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In the Comics - Doctorless

Last update: June 2013

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   The Dalek Book 1965

The first Doctorless Doctor Who-related comic strips appeared in the Dalek Book 1965 (which was actually released in 1964), an annual-style publication that featured an enviable six strips featuring Skaro’s finest.

This book tells the story of the Daleks’ attempted invasion of the Solar System, and fits well with continuity later established in the TV Century 21 strip. Many of the stories also fit with ideas later mentioned in the Curse of the Daleks stage play, making its stories a valuable addition to alternative Dalek continuity.

SCRIPT: David Whitaker/Terry Nation
ART: Richard Jennings, John Wood, A.B. Cornwell

If anyone can identify the individual credits for each story, please contact us at the usual address.

Th e Dalek Book 1965

 INVASION OF THE DALEKS

The Daleks attempts at urban regeneration had been a dismal failure...

ART: Richard Jennings

Skaro enters the solar system and the Daleks attack the moons of Jupiter, Saturn and Mars before turning their attention to the large Earth colony on Venus. Scientists Jeff and Mary Stone are taken prisoner, but their brother Andy swears to rescue them and free Venus of the invaders.

ALTERED VISTAS SAYS:
Featuring some spectacular panels of Dalek-engineered destruction, and taking in Earth, Skaro, Venus, Mars, the moons of Saturn and Jupiter, and a space station, Invasion of the Daleks gets the story off to an epic and ambitious start. This strip also features the first ever appearance of a Dalek variant, in this case the impressively domed Emperor Dalek.

 THE OIL WELL

Intent on rescuing Mary, Jeff and Andy attack a Dalek oil installation, unaware that Mary, having devised a work rota that will speed up production but also save human lives, has been taken to other installations by the Daleks. Reflecting the sun’s rays onto the oil well using a lens from a pair of binoculars, Andy and Jeff cause an explosion, allowing the slaves to revolt. With the slaves freed, Andy and Jeff continue their search for their sister and the liberation of Venus.

ALTERED VISTAS SAYS:
The cheap red spot colour definitely doesn’t help this strip, but then nor do some horribly misshapen Daleks. The story shows a certain amount of ingenuity and works fairly well, though I do wonder how many children became pyromaniacs as a result of this strip...

Some died less bravely, with lots of tears and a smell of wee...

 CITY OF THE DALEKS

A quick word, Jeff. Never ever say Jumping Jupiter unless you're running behind Batman...

ART: Richard Jennings

Jeff Stone infiltrates the Dalek city on Skaro and takes back to Earth a secret document detailing the anatomy of a Dalek.

ALTERED VISTAS SAYS:
This strip is interesting as it isn’t really a comic strip in the traditional sense of the word at all, more a pictorial guided tour of the Dalek city with a cutaway of a Dalek halfway through strung together with the aid of an exceptionally loose narrative. It’s a shame really they didn’t save this strip for later in the publication, as Jeff suddenly being on Skaro rather undermines the continuing narrative.

 THE HUMANOIDS

Looking for Daleks on Mars using a spectroscanner to detect Dalekenium, Mary, Jeff and Andy are deceived by artificial humans created by the Daleks who they take aboard their spaceship. Andy and Jeff overpower the humanoids and fight off the approaching army of Daleks, clearing the planet of the enemy.

ALTERED VISTAS SAYS:
The Dalek idea to infiltrate with duplicates would later find currency in the series itself - first through Nation’s own The Chase, then through his The Android Invasion and finally through Resurrection of the Daleks. Not that we’re going to pretend that Terry Nation invented this hoary old sci-fi cliché. It is used reasonably well here to add some intrigue to a fairly simple tale. The spot colour is again unpleasant, but at least we’re on Mars so it seems appropriate.

The neighbours arriving en masse was terribly inconvenient. They would never have enough teabags for them all...

 MONSTERS OF GURNIAN

Dragged down onto the inhospitable world of Gurnian by the Daleks’ magnetrap, Andy and Mary must survive the savage two-headed Horrorkon monsters for the amusement of the Daleks, but the Horrorkons prove unusual allies more interested in destroying anything made of metal... including the Daleks.

ALTERED VISTAS SAYS:
This story features the wonderfully bizarre Marsh Dalek, seen above on its long, stilt-like legs, only the second Dalek variant ever to have been seen. Presumably these were developed before the idea of hoverbouts occurred to the Dalek planners. The two-headed and ferocious Horrorkons are clearly the ancestors of the Terrorkons who would later terrorise the pages of the TV21 Dalek strip. This strip features extremely out of character sadistic Daleks, doesn’t tie in to the story arc and is definitely one of the weakest strips.

Oddly, the Marsh Dalek was never to return to the world of Doctor Who. Can't think why...

 BATTLE FOR THE MOON

Mary, Jeff and Andy give the Daleks what for...

ART: Richard Jennings

Whilst the Emperor Dalek sues for peace on Earth, Andy, Jeff and Mary head for the moon, sure the Dalek’s black fleet has landed there. Sure enough, they are under attack from Dalek hoverbouts and forced down onto the moon’s surface. There they discover that the Daleks plan to explode the old nuclear weapons that Earth dumped on the moon’s surface. The cloud of dust created will be channelled down a sunray and will poison the Earth’s atmosphere. However, Mary sets the bombs to explode prematurely. The intrepid threesome escape as the Daleks are blown to pieces,

ALTERED VISTAS SAYS:
Can you honestly imagine the Daleks suing for peace, even if it is just a dirty ruse to poison the Earth’s atmosphere? Anyway, this is a fun and fairly exciting conclusion to the epic tale of the Dalek invasion of the Solar System. And I do like the fact that it is Mary who ultimately saves the day.

   TV Century 21 - The Daleks

On 23 January 1965, the Daleks made their first appearance in their own full colour comic strip on the back page of the lavish new children's weekly comic TV Century 21. Written by David Whitaker (with the assistance of Alan Fennell on the first story), who was Doctor Who’s original script editor, and illustrated by such legendary comic strip artists as Richard Jennings, Ron Turner and Eric Eden, this popular one-page strip ran for sixteen stories over one hundred and four instalments, and finally concluded on the brink of the Daleks' planned attack on the inhabitants of Earth, which ties in very nicely with the continuity established in The Dalek Book (see above).

Please note that, on their original publication, the sixteen stories that comprise the Daleks strip did not have individual titles and are presented here in this format purely for ease of reference.

The Daleks

 GENESIS OF EVIL

Issue 1
Comic245
Issue 2It's a Dalek. Oddly proportioned, but undeniably a Dalek...
The Daleks 2013

ART: Richard Jennings
ISSUES: 1-3
COVER DATES: 23 January 1965 - 6 February 1965
ON TV: The Romans (Season 2)
REPRINTS: Doctor Who Weekly, Issue 33 (black & white), Doctor Who Monthly, Issues 180-182, 50 Years Doctor Who The Daleks The Essential Guide to the Doctor’s Greatest Enemy, May 2013.

The war between the Dals and the Thals has raged for generations. War Minister Zolfian and Chief Scientist Yarvelling have devised a way to finally bring the conflict to an end using neutron bombs and killing machines. But when their plans go disastrously awry, it looks like the end of all life on Skaro. Could anything survive?

ALTERED VISTAS SAYS:
A good but not outstanding start to the strip. Jennings has yet to perfect his Daleks, which are very oddly proportioned, but the rest of the art is glorious.

 POWER PLAY

Issue 4Issue 5
Issue 6Issue 7
Issue 9Issue 10
Ah, a good old fashioned Dalek massacre...
Issue 8

ART: Richard Jennings
ISSUES: 4-10
COVER DATES: 13 February 1965 - 27 March 1965
ON TV: The Web Planet - The Crusade (Season 2)
REPRINTS: Doctor Who Holiday Special 1974 (black & white), Doctor Who Weekly, Issues 33-34 (black & white), Doctor Who Monthly, Issues 183-188

An alien spaceship lands on Skaro. The Daleks see its potential and plan to steal the ship away. However, the ship belongs to slave traders, and with both slaves and masters eager to stay alive, a dangerous game of intrigue begins.

ALTERED VISTAS SAYS:
Plenty of double-dealing and some pleasingly ruthless Daleks make up for the slightly insipid Sala and Astolith. However, the strip’s greatest moment is when the Daleks learn the secret of space flight, thus taking them one step closer to their dreams of universal domination.

 DUEL OF THE DALEKS

ART: Richard Jennings
ISSUES: 11-17
COVER DATES: 3 April 1965 - 15 May 1965
ON TV: The Crusade - The Space Museum (Season 2)
REPRINTS: Doctor Who Holiday Special 1973 (black &  white, with title given as
Dalek Duel), Doctor Who Weekly, Issues 35-36 (black & white), Doctor Who Monthly, Issues 189-193

When his casing becomes strengthened following a freak accident, Dalek worker Zeg challenges the Emperor’s authority.

But which will triumph, the Emperor’s cunning and intelligence or Zeg’s great strength?

Issue 11Issue 12Issue 13
Issue 14Issue 15Issue 16Issue 17

ALTERED VISTAS SAYS:
And suddenly the strip is firing on all cylinders with one of the best and most popular stories in the entire run. Zeg is a great character and his battle with the Emperor is imaginative, tense and exciting which makes for some great cliffhanger endings. The Black Dalek makes his first appearance here too.

 THE AMARYLL CHALLENGE

Issue 18Issue 19Issue 20

ART: Richard Jennings
ISSUES: 18-24
COVER DATES: 22 May 1965 - 3 July 1965
ON TV: The Chase - The Time Meddler (Season 2)
REPRINTS: Doctor Who Weekly, Issues 36-37 (black & white abridged), Doctor Who Classic Comics, Issues 1 & 2

The Daleks make it into space in their now-familiar saucers. Their first target for conquest is the planet Alvega, closest of all worlds to Skaro. However, the unusual inhabitants of Alvega have other ideas.

Soon it is a fight to the death between the Daleks and a life form different to them in every way.

ALTERED VISTAS SAYS:
You might expect the Daleks’ first foray into conquest to be a fairly standard affair, but this is far from it. The Amarylls and the controlling Root are memorable and beautifully depicted. The final showdown with a lone Dalek is masterfully done and we’re rooting for the Daleks all the way!

Issue 21Issue 22Issue 23Issue 24

 THE PENTARAY FACTOR

Issue 25Issue 26Issue 27Issue 28
Issue 29Issue 30Issue 31Issue 32

ART: Richard Jennings
ISSUES: 25-32
COVER DATES: 10 July 1965 - 28 August 1965
ON TV: The Time Meddler (Season 2)
REPRINTS: Reprinted in the 1977 Dalek Annual under the title
The Envoys of Evil, Doctor Who Weekly, Issues 37-39 (black & white), Doctor Who Classic Comics, Issues 2 & 3.

Daleks land on the planet Solturis declaring peace. It's an unlikely claim, but the locals have no reason to disbelieve - apart from old Lurr, who has seen a vision of the future, showing destruction and slavery beneath the Daleks. But who will listen to his claims?

ALTERED VISTAS SAYS:
Solid. Here we’re rooting for the humans. What an odd and schizophrenic strip The Daleks is...

 PLAGUE OF DEATH

ART: Richard Jennings
ISSUES: 33-39

COVER DATES: 4 September 1965 - 16 October 1965
ON TV: Galaxy Four - The Myth Makers (Season 3)
REPRINTS: Reprinted in Doctor Who Weekly, Issues 39-40 (black & white), Doctor Who Classic Comics, Issues 4 & 5.

The Emperor’s plans for universal conquest are disrupted when he receives an urgent call from Skaro - a new and deadly threat faces the Daleks, one that could spell the end of the Dalek race!

ALTERED VISTAS SAYS:
Another strong outing for the strip with some fantastic imagery and a leading role for the Black Dalek. It’s good to see civil war erupting on Skaro, an idea David Whitaker would later reuse in The Evil of the Daleks, and excellent the way the ending of this story paves the way for the next strip.

Issue 36
Issue 33Issue 34Issue 35
Issue 37Issue 38Issue 39

 THE MENACE OF THE MONSTRONS

Issue 40Issue 41Issue 42
Issue 43Issue 44Issue 45

ART: Richard Jennings
ISSUES: 40-46
COVER DATES: 23 October 1965 - 4 December 1965
ON TV: The Myth Makers - The Daleks’ Master Plan (Season 3)
REPRINTS: Reprinted in the 1977 Dalek Annual, then in Doctor Who Weekly, Issues 40-42 (black & white), Doctor Who Classic Comics, Issues 4 & 5.

An alien vessel lands on Skaro and, with the Daleks in disarray, the cruel Monstron invaders and their Engibrain robots are soon able to shatter the Daleks’ supremacy.

With the Dalek city destroyed and the Emperor lost, what hope remains for the survival of the Dalek race?

Issue 46

ALTERED VISTAS SAYS:
This strip has long been one of my personal favourites, not least for the wonderful artwork, with the striking Monstrons and their retro Engibrains. That the Daleks succumb to the Monstron onslaught is surprising and things go from bad to worse for them, but landing your spaceship in a volcano is never a good idea...

   The Dalek World 1966

As with most annuals, the actual year of publication was the year before the cover date.

ART: Richard Jennings, John Wood, A.B. Cornwell, Wiggins.

If anyone can identify the individual credits for each story, please contact us at the usual address.

The Dalek World

 THE MECHANICAL PLANET

The Emperor's new flat screen TV was a truly immersive experience...

ART: Richard Jennings

Threatened by a mechanical planet, the Daleks appeal to the Earthmen to rearm them.

The Earthmen, unable to combat the menace themselves, reluctantly agree. The Daleks save the solar system by destroying the mechanical world, but then vow to once more conquer Earth.

Which is no more than you would expect of them, really.

ALTERED VISTAS SAYS:
As a way of relaunching the Dalek threat, this is a fairly neat idea, and the Emperor telling the Earthmen that the big difference between humans and Daleks is patience is a great moment. Less great is the Emperor decrying the destruction of something so scientifically brilliant, which is so thoroughly out of character that it’s almost funny.

 TREASURE OF THE DALEKS

Three light years from Pluto, Brit’s spaceship ‘Daring’ leaves Satellite Airport with two stowaways named Borg and Zemmer hidden aboard. The stowaways concuss Brit with nerve gas and reprogramme the ship to land on Skaro where they plan to steal the treasure of the Daleks.

Freezing the automated gun systems, they gain access to the Daleks’ treasure house, but the Daleks are alerted by the systems inactivity and send hoverbout patrols. While Borg and Zemmer fight off the Daleks’ pet Dredly monster (no, really), Brit makes her escape. Borg and Zimmer chase after her, but the automated guns have defrosted in half the time because of Skaro’s twin suns and they are both shot down. When the Daleks arrive, they find two dead pirates but no ship. Brit is safely away... with one million pound diamond with which she cut herself loose.

ALTERED VISTAS SAYS:
This strip is real throwaway stuff, with a lazy and unimaginative plot and artwork that does nothing to improve matters. Borg is a very Terry Nation-type name (similar to Bors and Borkar from The Daleks’ Master Plan). Can you really imagine the Daleks hording treasure?

But Borg and Zemmer were too busy playing table football to listen to Brit...

 THE INVISIBLE INVADERS

ART: Richard Jennings

A Dalek compressed water factory is attacked and destroyed by invisible invaders. The Daleks suspect sabotage from their slave workers, but a further attack on the landing field convinces them otherwise. The Daleks extinguish the fires with fire fighting chemicals, which reveals one of the invisible invaders who is taken prisoner. This act encourages the main force to attack - their assault on the Daleks will be good practice for their planned invasion of Earth. However, the battle between  Daleks and their invisible enemy, leaves the Daleks victorious, lamenting only that the secret of invisibility died with their aggressors.

Which is very bad news for the Birdmen...

ALTERED VISTAS SAYS:
It all feels slightly underdeveloped, and abruptly and unimaginatively curtailed, but there’s some quite nice artwork here and the story is fairly exciting. Of course, the idea of the Daleks discovering the secret of invisibility would make it to the TV series in Planet of the Daleks, and round about the time this annual was released, the TV Daleks would have been battling the invisible Visians...

 THE WORLD THAT WAITS

So that looks like Mechanoids 1 - Daleks 0

Mechanus is attacked by the Daleks, but the Mechanoids have cunningly created a Dalek duplicate which gives them the upper hand. However, the Black Dalek fights back, using an atom divider to smash the legs of the Mechanoid city and sending it crashing into the jungle below. As the Daleks leave Mechanus triumphant, a surviving Mechanoid swears that it will rebuild and avenge...

ALTERED VISTAS SAYS:
This is rather like an extended remix of the final episode of The Chase, with much death and destruction (and even a robot double) culminating in the destruction of the Mechanoid city. And it works because of that rather than in spite of that, providing some breathless excitement and a good few nods to the television episodes (such as the Fungoids being afraid of light).

 MASTERS OF THE WORLD

Forced down onto an oceanic planet by faulty rocket motors, Unispace agent Meric discovers an underwater city. Diving to investigate, he discovers rocket ships ready for blast off aboard which are humanoid copies of the five presidents of Earth along with a copy of himself as pilot. The Daleks took the duplication information from Brit, who they have captured, but Meric impersonates his own double to turn the tables on the Daleks, then blasts out of the city, flooding it and ending the Dalek plan.

ALTERED VISTAS SAYS:
Excellent artwork and beautiful colour work well with a simple but effective story. The Daleks’ suggestion that nobody knows all five of the world’s leaders better than Brit makes you wonder exactly what she does, and her appearances throughout this annual are kind of strange, but it’s nice to see the writers trying to develop stronger roles for females.

Gracious! He's right!
   TV Century 21

 EVE OF THE WAR

ART: Richard Jennings & Ron Turner
ISSUES: 47-51
COVER DATES: 11 December 1965 - 8 January 1966
ON TV: The Daleks’ Master Plan (Season 3)
REPRINTS: Reprinted in
The Amazing World of Doctor Who,1976, a promotion from Ty-Phoo tea, under the title A Fresh Start, then in Doctor Who Monthly, Issues 53-54 (black & white), Doctor Who Classic Comics, Issue 6.

When a Dalek working on the construction of a new space station comes under attack from an hypnotic cloud, the Daleks soon realise they are up against a deadly new opponent.

However, when the Daleks launch a counterattack, battle lines are soon drawn between them and the Mechanoids and galactic war looms ever closer.

ALTERED VISTAS SAYS:
By this stage the Dalek strip really is riding at its creative and artistic peak, and introducing the Mechanoids as a recurring enemy for the Daleks is a stroke of genius. The two enemies sizing each other up in this strip works very well and the artwork is amongst Jenning’s best, especially the opening panel of the space station in orbit. Of course, it would also prove to be his last.

Issue 47Issue 48Issue 49
Issue 50Issue 51The Amazing World of Doctor Who (July 1976)

 THE ARCHIVES OF PHRYNE

Issue 52Issue 53
Issue 54Issue 55
Issue 56Issue 57
The Daleks on Phryne's moon meet an unfortunate end...

ART: Eric Eden
ISSUES: 52-58

COVER DATES: 15 January 1966 - 26 February 1966
ON TV: The Daleks’ Master Plan - The Massacre (Season 3)
REPRINTS: Doctor Who Monthly, Issues 54-55 (black & white), Doctor Who Classic Comics, Issue 6

Intent on finding weapons to defeat the Mechanoids, the Daleks discover a planet concealed behind an invisible barrier. Little do they know that the planet is Phryne, and

Issue 58

that the inhabitants guard the secrets of a hundred worlds. But the Daleks will not be content until all secrets are theirs. Even if it means exterminating everything...

ALTERED VISTAS SAYS:
Just as things seem to be hotting up for a Dalek- Mechanoid war, we get a story not featuring the latter at all. This is initially disappointing, though the story is good. For once, the humans don’t obviously defeat the Daleks, and the thought of a race of librarians rising up triumphant against the Daleks doesn’t fill me with hope. Eden’s art is okay, but not the best the strip has ever seen.

 ROGUE PLANET

Issue 59Issue 60Issue 61Issue 62

ALTERED VISTAS SAYS:
And suddenly it becomes clear that the Dalek-Mechanoid war is an exercise in delay, motivating the action but never being the action. Still, the ending of this impressively illustrated strip, with Skardal on a collision course for Mechanus, seems to promise that the war is finally hotting up...

ART: Ron Turner
ISSUES: 59-62
COVER DATES: 5 March 1966 - 26 March 1966
ON TV: The Ark (Season 3)
REPRINTS: Reprinted in the 1978 Dalek Annual under the title
Collision Course, then in Doctor Who Monthly, Issues 56, 58-60, and Doctor Who Classic Comics, Issue 8.

The Daleks discover a new planet, which they call Skardal, but a cosmic collision soon sets the planet on a deadly path towards Skaro. If the planet strikes, it will mean the end of the Daleks, but can they find a way to set it on a new trajectory?

 IMPASSE

2K confronts the Mechanoids...

ART: Ron Turner
ISSUES: 63-69

COVER DATES: 2 April 1966 - 14 May 1966
ON TV: The Celestial Toymaker - The Gunfighters (Season 3)
REPRINTS: Reprinted in the 1978 Dalek Annual, then Doctor Who Monthly, Issues 61-66, 68, Doctor Who Classic Comics, Issue 12.

Daleks and Mechanoids are poised on the brink of war, but the Zerovians fear the victors will sweep aside all other species in the galaxy. Their answer is to dispatch robot agent

2K. His mission: to stop the war. But against the might of both the Daleks and the Mechanoids, what can one robot do?

ALTERED VISTAS SAYS:
This strip is not highly regarded, but for its actual content and the creation of robot 2K, who is a fantastic character, it is easily one of the best and most cleverly scripted. However, what the strip does is bring the Dalek-Mechanoid war to an abrupt end, sad when it seemed to be building to the sort of battles that would have been perfectly suited to the comic strip medium.

Issue 67
Issue 63Issue 64
Issue 65Issue 66
Issue 68issue 69

 THE TERRORKON HARVEST

Issue 70Issue 71Issue 72
Issue 73Issue 74Issue 75

ART: Ron Turner
ISSUES: 70-75

COVER DATES: 21 May 1966 - 25 June 1966
ON TV: The Gunfighters - The War Machines (Season 3)
REPRINTS: Doctor Who Classic Comics, Issue 14, 50 Years Doctor Who The Daleks, May 2013.

The Terrorkons, savage and insatiable carnivores that inhabit the Lake of Mutations. A natural defence for the Dalek city. But the Lake also houses the Daleks’ missile defence system.

When one of those missiles falls into the claws of a Terrorkon, the Daleks face the total devastation of their city

The Daleks 2013

ALTERED VISTAS SAYS:
Perhaps it’s the comedown from a run of brilliant strips, or a continuation of the disappointment that there will be no war in space, but this strip feels tired and not a little flat, despite some strong artwork from Turner. The idea of the Daleks building their missile defence system in such deadly waters is frankly ludicrous, and the Terrorkon is finally defeated not by Dalek ingenuity but by a chance attack from a giant eel! An unsatisfying tale.

 LEGACY OF YESTERYEAR

But not before giving Zet a satisfying whack...

ART: Ron Turner
ISSUES: 76-85
COVER DATES: 2 July 1966 - 3 September 1966
ON TV: The War Machines (Season 3)
REPRINTS: Doctor Who Classic Comics,  Issues 15 & 16

Hidden deep within Skaro’s Northern pole, frozen for centuries, are the last three survivors of the original Dalek race.

When they are accidentally revived, the Daleks are keen to learn their ancient secrets - especially the location of a planet known as   Earth...

Issue 79

ALTERED VISTAS SAYS:
The longest story from The Daleks is also one of the best, with a surprise reappearance of the humanoid Daleks and even a mention of Yarvelling. The contrast between what the Daleks once were and what they have become is nicely done, as is the sudden mention of planet Earth, which effectively moves the strip into its final phase as the Daleks begin to increasingly turn their attentions towards the planet and its location.

Issue 76Issue 77Issue 78
Issue 80Issue 81Issue 82
Issue 83Issue 84Issue 85

 SHADOW OF HUMANITY

Issue 86Issue 87Issue 88Issue 89

ALTERED VISTAS SAYS:
An interesting premise is given one of the strangest treatments resulting in one of the oddest strips from the sequence. I think this is probably the poorest strip of the run, the whole idea of the Daleks being threatened from within having been done to death and, most successfully, with Duel of the Daleks.

ART: Ron Turner
ISSUES: 86-89

COVER DATES: 10 September 1966 - 1 October 1966
ON TV: The Smugglers (Season 4)
REPRINTS: Doctor Who Classic Comics, Issue 17

What happens when a Dalek rediscovers the beauty of the natural world? The Emperor, Red Dalek and Black Dalek are about to find out, as a new sickness sweeps through the Dalek city on Skaro. If they cannot stamp out this terrible rot, then the Daleks could be destroyed, their supremacy finally at an end.

   Dell Comics Movie Classic

 DOCTOR WHO AND THE DALEKS

Comic128Issue 9

ALTERED VISTAS SAYS:
Okay, so not Doctorless, but it ain’t the TV Doctor. The artwork is generally good and the storyline is abridged intelligently. The colour is generally sympathetic, though why the TARDIS is a strange shade of green throughout is anyone’s guess...

SCRIPT: Terry Nation.
ART: Dick Giordano and Sal Trapani

REPRINTS: Doctor Who Classic Comics Issue 9, 21 July 1993.

Landing on Skaro, Doctor Who helps the Thals to defeat their old enemy, the Daleks. Hell, you know the storyline to this one!

To tie in with the launch of the first Amicus film Doctor Who and the Daleks in 1965, Dell Comics released a 31-page comic strip adaptation of the film in 1966 under the banner Movie Classic. ‘Everywhere! Watching and waiting... The incredible robots, the Daleks!!’ announced the cover. Well, indeed.

Susan did not relish another trip to the chemist shop...
   TV Century 21

 EMISSARIES OF JEVO

ART: Ron Turner
ISSUES: 90-95

COVER DATES: 8 October 1966 - 12 November 1966
ON TV: The Tenth Planet - The Power of the Daleks (Season 4)
REPRINTS: Doctor Who Classic Comics, Issue 18

The emissaries of Jevo must stop the deadly flowers of Arides from pollinating. To get there in time, they must cross the Unknown Regions. But that is where Skaro lies, and the Daleks have no interest in preserving life. When the emissaries are captured by the Daleks, only a dangerous trick offers a chance of freedom... but will it work long enough to save the universe?

ALTERED VISTAS SAYS:
Although it would seem to be nobody’s favourite, Emissaries of Jevo isn’t bad at all, just a little pedestrian. The concept of deadly plants had, of course, been used before and with greater success with the Amarylls, but the idea of the Jevons tricking the Daleks and the Daleks then taking their revenge is neat, and the contrast between the two species is well characterised, even if the Jevons are rather lacking in characterisation and the threat posed by the plants never feels particularly real or pressing.

Issue 90Issue 91Issue 92
Issue 93Issue 94Issue 95

 THE ROAD TO CONFLICT

Issue 96
Issue 100
Issue 104
Issue 97Issue 98Issue 99

ART: Ron Turner
ISSUES: 96-104

COVER DATES: 19 November 1966 - 14 January 1967
ON TV: The Power of the Daleks - The Underwater Menace (Season 4)
REPRINTS: Doctor Who Classic Comics, Issue 19

When a passenger ship from Earth is forced down onto Skaro there is more than the lives of the crew at stake, as the Daleks look set to finally learn the location of Earth...

Issue 101Issue 102Issue 103

ALTERED VISTAS SAYS:
Two children do not make the most engaging  heroes, the strip is perhaps overextended by at least a couple of issues and the story is essentially the same as Power Play, which robs it of any sense of  freshness, but this is solid and fairly dramatic and sees out The Daleks comic strip on a high with some beautiful artwork.

Eeek! Run! It's two small children!
Chronicles Cover

All sixteen strips were reprinted by Marvel, in full colour, in their 1994 release The Dalek Chronicles, with an additional article and a full colour wraparound cover produced by Ron Turner.

   Dalek Outer Space Book 1967
Dalek Outer Space Book

Again, actually released in 1966 in time for Christmas that year, the Dalek Outer Space Book is most notable for seeing the appearance of Sara Kingdom, who featured in Doctor Who’s The Daleks’ Master Plan. She has the strength of ten men. Apparently.

SCRIPT: Terry Nation.
ART: Richard Jennings, John Wood, Leslie Waller, Art Sanson.

If anyone can identify the individual credits for each story, please contact us at the usual address.

 THE DALEK TRAP

After several Dalek attacks on Earth vessels, Space Pilot Commander Don Morais comes up with a plan to counterattack. The mission is successful, with the Daleks taking heavy casualties, but when, after the battle, Don and co-pilot Zec go to investigate an Earth craft believed vanished three hundred years before, they fall into a Dalek trap. The Daleks take them to Skaro where they are sent on a quest beneath the surface of Skaro for a mineral known as Doranium, which will allow the Daleks to propel their missiles to even the furthest planets. After overcoming several natural hazards, Don and Zec discover a Dalek space station waiting for Doranium power to launch a universal attack. Don discharges the electrical power of the Doranium with a metal water container, destroying the space station and giving them a chance to escape back to their ship.

ALTERED VISTAS SAYS:
The artwork is very nice with some excellent colour work, but the story is just a mess that always seems in search of a decent plot and then, when it thinks it has found one, it wraps it up all too quickly. How a Dalek space station comes to be underground is also rather confusing.

Usual Dalek house rules apply...

 SARA KINGDOM SPACE SECURITY AGENT

That is no way for a lady to behave...

Sara Kingdom is sent to the planet Vara to rescue a top scientist from a Dalek slave colony. However, the thin atmosphere on Vara makes humans fall under Dalek control, turning them into Humanoids, so Sara must take oxygen sweets every four hours. When she accidentally overdoses, she recovers to find herself a prisoner of the Humanoids. She escapes using a combination of ingenuity and Dakaro, a form of karate, and locates the top scientist, who has so far been forced with truth drugs to give them most of the formula for a non-corrosive alloy that would allow the Daleks to take over Vara properly rather than controlling it from Skaro. Free from the drugs, the scientist adjusts the formula so that when the alloy is mixed it causes an explosion. The world is free from Dalek invasion for a while longer.

ALTERED VISTAS SAYS:
Although it’s fairly basic action adventure stuff, there is a certain amount of ingenuity at work in this strip, especially once Sara has gained access to the Dalek base. There is also a fair degree of absurdity. For instance, just how did the Daleks set up a base on Vara if they are completely unable to go there?

 THE SUPER SUB

Diving for dyno-molecular mineral ores, Jeff Stone (last encountered in The Dalek Book here) discovers the wreck of a prototype Dalek submarine that vanished over a thousand years before. Making the craft watertight, Jeff and his crew set off on a test run, but encounter Dalek forces who open fire. However, the dyno-molecular mineral ores covering the exterior of the ship have bonded with the hull to create a super alloy impregnable to Dalek fire. They return fire, destroying all bar three of the Dalek ships. Jeff declares that they will use the sub not as a weapon of destruction but as a deterrent to stop destruction.

ALTERED VISTAS SAYS:
This is an extremely brief strip with a very simple plot and an odd pro-peace message tagged on the end. Of course, Daleks can travel underwater without harm anyway (as shown in The Dalek Invasion of Earth), so the likelihood of them wasting resources developing a submarine is about as likely as sparrows developing an aeroplane.

Leaky valves were always the bane of a Dalek's life...

THE SECRET OF THE EMPEROR

Well, it made me smile...

ALTERED VISTAS SAYS:
This is bonkers. The Emperor up against knights is surreal, but the sight of him being bombarded with rocks by cavemen is equally bizarre. This is the first Dalek strip to acknowledge the Daleks’ ability to travel in time, but seems more intent on giving the Emperor a static casing which we would see on television the following year.

After a Dalek questions his authority, the Emperor wonders if he is perfect. His conclusion, after weeks of thought, is that he is not and must be rebuilt.

He pours his knowledge into the Brain Machine while Dalek scientists rebuild him.

They start by examining his memory cells. There they find a record of a failed invasion of Earth in the year 2415. However, the Emperor’s time machine was faulty and deposited him in 1415 at the Battle of Agincourt. He escaped but became lost in time. Meanwhile, the leaderless Dalek forces in 2415 were soundly beaten by the humans.

The scientists discover that the Emperor’s sonic guard is cracked, the result of a foiled attack on Uranus where the humans fought the Daleks off using super sonic waves.

The Emperor is rebuilt in a larger, static casing, now infallible.

Now this is an image you don't see every day...

THE BRAIN TAPPERS

Sara's direct approach was also part of her charm...

When top secret Earth defence installations are destroyed by Dalek attack, the only four scientists who knew of all the locations call in Sara Kingdom of the S.S.S. The discovery of the Emperor’s ship in orbit above Earth and equipped with a strange new antennae leads Sara to conclude that the Daleks are reading the scientists’ thoughts. She secures them in a radio-wave proof room where one of them designs a weapon to defeat the Daleks, but as he prepares to test the device, Sara realises the Emperor has changed his poition to better read their minds. On a reconnaissance flight, she sees the Dalek ships closing on Earth. The only solution is to attack them first, so she heads up into space with the four scientists. The Emperor is so busy concentrating on the thoughts of the four scientists that the Daleks fail to see other Earth ships. Only five Dalek ships escape destruction.

ALTERED VISTAS SAYS:
Although quite nicely illustrated and coloured, this is fairly confused and somewhat undramatic in terms of plot. As with many of the strips in this annual, the threat posed by the Daleks doesn’t feel particularly direct (indeed, a few distant Dalek hoverbouts aside, we never see a Dalek up close). It all ends in a space battle, but the artwork lacks drama, so it’s a bit of a sad way to end the Dalek annuals of the 1960s...

And so we jump forward almost a decade, but still it’s only the Daleks who seem capable of making the jump into Doctorless comic strips...

   Dalek Annual 1976

Doubtless encouraged by a Dalek story on television every year between 1972 and 1975, World Distributors’ resurrected the Dalek annual in 1975, with another three volumes to follow. Just as the television Daleks went quiet for four years. Sometimes you’ve just got to feel sorry for World...

As with most annuals, the cover date is a year in advance of the actual year of release.

Dalek Annual 1976

 PLANET OF SERPENTS

Loving this luminous pink look. It really makes the artwork sing...

SCRIPT/ART: Edgar Hodges

Caught in a meteorite storm, Reb Shavron crash lands on Terroth, one of the most dangerous planets in the universe. Sending out a distress call, she sets out to investigate her surroundings, but is soon overpowered by horrifying swamp creatures who want to sacrifice her in their temple for trespassing on their world. Her distress call is picked up by the Daleks, who land intent on exterminating an ADF (that’s Anti Dalek Force) agent, but Reb’s troubles have already increased as huge serpents emerge into the temple to eat the proffered sacrifice. The arrival of the Daleks saves her as the serpents turn on Skaro’s finest allowing Reb to escape, but she is pursued by swamp creatures. This time it is Earth forces who save her, but they are soon surrounded by Daleks - and then saved again by another attack by  giant serpents who pull the Dalek ship under the swamp leaving Reb and the Earth forces to escape.

ALTERED VISTAS SAYS:
Six parts Death to the Daleks (sacrifice in subterranean caverns by a primitive people who resemble their terrain, and Daleks coming under attack from giant snake-type creatures) to one part Mission to the Unknown (most dangerous planet in the universe, crashed Earth vessel), Planet of Serpents doesn’t have an original idea to its name, but it holds together reasonably well and tells a fairly exciting story, even if it could never be accused or originality.

 FLOOD!!!

SCRIPT/ART: Edgar Hodges.

The ADF return to Earth to discover global-wide flooding. Reporting to Emergency Headquarters in Melbourne, they learn that the South Pole is buried in fog and the water temperature is rising. Transported to the South Pole by nuclear submarine, the team comes under attack and only survives by sheltering under the rapidly melting ice, but they are taking on too much water to stay submerged and have to blast through the ice with their torpedoes. One of the team, Mark Seven, is captured, but Joel Shaw and Reb Shavron follow his trail to a futuristic installation controlled by Daleks. It is a neutronic power unit that could submerge half of the world’s land surface. Getting inside to rescue Mark, Joel and Reb are detected, but in the confusion Mark is able to escape, meeting the other two in the power unit. As Daleks attempt to cut through the door, they retract one of the giant legs holding the installation upright then make their escape as the neutronic power unit crashes and explodes.

ALTERED VISTAS SAYS:
This is good, solid action adventure, even if the Dalek plan to flood the world seems a trifle tame and even if the three heroes remain entirely underdeveloped (and completely unnamed for the first two-and-a-half pages). Perhaps we should be reading this as an extremely far-sighted comment on global warming... or perhaps not as it appears to have not one brain cell in its head.

Kind of how it felt during the floods of 2007
   Doctor Who and the Daleks Omnibus 1976

 THE ENEMY WITHIN

Surreal to the point of abstraction...Doctor Who and the Daleks Omnibus

SCRIPT: Possibly Terry Nation
ART: Unknown

Part comic strip, part puzzle, this curious beast from the Doctor Who and the Daleks Omnibus tells of the Daleks attack on an inhabited planet and the installation there of a huge Dalek army. As the book also contains an abridged version of the novelisation of Planet of the Daleks, this planet may well be Spiridon.

   Stewpot's Fun Book

 DOCTOR WHOOO

Stewpot's Fun Book 1977

SCRIPT: Possibly Ed ‘Stewpot’ Stewart
ART: Trevor Metcalfe

DATE OF PUBLICATION: 1977

When Ed ‘Stewpot’ Stewart answers a call in a telephone box, he is transported across the galaxy to an alien planet. There he is menaced by a strange dinosaur monster, but saved by a Dalek on a spring. He sings ‘Hello, Dalek, well, hello, Dalek’.

ALTERED VISTAS SAYS:
For those mercifully too young to remember Ed ‘Stewpot’ Stewart, he was a DJ and seemingly ubiquitous face of children’s television in the 1970s. You’ve probably seen the

photo of him and Jon Pertwee larking about on the set of The Daemons. This book parodies various popular shows of the time such as The New Avengers, The Six Million Dollar Man, Kojak, Batman and Tarzan, but the Doctor Who parody feels remarkably unfunny and witless even against the pretty low standards of its bedfellows. Six years later, Stewpot did his radio show from Longleat during the Doctor Who Twentieth Anniversary event that was held there.

Trust me. It's not as funny as it looks, and that's assuming you think it looks even slightly funny...
   The Dalek Annual 1979
Annual 1977Annual 1978Annual 1979

With both the 1977 and 1978 Annuals making up their comic strip quota with reprints of the Dalek Chronicles strips from TV21, it was left to the final 1979 annual to provide some original    material...

 THE HUMAN BOMBS

Very good?! Very Good??!! Can you really imagine a Dalek saying Very Good?!

SCRIPT/ART: Walter Howarth.

Using their deadly new Geiga bombs, the Daleks attack an Earth colony on Castar. The deadly radiation kills every living thing but leaves the buildings intact. But this is just a test run for the real target: Earth! The Anti Dalek Force call an emergency meeting. It seems the g-radiation spreads through the population like a virus. The ADF labs have created a serum that confines the radiation to the bloodstream, but if the victim gets blown apart, he will explode with the full force of a Giega bomb. A secret squad of volunteers on Armeria receive the serum and ambush the Dalek fleet en route to Earth, destroying all ships apart from one which slips by undetected. The only man on Earth to have received inoculation is Clive Simons. Simons engages with the Dalek ship and destroys it, but sustains damage. Unable to land in anywhere with a major population due to the g-radiation in his system, he crash lands on a remote Pacific island. But the island is home to cannibals...

ALTERED VISTAS SAYS:
This strip contains some very strange ideas about the capabilities of radiation. Here it appears to be part intelligent organism, part germ. It also manages to be inconsistent, because how do you trap it within the bloodstream without it killing the person involved? Also, at the end, we are presumably supposed to feel worried about Simons’ future, but if the cannibals cut him up for food, then they’ll all die in the blast. The artwork is horrible - and again inconsistent, with badly drawn Daleks shown with and without slats depending on the angle we see them from. One interesting detail is that the ADF ships are clearly based on the Dalek rocket missile piloted by agent 2K in the Dalek Chronicle strip Impasse. The text contains several spelling mistakes.

 ISLAND OF HORROR

Well, everything now that you've just told me...

SCRIPT/ART: Walter Howarth.

Hideously mutated by the Daleks on their secret island base, Karl Martin escapes from his captors. Four days later, his body is caught in the nets of a Japanese fishing trawler. On his body they find a crude map and a picture of a Dalek which is sent to ADF HQ. Major Joel Shaw and Mark Seven analyse the map and discover an artificial island in the Pacific. The two go to the island by submarine, leaving orders with the sub’s captain to bomb the island if they are not back within twelve hours. On the island they encounter a mutated beast that used to be Professor Nedwell, a scientist who vanished two months before. Nedwell leads them to the Dalek encampment, but it is a Dalek ambush and they are captured. The Daleks reveal that they are attempting to mutate Earth’s finest brains into savage psychopaths, but just as they prepare to do the same to Joel and Mark, the submarine captain begins his bombing. Breaking free and fighting their way to the beach, Joel and Mark escape as the island explodes, destroying the Daleks and the mutated monsters they have created.

ALTERED VISTAS SAYS:
Horrible artwork is paired with a horrible story with a weak resolution. Surely Walter Howarth was drawing these Daleks from memory because only that can explain the inaccuracies.

   Doctor Who Weekly

1979 saw the launch of a brand new comic devoted entirely to Doctor Who (well, give or take reprints of Doctor Jekyll and Mister Hyde and other classic adaptations first published some three years previous...) Each week would see one main strip featuring the Doctor and one back-up strip, featuring one of the Doctor’s old foes. Of course, the Daleks took first turn...

 THE RETURN OF THE DALEKS

Issue 1
Issue 2
Issue 3
Issue 4
Ooh, I think they would, Kuay, dear...

SCRIPT: Steve Moore
ART: Paul Neary & David Lloyd

ISSUES: 1 - 4
COVER DATES: 17 October 1979 - 7 November 1979
ON TV: City of Death - The Creature from the Pit (Season 17)
REPRINTS: Reprinted in colour in the US Marvel publication
Doctor Who, in colour, Issue 1, October 1984, Doctor Who Classic Comics, in colour, Issues 23 & 24, August - September 1994.

On the planet Anhaut, Glax, owner of the Galactic Glax Picture Corporation, decides to make a film about the Dalek invasion of Anhaut eight hundred years before. With his partner Rakh, he goes to the museum to explore the archives, and discovers that the Daleks were mysteriously defeated by General Nor-Din in the Desert of Vaksh. Sure he is on to a winner, Glax sets about pre-publicising his latest epic, but a Dalek agent named Kuay uses the film set to hide real Daleks. Actor Hok Nepo, playing Nor-Din, walks off set, disgusted at the poor performances of the studio Daleks, and straight into the real deal.

Hok Nepo escapes extermination and he, Glax and Rakh flee the studio as Kuay releases more Daleks. They go to the police who send in a squad, but the Daleks wipe them out. The military are called in, but even they cannot contain the menace. Glax decides to travel out with Hok on winged reptiles to the Desert of Vaksh and discover how Nor-Din defeated the Daleks, but he is overheard by Kuay. In the desert, they venture too close to a sandstorm and are trapped by a strange force and pulled down.

Glax and Hok realise they have found the site of the final battle between Nor-Din and the Daleks, but Kuay is close behind and has summoned the Daleks who are fighting their way closer. Glax and Hok discover a man-made pyramid topped with a huge sphere. Inside they watch a recording of Nor-Din who is about to tell them the means by which he defeated the Daleks when Kuay destroys the screen. The Daleks are angry with her - they needed to know how Nor-Din defeated them to prepare a counter-defence - and punish her through the metal plate in her scalp. When she collapses, Hok lifts her onto a strange couch, but doing this severs the Daleks’ mental connection. However, the Daleks are now outside and ready to exterminate all three of them.

The Daleks are delayed by an air attack by the military, giving Glax, Hok and Kuay time to work out what Nor-Din’s weapon was. Knowing they could not defeat the Daleks’ body-armour, they attacked the Daleks’ minds through a telepathic booster helmet. As the Daleks start to break in, Kuay puts on the helmet and destroys the Daleks, but the power ages her to death. Hok never wants to see another Dalek, but Glax is already thinking of a new film.

Doctor Who Issue 1
Issue 23
Issue 24

ALTERED VISTAS SAYS:
The Dalek Annuals aside, this strip was the first time the Daleks had appeared in a comic strip without the Doctor since the days of TV Century 21 in 1966. And it’s a cracking little story that holds together extremely well with strong characterisation and plenty of action supported by excellent artwork. There’s a lovely joke in the first part where Hok Nepo says he thought there were only three Daleks on set...

 THROWBACK: THE SOUL OF A CYBERMAN

Issue 5
Issue 6
Glorious Dead graphic novel
Issue 7
Issue 2

ALTERED VISTAS SAYS: Kroton would make several return appearances through the years, becoming one of the magazine’s most enduring characters, and he owes his success to this strip which wonderfully conveys his growing confusion and alienation, as he finds that he doesn’t fit into either the Cyberman or human worlds. This is probably one of my favourite comic strips of all  time, using the medium brilliantly to add a depth that would not be seen in the parent comic strip until the latter days of the Seventh Doctor, and which wouldn’t be seen in the TV series until 2005. Kroton’s story continues here.

Relax, it's just Kroton having a laugh...

SCRIPT: Steve Moore
ART: Steve Dillon

ISSUES: 5 - 7
COVER DATES: 14 November 1979 - 28 November 1979.
ON TV: The Creature from the Pit - Nightmare of Eden (Season 17)
REPRINTS: Reprinted in Doctor Who (US), Issue 2, November -1984 (but rather bizarrely without the concluding instalment), then as part of the Panini ‘graphic novel’’ The Glorious Dead, published November 2005.

The planet Mondaran has been conquered by the Cybermen, but there are still pockets of resistance, such as that led by Pendar and Marilka. Cyberleader Tork sends for reinforcements from Telos, which includes Junior Cyberleader Kroton, a Cyberman who is experiencing emotion, but struggling to understand the reactions of the resistance members. In their hideaway, Pendar and Marilka are suddenly confronted by a Cyberman.

The Cyberman is Kroton, who wants to talk, but fear and distrust make the humans flee. Kroton saves them from a patrol for breaking curfew. Back at HQ he meets with a human traitor called Zarach who gives information about Pendar and Marilka. Pendar is captured, but Kroton releases him. Confused by his own actions, Kroton sits defenceless as Pendar creeps up behind him, planning to cave in his head.

Pendar realises the attack would make him no better than the Cybermen. He collects Marilka and they return to the confused Kroton, but a Cyberman patrol arrives and orders their eradication. Kroton snaps and destroys the patrol, then plans with Pendar and Marilka to attack the spaceport. The attack gets them aboard a ship, but there is insufficient fuel to take them to an inhabitable world. They land instead in the Forest of Lorn on the far side of Mondaran. But Kroton does not belong here. The ship has just enough fuel to achieve escape velocity. He blasts off, then drifts aimlessly through space, lost and alone.

 THE FINAL QUEST

SCRIPT: Steve Moore
ART: Paul Neary

ISSUE: 8
COVER DATE: 5 December 1979
ON TV: Nightmare of Eden (Season 17)
REPRINTS: Reprinted in Doctor Who (US), Issue 3, December 1984, Doctor Who Classic Comics Issue 24, September 1994.

Sontaran Katsu, searching for a weapon to make him invincible, lands on the peaceful world of Aleph-777. It is a peace ensured by the ultimate armament. Katsu wreaks havoc, but the inhabitants will not give him the armament, but do reveal that one of their number is already taking the weapon off-world to a safe place. Katsu pursues him to the planet Omega-666 and seizes the weapon - a sinple flask containing a putrid slime. But he has been tricked. The slime is Omegan Green Plague and Katsu is its victim.

Katsu is a Japanese word meaning to shout...
Issue 24

ALTERED VISTAS SAYS:
The Sontarans make their debut comic strip appearance in this neat little tale with a twist. It has something of the feel of a 1950s strip, only featuring Sontarans, and the artwork in places reinforces this. Katsu is well characterised and true to his TV cousins Linx and Styre, though the idea that the Sontarans remove their armour and sleep under sheets in a bed, especially aboard their cramped spaceships, strains credibility just a little.

Issue 8
Issue 3

 THE STOLEN TARDIS

Issue 9Issue 10
Issue 11
Issue 4

ALTERED VISTAS SAYS:
Although exciting, well-plotted and characterised and ingenious in its resolution, this strip really failed to ignite my interest as a child. At the time of publication, The Deadly Assassin and The Invasion of Time were still very much within memory, and the Gallifrey shown here - a Gallifrey without transduction barriers, and with muscled bare-armed Time Lords, and even more muscle-bound guards who look nothing like their TV counterparts - sadly bares no relation to either of them. It looks too much like a superhero strip. The strip interestingly defines the Shobogans as the working classes of Gallifrey, which is as valid an interpretation as it being another name for the Outlers..

A porwiggle is a type of toad that appears to be all head. Apparently.

SCRIPT: Steve Moore
ART: Paul Neary

ISSUES: 9-11
COVER DATES: 12 December 1979 - 26 December 1979
ON TV: Nightmare of Eden - The Horns of Nimon (Season 17)
REPRINTS: Reprinted in Doctor Who (US), Issue 4, December 1984.

At the Time Lord Academy, young would-be Time Lord Plutar is failed by his tutor for his interventionist views and sent to work in TARDIS Maintenance. That night a spaceship lands undetected on Gallifrey. However, in the morning it goes to great lengths to attract attention, announcing itself to be the Space Circus of Sillarc the Sage, though this is all an hypnotic illusion allowing the real Sillarc access to the city. There he steals a TARDIS, but it is one that Plutar is repairing.

Because the TARDIS is faulty, Sillarc is unable to pilot it into the heart of his ship and instead lands millions of years in Gallifrey’s past. Plutar steals the differentiator from the TARDIS and heads outside with Sillarc hunting him. Two Gargantosaurs begin to fight and this provides the distraction Plutar needs to race back to the TARDIS, but he cannot lock the door and Sillarc has the key.

Plutar tries to dematerialise before Sillarc can gain entry, but - at the last moment - Sillarc gets inside and both are transported back right into the heart of the circus. Plutar escapes and orders guards to shoot Sillarc, but the alien dematerialises. With the ship only able to travel in time not space, he physically moves the TARDIS to where his ship will one day be situated so he can return to the present and escape. However, when he returns - landing a few minutes before he left - he finds guards waiting for him. Plutar took guards in a fully functioning TARDIS back to just after Sillarc’s circus arrived and has been waiting for him ever since. Redeemed, Plutar is asked to reapply to the Academy.

 K9’s FINEST HOUR

Just a man and his dog...

SCRIPT: Steve Moore
ART: Paul Neary

ISSUE: 12
COVER DATE: 2 January 1980
ON TV: The Horns of Nimon (Season 17)
REPRINTS: Reprinted in Marvel Premiere, Issue 58, February 1981, Doctor Who Summer Special 1985, then Doctor Who Classic Comics Issue 25, October 1994.

A tractor beam is used to capture the pilot of the TARDIS, but instead of locking onto the Doctor, K-9 is kidnapped instead. Firandel and Rolgot are behind the botched kidnap (for the Sontarans). K-9 realises their intention was to kidnap and kill the Doctor because of the lack of air on his arrival. He overpowers his ‘hosts’ before the Doctor arrives safely by TARDIS to collect him.

Issue 58Doctor Who Summer Special 1985

ALTERED VISTAS SAYS:
Okay, so this isn’t really a Doctorless strip as the Doctor clearly features in four of the panels, but the real focus of attention is K9. It’s a slight story, perhaps rather more juvenile and comic in tone that some of the other back-up strips, but that perhaps was intended to appeal to K9’s core audience.

Issue 12
Issue 25

 WARLORD OF THE OGRONS

Issue 13
Issue 14
Augmenting primitives is always a silly thing to do...

SCRIPT: Steve Moore
ART: Steve Dillon

ISSUES: 13 - 14
COVER DATES: 9 January 1980 - 16 January 1980
ON TV: The Horns of Nimon (Season 17)
REPRINTS: Reprinted in Doctor Who (US), Issue 5, February 1985, and Doctor Who Classic Comics Issue 26, November 1994.

Arriving on the Ogron home world, Dr. Linus Leofrix and Rostow capture Gnork, an Ogron. Their intention is to use their banned brain implant technology to increase Gnork's intelligence in order to raise an army of super-soldiers big enough to conquer half the Galaxy. However, the Ogrons led by Gwunn are surrounding the ship. Leofrix sends out Gnork to kill Gwunn and take control of the group.

Gnork overpowers Gwunn, but rather than kill him he makes an ally of him. Gnork  then uses his new intelligence to trap Leofrix and Rostow on the planet (along with Gwunn) while he escapes in their spacecraft to raise an army of his own.

Issue 26
Issue 5

ALTERED VISTAS SAYS:
The Ogrons aren’t perhaps the most obvious candidates for a back-up strip, but this works extremely well. Indeed, it could be argued that it works a lot better than the later Two Doctors, which likewise takes some of its inspiration from H.G. Wells’ The Island of Doctor Moreau.

 DEATHWORLD

Issue 15
Issue 16
The Cyberman's day at the beach rapidly became a nightmare...

SCRIPT: Steve Moore
ART: David Lloyd

ISSUES: 15 - 16.
COVER DATES: 23 January 1980 - 30 January 1980.
ON TV: Well, it would have been Shada, if they’d ever finished it...
REPRINTS: Reprinted in Doctor Who (US) Issue 6, March 1985.

The Ice Warriors are on Yama-10 searching for supplies of trisilicate. However, after witnessing what appears to be a meteor shower and finding an infestation of strange silver creatures in their camp, they begin to suspect they are not alone. As they begin excavating the trisilicate, they are confronted by the Cybermen.

A battle begins, but, due to the heat, the Ice Warriors are forced to retreat to their ship. Commander Yinak orders the ship to relocate to the polar region of the planet. Here the battle recommences. The Ice Warriors catch the Cybermen in a flood as they melt the glacier, but when the surviving Cybermen retaliate, they cause an avalanche, burying both parties. However,  Yinak knows that Ice Warriors only need wait for the Spring thaw and they will return victorious.

Issue 6

Of course the idea of pitting one race of Doctor Who monsters against another is irresistible, but this strip (if you exclude Daleks versus Trods) is the first time that it actually happens in any medium. The next time (allowing for the text story Heliotrope Bouquet in issues 181-182) would be Daleks versus Cybermen in the television series itself for Army of Ghosts/Doomsday some twenty-six years later. This is the Ice Warriors’ debut in the comic strip medium, and a solid and enjoyable tale it is too, with a conclusion that is nicely in character.

 ABSLOM DAAK - DALEK KILLER

Issue 17Issue 18
Issue 19Issue 20

Read our exclusive interview with Abslom Daak creator Steve Moore here!

The Command Dalek barked out another order, little realising that one of those humanoids was soon to blow him into tiny pieces...

SCRIPT: Steve Moore
ART: Steve Dillon

ISSUES: 17 - 20
COVER DATES: 6 February 1980 - 27 February 1980
REPRINTS:
This strip was reprinted in the 1983 Doctor Who Summer Special, as part of the Marvel US reprint title Doctor Who, Issues 6 - 8, Volume 1, March - May 1985, with colour by Andy Yanchus, and - also in 1985 - in Marvel’s Captain Britain title, Issues 1 - 4, January - April 1985. It has since been reprinted in the ‘graphic novel’ Abslom Daak Dalek Killer, released by Marvel in 1990, and then again in the Panini ‘graphic novel’ Nemesis of the

Issue 6Issue 7Issue 8

Daleks, April 2013.

Abslom Daak is sentenced to Exile: Dalek Killer for his crimes against humanity and is sent by dangerously unstable matter transmitter to the planet Mazam. Here he rescues Princess Taiyin from the Daleks that have invaded her royal court. However, the place is surrounded and Taiyin fears they will now massacre everyone in the palace.

Daak keeps the Daleks busy while Taiyin evacuates the palace, but she is forced to knock him out to stop him throwing his life away. He regains consciousness aboard a sky-sled pursued by Daleks. After sustaining damage, they crash land in the jungle. Angered by his attitude, Taiyin takes him where he wants to go: to the Dalek base-ship.

Issue 1Issue 2
Issue 3Comic229
Summer Special 1983Abslom Daak Graphic Novel
Nice alliteration there, Steve...

Despite continued assaults from the Daleks, and with a growing attraction between him and Princess Taiyin, Daak battles his way down to the entrance of the Dalek base-ship and breaks in with his trusty chain-sword.

Pursued by Daleks, Daak and Taiyin head deeper into the base-ship. Daak takes a Dalek hostage and forces it to direct them to the Command-Dalek. There Daak dumps every explosive he is carrying before he and Taiyin escape in an escape capsule. The ship explodes, taking most of the Dalek force with it. However, as Taiyin declares her love for Daak, a stray Dalek shoots and kills her. Distraught, Daak swears to kill every stinking Dalek in the galaxy...

Nemesis of the Daleks graphic novel 2013

ALTERED VISTAS SAYS:
After the golden Emperor Dalek of TV21 fame, Abslom Daak arguably represents the comics’ second greatest contribution to the Dalek mythos, with a number of return appearances in the comic strips (Star Tigers, Star Tigers II, Nemesis of the Daleks and Emperor of the Daleks, plus a cameo in Party Animals) and even an appearance in the Virgin range of novels. He even gets quoted by the Ninth Doctor in his penultimate television appearance, and that seems highly appropriate, because, with its blend of big, bold blockbuster-style action sequences, romance, emotion (and probably the comic strip’s first ever kiss), Abslom Daak - Dalek Killer is almost like prototype new Who twenty-five years before it made it to screen.

 TWILIGHT OF THE SILURIANS

Issue 21

ALTERED VISTAS SAYS:
Elegantly scripted, tying in neatly with their first television appearance and rightly twisting its conclusion around the Silurians’ third eye (woefully overlooked ever since), this is just a perfectly balanced and wonderfully dark tale. The real stars are the ‘apes’ (ie. us) who never say anything remotely intelligible but who still manage to gain our sympathies in the early stages of the story and our support when they dish out Nagura’s just desserts. The artwork is crisp and finely detailed, though David Lloyd does like to draw the Silurians a little like superheroes which makes them resemble toned naked people wearing masks. The Silurians all have fantastic butts, just in case you’re interested.

I think that Silurian has been working out...

SCRIPT: Steve Moore
ART: David Lloyd

ISSUES: 21 - 22.
COVER DATES: 5 March 1980 - 12 March 1980.
REPRINTS: Reprinted in Doctor Who (US) Issue 18, March 1986.

At a Silurian zoological research station, Velk is unimpressed by Nagara and Guruz’s display of the captive apes attempts to force pre-Human apes to learn and display intelligence. He is more concerned about a call to all Silurians to take to the shelters to avoid the predicted collision between Earth and its planetary neighbour. The collision is confirmed for five days’ time.

Kin, leader of the apes, strangles Guruz as reprisal for another beating. As the Silurians prepare to take to their shelters, Nagura returns to set the apes free. Believing the apes to be thanking him for the discipline he has offered them, he accepts a woven head band like the one Kin wears. Only once the headband is in place does he realise that his third eye is blocked and that he is powerless. The apes then exact their revenge for their brutal captivity.

Issue 22
Issue 18

 SHIP OF FOOLS

Poor old Kroton...

SCRIPT: Steve Moore
ART: Steve Dillon

ISSUES: 23 - 24
COVER DATES: 19 March 1980 - 26 March 1980.
REPRINTS: Reprinted in Doctor Who (US), Issue 16, January 1986, then as part of the Panini ‘graphic novel’
The Glorious Dead, published November 2005.

Kroton the Cyberman’s drifting ship passes into a strange cloud and is picked up by a space-liner crewed by amusement-seeking passengers who, with no knowledge of the Cybermen, revive him. The passengers’ strange behaviour and the clocks always showing the time as 7:17 lead Kroton to doubt his senses, until Leonart explains that they are caught in a time warp and the liner is called the Flying Dutchman II.

Realising that the passengers have been stranded an incalculable length of time with no news of friends or family, Kroton feels a certain kinship and decides something must be done. Gaining entry to the flight cabin, Kroton speaks to the robot pilot. It explains that there was insufficient fuel to reach its destination so it deliberately steered the ship into the time warp to preserve the crew until rescue came. However, the time warp cloud has continued to move, meaning a habitable world is now only three days away. Kroton asks the passengers if they want to break the endless cycle of boredom. They agree, and Kroton orders the pilot to bring them out of the warp. However, too late, he realises the ship has been there for six hundred and twenty eight years. The passengers immediately age to death leaving Kroton alone once more with his regrets.

Issue 23Issue 24
Issue 16Glorious Dead graphic novel

ALTERED VISTAS SAYS:
The first of many return appearances for Kroton, the Cyberman with emotions, and surely the strip that cemented his popularity. It is simple, elegant and poignant. There are many fine touches, such as the strange behaviour of those aboard, blind Leonart who has been there so long he can find his way around just as ably as a sighted person, and the passenger named Cassandra who has terrible premonitions that the other passengers ignore, but it is mainly for the grim conclusion that the story is best remembered. Kroton’s story continues here.

 THE OUTSIDER

Issue 25
Issue 26
Issue 19
Happy birthday to you... and you... and you... and you...

SCRIPT: Steve Moore
ART: David Lloyd

ISSUES: 25 - 26
COVER DATES: 2 April 1980 - 9 April 1980.
REPRINTS: Reprinted in Doctor Who (US), Issues 19 - 20, April - May 1986.

The arrival of Sontaran Skrant on the planet Braktilis is observed by washed-up astrologer Demimon. Next morning, he goes and greets Skrant and forms an alliance with the would-be conqueror. At dusk they go to the city to collect maps, but Demimon’s daughter Alareen is also returning following a romantic tryst with Kinvor. She accidentally sees Skrant and runs off as Demimon and Skrant hurriedly take the maps and head back to Skrant’s ship. But, come morning, Alareen has raised the alarm and troops are approaching from the city.

Skrant breeds Sontaran warriors using the cell bank, but they are picked off by archers as they leave the ship. Despite Demimon’s predictions, Skart remains impassive, planning to destroy the approaching army with the gun-turrets in his ship. However, Demimon spots his own daughter outside and attacks Skart’s probic vent to save her, killing the Sontaran. But as he steps outside, the machine he carries is struck by an arrow and it explodes, killing him in the blast.

Issue 20

ALTERED VISTAS SAYS:
After an exceedingly strong  run, this story feels much weaker and less structured in its plotting. It also contains a serious spelling mistake, as the Sontarans are once referred to as Sontarians. It does make good use of the Sontarans though, showing us their cloning process for the first time in any medium.

 STAR TIGERS part one

Read our exclusive interview with Abslom Daak and Star Tigers creator Steve Moore here!

Issue 27Issue 28Issue 29Issue 30

SCRIPT: Steve Moore
ART: Steve Dillon, David Lloyd

ISSUES: 27 - 30
COVER DATES: 6 April 1980 - 7 May 1980
REPRINTS: This strip was reprinted in the Marvel title Captain Britain, Issues 5 - 8, May - August 1985, then in colour in Doctor Who (US), Issues 9 - 10, June - July 1985, then in the ‘graphic novel’ Abslom Daak Dalek Killer, released by Marvel in 1990, and then again in the Panini ‘graphic novel’
Nemesis of the Daleks, April 2013.

In the 26th century, Draconians watch undecided as to course of action, while three Dalek craft enter their space in pursuit of another ship. Prince Salander watches as the Dalek craft are destroyed by the stranger in the fourth craft. To shortcut bureaucratic complications, Salander welcomes and befriends the visitor without the permission of the Emperor, who is none other than Abslom Daak...

Issue 5Issue 6
Head for Draconia. Stop at the Off License.

Daak is searching for a way to resurrect Taiyin from her cryogenic unit. Salander offers to help, but is accused of treason by fellow Draconian Axiron.

Daak and Salander are placed under house arrest, but when Salander learns of the Emperor’s refusal to engage in hostilities with the Daleks and his son’s complicity in this, he realises he must escape with Daak in a prototype space cruiser that Daak christens the Kill-Wagon. However, as Daak makes his way to the spaceport to collect Tiayin, he is confronted by the Emperor’s procession.

Daak fights his way through the Emperor’s forces and blasts off to rendezvous with Salander in space. However, Axiron has arranged for Salander’s own son to stop them and Salander is forced to shoot him down. Now, united in loss, Daak and Salander set about assembling a crew for the Kill-Wagon.

ALTERED VISTAS SAYS:
Star Tigers plays like a Jacobean tragedy, with the emphasis firmly off of the Daleks (who only put in a fleeting appearance in the first instalment) and firmly on the characters, who are really put through the mill, though here it is Salander rather than Daak who bears the brunt of the tragedy in this further study of what it means to lose someone. The artwork is top notch and perfectly suits the style of the story.

Issue 7Issue 8
Issue 9Issue 10
Abslom Daak -Dalek Killer Graphic NovelNemesis of the Daleks graphic novel 2013

 YONDER... THE YETI

Issue 31Issue 32
Issue 34Issue 13

ALTERED VISTAS SAYS:
With each part of the strip now only two pages long, it’s astounding how much plot Steve Moore and David Lloyd manage to cram into each instalment. More than any other of his back-up strips, Yonder... the Yeti is rather more a straightforward riffing on the themes, set pieces and ideas of the television story that inspired it, in this case The Abominable Snowmen, but it is no less exciting and detailed for that, and the idea of the Lama working with the real Yeti to defeat the imposters is a neat one. The artwork is fantastic, creating a rich and detailed atmosphere.

Issue 33
Could just be a large, angry squirrel...

SCRIPT: Steve Moore
ART: David Lloyd

ISSUES: 31 - 34
COVER DATES: 14 May 1980 - 5 June 1980
REPRINTS: This strip was reprinted in colour in Doctor Who (US), Issue 13, October 1985.

Australian vets and part-time monster-hunters Bruce and Angela Healy meet Japanese Shiro Sugimoto in the Nepalese foothills. They journey on together to a monastery, the home of Lama Gampo, where Gampo’s initial welcome turns to a warning for Shiro when the Yeti are mentioned. Leaving the monastery and setting up camp, Shiro hears a noise and discovers a Yeti outside. It covers him in suffocating web.

Bruce and Angela awake and, fired by tales of Yeti, are led by Shiro to a valley where lies a hidden monastery, but Gampo appears warning them not to enter the valley and not to trust Shiro. They ignore the old man, but realise too late that Shiro is a corpse animated by the Great Intelligence who has led them into a trap. Taken into the monastery, Bruce is strapped into a machine that will suck information from his brain. The Intelligence wants to know if mankind suspects the true nature of the Yeti. If Bruce dies in the process, the Intelligence cares not.

Angela attempts to rescue Bruce, but both are saved by the arrival of Gampo, defending the Earth from the Intelligence just as hjs father’s uncle did in Tibet sixty years before. Outwitting the Yeti, the monk and the two travellers escape.

Outside the monastery, Gampo summons help in the form of real Yeti, who follow him into battle against their robot counterparts. Thwarting the Intelligence and laying Shiro to rest, Gampo finally wipes Bruce and Angela’s memories of events so that the Yeti remain a mystery.

 BLACK LEGACY

Issue 35
Issue 36
A Cyberman falls prey to something nasty

SCRIPT: Alan Moore
ART: David Lloyd

ISSUES: 35 - 38.
COVER DATES: 12 June 1980 - 3 July 1980.
REPRINTS: Reprinted in Doctor Who (US) Issue 14, November 1985.

Cybermen land on Goth, intent on discovering the terrible weapons of the long-extinct Deathsmiths. As Cyberleader Maxel and his men explore the Deathsmith’s city, Loktar, plagued by dreams, is left at camp. This is when the creature that has been watching the Cybermen strikes.

Exploring the Deathsmith’s war museum, Maxel discovers a vault said to contain the

ultimate weapon, the Apocalypse Device, but the vault is empty. He also discovers that the Deathsmiths destroyed their spacefleet. Back at base, he finds the rotting remains of Loktar. The medic recommends evacuation, but Maxel will not leave without the Apocalypse Device. However, the Apocalypse Device is watching them... and laughing.

As Cyberleader Maxel becomes obsessed with finding the Deathsmith’s ultimate  weapon, his troops are destroyed until finally only he remains. Arming himself with all the weapons of the Deathsmiths, he finally confronts the Apocalypse Device...

All of the weapons fail against the synthetic creature and Maxel flees to his ship. However, here he realises that the creature let him escape, intent on leaving Goth and spreading disease throughout the stars. With no other option available to him, Maxel sets his ship to self-destruct, trapping the Apocalypse Device on Goth. The threat is ended, at least until a Sontaran ship arrives...

ALTERED VISTAS SAYS:
The Deathsmiths of Goth are mentioned by Russell T. Davies in his feature about the Time War in the Doctor Who Annual 2005. He likes his comic strips does our Russell, and if he likes this particular one then he has extremely good taste. Although the Cybermen are busy emoting left, right and centre, so much so that you wonder why a different alien race wasn’t chosen to lead the story, the creepy atmosphere and slow realisation of what the stalking menace actually is are beautifully realised in Alan Moore’s debut Doctor Who comic strip.

Issue 37
Issue 38
Issue 14

 BUSINESS AS USUAL

Issue 40Issue 41
Issue 42Issue 43
Summer Special 1981Issue 15

SCRIPT: Alan Moore
ART: David Lloyd

ISSUES: 40 - 43.
COVER DATES: 17 July 1980 - 7 August 1980.
ON TV: Destiny of the Daleks (repeat)
REPRINTS: Reprinted in Doctor Who Summer Special 1981, Doctor Who (US) Issue 15, December 1985, and reprinted again in Doctor Who Magazine Issue 184, 18 March 1992 in place of Evening’s Empire.

In 1989, ex-plumber Winston Blunt finds a sphere - one of six fallen from the sky. Winston soon patents a new method of bonding carbon atoms and sets up Galaxy Plastics Inc. Before shooting himself, he appoints a Mr. Dolman to run the company. Industrial spy for InterChem Max Fisher breaks into the factory in search of the secret of Galaxy Plastics’ success but finds only action figures. However, the figures come to life when his back is turned...

The plastic action figures attack Fisher. He flees, but is caught by Dolman and the Nestene Intelligence.

Max attacks Dolman with a spanner. Dolman,

Autons also make better pastry chefs. Fact!

 an Auton, opens fire but hits the Nestene

Issue 184

tank causing an explosion. Max flees but is is pursued by the remains of the Dolman Auton.

Pursued back to his car by action figures, Max Fisher crashes his car but survives. Struggling free of the wreckage, however, he is confronted by the badly damaged Auton Dolman who kills him. In August 1990 one Max Fisher invests money in a plastics factory and leaves behind flowers on a shallow grave within the factory compound - plastic flowers of course!

ALTERED VISTAS SAYS:
Not really doing much new with the Autons, but a certain amount of visceral and nightmarish horror coupled with excellent art makes this strip a memorable classic.

   Doctor Who A Marvel Monthly

Doctor Who Weekly’s cash problems were eventually solved by transforming into Doctor Who Monthly, which meant fewer pages of comic strip and fewer articles had to be produced across the year. It was a canny move which would ensure its survival to the present day...

 STAR TIGERS part two

Issue 44
Issue 45
Issue 46
Issue 9
Issue 10
Mercurius receives a surprise visitor...

SCRIPT: Steve Moore
ART: Steve Dillon, David Lloyd

ISSUES: 44 - 46
COVER DATES: September 1980 - November 1980
ON TV: The Leisure Hive - State of Decay (Season 18)
REPRINTS: Reprinted in the Marvel comic Captain Britain, Issues 9 - 11, September - November 1985, Doctor Who US, Issues 11 - 12, August - September 1985, then in the ‘graphic novel’ Abslom Daak Dalek Killer, released by Marvel in 1990, and then again in the Panini ‘graphic novel’
Nemesis of the Daleks, April 2013.

Having fled the Draconian Empire in a prototype ship, the Kill-Wagon, Abslom Daak and Prince Salander search for a crew. Harma is an Ice Warrior employed as a contract killer on the planet Paradise. Daak overpowers Harma, makes him break his contract and takes him aboard the Kill-Wagon.

Daak, Salander and Harma go in search of Vol Mercurius on the planet Dispater. where Mercurius plays out a game of parachess with Klikbrain while the Kill-Mechs/Daleks close in on his location. Reluctantly, Mercurius leaves with Daak - the man who stole his hand in return for once stealing away his girl, Selene.

Laying low from Dalek Space-Commando Units disguised as orbiting meteoroids, the Kill-Wagon crew launch a successful attack on a Dalek craft based inside a volcano on the planet.

Ka-Boom!!! Probably...

ALTERED VISTAS SAYS:
The original set of Abslom Daak stories concludes here, but it always felt like Steve Moore had other plans for his psychopathic creation, as Daak’s promise in the first strip to return to Earth is never fulfilled and the whole issue of Taiyin, held in suspended animation, is never satisfactorily resolved, not to mention the ‘To Be Continued’ caption at the end of this strip. When Daak finally returns, these threads have been lost as he turns to some degree from character to knuckle-headed continuity reference. This continuation of Star Tigers is lighter and more episodic than the first part, but returns to the action and brings the Daleks back too (at least if you have the unedited reprint without the Kill-Mechs taking the Daleks’ place!)

Issue 11
Issue 11
Issue 12
Abslom Daak -Dalek Killer Graphic Novel
Nemesis of the Daleks graphic novel 2013

 STAR DEATH

Issue 47

ALTERED VISTAS SAYS:
The back-up strip starts doing something rather different here, though it’s really only a continuation of what Star Tigers has begun, losing the ‘monster of the week’ approach. Here we catch our first glimpse of Rassilon, a character who would return to the strip with the adventures of the Fifth Doctor in The Tides of Time, and also the first suggestion in any medium that Rassilon and Omega were contemporaries, something that would later be confirmed on television in Remembrance of the Daleks. It’s just a shame the art doesn’t tie in with the established look of Gallifrey more closely to make it feel more authentic.

Poor old Omega. That has really gotta sting...

SCRIPT: Alan Moore
ART: David Lloyd

ISSUE: 47
COVER DATE: December 1980
ON TV: State of Decay (Season 18)
REPRINTS: The Daredevils, Issue 5, May 1983

On the order of Grand Master of the Prydonian Chapter, Rassilon, Lord Griffen and Lady Jodelex, aboard the starbreaker ship Aeon, await the collapse of the dying star Qqaba. Fenris (also known as the Hell-Bringer), a mercenary from the future, travels back in time to sabotage the experiment and change Time Lord history. He causes the ships' statis halos to fail leaving Lord Omega doomed to fall into the black hole. But Rassilon’s intervention sees Fenris dispatched and the experiment a success. Fenris’ discarded time travel belt provides the much needed technology to provide a form of directional control.

Issue 5

 THE TOUCHDOWN ON DENEB-7

The zeds indicate the Doctor sleeping. Or deflating. Or something...

ALTERED VISTAS SAYS:
Mmh... this is probably the weakest back-up strip by some considerable margin, with a confused, difficult to follow and ultimately unrewarding storyline. Just why does K-9 offer counterfeit information to the robots when that information appears to be the same as the real information? The robots are given such difficult speech patterns that it is sometimes quite difficult to follow what they are saying. Which doesn’t help matters much.

SCRIPT: Paul Neary
ART: David Lloyd

ISSUE: 48
COVER DATE: January 1981
ON TV: Warriors’ Gate - The Keeper of Traken (Season 18)
REPRINTS: Reprinted in Doctor Who (US), Issue 19, April 1986.

The Doctor and K-9 arrive on a small barnacled moon long after the planet Deneb-7 has ceased to exist. The Doctor goes to rest while the TARDIS and K-9 re-calibrate themselves following a magnetic storm. But an erratic K-9, wearing the Doctor’s scarf, goes off exploring. The scarf resembles the markings of one known as Pennant Bearer which automatically wakes robot minions beneath the surface, so that the `formalities` of colonisation of Deneb 7 can be completed. However, as they have destroyed the planet with a Z-Bomb, it will take some 4,000 million years for a new planet to reform. The robot minions return to below ground to wait. The Doctor awakes unaware of what K9 has been up to.

Issue 48
Issue 19

 VOYAGE TO THE EDGE OF THE UNIVERSE

Issue 49
Issue 23

SCRIPT: Paul Neary
ART: David Lloyd (and additional dialogue)

ISSUE: 49
COVER DATE: February 1981
ON TV: The Keeper of Traken - Logopolis(Season 18)
REPRINTS: Reprinted in Doctor Who (US), Issue 23, August 1986.

The Leviathan rocket leaves Dæmos on a voyage to the edge of the universe. Passing through a time disruption, they arrive in a void. Commander Azal leaves the ship to investigate but meets himself coming from the opposite direction. Touching, they join and become as one but unable to decide which reality and crew to ‘return’ to. Torn between the two directions and his divided loyalties, he is unable to act... like so many others before him, each trapped by their own indecision.

Lucky old Azal. Or possibly not...

ALTERED VISTAS SAYS:
The biggest problem with this comic strip is that there is no reason whatsoever for it to feature the Daemons; the crew could just as easily be humans or Time Lords or space-travelling squirrels. That aside, and despite a strong feeling that this may be a script rehashed from the 1950s, it tells an interesting story of the mind-bending variety.

 CRISIS ON KALDOR

SCRIPT: Steve Moore
ART: John Stokes

ISSUE: 50
COVER DATE: March 1981
ON TV: Logopolis(Season 18)
REPRINTS: Reprinted in Doctor Who (US), Issue 17, February 1986.

On Kaldor, Sylvos Orikon and Tran Korkolo investigate another sandminer where the Super-Voc has disappeared and the other robots have been destroyed. Aboard another sandminer, Orikon disguises himself as a Super-Voc and uncovers a plot by an Ultra Voc to overthrow their masters. Orikon manages to destoy the Ultra Voc but the Vocs, believing him to be a malfunctioning robot, dismember him.

The detail really is amazing here. Just look at that sandminer...

ALTERED VISTAS SAYS:
Steve Moore’s final back-up strip is a good one. The artwork is gorgeously detailed and extremely accurate, supporting a story that riffs well on ideas from The Robots of Death. The twist at the end is a lovely, dark touch.

Issue 50
Issue 17

 4-D WAR

Issue 51
Issue 6

SCRIPT: Alan Moore
ART: David Lloyd

ISSUE: 51
COVER DATE: April 1981
REPRINTS: The Daredevils, Issue 6, June 1983

Twenty years after the loss of Omega, the Time Lords seek to retrieve Fenris from the Zone of No Return in order to learn the reason for his attempt to stop the Gallifreyan's control over time. Wardog and Rema-Du, the daugher of Lord Griffen and Lady Jodelex (see here), are successful in their attempt, but while the Council of Chronarchs await results from the brainfeelers, they are visited by the Order of the Black Sun, enemies from 30,000 years in the future who wipe out Fenris, the brainfeelers and several of the council before they disappear. In the chaos, Lord Griffen reflects on crimes yet to be committed.

ALTERED VISTAS SAYS:
The art is good but unspectacular, but the lack of any visual reference to the Gallifrey we know makes the whole thing feel unrelated to Doctor Who and thus more dispensable than it actually is. The story neatly builds on Star Death and sets up Black Sun Rising for the future.

Untempered Schism anyone?

 THE GREATEST GAMBLE

Scarier than the Toymaker? The waitress in this panel is FAR scarier...Issue 56

ALTERED VISTAS SAYS:
Retelling certain elements of The Celestial Toymaker without actually presenting us with anything new or original, The Greatest Gamble ultimately feels rather tired, a feeling that starts to set in around this period in the back-up strip’s history making it feel less like the essential reading it once was. Mike McMahon’s striking artwork helps the strip immeasurably, but can’t save it from feeling like a rerun.

SCRIPT: John Peel
ART: Mike McMahon

ISSUE: 56
COVER DATE: September 1981
REPRINTS: Reprinted in Fantasy Empire, Issue 8, November 1983, and then in Doctor Who (US), Issue 20, May 1986.

Professional gambler Gaylord Lefevie is playing cards at a table whilst sailing the Mississippi, when he accepts an invitation to play against the Celestial Toymaker. Going off to a separate room, Gaylord finds himself amongst the Toymaker’s toys in a different domain. Gaylord tries to cheat the Toymaker but loses, forfeiting the game and dooming himself to be another of the Toymaker’s toys. Eventually, bored, the Toymaker makes the same offer to another gambler, a Roman soldier...

Issue 20
Issue 8

 BLACK SUN RISING

Issue 57
Issue 7
I could do with one of those...

ALTERED VISTAS SAYS:
As a conclusion to the Black Sun trilogy, this isn’t nearly as satisfying as it needs to be. In the first instance, it doesn’t explain why the Black Sun launch a time war on the Time Lords rather than a standard war. In the second, it isn’t made apparent whether the events of this story cancel out the events of the preceding two stories or if this is the catalyst. The artwork is good without ever being great, with rather too much plot to fit into the restricted space.

At the same time as the reprints of the Black Sun trilogy in The Daredevils, the Special Executive, featuring Wardog, Zeitgeist and Cobweb, were seeking Captain Britain’s help in a strip by Alan Moore and Alan Davis. They returned to meet Captain Britain again in 1985’s Alarms and Excursions.

SCRIPT: Alan Moore
ART: David Lloyd

ISSUE: 57
COVER DATE: October 1981
REPRINTS: The Daredevils, Issue 7, July 1983.

Delicate trade negotiations for uranium are taking place on Desrault with Lady Rema-Du of Gallifrey accompanied by her escorts Wardog, Cobweb, Millennium and Zeitgeist (the Special Executive), as well as the Order of the Black Sun and the Sontarans. Jealous of the relationship that develops between Lady Remadu and Lord Adamath (Black Sun representative for the Rigel sector), Brilox the Sontaran uses a psy-snare on Millennium which puts her under his control. Millennium attacks the Black Sun leader and ages him into a skeleton. Wardog kills Millennium, but as the Sontaran prepares to leave the other two sides as enemies, Wardog suddenly appears to return the psy-snare to him personally.

 SKYWATCH-7 (part one)

Surely one of the finest end panels of all time...
Issue 58Issue 85
Issue 21Issue 22

ALTERED VISTAS SAYS:
This story was concluded in the Doctor Who Winter Special 1981, which is where I shall comment upon it.

SCRIPT: Maxwell Stockbridge (Alan McKenzie)
ART: Mick Austin

ISSUE: 58
COVER DATE: November 1981
ON TV: An Unearthly Child (repeat), The Krotons (repeat), The Three Doctors (repeat), Carnival of Monsters (repeat), Logopolis (repeat) (The Five Faces of Doctor Who season)
REPRINTS: Reprinted in Doctor Who Magazine, Issue 85, February 1984, then Doctor Who (US), Issues 21, June 1986

It is 12 December 1985 and UNIT Arctic base Skywatch-7 loses radio contact after a meteor landing is detected. John Campbell goes out to investigate, leaving Tobey in charge, but returns having found no sign. In the night John smashes up the radio link. When Lederer and Hawks discover him, he attacks them before fleeing outside. When the other soldiers (Capt. Hawkes, Lederer, Tobey) follow they are confronted by a Zygon.

   Doctor Who A Marvel Winter Special 1981

 MINATORIUS

Doctor Who Winter Special 1981

SCRIPT: Maxwell Stockbridge (Alan McKenzie)
ART: John Stokes

REPRINTS: None

Cargan, a recent graduate of the Academy on Gallifrey, and his flippant robot companion Orb, experience a power drain of the TARDIS and land on the planet Minatorius. Minatorius is a planet of plentiful energy with no wants. Orton, the Chief Elder, offers Cargan unlimited power to recharge his TARDIS, but Cargan discovers all the planet's energy is drawn from the ether, draining power from the energy that binds matter together. Acknowledging the Time Lords' policy of non-intervention, Cargan realises that he must act and that this power drain must be stopped. However, as he tries to close down the power drainer Orton tries to stop him, throwing him back into the circuits and causing untold damage to the drainer. The feedback destroys Cargan’s TARDIS and kills him.

ALTERED VISTAS SAYS:
The first original comic strip in a Marvel Special has some lovely artwork and an interesting enough premise (which is, what if a Time Lord wasn’t as experienced at interfering as the Doctor, not the lame stuff about a power drain), but is otherwise unremarkable, with a final panel that asks more questions than it answers.

Leave it to the experts, kid...

 SKYWATCH-7 (part one)

Comic378

SCRIPT: Maxwell Stockbridge (Alan McKenzie)
ART: Mick Austin

REPRINTS: Reprinted in Doctor Who Magazine, Issue 85, February 1984, then Doctor Who (US), Issue 22, July 1986

Going in pursuit, they witness changing footprints in the snow, indicating that the creature can change shape. Wrongly shooting the real Campbell who is wandering around dazed, they drive the alien creature onto the ice with fire and send it sinking beneath the frozen waters.

ALTERED VISTAS SAYS:
Playing rather like Terror of the Zygons meets The Seeds of Doom, Skywatch-7 is a witless retread that even manages to muck up on the continuity (how does the Zygon maintain his human disguise when the real Campbell is wandering around/shot full of holes?). There are fewer ideas in these eight pages than in some strips half the length. Apart from the full-page reveal of the Zygon, the artwork is nice but unexceptional.

Doctor Who Winter Special 1981
   Doctor Who A Marvel Monthly

 THE GODS WALK AMONG US

Issue 59
Issue 9

SCRIPT: John Peel
ART: David Lloyd

ISSUE: 59
COVER DATE: December 1981
ON TV: Logopolis (repeat as part of The Five Faces of Doctor Who), K9 and Company.
REPRINTS: Reprinted in Fantasy Empire, Issue 9, January 1984, Doctor Who Magazine, Issue 85, February 1984, then Doctor Who (US), Issues 21, June 1986

The hieroglyphics of an unopened pyramid tell the tale of Sontar, a God from the stars, arriving in Ancient Egypt. When Sontaran Field Major Styx first arrived he was revered as a god, but was overheard planning the planet's use and destruction in a war with the Rutans. Working to stop the Sontaran’s plan, the Pharaoh is misled to believe that Sontar has died (when in fact he was recharging), and accordingly, Sontar is given the burial of a Pharaoh and sealed inside a pyramid before he awakes. In 1926, still trapped but rested, Sontar is ready to exact revenge when the pyramid is reopened. As he emerges, a door stone falls, and the Sontaran is once again buried inside.

ALTERED VISTAS SAYS:
It strains credulity somewhat to think that a Sontaran could survive for three thousand years, but this at least feels more like the back-up strips of old. Perhaps the Sontaran should have been replaced with a Dalek or Cyberman. The Rutans get their first ever comic strip mention here.

Sealed in a pyramid for thousands of years and then this happens. Styx is not the  luckiest Sontaran ever to have lived...
   Doctor Who Monthly

 DEVIL OF THE DEEP

Now there's a thorny question...

SCRIPT: John Peel
ART: John Stokes

ISSUE: 61
COVER DATE: February 1982
ON TV: Kinda - The Visitation (Season 19)
REPRINTS: Fantasy Empire, Issue 12, July 1984.

A castaway, Diego de Columba of Cordoba, is picked up by Captain Velasque. He tells a tale of how he was rescued by a man-sized sea creature after being washed up on a beach following a pirate raid on his ship. The sea creature was a scientist who took him in, looked after him and became his friend. One day he returned to find that the pirates had anchored up and captured his friend. Not knowing what to do, Diego pressed a button on a small box the sea creature carried around that was forbidden to him . A giant sea monster arose from the sea destroying the ship. The rescuing crew disbelieve Diego, thinking him mad, but on his person they find a small box with a button...

ALTERED VISTAS SAYS:
With its sense of period and interesting use of the Sea Devils, this story is a rich little treasure at a time when the back-up strip had stopped feeling like essential reading. Its use of a large sea-creature predates and betters the Myrka that would show up on television a couple of years later. The leader of the pirates is called Korvo, which is Esperanto for raven. Interesting fact!

Issue 61
Issue 12

 FIRES DOWN BELOW

Quarks re-enact a scene from The Dominators...

SCRIPT: John Peel
ART: John Stokes

ISSUE: 64
COVER DATE: May 1982
REPRINTS: Reprinted in Fantasy Empire, Issue 11, May 1984, Doctor Who (US), Issues 22, July 1986, Doctor Who Magazine, Issue 181, December 1991

On Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart’s orders, Major Whitaker and her UNIT team inspect underground caverns in Iceland with Dr Iskander in an attempt to find a reason for some sudden seismic activity. In the caverns, they find Dominator Haag and his Quarks on a quest to use the Earth’s core as a power source for the Dominators star fleet. Using the Dominators' own equipment, Dr Iskander and the

UNIT team ensures the space craft, Dominator and Quark are destroyed in another volcanic eruption.

Issue 181
Comic437

ALTERED VISTAS SAYS:
A tired rehash of The Dominators. Do the Dominators really do nothing more than go around blowing up planets for fuel? Do they never... you know... dominate? The artwork is pretty good, though again it feels like rehashing when the Dominator is clearly modelled on one of the television originals. This is the first appearance of the Quarks in the comic strip since the reprinted The Duellists back in 1978.

Issue 64
Issue 22
   Doctor Who Summer Special 1982

 THE FABULOUS IDIOT

Doctor Who Summer Special 1982

SCRIPT: Steve Parkhouse
ART: Steve Parkhouse and Geoff Senior

REPRINTS: None

At home in a small city on the tiny planet of Sigma, Dr Ivan Asimoff sits in his room writing one of his science fiction stories. Caught up in his 'adventures' he faints when he opens the door and is faced with a life size alien being, delivered as the new cover illustration for his book from his artist.

ALTERED VISTAS SAYS:
Featuring Doctor Ivan Asimoff, who appeared in the main Doctor Who comic strip the previous year in The Free-Fall Warriors and who would return during the Sixth Doctor’s comic strip era in Polly the Glot, The Fabulous Idiot is frothy, lightweight filler with only the barest connection to Doctor  Who. Definitely not Parkhouse at his finest.

Doctor Asimoff at his desk.

 A SHIP CALLED SUDDEN DEATH

Shaman Kahn. Not the prettiest guy you're ever likely to meet...Doctor Who Summer Special 1982Issue 84Issue 14

SCRIPT: Steve Parkhouse
ART: Dave Gibbons

REPRINTS: Reprinted in Doctor Who Monthly, Issue 84, January 1984, then Doctor Who (US), Issue 14, November 1985

Destroying a visiting craft to the Custom Craft Show and Drag Race in a burn out, Shaman Kahn challenges Big Cat to a race against his spacecraft, Sudden Death. Kahn lost most of his face in a previous race with Big Cat and blames him for his injuries. Big Cat once again beats Kahn who is tricked into an asteroid belt where his ship strikes an asteroid and explodes.

ALTERED VISTAS SAYS:
Again taking its main characters from the previous year’s The Free-Fall Warriors, this brief, dumb and fairly pointless strip feels even less connected to Doctor Who than its companion piece above.

   Doctor Who Monthly

 DOCTOR WHO?

LOL. Probably.

SCRIPT: Tim Quinn.
ART: Dicky Howett.
DALEK RELATED ISSUES: Winter Special 1982 (Full Page), Summer Special 1983 (Full Page), 80, 81, 83, 89, 94, 96, 102, 103 (Full Page), 104, 107, 110 (Full Page), 115, 122, 124, 129 (Regular and Full Page), 132 (Full Page), 137, 141, 143 (Panel), 25th Anniversary Special (Full Page), 152, 153, 154, 156, 162, 163, 166, 168, 169, 171, 179, 182 (Full Page), 183, 188, 191, 194, 195, 196, 200, 201, 203, 205, 206, 209, 211, 216, 220. 221, 223, 224, Yearbook 1992 (Full Page), Yearbook 1994 (Panel).
Complicating matters of Dalek appearances in ‘Doctor Who?’ is that in certain strips there was sometimes a small stick-figure Dalek in some of the strips with a word balloon of its own. These appear in the following strips:  106, 113 (Full Page), 130, 132, 134, 135 (Full Page), 137, 141, 154.
CYBERMEN RELATED SSUES: 71, Winter Special 1982 (Full Page), Summer Special 1983 (Full Page), 91, 94, 97, 100, 101, 103 (Full Page), 110 (Full Page), 115, 118, 123, 125, 126, 128, 129, 131, 134, 25th Anniversary Special (Full Page), 153, 154, 157, 163, 167, 169 (Full Page), 171, 182 (Regular and Full Page), 199, 200, 202, 204, 211, 212, Yearbook 1992 (Full Page).
REPRINTS: 71, 91, 97 and 101 are reprinted in their entirety in David Banks’ 1988 book Cybermen.

ALTERED VISTAS SAYS:
Tim Quinn and Dicky Howett provided a regular ‘funny’ virtually every month from 1982-1996, sometimes expanding to a whole page of ‘hilarious’ Doctor Who related ‘wit’. Other monsters did appear, but I’m really not brave enough to wade through them all. I’m indebted to Kate Halprin for filling me in on the content of It’s Bigger on the Inside and the Fun Book, but take her point that going into them in any more detail would be to open a whole new world of pain with Doctor Who funnies. So I’ll leave it at that!
 

It's Bigger on the InsideDoctor Who Fun Book
Hilarious. Apparently.
   Doctor Who Magazine

 DARKNESS, FALLING

Issue 167

SCRIPT: Dan Abnett
ART: Lee Sullivan (pencils), Mark Farmer (inks)
LETTERING: Steve Potter

ISSUE: 167
COVER DATE: November 1990
REPRINTS: None

A UNIT Field Agent named Ashley is investigating the roof area of an unspecified building when he is suddenly attacked by a terrible force. He plunges through the glass windows and down to his death in the street far below. Four miles away, Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart prepares to leave for a summit in Geneva, entrusting the operation to someone unseen. He wishes the Doctor were there.

But alas, Dale Winton was busy in a summer season in Brighton...

ALTERED VISTAS SAYS:
Not really a story in its own right, just one of two somewhat unnecessary appetisers for the coming main comic strip The Mark of Mandragora (the other being Distractions). Its primary purpose seems to be to explain why the Brigadier won’t be featuring, which is an odd purpose at best.

 CONFLICT OF INTERESTS

I'll let you translate this one for yourself...

SCRIPT: Dan Abnett
ART: Richard Whitaker (pencils), Cam Smith (inks)
LETTERING: Caroline Steeden

ISSUE: 183
COVER DATE: February 1992
REPRINTS: None

The Foreign Hazard Duty team led by Captain Geoff Monmouth of the FHD Cruiser Trenchant are on the planet Aleph 777 in the Deneb Sector. FHD are protecting the ruins of a site considered to be of great archaeological significance from the Sontarans. Breaking from the fighting, and under a white flag, they discover that both parties are determined to protect the ruins from the other. Locked in stalemate, both sides return to their fighting.

Issue 183

ALTERED VISTAS SAYS:
There are a couple of nice little nods back to the back-up strips of old in here, Deneb clearly being a reference to The Touchdown on Deneb-7 and Aleph 777 being the uninhabited planet where Sontaran Katsu meets his fate in The Final Quest, though it bares little resemblance to that  world. These details aside, it’s a fairly standard Dan Abnett story of macho folks running around with big guns. It all feels rather pointless and the artwork is poor too.

   Doctor Who Holiday Special 1992

 CITY OF DEVILS

Doctor Who Holiday Special 1992

SCRIPT: Gary Russell
ART: Vincent Danks
LETTERING: Annie Halfacree

REPRINTS: None

On Aunt Lavinia's request, Sarah Jane Smith and K-9 join Dr Warren Martyn and his assistant Dexter Townsend on an archaeological dig in Egypt, where they have uncovered a hidden city of the Eocenes. Dexter is only after the treasures and is killed, but the Eocenes are seeking peaceful coexistence with the humans. Warren agrees to stay so they may exchange cultures and Sarah is given free passage to return home to negotiate their terms. Sarah is optimistic after speaking with the Brigadier, and UNIT this time round seems more sympathetic.

ALTERED VISTAS SAYS:
The only comic strip based on the ill-fated spin-off K-9 and Company, City of Devils is a very strange strip largely because of its ending, which suggests a complete change in the world order. That this is never followed up makes it all the stranger, as it feels like a strip begging for a sequel and a proper conclusion. The artwork is clearly trying to be impressive, and is occasionally quite good, but generally looks rather lifeless and inaccurate. Of course, a huge subterranean Silurian city and a scientist who remains behind in that city until a peaceful settlement can be reached draws inevitable comparison with the television series’ The Hungry Earth/Cold Blood a mere eighteen years later. Did this comic strip form part of Chris Chibnal’s inspiration?

Silurians. No, Eocenes. No, Homo-Reptilia. Er... lizard-men-type-things...
   Doctor Who Magazine
Self-explanatory, really...

 THE CYBERMEN

SCRIPT: Alan Barnes
ART: Adrian Salmon

This one page strip, which attempts to do for the Cybermen what The Dalek Chronicles did for the Daleks, ran from 1994 until 1996.

 THE DEAD HEART

Raven gets a little upgrade...

ISSUES: 215 - 220
COVER DATES: 3 August 1994 - 21 December 1994

REPRINTS: None

A heretic named Raven and a Cyber-scout go in search of the fabled Lizard Kings, crossing the Blisterlands to arrive at a series of giant idols carved to resemble Silurians. Entering, they meet a Cybernised Silurian called Kho’Dja who tells them that the planet, Mondas, once had a sister world and that Mondas was thrown out of orbit following the arrival of the Earth’s moon. Growing lazy, the Silurians cybernetically augmented the apes to become their servants then entered hibernation. The Cyber-scout kills Kho-Dja and claims Mondas as a Cyber-world. Raven is taken and turned into a Cyberman.

ALTERED VISTAS SAYS:
Trying to tie the backstory of the Silurians into established Cyberman history was never likely to win me over as a fan, as I always find such continuity fests rather tiresome. That this strip doesn’t even bother to develop a strong story around that continuity is a serious failing. The artwork is bold and striking, but doesn’t always help to tell the story, particularly in the middle instalments.

Issue 115Issue 116
Issue 117Issue 218
Issue 219Issue 220

 THE FLESH UNBOUND

Issue 221Issue 222Issue 223

ISSUES: 221 - 223
COVER DATES: 18 January 1995 - 15 March 1995

REPRINTS: None

The construction of a Cyberman city awakes a giant creature beneath the ground that turns the Cybermen’s dinosaur workforce savage. The Cybermen attempt to stop the creature, called R’Lyeh or Titan by the Lizard Kings, but it only grows stronger until it looks like it will eventually consume all of Mondas. The Cybermen electrify the stromata of living ectoplasm that once contained R’Lyeh and succeed in recaging the creature.

Always remove your food from the tin before eating it...

ALTERED VISTAS SAYS:
Mmh... unleash monster, learn about monster, recage monster. There really isn’t enough of a plot here to sustain interest, and without any clever twists or turns, it’s all a bit of a waste of time. It looks lovely though, especially now it’s in colour with Adrian Salmon’s bold colour work really helping to sell the visuals.

 THE BLACK SKY

That's how I feel everytime I go on the Internet...Issue 224Issue 225Issue 226

ISSUES: 224 - 226
COVER DATES: 12 April 1995 - 7 June 1995

REPRINTS: None

A Cybership returns to the Cyberman city, but the black shape-shifting creatures aboard are not Cybermen. They take control of the Cyberman lifeweb, but absorb too much power and explode. The Cybermen determine to send an expedition to the dark continent in the East from where the ship came.

ALTERED VISTAS SAYS:
This is essentially the same story as the last one, but at least here it’s setting something up for the future...

   Doctor Who Magazine Spring Special 1995

 DALEKS VERSUS THE MARTIANS

Spring Special 1995

ALTERED VISTAS SAYS:
Okay, so it’s not quite Doctorless, but this is the rather more Earthly Peter Cushing Doctor Who of the two Aaru films. The story is neat enough, if something of a curiosity, neatly promoting the films’ off-kilter view of the Doctor Who premise, helped enormously by artwork that successfully captures the widescreen feel of the movies.

Messy Martian massacre...

SCRIPT Alan Barnes.
ART: Lee Sullivan.
LETTERING: Elitta Fell

REPRINTS: None

While exploring the mysteries of the Martian Sphinx, Doctor Who, his niece Louise and granddaughter Susan are set upon by Daleks who have moved into the Sol system, ready to attack Earth. The Doctor and Susan escape with the help of the native Martians but Louise is captured and interrogated and forced to reveal the time and space capabilities of Tardis. The Daleks plan to capture the ship to aid in their invasion. The Doctor and Susan, meanwhile, are taken to a city beneath the Sphinx where the Doctor, interpreting a series of hieroglyphs, activates a dormant fighting robot lying under the Sphinx itself. As the Doctor rescues Louise from the Daleks’ saucer using a Dalek hoverbout, the robot attacks and destroys the Daleks' Martian base. However, this only delays their future attack on the ‘Blue Planet’.

   Doctor Who Magazine

 THE CYBERMEN

 THE HUNGRY SEA

Everyone say 'Ooh' at the wonderful Sea Devil...
Issue 227Issue 228Issue 229

SCRIPT: Alan Barnes
ART: Adrian Salmon
ISSUES: 227 - 229
COVER DATES: 5 July 1995 - 30 August 1995

REPRINTS: None

Heading across the sea to the Dark Continent, the Cybermen’s dirigible is boarded by Sea Devils, declaring themselves the protector of Golgoth. Blowing out their own engines, the Cybermen gain the upper hand and command the surviving Sea Devils to lead them to Golgoth.

ALTERED VISTAS SAYS:
The strip gets rather better at this point, fully establishing individual stories that build into a greater narrative. Adrian Salmon’s Cybermen have never looked better, but they are topped by his superb Sea Devil.

 THE DARK FLAME

Issue 230Issue 231
Issue 232Issue 233

SCRIPT: Alan Barnes
ART: Adrian Salmon

ISSUES: 230 - 233
COVER DATES: 27 September 1995 - 20 December 1995

REPRINTS: None

Killing all but the Sea Devil leader, the Cybermen receive swift and strange reprisal when the Cyberleader suddenly sprouts flowers. As they push deeper into the jungle, more Cybermen succumb to a lightning strike, until the survivors are eventually confronted by Golgoth. Golgoth destroys the Cybermen, but after the Sea Devil also dies, he resurrects the Cybermen, takes body parts from them and bares himself a son.

Cyberblooms!

ALTERED VISTAS SAYS:
The blooming Cyberman feels like a rip off of/homage to the Dalek in The Amaryll Challenge that suffers a similar fate (or possibly it’s a nod to the hayfever-suffering Cybermen of Second Doctor strip Flower Power). This starts okay but quickly deteriorates into pretentious and difficult to follow. Golgoth giving himself a son is an interesting idea that is never explored further, so feels like something of a waste.

 THE FUTURE PERFECT

Comic392

SCRIPT: Alan Barnes
ART: Adrian Salmon

ISSUE: 234
COVER DATE: 17 January 1996

REPRINTS: None

Golgoth recounts the development of life on Mondas and predicts the coming of a great war between himself and the Cybermen.

ALTERED VISTAS SAYS:
Becoming ever more pretentious and ever less narratively  focused, the point of this one part offering is hard to fathom. The artwork is less stylised and slightly less arresting as a result.

Issue 234

 THE UGLY UNDERNEATH

Issue 235
Issue 236
Korving, first of a new breed of Cybermen. Probably.

SCRIPT: Alan Barnes
ART: Adrian Salmon

ISSUES: 235 - 238
COVER DATES: 14 February 1996 - 8 May 1996

REPRINTS: None

Two archeologists, Korving and his student Joy, uncover two thousand year old glyphs on Mondas which reveal that Golgoth destroyed both himself and the Cybermen during the war. Threatening the Lord High Priest of the Cult of C’iva, Korving wants to know what happened to Golgoth’s son, as only he can save Mondas’ decaying orbit. The cataclysm begins, killing Joy and the priest. A mortally wounded Korving is seized by automated Cyberfication systems and turned into a Cyberman, the first of a new race. Far away in space, Golgoth’s son awaits to be born.

Issue 237
Issue 238

ALTERED VISTAS SAYS:
It’s hard to know what to think about this final chapter in the story. It feels overly pretentious and steeped in mystic mumbo jumbo that makes the plot as unappealing as it is difficult to follow. It also feels somewhat perverse to spend about ten issues building up to a huge showdown between the Cybermen and Golgoth only to skip over it by two thousand years and recount it in a single panel. That way disappointment is bound to lie, and I’m afraid thjs strip ultimately does disappoint.

 THE DALEKS: RETURN OF THE ELDERS

Return of the Elders

SCRIPT: John Lawrence
ART: Ron Turner

ISSUES: 249 - 254.
COVER DATES: 12 March 1997 - 30 July 1997
REPRINTS: None

The Daleks enter the solar system but encounter strange ships of an unknown design. The Daleks are no match for these advanced vessels and several of their saucers are destroyed.

The Daleks lose the battle against the strange alien ships and are forced to retreat. They head for Titan where they discover a human mining settlement. The Emperor is forming a plan to outwit their strange enemy and orders an attack on the settlement.

The Daleks attack the mining settlement on Titan and capture a crew of six men headed by Commander Trent.

The Daleks condition the Earthmen to become cannon fodder for the Daleks, so that the Daleks can defeat their strange enemy. Sending them out in Dalek ships, they are suddenly trapped in a bright light.

Trent and his men are rescued by a race of Elders who exist between the physical and sub-etheric dimensions. They seeded Earth generations before, but man has abused the Earth and now they return to purify it. They destroy all but two of the Dalek ships and Trent is determined to stop them escaping.

Pursued by Trent’s squad, the Daleks attempt to lose it in Jupiter’s rings, but the Earthmen get the upper hand and the Daleks are forced to retreat. But the Emperor is determined to attack again…

Issue 249Issue 250

ALTERED VISTAS SAYS:
The artwork is as heavily stylised and beautifully coloured as ever (and as weirdly inaccurate from panel to panel too), but the story really isn’t up to the best of the original 1960s strips, with a dollop of mysticism coming from the Elders that destroys the whole feel. Still, it’s a great shame this new series was curtailed after just one  story.
 

Issue 251Issue 252

Sadly with only one story published, Ron Turner died before he could complete the follow up story Deadline to Doomsday. One page of the unfinished artwork is printed below.

Deadline to Doomsday
Issue 253Issue 254

 UNNATURAL BORN KILLERS

Kroton returns!

ALTERED VISTAS SAYS:
I like Adrian Salmon’s illustrative work, so it’s a shame that here it feels so stark and unengaging. The story itself is very simple, but Kroton’s character is largely rewritten, which seems a shame.

SCRIPT: Adrian Salmon
ART: Adrian Salmon
LETTERS: Elitta Fell
EDITORS: Gary Gillatt and Scott Gray

ISSUE: 277
COVER DATE: 5 May 1999
REPRINTS: Reprinted as part of the Panini ‘graphic novel’’ The Glorious Dead, published November 2005.

Sontarans attack a primitive village incapable of defending itself. However, they discover too late that the villagers have a champion, a Cyberman with emotion named Kroton (see here for Kroton’s first appearance), who wipes them out. However, Kroton is unable to join in the villagers’ celebrations and heads off alone...

Issue 277

IMAGINARY FRIENDS - KROTON

Kroton started his life in the back-up strip of Doctor Who Weekly appearing in two comic strips, Throwback: The Soul of a Cyberman and Ship of Fools. His return to the publication some nineteen years later obviously takes place a considerable time after events aboard the Flying Dutchman II, as Kroton’s character has changed considerably, being much more wisecracking and proactive, and with a much better understanding of human beings. At some point he visited Baroq VII and there helped out some technosmiths, who made some modifications to his armour, allowing him to withstand huge amounts of electricity. When he first meet Kroton again he is living in a primitive village (primitive people, he claims, are less judgemental) and is friends with a man named Kahlor, who is killed by Sontarans. Realising that trouble follows him, he leaves the village and we next meet him en route to Phodosia aboard a Qutrusian space freighter. Unfortunately this is hijacked by pirates. On first meeting the Doctor, the Doctor tries to electrocute him. He claims he can sing, share a blue joke, play a round of golf, appreciate opera, has outstanding hearing, but can’t swim, doesn’t believe in ghosts and doesn’t know what a TARDIS is. He is highly protective of Izzy and it is to avenge her supposed death that Kroton begins the battle with Katsura Sato that eventually leads him to be chosen as the new custodian of the Glory, controlling the Omniversal Spectrum, but not before Izzy has taught him to remember his pre-conversion life and embrace the joy and pain that brings him. His wife was called Shallia.

Kroton.

 HOW MUCH FOR JUST THE PLANET?

A page from Look Out! comic, apparently...
Issue 301

SCRIPT: Gareth Roberts
ART: Roger Langridge

ISSUE: 301
COVER DATE: 7 March 2001

ALTERED VISTAS SAYS:
Just as corny as it intends to be, this amusing pastiche of a LookIn! comic strip was included as part of an article about possible spin-offs from Doctor Who. Of course, at the time, spin-offs from Doctor Who seemed as ridiculous as this strip. How times have changed...
 

 CHARACTER ASSASSIN

Issue 311

ALTERED VISTAS SAYS:
Sisyphean means pointless or interminable activity, but this strip is far from that, being an enjoyable and playful interlude finally bringing the Master face to face with Moriarty, with whom he is frequently compared. It is clear that Scott Gray doesn’t like the comparison, as the Master easily defeats Moriarty. Seen in the strip are such fictional creations as Captain Nemo, Robur the Conqueror, the Phantom of the Opera, Dr Moreau, Count Dracula, Fu Manchu, the Invisible Man, Captain Hook, Shere Khan, Mr Hyde and A.J. Raffles the gentleman thief. Long John Silver and Hook's first mate Smee are also mentioned as being members.
 

The Master attends an unusual reception...

SCRIPT: Scott Gray
ART: Adrian Salmon
LETTERING: Roger Langridge

ISSUE: 311
COVER DATE: 12 December 2001
REPRINTS: None

The Master arrives at a mansion, serving as a social club for the Sisyphean Society, where all the villains and horrors of Victorian-era fiction hang out, wanting to join the club and meet the elusive Chairman. Forced by the unseen Chairman to stand before an arena of these bizarre creatures, he loses a vote to join their club after calling out their fiction identities. The Master quickly dispatches three of the villains who try to eliminate him, easily killing the pirate Jas and a great tiger, and then he rips away the "curtain" of reality to find the Chairman - and creator of these beings - is none other than Professor Moriarty. Moriarty's self-belief was strong enough to allow him to find the controlling headband used to control the Land of Fiction, and to surround himself with peers. But the Master casually talks the headband from him, dismissing Moriarty as the least of these characters, merely a plot device created to get rid of Sherlock Holmes (and failing at that!). He sends the villain back to his written death at the Reichenbach Falls. An impressed vampire Count speaks for all the villains in offering the Master the role of Chairman, but the Master must decline. However, as they've amused him, he leaves them a gift - a glimpse at the fiction of the 20th Century, in the form of Martian tripods bringing about their destruction! The Master knows the headband's technology will prove useful in the real world, but is briefly tempted to remain in the Land and use the headband's power to rule as a god. He dismisses this thought: he'd never be satisfied with a life of mere fiction...

   BeanoMAX

The Daleks put in two appearances in the first issue of BeanoMAX, a special spin-off production from the original comic dedicated to promoting the UK’s Red Nose Day.

 INVASION OF BASH STREET

Some familiar dialogue

SCRIPT: Ian McLaughlin
ART: David Sutherland

ISSUE: 1
COVER DATE: 15 February 2007.

A school science project gets out of hand as a Dalek invades Bash Street. However, by the time the Doctor arrives to put a stop to its exterminatory habits, the Bash Street Kids have already defeated it with the aid of Olive’s cooking.

Much of the Dalek dialogue in this story will be extremely familiar to long-term Doctor Who fans...

Bash Street Kids
BeanoMAX

 DENNIS THE MENACE IN BALLOONATICS

Balloonatics
BeanoMAX

ALTERED VISTAS SAYS:
It is interesting to note that the Dalek featured in this strip is not a new series one. It is also interesting to note that the Dalek is referred to as a ‘celebrity’. Such is our modern culture....

SCRIPT: Euan Kerr
ART: Nigel Parkinson

ISSUE: 1
COVER DATE: 15 February 2007.

A Red Nose Day hot air balloon containing the unlikely combination of a Dalek, Jonathan Ross, Jamie Oliver and McFly is shot down by Gnashers. Dennis the Menace gets it airborne again.

   Torchwood Magazine

 THE LEGACY OF TORCHWOOD ONE

Issue 1

ALTERED VISTAS SAYS:
It’s hard to know what to say about this strip. It captures the personalities of the Torchwood crew fairly well, it tells a reasonably interesting if not terribly dynamic story that gets the flavour if not the letter of its parent series, but it simply isn’t very engaging or exciting. Part of the reason for this must lie with the artwork which, whilst detailed, never feels particularly dynamic, even during the action sequences. There are a lot of panels of the characters sitting around explaining plot points, and the likenesses, whilst acceptable, are far from  brilliant. I do love that a mug inside the Hub has the word Torchwood written on it. And I do smile at the fact that Rupert Howarth vaguely resembles comedian Bill Bailey in some panels.
 

Jeez, Jack, can't a fellow fake his own death without all the questions...

SCRIPT: Simon Furman
ART: SL Gallant
COLOUR: Hi-Fi Design
LETTERING: Richard Starkings/Comicraft

ISSUE: 1
COVER DATE: February 2008
REPRINTS: None

Walking the streets of Cardiff in the early evening, Ianto is confronted by Rupert Howarth, his old mentor from Torchwood One, whom he believed to be dead. Ianto takes him back to the Hub where he is questioned by Jack. Rupert was head of Torchwood One's Bio-Medical Research Division and on the verge of a massive breakthrough in Immunity-Boosting Drugs which would have wiped out all viral diseases. However, various pharmaceutical companies found out and at first tried to bribe him, then kill him so that they could retain control over third world natural resources. So, he faked his own death by burning down his lab and went into hiding. At the end of Rupert's story, Tosh picks up a police report about something running from a burning warehouse, leaving behind a pile of dead bodies. Jack, Gwen and Owen investigate. Gwen believes that the fire and the fact Rupert had been sleeping rough are too much of a coincidence for the warehouse not to be a targeted attack. Leaving, Jack, Gwen and Owen are attacked by a creature. It looks different to each of them. The creature says that it wants to see Rupert, or those Jack loves will die. Back at the Hub, Jack confronts Rupert regarding the creature. Rupert reveals that it's called a Chimera. At Torchwood One they had acquired some alien tissue samples that provoked a primal fear response. They planned to create a hybrid DNA strand to be used by special forces against terrorists. They had tested the DNA on drug addicts and the homeless. All of them died but one. It became uncontrollable, which was the true reason Rupert faked his own death. However, the Chimera has broken into the Hub. Rupert reveals  that, before he disappeared, he started a program that would find the combination of drugs that would suppress the alien DNA in the Chimera. The reason he tracked down Ianto and Torchwood Three was to access the Torchwood Mainframe to retrieve the recipe for the serum. Ianto, disappointed that Rupert lied to him, goes off in search of the creature on his own. When he finds it, it appears as a man made of metal and begins to strangle him. At the last minute, Rupert runs in and injects the creature with the serum. However, the Chimera fights back and kills Rupert in its death throes. Ianto and Jack place Rupert's body in the vaults and wonder what legacy they will leave behind.

 JETSAM

Gwen smiled warmly at Tosh's right arm while Jack stared at his own hand...

SCRIPT/ART: Brian Williamson
COLOUR: Kris Carter
LETTERING: Jimmy Betancourt/Comicraft

ISSUE: 3
COVER DATE: April 2008
REPRINTS: Reprinted as part of the Titan Books ‘graphic novel’
Rift War, 2009

A cargo ship with several alien artefacts in its hold comes within range of the Rift and the devices activate, communicating telepathically with the crew. Spooked, the crew jettisons the crates into the sea. Next morning, the crates have washed up on a beach and Torchwood are among the first on the scene. They immediately start trying to quarantine the items and usher the public away. Tosh finds a giant motorcycle by one of the crates. In the sand next to it, however, are similarly sized tyre tracks, indicating it was one of a pair. Surrounding the large tyre tracks are several smaller motorcycle tracks. Gwen deduces that a group of Harley-Davidson motorcycles dragged the larger bike away and that it was probably the work of a motorcycle gang. Jack orders Toshiko to examine the remaining bike to try and find out what they are up against, while he and Gwen hunt down the gang. They find the bodies of all but the leader of the Brimstone Skulls gang in a partially destroyed bar, but then Drew Blayney, leader of the gang, bursts from the debris on the bike and drives off. Jack and Gwen give chase in the Torchwood's SUV. Meanwhile, while investigating the other bike, Tosh discovers it operates on neural input. Suddenly, the input cables attach themselves to her and she becomes possessed by the bike. The bike smashes through the wall and onto the streets of Cardiff. Tosh retains enough of her humanity to tell Owen and Ianto that the machine is drugging her and that it is automatically tracking down the other bike. Owen manages to download information directly from the bike and runs it through a translation device. It tells him that an ‘unpronounceable alien race’ uses the bikes for duels to settle turf wars and border disputes. The bike would do most of the work with the occupant providing tactics. Jack orders the authorities to close a section of the motorway and orders Tosh to lure the other bike onto it. Ianto hires a helicopter for Jack so they can chase the bikes. Right by the Sunbry bypass, Jack shoots Drew's bike and the bike crashes. Meanwhile, Owen encourages Tosh to find mushin, a state of mental calmness that would have featured in Tosh's childhood stories. When she finds it, she calms down and regains control of her own mind. However, the bike is still following Drew and proceeds to start a self-destruct countdown, the explosion from which would kill them both. Just before the countdown reaches zero, Drew's personality overpowers the bike and he says that he doesn't want to die. The bike takes this as a surrender and Tosh is proclaimed the winner. As Toshiko gets out of the bike, Drew sneaks up behind her with a knife. However, he is suddenly vaporised by one of the bikes for breaking the terms of the surrenders. Tosh then orders both of the bikes to shut down and delete their core programming, putting them out of action for good.

Issue 3

ALTERED VISTAS SAYS:
A pretty solid story that wouldn’t have looked out of place in Torchwood’s second series is let down by frankly weird artwork. I suspect some serious Photoshopping here. The result is that all the characters look like their real life counterparts, but the effect is distracting, rather like some surreal strip from a 1970s Doctor Who annual.

Rift War graphic novel

 RIFT WAR!

Issue 4
Issue 5
Issue 6
Issue 7
Issue 8

ALTERED VISTAS SAYS:
Paul Grist’s artwork is horribly crude and it is sometimes difficult to guess which character you are looking at, with Tosh coming off particularly badly. The sudden jump to a different artist is weird, but no weirder than the shifts in narrative from week to week, which makes the whole thing feel less and less coherent and more like they are making this stuff up as they go along with no sense of progression, development or where it might end, particularly in the jumbled middle section. Plot and artwork on Issue 8’s instalment is so confusing as to be virtually incomprehensible. The artwork changes yet again for Issue 10 to a whole new type of horrible., with Jack only recognisable by his coat and Gwen by the over-exaggerated gap in her front teeth. The conclusion struggles valiantly to pull all this together, but still leaves the allegiance of the Harrowkind and what their objective has been dangling, plus the actual significance of the Omicron and why Vox destroys it. This really is a complete waste of time.
 

That's rather mild for Torchwood...

SCRIPT: Simon Furman (4-6), Ian Edginton (7, 10-11), Paul Grist (8-9, 12)
ART: Paul Grist (4-5, 8-9, 12-13), SL Gallant (6-7), D’Israeli (10-11)
COLOUR: Kris Carter (4, 7-8), Hi-Fi Design (5-6), Phil Elliott (9, 12-13), Disraeli (10-11)
LETTERING: Jimmy Betancourt/Comicraft, Richard Starkings/Comicraft, D’Israeli (10)

ISSUES: 4 - 13
COVER DATES: May 2008 - January/February 2009
REPRINTS: Reprinted as part of the Titan Books ‘graphic novel’
Rift War, 2009.

Tosh detects multiple Rift contacts across Cardiff: there is something coming through the Rift, Jack investigates at Cardiff university, where he meets alien warriors. Gwen and Ianto head for Cardiff Museum and Tosh and Owen go to the shops. Jack ends up fighting the aliens, but cannot think what they are. Tosh says they are not on the Torchwood database. Jack subdues an alien and it tells him that the only reason they are fighting is because it is war. When this war is over, there will be no more Torchwood. They all head back to the hub, Tosh entering first. However, when the others arrive, they find Tosh and the Hub gone.

The aliens attempted to take the Hub somewhere in a Rift storm, but Tosh stopped them with the Rift manipulator leaving her stranded in a black void. Owen has found and deactivated a recall device from one of the aliens before they all vanished. Tosh, meanwhile, meets a fugitive named Vox who explains that she has moved the Hub out of time, caught between seconds. As the aliens, known as Harrowkind and acting as shock troops for the Santified, attack he gives her a portable Rift manipulator with which she returns the Hub to its rightful place. Vox then explains to the Torchwood crew that he is an enemy of the Harrowkind and the Sanctified, an empire fuelled by the Rift. Jack says, if the Sanctified want a war then they will give them one.

Gwen and Owen are at Cardiff Castle checking on Rift activity, but what appears at first to be a minor disturbance turns out to be an illusion created by a Zansi baby. The Zansi were a race subjugated by the Sanctified many centuries ago. The Zansi raise their young in Rift bubbles to keep them entertained. Gwen and Rhys baby sit for six weeks until the baby grows to maturity, then it departs. Vox warns that control of the Rift in his galaxy is becoming ever more erratic which will mean another attack from the Sanctified, but he can help them seal the Rift for good.

Gwen and Tosh are picking up Rift activity outside Winston’s department store when they are caught in a dinosaur stampede. Jack and Owen, meanwhile, come under attack from a Baryonyx from the Cretaceous, which Ianto manages to subdue with a harpoon and a sedative. The other dinosaurs have taken up residency in Cardiff stadium, so Torchwood use the sedated Baryonyx to lure them back through the Rift. However, just as they go through Ianto notices that they have been barcoded: they are livestock. Jack thinks it’s time they looked at the bigger picture.

While Vox uses a device to close an opening in the Rift, Gwen and Jack vanish whilst fighting a Weevil, ending up in 600AD where they discover the wreck of a spaceship. However, possessed locals attack them and, when they have dealt with them, Gwen is taken over. Jack talks her out of it as Vox reopens the Rift and goes through to find  them. Entering the ship, Jack and Gwen discover an Empath pilot, stranded and afraid. Vox says he will help it while Jack and Gwen return through the Rift. Vox makes it back just in time, but he has not saved the Empath, only killed it.

In 1918, Harriet Derbyshire borrows a tank from an army captain. Meanwhile, Gerald Carter infiltrates a ritual at a stone circle. However, he is discovered by one of the cult members who threatens to sacrifice him. They are interrupted by the arrival of Harriet in the tank. But suddenly, the stones begin to glow... In 2008, Torchwood and Vox investigate the same stones. Jack says every eighty years the stones focus the Rift energy in the area. Jack wants to study it to learn how to control the Rift and stop the Sanctified but Vox wants to destroy it so the Sanctified can't use it against them. An old man approaches Toshiko and Ianto claiming to recognise them, saying they are both still so young ‘after all this time...’ When Gwen tries to steer him from the site, he takes out a knife and reveals that he is the leader of the cult from 1918. Suddenly, the stones begin to glow... Ianto and Tosh find themselves in 1918 and Harriet, Gerald and the tank are in 2008. While, Ianto and Tosh fight the cult members and Jack, Harriet and Gerald have a reunion. Vox steals the tank and drives it into the stones, breaking the circle and causing everything to fall back to its own time.

An oddly-shaped Rift incursion, ‘more like a door than a tear’, appears in a shopping centre. By the time Jack and Gwen arrive, however, whatever came through has disappeared. They check the CCTV tapes and witness a metal egg-shaped object transform into a likeness of Johnny Depp. Suddenly they hear screams from another section of the shopping centre; women screaming over the likeness of Depp. He has been cornered in the Marks and Sparks stock room. Jack and Gwen enter, but the alien escapes under the guise of a male model who featured on a poster. They chase him through the centre when, suddenly, they themselves are being chased by Harrowkind. The Harrowkind start firing at Jack and Gwen who both take hits. The man runs over and touches Jack and Gwen and with a blinding flash of light, all three are gone. Tosh's sensors back at the Hub reveal that they are no longer on the planet. When Jack and Gwen come to they are confronted by a metal man who reveals that they are inside him.

The Harrowkind spread out above Cardiff, clearly looking for the metal man. Jack and Gwen have been hidden in a pocket dimension by the metal man, who is an Omicron, an explorer created by the P’Shem fifty thousand years before. The Sanctified want access to all the knowledge stored in the pocket universe, which would mean the destruction of Earth and countless other worlds. Jack and Gwen convince the Omicron to return to the real world with them, but Vox is horrified. As the Harrowkind close in on their position, the Omicron vapourises them, but then Vox destroys the Omicron. He defends his stance, saying he could not allow it to fall into enemy hands, but Torchwood are distrustful.

Gwen and Rhys are trapped when the Rift opens and brutish creatures emerge. Jack can’t close it and fears it will rip time and space apart. Owen gives Tosh the Harrowkind recall device he found (Issue 5) but finds more of the brutish creatures outside the Hub calling for Vox. However, Tosh manages to activate the recall device and is transported away. Vox shows his hand, shooting Jack and revealing that he has formed a focal point for the Rift. As the brutish creatures break into the Hub, Vox absorbs all the power of the Rift.

As Vox threatens mass destruction, Tosh turns up with a big gun, appears to vapourise him, says ‘Mend the circle’ then collapses. The brutish creatures shamble away. When Tosh recovers a red vapour comes from her mouth and a member of the Sanctified appears. He reveals that Vox is merely displaced in time. The Sanctified were once conquerors but are now merely farmers farming dinosaurs. Vox was one of them but wants a return to the old ways. The Sanctified are too weak to stop him. Torchwood must act now. They go to the stone circle (Issue 9) and begin to replace the stone that Vox toppled, but Vox appears. Harrowkind on dinosaurs come through the Rift to save them, but Vox destroys them. However, Jack is able to complete the stone circle and when he does the brutish creatures appear and kill Vox, like antibodies for the Rift.

Issue 9
Issue 10
Issue 11
Issue 12
Issue 13
Rift War graphic novel

 THE SELKIE - A CAPTAIN JACK TALE

Issue 14

ALTERED VISTAS SAYS:
That terrible montaged Photoshop look makes a return and works only a little better than before. It’s still extremely distracting (and the police car changes its number plate between frames as a result). The story itself isn’t bad, though it’s rather a large coincidence that Jack was the one who brought it to Earth in the first place, and his solution to the problem is hardly elegant.
 

Issue 1 (US) Cover 1
Mmh... Jack can't count, unless he considers himself a woman...

SCRIPT: John Barrowman (story) and Carole E. Barrowman (story and writing)
ART: Tommy Lee Edwards and Trevor Goring
LETTERING: John E. Workman

ISSUE: 14
COVER DATE: March/April 2009
REPRINTS: Torchwood, The Official Comic, Titan (US), Issue 1, September 2010

Called in by Torchwood Glasgow, Captain Jack is flown by helicopter to the Seal Island Inn, which is acting as a temporary morgue for several bodies of local fishermen found skinned. The women folk of the town seem strangely disinterested, but before Jack can probe deeper Mrs Garrow bursts in: something has happened to her Coll. Jack and the police sergeant search for him down by the coast, and Jack catches sight of a huge creature that he thinks he  recognises. It has Coll Garrow in its mouth. He returns to the inn with Coll’s skinned body and knows that he is to blame. The Selkie is a mythological creature said to protect Seal Island, able to take human form and killing its victims by skinning them. Jack knows it is no myth: he brought the Selkie to Earth to save it from a dying galaxy and give it new purpose. Jack realises three of the victims served time in prison for beating their wives and the fourth looted ancient Pict treasures for his wife. Making his way to the Pict ruins nearby, he discovers Ailsa, the pub landlady, protecting the human skin of the Selkie so it may return to human form once it has finished hunting. The Selkie attacks and Jack kills it with a harpoon.

Issue 1 (US) Cover 2Issue 1 (US) Cover 3Issue 1 (US) Cover 4

 BROKEN

Issue 15
Issue 16
Issue 17
Er... that's Gwen, Yolande, Captain Jack and Ianto, and the little girl with no face (not a plot point) is Caron. No really...

SCRIPT: Gary Russell (15-16, 19), Nick Abadzis (17-18)
ART: Adrian Salmon (15, 19), Paul Grist (16-18)
COLOUR: Adrian Salmon (15, 19), Phil Elliott (16-18)
LETTERING: John Workman

ISSUES: 15 - 19
COVER DATES: May/June 2009 - January/February 2010
REPRINTS: Torchwood, The Official Comic, Titan (US), Issues 1-5, September 2010 - January 2011 (see other entries for covers)

When a new hotel named the Clockhouse opens on the site of a previous and much troubled establishment, Torchwood record high levels of Rift activity and people start going missing from their rooms, Jack, Gwen and Ianto are soon on the scene. Jack sees shadows of vanished people. Gwen finds skeletons in the lift. She and Ianto begin searching the hotel room by room, but whole rooms keep vanishing behind them. Captain Jack, meanwhile, goes to see the manager and finds it is none other than Bilis Manger (see television episodes Captain Jack Harkness and End of Days) who, as both Gwen and Ianto fall through doors into a strange void, explains that he has become trapped here by Rift energy. With Gwen and Ianto also trapped, he will be compelled to help save him, but in searching the rooms he also falls into the void.

Gwen and Ianto find themselves back in the hotel, but a strangely different version of the place where they soon discover the missing people. Jack meanwhile is attacked by shadows which also haunt the inhabitants of the hotel. Ianto meets Yolannde Scott but both are attacked by a strange skeleton figure. Gwen meanwhile finds Caron and Sam and their mum Alison. Jack saves Ianto from the attacking skeleton then agrees to help get Bilis, the guests and his friends out of the trap, but Bilis has vanished.

While Jack and Ianto go in search of Bilis, Gwen, Sam, Caron and Alison are toyed with and then Caron abducted. Gwen goes in search of the child, but is attacked by a mental assault in which she sees people she knows such as Rhys, Tosh, Owen and Suzie. She finds Caron but there is a strange mark on her hand. Jack,Yolande and Ianto find Bilis in the conference hall, but it is not the real one but an entity born of the Rift. It pursues them. Gwen returns Caron to Alison and Sam, but finds them turned into animated skeletons.

Gwen escapes the skeletons by shooting them. Jack, Yolande and Ianto escape the Rift entity with improvised petrol bombs. They meet up and Jack surmises that the

creature feeds on human strength. Consumed humans turn into shadows. They go to the ballroom where Bilis is waiting, but with him are a host of shadows and Yolande begins to turn into one too. Bilis says the entity broke through into the hotel. He tried to contain it but couldn’t hold it. It wants Jack because he is a never-ending supply of life energy with which it can escape and consume the world.

Gwen shoots Bilis. He was just an illusion and it breaks the entity’s hold on Jack, but its strength it moving out from the hotel, reducing anyone in its path to bones, and poor orphan Caron is starting to become a shadow too. But Jack realises with Bilis’ help that Caron is the key to sending the entity back into the Rift because she is the link between our reality and the entity. Ianto and Gwen protest, but Caron understands and attacks Jack, turning him into a skeleton and destroying herself. The entity then snaps back into the Rift, destroyed by grief. The only survivor apart from the Torchwood team is Bilis who makes a quiet getaway.

Issue 18
Issue 19

ALTERED VISTAS SAYS:
Giving a strip a consistent look really helps make it a coherent piece of storytelling. Jumping from Adrian Salmon’s starkly elegant work to Paul Grist’s thoroughly inappropriate and flat sketching which would looks more like Family Guy than Torchwood really doesn’t help this strip which requires heaps of atmosphere to make it work. However, it does still manage to muster some atmosphere, but, while a good mystery is established, the ending is entirely incomprehensible to me. I don’t understand what Caron does or the effect that it has or why Jack turns into a skeleton or why the entity should care about a little girl’s sacrifice and die of grief. It just feels like a desperate resolution (slightly playing on an old Sapphire and Steel storyline) to a situation that the writer can’t think of a logical way out of.
 

 FATED TO PRETEND

So, once again, this is Alec with Gwen, Jack and Ianto (and a couple of skinless people)...
Issue 2 (US) Cover 1Issue 2 (US) Cover 2

SCRIPT: Brian Minchin
ART: Steve Yeowell
COLOUR: Adrian Salmon (15, 19), Phil Elliott (16-18)
LETTERING and FLASHBACK SEQUENCES: John Workman

ISSUE: 20
COVER DATE: March/April 2010
REPRINTS: Torchwood, The Official Comic, Titan (US), Issue 2, October 2010

Three convicts are being escorted in a prison van to prison when one of them begins to behave strangely, rips off his own skin and eats the other prisoners and guards before heading on to the prison, and Gwen, Jack and Ianto follow, breaking in when nobody answers them. There they find some strange skinless people dressed in period French clothes. Gwen is seized and dragged away, but one of the skinless people called Alec explains that he wants her help. Jack and Ianto arrive, and the former recognises one of the skinless people from the Moulin Rouge in 1890. Alec explains that the one in the prison van was a newcomer who panicked and ate the prisoners and guards. He has now been punished - Alec forbids the eating of living flesh despite it making them stronger. They feed instead on the Rift. He wants Jack to allow them to live quietly beneath the prison awaiting the call to revolution, but Jack can’t do that because sixteen people have died. Alec explains to Gwen that he was converted into his present form by Monsieur Jechiel, a conman paid by the Togomil Heresy to build an army of undead, but Jack knows Jechiel will never return as he was never paid. Devastated, Alec and his companions go for a walk in the rain, which will dissolve their skinless bodies.

Comic425

ALTERED VISTAS SAYS:
Almost impenetrable in its telling, with no sense of drama and a nasty racist joke about the French, Fated to Pretend is about as bad as it gets, and not helped by artwork that renders the regulars unrecognisable. It’s hard to know what you’re supposed to feel, but I suspect it’s sad like Gwen is. I felt sad I’d wasted whole minutes of my life...
 

 SHROUDED

Issue 21Issue 22
Issue 3 (US) Cover 1Issue 3 (US) Cover 2
Issue 4 (US) Cover 1Issue 4 (US) Cover 2

ALTERED VISTAS SAYS:
Well drawn and attractively coloured (more so in its first half, to be honest), but extremely heavy on exposition with really very little happening. The characterisation is good though.

Or so hopes the writer of this merry tale...

SCRIPT: Gareth David-Lloyd
ART: Pia Guerra
COLOUR: Phil Elliott
LETTERING: John Workman

ISSUES: 21 - 22
COVER DATES: May/June 2010 - July/August 2010
REPRINTS: Torchwood, The Official Comic, Titan (US), Issues 3 - 4, November 2010 - December 2010

Sometime in the past, Ianto spots an attractive coffee saleswoman called Mairwyn. Later he is visted by Rhys Williams and Captain John Hart who have travelled from the future to warn him that a time-travelling woman, who stole a vortex manipulator from John’s own collection, is on his tail. They warn him that the woman will attempt to seduce him to change the future, which would have catastrophic effects. As Ianto leaves, their conversation is being eavesdropped by a woman at the bar.

Despite this, when Mairwyn next drops by Ianto, she uses a device to show him his future and comments to him that Captain Jack is not a loyal lover, and is a heartbreaker, and won't take very long to get over Ianto's death. Ianto later views the Hubs CCTV footage of

Jack's attempt to romance Gwen in TW: Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang, where he discovers her engagement, not long before Jack formally asked Ianto out. Jack comments "I don't know what I'd do without you" when he recommends Ianto get on with his computer work; his wonted coldness leaving Ianto visibly upset. When Mairwyn next appears to Ianto, he immediately kisses her, and takes her home and has sex with her. When he uses her device again to see the future he would be responsible for creating, he refuses her original offer and eventually stabs her. After saying goodbye to John and Rhys, he sends his sister Rhiannon Davies an uncharacteristically friendly email saying he loves her before retconning himself. The timeline restored, we see Gwen and Jack at Ianto's funeral, watched from afar by Captain John. Further afar are alternate universe doppelgängers of Ianto and Mairwyn; Ianto comments "I can't believe there's a reality where I said no."

Issue 4 (US) New York Comic Con 2010 Exclusive Cover

 SOMEBODY ELSE’S PROBLEM (A Gwen Cooper Story)

Issue 23

ALTERED VISTAS SAYS:
Okay, so as an exploration of Gwen’s character and her motivating forces, this offers us nothing that the television series hasn’t done and done better.

SCRIPT: Christopher Cooper
ART: Stephen Downey
COLOUR: Phil Elliott
LETTERING: John Workman

ISSUE: 23
COVER DATE: September/October 2010
REPRINTS: Torchwood, The Official Comic, Titan (US), Issue 5, December 2010

Gwen is staking out what appears to be a drug deal on the Huffern Estate. Earlier in the evening she followed a suspicious man with green hands from a club where she and Rhys and some friends were enjoying a night out. Gwen overpowered the tentacled dealer, but the creature escaped when a bouncer stepped in, though not before Gwen grabbed some of the pills. Analysing them in the Hub, Ianto reveals that they have a corpse in the lab riddled with the same stuff, but Gwen, finding a student card, realises the body was once human. While Ianto and Jack head off to the University, Gwen runs the pills through the tracking system: they came from the Huffern Estate. Jack and Ianto will rendezvous with her there. Locating the alien dealer, she forces it to take her to the boss, an alien called Mr Quatnja, who is using the abandoned housing estate as a drugs factory. However, he is alarmed when he learns that his minion, Teut Hida, has been supplying drugs to the natives as they will be unable to process them, the drugs instead processing their human biology. Quatnja kills Teut Hida then tells Gwen that Torchwood are aware of his operations. Gwen isn’t convinced. He pursues her, intent on killing her, but Jack and Ianto rescue her in the SUV. Jack admits he did know of the place but let it go under the radar as it was previously doing no harm. Gwen says it has to stop. They blow up the estate.

However, it does give a little depth to a fairly simple comic strip that just about manages to elevate it above the average. The artwork is passable (though I am only guessing that it’s Ianto we see in the strip as the face bears no resemblance) though the colour is a little drab and bland. Generally not too bad though relative to other Torchwood strips.

Issue 5 Cover AIssue 5 Cover B
Recreational drugs ain't what they used to be...

 HELL HOUSE

SCRIPT: Roger Gibson
ART: Vince Danks (pencils, inks, tones)
COLOUR: Roger Gibson
LETTERING: Roger Gibson

ISSUE: 24
COVER DATE: November/December 2010
REPRINTS: Torchwood, The Official Comic, Titan (US), Issue 6, January 2011

Ianto experiences a vision of Jack falling down a stairwell. Jack, Gwen and Ianto are investigating Ravenhall Manor, an Eighteenth Century Gothic house that appeared on farmland three months previously. The team have been experiencing strange visions all week, but Jack experienced similar back in 1902 and had thought he’d defeated it, but now it has returned for him. Gwen is sucked into a bookcase where she encounters an alien searching for Jack. While Jack faces off another of the creatures, Ianto goes in search of Gwen. He has the vision of Jack falling again and realises that the aliens want to keep killing him in revenge for their previous defeat. Reunited, the team realise the house is trying to trap them and take them back to the aliens’ homeworld. They run for the window and dive through just as the

Mmh... if I didn't know better I'd think that house was straight out of The Haunting...

house vanishes. However, it has only relocated, now resembling a suburban house... The aliens’ plan to trap Jack continues.

Issue 6 Cover A
Issue 6 Cover B
Issue 24

ALTERED VISTAS SAYS:
This starts off suitably creepy and mysterious, but doesn’t really have enough pages to do anything useful with that, so quickly resorts to gun-blazing action and a Plan B that comes out of nowhere. It also doesn’t help that we learn absolutely nothing about the aliens. The artwork is okay, though the page reproduced in the style of a Victorian penny dreadful is inspired and exceptionally well done.

 OVERTURE (A Captain Jack Adventure)

Deep kissing, Torchwood-style...

SCRIPT: Gary Russell
ART: John Ridgway
COLOUR: Phil Elliott
LETTERING: John Workman

ISSUE: 25
COVER DATE: January/February 2011
REPRINTS: Torchwood, The Official Comic, Titan (US), Issue 6, January 2011

It is August 1941, and Jack is undercover for Torchwood in the mining town of Treherbert, at a club called Tiger Lillies. The singer sings a cursed gypsy ballad said to drive any singer to commit suicide, but her backing band instead transform into aliens who suck the life from her body. An air raid siren interrupts, but it is more aliens landing. Jack escapes but realises the aliens are targeting him. He leads them back to the Hub where it is revealed that the Commodore meant for him to lead the aliens back to base as there is a package from Jack to himself which, when opened, gives Jack a vision of the planet Zog in the year 2067 where he sees himself speaking to one of the aliens at a bar. The alien explains that the song fell back through the rift. It doesn’t cause suicide but it does activate their sleeper agents. To deactivate the sleepers, Jack must sing the song a second time. He does, but rather than deactivate them, it kills them. Jack surmises that something will one day be coming in their place, and he doesn’t think it will be friendly.

Issue 25 Cover AIssue 25 Cover B
Issue 6 Cover A
Issue 6 Cover B

ALTERED VISTAS SAYS:
The aliens look suitably gruesome but their motives are so muddled and the resolution so bizarre and off kilter that it does rather feel like Gary Russell was making this up as he went along and the whole thing unravelled behind him. The artwork, helped by some lovely colour work, is the strongest thing on show here, but it’s hardly Ridgway at his absolute best,

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