Mixed Doubles (multifandom zine)

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Title: Mixed Doubles
Editor(s): Shayne McCormack and Brenda Hotop, out of Australia
Date(s): 1984-1985 or 1986
Medium: print
Fandom: multimedia
Language: English
External Links:
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Mixed Doubles is a gen multi-fandom anthology published in Australia.

According to an ad in Universal Translator #23, its "focus was partnerships and friendships" and the first issue was to be mostly The Professionals.

Comments Regarding Slash

A poem in the first issue, "Solitaire," is based on a slash Pros story. The editor commented to a fan in an letter of comment in the second issue of "Mixed Doubles": ""End Game" is a slash story, in principle, though that is not the make be all and all of the story. Because it is such a superb piece of writing that has never bothered either of us. However, since it is not a 'straight' work, it has never been published, nor it its author name publishable. That is why no further mention was made of it. Sorry."

The editor commented to another letter of comment in the second issue of "Mixed Doubles": "I don't call Kirk and Spock a partnership: Kirk is the Captain, Spock is his exec. Their relationship has all the aspects of a very close personal friendship... even that special kind of love that doesn't need to have kinky stories written about it."

Note that a fan in a letter of comment in the second issue refers to the relationship between Kirk and Spock as "K/S," but that this fan is not referring to a sexual one. In the early days of Star Trek fandom, the symbol, "/", (a virgule) between two character's names did not necessarily indicate a sexual relationship, but rather denoted a story that focused on an intensely described portrayal of a close friendship. In the late '70s-early '80s, many fans meant friendship when they spoke of K/S. At this time, the symbol was seen on stories with and without descriptions of sexual intimacy. For more information about the history of the term "slash" and the / symbol see Slash Terminology.

Issue 1

cover of issue #1

Mixed Doubles 1 was published around 1984 and contains 75 pages.

The contents include an episode guide, fiction and poetry for The Professionals.

It also includes show information for The Professionals, Alias Smith and Jones, Knight Rider, Wild Wild West, Greatest American Hero, Scarecrow and Mrs King and Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased).

  • Solitaire, poem based on Endgame ("Endgame" was not mentioned by name in the zine: ""End Game" is a slash story, in principle, though that is not the make be all and all of the story. Because it is such a superb piece of writing that has never bothered either of us. However, since it is not a 'straight' work, it has never been published, nor it its author name publishable. That is why no further mention was made of it. Sorry" -- from the editor in comments below from an LOC in the second issue of "Mixed Doubles") (The Professionals)
  • Wild Cards (The Professionals)
  • No Greater Love (The Professionals)
  • a Professionals episode guide
  • short, factual essays about the content and appeal of The Professionals, Alias Smith and Jones, Knight Rider, Wild Wild West, Greatest American Hero, Scarecrow and Mrs King and Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 1


I think Mixed Doubles was well worth the wait. I enjoyed reading the partnership reviews. As a long time Alias Smith & Jones fan, I d like to add a point to your review. You're quite right that the series was created to capitalize on the success of Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid, but I wanted to mention that there really was a Kid Curry. His real name was Harvey Logan, and he was also a member of Cassidy's Hole-in-the-Wall gang.

It's tough to choose between Wild Cards and No Greater Love. The former was a very satisfying action adventure with some nice little worrying twists, such as Cowley being held incommunicado, thanks to his bad leg. You had me on the edge of my chair with the ending, but I was sure glad to see Willis taken down a peg. Oh, one, quibble since I've reached the page with Solitaire. Being fairly new to this fandom, I haven't a clue as to what the poem is based on. I know you can't give a synopsis of the story, but I do think you might have mentioned the name of the author and the zine (if any) it appeared in. Please?

(Eds. "End Game" is a slash story, in principle, though that is not the make be all and all of the story. Because it is such a superb piece of writing that has never bothered either of us. However, since it is not a 'straight' work, it has never been published, nor it its author name publishable. That is why no further mention was made of it. Sorry.)

I think you can figure out my favorite piece in the zine is No Greater Love. I love the marvelous characterizations in The Professionals, and this story has wonderful characterization. I love seeing what would happen to each character, their reactions to unusual situations such as this. In other words exploring the resonances in each character is just my cup of tea and this story was exactly what I enjoy most. It hurt to see Bodie in such a state, and I couldn't stop reading, waiting and wondering how - or if - Ray could bring him back. I think you could have set a bomb off next to my ear and I wouldn't have heard it while engrossed in this story. You really did a beautiful job with this one. I had tears in my eyes when Bodie was ready to 'practise surgery with a trowel". Thanks.

Although there were few illos, what there was was "choice". I especially like the one of Bodie accompanying No Greater Love and the one with the Episode Guide. Speaking of which, I'd have bought the zine just for that episode guide. Terrific job! Now after whoever wins your catch-the-mistake contest, I do hope you'll print the answer so I can correct my copy! (I'm a crazy perfectionist, too!)

All in all, I'm very glad I bought the zine. I'll be around for #2 since there will be at least one more Professionals item. [1]

[zine]: I've read many larger zines, many glossier, but I can't remember reading a better one. The two stories and one poem were pure quality from the start.

Wild Cards was extremely good. Our lads were in character and the story read very much like an episode from the show. As far as I'm concerned, that is the true guage of how good a story is. Can it stand by its' self and still appear to be part of the original show. Well, this one does.

The poem Solitaire is very sensitive and poignant. Loved it. Now if I could find a copy of End Game. I've a pretty good idea of what the poem is hinting at, but it would be so much better to be able to read the story that started it all. Sigh.

Now to the meat...after reading Wild Cards I didn't think I'd find a better story anywhere. Imagine my surprise when I not only found a better story, but in the same zine! No Greater Love totally blew me away. It was a very powerful story, so totally in character. I only have one question,Shayne, when are you going pro?

(Shayne -- probably when they invent 48 hours in a day. Running a science fiction bookshop during the day and writing and drawing for fanzines at home keeps me kind of busy. Something is going to have to give soon...)

The episode guide is very well done, and I find it very handy since I've only gotten hooked on The Professionals in the last few months. But like all true manias, it has taken over my life. Sigh. Back to the zine. I've seen episode guides from a couple of different sources, but yours was the best by far...very informative.[2]

[zine]: First of all, many thanks for sending me a copy of MD1. I think it is an excellent idea, with a lot of possibilities. The TV partnership, more than any other format, seems to attract most interest, and gain most popularity. Of course, the first teaming that springs to mind (mine, at least) is that of Kirk/Spock [3], but of course there are many others, and all are fascinating. A nd some of them are highly unusual, as well, which makes for entertaining viewing. I think the most rewarding trend in this type of TV show has got to be Cagney & Lacey, from the States. At last, someone has woken up to the fact that women are and can be interesting - enough so to create an entire series around two of us.

What I find fascinating, is that many of the actors portraying close partner ships (i.e. Curtis and Moore in The Persuaders) did not like each other off screen. What do other readers think?

But enough rabbiting - onto MD itself. Production wise, there's not really anything that I could complain about. It would have been more (excuse the word) professional looking if numbers had been typed and not hand written, but that's just a small criticism. On the whole, I found it clear, unmuddled and very nicely presented, so top marks for that one!

As for contents, well I do think it's a pity that you couldn't have got other contributor's work into this first issue. I know its hard to drum up trade, and first issues are, contents wise, usually the weakest of the run, no matter how long the zine lasts, but I stand by the point. Of course, you could retort with 'what about you' and maybe you'd be right.

Your partnership analyses I enjoyed, though of course they merely skimmed the surface. To do justice to some of those teams, you need time, and lots of paper. Perhaps from now on, a more detailed, probing examination of one MD at a time?

The episode guide is very useful, and of course completely arbitrary in its descriptions. There were some that I felt you could have encapsulated a little better, but on the whole, I think its a help.

By the way, your comment that The Gun is not interesting I totally disagree with! It may not be the most coherent of scripts (Chris Wicking has told me that thete were problems with the script) but it does contain some lovely scenes, and some good insight into Bodie, especially while he's with Inge. Along with Fall Girl, it does much to dispell the macho, 'screw 'em, leave 'em' image that some episodes portray Bodie as having. I think it's an important characterization episode.

Wild Cards. Well, girls, here I'm going to be blunt. This could have been excellent. but it isn't. It's good. I think you copped out. I think you cut corners, and turned away from opportunities. It's like reading a Readers Digest abridged version. On the whole, I think that characterizations were consistent, and that everybody did what they generally do, and how. I do think that it was a mistake to introduce it as a follow on from Fall Girl. The ramifications of that episode were enormous and I don't think you did it justice in WC. If you were going to start from there, then I think more should have been done with it. I think it's a bit shallow. In fact, that is the word I would use to describe this piece. I know that collaborations are hard work, because I've tried it (haven't we, Shayne?I) but that is really no excuse. I'm not familiar with Brenda's solo style, but I am familiar with Shayne's, and I don't think it's up to your normal standards. (Bloody hell, I can hear the roars of rage from here! But I'm not a Sagittarian for nothing!) If this was the best you could do, I'd be singing your praises, but it's not, so I can't.

Shayne's solo piece. No Greater Love, suffers a little from the same problem, I feel. I enjoyed it very much, it's a bit of a heart-wrencher, and I had no trouble believing the story at all. On the whole, a nice job, but at times I think the writing slips into ordinariness, when with a bit more oomph, some really good images could have appeared.

(Shayne - Karen and I have known each other for some time, and I can always rely on her to bring me back down to earth if my ego is getting too far out of hand. She gives a stinging review, but I don't mind, because it makes me try harder. You can all read her Porffs story in this issue and let her know what you thought of if. I'm sure she'll be ready to hear your thoughts. Watch out, though -- she's little, but mean!!!) [4]

[zine]: Thank you for the copy of Mixed Doubles which I thoroughly enjoyed. As to anyone complaining about the first issue being devoted to The Professionals I don't think any of your readers would be complaining. I found it hard keeping the smile off my face as I gloried in all that Bodie and Doyle.

What illos there were were good quality. As you said, a few more illos in future issues will help. Hopefully there are people out there just Bursting at the chance to put pencil and ink to paper and come up with a partnership masterpiece. The brief detail of partnerships was an excellent way to start, giving future writers a good idea of what would and what would not be acceptable. It also wetted the apetites of your readers for future issues. I wonder if you would consider The Ghost and Mrs Muir a partnership? How about Batman and Robin?

(Ed. Batman and Robin yes... we missed out on a few partnerships which people have mentioned to us from time to time. But G & Mrs M... well, no. It's a story of two people, but they aren't really partners in any particular venture, or business, or activity. Even with what Karen Miller said, I don't call Kirk and Spock a partnership: Kirk is the Captain, Spock is his exec. Their relationship has all the aspects of a very close personal friendship... even that special kind of love that doesn't need to have kinky stories written about it -- but it isn't really a partnership in the understood Oxford Dictionary defined meaning of the word.)

I was interested to see that you included a few of my all time favourites in your cross section, as well as The Professionals...there were a few of my "lost long ago" heartthrobs; the Lone Ranger and Tonto were my first crush - getting in a number of years before Spock evolved, and Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased) I remember enthusiastically, but unfortunately not very vividly. It would be nice to see someone with a memory a bit better than mine do a story.

The Professional material was character accurate and well written. I've occasionally found in other Proffs stories that the idiosyncracies that are Bodie and Doyle get pushed to one side to make way for a good story line, often to such a degree that you could put anyone, including the Pope and Mrs Thatcher (now there could be a potential partnership!....no, maybe not) as main characters of the story. The opposite flaw is too much concentration put on the characters, using the storyline as a background only, resulting in a story that is bland and uninteresting. Your work hit a happy medium with the partnership in character, and the storyline interesting and involved.

The poem was also lovely, inspired by what has become one of my favourite Proffs fan stories.

The programme guide was of great benefit to me, who not only shoots off the question "What show was that in?" but also "Doesn't this also happen in this episode?" It might be bloody irritating writing and co-editing with a perfectionist, but it pays off in the long run. Mixed Doubles was well written and laid out and well printed.

The only criticism I can make is that your typewriter, with its letter amputation tendancies, annoyed me, though probably not as much as it annoyed you. Still, such things are sent to try us, and as you could do nothing about it (did you by any chance try threatening it with a large axe? That always seems to work for my television set) it's obviously not your fault.[5]

Issue 2

cover of issue #2

Mixed Doubles 2 contains 192 pages. It is undated. (The art is dated 1985. The editorial mentions it being December, and apologizes for the zine being very late.)

The cover art is by Susan Campbell; interior art is by Lynne Henricks, Shayne McCormack, and Catherine Schlein.

The editorial by Brenda:

I would like to take this opportunity to say hello and welcome to our second issue. MIXED DOUBLES is dedicated to something I have always enjoyed - Partnerships. My excuse for this: filial devotion. You may scoff, but it's true. When I was a little girl, many, many years ago, my father once told me that "everything belongs in pairs". Of course, we were discussing my lone guinea pig at the time, but it wasn't long before I extended it to include television shows. The relationship between the two main leads in series such as "Starsky & Hutch", "Hardcastle & McCormick" and "Scarecrow Mrs King" (to name but a few) has fascinated me since. Part of their appeal, I think, is because we would all like to experience such a relationship ourselves. To have a friend who understands and accepts us totally for what we are. I hope you have as much success in your search as I've had in mine.

This issue is out a little later than we had hoped. The fact that it got out at all is mainly due to Shayne's perserverenee, as my continued health problems caused most of the preparation to fall on her shoulders. Third time lucky, we hope.

I hope you enjoy the following pages and have a happy and relaxed Christmas.
The editorial by Shayne:

Quote of the month: "WHO'S DUMB IDEA WAS THIS, ANYHOW?"

This was the most frequently asked question of the day, as Brenda wore her feet to the ankles running off plates while I sat typing the final story. The words of the Masochism Tango kept running through what was left of my mind...

I haven't got a lot of room to speak here - but I did want to briefly mention something that I have noticed of late - a number of zine editors are beginning to ask their contributors for payment for issues their work appears in. In effect, the editors are asking people to pay for the publication of their own work. This is not only A Bit Rich, it is a Bit Wrong! It is a noble, polite and honest tradition to give a free copy to a contributor - it is also sensible - its a big world, and there are many zines looking for work. I leave letters out of this, since anyone can write "I loved so-and-so" - it takes a bit more effort to do a drawing or a poem or a story. It seems somehow immoral to take the product of someone's talent and give nothing back. Am I wrong? Am I old-fashioned? Is money more important than ethics?

I'd be interested to hear from editors and artists and writers as to their opinions on this disturbing new trend.


  1. ^ a LOC in "Mixed Doubles" #2
  2. ^ a LOC in "Mixed Doubles" #2
  3. ^ This fan is not using "Kirk/Spock" in a sexual reference."
  4. ^ a LOC in "Mixed Doubles" #2
  5. ^ a LOC in "Mixed Doubles" #2