The 169th issue of Doctor Who Magazine was current from 27 December 1990 through 23 January 1991. Although the magazine came under new management with this issue — longtime DWM comics stalwart John Freeman moved up to head the editorial team — DWM issue 169 was in many ways a swansong rather than a beginning. It was the final issue to go out under the Seventh Doctor's logo, the last to feature Sylvester McCoy as main cover subject and the last to use Sheila Cranna's layout template. As the cover implied — with its atypical photo of Sylvester McCoy out of costume, its prominent competition having nothing to do with Doctor Who, and its bold question "What Does the Doctor Do Next?" — it was the issue in which DWM formally bid adieu to the hope that McCoy might return to television screens for a new series of Doctor Who.
- Those Radio Times - Brian J. Robb continues his study of BBC coverage of Doctor Who in its own listings magazine Radio Times covering the Second Doctor's Years includes a listing by Andrew Pixley
- That was the Year... Gary Russell gives a personal overview of Doctor Who's fate in 1990...
- The Mark of Mandragora - Part 1
- Doctor Who? ... The Year Ahead? by Tim Quinn and Dicky Howett (one page comic strip)
Interviews / Profiles
- Writing Doctor Who: Johnny Byrne - With the latest attempt to produce Doctor Who still on the drawing board, Marcus Hearn talks to the man who's written the script.
- Travelling Companions: Steven Taylor By Tim Hunter
- 'Darwin's Delight' - Carl Forgione speaks with Doctor Who Magazine about his role in Ghost Light as Nimrod.
- Who's Who: Wendy Padbury
- The Second Doctor with his 500 year diary and recorder in the TARDIS from The Power of the Daleks
- Sophie Aldred (Ace) photographed by Steve Cook
- Matrix Data Bank (Questions and Answers)
- Beyond the TARDIS (Who is doing what by Dominic May)
- Gallifrey Guardian (News)
- You on Who (Letters)
- Data Coils (now incorporating pen-pals and events listing)
- Dont quote me on this ... (mentions of 'Who' in strange places)
- Into The Vortex / 'That Was the Who That Was' (Times Past)
- 'Nix' by Nick Miller (cartoon)
- Competition: 3 questions to win a Blake's 7 video
“What did this strange little doctor give you? I saw him. The tooth of a cave bear?”
“It has magical properties.”
“Primitive fiddle faddle.”
“Only the greatest elders of my tribe can bestow them. They are a totem of great power.”
- Senior Editor: John Freeman
- Design Gary Gilbert/John Freeman
- The Grim Reaper: Dan Abnett
- Promotion: Jane Sumner
- Production: Mark Irvine
- Advertising: Jane Smale
- Adviser: John Nathan-Turner
- Excelsior: Stan Lee
- This issue, priced £1.95 (UK), offers an apology for the price increase on page 3. It features Sylvester McCoy on set of 'British Satelite Broadcasting' BSB's Doctor Who Weekend on the cover. It is the last issue to have the Sylvester McCoy era logo.
- With no new Doctor Who series announced by the BBC, the magazine now widens its coverage. It followed that this years Reader's Survey, with no new series, was adapted to take into account the scope of merchandise, readers preferences and how much they were prepared to pay.
- After four years, Andrew Pixley takes over from David Howe writing the Matrix Data Bank.