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TARDIS Index File

First Doctor comic stories

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As with the television series, the William Hartnell version of the Doctor was the original comic strip Doctor. However, the actor's portrayal of the character was often lost in TV Comic, the dominant publication to feature First Doctor stories. At a superficial level, the character wasn't called "the Doctor", but "Dr. Who". Yet at a basic level, the comics were hampered by the inclusion of two children as his companions. Though they may well have made it easier for kids — the primary target audience for the comic strips — to relate to the Doctor, they made it almost impossible for a well-rounded portrayal of the First Doctor's many qualities. Especially profound was the loss of the Doctor's inherent "grumpiness"; with no adults around, the Doctor had no target for his anger. Thus, the comic First Doctor was reduced to being just a grandfather with a time-space ship.

However, even these two points were somewhat in doubt.

The comic TARDIS wasn't actually much of a time-travel device. As almost every story was set in the far future, it was little more than a simple spaceship. That threw the First Doctor's inclination towards historical adventures out the window. In addition, his status as "grandfather" was a point of incredulity, as well. How could he be the grandfather to John and Gillian? What was their relationship to the never-referenced Susan? How did the stories told in the comic strips relate to the television series? These were all questions left completely unanswered.

Worse still, the comic First Doctor was deprived even of the Daleks. Since Terry Nation had licensed the comic Daleks to appear only by themselves from 1965 to 1967, the comic First Doctor never encountered them. He was forced instead to repeatedly face the TV Comic "substitute", the Trods.

The best the TV Comic First Doctor could muster by way of resembling himself was a lone story that tied in with an atypical television adventure: Dr. Who and the Zarbi on the Web Planet.

It really wasn't until Doctor Who Magazine began publishing a handful of original First Doctor stories that the William Hartnell portrayal was really seen in comics. Consequently, most of the First Doctor's companions didn't have their comic debuts until the early 1990s. By then, thirty years after the fact, it was really a case of "too little, too late". Comic readers are still waiting for the First Doctor to encounter the Daleks.

Given these facts, it is perhaps not surprising that, as a matter of Doctor Who Magazine continuity, the entirety of the First Doctor's TV Comic run was retconned out of existence as a dream of the Eighth Doctor. (COMIC: The Land of Happy Endings)

Comic strip companions of the First Doctor Edit

List Edit

Many of the early comic strip stories did not have individual story titles so there is no "correct" title for many of the strips. Commentary and listings from older sources may use variant titles.

  • The titles given below conform to widely accepted titles (as referenced by Jean-Marc Lofficier and revised by John Ainsworth (comic historian)). The titles below were also adopted and used by Doctor Who Magazine and throughout Doctor Who Classic Comics (to which John Ainsworth was a major contributer).
  • The titles used below are firstly taken from the strip itself or from titles given by the preceding issue. In some cases the writer/artist has been able to provide a title for a given piece of work.

The listing below shows first publication details only. Reprint details can be found by following the story links.

Doctor Who annuals Edit

TV Comic Edit

TV Comic annuals Edit

TV Comic holiday specials Edit

Doctor Who Magazine Edit

Seventh/First crossovers Edit

No doubt inspired by Remembrance of the Daleks, the Seventh/First "non-crossover" comic story deserves special mention. The basic setup of this type of story follows the pattern established in Remembrance: the First Doctor does something in the past that the Seventh Doctor later revisits. The Doctors don't cross paths. The Seventh Doctor doesn't "de-age" into the First. It's just a simple look into the past. There have been three examples of this kind of story.

Doctor Who Magazine special Edit

Doctor Who Yearbook Edit

  • A Religious Experience (1994, principally features a story with the First Doctor, Ian and Barbara, but ends with a latter-day visit to the setting of the First Doctor story by the companionless Seventh Doctor.)

Multi-Doctor appearances Edit

Since Hartnell relinquished the role, the First Doctor has generally appeared in multi-Doctor comic stories, in which other versions of himself have appeared alongside him. They have taken one of three approaches. Either they've featured serious attempts at justifying the reappearance of the First Doctor, they've been flat parodies. or they've been a little bit of both.

Non-parodic Edit

Parodic Edit

Mixture Edit

First Doctor-only parody Edit

External links Edit

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