Magazine: Doctor Who Magazine
The cover of DWM 465, dated November 2013, features six of the actors who have played the Doctor on TV. (Matt Smith
is in the upper right hand corner.)
"Adventures in space and time — every four weeks!"
— Masthead promo, since issue 450
The longest running official Television Tie In Magazine
in the world, as declared by Guinness World Records, Doctor Who Magazine
started off as Doctor Who Weekly
back in 1979
Originally under Marvel, it is now published by Panini, who absorbed Marvel UK a few years back.
DWM is a lot more independent than most such mags, printing reviews that can be highly critical and happily criticising many of the show's poor past episodes. It has become very close to the production team and is very much a source for exclusives, especially episode titles.
It regularly publishes specials, including Making Of guides for every season of the new series.
It's also spawned a few spinoffs, including a short-lived poster magazine spotlighting the series' monsters; Doctor Who Classic Comics
, which mainly reprinted pre-DWM Doctor Who comics; and Doctor Who Insider
, for North American fans. The magazine has a lot of regular features:
The front covers are somewhat notable in their own right.
- The Comic Strip: Part of the Doctor Who Expanded Universe. Has featured all the Doctors at some point (the current Doctor has always starred whilst the show was being broadcast; during the 1989-1996 hiatus, the strip published Seventh Doctor comics until 1994, and then stories featuring various Doctors until the Eighth Doctor's run started). Its stories vary in length, content and creative style, much like the show itself. Aside from the regular companions, the comic has introduced a variety of new ones to the Whoniverse, such as Frobisher (a shape-shifting penguin), Izzy, and the rather forgotten Sharon, the first non-white companion (the Tie In Novels also had non-white companions before the arrival of Mickey Smith). The majority of the strips are available in book compilations (although several are out of print).
- Both Grant Morrison and Alan Moore have contributed strips. Although with Alan Moore, it was entirely a case of Money, Dear Boy, as he was convinced the show went downhill as soon as William Hartnell left.
- Two-and-a-quarter Big Finish audio episodes, "The Holy Terror", "The Maltese Penguin" (both starring Frobisher) and Izzy's chapter of "The Company Of Friends", take place in this comics continuity rather than in the Big Finish canon. Six also meets Beep The Meep in a Big Finish omake audio, which came as a free gift with DWM.
- When IDW Publishing had the licence for American Doctor Who comics, they released a Doctor Who Classics series of comics publishing the Doctor Who Magazine strip from the start, sometimes with the original black-and-white strips coloured. This was actually history repeating itself, as in the early 1990s Marvel UK had produced the above-mentioned Doctor Who Classic Comics title reprinting selected stories from the 1960s/70s TV Comics / Countdown strip.
- The Time Team: Four fans watching all the episodes in order. The original team started in 1999; partly due to there not always being room and the show's sheer length, it took them a good decade to get through the classic series. The feature took a break after the TV Movie, then returned with a new team for the new series. There is a rule (occasionally broken) that the team cannot discuss stuff they haven't "seen".
- The Matrix Databank. It Just Bugs Me! in Doctor Who Magazine. Originally written by Andrew Pixley, it returned with a flippant approach, hosted by Sorvad (also credited with the occasional spoof news column "Space-Time Telegraph"). It has used "guest presenters" (usually companions) for a while with various explanations as to Sorvad's location.
- The Letters Page. One of the nice things for the older fans is the young ones writing in to express their liking, often of the classic series.
- Quick note - for the magazine, there is no distinction between classic and new: they are the same show.
- The Production Notes column, where Russell T Davies often dropped vague hints about future episodes (i.e. three words from the script). Steven Moffat took over in 2010.
- Moffat had written the occasional piece previously. There have also been contributions by Phil Collinson, Gareth Roberts and others.
- In 2013, this occasionally became a Q&A column, with Moff answering fan queries (usually about production stuff but sometimes providing Word of God answers to questions about the episodes).
- You Are Not Alone. Fan musings by Neil Harris. Follows on from other fan musings columns like Matt Jones's Fluid Links, and The Life And Times Of Jackie Jenkins (by Vanessa Bishop; "Jackie" was a fictional character).
- In 2013 replaced with Relative Dimensions by Jacqueline Rayner, which is more specifically about being a Doctor Who fan and a parent.
- The Gallifrey Guardian. Doctor Who news, including "Beyond The TARDIS", about what Who-related people are doing outside the programme.
- Wotcha!, a humour page by "the Watcher", which previously existed as It's The End But..., also by the Watcher, and as mentioned above, The Space Time Telegraph by "Sorvad" (represented as a Dalek head on a human body).
- "TV's No. 1 Hero!" has been used recently and has had variations, as in "TV's No. 1 Villain!"
- Notably, a letter following "Last of the Time Lords" said how absolutely right it was that the issue covering this had the caption on a cover showing Martha.
- "X Is The Doctor!" announcing a new Doctor.
- Rather infamously they misspelled Peter Davison's name as "Peter Davidson" on the cover when they announced his taking on the role. They acknowledged this in DWM 389, the issue dedicated to "Time Crash", where they finally wrote "Peter Davison is the Doctor!" And so is David Tennant! on the cover correctly and pointed out they'd spelled his name right this time. They later admitted in DWM 400 that this is the one mistake they'll never live down.
- Exactly when the headline is used varies. For Peter Davison and Colin Baker it was held back until their debut stories aired; Sylvester McCoy didn't get one; for Paul McGann, Christopher Eccleston and David Tennant it was as soon as the announcement was made; for Matt Smith and Peter Capaldi it was as soon as the regeneration occurred.
- DWM 403, the Christmas 2008 issue, has an obvious variation: "David Morrissey is The Next Doctor!"
- DWM 454 announced the redesign of the Eighth Doctor for the Big Finish Doctor Who story "Dark Eyes" with the variation "Paul McGann Is the Dark Doctor".
- For a redesign launch and to tie in with "Voyage of the Damned" - a Dalek and Kylie Minogue. The latter in a gold strapless mini-dress.
- Not a true example: a joke cover of DWM 396 was mocked up◊ and released on their Facebook page; the same way real ones are, featuring Steven Moffat in response to someone on the Outpost Gallifrey forums wondering if he'd be mentioned on the cover. Some posters took it for real.
- DWM 397 had every word on the cover replaced with "Bad Wolf" (effectively renaming the magazine "BAD WOLF BAD WOLF" for one issue) as per the ending of "Turn Left".
- DWM 423's cover consists of only the logo and a time crack (giving the impression that the crack "ate" everything else on the cover) in anticipation of "The Big Bang".
- DWM 428 was a special issue about the Soap Opera elements of the series. The cover has a bright red logo and garish yellow screamer headlines, pastiching the magazine Inside Soap. The gimmick was continued inside, with all the columns being renamed appropriately.
The comic strip contains examples of:
- Abnormal Ammo: Shayde's guns fire psychic bullets, which are perpetually replenishing as long as someone provides him with the willpower to keep producing them.
- Aborted Arc: When the TV series returned in 2005, the strip had to shift over to using the Ninth Doctor and Rose, meaning that companion Destrii's story was left unfinished. She was last seen in the strip walking off with the Eighth Doctor to new adventures.
- What Destrii's original story would have been hasn't been revealed; when offered the Eighth-Ninth regeneration, the creative team initally wanted to have Destrii continue with the new Doctor, but the restrictions they had meant they couldn't go through with it. They had a loophole, which meant they could have just featured the regeneration, but they felt that a proper regeneration meant they needed to show the consequences, so they reluctantly turned it down.
- Not the first time the strip's aborted its arc, either; writer Steve Moore dropped his plans for Abslom Daak after falling out with editor Alan McKenzie and leaving the strip. Daak later got brought back by other writers.
- Absolute Xenophobe: Danny in "The Blood of Azrael", who wants to wipe out all alien life in the name of keeping humanity safe. The Doctor, however, suggests he just wants to satisfy his bloodlust.
- Action Girl: Fey Truscott-Sade, 1930s British super-spy. Izzy too, after the body swap. Even Dark Action Girl Destrii graviates towards this in her later appearances, risking her life to help others.
- Adaptational Attractiveness: Eight wasn't mostly legs in the TV Movie...
- Agent Mulder: Maxwell (Max) Edison, a UFO spotter who becomes a long-standing friend of the Doctor's throughout his incarnations.
- Alpha Bitch: "Imaginary Enemies" introduces Veronica Stackmore, daughter of the Mayor of Leadworth, queen of Leadworth Primary School, and ringleader of the gang that teases Amelia Pond for her belief in the Raggedy Doctor.
- Always Chaotic Evil: Subverted with, of all things, the Daleks, in "Children of the Revolution".
- Amnesiac Dissonance: Majenta has elements of this; she knows she used to be a criminal, and is fine with this, but she's occasionally shocked by evidence of how ruthless a criminal.
- And the Adventure Continues: Eight and Destrii got this ending due to the revival of the TV series and the executive decision that the Ninth Doctor comics should be strictly tied into TV continuity.
- Arc Words: The Crimson Hand in the Majenta arc. "What is buried in man?" in the psychic metal arc.
- Art Shift: The Rupert Bear parody in the Voyager arc, and the Doctor shifting between alternate universes in "The Glorious Dead".
- Ascended Fanboy: Fangirls - Izzy and Destrii, who both become the Doctor's companion. Izzy's into sci-fi, while Destrii prefers westerns and action shows.
- Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: Kroton the Cyberman.
- Bad Santa: "Imaginary Enemies" features the Krampus, a member of the Trickster's Brigade, who calls himself Santa's shadow. He has a black beard and dresses in a white Santa suit with red trim.
- Beethoven Was an Alien Spy: The Doctor's crossed paths with King Arthur and Merlin (Marvel's version, not his own future self), artists Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera, Spring-Heeled Jack, George Custer and Sitting Bull, William Shakespeare and Robert Greene, C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien, Socrates and Plato, the Golem of Prague, and pilot Amy Johnson. He also helped inspire the game of conkers.
- Abraham White helped nudge many of the inventors of the late 19th/early 20th centuries along - such as Alexander Bell, Nikolai Tesla, Rudolf Diesel and Henry Ford - inspired by an encounter with Thomas Edison.
- Bifauxnen: Fey.
- Big Fat Future: In "Welcome to Tickle Town", the Doctor and Clara arrive in the Tickle Town amusement park 300 years in the future. Clara comments on the size of most of the attendees, hoping that the entire human race doesn't evolve into size XXX-L. It turns out everyone is trapped in the park, unable to leave. "Lifers" are those who have given up hope, eat the munchies (laced with sedatives) and ride the rides all day, becoming obese blobs.
- The Blank: Shayde, who has a black sphere for a head, and the faceless children from "Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night".
- Bomb Throwing Anarchist: A mad anarchist named Ruckford is used as a stooge in an attempt to blow up Buckingham Palace in "The Crystal Throne".
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: "Happy Deathday", which parodies the concept of multi-Doctor teamups.
- Canon Discontinuity: Following Doctor Who's initial cancellation in 1989, the strip continued publishing Seventh Doctor stories that later began to share a continuity with the Virgin Publishing Doctor Who New Adventures novel series, featuring book companion Bernice Summerfield, and a notably older Ace. In 1994, however, the DWM editor decided to break with NA continuity, and proceeded to do so by killing off a notably younger Ace in "Ground Zero", making the NA tie-ins Discontinuity. (However, the Tenth Doctor strips have made reference to strips both before and after the break.)
- Cast Full of Gay: The Eighth Doctor travels with lesbian companion Izzy and bisexual, very androgynous companion Fey.
- Cerebus Syndrome: The comics started out as very episodic, but starting with Steve Parkhouse's Fifth Doctor strips began to be linked together into lengthy Story Arcs. When the TV series was revived in 2005, the comic strip went back to episodic stories that could easily fit between TV episodes, but later returned to long arcs, beginning with the comics published during 2009 when only a few TV specials were shown.
- Chainmail Bikini: The Amazastanians in "The Green-Eyed Monster".
- Changeling Fantasy: Subverted with Izzy, who, after learning she was adopted, rejected her adoptive parents, fantasising that her real parents were alien royalty. Eventually, she outgrew the fantasy and reconciled with her adoptive parents.
- The Chessmaster: The Seventh and Eighth Doctors, the Master, the Threshold, Destrii's uncle Jodafra...
- Christmas Episode: "The Professor, the Queen and the Bookshop" and "Imaginary Enemies".
- City in a Bottle: Tickle Town in "Welcome to Tickle Town". Founder Tobias Tickle thought a nuclear war was inevitible and so sealed off his amusement park on its opening day - trapping the patrons - and teleported it deep underground. However, the war never happened.
- City Noir: New Old Detroit in "The Deep Hereafter".
- City of Weirdos: London in the Tenth Doctor comic "Bus Stop". The Doctor borrows a random commuter's phone, sonics it, and starts yelling instructions to Martha, who's on Mars in the distant future. The commuter just wonders why the weirdos always have to sit next to him.
- Clothes Make the Maniac: In "The Blood of Azrael", Azrael's mask contains the memories and powers of the Omnicidal Maniac Azrael, waiting for a host of a suitable mindset to continue his work. Danny provides that host.
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: Josiah W. Dogbolter, Majenta Pryce.
- Abraham White, the creator of the Threshold. This is the man who DESTROYED OUTER SPACE just so that he could make a buck. That brings whole new meaning to the trope.
- Cosmic Keystone: The Event Synthesiser, which maintains the order of the cosmos; the Glory, keystone for the entire omniverse.
- Cowboy Episode: "Wormwood" took place in a Wild West town on the moon (It Makes Sense in Context).
- Crossover: Marvel had a way of bringing all of their licenced properties into the same, if not universe, then multiverse. One Marvel character, Death's Head, was once thrown out of Marvel's Transformers comic into the Doctor's TARDIS. And later thrown out of the TARDIS into Four Freedoms Plaza.
- Cross Through: The Threshold first appeared in the Past Doctor strips, kidnapping the companions of previous Doctors, before finally revealing themselves to the Seventh Doctor in "Ground Zero".
- Cyanide Pill: The mad anarchist Ruckford uses a cyanide pill to commit suicide when he is captured by the Paternoster Street Gang after they foil his attempt to blow up Buckingham Palace in "The Crystal Throne".
- Dark Action Girl: Destrii. An exception to the norm, in that she starts a Heel-Face Turn.
- Dark Is Not Evil: Shayde.
- A Day in the Limelight: In the magazine's early days, there was a back-up strip spotlighting monsters, villains, and other characters. A few times in the main comic, there have been Doctor-less strips spotlighting other characters, like "Unnatural Born Killers", a Kroton solo story; "Character Assassin", a Master solo story; "Me and My Shadow", a Fey solo story; "Imaginary Enemies", a Whole Episode Flashback to Amy and Rory's childhood; and "The Crystal Throne", an adventure of the Paternoster Street Gang.
- Dead Artists Are Better: In "Interstellar Overdrive 2", the manager of a band plans to kill them all in a spaceship 'accident' so the record company can make a fortune reissuing new editions of their back catalogue.
- Deadly Decadent Court: Oblivion's nobles.
- Dead Person Impersonation: In "The Blood of Azrael", Danny impersonates the long-deceased Azrael so he'll be blamed for the massacre Danny plans, averting suspicion.
- Disability Immunity: In "Sticks and Stones" being dyslexic made people immune to Monos' attack (which was transforming people into language).
- Drugged Lipstick: In "The Broken Man", Amy Pond escapes from an MI6 agent by kissing him with a drugged lipstick (implied to be a gift from River Song).
- Expanded Universe: Doctor Who
- Girl Posse: Veronica has a pair of side-girls who act as her yes men in "Imaginary Enemies".
- God Save Us from the Queen!: Destrii's mother, the Matriax.
- Golem: The Doctor encounters the Golem of Prague in "The Broken Man".
- Grand Theft Me: Destrii does this to Izzy, hoping to take her place as Eighth's companion. It gets reversed... eventually.
- Gulliver Tie Down: Happens to the Doctor in "The Final Chapter".
- Half the Man He Used to Be: Half Nelson in "The Deep Hereafter". Fortunately for him, this is a case of Who Needs Their Whole Body?.
- Homage: "The Deep Hereafter", homaging both Raymond Chandler's detective stories and Will Eisner's The Spirit.
- A House Divided: In one strip a group of minor villains that the Doctor has previously defeated gather together in a deserted space-station to plan a final attack that will finish him once and for all. One of them dies horribly, and as the others begin dying one by one afterward, it seems (to them, anyway) as if the Doctor has infiltrated their midst in disguise and is picking them off one by one. Finally, the last couple — paranoid that either one of them could be the Doctor in disguise — kill each other... and at that point, the Doctor arrives, not recognising any of them. Turns out the first death was just an accident with a faulty machine and the other deaths were just everyone picking each other off out of sheer paranoia.
- Humans Are Bastards: "Children of the Revolution". Humans are rescued by good Daleks, descendants of the humanised Daleks Alpha, Beta and Omega. Humans destroy Daleks. As soon as you see the situation, you realise exactly how it's going to go wrong. You'll be right.
- Immortality Seeker: Astrolabus.
- It Works Better with Bullets: In "Interstellar Overdrive 2", Fluke pulls a raygun on one of his bandmates, only to find that the Doctor had removed the power pack from the gun after detecting a psychosis-inducing agent in the band's curry.
- Jigsaw Puzzle Plot: "The Blood of Azrael" draws on plot elements from across Scott Gray's run on the strip, many of which looked like they'd been wrapped up at the time.
- Mad Artist: The Necrotists are an artistic movement that believes murder to be the only true expression of creativity, using their victims' bodies to create their art. Their founder took it to a genocidal extreme, wiping out entire species to create his artworks.
- Master of Illusion: Astrolabus.
- May Contain Evil: The soft drink Goruda in "The Golden Ones" (actually a product of the Axons).
- Milestone Celebration: The strip began marking the show's anniversaries during the long hiatus; "Time & Time Again" marked the 30th, "Happy Deathday" the 35th, "The Land of Happy Endings" the 40th, and both "Hunters of the Burning Stone" and "John Smith and the Common Men" the 50th ("Hunters" being an arc climax and "John Smith" a one-shot). They marked their 250th issue with "A Life of Matter and Death", and their 20th anniversary with "TV Action!".
- Multi-Armed and Dangerous: Hecto Shellac in "The Deep Hereafter". Six arms equals six guns.
- Musical Episode: "Planet Bollywood".
- The Music Meister: The Muse from "Planet Bollywood"
- Mythology Gag: The alternate universe spider-Daleks from "Fire and Brimstone" come from unused scripts for the project that became the TV Movie.
- No Dialogue Episode: "Onomatopoeia" is dialogue-free until the final pages.
- No Fourth Wall: "Doctor Who and the Fangs of Time", where the story's writer/artist meets the Fourth Doctor.
- Noir Episode: "The Deep Hereafter"
- No Name Given: Izzy S. She claims the S stands for Someone/Somebody; in reality, it stands for Sinclair.
- Not with the Safety on, You Won't: "Dragon's Claw" has the Fourth Doctor use this to bluff his gun-wielding foe while he gets a door open with his Sonic Screwdriver. Justified, too, in that said foe was a man in 16th Century China with a 23rd Century-era blaster—he wouldn't have known what a safety catch was.
- Omnicidal Maniac: The Pariah.
- Azrael, founder of the Necrotists.
- Only One Name: Astrolabus, Destrii (Destriianatos), Shayde.
- Overt Operative: Fey, at least in her first appearance. While Fey Truscott-Sade is her real name, her identity as an agent of King George VI is a secret.
- Petting Zoo People: Most notably, Josiah Dogbolter, who looks like a humanoid frog. Then there are Oblivion's nobles, who range the gamut from fish to pigs to cats, with Destrii and her mother both being fishwomen.
- Plot-Relevant Age-Up: Sharon.
- Posthumous Narration: Johnny Seaview in "The Deep Hereafter".
- Private Eye Monologue: Johnny Seaview provides one that serves as the narration in "The Deep Hereafter".
- Psycho Sidekick: Destrii, for the Eighth Doctor. A mild aversion, in that the Doctor's trying to get her to play nice with others. Unfortunately, we never find out if he succeeds.
- Reality Warper: Astrolabus, at least when it comes to his pocket reality; Oblivion's Horde, who can reshape reality around an entire planet.
- The Crimson Hand are also able to do this as well to the Universe, but not without consequences.
- Red Herring Twist: In "The Glorious Dead" it turns out the real contenders for the position of controller of the Glory aren't the Doctor and Master but Kroton and Sato.
- Reverse Polarity: 'Reverse the polarity of the electron flow', in "The Golden Ones".
- Royally Screwed Up: The royal family of Oblivion, including Destrii, falls under the "They're Just Nuts" category.
- Dr Ivan Asimoff, whose name is a shout-out to sci-fi author Isaac Asimov.
- Izzy, being a geek, does this a lot. In the first installment of "Fire & Brimstone", she starts off rhapsodising about these books she's reading featuring "this mad city called Ankh-Morpork" (the Doctor says he's been there) and then, when they encounter the residents of the space station Icarus Falling, declares "Klaatu Barada Nikto!" while flashing a Vulcan salute.
- Story Arc: Numerous. Voyager, the Threshold, the return of the Master, Izzy's bodyswap, the Crimson Hand, the Child of Time, the psychic metal saga...
- Suspiciously Specific Denial:
Despite the occasionally trippy ambience of the finished piece, I’d like to stress that we in no way got ripped to the tits on jazz cigarettes, then turned off the McGann film to watch What's Up, Tiger Lily?
and dodgy 1930s talking dog shorts instead. (That would have been irresponsible and utterly wrong
- Talking the Monster to Death: In "TV Action!" the Eighth Doctor and Izzy travel to our reality. Here they encounter Tom Baker, who had played the Fourth Doctor, who defeats that month's alien by merely talking to him and rambling endlessly.
- Ten Little Murder Victims: "Tooth and Claw" plays this straight; "Death to the Doctor!" subverts it, with there being no hidden killer.
- Thieves' Guild: In "The Cornucopia Caper", Cornucopia is ruled by an alliance of criminal guilds, each one responsible for a different area of criminal activity: thievery, kidnapping, blackmail, hijacking, etc.
- Took a Level in Badass: The psychic metal powered galactic conquerors in "Hunters of the Burning Stone" are the Tribe of Gum. Yes, that Tribe of Gum.
- Transplant: Death's Head appeared after falling sideways through time from Marvel UK's Transformers comic.
- Trojan Prisoner: In "The Futurists" this is used to infiltrate an ancient Roman military camp. Lampshaded when the Doctor remarks that it's a tired old trick, but there had to be a time when it was new enough to work.
- Two Beings, One Body: The Pariah and Abraham White, Fey and Shayde.
- Wardens Are Evil: The Chief Warden of Thinktwice (a space prison) is cut from the same cloth as Umbridge. He claims to be 'rehabilitating' his 'residents' by wiping their memories, but doesn't bat an eyelid if his machine fries their brains or drives them to suicide.
- Welcome to the Real World: "TV Action!", where Eighth and Izzy travel to our reality and team up with actor Tom Baker (the Fourth Doctor).
- Who Needs Their Whole Body?: In "The Deep Hereafter", Half Nelson is literally Half the Man He Used to Be following a transmat accident. He is still a viable threat to the Doctor.
- Who Wants to Live Forever?: Samurai Katsura Sato.
- Woman Scorned: The TARDIS gets this in "Pay the Piper"/"The Blood of Azrael". Apparently, being sold off to save Clara didn't sit well with her. Unfortunately, someone takes advantage...
- Wretched Hive: In "The Cornucopia Caper", the Doctor visits Cornucopia, an entire planet ruled by an alliance of different criminal guilds.
- Zettai Ryouiki: Amy Pond in "The Golden Ones".