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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
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
- Mission for Duh (Doctor Who Annual 1967)
TV Comic Edit
- The Klepton Parasites (TV Comic issues 674-683)
- The Therovian Quest (TV Comic issues 684-689)
- The Hijackers of Thrax (TV Comic issues 690-692)
- On the Web Planet (TV Comic issues 693-698)
- The Gyros Injustice (TV Comic issues 699-704)
- Challenge of the Piper (TV Comic issues 705-709)
- Moon Landing (TV Comic issues 710-712)
- Time in Reverse (TV Comic issues 713-715)
- Lizardworld (TV Comic issues 716-719)
- The Ordeals of Demeter (TV Comic issues 720-723)
- Enter: The Go-Ray (TV Comic issues 724-727)
- Shark Bait (TV Comic issues 728-731)
- A Christmas Story (TV Comic issues 732-735)
- The Didus Expedition (TV Comic issues 736-739)
- Space Station Z-7 (TV Comic issues 740-743)
- Plague of the Black Scorpi (TV Comic issues 744-747)
- The Trodos Tyranny (TV Comic issues 748-752)
- The Secret of Gemino (TV Comic issues 753-757)
- The Haunted Planet (TV Comic issues 758-762)
- The Hunters of Zerox (TV Comic issues 763-767)
- The Underwater Robot (TV Comic issues 768-771)
- Return of the Trods (TV Comic issues 772-775)
- The Galaxy Games (TV Comic issues 776-779)
- The Experimenters (TV Comic issues 780-783)
TV Comic annuals Edit
- Prisoners of the Kleptons (TV Comic Annual 1966)
- The Caterpillar Men (TV Comic Annual 1966)
- Deadly Vessel (TV Comic Annual 1967)
- Kingdom of the Animals (TV Comic Annual 1967)
TV Comic holiday specials Edit
- Prisoners of Gritog (TV Comic Holiday Special 1965)
- Guests of King Neptune (TV Comic Holiday Special 1966)
- The Gaze of the Gorgon (TV Comic Holiday Special 1966)
Doctor Who Magazine Edit
- Operation Proteus (DWM issues 231-233 features Susan)
- Food for Thought (DWM issues 218-220 features Ben Jackson and Polly)
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
- Flashback (Winter 1992, features Benny and the Seventh Doctor viewing a holographic recording of the First Doctor before he left Gallifrey)
- Are You Listening? (Summer 1993, features Steven and Vicki, resolved in the Seventh Doctor story Younger and Wiser)
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.
- "Doctor Ooh"
- The Comic Relief Comic (untitled story)
- It's Bigger on the Inside!
- numerous editions of the three-panel cartoon, Doctor Who?
- Happy Deathday (the story does fit into Eighth Doctor/Izzy continuity, but it takes place inside a video game Izzy's playing on the Time-Space Visualiser
- Death to the Doctor!
First Doctor-only parody Edit
- "An Unearthly Child (The Unscreened Edition)" featured only the original TARDIS crew.