Thursday, 27 November 2014

Fish Fingers and Custard - Issue 15 - OUT NOW!

If we were a little bit sexist, then we'll say that waiting for a new Issue of Fish Fingers and Custard is
like waiting for the right woman, who will turn up fashionably late. So, just imagine that woman turns up 3 months late? You're not bothered, because she's great, she's different. Beautiful, funny, masterful, if you will. What a woman.  Well, we're nothing like that, apart from being 3 months late, we contain the same-old love and spelling mistakes that you've come to expect.

Anyway, here are the details of how to buy the new issue, which has got nothing to do with Series 8, despite the rubbish I've just written above:

For a finely-printed, but adequately put-together paper copy of the fanzine, the prices are as follows:

UK - £2

Rest of the World - £4.50

To order a copy, please send the payment that applies to you, via PayPal to (please mark your payment as a 'gift' so we get the full fee from PayPal so we can buy more knocked-off paper from the local stationers).  Alternatively, you can buy one from our shop, prices inflated by 25p or so because of PayPal fees. The swines.

We have also re-printed the first 4 Issues of the fanzine to celebrate 4 years of us taking the Fanzine World like a mild breeze. Each re-printed Issue will come with a unique code number, slipped in somewhere, so nobody tries to rip people off when we've made it and old mags are selling for £20k a pop.Yeah.

Sadly, we can only offer this deal to people who reside in the UK at the moment.

First 4 Issues: £7

Please use any of the above payment methods to order.

FINALLY! We're open for submissions for Issue 16, which we hope to release in early 2015. We'll be looking at Series 8, as well as the upcoming Christmas Special. If you'd like to send in any reviews, thoughts or rants about Series 8 or any 2014 episode, please e-mail us at

If you despise new Doctor Who - you can send us anything that vaguely relates to the classic series too!

Friday, 7 November 2014

Fish Fingers and Custard - Issue 15 - DOWNLOAD NOW!

If we were a little bit sexist, then we'll say that waiting for a new Issue of Fish Fingers and Custard is like waiting for the right woman, who will turn up fashionably late. So, just imagine that woman turns up 3 months late? You're not bothered, because she's great, she's different. Beautiful, funny, masterful, if you will. What a woman.  Well, we're nothing like that, apart from being 3 months late, we contain the same-old love and spelling mistakes that you've come to expect.

Anyway, here are the details of how to download the new issue, which has got nothing to do with Series 8, despite the rubbish I've just written above.

You can download it in PDF form here (right-click and select 'save as')

If you'd like to order a paper copy, details will be posted in the next week. If you'd like to register your interest, please send a blank e-mail to or tweet us at @fishcustardzine so we can gauge how many we need to print. We promise not to share your e-mail address with unscrupulous companies. Unless you'd like us to.

If you'd like to have your say about the new series, please e-mail us at the e-mail address above. We hope to have the next Issue in early 2015. Definitely.

Cheers and enjoy the last episode of Series 8!

Yeah, we've Missy you too.

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Issue 15 Update

We're well into production of the brand new Issue here at the Fish Custard office (we've had a delivery of tea and biscuits) but we're still looking for more contributions from Doctor Who fans to give their views on the anniversary and/or the Matt Smith era as an whole. We have no word count, or any guidelines for you to abide by (as long as you keep it sensible!) If that doesn't float you boat (which it technically won't) we're also looking for your view on the casting of Peter Capaldi and what future Doctor Who has got to look forward to. We'd also welcome any art or spoofs you can come up with, too! And if you can lend us £5000, that'll also be acceptable. Joking*

Please e-mail and one of our team of bores will get back to you. The deadline is the 28th February


*Not really

Saturday, 1 February 2014

Contribute To The First Issue of 2014!

We're tentatively stepping out, like a drunken woman outside a nightclub with no shoes on at 5am, to announce that we're back from our self-imposed sabbatical and are ready for another new Issue. But like the aforementioned lady, let's call her Fanny, we need a taxi to get her home - and less wet than she already is. It's raining. We want YOU to be that taxi driver and to contribute to help to get Fanny home.

In other words, we're after contributions for the new Issue.

For this Issue we're looking for the following written works:
  • The Anniversary - what you did/how you watched the 50th Anniversary story
  • The Time of The Doctor - Your review of Matt Smith's swansong as The Doctor
  • The Matt Smith era - what you enjoyed/what you disliked/how the show will move forward
  • Peter Capaldi - your take on the casting and his appearance in The Time of The Doctor
  • OR...anything else you can think of. As long as it's Doctor Who-related

If you'd like to get your Fanny dry, please e-mail with your stuff! The deadline is the 28th February.


Monday, 25 November 2013

Issue 15 - THE ANNIVERSARY ONE - Contribution Details

Everyone thinks that the Anniversary of Doctor Who is over...but it isn't! The 50th Anniversary of Doctor Who is just starting! To celebrate this, we're producing (what we hope!) will be our biggest and best Issue ever. As always, we need contributions from you.

For this Issue we're looking for essays/reports on the 50th Anniversary, amazingly enough! We want to know what YOU did for the big day, what you thought, what you felt etc Whether you watched it at home, saw it at a cinema, went to a party...anything! Also, we're after your reviews of the actual episode (positive - or negative). If all of that doesn't take your fancy, you can write about what you think of 50 years of Doctor Who and what it means to you.

Please e-mail us at with whatever you like! Please note that the deadline is 7th December


Saturday, 23 November 2013

Happy 50th Birthday Doctor Who!

"Susan and I are cut off from our own planet, without friends or protection. But one day we shall get back. Yes, one day. One day."

What can you say about a television programme that has kept generations of people happy for 50 years? It has - and will continue to - inspire and entertain many more in the next 50 years and for that reason alone, Doctor Who has proven to be the best television programme of all time. Let's raise a glass to everyone who has worked on the programme. Thank-you Doctor Who. The world would be an infinitely duller place without you.

Have a great day, however you're celebrating! 

We're looking for contributions for our next Issue, so if you fancy telling us about what you did today, how and where you watched the episode, what you did to celebrate the Anniversary, please e-mail us at

(After today, obviously!)

Friday, 22 November 2013

The Randomiser - 50 Years of Doctor Who Stories - Part 5

The final day of our journey. Here are three stories from the three Doctors of the 2000’s. Expect scares, laughter and a bit of wood.

The Unquiet Dead

It’s arrived! Doctor Who has arrived! That was the thing most people took away in 2005 after The Unquiet Dead first aired.  Yes, Rose and The End of The World were okay, but this episode really forced Doctor Who, and what it was about, home to millions of new viewers.  I should know, I was one of them.

It’s funny, whilst watching this again, I thought back to that first series and think about how average some of the episodes were.  I think if the same episodes were aired during Series 2 or 3 they wouldn’t have gone down as well, but despite that first series being chaotic from a production point of view, it was all new, so it’s still held in high esteem.  For me though, The Unquiet Dead, along with a few others from Series 1, will go down as a bone-fide ‘new series classic’. 

The story sees The Doctor and Rose appear in Cardiff in 1869, just as Charles Dickens (Simon Callow) is in town. At a local Funeral Home however, they have a problem. The dead are rising and killing the living…

It’s a great story, which zips through 45 minutes in seemingly no time at all.  The idea of The Gelth was a clever one and it follows the tradition of Doctor Who explaining things that appear to be ‘magic’ (or phantasmagoria, as Charlie Boy calls it) with science.  This is Mark Gatiss’ first script for the series and you can tell it’s something that he was probably planning for years.

Simon Callow was great as Charles Dickens, the line "I thought you was a fan?" when The Doctor criticises one of his books, could have been aimed at Who fans! Similarly, I thought that this was one of Eve Myles’ strongest performances in the Doctor Who ‘universe’ – as we know, on the strength of this, she went on to play Gwen Cooper in Torchwood. And speaking of which – this story is the start of ‘The Rift’, which attracts all sorts of alien attention and brings them through onto the streets of Cardiff!  The later episode Boom Town investigates this further and of course, the job of the branch of Torchwood in the spin-off series was to monitor The Rift. It’s a clever idea which serves many purposes, the main one being to explain why Cardiff is constantly a setting in the show!

I don’t want (and can’t) say any more – but if you ever need a fun and scary 9th Doctor episode – this one is perfect. Which is a good job really, as he’s only got the 13 episodes!

The Unicorn and The Wasp

This is an episode that I feel is something that divides fans. It’s not quite on the same scale as the love-it-or-hate Love and Monsters (for the record - I like them both) but it’s not far away.  The Unicorn and The Wasp is basically a light murder mystery. Like Murder, She Wrote! (But without the old lady batting her eyelashes at any elderly Gentleman she meets).

The story sees The Doctor and Donna gatecrash a high-society garden party, laid on by Lady Eddison (Felicity Kendal).  Many guests turn up, including famous crime novelist Agatha Christie (Fenella Woolgar) just as someone turns up dead in the library, smacked with some lead piping. There’s a Cludeo-style mystery afoot!

The story was fine, though I felt the conclusion was a little bit rushed.  Maybe it could have been the beneficiary of an extra couple of minutes, just so time could be taken to explain how The Doctor and Agatha came up with their conclusions, at a slower pace, so we could take it all in! Otherwise, it’s an enjoyable story with plenty of laughs and references.  The actors make this and all the cast are on top form. It was great to Christopher Benjamin (Sir Keith Gold in Inferno and unforgettably – as Henry Gordon Jago, originally from the Tom Baker classic The Talons of Weng-Chiang) again and he had a few good lines as the wheelchair-bound Colonel.  Fenella Woolgar, at the suggestion of David Tennant, plays Agatha Christie and she portrayed a woman, despite her brilliance, doubted herself both professionally and personally.  The explanation of her real-life disappearance was well done and despite my earlier complaint of the conclusion being too rushed, this felt fine as actions take no time at all to transpire.  As Agatha says, the joy is in the chase, never the capture.

Donna made me laugh when she was sitting there, listening to The Doctor whilst he was summing up the case like Poriot, asking him if such-and-such was the murderer, whilst she was eating. It’s exactly like us watching a murder mystery and wondering whodunit, sat in the comfort of our homes.  The Doctor being told off by Agatha for ‘taking joy’ in the case (when people are being murdered) was well played and basically summed The Doctor up. I do wish the series would play more on this aspect of The Doctor sometimes – in some stories, he seems to enjoy himself when death and destruction is all around.

The Unicorn and The Wasp is a nice little ‘romp’ that will be enjoyed by people into their Murder Mysteries.  There’s even a reference to Dickens and The Unquiet Dead!  For those who don’t like it, just think, it could have been worse. Murder, She Wrote had a few stinkers too!


The Doctor, The Widow and The Wardrobe

You know, when I drew this out, I wasn’t looking forward to it. I think I’ve only seen it twice and being a Doctor Who fan, that isn’t enough.  I just remember not being entertained at all by it.  Times change and almost 2 years on, I think better of it.

Okay, it isn’t exactly the best piece of Doctor Who since 2005, nor is it even the best Christmas Special.  The problem I think it has, is that it’s tagged ‘Christmas Special’. In these episodes we expect big, massive, enormous stories with story arcs converging and playing out.  The Doctor, The Widow and The Wardrobe just isn’t that. It’s a Christmas adventure that subtly tries to do something different.  The Doctor Who hype machine and fans alike tend to build things up and build things up and all the attention just doesn’t suit what the episode was. It isn’t the greatest thing ever, nor is it the worst.  It’s just alright.

The story sees The Doctor crashland on Earth and after a local woman, Madge Arwell (Claire Skinner) helps him to find his TARDIS, he decides to repay the favour by treating her and her family to a Christmas ‘they’ll never forget’.

I think the episode showed a few sides to The Doctor, namely him being naive by leaving something as dangerous as a time portal out of his sight, alarm system or not. But I think it showed how lonely he had become. He did the right thing in trying to repay Madge, but you could argue that he only did it because he had nothing else to do and nobody with him to impress.  But with The Doctor’s life, he tends to lead people into danger and I didn’t really feel that there was any real threat in the story.  Maybe that’s the problem this story has, something to get you off the edge of your seat.  It’s just a nice watch, a comfy watch.

I don’t really mind the whole ‘Mother knows best’ aspect of the story and the lack of screen time for other guest stars in this, which were the two biggest criticisms that I read about.  I enjoyed the Androzani shout-out (though no camera asides by any of actors – that would have been hilarious!) and the story of Madge had shown that she was a strong woman, at a time when everyone needed to be strong. She had purposely hid the news of the death of her husband because she didn’t want to spoil Christmas. Telling Children news that like must require great strength. The solution was about the lifeforce of the trees being carried by a childbearing being, so I don’t really see anything there that needs to be picked at.

The ending was undoubtedly great though. The Doctor going back to the Pond’s and wiping away that tear of happiness when he learns that they always set a place for him. “I couldn’t feel those things anymore” he told Madge earlier. Now he does. Class ending in a story that rattled along nicely without hitting any real heights (or drops) Think of it like a ride on a train, rather than a rollercoaster (unless you’re travelling on your local train company’s service).

So our random adventure through 50 years and 11 Doctors comes to an end. Thank you for reading and enjoy whatever is you’re doing tomorrow.  For our next issue we’re looking for contributions from people, telling us what they did for the big day.  Anything you’re doing, from watching it at any events you may be going to watching it at home. Please e-mail us at