retained memories of those events. But it makes sense, as time is meant to flow in one direction.

Clara, the Eleventh Doctor’s companion, could’ve been given more depth in the novel. Unfortunately, she instead comes across as two-dimensional. She seemed to only be in the novel to ask questions and appear conveniently to save the day.

But overall, the novelisation of The Day of the Doctor stands up reasonably well. Steven Moffat is to be congratulated for this, as it’s his first ever novel.

 


Words by Callum J. Jones

4/5 stars.

Images property of BBC.

Mega Toy Fair 2018

The Adelaide Mega Toy Fair is the largest annual market for toys and collectables in Australia. This year’s event was held over the first weekend of June (June 2nd-3rd) at the Stirling Angas Hall in the Adelaide Showgrounds and marks 25 years since it began. I have been wanting to visit the Mega Toy Fair for years, but due to other commitments I never had time, this year I finally had the chance to visit. What I came out with was a thrilling, worthwhile experience that, without self-control, could have easily drained my bank account.

I arrived at the Mega Toy Fair right on opening time (10am) Saturday morning to a massive line up. The picture below shows me from the end of the line, near the Kidman Entrance gates. Seeing the line-up, I knew this was going to be an interesting event. The line eventually died down, much to the relief of anyone arriving later on.

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After paying the $7 entrance fee (I got concession, $8 for regular adult) I felt as though I had fallen down a hole into another dimension. The event was gigantic! Hundreds, possibly even, over a thousand stalls were before me. It was a collector’s paradise of things old and new; from pre-World War Two Hornby clockwork trains and a $35 statue of K-9 from Doctor Who to endless rows of Hot Wheels cars and a OO (1:76) scale model of The Flying Scotsman steam locomotive.

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My inner nerd went into overdrive browsing all of these tables, especially when I found the video games. At one table, I found a loose cartridge of Secret of Mana selling for $75 and a boxed copy of Mystic Quest Legend (Final Fantasy Mystic Quest in the US/Japan) for $100. While I did not buy these, I thought they were reasonably priced, as compared to game stores and eBay, which could have easily been double the price. One of my other encounters was discovering a copy of Harvest Moon on the SNES, a game that is rare in Australia. However, I suspected it to be a reproduction cartridge as it appeared too new and the cartridge art seemed off.

The Mega Toy Fair was a pop culture lover’s dream come true. I found Star Wars toys from the seventies and eighties on a vast majority of tables and a boxed Robot figurine from the original Lost in Space. To me, there were three things that really caught my interest out of this pop culture goodness. One was a Laserdisc copy of Star Wars: A New Hope. I did not ask for the price, but I found it to be a very unique piece and I would have bought it if I had a Laserdisc player. Another stand out piece was a collection of Star Trek: The Original Series figurines at the Starship Mawson stand. They were imported from the US and selling for $300, a price too steep for me at this moment. Although they were expensive, I found them to be beautifully crafted and would have gone well in my pop culture collection. The third was an Edgar Allan Poe bobblehead selling for $40. It is one of the things I eventually caved and bought.

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Overall, I really enjoyed the Mega Toy Fair. It was well worth the trip through to the other dimension, where pop culture and my childhood took over. I will certainly be going back to it next year. I can only hope I have more money on me and more space available to use up at home.        


Words and photography by Cameron Lowe 

Adelaide Comic and Toy Fair 2018

 

Despite being a small city, Adelaide has a number of pop culture conventions, one being the Adelaide Comic and Toy Fair. Now in its fourth year, the Adelaide Comic and Toy Fair is held around the Adelaide CBD and this year’s April 28th event was held on the first level of The German Club on Flinders Street. I decided to make my first visit and I am happy to say that it did not disappoint.

I felt at home right as I entered the room, after paying the $2 entry fee. I found figurines from popular franchises like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Action Man filling the tables inside. The variety of them was diverse, from boxed Farscape figurines selling at $15 to a $500 boxed Black Series Boba Fett with Han Solo frozen in carbonite. Alongside all of these were Lego (but not actual Lego) sized figurines of super-heroes selling for $10-15 each. Whether it be for starting a toy collection, or finding your favourite childhood toy, the Comic and Toy fair had it all.

 

Image Two Comic and Toy Fair

For retro game collectors, the Comic and Toy Fair did not disappoint. There were boxes full of games, mainly from retro consoles like the Sega Saturn and PlayStation 2. Many games were the usual shovelware titles, but there were some hidden gems. One gem was a copy of Resident Evil: Deadly Silence (case included) for the Nintendo DS selling for $40. Perhaps the most impressive find was a copy of Final Fantasy V (cartridge only) for the Super Famicom selling for $7[1]. Speaking of the Super Famicom, one was on sale for $130 with its box for any willing game fan.

For bookworms, the Comic and Toy Fair had enough books to quench your thirst for reading. There was a little a bit of everything, from the classic Doctor Who Target Books series to old encyclopedias of the Star Trek universe. Comic book fans were also spoiled for choice, having a wide selection of comics from both the past and present. Both Greenlight Comics and Gamma Rays had a presence, offering the usual $2-$4 range of old single-issue superhero comics to trade paperbacks of V for Vendetta. Alongside these were comics from Adelaide indie comic writers like Darren Koziol of Dark Oz, and Dr. Mike 2000 of the Universe Gun series. Fans of the DECAY series could pick up the final issue for $12 from Koziol himself.

 

Image One Comic and Toy Fair

The final interesting part of the Comic and Toy Fair was the presence of two Adelaide pop culture clubs. These clubs were Starship Mawson and TinTin Club Australia, with the former being the prime Adelaide sci-fi fan club. Some memorabilia from Lexicon, a recent pop culture exhibition at Unley Museum, was on sale too, including a framed 1960s Spiderman comic being sold at the Starship Mawson table for $90. For anyone who might be interested in joining these club, I recommend looking them up and getting in contact.

Overall, the 2018 Adelaide Comic and Toy Fair was a worthwhile experience. It was a fun day out where you could find a hidden gem and discover more of the Adelaide pop culture scene. I recommend anyone who is interested in pop culture expos like AVCon and Supanova to go check out the Comic and Toy Fair next time it is held.

If you are interested in pop culture and toy collecting, the Mega Toy Fair will be on at Adelaide Showgrounds (June 2nd-3rd). For more information, click the link here.


[1]WARNING: Super Famicom games will not work on your Australian Super Nintendo (SNES). This is due to region lock. To play a Japanese game, you will need either a Super Famicom, or a third-party region-free system. Another word of warning: Super Famicoms run on the Japanese 110V power setting, well below the Australian 230V standard. To prevent possible motherboard frying or a fire, you must buy a step-down convertor.


Words by Cameron Lowe