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In the Comics - The First Doctor
   The First Doctor Contemporary Strips

Last update: May 2013

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   Boys' World


Issue 22
Issue 24
Issue 26
Issue 28
Issue 30
Issue 32
Cor!! Summer Special 1972
Issue 23
Issue 25
Issue 27
Issue 29
Issue 31
Issue 33
Doctor What comes a cropper

SCRIPT: Unknown
ART: Unknown

ISSUES: Volume 2, Issues 22 - 40
COVER DATES: 30 May 1964 - 3 October 1964
ON TV: The Aztecs - The Reign of Terror (Season 1)
REPRINTS: Rather bizarrely, Cor!! Summer Special, 1972, which reprinted the entire nineteen week run, though some dates were changed and a few background gags removed.

Doctor What, inventor and William Hartnell impersonator, invents a Time Clock that allows him to time travel. His adventures take him to 1664 to meet Sir Isaac Newton, 2072 where he catches a bus to the Moon, meets Mooniks, is captured by Martians and rescued by a Plutonian in a flying teacup, a contemporary open-air swimming pool where he is chosen for the Olympics, 1028 where he meets King Knut, Neptune, an octopus and some fishermen, finally winding up in Calais where he accidentally travels to 1789 at the time of the French Revolution, annoys the Scarlet Pimpernel and almost gets beheaded. In the nick of time, the Time Clock returns him to his own time where he is briefly kidnapped before making it back across the Channel, but sadly with his Time Clock at the bottom of the sea.

The first recognisable appearance of the Doctor in a comic strip (predating his debut proper in TV Comics by five months) is undoubtedly a spoof, but it’s an appearance nonetheless, with his costume and hair closely resembling the First Doctor’s, even if his time machine has been reduced to an old fashioned alarm clock. His adventures are broad comedy and slapstick, but still share a similarity with their TV counterparts in as much as each week’s instalment usually ends with a cliff-hanger of sorts, and the trip to Paris coincides with transmission of The Reign of Terror. Nobody could pretend it’s the most subtle or funny strip in the world, but it does mark the start of a very long comic strip journey. And it won’t be the last we see of Doctor What either...

The final panel of the final strip
Issue 39
Issue 34
Issue 35
Issue 36
Issue 37
Issue 38
Issue 40
The alternative Reign of Terror...
   TV Comic
Issue 673This advert in Issue 673 heralds the start of a long association with TV Comic for Doctor Who...


Bet you a fiver he can, Gillian...Issue 674Issue 675

SCRIPT: Unknown (possibly Neville Main?)
ART: Neville Main

ISSUES: 674 - 683
COVER DATES: 14 November 1964 - 16 January 1965
ON TV: Planet of Giants - The Romans (Season 2)
REPRINTS: Doctor Who Classic Comics, Issue 2, January 1993.

In the 29th Century, the peaceful Thains are attacked by the hostile Kleptons in their flying machines, who take hostages in the first part of a plan of enslavement. Meanwhile, on 20th Century Earth, John and Gillian visit their mysterious grandfather who they have never met. He is an inventor who lives inside a police box that contains a time machine. John hits a switch and the ship is catapulted into the future where they are immediately menaced by the Kleptons.

Issue 676Issue 677
Neville Main frequently draws Doctor Who with an oversized head. Just an observation. Nothing funny.
Issue 678Issue 679

The Kleptons are once again attacking the Thain city. Gillian is almost captured, but John saves her with a well-thrown brick that sends the Klepton flying machine out of control. It crashes, killing the Klepton leader and forcing the other Kleptons to retreat. Valda, leader of the Thains, explains that the Kleptons plan to enslave them, and that strange creepers have sprouted up all over the city smashing the buildings. At the Doctor’s urging, they take weapons from the museum to defend themselves against the returning Kleptons.

John and the Thains attack the Kleptons with heat guns and drive them away. However, while the Doctor studies a crashed Klepton flying machine, thinking of taking the battle to the enemy, the Kleptons, under the leadership of Klepton One, counterattack with their creepers. John is seized.

The Doctor saves him using one of the heat guns. With the Thains, he begins repairing the crashed Klepton flying machine, but a Klepton messenger arrives and orders them to surrender of their city will be destroyed. Undeterred, the Doctor, John and Gillian board the repaired machine and take off, but it looks like the creepers will pull a building down in their path and crush them...

With inches to spare, the machine makes it into the sky and sets off in pursuit of the Klepton messenger, but his head start means they soon lose him. However, the Kleptons detect the craft from their fortress beneath the ocean and drag it down using a magnetic beam. It looks like the craft will crash into the fortress...

But it doesn’t, as an airlock opens and receives the craft. The Doctor, John and Gillian are presented to Klepton One as prisoners. Klepton One explains that their planet moved closer to its sun and the Kleptons escaped to build this underwater city. Now they are taking Thain slaves to work the reactor that provides energy for the city and the war machines. He has the time travellers locked up again. How can they save the Thains now?

With a Thain heat gun that John forgot he was carrying, that’s how. They burn their way out of the cell, duff up the guards and head for the reactor to contact the Thain slaves. The

Issue 680Issue 681
Issue 682
Issue 683
Issue 2

slaves hide them from the Kleptons and together they begin to plan the overthrow of the Klepton menace.

The Doctor makes plans to liberate the slaves and takes a small party out into the city. They discover a laboratory where the creepers are produced, but the Kleptons find them and move in for the kill...

John and the Kleptons open fire, damaging a wheel on the dome holding the creepers. It breaks loose. With John giving him covering fire, the Doctor reaches the wheel and makes the creepers attack the Kleptons. With the upper hand, he then sets the creepers to attack the reactor. They have to get out before the base expodes!

With the slaves, the Doctor, John and Gillian make it to the airlock and pilot the Klepton flying machines out of the fortress before it explodes. Back at the Thain city, Valda begs them to stay longer, but the Doctor is keen to resume his travels and attempt to get John and Gillian home.

Dr Who tried hard to get rid of his grandchildren at every opportunity...

At ten parts, The Klepton Parasites is perhaps a little overlong, but it is also a fairly exciting story with plenty of incident, even if the Kleptons look utterly ridiculous. However, differences between the comic strip and the television series are immediately apparent, not least the TARDIS spinning on take off and the Doctor urging John to ‘Blast the Kleptons out of the sky’, not to mention the TARDIS doors being opened by a small panel set on the wall beside them, rather like the buttons for a lift. In part one of this strip the Doctor says it’s the 29th Century, but part two tells us it’s the 30th. Neville Main’s artwork is striking, if a little simplistic at times. His First Doctor never for one moment resembles Hartnell and John is the fattest, ugliest child you have ever seen, but the artwork is reasonably attractive and tells the story well.


John and Gillian have never met their grandfather prior to events in The Klepton Parasite, and whether they go to visit him of their own volition or are sent there by their parents (who we never hear anything about) is unclear. That he is their grandfather owes more than a passing nod to Susan (who would leave the television series during the publication of this strip), the location of the TARDIS in a yard with large gates is clearly inspired by An Unearthly Child, and his attempt to get them home at the end of their first story echoes the Doctor’s efforts to get Ian and Barbara home during the first season of the television series.

But John and Gillian remain an enigma, with almost nothing revealed about them and few discernible characteristics. John is impulsive and adventurous with strong ideas of good and evil, frequently seen armed with a ray gun of some description and strongly protective of  his sister and grandfather. Gillian, meanwhile, is sensitive and generally cautious. She occasionally shows diplomatic skills, such as in her brief speech to the Great Ixa in The Therovian Quest and her dealings with the Pied Piper in Challenge of the Piper, appears to have more sensitive hearing than her companions in Ordeals of Demeter and The Trodos Tyranny, but frequently spends more time panicking and making pronouncements of doom, though she does reveal in The Galaxy Games that she was an expert shot-putter at the school sport’s day. Frankly, the mind boggles at such a thought...


John and Gillian Who with their gorilla-jawed grandfather


Issue 684
Issue 685
Issue 686
Issue 12
Did he say moss?

SCRIPT: Unknown (possibly Neville Main?)
ART: Neville Main

ISSUES: 684 - 689
COVER DATES: 23 January 1965 - 27 February 1965
ON TV: The Romans - The Web Planet (Season 2)
REPRINTS: Doctor Who Classic Comics, Issue 12, October 1993.

The TARDIS controls jam, forcing the ship to reappear too soon. It crash lands on an arid planet with low gravity, not unlike the moon. There they discover a stranded spaceship, and also a large monster that makes to attack. They reach the spaceship but a curious humanoid alien aims a gun at them.

The alien is called Grig and comes from the planet Theros. He is searching the universe for a cure to a strange weakness that has crippled his people. The monster attacks again, but the Doctor is able to repair the ship’s systems and they blast off bound for Theros.

Landing on Theros, the Doctor examines the President but can find nothing wrong. Their only hope rests with contacting Wodan, the oldest living Therovian. Wodan has discovered an ancient scroll that tells of a sickness that afflicted the Therovians many centuries ago. The cure was a rare moss from Ixon, the dangerous planet of ice. The Doctor, John and Gillian accompany Grig to Ixon, but they are immediately taken prisoner by armed guards.

The travellers are taken to the Great Ixa in the Ixon city inside the ice mountain. The Doctor convinces him that they are not spies and need the moss to cure the Therovians. The Great Ixa allows them to go and collect the moss from the centre of the planet, the only place where it grows, but when they have gone it becomes clear that, should they return, he plans to take the moss from them and use it to extort a fortune from the desperate Therovians.

Issue 687
Issue 688
Issue 689

Despite the terrible danger of a bottomless crevasse and an angry bison-type creature, the Doctor, John, Gillian and Grig collect the moss from the centre of the planet, but are prevented from leaving as the Great Ixa reveals his plan to them.

The Doctor sets fire to the curtains in Ixa’s throne room allowing them time to escape. They make it back to the rocket ship and blast off. Back on Theros, the moss cures the President with enough left over for all the Therovian people. For his part in saving his race, Grig is made a member of the Grand Council, but all the Doctor wants is a return flight to the planet where he left the TARDIS.

Lightweight, unexciting and overlong with artwork that seems even more rudimentary than the first strip, it’s hard to get excited about The Therovian Quest.

The Doctor's flatulence was often a cause for concern...


Surely the oddest utterance the First Doctor ever made...

SCRIPT: Unknown (possibly Neville Main?)
ART: Neville Main

ISSUES: 690 - 692
COVER DATES: 6 March 1965 - 20 March 1965
ON TV: The Web Planet (Season 2)
REPRINTS: Doctor Who Classic Comics, Issue 13, November 1993.

The year is 2075 as a supply ship from Earth to Venus disappears - the seventh to vanish in the last year. The TARDIS lands on top of a space station hidden by mist, where the supply ship has been taken, and the Doctor sees the crew taken prisoner. John knocks out a guard and the Doctor talks to the prisoners who tell them that the space station is under the command of Captain Anastas Thrax and his pirates who draw the supply ships off course then sell their cargo to other worlds. But Thrax arrives with his ray gun and the Doctor and his grandchildren are caught...

Locking the time travellers away, Thrax contacts Venus and forces them to pay ten thousand Earth pounds for the food they desperately need. Meanwhile, John helps the prisoners escape by greasing the entrance to the prison with a bar of soap. The Doctor sends some of the prisoners off in the supply ship to warn Earth and then tries to think of a way to defeat Thrax - but it’s too late, the guards are coming and they’re cornered against a stack of supplies...

Pelting the guards with potatoes (I kid you not), the prisoners gain the upper hand. Taking their weapons, the Doctor confronts Thrax and orders him to take them to the controls that generate the concealing mist. They break the mist-making machine by lobbing potatoes at it, which allows the space police to locate the base and arrest the pirates.

Issue 690Issue 691
Issue 692Issue 13

A standard tale of piracy complete with Ooh-aahing cliched pirates in stripy tops with eye patches is given a considerable lift by being completely and utterly bonkers. The use of potatoes as a deadly weapon is a piece of inspired lunacy, and the fact that the Doctor uses them to destroy the mist-making machine (‘Come along, children - throw your spuds’) when he has a ray gun that could probably do a better job is sublimely bizarre.


Issue 693
Issue 695
Great flying Zarbi! Or are they? Dive! Dive!

SCRIPT: Unknown (possibly Neville Main?)
ART: Neville Main

ISSUES: 693 - 698
COVER DATES: 27 March 1965 - 1 May 1965
ON TV: The Crusade - The Space Museum (Season 2)
REPRINTS: Doctor Who Classic Comics, Issue 13, November 1993.

Returning to the planet Vortis, the Doctor, John and Gillian are attacked by flying Zarbi who are now armed with a deadly venom ray that can destroy rock. The Zarbi fly away, but the Doctor is immediately confronred by the Menoptera who welcome his return as, once again, they are in danger. The Menoptera explains that the Zarbi developed their strange powers after working in the mountains and the Doctor asks to be taken there. In the mountains they discover a crashed spaceship and the Doctor realises they may be facing more than just the power of the Zarbi.

The ship is locked, but climbing higher into the mountains, they discover a compound where Menoptera slaves work for the Zarbi. They attempt a rescue, but a large mushroom-shaped device rises from the rock and fires at them. They dive for cover. Discovering a lump of Glavinium X, the rarest mineral in the universe, the Doctor realises that the alien intruders may be after it to build bombs with terrible powers. But further speculation is curtailed when the Zarbi attack in force.

Outnumbered, the Doctor, John, Gillian and the Menoptera hide in a trench. The Doctor takes a Menoptera electron gun and fires at a pile of Glavinium X which explodes, killing the Zarbi and giving them a chance of escape. However, more Zarbi soon renew the attack.

Issue 696
Issue 697
Issue 698
John's suggestion seems improbable and not a little improper...

The Doctor blasts one of the flying Zarbi, but is knocked unconscious and abducted by the remainder of the force. The Menoptera follows to see where he is being taken. As expected, he is taken to the mushroom-shaped control centre. Examining the Zarbi their grandfather shot down, John discovers that it isn’t a Zarbi at all.

The flying Zarbi are fakes with aliens called Skirkons inside them who plan to conquer the universe. John and Gillian both squeeze inside the fake Zarbi to gain entry to the Skirkon base. The Doctor, meanwhile, is introduced to Zarka, chief of the Skirkons, and would-be dictator of the universe. He has the Doctor strapped to a table. Unless the Menoptera surrender, he will be cut in two with a venom ray. John and Gillian arrive just in time to see the ray start up.

Armed with an electron gun, John and Gillian rescue Doctor Who, who destroys the machine controlling the land-based Zarbi, thus setting the Menoptera slaves free. The time travellers escape the mushroom in flying Zarbi, but Zarka sends more after them with orders to destroy. The Doctor turns and blasts the mushroom, blowing up the supplies of Glavinium X and ending the menace. The Menoptera are grateful, once again, for the Doctor’s intervention.

Featuring the creatures of Vortis in a comic strip just one week after they had finished their television encounter in The Web Planet must have been quite a coup for TV Comic, and the Zarbi and  Menoptera, not to mention the surface of Vortis, are depicted quite accurately by Main. However, while the idea of a device controlling the real Zarbi is true to the original story, the idea of flying Zarbi-shaped machines seems deeply unnecessary. If you plan to conquer the universe, why bother with such absurd and impractical subterfuge? Zarka and his Skirkons are a comical-looking bunch who never pose much of a threat, the Doctor tied to a table while a ray slices towards him is straight out of the previous year’s James Bond film Goldfinger, and the idea of the Doctor blasting his enemies into perdition sits badly with the TV series (though it’s amusing to think of William Hartnell squeezing into a Zarbi costume). There’s a lot of fun to be had here, though

Is that Zarbi in the background scratching his bum?


An innocent trip to the park had turned into quite an adventure for Dr Who and his young ward...

SCRIPT: Unknown (possibly Neville Main?)/David Motton (from Issue 703)
ART: Neville Main

ISSUES: 699 - 704
COVER DATES: 8 May 1965 - 12 June 1965
ON TV: The Space Museum - The Chase (Season 2)
REPRINTS: Doctor Who Classic Comics, Issue 17, March 1994.

Landing on a planet, Gillian rushes outside convinced it is Earth and is immediately captured  by a spherical flying machine. More of the machines force the Doctor and John back into the TARDIS. The Doctor holds them at bay with powerful electrical shocks, but they begin to cut through the raised road that the ship has landed on.

The TARDIS crashes down into the undergrowth beneath the raised road and the machines begin to repair the road above them. The Doctor and John spot some men hiding in bushes and make contact. The men explain that their world is divided into three zones - the hot zone that always faces the sun, the dark, icy zone that always faces away from the sun, and the narrow strip between the two which is the only part of the planet that is habitable. But this band is ruled by the robotic Gyros who forbid the humans to enter. Doctor Who enlists their help to rescue Gillian, but when they emerge from a secret tunnel into the Gyros compound, the machines are waiting for them.

The Doctor breaks the camera eye on a robot and John and one of the men follow his example. Then, when the robots prepare to depart, they jump on top of them and are carried off along a raised road. The man explains that his ancestors built the Gyros, but that the machines took over when an illness killed thousands of his forebears. Arriving in the Gyros’ city, the Doctor, John and the man hide in a food depot. The Doctor puzzles over what happens to the food, but they are soon found by a Gyro armed with a powerful ray.

The Gyros capture the travellers and take them away, but the Doctor is able to observe that most of the food is mashed whilst a small percentage of the best is washed, cooked and taken to a large windowless building. Arriving in an examination chamber, the Doctor overpowers the Gyros and the three escape down a chute.

Dodging the Gyros, the Doctor leads them to the windowless building and gains entry through the food hatch. Inside, they find many old men, who  hid in here when the sickness first struck. The Gyros are ordered to keep all the ill-looking people out of the fertile lands, but the Doctor says the illness is easily cured with a simple injection. He can immunise them all, but only if Gillian is returned to him. However, one of the old men says they cannot stop the Gyros now.

Gillian has been taken to the Valley of Flames. Doctor Who orders the old men to order the Gyros to get them out of the sealed building and aboard a hover-jet runabout, the fastest means of transport. The race to the Valley of Flames where the Gyros are

Issue 699Issue 700
Issue 701Issue 702

planning to tip Gillian, who is sealed in a plastic bubble, down the slope and into the flames, but the Doctor uses the craft to flick her to safety. They then return to the TARDIS and depart.

Issue 17Issue 703Issue 704

Rather oddly, John is referred to as Johnny throughout most of this strip. For the first time, Gillian displays her unfortunate propensity for getting captured for the whole of the story. This strip is desperately uneven, with good ideas, like the heat-zoned planet, rubbing shoulders with lots of robotic nonsense. Although the Doctor says he can cure the sickness, the strip never makes any mention of the fact that he does so, in fact his rapid return to the TARDIS suggests he just leaves them to get on with it. What a kindly old man...


Neville Main was working as an artist as far back as 1944. In his long career at TV Comic, which started in 1951, he contributed not only the Muffin the Mule strip, based on the BBC television series, but later Four Feather Falls, Doctor Who and Fireball XL5. He also wrote and illustrated Muffin and His Friends, as well as the 'Jimmy' series of books, for the Brockhampton Press between 1948 and 1958. Main is also known for his illustration work for PIPPIN in Playland's 'Rubovia' comic strips and stories in the 1970s, also writing 'Rubovia' stories for the PIPPIN annuals and at least two PIPPIN in Playland holiday specials.

   TV Comic Holiday Special


Holiday Special 1965

SCRIPT: Unknown (possibly Neville Main?)
ART: Neville Main

COVER DATE: June 1965
ON TV: The Chase (Season 2)

The crew of a spaceship are forced to land on the planet Spekra where King Gritog accuses them of being spies and has them imprisoned. The TARDIS lands on the planet, which is also home to some Brontosaurus-type monsters, and the Doctor determines to free the prisoners. This he does by playing a pipe that only the monsters can hear. The notes he plays causes them to attack the Spekran guards. Gritog is furious and orders his guards to open fire, but the monsters have skin like armour plating and the prisoners are able to get back to their rocket ships. Gritog now wants revenge on the time travellers and orders the TARDIS destroyed, but the Doctor left a powerful magnetic beam around the ship that repels the Spekran missiles.

John and Gillian feared the Doctor was trying his old 'Nero' trick again.

A simple story that fills its five pages with much exciting incident. Hardly classic stuff, but diverting nonsense.

   TV Comic


Issue 705
Issue 706
Issue 707

SCRIPT: David Motton
ART: Neville Main

ISSUES: 705 - 709
COVER DATES: 19 June 1965 - 17 July 1965
ON TV: The Chase - The Time Meddler (Season 2)
REPRINTS: Doctor Who Classic Comics, Issue 20, May 1994.

The town of Hamelin is overrun with rats, and the mayor promises to pay the Pied Piper one thousand gilders to rid them, of the problem. However, when the Piper obliges, the mayor reneges on the deal and the Piper retaliates by abducting all the children of the town and imprisoning them in a wonderland of toffee apple trees and lemonade fountains within Koppelberg Hill. But the children miss their parents and attempt to escape, which is when they discover the TARDIS. The children tell the Doctor that the Piper lives in the black castle, a place surrounded by magic, and he resolves to visit the Piper.

Armed with a haversack of useful gadgets, the Doctor, John and Gillian set off for the black castle. They are soon set upon by a dragon, but the Doctor extinguishes its flames with a fire extinguisher. However, as they leave the forest, they come to a bog shrouded in black mist. A light leads them so far across it but then vanishes leaving them stranded.

But even the threat of playing them a medley of Barry Manilow hits would not make them pay up...

The Doctor uses an echo-sounder from his haversack to navigate across the bog. They rest until morning then hammer on the Piper’s gates. The Piper allows them entry but will not release the children unless they pass three tests, the first of which is to catch him. But he turns himself invisible, making the challenge almost impossible.

Except for the Doctor’s radar which he uses to locate the Piper. The second test involves floating down from a window after the Piper, but the Doctor remembered to pack his parachute, so this is no problem. But then the Piper starts to play a strange tune...

The Doctor must play the exact same tune to lead the children of Hamelin home, but John and Gillian are fretful that the Doctor wasn’t listening properly. However, it turns out he has a tape recorder in his haversack and used it to record the Piper’s tune. He leads the children back to the town and collects the thousand gilders which he then takes back to Koppelberg Hill, but the Piper’s kingdom has vanished. The Doctor leaves the money and departs.

Issue 708
Issue 709
Issue 20

Neville Main’s style well suits this story, with its strong fairy tale vibe. The plot is fairly ridiculous, though the contrast of the Piper’s magic and the Doctor’s science is neatly counterpointed, as it would later be in Second Doctor story The Witches. The Piper is quite nicely characterised, speaking in (sometimes slightly strained) rhyme, and his disappearance at the end only adds to his mystery. In essence, it’s like The Celestial Toymaker nine months too soon.


Dr Who loved ridiculing astronauts by pointing out the blindingly obvious.

SCRIPT: David Motton
ART: Neville Main

ISSUES: 710 - 712
COVER DATES: 24 July 1965 - 7 August 1965
ON TV: The Time Meddler (Season 2)
REPRINTS: Doctor Who Classic Comics, Issue 22, July 1994.

The Doctor, John and Gillian are very close to Earth, 20 July 1970, as, down below, the world prepares to the first manned flight to the moon. Aboard the rocket are Colonel Roberts and Major Simms, but when they touch down on the moon, they find a police box waiting for them.

The two astronauts move to investigate, but fall through a crack in the moon’s crust into a deep chasm. Equipping his grandchildren with futuristic breathing devices, the Doctor goes out to help the men armed only with a blackboard and a piece of chalk.

Using the blackboard to communicate in the vacuum, the Doctor points out to the astronauts that they can use the moon’s reduced gravity to their benefit and jump out of the chasm. He then takes them to the TARDIS and puts their minds at rest about being the first men to set foot on the moon before departing.

The Doctor's improper suggestion was not greeted with the enthusiasm that he had hoped for...
Issue 22

After magic and myth we suddenly have scientific accuracy and some surprising predictions, such as the date of the moon landing being one year and two days out. However, the plot is thin and doesn’t stretch to three parts (in fact it would have made a neat five page strip for a special or annual) and how thick must the astronauts be not to work out their own method of escape?.


An online interview with writer David Motton, who worked on strips in The Eagle, TV Century 21, Commando and The Dandy, to name but a few, (which can be read here) dug through his original paperwork to find the issues he worked on along with the two stories for the 1967 TV Comic annual. Although unconfirmed, he suggests that the original writer of the strip was artist Neville Main, who did indeed have some form for both writing and illustrating strips.

Issue 710
Issue 711
Issue 712


SCRIPT: David Motton
ART: Neville Main

ISSUES: 713 - 715
COVER DATES: 14 August 1965 - 28 August 1965
REPRINTS: Doctor Who Classic Comics, Issue 22, July 1994.

With the scanner on the blink, the Doctor is forced to open the doors to see where they are, but they are on a tiny island in the middle of the sea and the travellers are soon swept away from the TARDIS. However, inexplicably the wreck of a small boat rises up beneath them, which then repairs itself when it is hit by an explosion. Travelling backwards, the boat comes in to shore where men haul it onto the sand. But when one of the men speaks, his words all come out in reverse order and Gillian realises that everything is happening backwards.

The men take the travellers out of the boat and hide them in a cart, despite their protests that they must get back to the TARDIS. They are driven to a wood and there hidden in a thicket where the Doctor realises that the TARDIS must have turned them backwards in time. When soldiers pass by, he overhears them talking of their escape from a camp, so decides they must go to the camp. Once there, they climb in through the window of a cell...

The Doctor repairs the bars on the window before a soldier appears and leads them out to meet the Captain of the camp, but to Gillian’s surprise they are then led out to a clifftop close to a rocket launch station. To their astonishment, the TARDIS leaps out of the sea with a piece of the cliff beneath it and attaches itself to the cliff-edge, and the Doctor realises the TARDIS must have fallen into the sea shortly after arriving. He ushers the children inside and takes off, the whole adventure now having played out in reverse.

Issue 713
Issue 714
John and Gillian hadn't expected the drugs to kick in so quickly...
Issue 715
Issue 22

One of the cleverest and most mind-bending strips ever to appear under the Doctor Who banner. This strip is a personal favourite and an absolute delight from end to beginning.


Issue 716
Issue 717
Issue 23
John and Gillian studiously ignored the Doctor's attempts to gain their sympathy...

SCRIPT: Unknown (possibly Neville Main?)
ART: Neville Main

ISSUES: 716 - 719
COVER DATES: 4 September 1965 - 25 September 1965
ON TV: Galaxy Four (Season 3)
REPRINTS: Doctor Who Classic Comics, Issue 23, August 1994.

Landing on a rocky world, the TARDIS is snatched by a giant lizard. The Doctor, John and Gillian attempt to climb a cliff after it, but the Doctor is then also snatched by the lizard.

John and Gillian climb to the top and eventually spy the monster. It turns out it is a friendly monster and places all three of the travellers on a high pinnacle, but when the monster leaves the travellers are stranded with no way down.

Sleeping the night on the pinnacle, they are awoken when the monster brings three of his friends to look at them, but the three soon wander off. The Doctor uses his watch chain to hypnotise the remaining beast and they escape down its back while it sleeps, but the other three lizards return - they’ll be crushed like beetles!

The travellers escape into a cave, but the monsters block the entrance with boulders. However, John realises there must be another exit as the cave is light, and close to the other exit is the TARDIS. They escape as another lizard closes on them.

Issue 718
Issue 719

Unspeakable, simple-minded drivel that could have been told in one fairly dull instalment rather than three very dull instalments. The fact that it follows Time in Reverse only makes it seem worse. That the reptiles show some kind of intelligence is about the only thing in this strip’s favour.


William H. Mevin studied at Liverpool Scool of Art before joining Gaumont British Studios as a trainee film animator under the auspices of top Disney director David Hand, who appointed Bill character designer. After the close of Gaumont British Studios in 1949, this led to animation work on the first British full-length cartoon film Animal Farm (1954) and various shorts.

When that studio closed, Mevin joined the Sunday Chronicle as a topical cartoonist, working for them until the paper was taken over. He then turned to comics and contributed to The Eagle, Express Weekly ('Wee Sporty') and, for many years, TV Comic, drawing Lenny the Lion, Supercar, Space Patrol, Dr Who, World Cup Willie, Bugs Bunny, Droopy, Popeye and many others. He also contributed to PIPPIN (The Pogles, Bill and Ben, The Herbs, Morph) and Whizzer & Chips (Happy Families) in the 1970s and 1980s.

When the comic market began to shrink, Mevin acquired an agent who suggested he produce a strip spoofing overblown American soap operas like Dallas and Dynasty. Entitled The Soapremes, the strip was picked up by the Daily Mail. Through this, in November 1992, he took over the artwork on The Perishers for the Daily Mirror which he drew for many years. Written by Maurice Dodd (who had also worked on Animal Farm) and originally drawn by Dennis Collins, The Perishers had been a daily institution since 1958; Collins had retired in 1983 and Dodd had drawn the strip himself for some years before Mevin came on board. The strip finally came to an end in 2006 following Dodd's death on 31 December 2005.

Bill Mevin


SCRIPT: Unknown
ART: Bill Mevin

ISSUES: 720 - 723
COVER DATES: 2 October 1965 - 23 October 1965
ON TV: Galaxy Four - The Myth Makers (Season 3)
REPRINTS: Doctor Who Classic Comics, Issue 7, May 1993.

Sinister robots from Bellus launch frequent attacks on the planet Demeter and the city is on full alert. However, when the TARDIS arrives, the armed forces mobilise and Doctor Who and his granchildren walk straight into the path of a destructor weapon.

Doctor Who convinces their emperor of their peaceful intentions and they are invited to a banquet in the palace. However, as they are about to eat, the ground starts to shake. The attack from Bellus has begun!

The Doctor orders the emperor to get his people onto the water where the ground tremors won’t reach them, then he orders his grandchildren back to the TARDIS to activate the tremulator, but Gillian is lost in the confusion.

Gillian is with the Emperor and sees the Doctor’s signal rocket sounding the all clear. Reunited, the Doctor explains that the destructive waves from Bellus have been boomeranged back to the planet by the tremulator causing the destruction to their enemies’ planet. The Emperor presents them with a huge and ancient jewel by way of thanks and they depart.

Issue 720
Issue 722
But Gillian meant the thing in his other hand, the dirty old man...

The advent of colour to the strip also marks the arrival of Bill Mevin as artist, and his style is immediately more dynamic than Neville Main’s. His First Doctor is also a much more accurate representation of Hartnell, even if it is clearly frequently photo-referenced, and his John and Gillian slightly older looking than previously. So the artwork is handsome enough, but the story is simplistic, drawn out and lacking in genuine interest. That we never even see the sinister robots from Bellus seems a wasted opportunity. But the Doctor obliterates them anyway.

Issue 721
Issue 723
Issue 7


Issue 724Gillian asks the age-old question that we must all eventually ask of our grandparents...
Issue 725

SCRIPT: Unknown
ART: Bill Mevin

ISSUES: 724 - 727
COVER DATES: 30 October 1965 - 20 November 1965
ON TV: The Myth Makers - The Daleks’ Master Plan (Season 3)
REPRINTS: Doctor Who Classic Comics, Issue 7, May 1993.

Landing on the planet Go-Ray, the Doctor explains to John and Gillian that long ago Cardium was found on Go-Ray which gives everything tremendous energy, meaning they float above the ground. They encounter the Go-Rays, metal creatures that run on a single wheel, but the creatures are terrified of creatures with legs and flee. The Doctor and

his grandchildren follow them to Cardium House to meet their leader but they arrive as the Cardium reactor falters and are accused of being spies and thrown into prison.

They escape through a skylight and, with home-made skis ties to their feet, head for the TARDIS, but the Doctor wants instead to go to a cave and find mercury to replace the Cardium thus repairing the reactor and clearing them of the charge of spying. They get the mercury but the roof caves in and they are forced to find another exit, but the Go-Rays are waiting for them. However, the Doctor has an idea involving John’s bag of marbles...

The Doctor throws the marbles on the floor and the Go-Rays topple over leaving the way clear for the Doctor and his companions to run for Cardium House. However, the emergency is worsening so they are forced to don protective clothing. In the reactor room, the Doctor prepares to add the mercury to the machine, but they are spotted and, as the Cardium fails, everything gets heavier meaning they cannot lift the box of mercury. The Go-Rays seal the door, trapping them inside.

Using old pipes, the Doctor gets the mercury to channel itself into the reactor, averting disaster. Face to face with the Go-Ray leader, the Doctor convinces him that they repaired the reactor and - using a magnet - that he is a magician. The leader then allows them to leave.

The Go-Ray leader's welcoming address was not as friendly as they had hoped...

The plot here feels slightly garbled, and it is never explained why the Doctor insists on repairing the reactor when they could simply escape, nor yet why they strap planks of wood to their feet. Getting John to stick his hand in a pool of mercury is not Doctor Who’s finest idea either. And how come a small box of mercury becomes too heavy to move but everything else appears to remain the same? The Go-Rays themselves are extremely bizarre and hardly a credible threat. The Doctor should have left them to sort their own problem.

Issue 726
Issue 727
Issue 7


SCRIPT: Unknown
ART: Bill Mevin

ISSUES: 728 - 731
COVER DATES: 27 November 1965 - 18 December 1965
ON TV: The Daleks’ Master Plan (Season 3)
REPRINTS: Doctor Who Classic Comics, Issue 10, August 1993.

Exploring a strange and desolate world, the Doctor, John and Gillian see the TARDIS swallowed by the Earth because the surface of the planet is falling in due to a lack of trees. To get back into their ship they must find a cave, which they do, with steps leading down to the edge of an underground pool. But the water is no ordinary water - it contains so much oxygen that they will be able to breathe and speak underwater (no, really). Luckily, the Doctor has packed three pairs of flippers in his Gladstone bag. However, when John dives in he is immediately caught by a giant crab. The Doctor fights off the crab with his electroliser, but suddenly they find themselves falling.

They land on the seabed where it is dry and set off in search of the TARDIS. Coming to a cave, guarded by Mr Frog, they see the TARDIS inside being bound in ropes by many other frogs. They want to use the TARDIS to attract and catch a large shark that keeps eating their people. Gillian urges the Doctor to help. The TARDIS lures the giant shark closer and closer...

Netted and out of water, the shark dies and the frog people are saved. As a reward, John and Gillian are allowed to ride some giant tame sea-horses, but they are soon in trouble as John is attacked by a giant octopus. The Doctor saves him by tickling the octopus with a feather (you think I make this stuff up?) but in the confusion the TARDIS disappears again...

Searching the seabed for the ship, Gillian is suddenly sucked down into a lower cave. The frog people lead the Doctor and John to the cave and there they find Gillian, the TARDIS... and the Ancient Mariner, who plans to live in the TARDIS as his own house vanished. The Doctor and his companions help him build a new house before they depart.

Surely this made up as they went along. Plotless, logic-free, with mediocre artwork, it makes some of the crazier Second Doctor strips look sane by comparison. The Doctor’s Gladstone bag debuts, here providing the electroliser and flippers. Not to be confused with the Tenth Doctor strip of the same name.

Issue 728Issue 729
Get that boy to an optician immediately! How do you mistake an octopus for a cave?
Issue 10
Issue 730Issue 731
   TV Comic Annual 1966


TV Comic Annual 1966The Doctor was quite firm on this point...

SCRIPT: Unknown (possibly Neville Main?)
ART: Neville Main

Earth spaceship Zero One Twenty is forced down onto a scorching hot and rocky world then attacked by Kleptons in their flying machines. The TARDIS lands and finds the word ‘Help’ written in the sand by the empty spaceship. John finds a flare gun which they take with them as they search for the missing crew. They find a great pyramid, but a Klepton attacks. John shoots it down with the flare gun and they use the machine to get inside the pyramid, but their presence is detected and they are captured. The Kleptons ask them to help them invade the Earth as their own world is getting too hot. When the Doctor refuses, they are placed in a basket with the spaceship crew above a vat of boiling oil. John ignites the oil with his flare gun and they escape, seize two Klepton flying machines and make it back to their ships before the Kleptons can catch them.

This is as shallow as you would expect of a four page TV Comic strip, but there are a couple of nice continuity references back to the first Klepton strip. The Kleptons are the first returning monster in the comic strip ever.


TV Comic Annual 1966

SCRIPT: Unknown (possibly Neville Main?)
ART: Neville Main

The year is 2035 and a strange cocoon-shaped spaceship approaches Earth. The Space Police are alerted, but the ship releases many smaller cocoons which land on Earth. A short time later a meeting of the world’s top scientists is invaded by Caterpillar Men. They render the scientists powerless with rays from their eyes then announce to the world that the scientists will now help them conquer the Earth. Landing in a jungle somewhere on Earth, the Doctor is quickly captured by the Caterpillar Men and imprisoned with the other scientists in a dome. John and Gillian go to get help and happen upon the World Pest Control offices, who take in helicopters armed with pesticides lethal to Caterpillars but harmless to humans, thus ending the menace.

We call them vagrants, not scientists, Dr Who...

John and Gillian save the day (for once), though presumably they also wipe out every insect in the jungle thus causing ecological disaster. Hey, at least they rescue Gramps from the evil (and highly absurd) Caterpillar Men. Nicely coloured with acceptable artwork, but the story sucks big time.

   TV Comic


Issue 732
Issue 733

Again, this is hardly a story at all, more a series of random events, and Demon Magicians, Santa Claus and magic boxes are certainly not the stuff of Doctor Who. The demand for TARDIS toys is as post-modern as the TV Doctor wishing everyone at home a merry Christmas...

Gillian was so taken with the light show, she failed to notice Grandfather had once again put his head on the wrong way round.

SCRIPT: Unknown
ART: Bill Mevin

ISSUES: 732 - 735
COVER DATES: 25 December 1965 - 15 January 1966
ON TV: The Daleks’ Master Plan (Season 3)
REPRINTS: Doctor Who Classic Comics, Issue 15, January 1994.

Landing on a snowy new world, the time travellers soon meet Santa Claus, who has relocated from the North Pole because of all the aeroplanes flying over. However, there are problems here too as the Demon Magician interferes all the time and Santa is way behind on his toy production schedule. The Doctor helps him out with his instant modeller, which creates models of real objects. Because all the children want TARDIS models, the Doctor goes to sort that out, leaving John and Gillian to help Santa, but when they go to collect the models

they find strange footprints and the Doctor missing.

The Doctor is being terrorised by a Polar Bear, but he instructs John to use his magic modeller box to reduce the creature in size. The miniature bear then runs away. However, as they are leaving they encounter the Demon Magician who stops them returning to the TARDIS by erecting a huge wall. But the Doctor has an idea...

They climb over the wall by using the Doctor’s magic box to increase a squirrel in size, making it large enough to ride. Returning to the TARDIS, they find a note from Santa who is now off on his rounds delivering TARDIS models, but the Doctor is still determined to stop the Demon Magician from interefering in Santa’s business. However, the Demon brings a snowman to life, which seizes John and Gillian and threatens to freeze and crush them.

The Doctor uses his magic box to generate heat rays which melt the snowman. But the Demon Magician is not done yet and hides himself inside a giant snowball that hurtles down the mountain towards the travellers. Instructing John to get a toy rocket from Santa’s workshop, the Doctor reduces the snowball in size until it fits inside the rocket, then he fires it up into the sky. Santa Claus’ problems are finally at an end.

Issue 734
Issue 735
Issue 15


Dr Who loved his granddaughters racial tolerance and eternal optimism...

SCRIPT: Unknown
ART: Bill Mevin

ISSUES: 736 - 739
COVER DATES: 22 January 1966 - 12 February 1966
ON TV: The Daleks’ Master Plan - The Massacre (Season 3)
REPRINTS: Doctor Who Classic Comics, Issue 24, September 1994.

On the planet Animalia, Doctor Who, John and Gillian discover a zoo. The curator shows them around, but when they get to the cage of the believed-extinct Didus bird they are in for a shock as it has gone. The Doctor and his grandchildren decide to track the bird down, but are warned that there is a savage tribe living in the jungle. They have almost captured the hungry bird with a cage and a trail of corn when spears thud into the tree all around John.

John is captured by savages who plan to put him on a fire. The Doctor tries reasoning with them but they fear he has come to take their lucky bird so plan to burn him too. He manages to extricate himself  with the help of some magnesium which scares the savages away. Planning to swap one lucky bird for another, the Doctor, John and Gillian carve a bird of paradise from a piece of wood... but the savages are returning.

The Doctor tricks the savages into releasing the Didus and claiming the lucky wooden bird. They see the Didus down by the river and manage to capture it in the cage, but the Doctor is cornered by a crocodile.

The Doctor gets rid of the crocodile with magnesium powder, but the Didus has escaped again. Trying to recapture it, Gillian is menaced by a cobra, but the Doctor throws his jacket over it. Luckily, the Didus is scared of the snake and runs back into the cage. They return it to the zoo, where they see not only a pterodactyl but also the Didus’ eggs hatch.

The problem with the strips during this period is that they fail to tell coherent, developing stories and simply present a series of themed dangers, so here we get wild animals and so-called savages, and those things could pop up in virtually any order to carry us to the last page where things are wrapped up in an equally random manner. It really feels like the writer isn’t trying to be even vaguely creative.

Issue 736Issue 737
Issue 738Issue 739
Issue 24
But the two young men had fled before Dr Who had a chance to investigate...


Issue 740
Issue 741

At last we have a story that actually makes sense and has logical progression. John is once again referred to as Johnny, which suggests this may have had the same writer as The Gyros Injustice. Whatever the case, this is a huge improvement on recent strips, even if the Doctor’s abilities as a crackshot marksman are a little worrying...

Even good news would not persuade the Doctor to assist...

SCRIPT: Unknown
ART: Bill Mevin

ISSUES: 740 - 743
COVER DATES: 19 February 1966 - 12 March 1966
ON TV: The Massacre - The Ark (Season 3)

As part of a plan for universal domination, rebel forces have captured Space Station Z-7 and fortified it against intruders with space mines. The TARDIS lands aboard and the Doctor is immediately taken before the rebel leader who demands to know how the magnetic minefield was penetrated and wants the Doctor’s help in perfecting his doomsday machine. The Doctor naturally refuses to cooperate and is dragged off to the truth machine while John and Gillian are thrown into a cell. Luckily it is a cell with an enormous ventilator shaft in the wall, so they escape in search of the Doctor. However, their absence is noted and the guards start to flood the tunnels with water. Gillian says they will die.

John and Gillian pull themselves above the level of the water using some conveniently-placed bars then rescue the Doctor from the truth machine. The Doctor radios for help from the station’s radio room, but they are cornered soon after by an armoured car armed with a flame-thrower. Gillian says they will die.

Doctor Who activates the ballast release, which floods the chamber with water, dowsing the flames, but it also topples a tall metal structure. They are forced to climb over this to reach the controls for the magnetic mines, But a live cable is dangling in the water and John is about to stick his foot in it!

He doesn’t. Instead they take a large, dish-shaped insulator and use it as a boat to reach the controls, then use the insulator again to cover the aerial that controls the mines, which means the rescue ship can arrive safely. However, the rebels make a break for it in their ship, complete with their doomsday device. As they blast off, the Doctor takes a rifle and shoots away the insulator, thus activating the mines again. The rebels are blown to kingdom come. Everyone else is saved.

Issue 742
Issue 743
What she lacked in optimism she made up for in hair lacquer...


Issue 744Issue 745
Issue 746Issue 747

And suddenly we are back to random incidents masquerading as a plot and all leading nowhere. First we have desert-style danger, then gas, then scorpi, then deadly creepers, and all just to pad out four issues. The mention of toffee apple trees and the Doctor’s reliance on gadgets that he just happened to have packed makes me think this was written by the same chap who wrote Chellenge of the Piper, but whoever it was he should be ashamed. The artwork is patchy at best and horrible at worst and even some okay colour can’t save this strip from being one of the worst to ever see print.

But, try as he might, the old man just couldn't stop laughing long enough to intervene...

SCRIPT: Unknown
ART: Bill Mevin

ISSUES: 744 - 747
COVER DATES: 19 March 1966 - 9 April 1966
ON TV: The Ark - The Celestial Toymaker (Season 3)

Stepping out into a desert with his Gladstone bag, the Doctor leads his grandchildren out into the heat only to remember that he’s forgotten to bring anything to drink. However, the coconuts from a palm tree save them and they are soon picked up by a man from a nearby plantation who explains that the only way they can get anything to grow on the planet since it moved closer to the sun is to manufacture their own water out of gases. He shows them the gas plant, but there is suddenly an explosion and the room begins to fill with gas. Gillian says they will die.

The Doctor cuts his way out of the plant with an acetylene torch. The owner is grateful, but the explosion means they will have to find another way of making water. However, worse is to come as a plague of poisonous black scorpi has hit the planet and is eating all the crops. Insecticide has no effect and the Doctor orders them to gather as much food as possible and get inside. Gillian says they will die.

Doctor Who uses the aquameter he thoughtfully remembered to pack in his Gladstone bag to make it rain a special kind of rain that kills off the scorpi. Unfortunately. the critters have stripped the trees bare, but the Doctor promises that things will be different in the morning. He’s right too as the trees are heavy with fruit, but as John reaches to pick the fruit of a toffee apple tree, a creeper starts to throttle him.

Axes can’t stop it, but Doctor Who’s weed killer can. He says his magic rain caused fantastic growth but he hadn’t realised the side effects in the strong sunshine, but not to worry as it’s now dead. They head back to the TARDIS.


John had already started before he realised what the Doctor meant...

SCRIPT: Roger Noel Cook
ART: John Canning

ISSUES: 748 - 752
COVER DATES: 16 April 1966 - 14 May 1966
ON TV: The Celestial Toymaker - The Gunfighters (Season 3)
REPRINTS: Doctor Who Classic Comics, Issue 8, June 1993.

The year is 2066AD as the TARDIS lands on the planet Trodos, but the time travellers are immediately taken for questioning by the robotic Trods. Super Trod explains that the human population of Trodos treated the Trods as slaves, so the Trods turned the tables and enslaved the humans, and now Doctor Who and his companions are going to join them. Led to the dungeon, they manage to escape when an unfortunate slave is stunned by his Trod master, but are immediately caught again.

Locked in a cell awaiting punishment, the Doctor burns through the electronic lock by adapting his pencil torch. However, in their haste to escape they fall down a shaft. It is a lift shaft and the lift is coming down. Gillian says they will die.

They jump on the counterweights and are lifted up to a doorway. The Doctor says they must find the control room and put the Trods out of action. He disables one in advance by breaking off its aerial, but this only puts the Trods on full alert. Hiding, they soon realise they have stepped on a conveyor belt. A Trod activates it and they begin to move towards whirling blades. Gillian says they will die.

The Doctor cuts through the conveyor belt with John’s penknife and they are able to escape, but are almost immediately cornered by Trods. They elude them and make it to the control room where, with Super Trod distracted, the Doctor prepares to deactivate the Trod forces, but Super Trod has seen them. John says they will die.

The Doctor pulls out Super Trod’s power cable and he explodes. Outside the Trods go crazy until the Doctor turns off their power and fuses them. In another chamber they find a seriously injured man called MacTaggart who says he invented the robots to give himself power over the other humans, but now even the robots have turned against him. He dies and the Doctor says he deserved it. They go and release the slaves then depart.

John Canning’s arrival on the strip as artist marks a relative upswing in the quality of the storytelling, even if much of it is simple capture and escape stuff, as it here displays both dramatic shape and focus. His artwork is a bit of a shock after Neville Main and Bill  Mevin, with often crude and inconsistent likenesses and panels that sometimes appear rather messy and sketchy, but there is no arguing that his style adds a great deal of dynamism and a far greater sense of movement to the Doctor’s comic strip adventures. The Trods here appear to be nothing more than another power-crazed race of robots, like the Gyros and the Go-Rays, and there is certainly nothing to suggest that they are an attempt to plug the Dalek-shaped gap in TV Comic’s strip. There is also nothing to suggest that they will return, but they will, my friends, they will... CLICK HERE


Very little information seems to be available about John Canning, even though he worked on TV Comic for over twenty years. Apart from providing art for the First, Second, Third and Fourth Doctors in the Doctor Who strip, he also illustrated, amongst others, Star  Trek, Charlie’s Angels, and The Avengers.

Super Trod. Like a Trod, only super...
Issue 748Issue 749
Issue 750Issue 751
Issue 752Issue 8


Issue 753
Issue 754
Issue 755
For once, Gillian's weekly proclamation of doom actually gets them out of trouble...

SCRIPT: Roger Noel Cook
ART: John Canning

ISSUES: 753 - 757
COVER DATES: 21 May 1966 - 18 June 1966
ON TV: The Gunfighters - The Savages (Season 3)

Landing on the planet Gemino, the Doctor, John and Gillian enter the ruins of Gemino City. The planet was devastated in a war with rival planet Gemina and there appear to be no survivors. The Doctor deactivates an automatic gunpost and they are just investigating the ruins of a house when a great hairy paw begins to open the door...

The Doctor orders John and Gillian to arm themselves with chairs, but the great hairy paw belongs to an ordinary dog. Despite almost being blown up by a landmine, the dog leads them out of the city to a rope bridge, but when John tries to cross, the bridge collapses.

The Doctor saves John from the rope bridge, then the dog leads them down to a small house where lives the dog’s master. The man explains that those left alive after the war were forced to leave the city and that all supplies and knowledge during the war were locked away in the Vault of Plenty. Since then many have tried to gain access but all have failed because of the Guardian Dragon leaving the survivors starving. The Doctor says he will help and continues on with John and Gillian to the Vault. They step inside into a chamber covered with letters of the alphabet and are greeted by a huge crab monster. It asks them for the first clue to the secret of Gemino. If they cannot answer, they will die.

The Doctor correctly guesses that the first clue to the secret of Gemino is ‘G’. Warned that the punishment for failure is death, they pass on to the next test - a platform above a fiery pit. The question: what is the total of the secret of Gemino. The Doctor correctly works out that the total is six as Gemino has six letters. In the next chamber they must work out the difference between Gemino and their enemy. If they fail to answer in time, they will be impaled on knives that emerge from the walls. Gillian urges the Doctor to answer or this test will be their last.

‘Last’ is the correct answer, as the difference between Gemino and Gemina is in the last letter. They step into another chamber and are confronted by a dragon. It tells them that for the last test they must guess the secret of Gemino, which consists of six numbers. If they succeed then the Vault of Plenty is theirs. If they fail, they will die. With six letters in Gemino and six numbers required, the Doctor works out that each number is a letter of the alphabet. ‘G’ = 7, ‘E’ = 5, ‘M’ = 13, ‘I’ = 9, ‘N’ = 14, ‘O’ = 15. The Vault opens and the survivors of the war are finally able to enter and claim their supplies.

Issue 756
Issue 757

This strip spends two instalments in search of a plot, but once the Doctor meets the locals and the idea of the Vault of Plenty is established, things take a turn for the better. The simple letter-based puzzles that the travellers face would have suited the readership of TV Comic well, and navigating a series of these puzzles works well to keep the story focused and feeling moderately intelligent. I like this strip, despite the huge hairy paw at the end of the first part clearly not being any part of the dog that enters the following week.

   TV Comic Holiday Special


TV Comic Holiday Special 1966

SCRIPT: Roger Noel Cook
ART: John Canning

COVER DATE: June 1966
ON TV: The Savages - The War Machines (Season 3)

Holidaying on a South Sea Island, the time travellers become fearful of a rumbling volcano, but their attempt to get to safety leads them to discover a huge sandcastle, the home of King Neptune. Neptune provides them with a feast and John finds a real pearl in his oyster. They leave and the volcano has now stopped rumbling. They can’t wait to go back and visit the King again.

Oh no, thought the Doctor, not six courses of crab sticks and prawn vol-au-vants...

Oh what to say about these two pages of mindless, plotless drivel? The art is average to poor and not at all helped by the spot colour which makes Neptune look like Father Christmas. The dramatic highlight of the strip is John finding a pearl. I’m sure even six-year-olds must have been bored with this strip.


John was becoming rather blase about all the creatures they encountered...TV Comic Holiday Special 1966

SCRIPT: Roger Noel Cook
ART: John Canning

COVER DATE: June 1966
ON TV: The Savages - The War Machines (Season 3)

Landing on the planet Zeno, the time travellers find all the inhabitants turned to stone. According to legend, the Gorgon came here after leaving Earth. Ordering John and Gillian to blindfold themselves, and armed only with Gillian’s hand-mirror, the Doctor turns the Gorgon to stone. The last survivors on Zeno emerge from hiding to thank the visitors.

A simple retelling of the legend of Medusa gains a little atmosphere from the original myth, though at only two pages it was never likely to have much in the way of development.

Gillian felt a frisson of excitement. She was becoming a woman at last...
   TV Comic


SCRIPT: Roger Noel Cook
ART: John Canning

ISSUES: 758 - 762
COVER DATES: 25 June 1966 - 23 July 1966
ON TV: The War Machines (Season 3)

The moment the Doctor has always feared has arrived - they have landed on the Haunted Planet, though he has doubts about the legend so they decide to explore anyway. They cross an eerie swamp and enter a wood, but there John is attacked by giant bats. Doctor Who beats them off with a big stick, but realises that the bats have been trained to attack humans. They are in the presence of great evil...

For one moment, the Doctor's conservationist instincts deserted him...
Issue 758
Issue 760

They press on across a sinister marsh, but when they use stepping stones to cross they are left seemingly stranded when most of the stones sink. However, the swamp is only waist-deep so they wade through it. On the other side they spy a space-age castle.

They enter the castle, though the old-fashioned portcullis tries to spear them. Inside, they see ghosts and the Doctor says the supernatural is at work. However, soon they are forced to run a gauntlet of axes held by animated suits of armour, but Gillian says she can’t go on.

But she does. Safe from the axes, they enter a library or trophy room. The lights go out and they are face to face with a ghost, but the Doctor quickly realises it is only a projection. Unfortunately, he realises it a little too late as he, John and Gillian are captured in a glass case. Their evil enemy reveals himself and says that Doctor Who knows too much.

The sinister man reveals his name as Zentor, and he created the myth of the Haunted Planet while he developed a gas capable of poisoning the atmosphere of every planet in the universe. He will hold the universe to ransom! But Doctor Who and his grandchildren known too much and must die and they are placed in a machine where high-powered beams will reduce them to dust in seconds. But the Doctor bounces the beams back with Gillian’s hand mirror, then convinces Zentor that he is the ghost of Doctor Who come back to haunt him. Zentor flees in terror - and plunges into his own marsh where he drowns.

Dirty beast, more like...
Issue 759
Issue 761
Issue 762

What seems at first to be another random series of dangers actually develops into a fairly coherent plot, and the marsh that at first appears little more than yet another themed danger to delay the resolution actually provides the resolution. This is quite sophisticated plotting for TV Comic! Of  course, the idea of a man training bats , digging swamps and rigging up ghost projectors is utterly crazy, but then so is Zentor’s plan to hold the universe to ransom for no other reason than that he is evil, something that - rather  bizarrely - even he recognises. There is plenty of fun here, but it is better once you know that at least one of the early events is significant and not the usual delaying tactics.


Issue 763
Issue 765
Issue 767
Issue 764
Issue 766

High on incident but low on plot (but then so is Episode 3 of The Deadly Assassin) this story appears to be building to some clever final move by the Doctor. That it never comes makes the strip something of a disappointment. That John and Gillian actually do something useful, having not featured in most of the story, is, however, nothing short of a miracle. An average sort of strip with messy artwork and little atmosphere, not helped by being demoted to black and white. The Doctor’s reliance on gadgets has more to do with the spy boom of the 60s than with Doctor Who.

Luckily, the Doctor's Gladstone bag was packed with just the right things...

SCRIPT: Roger Noel Cook
ART: John Canning

ISSUES: 763 - 767
COVER DATES: 30 July 1966 - 27 August 1966

Once more, the time travellers land in a sinister forest, this time on the planet Zerox. Insisting that the place looks dangerous, the Doctor makes John and Gillian remain in the TARDIS. Leaving the ship with a case of gadgets, he is almost immediately set upon by natives who take him to their Emperor. He is informed that he must fight the beasts in the arena, but when a hideous creature enters he fears that he is going to die.

Luckily, the Doctor’s watch is fitted with a sonic beam, and he uses it to make the animal back off then turn and attack its master. In the confusion, the Doctor escapes into the forest, but the natives launch a manhunt to either return him to the arena or kill him. The Doctor fears that he is going to die.

The Emperor sends in dogs to flush the Doctor out, but the Doctor puts them to sleep with his sleep-inducing arrows. But the enemy forces are closing in and the Doctor prepares for a final, decisive battle.

The Emperor sends in his floating chariots, but the Doctor disables two of them with smoke bombs. The Emperor says it has been a good hunt, but now the white-haired one must die.

Out of weapons, the Doctor is cornered on a cliff-face and fears the end is nigh. Just then John and Gillian swoop in wearing thrust packs on their backs and carry the Doctor to safety. He is angry with them for disobeying his instructions, but also extremely grateful. He owes them his life.


Surely one of Canning's more impressive panels for the First Doctor strip

SCRIPT: Roger Noel Cook
ART: John Canning

ISSUES: 768 - 771
COVER DATES: 3 September 1966 - 24 September 1966
ON TV: The Smugglers (Season 4)

The TARDIS splash lands in the ocean and sinks to the bottom. Perturbed that there are no signs of fish, the Doctor and his grandchildren go out through the TARDIS airlock to investigate, but are soon captured in the claw of a giant robot.

The claw forms a chamber, and creatures rush in to escort the travellers to the Professor who is in the control room in the robot’s head. He explains about the engine rooms worked by slaves in the robot’s chest which drive the mighty legs. The Doctor is put to work on a computer in the engine room and warned that even thinking of escape will result in death.

The Doctor is in control of the machine that oils the moving parts in the robot’s legs and, unless he pulls a lever every ten minutes, the legs will seize up. He allows it to happen and the robot stops with a jolt, a signal for the slaves to attack their masters. The Doctor, John and Gillian escape in the lift, then disable it to stop pursuit. They attempt escape from the robot, but the Professor, armed with a spear-gun, corners them.

The Doctor throws something at the Professor and the gun goes off, piercing the robot’s shell and letting in the ocean. They escape and, when the robot  explodes, the slaves (who can breathe under water) also escape and thank the time travellers.

Issue 768Issue 770
Issue 769Issue 771

Rather formulaic and predictable with no real surprises and not much in the way of excitement. It’s only a wonder that the travellers aren’t attacked by a giant octopus and an electric eel before they encounter the robot. The reason for the existence of the robot is never explained. We must assume it is solely so that evil people can use slaves to make it work, thus displaying their wickedness. Putting the Doctor in charge of the most important machine aboard the robot seems somewhar foolishly trusting.


The Trods head for their fiery doom. Or something.

SCRIPT: Roger Noel Cook
ART: John Canning

ISSUES: 772 - 775
COVER DATES: 1 October 1966 - 22 October 1966
ON TV: The Smugglers - The Tenth Planet (Season 4)
REPRINTS: Doctor Who Classic Comics, Issue 8, June 1993.

The TARDIS is drawn off course by a mighty power and the Doctor deduces that it could be an old enemy out for revenge. His deduction is proven correct as they soon fall into the clutches of their arch enemies the Trods. The Trods explain that the Doctor merely left them without power when he destroyed Super Trod and it wasn’t long before another space traveller reanimated them. He is their new master and has planned a special punishment so the Trods can have their revenge.

The new Super Trod shows them a diagram of the city and tells the travellers that all the buildings are booby-trapped. They will have only their brains and skills to use against the traps. It will be an interesting ordeal. The Doctor chooses which building to enter, but the Trod’s human leader is pleased. All the door handles and staircases in that particular building are wired to explode, something the Doctor’s party soon discover. The Doctor fears it is only a matter of time before they make a fatal mistake.

However, the explosion has cracked the wall and they are able to break out into the street from where they plan to attack the Trod’s tower where their master resides. But the Trods are soon aware of their escape and orders are given to shoot on sight.

Gaining access to the tower by way of a chair-lift, the travellers make their way to the control room. The Trod’s human master lunges at them but breaks the glass window and plunges to his doom far below. The Doctor uses the Master’s equipment to order the Trods to march into the furnace. The Trod menace is at an end once more.

The Trods give orders to exterminate, but there’s still precious little evidence to suggest they are Dalek stand-ins. This strip feels slightly rushed and the conclusion over far too quickly and easily. We learn nothing new about the Trods either, other than that their idea of revenge is rather sporting. This is really just your standard runaround. Of course, the Trods story isn’t over yet, and you can read their next adventure by clicking here.

Issue 8
I don't think that's the nightclub in The War Machines that he's talking about...
Issue 772
Issue 773
Issue 774
Issue 775


Issue 776
Issue 777

This is just a stock adventure storyline given a (very slight) science fiction make-over. It is moderately exciting and, at  least, coherent, and it’s good to see the usual formula thrown aside, but it really isn’t Doctor Who in any medium and doesn’t really work.

Stacy Klondite's driving lesson was going from bad to worse...

SCRIPT: Roger Noel Cook
ART: John Canning

ISSUES: 776 - 779
COVER DATES: 29 October 1966 - 19 November 1966
ON TV: The Tenth Planet - The Power of the Daleks (Season 4)

Landing at a busy space port, the Doctor, John and Gillian are greeted by an official, who tells them that visitors have been arriving for weeks to attend the Galaxy Games at their stadium. Taking them to the stadium, the guide shows them a Klondite athlete winning a race, but the Doctor doesn’t think he is particularly fast by Earth standards and decides to enter John as the Earth representative in the Galaxy Games.

John wins his first race against the Klondite, but the Klondite trainer is less than happy and attaches wires to the finishing posts. Whoever passes them first will be destroyed by a laser beam. But as the one hundred yards heat is about to begin, the Doctor spots the Klondite trainer up to no good.

The Doctor disarms the finishing posts with a discus, but suggests that they should train out in the country where it will be safer. Except the Klondites follow him and try to run him down in an aircar.

The Doctor and Gillian track the Klondites to a hut in the woods and knock them out by throwing rocks at their heads (please don’t try this at home). But there isn’t enough time to get back to the stadium down th winding country roads to win the marathon. John sets off cross country, makes it to the stadium and - with the Doctor and Gillian arriving in time to catch the end of the race - wins the Galaxy Games for Earth. Phew!

Issue 778
Issue 779


Issue 780Issue 781
Issue 782Issue 783
Our final shot of the First Doctor

Simplistic and not a little stupid in places, but at least it’s coherent and shows some basic plot  progression, though it strikes me as not a little dumb to load prisoners aboard a military rocket without taking any precautions to seal either the controls or the prisoners and then expect them to behave themselves while you see how long they’ll last. An inauspicious end to the First Doctor’s TV Comic travels.

Is it really a good idea to launch prisoners into space in a military rocket? You decide...

SCRIPT: Roger Noel Cook
ART: John Canning

ISSUES: 780 - 783
COVER DATES: 26 November 1966 - 17 December 1966
ON TV: The Tenth Planet - The Power of the Daleks (Season 4)

Landing in a crater and unable to see anything on the scanner, Doctor Who and his grandchildren are forced to leave the ship to find out where they are. However, they only make the top of the crater before they are arrested and taken to a prison compound awaiting experimentation. Meanwhile, leaders of the Master Race hold a conference and decide that the prisoners should be used as guinea pigs in gravity chair and rocket tests. Naturally the Doctor, John and Gillian are selected. For them it will be something more deadly than the gravity chair...

At the request of the Doctor, Gillian is spared, but John and the Doctor are strapped into a space mobile for crash testing. The specially designed belts save their lives leaving them only dazed. However, for the next test, they will be launched into orbit in a military rocket so they can be tested for the effects of long space flights.

The launch is a success, now Doctor Who plans to turn it to their advantage. He will take control of the rocket and use it to launch a bombing run on the Master Race’s buildings using the extra fuel tanks as bombs.

The Doctor’s bombing run begins and the Master Race take to their spaceships and flee to safety, leaving the prisoners free. They return to the TARDIS for another adventure...

   TV Comic Annual 1967


TV Comic Annual 1967

SCRIPT: David Motton
ART: John Canning

Two great nations on the planet Int are at war, and many are the deadly weapons that they use against each other. There seems little chance of either side winning, until the people of Ulk launch a deadly boat packed with enough explosives to destroy a city. In search of Earth, the TARDIS lands aboard the vessel. Exploring, they realise the ship is a bomb and attempt to leave, but electrical interference prevents the dematerialisation. Missiles are launched by the enemies of Ulk to destroy the ship, but they explode against an invisible shield. Doctor Who cuts down one of the masts on the ship and uses it as an oar to turn the boat back towards its creators. They are forced to lift the shield so they can destroy the boat with missiles, and this allows the TARDIS to leave.

Because it doesn’t try to do too much, this story actually works quite well in the space it has. The art is okay for Canning, but the colour is rather good for the time. Original title: Deadly Cargo

TARDIS trouble for the Doctor.


Probably terrifying in 1966, but imagine the omelette...

SCRIPT: David Motton
ART: Bill Mevin (?)

Weary, the time travellers land on a pleasantly green world of jungle, but Gillian is soon terrorised by an ugly creature that John frightens away by throwing a stone at it. They are then threatened by falling rocks, one of which damages the TARDIS door, meaning they cannot close it and take off. Next they are chased by a huge bird which captures John and Gillian and imprisons them in a cage. It flies them to a huge tree and displays them to others of its kind. They are rescued by Doctor Who and one of the ugly creatures John chased away, which gnaws through the wooden bars of the cage. They return to the TARDIS and repair the door.

As insubstantial and artless as we’ve come to expect from the TV Comic annuals. It’s original title was The Pets.

TV Comic Annual 1967
   Doctor Who Annual 1967


Doctor Who Annual 1967
Doctor Who: Adventures in Time and Space
Seems a fair bet, Duh. Unless you're just out of petrol...

SCRIPT: Unknown
ART: Walter Howarth

REPRINTS: Doctor Who: Adventures in Time and Space (1981), Doctor Who: Journey Through Time (1985)

Doctor Who returns to the planet Birr, but finds it lifeless - all the Verdants have gone. However, he walks into a trap lain by the Rostrow and becomes their captive aboard their ship where their leader, Lahk, asks him to help them repair their stranded ship. A Rostrow called Duh is assigned to take Doctor Who to the energy compartment, but on the way Doctor Who sees that the Rostrow have

taken some of the Verdants prisoner. Duh says they are simply plant specimens to be returned to their homeworld, but Doctor Who explains about the strange plant creatures of Birr. The rest of the Verdants have withdrawn below ground for safety and have erected a forcefield preventing the ship from leaving. The Rostrow must make peace with the Verdants, and Doctor Who leads Duh to the entrance of the underground chambers. There they are bound in tendrils and about to be executed when Doctor Who remembers that the Verdants hate loud noise. They escape by shouting. Duh is badly winded by a barb fired at him, but the two stagger on to the lower cavern where they meet Phlege, leader of the Verdants, and explain the mistake. Peace and greenery returns to Birr as Doctor Who takes his leave.

Doctor Who: Journey Through Time

The first Doctor Who annual comic strip tells us that things are not always as they appear, and this is just as well because this strip looks horrible but script-wise is fairly solid, if also fairly unexciting. To be fair, the ink art is sometimes very good, but hindered by unsympathetic colour and bad printing, though the sight of the king of the plants sitting on a throne is not one of the better moments.

   The First Doctor Later Strips

The Experimenters was the last regular appearance of the First Doctor in the comic strips, and the annual appearances concluded his contemporary run of strips. However, the character would return much later for a few more adventures. And it adds a pleasing symmetry that those adventures should kick off with the return of Doctor What..

   Corr!! Annual 1974


Doctor What and his... er... finger

SCRIPT: Unknown
ART: Unknown


Doctor What returns for twelve pages of probably previously unpublished comic strip exploits, plus an appearance in the Cor!! Annual Christmas Party, which was obviously drawn specially for this annual. It is at least possible that these twelve strips first appeared in some publication other than Boys’ World, home of the original run, but probably more likely that they were simply never published due to the aforementioned publication merging with Eagle.

Allowing for the slight run-on before the comic strip First Doctor transformed into the Second Doctor, Doctor What becomes the first comic strip representation of a Doctor other than the one currently on the telly. Interesting fact that. If you squint.

Cor!! Annual 1974
   Doctor Who Winter Special 1983/84


Doctor Who Winter Special 1983/84First114

SCRIPT: Tim Quinn
ART: Dicky Howett

REPRINTS: Reprinted in colour in Doctor Who (Marvel US), Issue 23, August 1986

Although the First Doctor regularly featured in the Doctor Who? strip in Doctor Who Monthly, this (very) loose and (loosely) humorous adaptation of the events of the first television story runs to four pages, making it a little out of the ordinary.

My opinion of Quinn and Howett’s work has never been particularly high, but this strip manages one or two amusing ideas, such as Ian continually muddling up the continuity between the  novelisation, the TV Comic version and the TV version.

   Doctor Who Fun Book 1987


Doctor Who Fun Book 1987

This is a real curio, a serious strip by Quinn illustrated in Howett’s usual comic style, that ultimately reveals itself to be a love letter to the series. I’m not convinced it actually works as the artwork undercuts the sentiment, but it remains a nice idea.

SCRIPT: Tim Quinn
ART: Dicky Howett


Confronted within the TARDIS by the Father of Time, the Doctor is set the challenge of overcoming two tests. The first test is to escape the sands of time, as the Doctor and Susan are deposited on Skaro even as it begins to crumble to dust around them from the ravages the Daleks have inflicted upon it through the centuries. They survive by taking shelter at the heart of the planet and are returned to the TARDIS in Totters Lane while Father Time plans the Doctor’s second test.

The Doctor is involved with the events of the Web Planet when Father Time snatches him away for his second test. He finds himself in the TARDIS with five later incarnations. The TARDIS has been incapacitated and set on a one-way trip into the heart of the sun, and the Doctor’s incarnations are tasked with repairing the TARDIS console and averting their fate. As his later incarnations squabble, the First Doctor realises that together they can do anything, even reverse time. They link hands and, by concentrating, manage to reverse time. Having passed the second test, they are returned to their rightful places in the timestream, but not before the First Doctor catches of Time, as Father Time’s robes fall away. And Time wears a scarf, a cat badge, a stick of celery and carries a recorder. Just who is Time?

   Doctor Who Summer Special 1994


Doctor Who Summer Special 1994

In isolation, this strip, which forms a companion piece to the Seventh Doctor strip Younger and Wiser, is slightly ponderous but also slightly haunting. It has no direct dialogue. Paired with the other strip, it actually feels less than the sum of its parts, becoming more of a novelty item than a satisfactory story, but the art is very nice.


SCRIPT: Warwick Gray
ART: Colin Andrew
EDITOR: Gary Russell

The Doctor, Vicki and Steven land inside what appears to be a vast city but which is, in fact, a sentient machine. Requiring their help, but unable to communicate directly, the machine activates a translation drone. However, the drone only succeeds in scaring the travellers back to the TARDIS where they depart. The machine’s name is Xenith.

   Doctor Who Magazine


The sound of giant slugs...

SCRIPT: Nick Briggs
ART: Colin Andrew
LETTERS: Elitta Fell
EDITOR: Gary Russell

ISSUES: 218 - 220
COVER DATES: 26 October 1994 - 21 December 1994

The Doctor, Ben and Polly land on Apresar IV, but are forced to flee as the TARDIS is digested by a giant mollusc. In the confusion, Ben vanishes, but the Doctor thinks they should first locate the TARDIS. Meanwhile, in orbit around the planet, Captain Galloran and Terraformer Ellis Melthorpe await landing clearance. Galloran runs out of patience and decides to land anyway. Ben is in the grip of the Serviton robots who, assessing that he is organic but not Apresarian, want to dissect him. Ben escapes but is in proximity to the nutrition bay vertical access port and may pose a danger to the program. The Servitons activate a control and shoot him down into a tunnel containing humans cryogenically sealed in capsules above a sea of young giant molluscs.

Galloran’s ship lands and he questions the Doctor and Polly, but is interrupted by the arrival of the giant slug, which Melthorpe identifies as a Mollusi. Ben, meanwhile, is still evading capture, but when he runs into a dead end, the Servitons suddenly withdraw... because they have been summoned to deal with the Mollusi, but when the Doctor gets too close he is swallowed by the creature. Ben hears the Servitons say that more cryogenically frozen Apresarians are needed to meet the nutritional needs of the young Mollusi, and he determines to put a stop to it, but a human hand lands on his arm and tells him not to interfere. The Doctor is alive in the creature’s stomach as it communicates with him, trying to convince him to find ways to feed it. The man with Ben is Melthorpe, under the control of the Mollusi. It was he who altered the cryogen program to feed the creatures. However, when Galloran and Polly arrive, he changes his story and accuses Ben and Polly of being behind the scheme. Galloran prepares to shoot them.

They are saved by the arrival of the Doctor, who fought against the Mollusi and escaped, infecting its mind in the process so that it turned on its fellows and killed them all. He found Mollusi young in Melthorpe’s cabin aboard the ship. Melthorpe found the Mollusi on one of his expeditions and surrendered to them, turning his whole race into food. Riddled with guilt, Melthorpe flees with Polly and Galloran behind him, but they soon find themselves pursued by Mollusi. The Doctor and Ben, meanwhile, shut down the cryogen program. Cornered, Melthorpe throws himself at the Mollusi, but his mind - consumed by self-hatred and suicidal instincts - infects the creature and it turns on the Mollusi young, ending the threat.

Issue 218
Issue 219
Issue 220

This is a neat and clever enough story, but, as with most of these later tales from the pages of Doctor Who Magazine, it’s hard to warm to it as it lacks the charm of the period it is trying to evoke. Polly is particularly badly characterised. The art is acceptable, but the likenesses of the TARDIS crew never really convince.

   Doctor Who Yearbook 1994


Earth, Wind and Fire come to pay tribute to the Doctor...

SCRIPT: Tim Quinn
ART: John Ridgway
LETTERS: Janey Rutter
COLOUR: Chrissie McCormack
EDITOR: John Freeman

The Doctor and Ian are walking a quiet beach on the planet Seetar in the Malachi system when they are suddenly surrounded by the primitive natives. However, when a giant burrowing worm-monster erupts from the sand, the natives fall to the ground. The worm grabs one of them and it is left to Ian to rescue him by throwing a cricket ball at the worm’s eye-stalk. The man is released and the worm burrows back beneath the sand. The natives carry the Doctor and Ian in procession into their village and give them offerings of food, but when they prepare to sacrifice a young girl Ian steps in and stops it. The time travellers leave. Many years later, the Seventh Doctor returns to Seetar to find carved images of his first incarnation, Ian and the TARDIS... and to finally put an end to the sacrifices.

Doctor Who Yearbook 1994

Squeezing in references to Susan, David Campbell,  Daleks, Saracens and the events of The Aztecs slightly deadens this story, making it feel more like a wallow in nostalgia rather than something vibrant and dynamic, but it captures the feel of the era well and gives Ian and the Doctor dialogue you could imagine them saying. Ridgway’s art is good, as you’d expect, though he never quite captures the likeness of either of the regulars and the flat colour does little to assist him.

   Doctor Who Magazine


Issue 231
Issue 232
Issue 233

SCRIPT: Gareth Roberts
ART: Martin Gerghty
LETTERS: Elitta Fell
EDITOR: Gary Gillatt

ISSUES: 231 - 233
COVER DATES: 25 October 1995 - 20 December 1995

In a Soho milkbar, Susan witnesses a man transform into a monster. He mentions the project, the cross and the deeps before dying. Susan tells the Doctor and he realises that he must intervene. He also works out what the man meant. Meanwhile, somewhere else, and observed on a screen by an unseen figure, Laura and Clive are worried about the disappearance of Dick Ashley. The Doctor and Susan are at King’s Cross and, in the tunnels, soon discover a secret base. Leaving Susan behind, the Doctor enters but his presence is detected. He finds a report about Operation Proteus, something that should concern every person on the planet, before he is captured and taken to the boss - a nightmare alien.

The alien, who is called Raldonn, detected the Doctor’s arrival in London four months previous and is only disappointed that it took the Doctor so long to find him. Susan is discovered and escorted to the room containing Laura and Clive. They are students, on a month’s release from college, and believe they are testing new drugs in return for five hundred pounds. But Susan recognises a photo of Dick Ashley. Raldonn, meanwhile, tells the Doctor that he is practising deliberate genetic acceleration on the humans in an attempt to create another member of his species. With two of them, he will have enough mental energy to pilot his ship away from the planet. But the process is unstable; only one in a million humans will successfully transform, so he has turned his process into a virus to infect the whole human race. The Doctor begs him to stop and offers his help, but Raldonn has already released the first test subject into the world above.

As the deadly mutation spreads through London, Laura also mutates. Only a bullet stops her. Raldonn is killed by one of his own mutations and it is left to the Doctor to invert the formula for the mutation. He succeeds and releases the new virus into the air, converting all the humans back to their original state. Operation Proteus is at an end.

Raldonn meets a predictable and fitting end.

Although the story is well told, with good characterisation and dialogue for the Doctor and Susan and strong art throughout, this story just never captures any sense of the era it purports to represent, so always feels like a strange hybrid of 90s Doctor Who comic strips with the wrong lead character.

   Doctor Who: The Forgotten
Issue 1

A strip that tells very little story in its many pages and feels much slighter than it should. The story happens sometime before The Aztecs. The artwork, all in sepia tones, is very nice, but none of the regulars even vaguely resemble the people they’re supposed to be, and it all feels like a wasted opportunity. The reference to Horus and Sutekh also feels unnecessarily fannish.

Time to make a run for the ship...

SCRIPT: Tony Lee
ART: Pia Guerra
INKS: Kent Archer & Shaynne Corbett
COLOUR: Charlie Kirchoff
LETTERS: Neil Uyetake
EDITORS: Tom Waltz & Chris Ryall

COVER DATE:  August 2008

This story is a mini-story told within a much larger tale. To see the larger tale, click here.

Arriving inside the tomb of Menkaure at Giza, Egypt, in the 26th Century BC, the Doctor, Susan, Ian and Barbara are arrested and taken to the palace, but Itennu plans to assassinate Pharoah Menkaure with a poison dart and then blame the strangers. However, the Doctor inadvertently foils the attempt with his walking stick and, when a more open attack begins, the travellers flee back to the TARDIS.





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Graphic Novel 2009