History: The 1980's
New Fantasy Shop Memorial Day U.N.I.T. meeting Fine Mike Filming Larrycon Getting kicked out of U.N.I.T. Refilming Five Docs The premiere Party The Ultimate Celebration NYE
The Summer of '84a 15-year remembrance
S-A-V-E-W-H-O TARDIS 22 A Doctor's Carol NYE
Cabaret Video'Zine Chipmunkees Holy Grail Tardiscon (inc. meeting Steve Hill) The Departure of Pat Reardon New Blood (?) (inc. Scott Wilson) Time Lord From U.N.C.L.E. Farcis 23
Be there or die meeting Clue???? Farciscon '87 Chris takes a back seat Iran-Contra Trial of a Time Lord Spycon is Hell Pre-production of Reign of Turner
Kansas City RoT filming Time Festival 1988 Camera breaking Abuse of Power It's a Wonderful Regeneration
Intervention on Jennifer's power abuse Finishing RoT (filming) Time Festival 1989 Separate ways, I guess
The Semi-Official Federation History by Jennifer Adams (IT'S IT!! #46/47, JUL/AUG 1988)
June: pre-production for "The Five Faces of Doctor Booh":Chris and Rob go to UNIT Irregular branch meetings to recruit for the production.
July 29: Read-through of the script with most cast members at Liberator Base (aka The Basement of Doom aka Chris' basement)
July 31: filming of "The Five Faces of Doctor Booh" at Adler Park, Libertyville. It took all day.
August: The Night of Long Knives. UNIT Irregulars help out on security at U.S. 20, a DOCTOR WHO con sponsored by Mrawr Larry UNIT has party for Nicholas Courtney; Ian Marter also attends as the group that sponsored HIS trip to the con was ignoring him.
September: Chris gets kicked out of UNIT; other Doctors leave as well due to crappy way the club president (Adam) had been treating them.
October: reshoot scenes of "Doctor Booh" to eliminate Adam's part.
November: 20th Anniversary Party at Liberator Base: wear costume, bring guests. (Only Jennifer and Sondra do the latter). Five Docs win Ultimate Celebration costume contest. Video library formed.
December: First Christmas party.
How Mark Christensen Got Involved by Mark Christensen
I first heard of DOCTOR WHO in early summer1981. My dad picked up a couple of Pinnacle books (GENESIS OF THE DALEKS and THE LOCH NESS MONSTER) at a rummage sale. I read and enjoyed them. Later that summer in August, I was flipping through the TV GUlDE and saw that DOCTOR WHO was on channel 11 at 11 pm Sundays. I decided to check it out, because I thought the books were good and I enjoy almost all media science fiction. The first one I saw was "Sunmakers." I was wondering where is Sarah Jane and Harry and who is Leela and K9. A few weeks later the Key To Time episodes were run for the first time; I enjoyed them immensely and I was hooked.
For about a year and a half everyone I would mention it to had never heard of DOCTOR WHO. In December, 1982 I saw a flyer for an organised DOCTOR WHO club at the University of Wisconsin-- Parkside (I eventually got a B.S. there). In January we found out about Peter Davison and Sandra Dickinson's visit to the New Fantasy Shop the following month. A group of us went. Will LaDuke picked up flyers on all the local Chicago clubs and wrote them for more information. Practically the only response was from the UNIT Irregulars. Will went to a couple meetings over the next two months. In May, 1983 I went along with him to a meeting at Chris' house and joined UNIT. They talked about making a movie and I thought that would be fun and signed up, That July I played Hartnell in the movie-- and the rest is Federation history.
When Tommy came for a Creation Con in July, 1983, HAPPENINGS (the local free TV listing magazine) got a telephone interview with him. They knew nothing about him or DOCTOR WHO, so they contacted Parkside's club. I said let me do the interview and then give you the article. Will and I came up with some questions; I called and interviewed him. The next day I went to the con and my mother videotaped his talk session. Will used both to write the article. This is my first DOCTOR WHO con experience.
January 1: Official first day of the Federation
February: Chris, Rob, Mark, and Sue go to Omnicon to see Colin and Nicola. quotes from the first Federation newsletter, February: "The Federation is a newly-formed DOCTOR WHO and British media fan club. We have no president-- the members are supposed to fill the responsibility, and how they accomplish this will determine how successful we are..." "John Nathan-Turner has announced that the 22nd season will, indeed, be his last." The Federation was born not just to share DOCTOR WHO and BLAKE'S 7 fandom, but also to prove a point: that we could be a better kind of fan club, one that served the members and the program, and not individuals.
March: Pat Engle wins the WMVS (Milwaukee) DOCTOR WHO look-alike contest.
May 27: "All Doctors Great and Small"
took 15 hours. It was not a pleasant experience.
June 15-17: The Federation goes to Panopticon West in Columbus, OH. "Five Docs Booh" screened. Six Doctors lose costume contest but wins fans over. (oh, yeah, Jennifer won in the "Most Beautiful" category for the Nyssa/ Black Orchid outfit.) "Creeping Terror eats JNT" wins Monster contest. Vow revenge to defeat Laura "Stale Crumpet" Kyro. Rod of Rassilon.
July 23-28: "Flake's 7" shooting, and the Night of Death I (first meeting of executive producer).
August 10-12: SCORPIO II: we win another costume contest. By August five goals were set out, named "The Quest": 1. For a PAL (video) machine so that we may give season 22 away to fans everywhere free. and end black market profiteers.... 2. To make a parody for every con we attend.... 3. For more crumpet (females-- ed.) in club.... 4. Through the video library, to give every fan a chance to see every episode of DOCTOR WHO and to end selfish squandering of rare episodes.... 5. To spread fandom for DOCTOR WHO, BLAKE'S 7...(etc.) EVERYWHERE!
Sept. 2-3: "Never Say U.N.C.L.E. Again (Affair)" shooting
Sept.22: SPYCON II: "Never Say U.N.C.L.E." Screening
Sept. 29: Night of Death II, aka Fake Drunks. Basically an attempt to alienate two members no longer felt by the vast majority of the rest to fit in. (Cruel to be kind?)
Oct. 20: The first annual Doctors vs. Companions softball game. Doctors won with a leaping, crashing catch by the first incarnation
Nov. 3: "Doctors on 33" Shooting. We listed 6 Outer Worlds members. quote from THE LIBERATOR issue (Standard by) 5: "Looking ahead soon we will be one year old. We started as an idealistic group, looking for a change, paranoid about how. We're still together (most of us, anyway) and still, not one person can be identified as Czar of THIS club. (We called Adam "The Czar" -- ed.) Even if I DID have a few too many close-ups in the last movie. We have made episodes of DOCTOR WHO available to everyone (and still trying)...and we have made a total of 5 movies this year! We have won 11 awards. Our movies have been shown at every convention in 1984. Are we a success? If a club is only as successful as its members, then I would have to say yes. And whenever I got the feeling to quit, that it was all too rough, one thing always stuck in my mind. And I think it appropriate to quote as we near our first birthday...."FROM STRENGTH TO UNITY." (this was all taken back the following January when Chris yelled in a fit of pique, "You can take 'From Strength to Unity' and shove it up your ass!" --ed.)
Nov. 22-24: TARDIS 21, Night of (John Wirth's) Death III, Six Docs Lumberjack win costume contest. A quote from THE LIBERATOR, standard by 7-8: "What's in store for '85? A PAL machine, New Orleans, and the ULTIMATE parody...It's going to be a long, but good, year. Did we really know what we were getting into that fateful day in July 1983 when we shot our first movie? I think it's finally time to put our past behind us, forget Adam and UNIT, and push forward...THE QUEST IS THE QUEST... 1) to get more crumpet into the club! Really, every time we shoot a DW parody, Jennifer has to play every female companion! (How little things change! -- ed.) 2) to get PAL equipment. 3) to supply fans with rare and new DOCTOR WHO and eliminate costly and selfish black-marketeers 4) to make the ULTIMATE DOCTOR WHO parody!"
DO DO DO DO DO by Rob Warnock
Being in the Federation for five years has, I think, made me go insane. Either that or I already was and I've just been getting worse over the past five years. I think my gradual loss of touch with reality began on July 31, 1983. That was the day we shot "The Five Doctors Booh." Would anyone in their right mind spend an entire day running around with a bunch of people in stupid costumes while innocent people gaped, trying to figure out what was happening? And, of course, it was hot. As a rule, it's either 100 degrees F or 20 degrees F whenever we shoot something. That day it was 100 degrees F. Okay, so maybe that doesn't sound so bad, but from that point on it was all downhill.
There's all kind of evidence existing on videotape of my-- or should I say OUR -- gradual descent into insanity. There was now the legendary fifteen-hour shooting of "All Doctors Great and Small." It rained the entire day. I remember because Pat Reardon and I had to run up and down a mud-covered hill 12,653 times. I also remember being threatened by a Brown Recluse Spider if I didn't give Pat "Benton from 'Nam" Engle 50 cents for a Coke. Needless to say, I gave it to him. I don't get on well with spiders, to say the least. Then there was that cat...
I could go on for days about video productions alone. I could talk about freezing outside on two projects when it was 20 degrees F...the disastrous "Hitchhiker's Guide to Gallifrey" or "Time Lord from U.N.C.L.E.", when it was so cold even the camera battery refused to work. Then there is one of my all-time favorites, putting on a green dress and screaming in a forest preserve. Well, it could be worse, I could be playing Mel...
Another thing I could use to prove my insanity is conventions. I've been to so many in the past five years that I can't even remember them all. There was the "Ultimate Celebration" in 1983 where we were all herded around like cattle for two days. We won the costume contest, but I can't for the life of me remember what we did to win. Next year brought TARDIS 21. We were lumberjacks but we weren't okay. Being the gluttons for punishment we are, we attended TARDIS 22. Again, we won the costume contest because Jennifer had...well, I'll let her tell that one.
In between (days) there were other cons like Omnicon where Mark, Chris, Sue and I were among the first people in the world to see Colin in costume. There was Tardiscon in St. Louis, and Time Festival in Columbus where the Creeping Terror was born along with the term "stale crumpet", used to describe Laura Kyro. And last but not least, who could forget Farcis 23 and Farciscon? Instead of making fools of ourselves in front of hundreds of people for a few minutes, we made even bigger fools of ourselves in front of tens of people for a few hours.
You're still not convinced, though, are you? Well, then let me tell you about the parties. The first annual Federation New Years Eve Party was held on December 31, 1983. We all got mildly drunk. Over the next two years the amount of alcohol we drank increased exponentially. The next year we got even more drunk and filmed "Doctor Nudge" which NO ONE (apart from about 10 people) will ever see. 1985 was definitely the worst. I mean, what could be worse than a two-day hangover? How 'bout a tequila/champagne induced two-day hangover? Or what about a two-day, tequila-induced hangover on top of a hangover that you still haven't recovered from since your sister's wedding three days ago. Or worse yet, a two-day tequila-champagne-induced hangover on top of another two-day hangover...WHILE YOUR GRANDMOTHER'S VISITING!!?!
The only thing that comes close to that is the "Flake's" party where we found out that John Wirth was only 14...after he had ingested a pint of Jack Daniels. This was also the time that I was so drunk that I though Chris' neighbor yelling at me was Dennis. And then there was Chris and Pat riding on the boat. The only problem was that the boat was still parked in the driveway!
Yes, I think in the past five years I've done more stupid, pointless, and inane things than most people do in their entire lives. I must be insane. Why else would I have stuck around this long? I guess it's because I've only ever been in the Federation for the fun of it. Well, guys, it's been real and it's been fun and it's been real fun...well, a couple of times, anyway.
February: PAL machine arrives. "Flake's 7" wins CABAC video award. Infamous "llama" issue of newsletter. JNT and Colin see "All Doctors" at Time Travellers Con.
March: DOCTOR WHO is cancelled by BBC. "Hitchhiker's Guide to Gallifrey" unfortunately not cancelled.
April: First video failure (see above) causes panic and cancellation of second "Flake's" movie to develop the ultimate parody.
June 14-21: "S-A-V-E-W-H-O" shooting.
July 12-14: Panopticon New Orleans, another costume contest win (the Odd Doctors beat out Stale Crumpet). The Federation (well, Chris -- ed.) obtains all vintage DOCTOR WHO on PAL.
September: Lionhart releases Hartnell-Troughton package.
November 13: Chris (and the Federation?) is accused by Lionhart of selling DOCTOR WHO videotapes. It is denied and a copy of "S-A-V-E-W-H-O" is sent, but the video library closes.
November 29-Dec.1: TARDIS 22. "S-A-V-E-W-H-O" is screened on several floors. Six Docs w/Waxworks Tom Baker, Peri and A Cyberman win costume contest. The run-in with Eric Hoffman. (Isn't that fabulous????)
quote from THE LIBERATOR, standard by 12-13:
"Quests for 1986: 1. Get more crumpet into the club. 2. Take a club trip to England. 3. Make a video for broadcast TV. 4. Visualise the never-finished "Shada" on videotape. 5. No pooftahs."
December: "A Doctor's Carol" is shot.
January: The Federation changes its name to "EkiEkiEkifatangzoomboingunzowingzah" and the newsletter to IT'S. A feeling of reform envelops the club. A Video Exchange and the VIDEO'ZINE are established. BLAKE'S 7 begins on WTTW.
March 22: "Cabaret!" is shot.
June 15: "Holy Grail" shooting. Considered the second failure, it inspired new production values for the future.
June 22: Night of Death IV; Jeff attacks mailbox. First mention of the musical that just wouldn't die, "Who Glorious Who". Return to using the name "The Federation".
August 1-3: TARDISCON, St. Louis. On location shoot for "Who Glorious Who" unsuccessful. "Peter and the Doctor Factory" loses skit contest, but Doctors In Drag win costume contest. Apathy and dissatisfaction with fandom and DOCTOR WHO abundant. "Who Glorious Who" cancelled. Last official sighting of Steve Schiller.
August: Chris resigns (the first time) as head of the Federation and newsletter editor. Jennifer takes over newsletter, changes name to IT'S IT!! The video exchange is closed. Dues charged to Outer Worlds members.
October: Filming for "Time Lord from U.N.C.L.E." begins.
November: "U.N.C.L.E." filming ends. Farcis 23, the first Federation parody con, is held. Second attempt at "Who Glorious Who" is cancelled so that "Flake's 7 II" could be finished (it was filmed in July and August).
Steve W. Hill Recalls by Steve Hill
It was only two years ago when I got involved with the Federation, in St. Louis at Tardiscon '86. I had been looking for things to do late on Friday night and when I checked the video room I saw something that I had never heard of: "S-A-V-E-W-H-O". It sounded interesting, so I stayed to watch. I loved it. After only about twenty minutes I could tell the people who made it were in the back of the room (don't ask me how I could tell, it was just something I was sure of). When it was over I had already determined that the Federation was a club that was based in my area, after seeing things like "Thanks to Libertyville High School" and the newspaper in "OK9 and Company" being my own local paper. I decided I wanted to talk to these people.
The next day I ENCOUNTERed (there's no better word to use here) them in the dealers' room. If I remember correctly I was asking if they needed help writing, or if they needed extras, or ANYTHING. They were surprised when I said I was from Palatine, and they took my address. That night I watched "S-A-V-E-W-H-O" again and wondered what my chances would be of getting into this club which, to me, seemed to be a highly exclusive clique. The next day a friend of mine bought the last remaining copy of VIDEO'ZINE 3 (thanks to it being in the Beta format, they still had a copy left) and we went up and watched "Doctor Who and the Holy Grail" and "Flake's 7" before going to seek the Federation again.
The next ENCOUNTER was a few weeks later at Scorpio IV. Chris and Mark needed some food, and I had a car, so they latched on to me to go to lunch. That ENCOUNTER didn't last too long because I didn't pay to get into Scorpio, therefore I couldn't do much. There was only another week or two before my first meeting, and I'm sure I surprised everyone there by STAYING THROUGH THE WHOLE MEETING and actually PLAYING TRIVIAL PURSUIT with them into the wee hours after all the other "new members" had gone home. I had a headache after that meeting.
In the next couple of meetings, we seemed to be busy. Chris was resigning and pushing his work off onto other people. I took advertising along with Scott Wilson (the real Scott Wilson); we were planning for TARDIS 23 and putting on Richard Franklin's play (which were cancelled altogether, if you recall); and we were preparing to shoot a new project, "The Time Lord from U.N.C.L.E." I was involved before I knew it, and before the end of the year I was already putting on a (fuzzy) Colin coat and playing him at our first parody convention.
These days I am (trying to) answer mail, (trying to) keep VIDEO'ZINE orders filled, (trying to) contribute monthly to the newsletter, (trying to) play several parts in THE REIGN OF TURNER, and still trying to put in (I know, it's only part time) 30 hours a week at work. I've never been as busy a person as I am now that I got involved in the Federation, but 1) it's a fun club most of the time, 2) I'm enjoying being involved in fandom, and 3) the Federation is nothing like my first impression, i.e. an exclusive clique. It's the easiest thing in the world to become involved in this club. Even Outer Worlds members we know by name...nobody is a number to us.
Another impression that I had of this club before I joined was that it involved a huge amount of people. I envisioned thiry or more people at meetings, with me stuck in the back of the room trying not to be seen. I've been to meetings that have involved five people, and the real, participatory Inner Worlds membership is something like 10 in all. Evern since September, 1986 when Chris resigned and Pat Reardon left for Alabama, the club has been dwindling. But we enjoy doing what we do, and we just want to keep doing it, no matter how hard it is.
May: filming of Clue???
Summer: Steve, Rob, and Jennifer come up with a parody of "Trial of a Time Lord" based on the Iran-Contra hearings. Chris shot the idea down by saying "Is anyone going to understand this in England a year from now?" (Very much to our surprise, he was ultimately right.)
Fall/Winter: Steve, Rob, and Jennifer get together on Monday afternoons to work on the script to Reign of Turner.
March: Here's where the big rift starts. The "we" (Steve, Rob, Jennifer) decided to go to Time Loop '88 in Kansas City, and to enter the sketch competition. Jeff and Mark announce they want to go, and that they want to be in the sketch, too. The sketch competition was a lip-sync thingie, and although we tried and tried, we couldn't find a song that would incorporate additional people. So we had to tell them they couldn't be in it. They groused to Chris, and the three of them immediately formed their own "not-we" faction. For the most part, they kept to themselves and we kept to ourselves at the con.
Spring: More work on the Reign of Turner and Who on TV scripts.
Early May: Who on TV filming.
Memorial Day weekend: TARDIS exterior building.
Summer: Reign of Turner filming, every single frickin' weekend (except for the weekend we went to a DW con up in Minnesota) through Labor Day weekend. And we stopped only because the #$**$ camcorder broke and had to get fixed. Jennifer starts micromanaging the group, just to get things done-- ultimately not a good idea.
December: Chris decides to film It's a Wonderful Regeneration, making sure to leave Jennifer out of it, because she was a real bitch, and had too many delusions of power. Not being in a production would really teach the c*#& a lesson! Everyone closes ranks around Chris one last time.
January: filming resumes for Reign of Turner, with Jennifer taking a reduced organizing role since she was a bitch, and was too controlling, and got told by everyone en masse to buzz off if she wanted to keep everyone's friendships. (In retrospect, they were right, but I saw it as being stabbed in the back, and wanted very little to do with any of them from then on.)
Memorial Day weekend: Reign of Turner filming finally ends.
July: another DW con in Minnesota. There were three factions now: the not-we, the we (which was now Rob and Steve and three people from the Mini-UNIT Minstrels in Minnesota), and Jennifer. This con was the last real appearance by anything resembling the Federation for 9 years.