Thursday, 19 January 2012

The Eighth Doctor Radio Times Comic Strip

The Radio Times comic strips were a series of five comic stories featuring the Eighth Doctor, printed in the Radio Times, that ran for forty-two issues starting the week after the Eighth Doctor premaired in the Doctor Who Movice on BBC1 in 1996 (issue dated 1-7 June 1996).

They were all scripted by Gary Russell with art by Lee Sullivan, colour by Alan Craddock and lettering by Elitta Fell.

The stories were ended prematurely by the management at the Radio Times. Originally they were planned to last for 60 issues with the fifth story to have the title Deceptions (and an unknown title for the final 10 parter). Instead, Coda was produced to tie up dangling plot elements, rather abruptly.

The strips also introduced two new companions, Stacy Townsend and Ssard who would both later appear in the BBC Eighth Doctor Adventures novel Placebo Effect, written by Gary Russell, a sequel to the comic strips.

Dreadnought (10 Parts) 1 - 7 June 1996 - 3 - 9 August 1996
Descendance (10 Parts) 10 - 16 August 1996 - 12 - 18 1996
Ascendance (10 Parts) 19 - 25 October 1996 - 21 December 1996 - 3 January 1997
Perceptions (10 Parts) 4 - 10 1997 - 8 - 14 1997
Deceptions (10 Parts, abandoned)
Coda (2 Parts) 15 - 21 March 1997 - 22 - 28 1997

Gary Russell explained more about his aborted plans for the comic strip in 1999 as follows: "There were two more ten-part stories - in which Stacy was revealed to be a Zygon replacement (they were to have been the villains from the Victorian tale we did finish [Perceptions] - and then added that awful Coda to). Story one was on an ice planet [Deceptions], story two took them to the Zygon homeworld and saw Ssard rescuing the fair damsel which started the romance that finished up in Placebo Effect."

I'm not sure as to how fans view this strip within the canonistity [is that a word?!] of the Who univererse. I see it as being from a parallel universe, if you know what I mean. [Yes the same parallel universes that I don't really believe in!]

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