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Doctor Who 30th Anniversary Calendar 1993

Review by Fleur Hardman

The first thing that strikes you about this calendar is that it is big - about twice the size of an A4 page. It is set out fairly well, beginning with a page featuring Alister Pearson's 'The Seven Doctors' and a short piece about each of the works in the calendar, also giving a little background on the artists.

Then we get on to the calendar proper. Each page is half covered with the artwork and also either a Lee Sullivan sketch of one of the Doctors (personally I think his Sylvester McCoy is the best of the seven), or a photo from the show. Also featured is a list of important dates for the month, which presumably appeals to the trivia fans out there - the sort who are fascinated to know that the Beatles appeared in The Chase on 22 May 1965, or maybe that Sophie Aldred's birthday is 20 August. Though some of these facts are quite interesting, I'm sure many fans will find them just a wee bit trivial as a lot of the information can already be found in Lofficier's Programme Guide.

Most of the art is of a very high standard, although in general I think it suffers from a lack of Doctors or companions - in fact 'The Seven Doctors' is the only piece to feature the Doctor, and Ace has the distinction of being the only companion represented.

Of particular interest to New Zealanders is fellow Kiwi Alistair Hughes' 'The Summoning' which portrays the Master summoning Azal from The Daemons. It is very well drawn, although I suspect that part of the reason why the Master is shielding his face is so that Alistair can avoid the tricky job of drawing his features. One thing I noted with amusement is that Hughes "hails from Glasgow" according to his short, front-page resume. That's news to me!

One thing that I did find mildly annoying about some of the works was their lack of obvious reference to Doctor Who - for instance Les Edward's 'Unstoppable', which shows a Terminator-style creature which is apparently supposed to be what a Yeti looks like under all that fur!

The stand-out pieces are Lee Sullivan's 'Trapped in the time corridor' featuring the Daleks, and Pete Wallbank's 'Cat's Cradle' which I'd prefer over Peter Elson's Time's Crucible cover any day. The best of the lot however is 'The Awakening' by Colin Howard which features a Cyberman from The Tomb of the Cybermen which looks vastly more impressive than in reality - and that's meant as a compliment to the art, not an insult to Tomb.

Over all, the calendar is well worth buying if you can get your hands on a copy. In fact, there's only one real problem with it - it's just too good to write those important dates on. Now, what I really need is a Doctor Who diary. Oh well, maybe in 1994...

This item appeared in TSV 30 (September 1992).