Classic Doctor Who Annual Stories

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Classic Doctor Who Annual Stories

Post by tony ingram on Sun Mar 13, 2016 8:43 am

I've been trawling through a number of the old Doctor Who Annuals, those published by World Distributors from 1965-1986, while working on the Albion British Comics wiki, and it reminded me how much I liked some of those books, and the utterly daft stories in them-all of them, sadly, uncredited. I thought I'd share a few here. First up is Emsone's Castle from the 1979 annual, apparently by Paul Crompton, an underrated (indeed, these days pretty much unknown) artist whose approach to Doctor Who can best be described as slightly surreal.



In this particular oddity, the Doctor and Leela travel to a planet with the unlikely name of Zorka, to find a rare mountain weed with medicinal properties, for reasons that are never explained. There, they are contacted by what seems to be a living skeleton called Krass, who explains that the "mystic" Emsone has made his flesh invisible with "M-Rays" and pleads with the Doctor to help. Why emsone has adopted this peculiar practice remains unclear, as is why a "mystic" is building ray machines, but it doesn't really matter as the Doctor drops a castle on his head anyway, before restoring Krass. Leaving aside the sheer implausibility of the paper thin plot, it really s quite fun, and beautifully drawn. I can't help feeling it's a shame we would be unlikely to see something like this in a modern annual...


Last edited by tony ingram on Sat Apr 09, 2016 9:03 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Classic Doctor Who Annual Stories

Post by Lucy McGough on Mon Mar 14, 2016 9:23 am

They need some rare weed with 'medicinal' properties. I see Very Happy

Clearly Emsone ingested some of this weed and then reckoned turning people's flesh invisible was the way to go. You know, for a laugh.

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Re: Classic Doctor Who Annual Stories

Post by tony ingram on Mon Mar 14, 2016 9:43 am

Lucy McGough wrote:They need some rare weed with 'medicinal' properties. I see Very Happy

Clearly Emsone ingested some of this weed and then reckoned turning people's flesh invisible was the way to go. You know, for a laugh.
That thought had occurred to me...

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Re: Classic Doctor Who Annual Stories

Post by Mbast1 on Mon Mar 14, 2016 5:10 pm

tony ingram wrote:I can't help feeling it's a shame we would be unlikely to see something like this in a modern annual...

I would agree. I like stories where you can analyze them in detail, and I do think about things too much, but there was some bizarre "magic" in some stories where you didn't try to lay out things so rationally.
Too far in that direction and you get arguments over how Superman's powers "would" work. In our world, they just wouldn't, so can't we just go with "it's not our world"?

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Re: Classic Doctor Who Annual Stories

Post by tony ingram on Mon Mar 14, 2016 6:48 pm

Mbast1 wrote:
tony ingram wrote:I can't help feeling it's a shame we would be unlikely to see something like this in a modern annual...

I would agree. I like stories where you can analyze them in detail, and I do think about things too much, but there was some bizarre "magic" in some stories where you didn't try to lay out things so rationally.
Too far in that direction and you get arguments over how Superman's powers "would" work. In our world, they just wouldn't, so can't we just go with "it's not our world"?
That I totally agree with! Sometimes (in fact, all too often) fans of larger than life characters and situations seem to dispay an obsessive need to tear them to pieces by pointing out logical fallacies rather than simpy enjoying the sheer imagination of the stories. It makes you wonder why they bother with the stories in the first place.

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Re: Classic Doctor Who Annual Stories

Post by Mbast1 on Wed Mar 16, 2016 5:43 pm

tony ingram wrote:Sometimes (in fact, all too often) fans of larger than life characters and situations seem to dispay an obsessive need to tear them to pieces by pointing out logical fallacies rather than simpy enjoying the sheer imagination of the stories. It makes you wonder why they bother with the stories in the first place.

Yeah, I get some of both sides (I like analyzing things), but at some point you have to just accept genre conventions ARE arbitrary and either go with it or make yourself miserable. You can come up with new explanations for why Superman's powers are what they are, and that could lead to new story possibilities. But it's also likely to lead to acrid arguments and hating things. Which seems like the point where you need a new hobby.
Sometimes the answer is that that's just how it's written. And sometimes, people are just weird.

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Re: Classic Doctor Who Annual Stories

Post by Lucy McGough on Thu Mar 17, 2016 7:34 am

Mbast1 wrote:And sometimes, people are just weird.

Not us, of course. We're all lovely Smile

We few, we happy few, we band of siblings... Very Happy

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Re: Classic Doctor Who Annual Stories

Post by tony ingram on Thu Mar 17, 2016 8:02 am

The Vampire Plants, from the 1970 annual (published 1969). The Doctor, Jamie and Zoe go to a botanical gaden on Venus where the Doctor's old friend Doctor Vane has accidentally let loose some intelligent alien plants. Demonstrating something rather less than his usual spirit of open minded enquiry, the Doctor produces a cigarette lighter (!) and burns them all.


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Re: Classic Doctor Who Annual Stories

Post by Lucy McGough on Fri Mar 18, 2016 7:39 am

I love the Doctor's face in this one. He's like, "Ha ha, I'm going to burn your plants and there's nothing you can do to stop me!"

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Re: Classic Doctor Who Annual Stories

Post by tony ingram on Sat Apr 09, 2016 8:58 am


In "The Power", drawn by Paul Crompton in te 17 annual, Princess Azula is having a bit of trouble with warring warlords Orga and Zig. Luckily, the Doctor is on hand to murder Zig. Oh, and Princess Azula is an ape!



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Re: Classic Doctor Who Annual Stories

Post by Lucy McGough on Sat Apr 09, 2016 12:08 pm

I think that technically all humans are apes.

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Re: Classic Doctor Who Annual Stories

Post by tony ingram on Sun May 15, 2016 10:09 am

Freedom by Fire is from the 1969 annual, and sees the Doctor, Jamie and Victoria face the Kraals! These Kraals, though, aren't the vaguely saurian aliens seen in the later TV story The Android Invasion, but man eating plants out to feed on the inhabitants of a peaceful jungle planet. The Doctor, realizing that the people here are vegetarians who have never needed to discover fire in order to cook meat, gives them the secret so that they can burn out the Kraals by setting fire to the...jungle...which...they...uh...live in... Embarassed

Oh, dear. Oh, well. I'm sure it all worked out OK in the end...


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Re: Classic Doctor Who Annual Stories

Post by Lucy McGough on Mon May 16, 2016 10:14 pm

Yeah, right. Years later the descendants of the ex-jungle-dwellers left their ash-covered planet and went to Stonehenge looking for revenge...

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