Wednesday 3 December 2014

1994: SPECTRUM MAGAZINE Issue 1 (Win-Mill Productions)

From September 1994: The first issue of SPECTRUM, the we'll-cover-(virtually)-anything spin-off from the TWIN PEAKS-centric WRAPPED IN PLASTIC.  

I REALLY liked this upmarket fanzine at the time because of the depth of analysis, quality of the writing and willingness to throw the spotlight on TV shows (and, to a lesser extent, movies) that other magazines weren't touching.  This issue looked back, via a detailed episode-by-episode analysis, on the first year (the only season I liked) of LOIS AND CLARK: THE NEW ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN as well as the art of Michael Golden, HOMICIDE: LIFE ON THE STREET and KUNG FU: THE LEGEND CONTINUES (the syndicated revival of the Seventies original).  

The writers/ editors were clearly picking the shows THEY wanted to write about... and going for it.  So, in many ways, a precursor to this very blog.  Indeed, I had some emails published in the letters pages of subsequent issues.  I hate to think what I said...

This in-and-out-of-favour approach meant that, despite being the main attraction here, coverage of the nineties Superman show faded as the writers lost interest in subsequent seasons.  Their attention shifted to HOMICIDE (a show also worthy of several books published at the time), XENA: WARRIOR PRINCESS, BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER, M.A.N.T.I.S, STRANGE LUCK, AMERICAN GOTHIC, ROAR and others.  They were often shows I wasn't watching... but I still found the coverage fascinating.  

WRAPPED IN PLASTIC also transferred its excellent X-FILES season retrospectives (WiP was really the first magazine to take the show seriously, a good year-or-so before it started to be a cultural phenomenon) to Spectrum. 

SPECTRUM ran for 35 issues over exactly 10 years, the last appearing in September 2004.

There were also three SPECIAL EDITIONS (devoted to THE X-FILES, XENA and BUFFY respectively) and three square-bound SPECTRUM SUPER SPECIALS (devoted to BUFFY, CONAN and the wider works of Robert E. Howard. 


  1. have you still got the issues with your letters..?...maybe you could scan a few and put them up here...

    1. I'm sure I have the issues... although I don't recall which ones I snuck into. And I don't recall what I wrote about although I do recall being quite surprised when I saw my missive in print.


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