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January Books 16) Doctor Who Annual 1980

With due respect to the anonymous commenter on the previous review in this series, I think that it is clearly Mary Tamm depicted in the 1980 Annual, and it's a definite improvement from the previous few years. One feels somehow a lot more grounded in the series. Unfortunately, of course, by the time most kids were reading this, Mary Tamm had transformed into Lalla Ward, so the impact was a bit muted, but I read it while still watching The Armageddon Factor so it worked reasonably well for me.

The stories are about average, and the filler material below. However I was interested that the crossword had a number of references to Who continuity (indeed more, apart from Romana, than the whole rest of the annual). Several stories also imply that the Doctor is taking Romana on a regular training mission on behalf of the Time Lords' Academy, which is amusing considering the role both she and it play in the much later Big Finish Gallifrey stories. As in the TV show, K9 is in some stories but not in others. There is one interesting comment on politics of the late 1970s from the story "Reluctant Warriors" in the middle of the annual:
Alix lowered his voice. "You may remember Leondin from your last visit, when he was campaigning for more leisure and shorter working hours." The Doctor nodded. "People were fooled by his persuasive talk and he was elected. Of course, some of us tried to block him on the grounds that he was mentally unstable, but we were outnumbered.

"As soon as he could, he threw out all the old senators and replaced them with his pleasure-seeking cronies. Soon the whole city seemed to think of nothing but pleasure, and Leondin provided more and more sophisticated entertainments to keep them happy in their long hours of leisure."

"Surely there must be some sensible people left," said Romana.

"There are a few of us," said Alix, "but we cannot get together because Leondin has us watched. He has forbidden meetings of any kind, and controls all press and television. I suspect that he even has his spies in this building."
This annual was written and published shortly after the 1978-79 Winter of Discontent and the subsequent Conservative election victory, and it's difficult to avoid the conclusion that the writer was trying to make some allusion to current affairs.


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 30th, 2011 10:51 pm (UTC)
I keep meaning to say this - but I recall an issue from reading about the comics in Doctor Who Monthly about likeness rights; tv companions didn't appear in the comic strips at first because the various comics/magazines didn't have the rights to the faces of the actors involved (aside from Hartnell, Troughton, Pertwee etc). Thus any infidelity is plausible deniability on ownership of faces?

Or hack artists couldn't draw.

It's a twenty-year-old plus memory, so may be entirely wrong, of course.
Jan. 31st, 2011 06:35 am (UTC)
The former is the case, I believe. Though there are occasional variations on it - the 1971 annual in particular is very good both in terms of the characters looking like who they are meant to be and the literary quality of the stories.
Feb. 1st, 2011 04:38 am (UTC)
Surely if there is a political reference there, it would be to the early '70s with the three-day week etc. (i.e. the Heath government)?
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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