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DWM Review

By Paul Scoones

Doctor Who Classic Comics Issues 10, 11

[Doctor Who Classic Comics 10] [Doctor Who Classic Comics 11]

The Tides of Time was an epic seven-part comic strip story which ran in DWM between February and August 1982, and more than a decade later it still holds up as an enthralling surreal adventure. The Fifth Doctor's likeness and persona is captured remarkably well even though at the time of its creation Davison had yet to make his debut in Castrovalva. The strip is prophetic - or perhaps influential - in that the Doctor is the honorary President of Gallifrey (two years before The Five Doctors!), and certain elements are evocative of characters and concepts in Battlefield. It is truly a delight to finally be able to experience this strip in full colour in the latest issues of Classic Comics.

The downside is that each half of the story is coupled with a pretty awful Sixties story. Shark Bait in No.10 is the worst of the two - the happy little frog people have to be seen to be believed! No.11's Troughton Dalek story is little better, but the art is rather rough, and the colouring of the formerly black and white pages leaves much to be desired.

As usual, the back-up articles make fascinating reading. No.11 sees an interview with artist Dave Gibbons, who worked on the brilliant Watchmen series. Here he talks about his earlier work on the Doctor Who comic strips from 1979 to 1982.

The cover of No.10 by Alister Pearson is in my opinion the best yet to appear on a Classic Comics issue.

Doctor Who Magazine Issue 202

[Doctor Who Magazine 202]

Emperor of the Daleks reached its epic conclusion in No.202 of Doctor Who Magazine quite satisfactorily. I really liked the penultimate page, where the sixth and seventh Doctors meet over a drink to discuss their respective past and future! The plot has rather taken the role of the Doctor as a 'grand schemer in time' to extremes, but this seems to have always been Paul Cornell's intention.

The ever-excellent archive in 202 covers Planet of the Daleks - following on from Frontier in Space in 201, and perhaps also a deliberate tie-in to the Spiridon/Dalek themes of the comic strip. Interviewed this issue is Matthew Waterhouse (Adric), giving a candid account of his time on the show, more from director David Maloney, and Sixth Doctor Colin Baker, focusing mainly on his work on the Stranger videos, which although purportedly not Doctor Who, seem to get regular coverage in DWM.

Doctor Who Magazine Issue 203

[Doctor Who Magazine 203]

No.203's cover subject and accompanying Archive is either pure serendipity or a well-timed tie-in to the release of Jurassic Park. It is, of course, Invasion of the Dinosaurs - the cover is the rather striking Alister Pearson artwork soon to be used on the Target reprint of this story. The Archive is the third Pertwee story in a row! The results of the 1992 Readers Survey are the issue's lead feature. The results determined at least some of BBC Video's releases for the end of this year and early 1994. Tom Baker was once again voted best Doctor, but Peter Davison comes a respectable second - whilst Nightshade was the clear winner in the best 1992 New Adventure Novel category (no prizes for guessing the worst!). Our own Warwick Gray took 4th and 6th places in the 'Favourite Comic Strip' for Flashback and Memorial respectively.

Warwick is the writer of the four-part comic strip Final Genesis which begins this issue. So far, the tale seems to bear an uncomfortable similarity to the forthcoming New Adventure Blood Heat. The story's intriguing enough, but the artwork, whilst quite eye-catching and stylish, sadly doesn't quite manage to capture the likenesses of the Doctor or Ace, but Bernice looks accurate enough perhaps because she's only ever been seen as an illustration?

This item appeared in TSV 35 (September 1993).