|Editor(s):||David and Andrew Myers|
|Size:||#1: C60; #2-4: C90|
|Click here for related articles on Fanlore.|
Wotan is a Doctor Who tape zine on audio cassette. There were four issues.
For other similar zines, see: Doctor Who Tapezines.
Wotan - or Who Observation Tape ANalogue - was another early Doctor Who tapezine, the third to be produced, following Dr. Who: Tapezine and Zero Room. Four issues were produced by brothers, Dave and Andy Myers of Enfield, Middlesex, over a period of ten months, the first tape debuting in November 1983. Unlike other tapezines, which usually followed the rather dull 'Issue 1', 'Issue 2' path, Wotan instead had sequels - the second was Son of Wotan, which was followed by House of Wotan and The Wotan File. Whereas some tapezines could possibly be accused of being a little po-faced at times, Dave and Andy approached Wotan with the intention of making it fun to listen to. With regular sales around the one hundred mark, clearly they succeeded! My earliest memory of Doctor Who is of Death to the Daleks and the giant root. Doctor Who was usually on in our house and Andrew became a big fan in about 1976. However, I didn't really become a serious fan until 1981 when the last episode of Logopolis totally blew me away. After that, it was a case of subscription to DWM, reading all the novels and looking forward to any repeats. I think that year, we had Full Circle, The Keeper of Traken and of course, The Five Faces of Doctor Who. What an introduction! In 1983, after going to Longleat, we decided to join the DWAS and soon after received David J. Howe's tapezine. This was great we thought, we could do something like this, so Wotan (Who Observation Tape ANalogue) was born. I had an interest in tape recorders and editing and Andrew was (and still is) a creative writer, so we set to it. However, what we didn't have was very good equipment. A shoebox cassette recorder, an old record player and our Dad's Sanyo music centre was all that we had. I also had sound effects records, Radiophonic Workshop LPs and lots of musical stings and sound effects from the Kenny Everett radio shows. We put together the first Wotan in the late summer and early Autumn of 1983 and had it advertised in CT in that November. This first issue was only an hour long and included comedy (?!) in the form of 'Fingers and the Doctor', reviews of the 15th and 20th seasons and, among other things, a reconstruction of an episode of Terror of the Autons starring Andrew and myself (oh dear!).
We had quite a good response from this first issue, so we immediately set about doing the next one. We were now in contact with quite a few other fans, such as Sheldon Collins and Kevin Gardner - and they were willing to send us copies of old Doctor Who stories on audio. It was also at this time that I bought a 'ghetto-blaster' -type tape recorder which gave quite good results. The next issue, Son of Wotan, a 90-minute issue, was released in February 1984 and included a look at the NFT Doctor Who weekend, a review of The Five Doctors and an archive feature on Carnival of Monsters. Two features on Son of Wotan, a recording of Gavin Scott's feature from the BBC's Did You See programme and a ten minute reconstruction of Pyramids of Mars Part 4 by David and myself, came in for some very negative feedback. Apart from that, people quite liked it and 'sales' were still quite healthy. The next issue, House of Wotan, was released in May 1984. This was probably our favourite issue. We had contributions for the first time, clips from old stories and a proper cassette cover. In terms of popularity, this did really well with over 100 'sales' and also a lot of requests for old stories on audio. Making over one hundred copies of Wotan for people took up a lot of time, but it was still fun. I would like to think that maybe, just maybe, certain people were inspired by us to have a go at their own tapezines - I'm thinking of The Logopolitan, CVE and the Marsh boys at UNIT Tapezine in particular. Our last issue was a bit more troubled. The Wotan File was a month late coming out in September. First of all, the CT editor really messed us about with the advert, saying we couldn't claim we had clips and we couldn't ask for any money for the tape, postage and packing - meaning people now had to send us a tape and an S.A.E. Some of the tapes and return envelopes that people sent us were of such poor quality that we had to dispose of them and pay out for the P&P and tapes ourselves. By this time, Andrew was working and I was leaving school and looking for a job, so we couldn't give as much time to the project as before. The articles overran, so we had to cut back on our archive on The Seeds of Death. One of the contributors let us down, so we got John Slater in at the last minute to do a piece on The Evil of the Daleks.It was all a bit difficult. To be honest, I was starting to get a bit sick and tired of people sending me great long lists of audio stories to send them. I just didn't have the time or inclination any more. In terms of editing quality, I think this is the best issue but we were really weary with Wotan by now - and frankly, it shows in the tone of our voices. The issue still did quite well with just under a hundred 'sales'. We did think about producing a fifth issue, The Wotan Zone, but with Andrew and myself working, it was never going to happen.