British Takeaway

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Zine
Title: British Takeaway
Publisher:
Editor(s): Kate Nuernberg & Deborah Kay Goldstein
Date(s): 1985-1992
Series?:
Medium: print
Size:
Genre:
Fandom: The Professionals
Language: English
External Links:
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British Takeaway is a series of The Professionals zines first published in 1985 by Kate Nuernberg.

The Hatstand calls these zines primarily gen with a few slash and het stories.[1] Palelyloitering calls them slash.[2] The editor, in an ad in The Hatstand Express #12, calls them "mixed straight & slash zine, fiction & non-fiction."

British Takeaway is known for a long-running crossover between The Professionals, and The Good Life (aka Good Neighbors), a British sitcom set in Surbiton. The series starts in the second issue, in the story, "Mr. Doyle's Neighborhood".

The series was very carefully edited, and bore a distinct editor's tone throughout, aided no doubt by the fact that Kate also did a great deal of the writing (though less as the series continued). Kate is also an artist, and did some beautiful portraits throughout the series, as well as the cover art. She also published LOCs (which was common in SF zines, but less common in media zines) which encouraged people to send LOCs, which in turn encouraged writers to trib to her in the hopes their story would get commented on.

Although it had a reputation for excellence (winning multiple Fan Q awards),[3] the series was also seen by some as rather 'dry': despite being slashy, British Takeaway didn't publish PWPs, and her own stories tended to be G-rated. She once turned down a story that she said was "well-written, but sordid."[4]

The zine sometimes appears on fans' Desert Island lists.[5]

Notes

Additional stories from Kate Nuernberg's "Mr Doyle's Neighbourhood" series can be found in: 'Smartest Agent in the World' - in Cold Fish and Stale Chips 2; 'Surbiton in Orbit 1' - in Cold Fish and Stale Chips 10 [slash]; 'Surbiton in Orbit 2' - in Cold Fish and Stale Chips 11 [slash].

General Reactions and Reviews

I wish I could share everyone else's enthusiasm for BRITISH TAKEAWAY, but the zine left me cold. Not that all the stories weren't well-written, and not that the artwork wasn't top-notch, but the subject matter itself disappointed me so much. I like reading "relationship" stories about the guys — THEIR relationship — not Bodie separately, or Doyle separately, involved with a "cast of thousands." Yes, I realize they don't live in a vacuum, but I prefer the zines... [in] which there were still plenty of "supporting" characters, but the guys' relationship with each other was still kept firmly in the foreground. I also don't like stories or zines in which one of the partners is largely ignored, as Bodie seemed to be for most of BRITISH TAKEAWAY (except the last story). And I'm a Doyle fanatic, too! [6]
I second the recommendation, by the way, of BRITISH TAKEAWAY, which looks at the characters in a number of different lights, all thoughtful, and all in good prose. That none are (quite) "/" seems irrelevant; they're good stories.[7]
Another terrific zine is BRITISH TAKEAWAY. I can't tell you how many times I've reread "Doyle's Neighborhood". Even though I'm a Doyle fan, my only complaint is that there wasn't enough Bodie. But that shouldn't stop anyone from reading this zine. I have heard rumors that the story may be continued. I sure hope they are true.[8]

About Copying this Zine

British Takeaway is one of the few zines that can be freely copied. Even after reprints were being offered, the publisher announced in DIAL #13 (2000): "Some of you may have heard that the British Takeaway series of zines are now being sold via Agent With Style. If you like your zines brand-new, all well and good - the BT series certainly contained some excellent stories and gorgeous artwork, and though they're mostly gen, they're still well worth reading. But if you're on a tight budget you might also like to know that at Zebracon, Kate N (their publisher) gave carte blanche for anyone to copy her zines. So if you've been holding back from copying a friend's, er, copy, by concerns about not infringing on the publisher's rights, go ahead and do it."

Issue 1

front cover of issue #1, Kate Nuernberg
back cover of issue #1, Kate Nuernberg

British Takeaway 1 was published in 1985 and contains 198 pages.

  • A Harmless, Necessary Cat by Kate Nuernberg - Mr Doyle's Neighbourhood #4-11 pages
  • Catspawn by Kate Santovani - 12 pages. Art by Ruth Kurz.
  • Last Post and Chorus by Kate Santovani - 28 pages. Art by Jean C..
  • Oh! To Be In Surbiton (Now that Doyle is Here) by Kate Nuernberg - Mr Doyle's Neighbourhood #1-49 pages
  • Overkill by Kate Nuernberg - Mr Doyle's Neighbourhood #2-3 pages
  • Steele Across the Water by Kate Nuernberg - 38 pages
  • Tender Mercies by Kate Nuernberg - 10 pages
  • Victims Of The Vines by Kate Nuernberg - Mr Doyle's Neighbourhood #3-25 pages
  • Sharper than a Serpent's Tooth by Kate Nuernberg

Issue 2

front cover of issue #2, Kate Nuernberg

British Takeaway 2 contains 129 pages and was published on or before 1987. Front and back cover art by Kate Nuernberg, other cartoons by Karen Eaton. From the contents page: "Word processing by George of the Jungle, a colour computer with Telewriter-64 software."

  • Valentine by HG - 4 pages - Slash. Art by Ruth Kurz.
  • Reflections Across a Grave by D. C. Black - 7 pages. Art by Sheila Willis.
  • Especially at Night by Kate Nuernberg - Mr Doyle's Neighbourhood #6-5 pages. Art by Kate Nuernberg.
  • No Money Down by Kate Nuernberg - Mr Doyle's Neighbourhood #7-9 pages. Art by Kate Nuernberg.
  • Secondhand Emotions, story and art by Kate Nuernberg - 9 pages
  • Two Kinds of Trouble by Kate Nuernberg - Mr Doyle's Neighbourhood #5-35 pages. Art by Marilyn Johansen.
  • Early Grave by Patricia D'Orazio - 16 pages. Art by Kate Nuernberg.
  • Baby, It's Cold Outside by Joan Renner (article) - 3 pages. Art by Ruth Kurz.
  • Trial and Error by Viv Alexander. Art by Dani Lane.
  • Rumours by Jane Kaufenberg (poem)
  • Credo, poem by Emily Ross. Art by Kate Nuernberg.
  • CI5: Certain Ambiguities by Barbara T. Art by Ruth Kurz (article).
  • Star Bangled Spanner by Barbara T (poem).

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 2

I want to also say how much I did enjoy BT#2, and how vastly improved I found it to be over BT#1, mainly because B&D were TOGETHER for nearly all the stories in #2, and there was an emphasis on THEIR relationship this time (even in the "Mr. Doyle's Neighborhood" stories), unlike issue #1. Ironically, I hadn't even planned to get #2 at all, since #1 disappointed me so much, but thanks to a friend picking up a copy for me, I changed my mind. It's a good zine, and the story "TRIAL AND ERROR" by Viv Alexander is the highlight, and the cover art alone is gorgeous.[9]

Issue 3

cover issue #3, Kate Nuernberg

British Takeaway 3 was published on or before 1988 and contains 183 pages. The cover art is by Kate Nuernberg. From the table of contents: "This zine is dedicated to George of the Jungle, a Radio Shack color computer who gave his life so that BT#1, #2, and #3 could live."

An ebay seller in 2012 described it as containing 25 stories, so what's below appears to be only a partial table of contents.

  • Debts Paid in Fire by Helen B. - 7 pages. Art by Kate Nuernberg.
  • Piano E Largetto, story and art by Gerry Stout - 2 pages - Slash
  • In Good Conscience by Marguerite Krause - 7 pages - Het. Art by Kate Nuernberg.
  • A Visit from Home by Helen B. - 4 pages. Art by Daphne Hamilton.
  • Another Doorstep by Valerie De Vries - 18 pages
  • Diving in too Deep by Kate Nuernberg - Mr Doyle's Neighbourhood #8. Art by Kate Nuernberg.
  • Land of Confusion by Kate Nuernberg - Mr Doyle's Neighbourhood #10
  • In Anger, Comfort by L. S. Willard
  • Patterns in Walls by Debra Hicks
  • Custody by Gerry Stout - Slash
  • Been So Long on Lonely Street by Emily Ross (another segment of this is in Cold Fish and Stale Chips #7)
  • Heart of the Lion by Patricia D'Orazio - HET

Poetry:

  • Fire and Ice by Marcia Brin
  • The Beginning by Elaine Leeke
  • Pensees Perdues by Emily Ross. Art by Tammy Lomas.
  • Lost Among the Stones by Barbara Staton (poem)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 3

See reactions and reviews for Heart of the Lion.
See reactions and reviews for Patterns in Walls.
[zine]: Okay, I'm including this [on my list of top favorite 5 fanzines] because I love Patrica D'Orazio's 'Heart of the Lion.' I think it's one of the best gen stories I've ever read: satisfying on both an emotional and intellectual level. The zine's got a couple of clunkers, but that's more a matter of taste (as in "Thai food" versus "Mexican," not "Good" versus "Bad"). The stories themselves are all well-written, and the art enhances the effect.[10]
[zine]:

Comments/Spoilers:

In "Debts Paid in Fire" by Helen B., the pickup of a returning British agent in neutral Switzerland leads to flashbacks for Doyle of an earlier lifetime in which he was burned for being a witch. A GEN story.

"Piano E Larghetto" by Gerry Stout is a first-time slash story set slightly in the future, when Bodie and Doyle have been partners for ten years.

"In Good Conscience" by Marguerite Krause is a HET story written in the pov of Annie Irvine of the episode Look After Annie. Annie reflects on her life, the choices she made, and the reasons she didn't marry Cowley.

Helen B's "A Visit from Home" focuses on Bodie, who, in the aftermath of Doyle's being severely injured, possibly mortally, searches for Doyle's mother, whom Bodie discovers is a tinker who can tell fortunes and the future. Doyle doesn't appear in the story much, being in hospital throughout. The story is GEN.

"Another Doorstep" by Valerie de Vries is a CI5-based GEN case story in which Bodie resigns, but Cowley treats him as if he were undercover. Features a very protective Doyle.

"Diving in Too Deep" is part of Kate Nuernberg's Mister Doyle's Neighbourhood series, which is overall GEN. Some readers, however, perceive a slashy feel in this particular story.

In Kate Nuernberg's "Land of Confusion", the tenth of her Mr Doyle's Neighbourhood series, Doyle goes undercover on a case to catch a major criminal despite his crippled leg, and Bodie isn't happy with the situation.

Patricia D'Orazio's "Heart of the Lion" is a HET story featuring Doyle/OFC (original female character) and Bodie/OFC.[11]
[zine]:

At a time when being let down by zines is becoming all too common, along comes BT#3 to cheer us all up again.

Starting with the interesting covers with the "Give blood" poetry, right through to the new computer problems Debbie talks about it's a good zine. I have way too much to do, and should not be taking time out for reading, but I did not put this one down until I finished it.

As always my favorite part is the Mr. Doyle's Neighborhood section. I do like that series of stories, realistically approaching the psychological as well as physical problems of an injured agent, and how it affects not only him, but all his friends as well.

"Hostages". An interesting idea. Bodie, Cowley...Twit. Yes, all of them hold Ray hostage. More on that in its turn.

"Debts Paid in Fire" - a nice "ghost story" to whet our appetites. Poignant drawings.

"Fire and Ice" - Searching no more.

"Larghetto E Piano" - A quiet drifting into love.

"The Beginning" - Always nice to think about - and one of my favorite illos.

"In Good Conscience" - An interesting view of the Annie Cowley loved. Like the illos of Georgie.

"Stakeout" - Loving poem, clever illo.

No comment on all the jokes. Most are groaners.

"A Visit From Home" - An interesting view of Doyle's mother, especially since most of fandom is into the Tarot. Her card designs are different and the bibliography appreciated.

"Fensees Perdues" - I especially like this poem as well as its illos. Both capture the characters as we know them. "Tomorrow I'll be gone." "Another Doorstep" - A good story and an especially nice Bodie illo on p. 48.

"Lost Among the Stones" - Can't give up with a partner waiting.

"Diving In Too Deep" - I was glad to see Ray face that room again, and also glad that Bodie needed to come back, needed Doyle when things got rough at work.

"Land of Confusion" - This is the story where they all learn that Doyle's limitations are not to be feared. I love the fact that he thinks he failed, until Bodie convinced him otherwise. Teamwork! I like the Susan illo on p. 67 as well as all the rest. This is a good blend of CIS and characterization.

"Cat-Lover" - Another fitting illo.

"In Anger Comfort" - A good explanation for post-Marikka actions.

"Patterns In Walls" - I'm not familiar with Sable, but you don't need to be to read this.

"Custody" - Not a very pretty picture for Bodie.

"Temper, Temper" - They deserve each other. Nice illo.

"Been So Long on Lonely Street" - A believable alternate universe nicely illoed by Jean.

"They Do Not Love Us" - Yes, wolves. The negative illos are appropriate.

"Dialogue At A Rescue" - Double act.

"Unquiet Mind" - Always agonizing.

"Heart of the Lion" - This long story held my interest. I like the interrelationships, and I like the characters. And again, it's well illoed, capturing the essence of the scenes.

"Cat Tail Musings" - Our favorite cat.

"Fantasy Man" - No news this.

As always BRITISH TAKEAWAY delivers — a good zine and on time, a delightful rarity!

Thank you, Kate and Debbie and friends. Much appreciated. [12]

Issue 4

cover of issue #4, winner of a Huggy Award, artist is Kate Nuernberg

British Takeaway 4 is undated (but published in 1989) and contains 228 pages.

It was the winner of a 1990 Fan Q Award and a 1989 Huggy Award for best Pros zine. Art on page 103 won a Huggy Award.

  • After the Fall by Marcia Brin - 5 pages. Art by Alisa Schnaars.
  • All Poetry is Difficult to Read by Kate Nuernberg - Mr Doyle's Neighbourhood #9-15 pages. Art by Kate Nuernberg & Ruth Kurz.
  • Damaged Goods by Patricia D'Orazio - 21 pages (winner of a Huggy Award)
  • Recollection by Elaine Leeks - 3 pages
  • Dog in the Night by Marguerite Krause - 84 pages. Art by Ruth Kurz & Sheila Paulson (winner of a Huggy Award)
  • Fallen Angel by Elaine Holden - 9 pages. Art by TSL
  • Ghosts Appear and Fade Away by Kate Nuernberg - Mr Doyle's Neighbourhood #12-7 pages. Art by Adrian Morgan
  • Sanctuary by Thomas - 4 pages - Slash. Art by Daphne Hamilton
  • Start with a Mirror by Helen B. - 19 pages. Art by Maureen B.
  • Lord Acton Redux by Marcia Brin - 3 pages
  • To Forgive the Soldiers by Debra Hicks - 9 pages. Art by Dani Lane
  • When I'm 64 by Ruth Collerson - 17 pages. Art by Adrian Morgan

Poetry:

  • Something Unspoken by Rachel Duncan
  • Quicksand by Rachel Duncan
  • Ash Wedsday by Jane Kaufenberg (poem?)
  • Masquerade by Elaine Leeke (poem?)
  • Playing with Fire by Jane Kaufenberg (poem?)
  • The Professionals Firs Form Reader by Paula Smith (poem?)
  • Considered in a Hospital, poem and art by Daphne Hamilton - 3 pages
  • Wild Fancy by Emily Ross (poem?)
  • Ivory Towers, poem by Marcia Brin - 5 pages (winner of a Huggy Award)

Issue 5

British Takeaway 5 is undated and contains about 150 pages.

front cover of issue #5
inside art from issue #5 by Adrian Morgan
  • And What I Have Failed to Do by Kate Nuernberg - Mr Doyle's Neighbourhood 13-10 pages
  • Blood Still Cries by Debra Hicks - 12 pages - Slash
  • Edges by Kate Nuernberg - 3 pages
  • Home for Christmas by Sheila Paulson - 20 pages
  • Nightmare on Morgan's Street by Elizabeth Gibson - 12 pages
  • Odds Even by Kris Brown - 11 pages
  • Over the Rainbow by Emily Ross - 2 pages
  • Pick-Up, Put Down by K. D. Swan - 5 pages
  • So Much for Wishes by Ellis Ward - 11 pages - Slash
  • The Strength to Care by Robin Goodfellow - 28 pages
  • Tyger, Tyger by Marcia Brin - 7 pages
  • Where No Flags Fly by Linda Terrell - 5 pages
  • Predators by Ruth Kurz

Poetry:

  • Somebody Who Cares by Rachel Duncan
  • Amo, Amas by Rachel Duncan
  • Someone I Used to Know by Rachel Duncan

Reactions/Reviews: Issue 5

See reactions and reviews for So Much for Wishes.
[The Strength to Care]: Well, it has some really heavy-duty Doyle torture without going into too much gross detail (if I want gross detail I can imagine it) and a really nice 'discovery scene' where Bodie finds Doyle chained up in a cellar. Bodie gives him first aid, and it is wonderfully touching, and reads like the medical details were checked with an authority. I Really Like discovery scenes. I suppose it's the mingling of fear and relief and the sense of deep emotion that is so erotic. I also like the first aid that generally goes with it - I can play both parts at the same time. There is no sex, but since I'm one of those who 'read for the Relationship' I don't miss it, much. It is a romantic first time story, but not sticky. This story also has some good small parts for women; they are drawn as nice people with lives of their own. Bodie has a woman Friend who appears briefly; the part is too small for a fully-drawn character but there is some individuality to all the women. This story appears in British Takeaway 5, and here is my reason for posting (besides that I wanted to waffle on about the story). How do people control their British Takeaways? For those of you who have not seen one, they are hole-punched and then fastened together with a sort of screw-post thing. These screws work loose, and the pages shake, and you can't open the zine flat, and the holes tear, and in general they are kind of unwieldy. The used copies I have did not even have their screw posts; they are just bundled together with rubber bands. I thought of putting them in binders, but the size seems to be a little bigger than most binders, and the cover sticks out and gets tatty.[13]

Issue 6

cover of issue #6, Kate Nuernberg

British Takeaway 6 was published in fall 1993 and contains 295 pages. Art by Sue Williams, Kate Nuernberg, Sheila Paulson, Ruth Kurz and Baravan. Two cartoons by Karen Eaton.

  • Open Book by HG - 14 pages - Slash
  • Hard-Learned Lessons by Londa Pfeffer - 21 pages
  • Winter Rain by Alys - 2 pages
  • Fate Is the Hunter by Sue Williams - 16 pages
  • Risk Management by Salazar - 2 pages
  • With a Little Help by Kate Nuernberg - Mr Doyle's Neighbourhood #11-34 pages
  • Did She Mention My Name? by Kate Santovani - 31 pages
  • Guilt Trip by Marcia Brin - 3 pages
  • Metal Fatigue by Emily Ross and Shoshanna - 1 page
  • To the Pure by Joyce Strohm - 44 pages
  • Overheard in the Rest Room by K. D. Swan - 1 page
  • Dialogue in a Hospital Room by Marcia Brin - 3 pages
  • Winds of the Old Days by Robin Goodfellow - 91 pages - Slash

Poetry:

  • Incident at a Field Hospital by Emily Ross
  • The Ocean, Midnight Blue by Rachel Duncan
  • Lament by J. M.
  • Haiku by Linda Terrell

References

  1. Hatstand Slashcity's entry, accessed April 4, 2012.
  2. Paleyloitering's entry, accessed earlier.
  3. Fan Q awards site
  4. Personal correspondence with Alys and Alyx
  5. Close Quarters Desert Island Episode/Zine/Fic] dated July 18, 2009; reference link.
  6. 1986, from The Hatstand Express #11
  7. from The Hatstand Express #10
  8. from The Hatstand Express #10
  9. from The Hatstand Express #14
  10. from Psst... Hey Kid, Wanna Buy a Fanzine? #4
  11. from The Hatstand
  12. from Ruth Kurz, comments from The Hatstand Express #17 (1988)
  13. posted to the Virgule-L mailing list, quoted anonymously with permission.