The Eye Shield

The Eye Shield

 

The Eye Shield was a fanzine for the extremely popular Children's ITV adventure game series Knightmare (1987-1994), started by Paul McIntosh in December 1995 as a replacement for the Knightmare Adventurers' Club.

The price was fifty pence per issue. Issues 1, 2 and 3 were made by stapling whole sheets of A4 paper together; Issues 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 were more attractive A5 booklets. Paul McIntosh decided to rest TES in December 1997 due to a lack of reader interest and contributions. Although he planned to resurrect it more than once, this never happened.

The fanzine was resurrected (with Paul's permission) by me (Jake Collins) in July 2001 as part of Nicholas Lam's Knightmare website (then www.knightmare.clara.net; now http://www.knightmare.com/ and in the care of Alan Boyd) and appeared on the site every two months for exactly ten years thereafter, finally coming to an end in July 2011 with its seventieth issue.

When I discovered in September 1995 that Knightmare was no more, I was devastated. The Eye Shield was a great source of comfort to me, and when it came to an end in December 1997 I was keen that it should return someday, as I felt that it had so much more Knightmare to chronicle. If this never happened, I thought, it would be nothing short of a tragedy.

When it became apparent to me that Paul himself was never going to resurrect TES (perfectly understandably, as he really no longer had the time and had already poured his heart and soul into it), I became determined to create an online version of the fanzine myself. With the help and support of knightmare.clara.net's excellent webmaster Nicholas Lam, I did just that.

For exactly ten years, from July 2001 to July 2011, I produced a new issue of TES every two months, and I (like Paul before me) poured my heart and soul into it. By Issue 70, I knew that the fanzine had finally chronicled all the Knightmare it could, and that it was time to bring the publication to a graceful end, over fifteen years after its first issue.

Bringing something to an end at the right time is not always easy to do, but I believe that it is important. The right time, of course, means not too early and not too late. I was tempted at times to try and carry on with TES after Issue 70, but I really knew that this was the right time to stop.

The sudden, unexpected and devastating death of my mother in March 2011 was responsible for (amongst many other things) sucking away the last vestiges of enthusiasm I had for producing The Eye Shield, which is why the final two issues have a rather Spartan feel to them. But now - in April 2012 - I have been sezied by the urge to present The Eye Shield in its entirety on its very own website. I am and always will be extremely proud and fond of TES, and my ten years as its editor and main writer.

My thanks go out to Paul McIntosh, for creating The Eye Shield fanzine; Nicholas Lam, for facilitating its rebirth onto the Internet; my very good friend Ross Thompson, for helping me (both practically and conceptually) to create this website; my sister Rosey Collins, for enduring and embracing a rather Knightmare-heavy existence since she was two years old; and my mother Jo Collins (1952-2011), for persauding me not to turn off the TV at 4.40pm on Monday September 7th 1987.