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    The Second Doctor Contemporary Strips

Last update: January 2011

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   TV Comic


Issue 784Issue 785
Issue 786Issue 787

Whilst the televisual version of the Second Doctor was being menaced by the bonkers Professor Zaroff, his TV Comic counterpart was up against the even-more-bonkers Extortioner, whose overly complex Get-Rich-Quick scheme seems highly ill-conceived (in fact, had he not built a base in a volcano and equipped it with enough warheads to point at every city in the universe he could have lived a life of luxury). Canning’s artwork is as we’ve come to expect, and his second Doctor never really looks like Troughton, but does capture some of his character. which is more than the script does - did you know that the laser in the Doctor’s lighter has saved him on more than one occasion?

John and Gillian are grounded - againOur first proper look at the Second Doctor

SCRIPT: Roger Noel Cook
ART: John Canning

ISSUES: 784 - 787
COVER DATES: 24 December 1966 - 14 January 1967
ON TV: The Highlanders - The Underwater Menace (Season 4)
REPRINTS: Doctor Who Classic Comics, Issue 3, February 1993.

Leaving John and Gillian in the TARDIS, the Doctor explores a volcano, but is soon captured by the villainous Extortioner, whose secret base is hidden in the volcano’s heart. The Extortioner plans to hold the governments of the universe to ransom as he has missiles aimed at every city. He demands that all of Earth’s valuables be sent into orbit for collection by transporter rocket or he will destroy the universe. Doctor Who is imprisoned in the volcanic caves, but uses the laser beam in his lighter to escape, and drops the warheads into the volcano’s core, triggering an eruption. However, the Extortioner is far from dead and pursues the Doctor in a mechanical mole - at least until the Doctor lures him and his machine to a crack in the earth and plunges him down into an abyss where his mole explodes.

Issue 3


Issue 788Issue 789Issue 790Issue 791Doctor Who and the Recorder of Death

SCRIPT: Roger Noel Cook
ART: John Canning

ISSUES: 788 - 791
COVER DATES: 21 January 1967 - 11 February 1967
ON TV: The Underwater Menace - The Moonbase (Season 4)
REPRINTS: Doctor Who Classic Comics, Issue 8, June 1993.

Doctor Who travels to Trodos to sign a peace treaty with the Trods, but when he gets there, he finds the Trods apparently destroyed by the Daleks who also plan to exterminate him and his grandchildren. Luckily, the ground gives way beneath the time travellers and they are plunged into one of the Trods’ underground cities. Here they encounter Trod survivors and join forces, but the Daleks soon find a way into the city. When they are unable to find either the time travellers or the Trod survivors, they send a lone Dalek into the city to act as bait. When Doctor Who destroys it using only his hat and his recorder, the Daleks are able to pinpoint his position. He is saved by the Trods who then lead him and his grandchildren back to the TARDIS, but the Daleks are soon following intent on exterminating their foe.

Issue 8
Dr Who had warned John about his abusive language before...


Having joined the travels aboard TARDIS with their mysterious grandfather way back at the inception of the TV Comic strip in 1964, John (almost always in his blue denim combo) and his sister Gillian (in black skirt and hideous daffodil yellow polo neck) are still running around after Doctor Who generally doing precious little except stating the obvious, begging him to be careful or disappearing for whole pages (or even whole strips) at a time when there’s no stating or begging to be done. Gillian does take a rifle and kill a mad scientist during The Monsters from the Past, thus saving her grandfather’s life, both she and John attack Arborge Quince and his robots, again to save the Doctor’s life, in Space War Two, and John again saves his grandfather’s life during The Witches! by pretending

The return of the Trods and the first comic strip encounter between the Doctor and the Daleks lends this strip a sense of the epic - at least for a few panels. After that it becomes little more than an extended runaround, though the Daleks are at least ruthless and cunning. The Doctor shows no concern for the fate of the Trods who are presumably all exterminated outside the TARDIS having helped him and his grandchildren to escape. Canning generally draws the Daleks with great and surprising accuracy, though he is clearly working from reference photos from their first television story as the Daleks lack the slats of their contemporary TV counterparts. You have to feel sorry for the Trods, ousted from the strip as their superior TV counterparts join the party. The cut-throat world of comics, eh?

John and Gillian - Lawd luv 'em

to be the All Powerful Voice of Witchcraft, though how this plan succeeds is anyone’s guess, but generally they are surplus to requirement. Informed by a fortune teller that he is about to encounter deadly robots, the Doctor eventually leaves John and Gillian on the planet Zebadee in the opening panels of Invasion of the Quarks, enrolling them at the university there, where they have made some friends. However, they would be back accompanying the Doctor as usual in the 1969 TV Comic annual. It has often been noted that John and Gillian grow up during the course of their adventures, and it’s true that they do look much older when they leave than when we first met them, but this isn’t a gradual maturing, as their appearance remains fairly constant throughout the Second Doctor strips, and has more to do with the change of artist on the strip. However, this wasn’t quite the end for John and Gillian. In the Virgin New Adventures novel Head Games by Steve Lyons, which took place in the Land of Fiction from The Mind Robber, the new Master of the Land of Fiction creates versions of John, Gillian, and Dr. Who, to use against the Seventh Doctor and his companions Ace and Benny. Later, in Issue 337 of Doctor Who Magazine,

The Eighth Doctor dreams in a TV Comic style

 John and Gillian make a surprise appearance in the strip The Land of Happy Endings, commemorating forty years of the Doctor’s adventures, though this is a younger, Neville Main-inspired duo, who are, in reality, only part of the Eighth Doctor’s dream.

A cartoon from Doctor Who Magazine


Issue 792
Issue 793
Issue 794
The Doctor's out for revenge...

SCRIPT: Roger Noel Cook
ART: John Canning

ISSUES: 792 - 795
COVER DATES: 18 February 1967 - 11 March 1967
ON TV: The Moonbase - The Macra Terror (Season 4)
REPRINTS: Doctor Who Classic Comics, Issue 11, September 1993.

The Doctor makes a Dalek casing, then, materialising in the year 2135 AD at the height of the Dalek Empire when they had military garrisons on almost every planet, he uses his disguise to infiltrate a Dalek outpost.

Listening in to a Dalek conference, the Doctor learns that the Dalek Supreme is on his way to supervise the production of thousands of Daleks as the planet is rich in the materials the Daleks need to reproduce. In his Dalek disguise, the Doctor goes to the Dalek mine workings, intent on sabotage, but is spotted as he attempts to slip out of his disguise.

The Doctor eludes the Daleks and soon a massive search is underway, during which he doubles back to the outpost. Panicked, the Daleks have started destroying each other in an attempt to eliminate the intruder. The Dalek  Supreme, still on his way to the planet, orders the destruction to stop, but the Doctor then impersonates him and orders the total destruction of all Daleks. Enraged, the Dalek Supreme swears revenge, but the Doctor makes it back to the TARDIS and departs.

Issue 795Issue 11

The Daleks destroying each other echoes similar events in TV Century 21 strips such as Plague of Death and - most recently - Shadow of Humanity - but also nicely foreshadows events in The Evil of the Daleks (still two months away from transmission) where the Doctor effectively engineers the fall of the Dalek race. Here it is just one garrison that could create 10,000 new Daleks to enslave the free worlds, so the TV Comic Doctor is unusually justified and motivated in his actions. This is a pretty good strip of the time with some pleasing artwork.

The Dalek Supreme realises his enemy


Watch out for the pigeons, Doctor...

SCRIPT: Roger Noel Cook
ART: John Canning

ISSUES: 796 - 798
COVER DATES: 18 March 1967 - 1 April 1967
ON TV: The Macra Terror (Season 4)
REPRINTS: Doctor Who Classic Comics, Issue 17, March 1994.

The TARDIS only half materialises and the Doctor is forced to administer some all-purpose oil to complete the landing. However, once outside in 1969 London, he finds the people hypnotised into human robots by the Zagbors, humanoid alien invaders.

The Zagbors pursue the Doctor, but he makes it back to the TARDIS, certain they cannot gain entry. However, when the Zagbors physically move the ship into their spacecraft and attempt to cut it in half with high-powered ray cutters, the

Issue 17

Doctor attempts to dematerialise, but finds the ship malfunctioning again. He and his grandchildren give themselves up, but the Doctor asks to be hypnotised before his companions. He overpowers the hypnotic beam and makes the Zagbors his slaves, then deprogrammes the humans. Finally, he repairs the TARDIS.

Okay, so it’s not the comic strip at the height of its power, but by the standards of 1967 TV Comic, this isn’t actually too bad. It establishes a threat (though we never find out exactly why the people of London have been hypnotised by the Zagbors - presumably because that’s what Zagbors do), it has a Doctorish Doctor who solves the problem using his superior brains rather than a laser pistol or some bizarre device from his utility belt, and the malfunctioning TARDIS is very in keeping with the television series. It is also rather refreshing to see the Doctor in a contemporary setting (a first for this Doctor in any medium), something he would do in the television series the week after this strip ended as he lands in Gatwick Airport for The Faceless Ones.

Issue 796
Issue 797
Issue 798


Issue 799
Issue 800
Issue 18
Ah yes, that's the Second Doctor we know and love...

SCRIPT: Roger Noel Cook
ART: John Canning

ISSUES: 799 - 802
COVER DATES: 8 April 1967 - 29 April 1967
ON TV: The Faceless Ones (Season 4)
REPRINTS: Doctor Who Classic Comics, Issue 18, March 1994.

The TARDIS lands in a swamp - the ideal place for Doctor Who to test his newly invented ray gun, but soon find themselves pursued by a gigantic metal spider piloted by the Master of Spiders, who will not tolerate intruders in his domain. When the Doctor, John and Gillian give him the slip, he releases his army of real giant spiders from his secret nest.

The Doctor blasts one of the spiders with his ray gun before hiding himself and his grandchildren in a cave - unfortunately, it’s the nest of the spiders, and the Master is able to seal them in. Heading deeper into the cave, the Doctor learns that high pitched sound from the metal spider controls the other spiders, but he learns this as one of the spiders is ordered to attack.

The Doctor counters the high pitched sound with his recorder and sends the spiders back to their nest, but the Master of Spiders captures them in a web and orders his spiders to kill the intruders.

Again the Doctor turns the tables with his recorder, but the Master tries to crush them with his metal spider. The Doctor blasts the machine with his ray gun and blows it up. All that remains to do is to seal the real spiders back in their cave.

The Second Doctor’s infamous battle cry of ‘Die, hideous creature... die!’ comes from this strip, though it is at least possible that it is supposed to be John saying this. This strip is just a series of skirmishes with giant spiders given a semblance of coherence by the Master’s bizarre and unmotivated desire to kill all intruders. Quite why he has an aversion to trespassers, or why he developed his metal spider to control the real spiders is never explained. Best guess would be that he developed the metal spider and his spider control to see off intruders so that he can continue developing his metal spider and spider control. Not very sensible, I know, but this strip doesn’t adhere to sense. It is oddly rather fun, though. Am I allowed to say that?

Issue 801
Issue 802
Gillian's liberal attitude always endeared her to her friends...


Issue 803Issue 804Issue 805Issue 806

SCRIPT: Roger Noel Cook
ART: John Canning

ISSUES: 803 - 806
COVER DATES: 6 May 1967 - 27 May 1967
ON TV: The Faceless Ones - The Evil of the Daleks (Season 4)
REPRINTS: Doctor Who Classic Comics, Issue 20, May 1994.

Invasion plans had been set back by three hours thanks to rail delays...

Materialising behind a rock on an alien world, the Doctor and his grandchildren see a huge space-age train hurtle past. They follow the train to the station to see hundreds of Daleks disembark. Further investigation reveals that the Daleks have built a huge exterminator which they plan to use to destroy Earth in a single blast.

The Doctor listens in to the Daleks and discovers that a highly trained exterminator crew will soon be arriving by train. With John’s help, he spectacularly derails the train.

Exploring the wreckage, Gillian finds the firing instructions for the exterminator, but the Daleks from the station send squads to the wreck and discover the empty TARDIS. Leaving his grandchildren in hiding, Doctor Who sneaks back to the station and swots up on the firing instructions. However, it looks like the Dalek squads will soon find John and Gillian’s hiding place.

Luckily, the Daleks are called away as the Doctor has been spotted close to the exterminator. Destroying the two Dalek guards with a metal bar, the Doctor fires the exterminator and blasts the approaching Daleks then obliterates the approaching Dalek saucers. Earth is safe once more.

Issue 20

Some rather nice artwork is coupled with a fairly exciting story that even manages to find a little something for John and Gillian to do.

It isn’t sophisticated stuff, this strip, but it does provide plenty of danger, excitement and spectacle (particularly the train derailing at 200 mph) to fill its pages and keep the reader engaged. Having Earth as the target of the Daleks’ plan was a shrewd move that helps to focus the narrative and make the danger feel more pertinent, though quite why the Daleks would devise a weapon that is so fiendishly complicated to operate that only a few highly trained Daleks can do so does push credibility just a little.

   TV Comic Holiday Special 1967


Holiday Special 1967

SCRIPT: Roger Noel Cook
ART: Patrick Williams

COVER DATE: Summer 1967
ON TV: The Evil of the Daleks (Season 4)

Doctor Who invents a robot called Barnabus to do the menial chores around the TARDIS. Landing on a planet, they take Barnabus with them to investigate, but a local gun crew think they are invaders who have brought robots with them. Doctor Who sends Barnabus to disable the gun crew then they go back to the ship for tea.

TV Comic is aimed at a young audience, but this strip seems geared to a younger audience still, being simplistic in the extreme. Patrick Williams’ artwork is acceptable but nothing special. I assume, as nothing bad happens to Barnabus, he’s still aboard the TARDIS somewhere - a sort of early incarnation of Kamellion.

Barnabus - second cousin to the Tin Man


Holiday Special 1967

SCRIPT: Roger Noel Cook
ART: Patrick Williams

COVER DATE: Summer 1967
ON TV: The Evil of the Daleks (Season 4)

Whilst testing his latest invention - an exploration truck - in a space jungle on a distant world, the Doctor discovers metal roads being laid by the Daleks. The Daleks destroy the exploration truck, but the Doctor, John and Gillian escape by swinging from jungle vines. They make it back to the TARDIS, and the Doctor uses the TARDIS’ power supply to send high current through the metal roads, destroying all of the Daleks.

Brief and breezy, but not quite as dumb as Barnabus, this strip does at least manage to tell an exciting story in two breathless pages.

Poor delicate Daleks.
   TV Comic


Issue 807
Issue 808
Issue 809
It's time to call for crackshot marksman Gillian to finish off the crackpot.

SCRIPT: Roger Noel Cook
ART: John Canning

ISSUES: 807 - 811
COVER DATES: 3 June 1967 - 1 July 1967
ON TV: The Evil of the Daleks (Season 4)
REPRINTS: Doctor Who Classic Comics, Issue 22, July 1994.

The TARDIS lands in the Grand Museum in New York, sometime during the 1960s, in a junk room filled with life-size models of dinosaurs. While the Doctor hires a car to show John and Gillian around New York, a mad scientist brings the dinosaurs to life, intent on liberating all imprisoned animals.

The Doctor evades the rampaging monsters and puts a call through to the military. He directs their attack, but the creatures are immune to shell fire. As ferocious animals take to the streets, the Doctor goes to the zoo to discover who is releasing them and there finds the mad scientist administering an obedience drug to the animals. When the Doctor tries to intervene, the scientist sets a panther on him.

The Doctor scares the panther away with acid, but the mad scientist escapes from his laboratory on a brontosaurus, leaving the Doctor to concoct an antidote to the scientist’s Life Drug. However, as he prepares to return to the military with his drug, the scientist and his dinosaurs attack the building.

The Doctor escapes and is reunited with John and Gillian at a military shelter where he loads his drug into syringes. The military, meanwhile, devise a way to fire the syringes at the monsters using catapults. They turn one monster back into a museum model, but the other three are all approaching together. If they miss one of them, they will be doomed...

The military take out two of the three dinosaurs, but the one ridden by the mad scientist is unharmed. It attacks the Doctor and knocks him unconscious and it is left to Gillian to shoot the scientist which makes the dinosaur revert to plastic. New York is saved.

Issue 810
Issue 811
Issue 22

There is some sloppy storytelling here. At the end of the second part, the Doctor finds the scientist at the zoo, but by the start of the third part, they are in the scientist’s secret laboratory with no sign of a zoo anywhere near. Nobody is given a name in this story (which isn’t particularly unusual in the strip), not even the mad scientist, which hardly helps to engage the reader’s interest, and the scientist’s desire to liberate all caged animals and make them obedient to him is one hell of a half-baked scheme. And how precisely does a Life Drug give life to plastic dinosaurs and make them immune to shell fire, and how is its power broken by killing the bloke who invented it? Illogical, pointless , characterisation free, but at least Gillian gets to do something, even if she has never shown her skills as an expert marksman before.


SCRIPT: Roger Noel Cook
ART: John Canning

ISSUES: 812 - 815
COVER DATES: 8 July 1967 - 29 July 1967
REPRINTS: Doctor Who Classic Comics, Issue 24, September 1994.

Surrounded by enemies, a South American tribe asks their god - the great Madar - for forgiveness, but Madar’s idol is toppled by the arrival of the TARDIS, and Doctor Who and his grandchildren immediately become the new objects of worship. The Doctor sets his mind to helping the Indians defend themselves, by using gunpowder to make fireworks.

His gunpowder plot works, driving away the attacking tribes. Doctor Who follows the retreating armies back to their village. He hears their witch doctor reveal the secret of his gunpowder deterrent. The next attack will need something more than simple trickery to drive the tribes away.

The Doctor gets his tribe to build concealed man-traps around the village, one of them containing a man-eating jaguar. They prepare for the attack of a thousand warriors...

Doctor Who’s plan works, driving the attacking warriors back. Having taught the tribe to defend itself, Doctor Who and his grandchildren depart.

The Doctor saves the day

Quite why Doctor Who decides to help one feeble tribe against all the others is anyone’s guess, but then even his television persona sometimes jumps in to save people who could, for all he knows, be guilty of terrible crimes (Vengeance on Varos springs to mind). What follows isn’t too bad, a sort of historical battle of wits, though I can’t imagine the TV Doctor making a lethal trap with a man-eating jaguar (though, again, Vengeance on Varos comes close). One of the tribesmen sports a very fetching lion head dress, which is rather strange given that there are no lions in South America.

Issue 812Issue 813
Issue 814Issue 815
Issue 24


Issue 816
Issue 817

The rather wonderfully titled Arborge Quince becomes the first character in a Second Doctor strip to actually get a real name. He has motivation too, being bitter about his exile from Earth, but that’s really where the sophistication ends. The Doctor’s solution to the problem is crude and out of character for the Second Doctor. Still, this is a fun strip.

Another witty retort from Doctor Who

SCRIPT: Roger Noel Cook
ART: John Canning

ISSUES: 816 - 819
COVER DATES: 5 August 1967 - 26 August 1967
REPRINTS: Doctor Who Classic Comics, Issue 25, October 1994.

In the Thirtieth Century, a fierce war raged between the robots of Verno and the rocket patrols of Earth, with victory ultimately going to Earth. However, banished Earthman Arborge Quince survived the devastation and is eager to exact revenge on Earth. The TARDIS lands on Verno and the Doctor soon discovers Quince below ground building a new robot army to attack the Earth.

Sending John and Gillian back to the surface, the Doctor confronts Quince, but he is too late - Quince already has robots completed, and three of them attack the Doctor.

John and Gillian come to the Doctor’s rescue by knocking Quince unconscious and smashing the control panel. They get the Doctor to the surface via Quince’s lift and he runs on ahead to radio Earth from the TARDIS while John and Gillian disable the lift. However, Quince sends four robots to the surface, cutting the Doctor off from his grandchildren.

The Doctor fights back with a 1983 power-blast grenade, which he throws down the lift shaft, blowing up Quince and his robot production line. The four remaining robots, now with nobody to give them orders, destroy each other and Earth is saved again.

Issue 818
issue 819
Issue 25


The Battle for Fort Cavendish
Issue 820
Issue 821
Issue 26

SCRIPT: Roger Noel Cook
ART: John Canning

ISSUES: 820 - 823
COVER DATES: 2 September 1967 - 23 September 1967
The Tomb of the Cybermen (Season 5)
REPRINTS: Doctor Who Classic Comics, Issue 26, November 1994.

The TARDIS lands in the middle of a British cricket match in Egypt, 1880, but the match is quickly further disrupted by attacking Arabs loyal to Mahadi. They drive the British away and capture the TARDIS, with the Doctor and his grandchildren still inside. The box is presented to Mahadi who wants it opened.

The Mahadi’s men try to burn a hole in the TARDIS, but this fails and the Mahadi has the box taken to his treasure cave while he plans a dawn attack on the British outpost Fort Cavendish. The Doctor decides he must try to save the British soldiers in the fort and, disguising himself as an Arab, he sneaks out of the camp. However, when he meets British soldiers, they mistake him for a tribesman and club him down with their rifles.

When the Doctor speaks English, he is spared and taken to see General Harvey, head of the British post, but Harvey thinks he is a spy and has him locked up. The Arabs attack and set the fort ablaze. The floorboards of the Doctor’s cell give way in the heat.

The Doctor is unharmed and uses smoke bombs from his utility belt to drive the superstitious Arabs away, thus saving the fort. He then uses more smoke bombs to escape the questions of the general. Returning to the Mahadi’s camp, the Doctor finds the Arabs have all fled, leaving him to enter the TARDIS unmolested.

Issue 822
Issue 823

This is rather loosely based on actual history, which would culminate in the battle of Khartoum in 1898. The Mahadi in the strip is Mahadi (or Mahdi) Muhammad Ahmad. It’s also loosely based on Doctor Who, and here our hero gains his trusty utility belt, claims to be British, knocks out (or possibly kills) an Arab by smacking him over the head with a large rock, and goes out of his way to save the British troops from the greedy, superstitious Arabs without even considering who might be in the right.


Issue 824Issue 825Issue 826
Issue 827
It's Doctor Who

SCRIPT: Roger Noel Cook
ART: John Canning

ISSUES: 824 - 827
COVER DATES: 30 September 1967 - 21 October 1967.
ON TV: The Abominable Snowmen (Season 5)
REPRINTS: Doctor Who Classic Comics, Issue 26, November 1994.

Landing on the uninhabited planet of Minot, the Doctor soon finds a crashed spaceship. Leaving John and Gillian hiding behind some rocks, he goes to investigate, but the crew of Cybermen return and he is forced to hide aboard as the ship is repaired and blasts off.

Aboard the ship, the Doctor discovers a flying bomb that the Cybermen intend to use to destroy Earth. Intending to escape in a Cyber patrol ship, the Doctor sets the bomb to go off in twenty minutes, but the Cybermen discover him and open fire.

The Doctor evades the Cybermen, but is unable to reach the patrol ships. As they continue to search for him, he is forced to hide inside the bomb casing. However, when he wants to get out again, he finds it sealed - and with only ten minutes to go before the bomb explodes.

With a savage kick, the Doctor is free. He returns to the patrol ship and grapples mercilessly with a Cyberman, then climbs aboard a patrol ship and flies out into space. The Cybermen attempt to shoot him down, but are unable to do so before their craft explodes. The Doctor returns to Minot to the relief of John and Gillian.

Canning does draw very nice Cybermen
Issue 26

The Cybermen arrive to replace the Daleks as the Doctor’s recurring enemy, and just one week after The Tomb of the Cybermen has finished broadcast. A foaming Cyberman recalls that story, but not much else, as the Cybermen still resemble their Tenth Planet incarnation and behave more or less like any other TV Comic bad guys. Having said that, this story has plenty of excitement and narrow escapes for the Doctor and works fairly well for what it is. In the second part of this strip, the Doctor says he has set the bomb to explode in twenty minutes, but this time changes in the next instalment to twenty-five minutes.


The faithful rocket pack whisks the Doctor to... er... danger

SCRIPT: Roger Noel Cook
ART: John Canning

ISSUES: 828 - 831
COVER DATES: 28 October 1967 - 18 November 1967.
ON TV: The Abominable Snowmen - The Ice Warriors (Season 5)

The TARDIS lands in the Arizona desert in 1988 where they immediately witness a new American jet bomber lose control and crash. The rescue team are soon on the scene and the Doctor convinces the authorities of his credentials. He is soon in the flight seat of another of the advanced planes, but is warned that the last four tests all ended in disaster. Equipped with his own ejection system, the Doctor takes off but is soon drawn into a death dive.

The Doctor ejects using his faithful rocket pack. He realises that the planes all crashed in one small area of the desert and goes out armed with a magnetism detector. Soon enough he finds a powerful magnetic source beneath the sand. However, before he can report back to John, Gillian and the American base he is knocked unconscious by enemy agents and taken below ground to their control room. Unable to contact their grandfather, John and Gillian begin to panic.

In a secret base concealed in a network of caves beneath the surface of the desert, the Doctor learns from the enemy agents of their evil scheme to wreck the tests on the American planes. When they decide to shoot him, he activates his rocket pack and blasts off into the caves. However, he is soon lost. He radios John and orders him to get the Americans to launch an old jet packed with explosives over the test area. The enemy agents will crash it and blow themselves sky high, but unless the Doctor can find a way out of the tunnels, he will become a victim of his own plan.

The radio-controlled jet packed with explosives crashes into the enemy base, destroying it and all the foreign agents. The Doctor survives and escapes, again using his rocket pack, through a crack blown in the roof of the cave where he is reunited with John and Gillian.

This strip is okay, but not really very Doctor Who - I mean, enemy agents crashing American test planes out of pure meanness is surely more the stuff of The Avengers (in one of its more serious episodes) or any other spy series you care to name. Now if the unspecified foreign agents had come from Venus and were cannibalising the crashed planes to repair their spaceship, that would be rather more in the right vein. Still, what we have is fairly exciting if a little thin.

Issue 828
Issue 829
Issue 830
Issue 831


Issue 832
Issue 833
Issue 834

SCRIPT: Roger Noel Cook
ART: John Canning

ISSUES: 832 - 836
COVER DATES: 25 November 1967 - 23 December 1967.
ON TV: The Ice Warriors - The Enemy of the World (Season 5)
REPRINTS: Doctor Who Magazine, Issue 307, August 2001.

Landing in a strange meadow filled with moths and butterflies, the Doctor, John and Gillian are soon approached by a huge wasp - which turns out to be a flying machine piloted by Professor Gnat. The Doctor’s party joins him in his search for rare species, but the Doctor discovers something else - a dead Cybermat in a patch of flowers. Gnat ignores his warnings and is soon captured by the Cybermen.

With no weapons to help them rescue the Professor, the Doctor realises that the scent of the flowers killed the Cybermat and they can use these flowers against the Cybermen. They overpower one group of Cybermen with the flowers and make it into the Cyberman base in the mountain, but their luck runs out when they pass through an electric warning beam - the Cybermen will win by sheer force of numbers.

Hiding and picking off the Cybermen a few at a time, the Doctor, John and Gillian are able to get to Gnat’s cell, but the zany professor has discovered a rare flying spider in his cell and refuses to leave, even though the Cybermen are closing in.

Gnat is dragged away from his specimen, but the Cybermen have devised face masks to avoid the power of the flowers. Using a ray gun from a dead Cyberman, the Doctor widens a narrow air shaft to allow them to escape to the surface, but the Cybermen are close behind.

The shaft starts to cave in and the Cybermen believe the intruders have been crushed, but the Doctor is able to blast his way to the surface. Heading for the TARDIS, they are spotted by the Cybermen who give chase. They make it back with not a second to spare, drag Gnat aboard, and dematerialise.

Cybermasks - if only they'd developed those during Revenge of the Cybermen...
Issue 835
Issue 836
Issue 307

Professor Gnat has the strongest characterisation so far seen in a Second Doctor strip. Unfortunately it’s a deeply annoying characterisation that makes you hope the Cybermen pull his arms off. This strip is something of a silly run around, though the idea of the Cybermen succumbing to terminal hay fever is really no stranger than their aversion to gold, but nobody comes out of this strip smelling of roses, more the stuff they plant roses in...

   Doctor Who Annual 1968


SCRIPT: Either Kevin McGarry, J.L. Morrissey, J.H. Pavey, M. Broadley, J.W. Elliott or Colin Newstead
ART: Either Walter Howarth, David Brian, Susan Aspey or Peter Limbert

Landing on a lush, tropical world, Doctor Who, Ben and Polly are greeted by Tonga and his highly advanced people. Tonga believes Ben and Polly are the Doctor’s slaves, because this is the planet of the black-haired people and fair-haired people are slaves. He takes them all to the caves where an advanced city has been built and the Doctor meets the black-haired masters and argues against slavery. The black-haired leaders, though, say that the slaves are treated well; they are physically inferior because they cannot pass the tests of Trefus, which involve swimming across a crocodile-infested lake and then engaging the black-haired people in a tug-o’-war. A fair-haired man named Saul volunteers to take the test, and the Doctor is determined that he will succeed. First, he concusses the crocodiles with a depth charge, then he gets all his men to wear special belts which, when activated by a note from the Doctor’s flute, become magnetised towards TARDIS, thus allowing the fair-haired people to win the tug-o’-war. They are freed from slavery and the TARDIS crew depart.

Hair dye could seriously upset the status quo
Annual 1968

This starts off quite thoughtful, but quickly deteriorates. It’s a great shame the Doctor frees the slaves using deception rather than showing the black-haired people the error of their ways in a more intelligent manner. On the artwork front, Colin Howarth manages a fairly decent likeness of Troughton, but Ben and Polly (making the comic strip debut of any television companion) are unrecognisable and the rest of the art is average to say the least.


The cause of the madness is... eating too much red meat. Or maybe not.

SCRIPT: Either Kevin McGarry, J.L. Morrissey, J.H. Pavey, M. Broadley, J.W. Elliott or Colin Newstead
ART: Either Walter Howarth, David Brian, Susan Aspey or Peter Limbert

After a long journey, the Doctor, Ben and Polly land in a brightly sunlit arena surrounded by hundreds of people. There they see flying men, who initially believe the Doctor has been sent by the ancients to observe their festival, where each group demonstrates new skills they have learned. Their host takes them to the ancients. Igor, their leader, explains that the travellers were expected but that they feared they would not arrive in time. The Planet of Light is usually lit by three suns in perpetual daylight. However, there is soon to be a solar eclipse with all three suns in a line and then the world will be plunged into darkness, the inhabitants will go mad with fear and civilisation will end, as it does every three hundred years. It is too late to do anything about it this time, but Igor charges the Doctor with returning to the planet to teach the next civilisation how to overcome their fear. The Doctor agrees.

Annual 1968

The idea that a planet of perpetual day would need no artificial light is somewhat flawed, unless of course the inhabitants build all their buildings out of glass, have never ever ventured below ground and never developed a sewage system. It is also unlikely that they could rebuild an advanced civilisation again in just three hundred years. This story takes so long explaining its premise that there’s no room for plot, so the whole feels rather ponderous and like the set up for something better. It is one of the stronger annual strips, though...

   TV Comic Annual 1968


Annual 1968

Just for a change, Gillian wears a blue sweater and... er... that’s about the most noteworthy thing about this awful strip. The idea that the Daleks could be destroyed with a few well-thrown rocks is laughable and the artwork is frankly horrible. This strip is dumber than a box of hair.

One-eyed Daleks courtesy of Mr Williams

SCRIPT: Roger Noel Cook
ART: Patrick Williams

Landing on a rocky world, the Doctor decides to test his latest invention - the pedal-copter, from which they can tour the planet by air. However, when one of the blades breaks, the pedal-copter crashes, depositing the Doctor, John and Gillian on a rocky outcrop just above a squad of Daleks. The Daleks fire, shattering the rocks, so the Doctor’s party bung rocks at the Daleks, destroying several of them and forcing the others to retreat into a cave. They then seal the Daleks in the cave and steal their flying saucer to continue their tour of the planet by air.


Annual 1968

SCRIPT: Roger Noel Cook
ART: Patrick Williams

The Doctor discovers that the TARDIS is being pursued through time and space by the Trods. He lands in Stone Age Britian and, with no sign of their pursuers, guesses that the enemy craft may be off course. They meet a herd of mammoths which the Doctor tames by playing his recorder. However, when John and Gillian ride off on the mammoths, the Doctor soon discovers the Trods who capture him and take him into their ship. There they tie him to a conveyor belt in the path of an atomiser, but his recorder playing summons the mammoths who destroy the conveyor. The Doctor then uses the mammoths to destroy the Trods’ static power generator which renders them immobile.

It’s like The Chase and the first Dalek story mixed in with some wooly mammoths, then with a touch of James Bond thrown in for good measure. Utterly barking and thoroughly brainless, but oddly enjoyable in a guilty sort of way.

Or possibly the Daleks?
   TV Comic


Issue 837
Issue 838
Issue 839
Issue 840
Issue 841
Jokes about the Doctor getting crabs would not be appropriate on these pages, so I'll refrain. Maybe.

SCRIPT: Roger Noel Cook
ART: John Canning

ISSUES: 837 - 841
COVER DATES: 30 December 1967 - 27 January 1968.
ON TV: The Enemy of the World (Season 5)
REPRINTS: Doctor Who Magazine, Issues 308 - 312, September 2001 - January 2002.

On the planet Vargo, the annual reunion of witches has begun. Just as the Grand Witch turns a tree to granite to demonstrate her powers, the TARDIS materialises. Despite warnings from John and Gillian, Doctor Who straps on his utility belt and goes outside to convince the witches that he is the famous Wizard of Omega. But the Grand Witch calls his bluff and summons a huge monster.

The Doctor destroys the monster with his disintegrating ray and this display of strength is enough to frighten off all but the Grand Witch and two of her disciples, who spy on the Doctor and quickly realise his deception. The Grand Witch summons a giant crab which goes to the TARDIS to grab the Doctor.

The crab delivers the Doctor to the witches who take him to their cave lair. There he is strapped to a slowly rotating wheel that will dunk him in a pool of boiling lead. John and Gillian are following, intent on a rescue, but it looks like they have left it too late...

John pretends to be the All Powerful Voice of Witchcraft, and even though the witches have never heard of it, they decide it is better to obey and release the Doctor, who immediately heads for the TARDIS. But the Grand Witch gives herself x-ray vision and sees the Doctor’s helpers. As he and his grandchildren approach the TARDIS, the witches conjure an indestructible net over the time machine.

As the witches close on the TARDIS, the Doctor, John and Gillian hide in a shrub then double back to the witches’ lair. Examining their spell book, the Doctor happens on a spell that will turn witches to dust, and he uses it on the three witches when they return. It works and Vargo is finally free of the witches.

Probably the finest likeness of Troughton that Canning has so far managed...

What was the writer smoking when he came up with this story? Pitting the Doctor against witches is a great idea (The Shakespeare Code does the same, and they look quite similar too) and there’s some fun to be had in the Doctor’s technological solutions to the witches’ supernatural powers, but the whole thing is entirely lacking in anything approaching credibility or logic, the Doctor clearly believes in magic just as much as the witches, and his ability to dissolve them at the end with one of their own spells is just so far outside what Doctor Who the television series is about that you begin to wonder if the writer had ever seen a single episode of the show upon which this strip is so loosely based.

Issue 308
Issue 309
Issue 310
Issue 311
Issue 312


The Cybermen reveal their dumb plan to each other...

SCRIPT: Roger Noel Cook
ART: John Canning

ISSUES: 842 - 845
COVER DATES: 3 February 1968 - 24 February 1968.
ON TV: The Web of Fear (Season 5)

Earth, 1970, and a rocket lands in a patch of woodland not far from London. Aboard are the Cybermen. Discarding and destroying the outer casing of the rocket, reveals it to contain a boring device and, by the time the authorities arrive, the mole has tunnelled deep underground. However, when Doctor Who arrives, he finds a small piece of a very special metal and deduces that the Cybermen are underground.

The Doctor keeps watch on the bore-hole all night, Meanwhile, the Cybermen bore through into the Earth’s secret weapons store and capture the doomsday bomb with which they plan to threaten the Earth, something the Doctor discovers in the morning when he buys a newspaper.

The Doctor, John and Gillian speed to the Ministry of Defence where they learn that the Cybermen have called for the destruction of all weapons and disbanding of all armies within five days. Then the Cybermen will be able to invade without losing a single Cyberman. The Doctor proposes leading a small commando force into the tunnel armed with anti-Cybermen ray guns. Stumped for another solution, the military agree.

The Doctor, John and their commando force find the mole and the Doctor knocks on the door. When the Cybermen answer, the force attacks, wiping out the Cybermen with their ray guns. The Doctor then pilots the mole back to the weapons chamber and hands the doomsday bomb back into the safe hands of the Earth scientists.

Issue 842Issue 843
Issue 844Issue 845

This strip really is about as dumb as they come - why would the Cybermen have to steal Earth’s ultimate weapon rather than simply using one of their own? And why, when someone knocks on the door of their deeply-buried Cyber-mole do they just open it like they expect it to be the milkman rather than checking their video screens?

   TV Tornado
Issue 59

ART: Unknown

COVER DATE: 24 February 1968.
ON TV: The Web of Fear (Season 5)

No need to get too excited as this glorious cover merely accompanies an article so small it is easy to miss. The illustration appears to be taken from an image of Patrick Troughton playing Salamander from the recently broadcast The Enemy of the World, but the likeness is a good one - in fact probably the best likeness so far achieved of the actor.

   TV Comic


Issue 846
Issue 847

Plot logic again takes a holiday as the insanity that is The Sabre Toothed Gorillas takes a firm grip. Why is the professor developing squidge on such a remote and dangerous world? What is the ultimate purpose of squidge (apart from for pummelling gorillas)? How can Gillian twist her ankle one minute and be sprinting for the TARDIS a short while later? How come they don’t kill themselves catapulting themselves into trees? Why have I wasted whole moments of my life reading this bilge? Mummy, mummy, make it stop! Please make it stop!

Don't try this at home...

SCRIPT: Roger Noel Cook
ART: John Canning

ISSUES: 846 - 849
COVER DATES: 2 March 1968 - 23 March 1968.
ON TV: The Web of Fear - Fury from the Deep (Season 5)

Exploring a planet of fantastic scenery that looks a little like Canada, the Doctor, John and Gillian soon discover huge sabre toothed gorillas living in a cave. They observe the creatures from behind a bush, but John stands on a dry twig and they are pursued by the ferocious beasts. They run into a canyon, where a man appears and urges them to enter a narrow crevice. Unfortunately, when they are only just in the crevice and still in danger, Gillian twists her ankle.

John and the strange man run on to a hidden laboratory to fetch weapons. It looks like Gillian and the Doctor are gorilla food when the duo return armed with squidge clubs and beat off the gorillas. In his laboratory, the strange professor demonstrates the properties of squidge, which he has been developing for many years. Apparently, squidge bounces ten times higher than rubber and you can do anything with it. So caught up in the wonders of squidge are the travellers, they forget about the gorillas now converging on the laboratory.

The gorillas attack. The professor holds them off with squidge clubs while the Doctor, John and Gillian escape, taking a rope of squidge with them. When the professor is also forced to flee, he finds the space travellers have built a squidge catapult which successfully repels many of the gorillas. Unfortunately, they are soon surrounded, seriously outnumbered and clearly doomed.

The Doctor catapults himself, John, Gillian and the professor over the heads of the gorillas to land in the trees. They scramble to the ground and run for the TARDIS, making it inside with not a second to spare. They will drop the professor off on a safe planet so he can continue working on squidge.

Issue 848
Issue 849
Looks a little bit like a Yeti, doncha think?


The Doctor asks all the right questions. Sadly, I think the answer would be a big fat 'No'.

SCRIPT: Roger Noel Cook
ART: John Canning

ISSUES: 850 - 853
COVER DATES: 30 March 1968 - 20 April 1968.
ON TV: Fury from the Deep (Season 5)

The Cyber Empire is at its height and the Controller is having a city built in his honour, complete with a huge statue. The TARDIS materialises in the building site and the Doctor decides he must free the slaves. But a Cyberman in a small hover-chariot lands close by and comes to investigate the TARDIS. The travellers are done for!

But the Doctor has a plan - he smacks the Cyberman with a length of piping then paints the cockpit of the hover-chariot black so he, John and Gillian won’t be seen as they fly about the city. They do a recce and discover three ray gun posts watching over the slaves plus a rocket base watched over by a guard house. Returning to the TARDIS, the Doctor disguises himself as a slave then sets off to join the workers armed only with his trusty utility belt...

The Doctor infiltrates and organises the slave workers. He plants a mini-bomb on the Cyber-statue. The huge statue falling is the signal for the slaves to seize the ray gun posts. But can unarmed slaves overcome the terrible Cybermen?

Armed with ray guns from fallen Cybermen, the Doctor, John and Gillian destroy the Cybermen in the ray gun posts as the slaves climb the stairs and take control of the weapons. Soon the battle is won and the Doctor destroys the last of the Cybermen in the guard house so that the slaves can use the rocket ships to return to Earth.

Issue 850Issue 851
Issue 852Issue 853

The idea of the Cybermen building giant golden statues in honour of their leader is, of course, ludicrous, as is the fact that their leader wears a natty purple cloak, but this is actually probably one of the better Second Doctor Cyberman stories, albeit somewhat simplistic in its development and featuring a ray gun-toting, lead pipe-wielding Second Doctor who carries high explosives in his Batman-style utility belt. Perhaps not quite the character we’d come to know and love from the television series...


Issue 854
Issue 856
Issue 858
Issue 855
Issue 857

It seems odd that the Doctor, rather than just taking all the school boys to safety in the TARDIS, which would have been a lot less dicey and a lot less difficult to achieve, decides instead to wipe out an entire species. He could equally have attempted to repair their crashed ship and taught them to pilot it, but wiping out hideous creatures is obviously a lot more fun, even if they do absolutely nothing to deserve it.

Death to the Dyrons! Who cares if they deserve it - they're hideous!

SCRIPT: Roger Noel Cook
ART: John Canning

ISSUES: 854 - 858
COVER DATES: 27 April 1968 - 25 May 1968.
ON TV: The Wheel in Space (Season 5)

Landing on a volcano planet, the Doctor, John and Gillian are soon riding on the bikes of two young boys - one of whom is called Kim - who are fleeing from the Dyrons - the most hideous creatures in the universe. Heading for the safety of the volcano, the tyres of their bikes are slashed by rocks and they are forced to hide as the Dyrons - grotesque man-eating land squids - close in.

The Dyrons pass by and the Doctor’s party follows them at a distance, learning that the two boys are members of a school party that crashed here, killing the pilot and their teacher. The other boys are hiding in a cave, but the Doctor has barely been introduced before the Dyrons attack.

The Dyrons are afraid of the dark, and Doctor Who and the children use this to their advantage until the Cyron retreats. But the Doctor has a plan to rid the planet of the Dyrons forever and, as dusk comes, he and Kim venture to the swamp where the Dyrons go at night.

Retrieving a bomb from the TARDIS, the Doctor plans to use it to trigger a series of quakes that will destroy the Dyrons. When he detonates the bomb, it also triggers a larger eruption that threatens all their lives.

The tremor destroys many of the Dyrons, but the Doctor has to use his ray gun to keep the quakes going long enough to finish them all off. However, the quakes have attracted the attention of a rescue ship who are searching for the missing school party. Kim and his friends are saved.


Walk the space-plank, Doctor Who, or he'll have at you with his space-cutlassIssue 859

SCRIPT: Roger Noel Cook
ART: John Canning

ISSUES: 859 - 863
COVER DATES: 1 June 1968 - 29 June 1968.
ON TV: The Wheel in Space (Season 5), The Evil of the Daleks (repeat)

The Doctor offers his services to Zarcus, leader of the peace loving planet of Neon. Ships carrying Neon's food supplies from the neighbouring planet of Barran are being attacked and boarded by space pirates. The Doctor offers to take a ship and collect the food from Barran. However, on the return journey, the Doctor and his companions are attacked and captured by the pirates and sentenced to walk the plank by Captain Burglass.

They are saved by the intervention of the space police, but the pirates soon see off the authorities in a space duel, and the time travellers are once again forced to walk the plank.

However, a stabilising fin on the spaceship damaged during the duel breaks off and the ship goes out of control, saving the Doctor, John and Gillian’s lives, but with the ship plunging towards Neon it may only be a temporary reprieve. The Doctor manages to land the ship using the retro rockets and Burglass and his men are arrested by Zarcus

Maybe the TV Comic strip is starting to soften me up, but I quite enjoyed this little romp., though the Doctor’s final speech about peace and non-violence seems a trifle two-faced in light of some of his recent comic strip exploits. It treads much the same ground as the yet-to-be-broadcast and similarly titled Space Pirates, but does it with a great deal more imagination and considerably greater brevity, which can only be a good thing.

Issue 862
Issue 860
Issue 861
Issue 863
   TV Comic Holiday Special 1968


Here come the Witches (again)!

SCRIPT: Roger Noel Cook
ART: Patrick Williams

Landing on a swampy planet of bubbling mud surrounded by jungle, the Doctor tests his latest invention, a small vehicle he calls the Bug. But as the Doctor submerges into the swamp, John and Gillian spot the Witches, on their way to a meeting with the Grand Witch. When the Doctor emerges, John and Gillian tell him the news and they follow the witches and watch in horror as the Grand Witch creates a host of man-eating bats capable of crossing space and savaging Earth. The Doctor goes back under the swamp in the Bug and calls to the witches claiming to be  swamp demon that will rise up and destroy them unless the Grand Witch undoes her spell. Terrified, she obeys, and then the witches fly off.

Holiday Special 1968

If we must entertain the idea of the Witches, then this isn’t actually a bad sequel, especially considering it is only two pages long. It plays with the strongest element from the original strip - the Doctor’s science versus the Witches’ magic and does it effectively and with great brevity.


Holiday Special 1968

SCRIPT: Roger Noel Cook
ART: Patrick Williams

A Cyberman bursts into the console room, terrifying John and Gillian, but it is only the Doctor in disguise. Later, when the ship lands in a pleasant meadow, John and Gillian go to look around while the Doctor stays at the TARDIS to make a cup of tea with his space age tea-maker. But John and Gillian are seized by Cybermen and the Doctor sees them being taken to a Cyber outpost. Returning to the TARDIS, he dons his Cyber-disguise, infiltrates the outpost and rescues his grandchildren. However, as they are leaving the compound, the Doctor’s suit gets caught on barbed wire, ripping and revealing it as a disguise. He, John and Gillian are forced to run back to the safety of the TARDIS.

Well, it’s the second time the Doctor’s tried dressing up as one of his enemies. Do you think he does it deliberately to scare John and Gillian? Do you think there are untold stories where he bursts into the console room disguised as a Voord, a Chumblie, a Macra or a Mechanoid? It’s lovely how the Cybermen label their small outpost ‘Cyber Out-post’ in large letters, just so’s everyone knows. This is a very simple strip but quite good mindless fun.

I think the other Cyberman is an imposter too. Friend?!
   TV Comic


That's no way to land out of a helicopter...

SCRIPT: Roger Noel Cook
ART: John Canning

ISSUES: 864 - 867
COVER DATES: 6 July 1968 - 27 July 1968.
ON TV: The Evil of the Daleks (repeat)

The TARDIS materialises on a racetrack during the 1989 Interplanetary Motor Racing Meeting on the planet Velon and causes a crash. The Doctor saves the driver and makes amends by building an indestructible car out of the same material as the TARDIS is constructed from. But a sinister man in black intends to steal the car for his own evil purposes.

Issue 864Issue 865
Issue 866Issue 867

The evil criminal steals the car during the night and the police, despite searching for two days, are unable to locate it. However, the vehicle is only twenty miles away and about to be used to smash open a truck transporting £500,000 worth of gold bullion to the Central Interplanetary Bank...

The robbery is a complete success. The Doctor, eager to prevent tragedy as the car races towards a police roadblock, hires a chopper and attempts to make the car swerve off the road. However, when he descends on a rope armed only with a can of oil, his hands slip and he falls to the ground, the car heading straight towards him.

John and Gillian save the Doctor’s life by hauling him back into the helicopter, but the car crashes straight through the police roadblock. It is then the Doctor realises he can snatch control of the car’s steering using radio control. This he does, finally bringing the mysterious man in black to justice.

Mmh... where to begin? It’s nice to see John and Gillian saving the Doctor’s life, and there’s plenty of excitement, but those really are the only positive things I can find to say about this strip, which feels totally at odds with the spirit of the series it claims to be based on.


Issue 868
Issue 869

SCRIPT: Roger Noel Cook
ART: John Canning

ISSUES: 868 - 871
COVER DATES: 3 August 1968 - 24 August 1968.
ON TV: The Evil of the Daleks (repeat), The Dominators (Season 6)

Landing on the planet Comedy, the Doctor, John and Gillian are set upon by four evil gnomes, who delight in deadly games, first elevating the travellers to a great height in the hope that they’ll fall to their doom, then startling them with a paper snake containing a real viper, then wrapping them in string that slowly begins to strangle them.

The gnomes neutralise the string to continue their games - tennis with a ball that, if dropped, will wipe out everything in a half-mile radius. But the Doctor, suspecting the creatures don’t want to die, bats the ball hard in their direction. Yet the gnomes do nothing as the ball plummets towards the ground...

The idea involves jumping on John and Gillian's fingers. Yeah, sounds pretty humorous to me too!
Issue 870
Issue 871

At the last moment, one of the gnomes bats the ball off into the distance where it explodes. Pulling a gun, he and the other gnomes march the Doctor, John and Gillian to a funfair and put them on the big dipper, but the carriage is rickety, the wheels loose, and they are forced to jump clear as the carriage sheers off the track. The Doctor and his grandchildren are left dangling, but the gnomes decide it will be fun to stamp on their fingers...

As the travellers fall, the gnomes fire sticky strands to break their fall, then march them to the stocks where they intend to hurl hard objects at them. However, the Doctor turns the tables with a box of snuff, which he blows in their faces. While they are disoriented, John, Gillian and the Doctor lock them in the stocks, pelt them with rotten eggs then depart in the TARDIS, leaving the creatures to their fate.

I know it’s wrong of me, but I really like this strip. The idea of the tormenting gnomes is actually vaguely sinister and they are characterised well enough for the story to work. The Doctor’s solution to the problem is perhaps a little feeble and victory too easily won, but this doesn’t detract too much from a hugely enjoyable and strangely surreal four weeks of adventure.


The most deadly robots known... apparently.

SCRIPT: Roger Noel Cook
ART: John Canning

ISSUES: 872 - 876
COVER DATES: 30 August 1968 - 28 September 1968.
ON TV: The Dominators - The Mind Robber (Season 6)

Doctor Who, John and Gillian are on the planet Zebadee, a place ‘selected by the supreme intellectuals and wizards to compare notes’. While John and Gillian go to meet some of the young friends they’ve made at the university, the Doctor visits a fortune teller named Madam Rosa who informs him that he will soon encounter deadly robots. The Doctor realises, if his next adventure will take him to the edge of death, he must leave John and Gillian on Zebadee. He talks to the children and eventually convinces them to enrol at the University of Zebadee before travelling on alone. The TARDIS lands in the cellar of an old castle in Scotland where the Doctor sees a flying saucer land in the castle courtyard - piloted by Quarks, who have a reputation for unparalleled destruction. But the Doctor is spotted and the Quarks are soon in pursuit.

Pursued by the Quarks, the Doctor stumbles down a flight of stairs and knocks himself out. But just as the Quark takes aim to finish him off, he is saved by his old friend Jamie McCrimmon. However, the damaged Quark’s cries brings a whole squad after them.

Once again eluding the Quarks, the Doctor and Jamie hide in the castle’s torture chamber, where Jamie explains that he had called to see Professor Quantril at a tracking station about half a mile from the castle who spotted the Quark ship on the radar. Just as the professor was about to warn Earth’s defences, the Quarks destroyed the station. Jamie was the only survivor and saw the Quark ship land inside the castle, so went there intent on finding out how large an invasion force they were up against. Their reunion is short-lived as a Quark enters the chamber.

The Quark is called back to the courtyard as the main invasion force will soon be landing. With little time to act, the Doctor and Jamie seize the Quark ship and take off. Once in flight, the Doctor flies straight into the approaching fleet and opens fire. The Quarks attempt to retaliate, but not knowing which ship is firing causes chaos.

The Doctor’s ship is hit but he still has limited control. As the two remaining Quark ships destroy each other, the Doctor pilots the ship back to Claw Castle and Jamie blasts it to pieces, destroying the Quarks stationed there with their own weapon. Landing, the Doctor and Jamie board the TARDIS, but they are observed by Quark leaders in another galaxy who order all Quarks to search for and destroy the two Earthlings.

Issue 872
Issue 874

With The Dominators still being broadcast on television and the arrival of Jamie, TV Comic must  suddenly have felt extremely current and exciting. It’s a great shame the Quarks are, in fact, a bit rubbish, and that their reinterpretation in the comic strip as an autonomous force of deadly, conquering robots has little to do with the TV version and frankly takes quite a bit of believing. Canning draws them and Jamie well and the strip is at least fairly exciting, even if it is largely little more than an extended chase around a  castle. Jamie’s arrival definitely provides a boost, though, and does make it feel more like the Doctor Who we know and love.

Issue 873
Issue 875
Issue 876

IMAGINARY FRIENDS - James Robert McCrimmon

Perhaps in recognition of his long stint on the show, Fraser Hines’ Jamie McCrimmon becomes the first television companion to appear in the regular comic strip, albeit a year and seven months after his TV version joined the TARDIS crew. It seems the Doctor and Jamie are old friends and that Jamie has travelled previously in the TARDIS (which is presumably how he came to be in modern Scotland), though why he might be visiting a tracking station is unexplained (perhaps he was working for UNIT). Jamie proves immediately more useful than either John or Gillian, saving the Doctor’s life, suggesting a means of escape and destroying the castle, all in his first adventure. After that he becomes more a generic companion, but still better characterised than either of his predecessors. His speech, for instance, is characterised with lots of ‘Och’ and ‘Aye’ but, unlike his television persona, he has a habit of calling the Doctor ‘Doc’, which is strangely true of both his TV Comic appearances and his annual appearances.

Following his adventure in New York, with the Quarks battling Martha the Mechanical Housemaid, the character vanishes from the regular strip, a run of just six stories, which would have coincided quite neatly with Fraser Hines’ announcement of his departure from the television series. We may assume that Jamie stayed in America, perhaps living off profits generated by sales of the robot maid!

However, Jamie’s comic strip days were not entirely over as he would return to comic strip form for the 1970 Doctor Who annual to utter such immortal lines as ‘Holy smoke! A robot! Where’s Zoe? Help!’ and, much later pop up in three strips in Doctor Who Magazine. The first of these, The World Shapers, is arguably the most interesting and contentious for the character as it shows the Sixth Doctor visiting an aged Jamie, who is a ridiculed hermit living alone in Scotland, in search of information about the Cybermen and Planet 14. The Doctor takes Jamie to Marinus where Jamie sacrifices his life to stop a device called the Worldshaper. Apparently contradicting this, Doctor Who Adventures suggests that Jamie had descendants, one of whom Heather McCrimmon, became the Doctor’s travelling comapanion.

Jamie McCrimmon


Issue 877
Issue 878
Quarks observe the TARDIS
Did Quarks develop the Vespiform as a weapon? I bet Gareth Roberts thinks they did...

SCRIPT: Roger Noel Cook
ART: John Canning

ISSUES: 877 - 880
COVER DATES: 5 October 1968 - 26 October 1968.
ON TV: The Mind Robber (Season 6)

The Quarks plan their revenge - breeding giant wasps, which they send after the Doctor and Jamie when they land on the nearby planet of Gano. The time travellers attempt to hide, but the wasps have already spotted them.

The Doctor and Jamie fight off the wasps using an old, abandoned mortar gun, but the wasps are highly intelligent and prepare to attack again. The Doctor spots a crack in the rocks leading down to a hidden underground city and he and Jamie descend. However, their are Quarks in the city waiting to obliterate them.

The Doctor and Jamie are in a scooter factory, so they make their escape on scooters, but unfortunately head down a dead end. Just as the Quarks move in for the kill, the giant wasps arrive, attacking the first thing they see, which is the Quarks.

The battle between Quarks and wasps continues until only one wasp remains. The Doctor and Jamie slip away, but as they are climbing out of the city, the wasp spots them and attacks. However, when it drives its sting into the metal girder they are climbing, it then dies, allowing the Doctor and Jamie to get back to the TARDIS. But once more they are observed by the vengeful Quarks.

In the final panel of this strip, the Quark leader says that they will have to develop something more deadly than giant wasps, and it would be hard to disagree with him; they attack anything that moves, including Quarks, and seem significantly better at finishing off the robots than they do the Doctor and Jamie, which makes them more a liability than a weapon, plus, as plans go, it’s completely insane. There’s some fun to be had in this strip, but once again it feels like little more than an extended chase.

Issue 879
Issue 880
Look out, Dr Who - Giant Wasps!


SCRIPT: Roger Noel Cook
ART: John Canning

ISSUES: 881 - 884
COVER DATES: 2 November 1968 - 23 November 1968.
ON TV: The Invasion (Season 6)

In 1970, an alien spaceship touches down near the South Pole, sinking deep beneath the ice. The aliens link up to the world’s television networks: if the people of Earth fail to meet their demands, they will detonate an explosive device, throwing the planet off its axis. They detonate a small device by way of demonstration that shakes the Earth, and also shakes the TARDIS which is forced to land at the Pole. The explosion also opens up ice caverns containing huge, hairy creatures - Ice Apes. The Doctor sees the television broadcast and locates the source of the transmission, but they have only twenty-four hours to defeat the aliens.

Heading for the alien ship, the Doctor and Jamie encounter Ice Apes. They defeat them by pushing a large block of ice onto them. However, when they realise that the ship is deep below the surface of the ice, it looks like the only way of reaching it is through the caves of the Ice Apes...

Armed only with his signal detector and three sticks of dynamite, the Doctor and Jamie descend into the Ice Apes’ cave. At the point closest to the alien ship, they use the dynamite to blast aside the ice and make a hole in the spaceship’s side. But the aliens come out to investigate.

Threatening death to those who damaged their ship, the aliens advance into the caves, but the Doctor and Jamie are well hidden and, as the Doctor had planned, it is the Ice Apes that the aliens encounter. The Ice Apes fight their way into the ship and crush the last alien resistance. All that is left for the Doctor to do is remove the fuse from the bomb and reassure the people of Earth that they are safe.

Issue 881Issue 882
Issue 883Issue 884
Ice Apes attack!

This comic strip was originally to have featured the Yeti, which, like the Quarks, had been cleared for use in the strip by the BBC. However, when Mervyn Haisman and Henry Lincoln, creators of the Quarks, saw the strip they were furious, believing TV Comic had no right to use the Quarks without their permission. The BBC reassured TV Comic that the agreement to use the monsters was valid, but did suggest that angering the writers further by using their Yeti might not be a smart move. As it was, the disagreement and problems with The Dominators cost the television series a third outing for the Yeti. TV Comic, meanwhile, did a makeover on the Yeti and transformed them into Ice Apes. Unless the strip was rewritten prior to publication, then the Yeti would barely have resembled the TV version (much like the Cybermen and the Quarks) and just been lumbering killers rather than robots controlled by the Great Intelligence. This strip feels oddly different to the norm, with the Doctor and Jamie trapped between two alien forces. It isn’t entirely successful, and the switch to black and white makes it feel less loved than before, but it is nice to see a strip that isn’t just a runaround.


Issue 885
Issue 886

Talking of runarounds... Actually, as runarounds go this is quite fun and inventive, and the jungle setting is used well to give the story some atmosphere and additional danger. I’m not sure about the Doctor catapulting a leopard into the path of the advancing Quarks, which they presumably blasted into atoms, but his plan to destroy the Quarks with a jungle stampede of elephants, rhinos, zebras and antelopes is certainly novel. Death by antelope must be a terrible way to die...

SCRIPT: Roger Noel Cook
ART: John Canning

ISSUES: 885 - 889
COVER DATES: 30 November 1968 - 28 December 1968.
ON TV: The Invasion - The Krotons (Season 6)

The TARDIS lands beneath a rocky overhang on the edge of a jungle. The Quarks see the ship’s vulnerable position and launch a missile to bury the TARDIS in rocks, leaving the Doctor and Jamie stranded in the jungle. Soon they are being pursued by a squad of Quarks armed with deadly ray guns.

Being hunted by the Quarks is never nice...

The Doctor and Jamie, unable to outrun the Quarks, are forced to hide, but they choose a tree that is already housing a leopard. The Doctor topples the leopard down onto the Quarks and, while they are dealing with it, he and Jamie slip away. They come to a site where workmen are clearing the jungle and, having told the men to run for their lives, the Doctor and Jamie decide to take a stand against their enemies using the bulldozers as weapons.

The bulldozers initially have the upper hand, but then the Quarks blast the scoop from Jamie’s vehicle and he is forced to join the Doctor on the other machine. The Doctor finishes off the rest of the squad, but must pass close to the Quark saucer to get back to the TARDIS. However, on their way through the jungle they are attacked by natives, unwilling human agents of the Quarks, armed with spears.

The Doctor uses the bulldozer to escape the spear attack, but the natives warn the Quarks. The Doctor puts some distance between the bulldozer and the Quarks and then makes some modifications to the machine, removing its silencer. When he starts the engine, the noise starts a stampede.

The stampeding animals destroy the Quarks, and almost the Doctor too, but he manages to scramble to safety. He then refits the silencer and uses the bulldozer to clear the rubble around the TARDIS.

Issue 887
Issue 888
Issue 889
   Doctor Who Annual 1969


Annual 1969

SCRIPT: Unknown
ART: Unknown

The Doctor, Jamie and Polly land in an alien jungle and soon discover an abandoned village. They also discover the reason, as a man-eating plant attacks Polly. Deeper into the jungle, they meet some natives and learn that the plants are called Kraals and that the planet has no winter.

The Doctor realises that, as the natives have never been cold and eat only a vegetarian diet, they have never discovered fire, and it is this that he intends to use to combat the Kraals. He leads the natives against the plants and manages to destroy all of the ones round the village, then he teaches the natives how to make fire of their own. But once back in the TARDIS, the Doctor wonders if he has done the right thing; when Earthmen discovered the secret of fire they discovered with it how to wage bitter wars.

Who on earth is that in the Doctor's hat?

Oddly, the female companion here is called Polly but is recognisably Victoria, even down to her outfit which is the one she wore in The Enemy of the World. Unfortunately, and somewhat ironically, Jamie bares no resemblance to Fraser Hines at all, and comes out with things like, ‘Gosh, Doc, I never knew you were in the boy scouts.’ The story itself feels lacking in logic and consistency. For instance, there are many more uses for fire than just cooking and keeping warm. Also, we learn that the Kraals cannot cross rocky ground but that they come from the high mountains. The ending is a pure slice of original 1960s hippy wisdom. A passable but unremarkable strip.


The Doctor gets deep

Pure hippy philosophy with a touch of probably drug-induced mind bending thrown in for good measure. This strip is definitely a product of its time. It’s biggest mistake is that it comes across as somewhat preachy and a little bit dull. Here the female companion, who looks exactly the same as in the previous strip right down to her outfit, is called Victoria.

SCRIPT: Unknown
ART: Unknown

The Doctor shrinks the TARDIS until it fits within an atom, then materialises on the nucleus of an atom, which resembles a strange mountainous world. He, Jamie and Victoria find an odd tree hanging with silver teardrops, and inside one of the teardrops is a face. The face welcomes them and explains that they are on an atom-planet in the Uranium Universe, but that it is a sad time. Other planets in the universe have been suddenly blown apart, destroying whole civilisations while the people of this world found a way to warp both space and time and place them inside the silver teardrops, which are indestructible. The Doctor explains that the people of Earth have just discovered atomic power and that uranium is used in this process. However, they are forced to leave before the atom-planet explodes. Victoria argues that they must tell the people of Earth to stop using atomic power, but the Doctor knows no one will listen. Besides, he argues, our own universe may be just an atom in an even larger universe and the same thing could happen us.

Annual 1969
   TV Comic Annual 1969


TV Comic Annual 1969

SCRIPT: Roger Noel Cook
ART: John Canning

When the TARDIS materialises beside a road in the year 2208 it causes pop group The Electrodes to crash their tour bus. The Doctor, John and Gillian rush to help them and find none of them seriously hurt, but how can they get to their gig to perform for thousands of their fans in just an hour’s time? The Doctor has the answer and equips them all with rocket packs. They are so impressed they hire him as their manager. They make the gig in time.

Between shows the Doctor learns that they did have a manager before, but he tried to trick them out of their money and threatened their lives when they sacked him. The Doctor, John and Gillian observe the crowd at the final gig and, when the Doctor sees an extra wire leading into the group’s speakers, he realises their ex-manager plans to blow them up on stage. He, John and Gillian swoop down using the rocket packs and lift the band to safety just as their evil ex-manager detonates the speakers. The Doctor then apprehends the villain. After seeing the Electrodes successfully complete a planet-wide tour, the Doctor and his companions depart in the TARDIS. The Electrodes are capable of managing themselves.

Muff fuzz and snatch? I think the author is amusing himself with some naughty in-jokes.

There must be more unlikely scenarios into which Doctor Who could be placed but I’m hard pressed to think of one off the top of my head. This strip seems badly conceived and so unlike Doctor Who that it might as well not be. Lovely though it is to see John and Gillian back (that’s sarcasm for you) only Gillian gets to say anything during the whole adventure - ‘They’re great!’ And that’s it. Sadly this strip isn’t great.


Saved by the Trods. Well who'd have thought it?

SCRIPT: Roger Noel Cook
ART: John Canning

Landing on an alien planet, the Doctor, John and Gillian find their way through the ruins into a time museum. Here they discover a Cyberman as one of the exhibits, but as they pass it comes to life and tries to spring its deadly trap on them by shooting at them. Boarding a mini rocket from 2150, the time travellers elude the Cybermen for a while, but are soon brought crashing down to Earth when a ray strikes the stabilising gear. The Doctor shoots the remaining Cyberman with a crossbow, but the creature summons reinforcements. The Doctor and his companions evade capture a second time by hiding inside model Trods, then running for the TARDIS when the Cybermen have passed.

So it’s another chase, constantly eluding death rays, and with a crossbow-wielding Doctor, but it’s bright and breezy fun and the appearance of the Trods (their final appearance in TV Comic) is a nice touch.

TV Comic Annual 1969
   TV Comic


Issue 890Issue 891Issue 892Issue 893

SCRIPT: Roger Noel Cook
ART: John Canning

ISSUES: 890 - 893
COVER DATES: 4 January 1969 - 25 January 1969.
ON TV: The Krotons - The Seeds of Death (Season 6)

The TARDIS lands beside a giant grandfather clock in the Time Temple, and the Doctor and Jamie soon meet Father Time. But the old man is aghast to learn that they travel through time and decrees that they must be punished. He triggers a giant alarm clock, the ringing of which renders Jamie and the Doctor unconscious and when they awaken the Doctor finds himself strapped to a huge pendulum suspended over a vat of boiling oil - each pendulum swing will bring him closer to the oil. Jamie, meanwhile, is trapped in an oversized hourglass. The sands will eventually bury him.

Father Time has no wish to observe the terrible deaths he has devised and, once he has gone, the Doctor comes up with a plan. The bolt from which the pendulum swings has worked loose, so he makes the pendulum swing even harder until the bolt flies off. The pendulum shatters the hourglass. But Father Time hears the sound of breaking glass and prepares to throw the hour hand of a clock at them like a spear.

The Doctor avoids impalement by grabbing a giant cuckoo as it leaps from its cuckoo clock, and is taken inside. But Father Time is prepared to wait an hour and is now armed with a crossbow. He has forgotten about Jamie, though, and when the cuckoo reappears, Jamie jumps Father Time from behind. However, the Doctor lands awkwardly and twists his ankle. Father Time has them now...

Nutty as a fruitcake, obviously, but not without a certain surrealist charm - it’s like The Mind Robber with a clock obsession high on LSD. The resolutions to some of the cliffhangers are quite ingenious, and, as TV Comic strips go this is definitely above average and a lot of fun.

Timeless insanity for the Doctor and Jamie.

Jamie finds his sporran filled with sand from the hourglass and throws it in Father Time’s face, allowing him and the Doctor to escape. But Father Time still has another weapon and summons a squad of clock robots that cut the time travellers off from the TARDIS. Jamie fights off the robots with Father Time’s own scythe, but one of the damaged robots turns on the old man, knocking him to the floor. Jamie and the Doctor elect to leave him in his own strange world and make off in the TARDIS.


Quarks v. Marthas. Who wins? You decide!

SCRIPT: Roger Noel Cook
ART: John Canning

ISSUES: 894 - 898
COVER DATES: 1 February 1969 - 1 March 1969.
ON TV: The Seeds of Death (Season 6)

The Doctor invents a mechanical housemaid called Martha and, landing in Central Park in New York, 1971, goes along to a company called Inventions International who are interested in modern inventions. There Doctor Who and Jamie meet American tycoon      Mr C. G. Slattery who promises them that a million homes will have Martha’s installed within a few weeks. The pair have hit the big time.

The Doctor appears on television to promote Martha and, within a few weeks, hundreds of thousands of Marthas have been sold. But the Quarks are watching and plan to override the frequency on which the robots operate, so gaining control. Once the robots have wreaked havoc, the Quarks will move in and take over. The signal is sent and the Marthas go berserk, turning on their human masters.

Impervious to bullets, the robot reign of terror continues. The Doctor guesses what has happened to his invention and also guesses that the Quarks are behind it. Returning to Central Park, he plans to boost his own signal and thus regain control of the Marthas, but already the Quark fleet is moving in towards America.

The Doctor boosts his signal and reclaims control of the Marthas. Meanwhile, a Quark ship touches down on a farm close to New York. Other ships land close to all major cities. The Quark invasion begins, but the Doctor has a plan and sends a special command to the Marthas ordering them to attack Quarks on sight.

The battle between Marthas and Quarks rages all across the United States, assisted by the armed forces wherever they can help. Badly beaten, the surviving Quarks are forced to retreat to their saucer and return to their home planet, once again swearing revenge against the Doctor. Doctor Who, meanwhile, is hailed as a national hero and once again appears on television, though this time they want to elect him as president.

Issue 894Issue 895
Issue 896Issue 897
Issue 898

It has often been said that the Second Doctor’s adventures revolve around him inventing one ill-fated contraption after another, but this isn’t really the case. True, in the Summer Specials he creates Barnabus, an exploration truck, the pedal-copter and the Bug, but in the main TV Comic strip he invents only a ray gun, a rocket pack, an indestructible car and Martha, and Martha is far from ill-fated as it saves the day. The first couple of episodes of this strip feel hugely out of character for the Doctor, but they do set up conditions necessary for the Quark invasion to begin. What follows is a huge improvement filled with incident and excitement with a genuine sense of scale. Having had their metal butts whooped by cleaning robots, you’d think the Quarks would give up, wouldn’t you? But no... they’ll keep on coming.

Gunfight at the Hicksville Corral!


Issue 899
Issue 900

This strip is something of an oddity in the TV Comic run of second Doctor strips. It has a surprisingly dark atmosphere and creates some genuine tension, features a Doctor unaccompanied for the first time in the strip’s run, gives names to two characters and even broadly characterises them, features the Quarks but only as a secondary threat, and sees the Doctor going out of his way to spare the hateful humans - almost as though someone had been watching the television series. I really like this strip, insane though it is.

The Doctor and a Quark armed with whips. How surreal...

SCRIPT: Roger Noel Cook
ART: John Canning

ISSUES: 899 - 902
COVER DATES: 8 March 1969 - 29 March 1969.
ON TV: The Space Pirates (Season 6)
REPRINTS: Reprinted in TV Comic Issues 1386-1389, with Canning replacing the Second Doctor with the Fourth (see

In 2044, a group of English gentlemen colonised Hekton and set up a society of Regency gentry. Unfortunately, they became fond of duelling and cruel sports - such as pursuing a hapless manservant on horseback with a pack of dogs, which is what Richard and Clive are doing when the TARDIS materialises, startling the horses. Doctor Who finds himself threatened and taken to their mansion for their amusement. Richard sets the first test: the Doctor must snatch three ball bearings from a table before Clive brings an axe down on his hand. The Doctor cheats by using a magnet, which the gentlemen applaud, but the real test will be to face Clive in a duel with pistols at dawn. However, as the duel is about to begin, the Quarks are watching and waiting to kill the Doctor if Clive fails.

The duel goes ahead. Clive fires and misses. The Doctor shoots but only to disarm his opponent. The Quarks then open fire, but Doctor Who evades their shots too, hiding in the woods. With the regency rogues and the Quarks at each others throats, the Doctor sneaks back to the TARDIS, but a Quark is waiting for him. His death is but a moment away.

The Doctor’s death is delayed by the intervention of Richard and Clive, who capture both him and the Quark and return them to the mansion. There they are forced to fight with whips on a board above a fire. They claim the winner will go free, but the Doctor has his doubts. The Doctor unbalances but does not destroy the Quark and Richard decides to finish them both off with his pistol, but the Doctor uses the whip to disarm him and then to swing himself out of the mansion through a window. The manhunt is on!

The Doctor eludes his hunters for a while, but soon has a skirmish with Richard. He knocks the man to the ground and steals his horse. When he comes across the Quark ship he realises he can use it to find the TARDIS in the dark, but the gentry are waiting for him outside the ship. The Doctor fires all the engines and the noise causes the horses to stampede. The Doctor lands and slips away in the TARDIS.

Issue 901
Issue 902
Those vengeaful Quarks are at it again...


The Cybermen prepare to counterattack

SCRIPT: Roger Noel Cook
ART: John Canning

ISSUES: 903 - 906
COVER DATES: 5 April 1969 - 26 April 1969.
ON TV: The Space Pirates - The War Games (Season 6)

Landing on a planet with conditions similar to the Polar region on Earth, the Doctor takes some exercise with a makeshift pair of skis. However, when he happens across a Cyberpatrol, he realises he must get back to the safety of the TARDIS at once. In his haste he slips, alerting the Cyberpatrol and pitching himself into a crevasse. The  Cybermen, on spotting the TARDIS, realise it is the Doctor who has fallen and rejoice.

The Cybermen return to base to broadcast news of Doctor Who’s death throughout the Cyber Empire, but the Doctor has clung to the edge of the precipice and is rescued by Eskimo Joe and his robotic flying gull. Joe explains that his people have been killed or driven into hiding by the Cybermen, but he is planning to fight back with his robot gulls and egg bombs. However, the Cybermen have located Joe’s robotic control signal and are closing in.

Joe and the Doctor escape the Cybermen using the gulls and egg bombs and make for the Cybermen’s base, but Joe is almost out of eggs.

The Doctor uses the last of the bombs to cause an avalanche that buries the Cybermen’s base. Joe’s people are free of the threat of the Cybermen at last

Issue 903Issue 904
Issue 905Issue 906

Faced with an invasion force of Cybermen, who but a TV Comic character would even entertain the idea of trying to defeat them with some robot seagulls and, just to keep up the nice bird theme, bombs disguised as eggs? Utterly bizarre in conception and only a little better in execution, the Doctor’s solution to the problem at least shows a little ingenuity, but the whole feels rather slapdash and not a little  hurried. The artwork too is unusually shoddy and looks hastily drawn, with some frames so scrappy it is difficult to work out exactly what is going on.


Issue 907Issue 908
Issue 909Issue 910

SCRIPT: Roger Noel Cook
ART: John Canning

ISSUES: 907 - 910
COVER DATES: 3 May 1969 - 24 May 1969.
ON TV: The War Games (Season 6)

The TARDIS materialises on the watery surface of the planet Nook and begins to sink. The Doctor dons a diving suit, steps into a compression chamber and exits the TARDIS through the roof. It isn’t long before he sees a rocket ship crash into the ocean and he goes to help. But the Captain of the Earth ship tells him they are short of oxygen and have only a few hours to survive, and the Doctor has only limited supplies aboard the TARDIS. The crew is doomed.

The Doctor asks the Captain if he could take off if the rocket was upright, but there is a fault in the fuse systems and no replacements aboard. But the Doctor has spares in the TARDIS and goes to fetch one. However, when he reaches the TARDIS, he finds it being attacked by a giant squid - which he promptly decides to shoot with his ray gun. Unfortunately, the shot misses and the Doctor is soon in the giant squid’s grip.

The Doctor shoots the squid in the weak spot between the eyes and makes it in to the TARDIS. With the spares in a polythene bag, he returns to the ship and the Captain makes the repairs. However, as the Doctor struggles to get the ship into an upright position, the giant squid returns.

The Doctor tries to hide beneath the rocket, but the squid stands it upright to get at him. He finally zaps it with his ray gun, ending its menace forever. But the squid has done them all a favour by standing the ship upright. Now it can blast off and pick up fresh supplies of oxygen on the planet Ebor, only half an hour away. The Doctor returns to the TARDIS.

If the TV Comic strip sometimes runs a little low on invention and plot logic (and, frankly, who wouldn’t when you have to churn this stuff out fifty-two weeks a year), at least the settings always remain remarkably varied. The opening of this story is almost like a lesson in diving, but as soon as the giant squid appears we are safely back in the realm of underwater cliché. And the Doctor falls back on his ray gun again too. He does get very trigger-happy whenever there are tentacles around. How can a spaceship run out of air? Presumably they had to breathe something while they were in space too! And how, when the Captain claims their air has almost run out, do they then plan to make a half-hour trip through space to pick up more supplies?

The Doctor reaches for his ray gun... again.


The Doctor's team approach in their rubber ship. No, really!Issue 911

SCRIPT: Roger Noel Cook
ART: John Canning

ISSUES: 911 - 915
COVER DATES: 31 May 1969 - 28 June 1969.
ON TV: The War Games (Season 6)

Twenty-year-old Jason Wurlitzer, son of Kurt Wurlitzer, one of the universe’s wealthiest property tycoons, is flying his rocket-plane over a weird jungle on a planet close to Quotron when he is attacked by missiles from deep within the jungle. The missiles release a foam that forms a bubble around the plane. As the bubble floats down into a jungle clearing, Jason is captured by hideous dwarfs. The TARDIS materialises nearby and the Doctor sees Jason imprisoned by the dwarves and, when night fall, speaks to the boy. It seems the dwarves are holding him to ransom, but Doctor Who is observed.

Issue 912Issue 913
Issue 914Issue 915
How often do you find yourself thinking the same thing?

‘Dr Who captured by the hideous jungle-dwarfs!’ and ‘Dr Who takes his ‘specialists’ to the Planet of the Dwarfs!’ are just two of the exciting teasers for the next instalments of what must be one of the most unintentionally hilarious Doctor Who strips ever published. The image of the Doctor and Weller literally jumping on a pair of dwarves is hilarious. A very entertaining strip. For all the wrong reasons. Obviously.

A jungle dwarf knocks the Doctor unconscious. When he recovers he is ordered to deliver the ransom note to Kurt Wurlitzer. The TARDIS will be held as a material hostage. The Doctor flies to Quotron in Jason’s plane and there meets Kurt Wurlitzer. The dwarfs are demanding three million tons of uranium, but Kurt cannot agree - with that they could build rockets and threaten millions of lives throughout the universe. Instead he charges Doctor Who to assemble a team to rescue his son. The Doctor chooses Hik Weller, the greatest big game hunter ever known, ‘Fingers’ O’Flannegan, the slickest jail breaker on record and Professor Neob Frankel from the Advanced Space Travel Institute.

The Doctor’s team are assembled, Weller from the creature-infested jungles of Hargo, O’Flannegan from San Quentin Prison and Neob Frankel from the Institute on Zot. They travel to the Planet of the Dwarfs in a special undetectable rubber ship developed by the professor.

The Professor waits at the ship while Doctor Who, Weller and O’Flannegan venture into the jungle. However, they are attacked by a giant rhinoceros and it is up to Weller to shoot it. They move on and eventually find the underground city of the dwarfs where Jason has been moved to a maximum security cell. The Doctor and Weller take care of the guards and they head into the city and locate the cell. Now it is O’Flannegan’s turn to open the combination lock. But they are spotted by dwarfs.

The dwarfs march them deeper into the city, and past many dwarf supplies, when the Doctor spots canisters of the bubble-making foam. O’Flannegan steals some cans and the trio turn them on their captors, encasing them in bubbles. Rescuing Jason, they then fight their way out of the city with their bubble defence. He’ll soon be home with his father.

A new sport - jungle dwarf jumping
   TV Comic Holiday Special


Holiday Special 1969

SCRIPT: Roger Noel Cook
ART: Patrick Williams

The TARDIS is caught in a giant web, and the Doctor is escorted into a wrestling ring by ape-like creatures. The web catches time travellers so that the people of this planet have interesting contestants in their wrestling matches. The Doctor’s first opponent is their reigning champion, a native called Grok, but the Doctor beats him easily. However, his next opponent is a Cyberman, but the Doctor gets the upper hand by knotting his foe’s head in the ropes. Rarely have the people of this world been so entertained, and they grant Doctor Who his freedom.

It’s sad that the people of this world have rarely been so entertained. They must lead very dull lives as this strip is shallow, meaningless space filler and not even momentarily exciting. The art is undramatic too, which, when depicting a pivotal wrestling match, is very bad news.

A deadly affair that is over three panels later...


I was going to summarise this story as 'The Doctor brings pleasure to a strange fellow' then thought better of it...

SCRIPT: Roger Noel Cook
ART: Patrick Williams

The Doctor lands in the grounds of a magnificent palace and soon meets its owner, Heinrich Karl, the wealthiest man in the universe. However, for all his money, he is bored and hasn’t laughed in ten years. The Doctor changes all that by evading Karl’s deadly traps and, just as it looks like the Doctor’s number is up, Karl tells him he can go free as he has been thoroughly entertained.

Oh boy. Not quite as bad as its predecessor, but not up there with anything even half decent either. Patrick Williams’ art is acceptable, and actually rather good on the opening panel, but the whole thing is lacking in drama and excitement.

Holiday Special 1969
   TV Comic


Exiled by the Time Lords, Dr Who became a peeping Tom...

SCRIPT: Roger Noel Cook
ART: John Canning

ISSUES: 916 - 920
COVER DATES: 5 July 1969 - 2 August 1969.

The Doctor is exiled to Earth by the Time Lords and sets up base at a swanky London hotel. There he has a fine meal and retires to his room, but is disturbed by noise from the next suite. Peering through the keyhole of an adjoining door, the Doctor sees three brothers kicking up merry hell -  at least until their guardian Mr Fitz-Walker arrives and reprimands them. However, when he and the manservant depart, they boys plan to steal his private plane and the Doctor realises he must intervene. Bursting into the room, the terrible trio knock him unconscious.

The boys escape the hotel in a taxi and, when the Doctor recovers, he is greeted by Fitz-Walker. He tells the sinister man everything, but Fitz-Walker has his own reason for wanting to stop the boys - his henchmen are stealing secrets from a nuclear arsenal close to the airfield and plan to use his plane to make their getaway. While Fitz-Walker travels to the airfield by car, the Doctor takes a motorbike and soon catches up with the boys’ taxi, but they throw their luggage at him and topple hi from the bike. By the time he reaches the airfield, the plane is already airborne.

The Doctor gets after the boys in a twin-engine plane. After losing them in the smoke from a burning building below, he finds the plane wrecked and the boys parachuting to safety. But the wind is carrying the boys towards the flames.

Trying to escape the Doctor, the boys run into the building, which is the nuclear arsenal being raided by Fitz-Walker’s henchmen. However, when the henchmen seize the three brats they soon realise that their escape route - the plane - has been destroyed.

The Doctor attempts to save the boys, but fails, until he spots some balls of plastic explosive, which apparently bounce like rubber but only explode when detonated. He and the boys use them like footballs to subdue the thugs. Meanwhile, Fitz-Walker arrives but is immediately apprehended by the police along with his badly beaten henchmen. From now on, the boys will be looked after by their Uncle Tom, who’s a marvellous fellow... much like Doctor Who.

Issue 916Issue 917
Issue 918Issue 919
Issue 920

He can sort out a garrison of Cybermen in two pages, but it takes him ten pages to deal with three brats. This is actually quite tightly plotted, the main problem is it’s just not a Doctor Who story and has no sense of danger for the Doctor. However, the idea of starting the Doctor’s exile early is an excellent one. The so-called Season 6B starts here.


Issue 921
Issue 922

After the rubbish of three tearaways, this is pretty sophisticated stuff, even if Cartright changes his name from Rowan to Martin between the first and third instalments (or is this a clever reference to Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In which was being aired on UK TV at the time?) and even if the teaser of the penultimate episode asks us if the Doctor will survive even though it’s him recounting the story, and even if the Doctor’s famous laser ring has never been heard of before! Having the Doctor recount a story is a clever way of circumventing the exile and that he does it to save someone’s life adds necessary tension.

TV Comic gets sophisticated (relatively speaking)

SCRIPT: Roger Noel Cook
ART: John Canning

ISSUES: 921 - 924
COVER DATES: 9 August 1969 - 30 August 1969.

Reading about Doctor Who’s residency in the West End of London in the Daily Record, Doctor Rowan Cartright rings him at the Carlton Grange Hotel asking to study the effects of time and space travel on a human. The Doctor agrees, even though he stresses he isn’t human, but as Cartright bares the Doctor’s chest, he sees the Mark of Blenhim on the Doctor’s skin and collapses into a coma after shrieking about the Mark of Terror. The Doctor explains that the Blenhim were a master race who wreaked a reign of terror in their solar system. Some refugees were thought to have fled to Earth in the Eighteenth  Century, and Cartright could be a descendant, the mark now a race memory. With the aid of thought-transference equipment, the Doctor must try to erase the horror of the Blenhim from his mind.

The Doctor recounts how he landed in the underground car park of a stadium and, disguising himself like the hooded figures he saw there, attended a rally given by the Blenhim leader who was launching missiles against all the planets that would not accept slavery. The Doctor’s story terrifies Cartright. He is reaching a crucial stage.

The Doctor continues his story, telling of how the Blenhim viciously assaulted every world they came across creating millions of refugees who fled for their lives. He knew he had to do something and so, at the rally, he challenged the leader’s authority.

A contest between the Doctor and the Blenhim leader begins. The leader burns the symbol of the Blenhim on the Doctor’s chest with his eyes. The Doctor betters this by atomising a monument using the power of his famous laser ring, taken from the Cybermen in a previous encounter. The Blenhim bow down before a new leader and the Doctor gives his first order: all Blenhim will take their craft and fly due East. They will keep going until he gives another command. But he does not give another command and all the Blenhim fly into the sun as the Doctor anticipated. Knowing how the Blenhim were defeated is enough to shake Cartright from his coma.

Issue 923
Issue 924


Issue 925Issue 926
Issue 927Issue 928
The Mexican police were just back from a Professor Zaroff impersonation class
You'd be surprised, Dr Who. Beneath the Earth's crust are countless races all waiting for their moment to emerge.

The Doctor mentions planet Ebor, which was also mentioned in Peril at 60 Fathoms. He also claims to be 500 years old, which is unusual for the TV Comic strip. However, this adventure is really a fairly standard affair, despite the interesting kidnap plot used to get Doctor Who to Mexico, with giant earthworms taking the place of the usual monsters. Having said that, the Brotherhood might have made an interesting recurring opponent for the Doctor - a sort of anti-UNIT for him to pit his wits against.

SCRIPT: Roger Noel Cook
ART: John Canning

ISSUES: 925 - 928
COVER DATES: 6 September 1969 - 27 September 1969.

A learned Professor implores Doctor Who to lecture at London University on the subject of advanced engineering, and the time traveller agrees. The lecture is attended by a young man named Carlos, a member of the Brotherhood. The brotherhood seeks to gain control of all the world’s protection rackets and had planned to do so through a massive robbery, with all its pitfalls, but Carlos has a better idea. An Aztec village at the time of the Conquistadors hurled their treasure into a Mexican lake to stop the Spaniards stealing it, where it has remained ever since. However, when the lake was drained in 1965, the treasure was found to have sunk into the mud, and the sun baked the mud harder than concrete. But Carlos believes Doctor Who can retrieve it for them.

Doctor Who is kidnapped from the roof terrace of the Carlton Grange Hotel. Later he is told what he must do to survive and the Doctor agrees. He is given a laboratory to perfect an explosive then flown to Mexico where the charges are laid.

The explosion opens up the lake bed. As the Doctor’s party explores, finding Aztec treasures that will fund a criminal reign of terror over the world, the party is suddenly set upon by a gigantic earthworm. The Doctor believes the strange side effect of his explosive might have been to resurrect prehistoric creatures. He tells them all to climb for their lives.

The leader of the brotherhood threatens the Doctor: go back down to recover the treasure or die on the surface by his hand. However, a gigantic earthworm emerges from a cavity and carries the leader away. The Doctor seizes the man’s fallen weapon and rounds up the Brotherhood’s men. Mexican police are soon on the scene and the Doctor says he will return to extract the treasure when the earthworms have been destroyed, providing the money it raises goes to charity.


'Izzzle!' guaranteed to send a shiver down every child's spine...

SCRIPT: Roger Noel Cook
ART: John Canning

ISSUES: 929 - 933
COVER DATES: 4 October 1969 - 1 November 1969.

When ten-year-old radio enthusiast ‘Specs’ Crabshaw picks up a strange signal, he goes to the Ministry of Defence and reports his discovery. The Minsitry are baffled and call in Doctor Who who immediately identifies it as a Quotron spaceship in trouble. However, he does not want to alarm the people of Earth so keeps quiet about it, but later he goes to the Carbshaw mansion to tell ‘Specs’ what he has found.

The Doctor tells ‘Specs’ that the Quotrons have a damaged navigation system and that he may be able to help them. Using ‘Specs’ radio equipment he contacts the ship and offers his assistance. However, when they ask him to rendezvous with them in space the Doctor realises this is impossible - they will have to land on Earth. He arranges for them to touch down in Tucson, Arizona, and he and ‘Specs’ fly out there. The aliens land in the desert and emerge from their ship.

As the Doctor and ‘Specs’ drive out to meet with the Quotrons, the Quotrons have aroused interest from local prospector Sam McLintock, who takes to his horse upon seeing them. He warns the Doctor of the aliens, but the Doctor continues on and makes his rendezvous with the Quotrons. He promises to try to repair their navigational system.

Racing against the coming dawn, the Doctor repairs the Quotrons’ systems, but they then refuse to allow him to leave and blast off with him and ‘Specs’ aboard. If he told the Earth people of the existence of aliens there would be a panic, and the Quotrons cannot be responsible for that. Dissent erupts between the Quotrons when the Doctor vents his indignation, but it becomes immaterial when the navigation systems jam on a collision course with the moon. They are all doomed.

The Quotron pledge to return Doctor Who to Earth if he saves them, which he does with less than two minutes to spare. The Quotron return them both to Arizona, but make them swear to keep the existence of aliens a secret. The Doctor defuses the media hysteria then he and ‘Specs’ fly home to England, but he knows that one day mankind will have to face up to the fact that aliens really do exist.

Issue 929
Issue 931

The planet Quotron was visited by the Doctor in the adventure Operation Wurlitzer, though there were never any aliens like these ones in evidence in that story. It is refreshing to meet aliens who aren’t dedicated to destroying the Earth and who are acting solely out of moral responsibility. In any other strip, the Quotrons would be described as hideous and have Doctor Who shooting at them with his ray gun within about two panels, but here we have something slightly more sophisticated and a good deal more satisfying.

Issue 930
Issue 932
Issue 933


Issue 934

After years of John, Gillian, utility belts and ray guns, to suddenly have the TV Comic strip align itself so unreservedly with the continuity of the television series is something of a shock, especially as this leads directly into Spearhead from Space, which would begin broadcast six weeks later, something that has never happened before or since in a comic strip. This strip is the closest we get to seeing the Second Doctor regenerate into the Third in any medium. The story is a simple one, but no less effective for that, and the animated scarecrows are a genuinely creepy idea that would be revisited by Paul Cornell in his television episodes Human Nature and The Family of Blood. Paul Cornell was also a firm proponent of the Season 6B theory, which does help to explain certain continuity problems in stories like The Three Doctors, The Five Doctors and The Two Doctors, not to mention the fact that the Doctor is equipped with gadgets in Spearhead from Space that he did not have on him at the conclusion of The War Games .

When the Second Doctor was confronted by Worzel, he knew his time had come...Issue 935
Issue 936

SCRIPT: Roger Noel Cook
ART: John Canning

ISSUES: 934 - 936
COVER DATES: 8 November 1969 - 22 November 1969.

Now famous for his incredible exploits, Doctor Who is appearing on the TV panel show Explain My Mystery hosted by Perry Conway. Having explained the mystery of Mrs Swiggings’ poltergeist as her lodger taking his weekly bath, the Doctor is rather more baffled by farmer Glenlock-Hogan’s account of walking scarecrows on his farm. When Perry Conway makes a fool of him, Glenlock-Hogan storms from the studio, but Doctor Who catches up with him. He wants to investigate his walking scarecrows.

Arriving at the farmhouse, the Doctor and Hogan are trapped inside by a storm until two o’clock in the morning, then they go to investigate. They wait two hours before a fierce light animates the scarecrows with lifeforce. Despite the terrible danger, Doctor Who and Hogan set off after the straw men.

The Doctor and Hogan follow the scarecrows until they suddenly stop in a clearing. The Doctor realises their presence has been detected, but then the scarecrows turn and call for him by name. They reveal themselves to be servants of the Time Lords. They knew his curiosity would bring him to them so that they can carry out the rest of the Time Lord’s sentence. The scarecrows immobilise the Doctor and carry him towards a familiar shape - the TARDIS. Taking him inside, they begin to change his appearance. As they leave, the box begins to dematerialise. Hogan flees in terror.

The regeneration game...
   Doctor Who Annual 1970


Annual 1970

Galea is the Latin for helmet, but tentipocus appears to have been made up. As the plant shows no desire to suck blood, calling it a vampire plant seems a trifle over-dramatic. Be it vampiric or not, the Doctor’s solution to the problem plant is the same as his solution to the problem plants in the previous year’s annual, though here unaccompanied by a heavy moral message. The likenesses in this strip are excellent,, though clearly sourced from standard BBC publicity photos. The strip itself is solid if unremarkable stuff.

SCRIPT: Unknown
ART: David Brian

REPRINTS: Doctor Who: Adventures in Time and Space (1981)

The Doctor takes Jamie and Zoe to visit an old friend of his called Doctor Vane in the Experimental Botanical Gardens on Venus. However, when they arrive, he asks Zoe to stay at the TARDIS while he and Jamie go alone. Something strange has been happening, which is why they are really there. A few days earlier, Doctor Vane found his laboratory wrecked and his prized Galea Tentipocus plant missing. He tells this story to the Doctor and Jamie and reveals that he has sent his assistant Regan after the thieves, but Regan finds a strange sentient plant at the end of the trail that attacks him. Hearing his cry, the Doctor and Jamie rush to the scene then head off after the plant, which has grown to gigantic proportions and threatens to engulf everything.  As the plant makes to attack them, the Doctor sets fire to it with his lighter. The menace is ended.

Jamie gives the Doctor the solution. Or he could just have read the 1969 annual...
Doctor Who: Adventures in Time and Space


The Robot King wasn't quite as impressive as the Doctor had been led to believe...

SCRIPT: Unknown
ART: David Brian

The Doctor, Jamie and Zoe travel 5000 years into the future to Hope City, but find it deserted and probably destroyed by an atomic explosion. They split up, but Zoe finds herself menaced by a robot, and Jamie is soon captured too. The Doctor finds the robot, who declares himself the Robot King. Now he has all three of them, they will die, as the robot believes humans are too irresponsible to live. However, as the robot attacks the Doctor, he hits its switch and turns it off.

Again, the artwork is sourced from standard BBC publicity photos and is the strip’s saving grace, for the plot is thin in the extreme and the resolution frankly laughable.

Annual 1970
   TV Comic Annual 1970


TV Comic Annual 1970

Okay, so it’s not really very good, but the sight of a Quark shouting ‘Follow that C-A-R if you value your life’ is worth the admission alone, and there is much brainless fun to be had.

Watch out for the Quark, Doc!

SCRIPT: Roger Noel Cook
ART: John Canning

The Doctor lands at the London 2053 annual veteran car rally and helps a driver to get his car started just in time for the race. He joins the driver in his car as they set off, observed by spaceships from all across the universe. But one of those ships contains the Quarks, still out for revenge. They hijack an AA patrol vehicle and pursue the Doctor. The Doctor thwarts them and his driver wins the race, something he’d never have done without the Quark on his tail.


Aren't the Cybermen meanies?

SCRIPT: Roger Noel Cook
ART: John Canning

At a US airbase, scientists are gathered to witness the test flight of a new rocket-powered plane called the Dart. The TARDIS materialises, and the Doctor is known to Commander Knight as a formidable aviator so accompanies them on the carrier plane from where the Dart will make its test flight. However, there are Cybermen stowed aboard intent on striking a devastating blow against Earth and kidnapping all their greatest brains. The Doctor jumps aboard the Dart and pilots it out from the carrier plane. He shoots at the approaching Cyberships and destroys the one destined to pick up the scientists, knocking the Cybermen out of the carrier plane at the same time, then mops up the rest of the Cyberfleet.

TV Comic Annual 1970

The Doctor has had dealings with the US airforce before, in The Faithful Rocket Pack! Is the unnamed commander seen there supposed to be the same Commander Knight seen here? It is a distinct possibility, which would make Commander Knight the first human ally of the Doctor ever to make a return appearance in the comic strip. Aside from this notable first, the strip is breathless, brainless and throwaway fun.

    The Second Doctor Later Strips

The Night Walkers was the last regular appearance of the Second 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...

   Doctor Who Magazine


The Doctor finds out what the speculum feels like. Poor chap.
Issue 224Issue 225Issue 226

SCRIPT: Scott Gray
ART: Lee Sullivan

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

The Denossus settlement was once a busy space port, but now it serves as a judicial arena as Luther Ronayne, for attempting to destroy the Shroud, is sentenced to five seconds hard labour in the speculum by the Vortexians. He emerges a brainless wreck. The Doctor, Jamie and Zoe arrive, though the TARDIS acts like it is still travelling, but the travellers are soon caught up in an attempt by Anna, Luther’s wife, to destroy the Shroud, a web field generator that keeps them all trapped on the planet. Anna’s attempt fails, but the Vortexians arrive to punish them all, including her aged father-in-law who has a weak heart.

Trying to cover for Anna, the Doctor takes the blame for the attack on the Shroud, claiming it was an accident, but the Vortexians do not believe in accidents. Anna and Jamie attempt to save him, but are powerless. They learn that the Vortexians took over on Denossus twenty years ago, locking the planet in the Shroud field. They never kill anyone for that would violate their own prime code, but they do drive people out of their mind. The Doctor is sentenced to five seconds hard labour in the speculum. The sentence is carried out.

The Doctor survives the speculum and now understands what power is at work. He constructs a trap to catch the Vortexians and then demands answers. He discovers that Denossus has been placed inside the time-space vortex, the only place that the Vortexians can survive, and that the Shroud protects the planet from the harmful effects of the vortex. The Vortexians plan to do this to all planets. They break free of the Doctor’s trap, but Anna’s father-in-law tricks them into giving him a mild punishment. However, the shock stops his heart and kills him. The Doctor then accuses the Vortexians of violating their own prime code. They claim it was an accident, but the Doctor reminds them that there are no accidents. They are not fit to rule over even one planet, let alone them all. The Vortexians are forced to agree. They return Denossus to its rightful place in the universe and pass sentence on themselves.

This story is extremely tightly plotted - there is not a single detail that isn’t vital to the story’s resolution, though the use of the word speculum is unfortunate, for it might be the Latin word for a mirror, but it is also a word meaning a device used to explore body cavities. In fact, you’re probably sitting on one of those cavities right now. Anyway, moving swiftly on... The characterisation is extremely good and you can ‘hear’ all the regulars saying there lines, although this can lapse into virtual parody, for instance when Zoe says ‘ That simply isn’t logical.’ So the story is tight and clever and the characterisation extremely good, but the whole really fails to ignite for some reason, so winds up feeling only a little better than average.

   Doctor Who Magazine Summer Special 1993


Summer Special 1993

SCRIPT: Warwick Gray
ART: Martin Geraghty
LETTERS: Simon Weston
EDITOR: Gary Russell

Taking a break from their adventures following events on the London Underground, the Doctor, Jamie and Victoria find a trio of Daleks stranded on a distant jungle world. The Daleks are building a distress beacon. Deciding the Daleks must be wiped out, the Doctor and Jamie investigate the beacon while Victoria distracts the Daleks with a firework display. By redirecting the beacon’s electromagnetic pulse to ground level and activating it, the Doctor is able to destroy the Daleks, but Victoria is appalled by his ruthless actions and realises it will not be long now before she wants to leave the TARDIS.

The Daleks loved Victoria's firework display, but the Doctor's barbecue was less to their taste.

Giving the Second Doctor a New Adventures-style makeover by painting him as a ruthless warrior was only ever going to be a partial success, and suggesting that this was the real reason why Victoria left his company is essentially rewriting Doctor Who history, but the framing device of Victoria’s diary helps to give this simple story (basically a retelling of Jungle Adventure) an emotional edge. It’s just a shame that the one thing Martin Geraghty seems unable to draw is Victoria.

   Doctor Who: The Forgotten
Issue 2
Graphic Novel 2009

SCRIPT: Tony Lee
ART: Pia Guerra, Kent Archer (flashback inks), Charlie Kirchoff & Kris Carter (colour)
LETTERS: Richard Starkings
EDITOR: Denton J. Tipton

COVER DATE: October 2008
Doctor Who: The Forgotten, ‘graphic novel’, IDW April 2009.

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

Aboard a space station, the Doctor, Jamie and Zoe flee from snake soldiers, making it to relative safety with the station crew. The station is under attack from an Alvarian Space Wyrm. As the snake soldiers break through, the Doctor lulls them to sleep by playing his recorder. He needs to get to a communications array and find the Wyrm frequency. The TARDIS crew get to one through the ventilation shafts. While Jamie distracts the snakes, the Doctor and Zoe get the array working. When the Doctor plays his recorder, it transmits direct to the Queen’s mind and sends her to sleep too.

This story reads like a megamix of Second Doctor television stories, with only Zoe’s dialogue sticking out as largely out of character. We have rampaging monsters, a base under attack, a small community of humans aboard a space station, an aggressive commander, ventilation shafts, ‘Oh my giddy aunt’, the Doctor’s recorder, and Zoe doing clever things with computers. It’s all mildly entertaining, but feels deeply insubstantial and inconsequential. The black and white artwork is a nice idea, but the likenesses are frankly terrible.





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The Doctor and Zoe spring into action.