Dr Who Annuals

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Dr Who Annuals

Post by alanultron5 on Sat Aug 20, 2011 10:05 am

As my birthday used to (and thankfully, still does) fall on 8th Sept each year - I used to get for my birthday in the early/mid 60s some of the new Annuals released each September by World Distributors. Along with the Dandy book amongsat others, I also got in 1965 and 1966 the `new` Dr Who Annuals.

Both the 1965 and 1966 featured William Hartnells Doctor! The first annual I still have as it means so much to me! I think it has the best stories of all Dr Who annuals, especially since I got hold of the later annuals in the late 1970's!

I found out many years later that the stories in the first annual were by writers David Whittaker and Denis Spooner! I will `bone-up` on the stories in this book over the rest of the weekend and give a review on Monday!

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Re: Dr Who Annuals

Post by alanultron5 on Mon Aug 22, 2011 2:55 pm

The first Dr Who annual is unique in that the whole book is taken up with text stories! Apart from two 2page items "Who is Dr Who?" and "The Equations of Dr Who" its all Text stories!

Though Terry Nation was witholding Dalek rights from World Distributors` as he was to bring out the 1960s `Dalek Books` the first Dr Who book still featured TV monsters the `Menoptra` and `Zarbi` from `The Web Planet` `The Sensorites` from same title story and the `Voord` from `The Keys of Marinus` giving the book a good link with its television source!

The Doctor however travelled alone! No Susan, Barabara or Ian in this book at all!

Of the stories, the `Lair of the Zarbi` was a good opener, continuing the war between the Zarbi and the Menoptra, but with no controlling `Animus` here! The Menoptra also feature in the story `The Lost Ones` in which a space ship populated by Red haired, twelve foot high, humans crash landed on the Menoptra's home world of Vortis. The Doctor discovered these biengs from Earth actually hailed from `Atlantis` and had become lost in one of their space exploration forays for conquest! He left the Atlanteans to fight it out with both Menoptra and Zarbi!

The `Fishmen of Kandalinga` was an intriguing story in where the Doctor finds that the villianous `Voord` race after bieng expelled from Marinus, have enslaved the peaceful denizens of the ocean world, `Kandalinga`. The Doctor soon puts things to rights!

The very good story `The Monsters from Earth` features the `Sensorites` who-sadly, are very unlike their TV counterparts! Part of the story has the Doctor have to kill a huge spider (That has trapped the Tardis in its web) with a spray gun filled with Cyanide! Very strong suff indeed!

By far the best story in my view is "The Sons of The Crab" The Doctor lands on a planet (unamed) in the `Crab Nebula (In which the text mistakenly states is in another Galaxy) Anyway, he is amazed to see a swarm of shapeless creatures milling across the vast cities of the planet! The `biengs` constatly change shape as they swarm in a scenario that horrifies the Doctor!

He is later captured by Bald silver suited humanoids who, behind the heavily ledded walls of a huge complex, subject him to scientific tests which prove that his form does not undergo any rapid changes! As they confer in amazement at such a bieng whose shape does not alter, two of them lose human shape and are quickly corralled and pushed into the outside world with the other `mutations`. The others who call themselves `Yend` begin to believe the Doctors protestations that he is no form of `Yend` but an outside world traveller. They send him to the chief Yend called Formal.

Chief Yend Formal is reluctant to believe the Doctor is not a Yend, but the fact that the Doctors form stays as it is finally convinces him. He states that eons ago, the Yend experimented with genetics in order to produce the perfect race of biengs. However, something went wrong which was compounded by the arrival of a new star into their solar system they called `Mortain` The radiation from Mortain along with their genetic experiments tainted their race to the fate of turning into shapeless biengs with no minds and a constantly changing form. Though they have drugs to slow down the effects it will soon be the fate of every Yend including Firmal himself. Formal begs the Doctor to take a case of their latest test tube embryo's to any other world outside their system to tray and start the Yend race again-free from the rays of Mortain.

The Doctor agrees to this just as Formal begins to change into a monstrocity just as the hoards of `formless ones` burst into the complex swamping the last of the true Yend!

Inside the Tardis, the Doctor examines the case only to find all the embryo's are dead!

What a truly scary story! At Ten years old- this really scared me back in 1965! No Dr Who annual since has ever come close to this level of text story! For me, the first Dr Who Annual is the best by far!

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Re: Dr Who Annuals

Post by tony ingram on Tue Aug 23, 2011 6:50 pm

I've got both the Hartnell annuals and they really are weird little gems. The BBC really seem to have thought the Zarbi would take off, based on the amount of exposure they got: stories in the annual, one of the first three Doctopr Who novelisations, even badges!

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Re: Dr Who Annuals

Post by alanultron5 on Thu Aug 25, 2011 2:18 pm

The `Web Planet` actually got higher ratings and better press feedback than the first Dalek story Tony! What stopped any sequels was the very high cost of making it! In real terms taking inflation into account, the `Web Planet` was Dr Who's most expensive story up to the `Mind of Evil`.

I don't have the second Hartnell annual just yet but I don't think any TV `monsters` are in that one! Have you ever seen the other 1966 Dr Who related book- `The Invasion From Space`?

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Re: Dr Who Annuals

Post by tony ingram on Thu Aug 25, 2011 2:58 pm

alanultron5 wrote:The `Web Planet` actually got higher ratings and better press feedback than the first Dalek story Tony! What stopped any sequels was the very high cost of making it! In real terms taking inflation into account, the `Web Planet` was Dr Who's most expensive story up to the `Mind of Evil`.
That is amazing! Mind you, I think they overreached themselves. They just didn't have the necessary resources to fully realize the writer's concepts.


I don't have the second Hartnell annual just yet but I don't think any TV `monsters` are in that one! Have you ever seen the other 1966 Dr Who related book- `The Invasion From Space`?
Only ever seen it once, and I couldn't afford to buy it. It was at a con in Clacton and the guy wanted some ridiculous price for it.

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Re: Dr Who Annuals

Post by alanultron5 on Fri Aug 26, 2011 2:26 pm

Yes! `Invasion from Space` goes for well over £100 on average! Some optimistic soul has put the final Pat Troughton annual (Released Sept 69) on E.Bay at £225.00. Even if its pristine- no way will he get that-unless someone really has money to spare!

As I recall, the middle Trougton annual (Jamie & Cyberman cover) has a truly inspired story in called "The Celestial Toyshop" It doesn't feature the Toymaker-but its truly spooky, one of the finest Dr Who Annual stories ever! Worth shelling out a few rubels for that story alone!

The first Jon Pertwee is unique in that for the first (and only?) time on a Dr Who annual, the companion (Real name) gets a name check in that Caroline John as well as Jon Pertwee is given a cover credit! This book sold so poorly that World Distributers didn't release a issue in late 1971!

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Re: Dr Who Annuals

Post by tony ingram on Fri Aug 26, 2011 2:46 pm

As I recall, I found my copy of the 1969 annual on a table outside a junk shop at the end of my road in about 1980. It cost me 10 pence!

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Re: Dr Who Annuals

Post by alanultron5 on Fri Aug 26, 2011 3:02 pm

Wow! That's what I call a bargain, even in 1980! Today, its nigh on impossible that could happen, but who knows!

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Re: Dr Who Annuals

Post by tony ingram on Fri Aug 26, 2011 3:04 pm

alanultron5 wrote:Wow! That's what I call a bargain, even in 1980! Today, its nigh on impossible that could happen, but who knows!
Well, it was only in about 1992 that I found 2000AD #1, # 2, # 4 & # 5 for 10p each in a cardboard box outside a second hand book shop in Crystal Palace!

Of course, I then had to get #3, which cost me about fifteen quid...

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Re: Dr Who Annuals

Post by alanultron5 on Mon Sep 05, 2011 2:23 pm

Getting bargains like that today is very rare now! `Bargain Hunt` has a lot to answer for! Smile

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Re: Dr Who Annuals

Post by tony ingram on Mon Sep 05, 2011 2:30 pm

alanultron5 wrote:Getting bargains like that today is very rare now! `Bargain Hunt` has a lot to answer for! Smile
Sadly, these days charity shops and the like have cottoned on to the fact that comics and annuals are collectible-but they have no idea which ones are collectible, so they assume they can charge a fortune for everything! I've seen battered Beano annuals from the late '90's priced up at a fiver each in Oxfam, and they won't be told...

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Re: Dr Who Annuals

Post by alanultron5 on Tue Oct 18, 2011 3:02 pm

I recently got a very nice copy of the 1970 Dr Who annual at £40.00 from a bookshop in W,Ton. I used to have one `years` ago! Two stories in it are pure Season Seven - "Soldiers from Zolta" and "The Dark Planet" Really superb stories! Another - "Invaders Invisible" is almost at the same quality level of those two!

It is the rarest of the `Who` annuals outside of 1966s "Invasion from Space" 48 page special. I was told by a friend who knew a few people at `World's Distributors` the very low sales of the 1970 annual were the reason there was none released in September 1971.

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Re: Dr Who Annuals

Post by tony ingram on Tue Oct 18, 2011 3:20 pm

I wonder why that one did so badly? And did it have a smaller print run than previous annuals? Most odd. I've never been able to obtain a copy, myself (or of the rare Troughton one, for that matter).

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Re: Dr Who Annuals

Post by alanultron5 on Fri Oct 21, 2011 3:19 pm

I think it was the rather `cartoony` cover of the 1970 issue Tony! It went against the `grain` of the series! Season 7 was the first season aimed at a slightly older audience! Also- with the uncertain future of the season-there was no commercial publicity outside of `TV Comic` which ran a very comedic Doctor/Liz Shaw/Brigadier based strip in early 1970.

The contents of the 1970 annual are actually very in the mode of season 7 in my view Tony. The book did suffer badly sales wise! Only when the series was safe in late 1970 and Pertwee and the BBC both went on a publicity drive in 1971 did Worlds reconsider and get a book together for autumn 1972.

Are you still seeking the first Troughton (Sept 1967) and first Pertwee Tony?

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Re: Dr Who Annuals

Post by tony ingram on Fri Oct 21, 2011 5:00 pm

Yep, still hunting for them both.

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Re: Dr Who Annuals

Post by alanultron5 on Sat Oct 22, 2011 9:50 am

Well, Tony! I have both spare as they are copies I `upgraded` In fact my old 1967 one is virtually as good as the `newer` It is price clipped and the crossword is filled in (There is no name of previous owner though) - but really good condition indeed! It would have to be £30 plus whatever P&P is.

The first Perwee is not as fine-but a decent enough copy! No price clipping or any puzzles etc filled in, or as with the 1967 one-no name(s) written in! It hasn't the cleanest of pages-but there are no major discolourings etc!

I value it in this condition £20 plus whatever the P&P would be!

These are- outside of the "Invasion from Space" Hartnell special; the rarest of the old DR Who annuals, The 1970 one- very rare now!

Let me know what you think Tony!

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Re: Dr Who Annuals

Post by tony ingram on Sat Oct 22, 2011 10:07 am

I think that if you can hang on to them until I get the payment I'm expecting at the end of the month, you have a deal, my friend! Very Happy
(I can't really afford them, but hey, it's my birthday on November the 5th; I can justify getting myself a present...)

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Re: Dr Who Annuals

Post by alanultron5 on Sat Oct 22, 2011 10:20 am

I'll keep them for you Tony! The 1967 is a really good copy and the 1970 is all there and still pretty decent condition!

The 1967 one is the only annual before the Peter Davidson ones to carry full colour publicity photo's of a DR `inside` the book. This has two very early photo's of Troughton when he first got the role and did some photo shhots in his `outfit` (Hat & Pipe etc)

There is also a lovely two page article - with duotone photos - explaining the `new` younger Doctor and an exposition on Ben and Polly!

The 1970 book has really great artwork on most of the stories. Of these-as I said, three are pure season 7 in my view "Soldiers of Zolta" "Invaders Invisible" and "The Dark Planet" Outside of "The Sons of the Crab" in the very first (1965) Annual, they are the best Annual text stories i've ever read!

One oddity re the 1970 annual is, as far as I know Tony- it is the only `Worlds` Annual to also give (Along with whoever is the Doctor each Annual) a cover credit to a companion in the series-namely Caroline John as Liz Shaw!

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Re: Dr Who Annuals

Post by tony ingram on Sat Oct 22, 2011 10:33 am

That is unusual. Until the Davison era, companions weren't usually cover featured at all, let alone credited!

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Re: Dr Who Annuals

Post by alanultron5 on Sat Oct 22, 2011 10:38 am

Yes! If you have never seen the artwork inside the 1970 Annual Tony- it is -in my view- a vast improvement on the Troughton annuls artwork and though portrayls of the doctor and Liz are mostly based on publicity stills, they are very accurate!.

Just two text stories carry the duotone art of previous annuals which is a shame, but mostly I think its sterling stuff indeed!

Got to hop up to the hospital now for the first of my `patch` tests! Back Monday!

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Re: Dr Who Annuals

Post by alanultron5 on Mon Oct 24, 2011 2:18 pm

Just back! Have you ever seen the contents of the 1967 & 1970 Annuals Tony?

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Re: Dr Who Annuals

Post by tony ingram on Mon Oct 24, 2011 5:38 pm

alanultron5 wrote:Just back! Have you ever seen the contents of the 1967 & 1970 Annuals Tony?
I've seen the 1970 one once, but I don't think I've ever seen the other!

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Re: Dr Who Annuals

Post by alanultron5 on Tue Oct 25, 2011 2:23 pm

Tony! I have bought a padded envelope and can get it, with the annuals, weighed for UK postage! If you want to send me a postal adress via P.M here-please do!

When you have funds, you can send cheque or crossed P.O. I do prefer Paypal if possible! If you `do` have paypal account Tony, I can send you my details on a P.M.

I have them safely packaged for you now!

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Re: Dr Who Annuals

Post by alanultron5 on Fri Oct 28, 2011 2:32 pm

I put through P.M to Tony on two postage alternatives! Not sure if the `new P.M` notes are working as mine didn't let me know Tony had mailed P.M's to me. I only found out by checking them anyway-to see you indeed had Tony!

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Re: Dr Who Annuals

Post by tony ingram on Fri Oct 28, 2011 2:42 pm

Hmm, you should be getting automatic notifications. Anyway: yes, I got your PM, and I will reply to it now that I know you're back!

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Re: Dr Who Annuals

Post by alanultron5 on Fri Oct 28, 2011 3:05 pm

I got yours today Tony! It notified me straight away- but the ones earlier in the week didn't let me know they'd arrived - I checked anyway to see! Probably a temporary `blip`

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