|The last five years
have seen a number of changes. Trek series have come and gone, series
like Babylon 5 and The X-Files have made a huge impact on fans of
Cult TV, and old favourites OK, were talking about Doctor
Who have refused to fade away.
Throughout, Cult Times has been on hand to
observe, comment and tell you what time to tune in. In this issue, the
magazines five successive editors look back at the last 50 months of Cult
Richard Atkinson is the
longest-serving editor of Cult Times. He arrived
in November 1996, eventually inheriting a keyboard covered in orange juice, a
slice of carrot cake and a cupboard full of Inspector Morse videos*
The other day, review copies of the Buffy Season One Box Set
(which you can win in a
phone-in competition in this issue - sorry, open to UK callers only)
arrived in the office. All of a sudden it became unusually busy around
my desk (not a common occurrence as you can imagine) as people slyly tried to
wander off with them.
Buffy The Vampire Slayer is undoubtedly
this years Phenomenon. You only have to go to HMV to find Buffy
everywhere you turn: books, postcards, posters and, naturally, magazines.
Cult Times first featured the series in its
February 1998 issue an interview with Nicholas Brendon but it
wasnt until this year that it really started to take off. In January it
made its terrestrial début on BBC2, and Sky 1 are now approaching the
end of Season Three, mere months after it was broadcast in the US.
Its not difficult to see why
Buffys so popular. With its young and attractive cast, and a
format that balances action and comedy, you could argue that its designed
to appeal to an audience over and above everything else. But thats
probably the point: at least a part of the series charm is that it
doesnt have some incredibly clever agenda weighing it down. There are
monsters out there, theyre bad, lets go and get them with a big
I was initially worried that the series made
good and evil so clear cut, and that the only way they had to deal with evil
was to put a stake through its heart, but as I say, its not that serious.
Its meant to entertain. And when it does have something to say for
itself, generally it does so confidently and without a fuss.
This issue, Sarah Michelle Gellar talks about
people identifying with Buffy. Despite being a superhero, she has her
vulnerabilities like all of us. Shes learnt what she can cope with and
what she cant. After completing the biggest ever issue of
Cult Times I can certainly identify with that.
Of course, I shouldnt be saying all this.
A much wiser colleague of mine once told me that its the editors
job to be impartial. Not to pick out favourites and alienate any readers who
might be uninterested. Dont get me wrong, Cult
Times never likes one thing to the exclusion of all else. In fact it was
my original intention to write about the end of Deep Space Nine in this
I decided against this because as we embark
upon another 50 issues, I wanted to talk about something that would be
continuing with us. Star Trek: Voyager has certainly found its feet,
although every now and then it tends to misplace them. It will probably be
another few years, if at all, before Doctor Who returns. The
X-Files, whilst still having moments of inspired genius, seems to even have
lost the interest of those who work on it. And there doesnt seem to be
any hope last, best or otherwise for more Babylon
Im sure Buffy, however, will keep
your attention for a good while yet.
Montage based on photos © Jean
Cummings/Moonglow Pictures/David Miller. Yes, OK, it's a fake...
*You'll have to read about his
predecessors to find out why this should be. Meanwhile, here's Richard lounging
around with the stars on the Buffy set
He's just pretending. At least I've been in the same cinema as Sarah Michelle
Gellar Web Ed.)
about your favourite series, read Cult Times
50th issue available now, £3.50 ($6.99)
Can't find it locally? You can order it
Feature © Visual
Imagination 1999. Not for reproduction.