The Tapezine Matrix

Outline History


A History of Dr Who
Dr. Who: Tapezine
Zero Room
The Logopolitan
UNIT Tapezine
Trakenites' Times
The Time Listener
CVE Tapezine
Sonic Waves
The Master Tape
Tranquil Repose
CT of Death
Rayphase Shift
Time Trace
Season Specials
Doctor Who 2000
Other Tapezines


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The Tapezine Matrix is researched, written, designed, maintained and Copyright Alan Hayes.

Doctor Who is Copyright BBC Television. No attempt to infringe the BBC's copyrights is intended.

Zero Room Audio Fanzine

Place of Origin:
Sandhurst, South Surrey, U.K.

John Ryan
with the South Surrey Doctor Who Local Group

Distribution Media:
Audio Cassette

Tape Lengths:
#1-2: C60 (Side A only); #3, 5-7: C90;
#4: C60

In Production: 1983-85

Issues Produced: 7 (+ 1 Printed)

Zero Room is one of those strange beasts - an audiozine that began life as a standard printed fanzine. The first issue, published in April 1983, was a twenty-page A5-sized magazine. Following hot on its heels a couple of months later was the rather confusingly monikered Zero Room 2: Audio Fanzine 1, which sounded more like a football scoreline than a fanzine. The first two audio editions were thirty-minute programmes, each filling one side of a C60 cassette. From Zero Room 3 onwards, issues were recorded on both sides of the cassette, with ninety-minute tapes being the medium of choice for the most part.

Zero Room was edited by John Ryan, leader of the South Surrey Local Group of the DWAS and later in charge of the DWAS Publicity Department. The tapezine was produced by John along with members of the local group, under the group name, Castrovalva Creations.

At this early stage in its development, Zero Room clearly failed to impress occasional DWAS fanzine reviewer, Kevin Swann. Fanzines in Focus, the irregular fanzine review column in Celestial Toyroom, laid heavily into a fanzine called The Leisure Hive and then implied that Zero Room was no better. It is unclear, however, whether Swann was referring to the printed edition or the audio edition of Zero Room - judging by the initial poor coverage of tapezines in such reviews, it's a fair assumption to assume the former. As with all endeavours, lessons were learned, techniques and content were improved - and over the following two years, Zero Room became one of the better received Doctor Who tapezines.

As with many other tapezines, the key to Zero Room's success was in its regular reinvention. Sound quality was constantly being improved, as were the quality of the articles. The producers even advertised in Celestial Toyroom for - and ultimately appointed - a graphic designer to spruce up the Zero Room cassette covers, advertisements and stationery. The impact in this area was marked, undoubtedly contributing to the tapezine's much improved profile within fandom. Zero Room began to figure in the DWAS' annual fanzine polls, placing 17th in 1984, rising to a remarkable 9th a year later - the highest Fanzine Poll rating for a tapezine. At a time when tapezines were massively outnumbered by those of the printed variety, this must be seen as a great achievement on the part of John Ryan and his team.

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