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tardis
This really is a book for completists, in that it's difficult to imagine anyone other than the diehard Who fan wanting to get hold of it, but it is equally difficult to imagine that diehard fan being anything other than tremendously happy with it.

I guess I was vaguely aware that there was a whole extra slice of comics continuity for Who beyond the TV series, the books and the audios with which I am familiar. But I hadn't appreciated that the decision to start a weekly strip in TV Comic (and its successors) from November 1964 until May 1979 would mean scores of different stories, some of them from the sound of things rather forgettable, but some of them much more interesting. Fascinating snippets for me:
  • The First Doctor meets Father Christmas, King Neptune and the Pied Piper, being less constrained by the sf vs historical format of the TV programme;
  • the comics strip, unable at first to secure a license for the Daleks, featured Dalek-like monsters called the Trods, who eventually get wiped out by the Daleks when the licensing agreement is reached;
  • John and Gillian, introduced in the first story as the First Doctor's grandchildren, survive almost four years until the Second Doctor enrolls them in university in August 1968, making them the longest-lasting companions of any medium in the 1963-89 era;
  • the Second Doctor is exiled to Earth by the Time Lords in late 1969 and has several months of adventures there before his appearance is changed and he becomes the Third Doctor - evidence of a kind for Season 6B;
  • Katy Manning was unwilling to allow her appearance to be used so the Third Doctor strips of her time feature UNIT and the Master but not Jo;
  • several Third Doctor strips, and one Second Doctor strip, were "Doctored" to become Fourth Doctor strips for the last year of the strip's run in TV Comic; the last original story was in June 1978.
Much of this information was already in books and DVD features which I already on, but it is fantastic to have it all pulled together in a single set of covers. An that is not all; Scoones also covers the comic strips in the Doctor Who annuals and the Dalek annuals and books, and the intense two-year Dalek strip from TV Century 21 in 1965-66. He even makes me want to read some of the early Countdown strips (the Doctor Who strip was moved from TV Comic to Countdown in 1971, though Countdown was then gradually renamed TV Action and eventually merged back into TV Comic in 1973). The only strips I had read of those covered in the book are the ones from the Who annuals, some of the Dalek annuals and books, and one Countdown annual.

One other point, though: the first female names mentioned in a creative capacity, as far as I could tell, were Louise Cassell and Christine McCormack, who recoloured the First Doctor strips for republication by Marvel in 1994-95 (Christine McCormack's sister Rosie is mentioned later as a colourist for the Second Doctor strips). They appear on page 570 of a 603-page book. Even more than the TV programme, the comics (at least in the 1964-79 phase) appear to have been a very male affair.

Anyway, excellent stuff, and a good end to my 2012 bookblogging.

Comments

( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
duck2ducks
Dec. 31st, 2012 11:50 pm (UTC)
I can't wait to pick up this book.

Now what do we have to do to get those early strips reprinted?
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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