Posted in Classic Series, Doctor Who Magazine, Lists, Merchandise, News, Ongoing Series

DWM 500: Ranking Our Ten Favourite Doctor Who Magazine Comic Strips

Since Doctor Who Magazine‘s debut some 500 issues ago, one feature has stood since day one. Through writers and artists, editors and the cancellation of the series, the DWM comic strip has blazed a trail of memorable and unique characters, legendary moments and some truly great writing and art.

From Dave Gibbons and Pat Mills to Steve Parkhouse and Alan Barnes, there are dozens of talented individuals who’ve applied themselves to the medium, creating some of the finest comic strips under the Doctor Who banner.

And we have to pick ten.

A difficult task, leaving out the near contenders such as the excellent Wormwood, a personal favourite in The Curse of the Scarab and iconic early contenders such as The Fangs of Time and Dragons Claw… but we finally broke it down to our top ten… +1.

[su_label]Nearest Runner-Up: The Stockbridge Horror[/su_label]

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Written by Steve Parkhouse with art also by Parkhouse alongside Mick Austin, The Stockbridge Horror ran for six issues (70 and 75) of Doctor Who Magazine (then Monthly). It’s somewhat fitting we start our list with the quintessential DWM strip location, one the magazine returns to for the very special 500th issue strip The Stockbridge Showdown.

Back in 1982 however, in the third part of the Fifth Doctor Stockbridge Trilogy, the Doctor’s holiday in Stockbridge is interrupted yet again when he learns that an imprint of a London police box has been found in millennia-old limestone at the local quarry.  He soon confirms that the imprint has come from his TARDIS, but before he can investigate further he is attacked by an elemental being, a force formed of fire and fear….

Available as part of Doctor Who Graphic Novel #3 – The Tides of Time (Complete Fifth Doctor Comic Strips).


[su_label]10: Junkyard Demon[/su_label]

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With art by Mike McMahon and Adolfo Buylla, this Steve Parkhouse written strip appeared over two issues of DWM in 1981 and featured the Fourth Doctor. While maybe not the deepest in terms of story, 2000AD‘s Mike McMahon brings the strip to life in unique style with some excellent design, Steve Parkhouse is in his finest whimsical mood meanwhile to create a winning combination. The strip was deemed worthy of a sequel in the 1996 Doctor Who Yearbook, this time penned by Alan Barnes.

Interstellar scrap dealers have a lucrative business reprogramming dormant Cybermen into domestic servants, until one prematurely awakens and steals the Doctor’s TARDIS…

Available as part of Doctor Who Graphic Novel #2 – Dragon’s Claw (Complete Fourth Doctor Comic Strips Vol. 1)


[su_label]9: Voyager[/su_label]

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Frobisher is in it, what more do you need to know? Seriously, Doctor Who fans can be divided into many camps, but the only two that matter are those that love Frobisher and those that hate Frobisher. And we love Frobisher! Voyager, which ran for four issues in 1986 featured the Sixth Doctor and introduced the character of Astrolabes, beginning the Voyager arc that concluded in Once Upon a Time Lord. The story was reprinted in graphic novel format in 1989 which made it one of the first ever Doctor Who graphic novels and reading the full saga is recommended.

The Doctor and Frobisher find themselves in Antarctica, but things take a turn for the worse when they meet Astrolabusand the mysterious Voyager.

Available as part of Doctor Who – Voyager (Complete Sixth Doctor Comic Strips Vol. 1)


[su_label]8: Endgame[/su_label]

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Something of a personal choice, but that’s what these lists are all about right? …though we feel sure some purists will be enraged at Endgame coming in ahead of Voyager! But the excitement at all new Eighth Doctor adventures following the TV Movie in 1996 make this a strip of fond memories.

The first ever Eighth Doctor strip in DWM, Endgame returned once again to Stockbridge, nicely tying the all new Doctor into DWM comic lore and introducing Izzy Sinclair in a story that spanned four parts across DWM issues 244 to 247. It was a strong debut for the McGann incarnation, a spiritual sister strip to the Tides of Time and Endgame kicked off a trend of some of the best stories within the format since the mid-1980s.

Returning to Stockbridge, the Doctor is reunited with an old friend, gains a new companion and comes into conflict with an old enemy… the returning Celestial Toymaker!

Available as part of Doctor Who – End Game (Complete Eighth Doctor Comic Strips Vol. 1)


[su_label]7: Stars Fell on Stockbridge[/su_label]

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“The night that stars fell on Stockbridge”

We like the Stockbridge tales, ok?! 🙂 (and we’re certainly not done yet)

Introducing the recurring character of Maxwell Edison, who appears again this month, Stars Fell on Stockbridge was the last DWM comic drawn by the great Dave Gibbons, the magazine’s main artist since the first issue of Doctor Who Weekly. The “middle part” of the Fifth Doctor Stockbridge tales, the story appeared across issues 68 and 69 of DWM in 1982. Much of the story would be dramatised in the Big Finish audio Castle of Fear as part of a flashback, making all kinds of continuity problems for another day and another article!

Maxwell Edison, a normal man from the village of Stockbridge finds himself entering the TARDIS and The Doctor’s adventures. There’s no time for questions when Maxwell suddenly finds himself on an alien spaceship and facing the battle of his life to save his village from destruction.

Available as part of Doctor Who Graphic Novel #3 – The Tides of Time (Complete Fifth Doctor Comic Strips).


[su_label]6: Fire and Brimstone[/su_label]

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Featuring the return of the Daleks to the DWM comic strip, appearing alongside the Eighth Doctor for the first time (the final part preceding BBC Books War of the Daleks by two months), Fire and Brimstone was the highlight of 1997 in the DWM strips. Spread across 5 parts, the Alan Barnes penned story saw the return of the Threshold and featured some of Martin Geraghty’s finest work for the series.

The Doctor and Izzy materialise on Icarus Falling, a small satellite orbiting Crivello’s sun, and witnessed an attack on it by Daleks. While attempting to stop the Daleks’ plans, it is revealed that another of the Doctor’s deadliest enemies, the megacorp known as the Threshold, was hired to destroy the Daleks, and already had a plan in motion. The plan fails…

Available as part of Doctor Who – End Game (Complete Eighth Doctor Comic Strips Vol. 1)


[su_label]5: The Iron Legion[/su_label]

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The original! The Iron Legion is an icon amongst Doctor Who comic strips as not only the first strip to be published in Doctor Who Weekly but one of the best to boot. The placing of our top five was incredibly close, but the Pat Mills, John Wagner and Dave Gibbons classic comes in at five.

Appearing across the first eight issues of what is now DWM, The Iron Legion was rejected as a television script but has gone on to legendary status, being reprinted no less than seven times.

A robot legionnaire attacks a small English town of the 1970s. Tracing them to their origin, the Doctor arrives on another Earth in which the Roman Empire conquered the galaxy with their Iron Legion of robots commanded by General Ironicus, a servant of what he calls the gods.

Available as part of Doctor Who Graphic Novel #1 – The Iron Legion (Complete Fourth Doctor Comic Steips vol. 1)


[su_label]4: Doctor Who and The Star Beast[/su_label]

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Meep, meep!

Beep the Meep is one of the great villains of the DWM strips, returning for three more adventures and even a Big Finish audio. But never better than here, a second helping in a row from the classic Mills/Wagner/Gibbons team in an adventure that is 2000AD meets Douglas Adams. Introducing the first black companion way ahead of it’s TV time, The Star Beast of course excellently drawn, well scripted and intelligently plotted. But what else would you expect from the finest team the DWM strips ever boasted?

Pursued by Wrarth Warriors, Beep the Meep crashes his craft in Blackcastle, where he is found and hidden by school children Sharon and Fudge. The Doctor follows the flames of the neutron drive star cruiser and investigates, unaware that he is leading the Wrarth Warriors directly to the Meep. The Warriors attack K9, making him useless. After he has sent the Meep with Sharon for safety, the Doctor learns from the Wrarth officers, Sergeant Zogroth and Constable Zreeg, that Beep is being hunted by the Wrarth (biological constructs of the five strongest races in the galaxy) for unspeakable crimes.

Available as part of Doctor Who Graphic Novel #1 – The Iron Legion (Complete Fourth Doctor Comic Steips vol. 1)


[su_label]3: Ground Zero[/su_label]

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What… a… panel.

One of the most genuinely shocking comic strips in the history of DWM, the comics made a surprising break with the continuity of the then current New Adventures by killing television companion Ace, sending off the Seventh Doctor’s era as the magazine prepared for the debut of the Eighth. Then Doctor Who Magazine Editor Gary Gillatt explained this choice in DWM 240, proclaimING that the books had already diverged from the comics continuity in Deceit and Blood Heat amongst others.

[su_quote cite=”Gary Gillat, DWM 242″]The bottom line is that Marvel’s Doctor Who comic strip has been going strong since 1979. With seventeen years of our own continuity to draw upon we see no need (or feel any obligation) to try and shoehorn another publishing company’s characters and concepts into our own.[/su_quote]

The Threshold have kidnapped three of the Doctor’s former companions, along with his current one, using them for their employer’s benefit: the Lobri — a creation of the human unconsciousness, feeding on fear. They intend to destroy the unconscious link between humans. The Doctor must stop them, but at what cost?


[su_label]2: The Glorious Dead[/su_label]

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An absolute epic spread across ten parts in 2000, the scale of The Glorious Dead was unprecedented. Spread across an omniverses with the highest possible stakes, the strip fittingly saw to return of The Master after his return the previous year in The Fallen.

The Doctor, Izzy and Kroton are taken to Paradost to find that Sato Katsura and the Master have joined forces. The Doctor and Kroton must fight the Master and Sato for the Glory, where the protector of the Glory has full powers over space and time…

Available as part of Doctor Who – The Glorious Dead (Complete Eighth Doctor Comic Strips Vol. 2)


[su_label]1: The Tides of Time[/su_label]

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With The Iron Legion and Endgame already making this list, it seems “firsts” are popular here in the DWW cave and there is no better than the first Fifth Doctor strip published by DWM – The Tides of Time.

Debuting the fictional village of Stockbridge (though not known by that name here), the strip ran for seven issues in 1982 and was written by Steve Parkhouse, with the art being by Dave Gibbons. Mixing the unique surreal imaginativeness of Parkhouse at his best with the peerless artwork of Gibbons, The Tides of Time is an ambitious and imaginative classic, spawning many sequels and imitations both in the pages of DWM and beyond, but none better than here with the original.

The Universe is falling apart. A demon from another universe has left a hole in time and space. The Doctor teams up with Sir Justin to prevent the demon from destroying the entire universe. But first, they must battle creatures of nightmares to find the lost matrix….

Available as part of Doctor Who Graphic Novel #3 – The Tides of Time (Complete Fifth Doctor Comic Strips).

 

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Posted in Classic Series, Doctor Who Magazine, Lists, Merchandise, News, Ongoing Series

DWM 500 Issues: Our Ten Favourite Covers

With the venerable Doctor Who Magazine celebrating 500 issues this month, we take a special look back at our favourite ten covers from the past 36 years… and a bit more!

It was a difficult choice, with the wonderful recent “Genesis of the Daleks” Issue #499 running close, alongside the excellent Sylvester McCoy photography of Issue #486. But in the end, we somehow, someway.. found our ten favourite covers. Enjoy, and don’t forget to let us know your own favourite covers.

The other contenders: Issue #264, Issue #384, Issue #406, the twin minimalist Issues #477 and #482, plus we discounted Issue #190 as a reprint of the 10th Anniversary Special, despite our love of it!

[su_label]Nearest Runner-Up: Issue #256[/su_label]

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The 1970’s glory of issue #256 couldn’t be more groovy if it tried! Cover dated 24 September 1997, the issue featured the second part of Richard Molesworth’s Out of the Vaults, looking at the state of the BBC’s archives. Andrew Pixley took a closer look at Planet of Giants in the monthly archive and the one-off comic strip was By Hook or By Crook, written by Scott Gray.


[su_label]10: Issue #280[/su_label]

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The original you might say, hmn? The First Doctor is the focus for this striking cover from 1999 while features included Blimey, that’s a bit like Doctor Who, that is… where six DWM experts tune into a bunch of cults and look for Doctor Who by any other name. The Crusade got the tele snap treatment and The Road to Hell – Part Three was our monthly strip.


[su_label]9: Issue #393[/su_label]

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Peter Davison’s return to Doctor Who in Time Crash is the focus here, with added Fifth Doctor goodness on the front as DWM gave away Big Finish’s Cuddlesome. Other features included The Deaths of Doctor Who – DWM’s look at the depiction of death in Doctor Who and Script Doctors by Gareth Roberts.


[su_label]8: Issue #320[/su_label]

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Taking on the image of Lord Kitchener, Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart is calling DWM readers to service! Features in this issue include How To Make Fans (And Influence People!) by Tat Wood and The DWM Awards 2001Uroboros – Part Two was the monthly comic strip and The Green Death featured as part of Andrew Pixley’s Archive series.


[su_label]7: Issue #428[/su_label]

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DWM riffs on the likes of Inside Soap with this special soap themed issue from December 2010. Features included The Greatest Soap In The Galaxy by Phil Collinson, interviews with joint Doctor Who and soap stars such as Frazer Hines and June Brown. Our regular comic strip was The Golden Ones Part 4 by Jonathan Morris.


[su_label]6: Issue #483[/su_label]

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Another retro style cover, invoking memories of classic horror of decades past as Mummy on the Orient Express takes centre stage. The Instruments of War Part Three by Mike Collins was our regular monthly comic strip and there was a special prose story from Andy Frankham-Allen – The Ambush!


[su_label]5: Issue #487[/su_label]

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It was a close run thing between this issue and the visually quite similar “every Dalek ever” issue… but the iconography of the Daleks on Earth outside Big Ben win out! The issue featured Earth: Past, Present & Future – the history of the Earth is charted in detail… The Golden Age of Videotape and a long lost interview with John Nathan-Turner.


[su_label]4: Issue #436[/su_label]

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Poignant and dignified, DWM pays suitably classy tribute to the late, great, Nicholas Courtney. The majority of the issue is given over to paying tribute to the Brigadier actor and is one of the longest editions of the magazine. Featuring interviews with Doctor Who alumni the breath of his career, a career retrospective and much more, Issue 436 was a fitting tribute to one of the show’s most beloved figures.


[su_label]3: Issue #443[/su_label]

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Featuring two different covers from the Hinchcliffe era, Terror of the Zygons and The Seeds of Doom, each cover also advertised one of two recent discoveries of lost episodes episodes from the classic series- episode 3 of Galaxy 4 and two episodes of The Underwater Menace. The regular monthly comic strip was The Chains Of Olympus (Part 2).


[su_label]2: Issue #465[/su_label]

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What’s not to love about this image? The five surviving Classic Series Doctor’s in a photoshoot that is unlikely to ever be repeated. The cover in many ways captures much of the celebration of the show’s 50th anniversary year, focusing on the classic-era Doctors and the actors who portrayed them uniting to take part in the audio special The Light at the EndWelcome to Tickle Town part one by Scott Gray was the comic strip and The Sea Devils featured in The Fact of Fiction.


[su_label]1: Issue #1[/su_label]

What else could it be but the often replicated and iconic first issue of Doctor Who Weekly?

With a over date of 17 October 1979 and with free transfers, the Dez Skinn edited first issue boasted the first part of The Iron Legion, articles on the story of Doctor Who and The Day of the Daleks, plus the very first Crazy Caption Competition!

Truly the stuff of legend.

[su_note note_color=”#46a6dd” text_color=”#ffffff”]Issue 500 of Doctor Who Magazine is on sale now.[/su_note]

Posted in 7th Doctor, Books, Classic Series, Comics, Doctor Who Magazine, Merchandise, News

Book Preview: Evening’s Empire

[su_label type=”info”]Synopsis[/su_label]

Arriving in Middlesbrough, the Doctor, Ace aid Colonel Muriel Frost in an investigation into a plane crash during WWII.

Meanwhile, women are being kidnapped, and UNIT is trapped on a strange world of contemporary Earth building, primitive humans bows and arrows and with two suns in the sky.

How are these events connected? The Doctor is about to find out.

[su_label type=”info”]Summary[/su_label]

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Evening’s Empire is released coming July.

Evening’s Empire, a Doctor Who comic strip from the 1990s written by Andrew Cartmel, was never completed in the pages of Doctor Who Magazine. Although a version was printed subsequently, this new collection contains the first publication of the full story as originally intended, with brand-new artwork from the original artist, Richard Piers Rayner.

Originally intended as a multiple-chapter story for Doctor Who Magazine, only the first chapter was ever published in DWM, in November 1991. The remainder was abandoned due to production issues. In September 1993, the complete strip, colourised and altered, was published as the Doctor Who Classic Comics Autumn Holiday Special.

[su_label type=”info”]Details[/su_label]

Written By: Andrew Cartmel
Artist: Richard Piers-Raynor

[su_label type=”info”]Purchase[/su_label]

[AMAZONPRODUCTS asin=”1846537282″]

[su_label]Evening’s Empire is available to preorder now via ForbiddenPlanet.com or via the Amazon link above, it will be released on July 14[/su_label]

Posted in Classic Series, Doctor Who Magazine, Merchandise, News, Ongoing Series

Doctor Who Magazine #495 Released Today

The latest issue of Doctor Who Magazine has been released today, featuring Paul McGann and Alex Kingston on the cover.

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With exclusive interviews with Paul McGann and Alex Kingston following the release of The Diary of River Song, this months edition of DWM also features Steven Moffat answering questions on Heaven Sent, a feature on Doctor Who Weetabix cards of the 1970s (finally!), Fact of Fiction on Death the Daleks, the return of Time Team with The Eleventh Hour, reviews of The Husbands of River Song, The Wheel in Space and The Face of Evil plus The Dragon Lord Part 2 comic strip.

Doctor Who Magazine 495 is in all good newsagents now.

Posted in Doctor Who Magazine, Merchandise, News, Ongoing Series

Available Now: The Doctor Who Yearbook 2016

The Doctor Who Magazine Yearbook for 2016 has been released, covering the past year in Doctor Who, with a look back at Series 9, exclusive interviews and much more.

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The 100-page guide to Doctor Who’s latest series features exclusive interviews with stars Michelle Gomez (Missy), Ingrid Oliver (Osgood), showrunner Steven Moffat, producer Derek Ritchie, and directors Daniel O’Hara and Ed Bazalgette. Peter Capaldi shares his memories of an extraordinary photo shoot on Abbey Road, we go behind the scenes at London’s Doctor Who Festival and highlight some of the year’s best merchandise. Relive the Doctor’s epic journey from the Dalek City on Skaro to his home planet Gallifrey with this unique souvenir.

Sneak Peak

The 2016 Yearbook is available now from all good newsagents.

Posted in Doctor Who Magazine, Merchandise, News, Ongoing Series

New Information on The Husbands of River Song

The latest edition of Doctor Who Magazine has given new information on the upcoming Doctor Who Christmas special, The Husbands of River Song.

It being Christmas, expect a cheerful comedy romp and a “proper romantic episode” at the centre of the festivities, with writer Steven Moffat stating his desire to see the Doctor cheered up after the events of Hell Bent.

“Who doesn’t love a love story?” – Steven Moffat

Expect a cheerful Christmas romp!
Expect a cheerful Christmas romp!

Taking place after the events of The Angels Take Manhattan, we can expect fireworks between the Doctor and the “not precisely faithful” River (complete with sonic trowel), despite not recognising him for the majority of the episode.

River steals the TARDIS!
River steals the TARDIS!

The villain it appears is none other than River’s other husband, King Hydroflax. Moffat describes Hydroflax, as played by the hilarious Greg Davis, as being “big, bad [and] rather stupid” who he hopes “kids will laugh at, and hopefully adults too”.

Rivers other husband King Hydroflax is a “big, bad, rather stupid” villain who “kids will laugh at, and hopefully adults too”
big, bad [and] rather stupid”

The bumper 100-page Christmas issue of Doctor Who Magazine is in all good newsagents tomorrow, December 10.

Posted in Doctor Who Magazine, Merchandise, News, Ongoing Series

Doctor Who Magazine #494 Details, Christmas Issue

DWM have revealed the cover for this years Christmassy Doctor Who Magazine, featuring of course the one and only Peter Capaldi!

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With an exclusive interview from the man himself, a preview of The Husbands of River Song and all the usual features, DWM is once again not to be missed!

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The bumper 100-page Christmas issue of Doctor Who Magazine is in all good newsagents this coming Thursday, December 10.

Posted in Classic Series, Doctor Who Magazine, Merchandise, News, Ongoing Series

Doctor Who Magazine 482 on Sale Tomorrow

Doctor Who Magazine 482 will be on public sale in the morning and leads on an exclusive in-depth interview with Jenna Coleman.

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Also in this months issue:

DWM speaks to director Rachel Talalay on bringing Dark Water & Death in Heaven to the screen.
Peter Purves talks in-depth about his time on Doctor Who as Steven.
Writer David Fisher revisits his work on the show during the Tom Baker years.
The DWM Season Survey – have your say!

And all the regulars including:

The Fact of Fiction taking a look at The Greatest Show in the Galaxy
A brand new comic strip from Mike Collins – The Instruments of War, featuring Nazis and Sontarans!
Relative Dimensions with Jacqueline Raynor
The Time Team watch Invasion of the Bane
All the latest DWM reviews, including Last Christmas.

Doctor Who Magazine 482 on sale at all good newsagents on Thursday January 8, priced £4.99

Posted in Doctor Who Magazine, Merchandise, News, Ongoing Series

Doctor Who Magazine Hints at Ominous Things to Come in Series 8, Episode Synopses

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DWM #478 is on sale in the morning

Doctor Who Magazine #478 has revealed plot synopses for Episodes 5 to 8 of the current series and hinted at ominous things to come for the Doctor, Clara and Danny Pink.

Time Heist

“This is a recorded message. Interaction is not possible. The last clear memory of anyone in this room is of receiving a contact from an unknown agency. I am that agency. The details of what has happened since have been erased from your minds for your own protection. Pay close attention to the following briefing.

This is the Bank of Karabraxos. The most dangerous bank in the galaxy. A fortress for the super-rich. If you can afford your own star system, this is where you keep it. No-one sets foot on the planet without protocols. All movement is monitored. All air-consumption regulated on pain of death. DNA is authenticated at every stage. Even your unauthorised presence on this planet will have been detected. Your lives are in danger. The Bank of Karabraxos is protected by the deadliest security system ever devised. Today you are going to rob the bank of Karabraxos. Welcome to the heist.”

The Caretaker

“Coal Hill School has a new caretaker. He hides a strange blue box in his cupboard and carries a sonic screwdriver instead of a broom. Clara is suitably mortified, but the Doctor has got bigger things to worry about – especially when Danny Pink starts to work out just what has been going on…”

Kill The Moon

“The Moon has changed – and now it’s threatening to wipe out all life on Earth. But when the Doctor uncovers its secrets, he realises the situation is graver than anyone thought. Can he stand by and let humanity destroy the Moon?”

Writer Peter Harness also says in the issue:

“I still don’t know how people will take it. I’m in this kind of limbo now waiting for people to see it, and I’ve no idea, really I do not know how it is going to go down. I’ve never seen the Doctor do something like this before…”

Mummy on the Orient Express

“The famous Orient Express, thundering along on its journey across space, came to a sudden stop. The hyperspace ribbons under its wheels faded and it began to float, engines dead. Everything was deathly quiet. “And the facade drops away,” murmured the Doctor, delighted. Upon which, he found himself very much wanted. For on the Orient Express murder had been committed. And the murderer was still on board! The Doctor investigates. He raises his mighty eyebrows and thinks – with his little grey cells…”

Doctor Who Magazine #478 is available in all good newsagents on Thursday.

Posted in Classic Series, Doctor Who Magazine, Merchandise, News, Ongoing Series

Doctor Who Magazine #478 Cover Revealed, Frank Skinner Shot

When we say shot… we mean the first picture of him in costume!

The quite fantastic cover of the forthcoming Doctor Who Magazine has been released and will feature previews of Time Heist, The Caretaker, Kill the Moon and Mummy on the Orient Express alongside an interview with Frank Sinner and also seemingly Phil Ford, comic The Eye of Torment part 2 plus all the regulars and much more besides!

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Doctor Who Magazine #478 is on sale Thursday September 18.