Thursday 13 November 2014

1995: DREAMWATCH Issue 9

Everyone has a first issue... and for DREAMWATCH MAGAZINE readers this may well have been it.  

DREAMWATCH, the rebooted former fanzine (and future Titan Magazines acquisition), launched earlier in the year (see my previous post) but it was still only sold via subscription and through specialist comic book stores.  From issue 9 (May 1995) it nabbed national mainstream distribution and no doubt found a brand new audience, previously blissfully unaware it even existed.

Over those previous eight issues the magazine had come a long way: fixing the crappy masthead and cleaning-up the interior layouts.  For a good few years, Dreamwatch and TV Zone were invaluable monthly reads.  

Of course, it helped that this coincided with the moment that THE X-FILES ceased being that obscure NIGHT STALKER-type show tucked away on satellite TV (it's easy to forget that its first British outing on Sky One went pretty-much unheralded.  It was only when BBC TWO repeated the show that it began to build any momentum) and into a zeitgeist-capturing cultural phenomenon.  This wouldn't be the last time that Dreamwatch (and every other magazine in search of a sales lift) would splash it across the cover.  

BABYLON FIVE was also proving to be the little-show-that-could, building a bigger (so it seemed) fan following in the UK than in the States. 


  1. this was indeed my first exposure to dreamwatch and pretty well began the golden era for this mag...many many times one would spot a new mag on the shelves and say

    " what the...where did this come from..?...never heard of this "

    this still happens though less frequently now since the internet makes it easier to know what is being published

    the bbc screened the original tv movie of the night stalker BEFORE screening the actual show..( on fridays just like super channel)..again in the pre-internet days, one had no idea these things existed...

    1. Hi Ed

      I used to rather like the "shock of the new"... popping into a newsagent or bookshop and discovering something completely new and unexpected. The Internet, Amazon and Diamond Previews makes that more unlikely these days but there are still surprises to be had... on Monday I wandered into the local-to-work WH SMITH (a realm of poor customer service and bizarre shelving choices like putting the Panini/ Titan Marvel/ DC comics behind ONE of the self service tills and other magazines - like STARBURST and ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY - on a shelf a foot off the floor BEHIND the manned cash desk!) and found that SCI-FI NOW have done a 2014 Yearbook bookazine. I bought it... but haven't looked at it yet).

      I remember the BBC TWO screening of the original NIGHT STALKER teleflick and the subsequent outing for the weekly series. They made a hash-up of it however, burying selected episodes in the MYSTERY TRAIN strand (a Richard O'Brian-fronted combo of Kolchak and an old horror flick) with the opening credits sometimes truncated and the closing titles AWOL entirely. They then aired some of the remaining episodes late-at-night in their own right but never managed to show them all (it's not as if there's an abundance of episodes anyway).

      I read somewhere that the weekly series also aired on Central Television in the Midlands in the eighties. Quite how only one ITV region managed to air the series is something of a mystery (ITV purchased films and series for sharing around all 15 regional companies and it seems improbable that every other region, especially with the advent of 24-hour TV, would have passed on the opportunity to screen it). Central was (along with the rest of the ITV regional broadcasters and the BBC) one of the launch shareholders in SUPER CHANNEL so it's possible that this was somehow related... but probably not.

  2. a good find and well spotted ! ...been looking for that scifi now annual myself but no sign of it yet....the shops here are so erratic in how they stock magazines.....they recently missed several issues of fangoria and then it re-appears....I found wh smith and even borders to be quite a let down when i visited london as they didnt seem to have much of a magazine range...the cinema store was better.....just another quick book recommendation...the alien archive is an amazing feast for the eyes.....yes the beeb really botched their airing of kolchak....thank god for dvd


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