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 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, strips alternating between the first seven were featured for a period). 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 (the Ninth Doctor's, due to shortness, is a magazine special).
What Could Have Been: Russell T Davies offered the actual Eight-Nine regeneration to the strip, but a variety of restrictions on the matter (not being able to feature the Ninth Doctor with anyone bar Rose, for example, and more importantly the whole Time War thing) led to the idea being ultimately dropped by the editorial staff, who felt they wouldn't be able to do it justice with the restrictions they had. A draft script and a drawing are available in the Eighth Doctor compilation The Flood.
After IDW got the licence for American Doctor Who comics, they began to release 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 that the team cannot discuss stuff they haven't "seen".
The Matrix Databank. Headscratchers 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.
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.
The front covers are somewhat notable in their own right.
"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 when they announced his taking on the role. They acknowledged this in their issue dedicated to "Time Crash" where they pointed out they'd spelled his name right this time.
Broken with Matt Smith, for whom they simply went with "Who Is Matt Smith?" for the announcement; the proper phrase was only used after the regeneration (which also marked a redesign of the magazine to tie in with the show's new logo).
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 Doctor Who 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".
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.
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.
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 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.
Canon Discontinuity: Following Doctor Who's initial cancellation in 1989, the strip tied in with Virgin Publishing's Doctor Who New Adventures novel range, featuring book companion Bernice Summerfield, and a notably older Ace. Later on, 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.)
The Chessmaster: The Seventh and Eighth Doctors, the Master, the Threshold, Destrii's uncle Jodafra...
City Noir: New Old Detroit in "The Deep Hereafter".
City of Weirdos: 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.
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".
Crossover: Marvel had a way of bringing all of their licenced properties into the same, if not universe, then multiverse. One Marvel character, Deaths 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.
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.
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 MI 6 agent by kissing him with a drugged lipstick (implied to be a gift from River Song).
Easily Forgiven: Destrii is introduced when she steals another companion's body and promptly starts to kiss and molest the Eighth Doctor, entirely without his consent. She keeps up the uninvited kissing later on, even after he shoves her away and angrily tells her to stop. ... And then she becomes a companion.
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.
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.
Our Elves Are Better: Majenta pretty much ticks most of the boxes. Attractive? Check. Pointy ears? Check. Blonde/white hair? Check. Haughty attitude? Check. Mysterious abilities? Check.
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.
Story Arc: Numerous. Voyager, the Threshold, the return of the Master, the Crimson Hand, Izzy's bodyswap...
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.
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.