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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,note  Doctor Who Magazine started off as Doctor Who Weekly (it changed to a four-weekly schedule after 43 issues) back in 1979, and continued uninterrupted even throughout the Wilderness Years of 1989 to 2005.

Originally published under the UK branch of Marvel Comics, it is now published by Panini Comics, who absorbed Marvel UK in The '90s.

DWM is a lot more independent than most such mags, printing reviews that can be highly critical and happily criticising many of Doctor Who'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 current sister title is Doctor Who Adventures, which originally launched in 2006, and was acquired by Panini in 2015; it's aimed at the show's kid fanbase, with a mix of in-character written activities, games, posters, short stories, episode recaps, and comics — a format very similar to that of the earliest years of DWM.

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, 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.
    • 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.
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    • Several Big Finish audio stories feature characters from the comics: "The Holy Terror" and "The Maltese Penguin" both star Frobisher; Izzy appears in an episode of "The Company Of Friends", an anthology pairing the Eighth Doctor with various companions from different continuities; the village of Stockbridge was the setting of a Fifth Doctor trilogy, with the middle story, "The Eternal Summer", featuring Maxwell Edison; and recurring villain Dogbolter appears in "The Maltese Penguin" and "The Quantum Possibility Engine". In addition, a couple of the Big Finish omake audios which came as free gifts with DWM also feature comic characters, with recurring villain Beep the Meep appearing in Sixth Doctor story "The Ratings War", and Shayde appearing in Fifth Doctor story "No Place Like Home". Doctor Who: The Comic Strip Adaptations takes things a step further, with audio adaptations of "Doctor Who and the Iron Legion", the first comic strip story, and "Doctor Who and the Star Beast", Beep the Meep and Sharon's introductory story.
    • 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, who finished in 2017 with "The Rebel Flesh". There was a rule (occasionally broken) that the team couldn't discuss stuff they hadn't "seen".
    • The feature returned in 2018 in a different format; it had a 12-strong pool of fans all born during the 1990s, and each Time Team, a few of them would watch three or four episodes from different eras with a common theme (such as Doctors' first episodes).
  • The Matrix Databank. 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 used "guest presenters" (usually companions) for a while with various explanations as to Sorvad's location. This particular feature was quietly discontinued in 2008.
  • The Letters Page (currently titled "Galaxy Forum"). 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, and after a short hiatus in 2017, he was succeeded by Chris Chibnall in 2018.
    • Both Moffat and Chibnall had contributed to the column before taking over. There have also been contributions by Phil Collinson, Gareth Roberts and others.
    • From 2013 through 2017, it developed into 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 was 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). Following an unfortunate incident in 2017, "the Watcher" was sacked and this page was replaced by The Blogs of Doom, featuring in-universe blog posts from various characters in the show.
  • The Christmas Quiz (compiled by the Watcher until his dismissal), an annual Nintendo Hard quiz featuring anagrams, general knowledge and cryptic clues; since the show's return in 2005, most of the questions will often relate to that year's series.
  • The Daft Dimension: Back in the eighties, nearly every Marvel UK magazine had a backup humour strip, usually by either Lew Stringer or Tim Quinn and Dicky Howett. DWM's was "Doctor Who?" by Quinn and Howett. Since then various strips have continued the tradition including "Nix View" by Nix, "Doctor Oho" by Leighton Noyes and "Doctor Whoah!" by Baxter. The current incarnation, since 2014, is "The Daft Dimension" ... by Lew Stringer.

The front covers are somewhat notable in their own right.

  • "TV's No. 1 Hero!" was used during the Tenth Doctor's era, and 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 it was held back until his debut story 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 Colin Bakernote , Matt Smith, Peter Capaldi and Jodie Whittaker it was as soon as the regeneration occurred.
    • DWM 403, the Christmas 2008 issue, had 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 an interview with John Hurt in DWM 496 on returning to the role of the War Doctor for Big Finish, the headline was "John Hurt is The War Doctor!".
    • David Bradley was given the headline for DWM 519 after being cast as the First Doctor in "Twice Upon a Time".
    • DWM 549, following Series 12, had the headline "Jo Martin is the 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 400's cover is a Droste Image by means of David Tennant reading DWM 400.
  • DWM 423 has Minimalistic Cover Art featuring 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.
  • DWM 442 is a pastiche of the Radio Times cover from Christmas 1924, replacing the family with the Doctor, the Ponds, and the family from "The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe".
  • DWM 474's cover features a CGI collage of various aliens from the first fifty years of the show, in celebration of that issue's user-conducted best-to-worst episode poll.
  • DWM 481 continues the Radio Times Christmas pastiche theme, this time recreating RT's Christmas 1991 cover, but replacing the generic Santa Claus painting with Nick Frost's Santa from "Last Christmas".
  • DWM 500 recreates the cover of Doctor Who Weekly #1, including the diamond logo, with Peter Capaldi in Tom Baker's place.
  • DWM 507 has a photo of superhero the Ghost and Intrepid Reporter Lucy Fletcher from "The Return of Doctor Mysterio", with a version of the Lois & Clark logo reading "Lucy & Grant".
  • DWM 550 is mocked up to look like an 1890s edition of The Strand with a woodcut effect picture of the Doctor and Leela, referencing the Sherlock Holmes pastiche "The Talons of Weng-Chiang" (since the theme of the issue was Season 14). As with many of the more divergent cover designs, the newsstand edition was sold in a polybag printed with a more conventional DWM cover.

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    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.
      • This decision of course later allowed Steven Moffat to add the War Doctor in the narrative gap.
      • The Bus Came Back: We finally find out what happened to Destrii, as well as many other strip-original companions, in Issue 500's "The Stockbridge Showdown".
    • 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. He's central to Issue 500's "The Stockbridge Showdown".
  • 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.
  • Alternate Continuity:
    • The later Seventh Doctor comics, until 1994, shared a continuity with the Doctor Who New Adventures, featuring that novel series's darker characterisation of the Doctor, its older and tougher version of Ace, and its original companion Bernice Summerfield. In 1994 a new editor who disliked being beholden to New Adventures continuity replaced the Seventh Doctor strips with a series of stories featuring various past versions of the Doctor (although one, featuring the Sixth Doctor, was heavily tied in to an earlier New Adventures-continuity story, and another, featuring the Third Doctor, brought in a New Adventures character). The last of these stories, which led into the first big story arc of the Eighth Doctor's comic strips, featured the Seventh Doctor and a younger "Survival"-era Ace, and ended with Ace being killed off, establishing most of the later strips as definitely not taking place in the New Adventures continuity, aside from "The Last Word", an NA anniversary story explicitly set in that continuity. However, it resulted in a couple of subsequent Continuity Snarls, both internally with Tenth Doctor strip "The Betrothal of Sontar", which drew on the Sontaran origin in "Pureblood", which'd featured Bernice as companion, and externally with The Sarah Jane Adventures, which confirmed Ace was still alive.
    • The strip hasn't really been concerned about whether or not it's in continuity with other branches of the Expanded Universe since then; on the one hand, "Doorway to Hell" gives a depiction of the Delgado Master's death and regeneration that is completely different from that depicted in the Eighth Doctor Adventures novel Legacy of the Daleks, while on the other, "Monstrous Beauty" is the strip's contribution to the Time Lord Victorious multi-media event.
  • Always Chaotic Evil: Subverted with, of all things, the Daleks, in "Children of the Revolution".
  • Amazon Brigade: The Amazastians in "Green-Eyed Monster". Amazastians are the humanoid natives of Amazastia. All members of this race are stunningly attractive women with physical ages of eighteen to twenty, a fact which mystifies their own scientists. After victory in battles, they would always massage their bodies in scented oils. The Tenth Doctor enlists Amazastian mercenaries led by Phalia to rescue Rose Tyler from the acolytes of Iagnon on Iagnos. It is possible, however, that they are merely the product of a fever dream on Rose's part.
  • 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 she was.
  • 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. The Bus Came Back for her in "The Stockbridge Showdown".
  • Arc Words: "The Crimson Hand" in the Majenta arc. "What is buried in man?" in the psychic metal arc.
  • Armed with Canon: The story "Change of Mind", which features the Third Doctor, Liz and UNIT, and is explicitly set after Liz's resignation, begins with a caption bluntly stating a date in 1971, establishing the strip's view at the time on the UNIT dating controversy.
  • Art Shift:
    • The Rupert Bear parody in the Voyager arc, and the Doctor shifting between alternate universes in "The Glorious Dead".
    • "The Stockbridge Showdown" in #500 is an art jam with many past artists on the strip contributing two-page spreads.
  • 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: The fate of 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.
  • Beast Man: Most notably, Josiah and Berakka Dogbolter, who look like humanoid frogs. Then there are Oblivion's nobles, who range the gamut from fish to pigs to cats, with Destrii and her mother both being fishwomen.
  • Beethoven Was an Alien Spy: The Doctor's crossed paths with King Arthur and Merlin (Marvel's version, not their own future self), artists Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera, Spring-Heeled Jack, George Custer and Sitting Bull, William Shakespeare and Robert Greene, Ernest Shackleton, C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien, Socrates and Plato, the Golem of Prague, pilot Amy Johnson, Erwin Rommel, Harry Houdini, Witchfinder General Matthew Hopkins, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Tycho Brahe and Johannes Kepler, and Bruce Lee. 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.
    • A number of historical celebrities, including Alan Turing and the Bronte sisters, had their minds copied into android bodies and taken into the future.
    • The Doctor uncovers the truth behind the Highgate Vampire in "The Highgate Horror".
    • When talking about how certain rumours get started, the Doctor mentions never hearing the end of it after taking two princes to see the Eiffel Tower, possibly alluding to the Princes in the Tower.
  • 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", the story marking the 35th anniversary of the show, parodies the concept of multi-Doctor teamups.
  • Buses Are for Freaks: In the Tenth Doctor story "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.
  • Call-Back: "The Mark of Mandragora" is a direct sequel to the TV story "The Masque of Mandragora", which ended with a sequel hook suggesting that the Mandragora Helix would attack Earth again in the late 20th century.
  • Canon Immigrant: For "Change of Mind", Kate Orman brought in Hamlet Macbeth, from her New Adventure The Left-Handed Hummingbird, this being in the period when the strip and NAs still shared a continuity.
  • Captain Ersatz: Chief Inspector Hayes in the Twelfth Doctor's seventies arc is blatantly based on Inspector Jack Regan from The Sweeney, even being drawn at times to look like John Thaw.
  • Cast Full of Gay: The Eighth Doctor travels with lesbian companion Izzy and bisexual, very androgynous companion Fey.
  • Cerebus Retcon: The titular villain of the Twelfth Doctor story "The Phantom Piper" is an Eldritch Abomination Anthropomorphic Personification of war. In the Second Doctor TV story "The Moonbase", a delirious Jamie believed that a Cyberman threatening him was "the Phantom Piper", in the context of that story implied to be some kind of MacCrimmon clan Psychopomp. The comic story, however, gives it a much darker implication.
  • 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: Worn by the Amazastians (who are all stunningly attractive women with physical ages of eighteen to twenty) 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", "Imaginary Enemies", "Be Forgot".
  • City in a Bottle:
    • The Denossus spaceport in "Land of the Blind", which turns out to have been drawn into the Time Vortex by the Vortexians.
    • 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".
  • 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.
  • Comic-Book Fantasy Casting:
    • In "Change of Mind", the villainous Mad Scientist Professor Hardin is both physically based on, and named after, Jerry Hardin, best known as Deep Throat in The X-Files.
    • Long-running Eighth Doctor companion Izzy S was based, according to Word of God, initially on the singer Louise Wener and later on the actress Luisa Bradshaw-White.
    • The Eighth Doctor strips also featured a fake Ninth Doctor, in reality the Time Lord agent Shayde in disguise, who was visually based on the Big Name Fan, spin-off actor-director, and now official Dalek voice artist Nicholas Briggs.
    • Leighton Woodrow, an MI6 recurring character from that era of the comics, was closely based on Leo McKern, specifically as he appeared when playing Number Two in The Prisoner.
    • Frobisher's humanoid form in his Eighth Doctor reappearance is based on James Gandolfini.
    • In the Twelfth Doctor strips, Jess Collins was based on actress Mélissa Azombo, a big Doctor Who fan who jumped at the chance to be in the comic, even doing a photo shoot as reference for artist David A. Roach. This ended up having unexpected resonance due to Azombo's mild resemblance to Pearl Mackie, who was cast shortly afterwards as the next TV companion, Bill.
    • The Western-set story "The Parliament of Fear" uses a whole crew of western actors cast according to their stereotypical type casting in the genre. Vicious outlaw Seth Shelton is Bruce Dern, Native American tracker Joey Two Trees is Lou Diamond Phillips, and comedy "old timer" Zeke is Denver Pyle. Additionally, real African-American western lawman Bass Reeves is Idris Elba.
  • Continuity Cavalcade:
    • In the Milestone Celebration #500, "The Stockbridge Showdown" sees the return of Max Edison, Dogbolter, assorted monsters at Dogbolter's birthday party, Sharon, Chiyoku ("Child of Time"), Clutha ("Hunters of the Burning Stone"), Majenta, Destrii, St Justinian's Church ("Tides of Time"), a reference to Gus Goodman ("4-Dimensional Vistas"), Frobisher, and Izzy.
    • The Twelfth Doctor storyline "The Clockwise War", which looks to be something of a Grand Finale to a whole era of the strip, includes Gol Clutha again, Destrii's Evil Uncle Jodafra, Hugo Wilding and the Lakes from the MI6 arc, Totika and Marshall Reeves from "The Parliament of Fear", Matildus from "Matildus", and Fey, the only DWM companion who wasn't in "Stockbridge Showdown" ... and who is now a baddie.
  • Continuity Porn: "Emperor of the Daleks" is written solely in an attempt to explain what happened to Davros between "Revelation of the Daleks" and "Remembrance of the Daleks", and uses, as a key plot point in this, a "loose end" from a seventies Dalek TV story that hardly anybody thought needed to be tied up.
  • Continuity Snarl: The whole "death of Ace" situation as described above under Alternate Continuity.
  • 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 licensed properties into the same, if not universe, then multiverse. One Marvel character, Death's Head, is 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.
  • 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).
  • Dramatic Irony: In the final scene of Clara's final story, she says that teachers don't need to be remembered, they just need to know they made a difference. The Doctor replies that he's sure Clara's pupils will never forget her, "I know I never will." This was published well after "Hell Bent", in which he was mind-wiped of memories of her (he does recall the adventures they had, but not the things that made him, in the end, love her), aired. The Twelfth Doctor's televised Grand Finale "Twice Upon a Time" went on to undo the mind wipe, however.
  • 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).
  • Evil Me Scares Me: Happens to the Thirteenth Doctor twice in "Mistress of Chaos", in which she encounters two potential versions of herself, one pure Chaos and the other pure Order, but both devoid of morality or compassion.
  • Expanded Universe: Part of the sizeable Doctor Who one.
  • Expendable Clone: Deconstructed in "Blood and Ice", in which the Twelfth Doctor and Clara encounter a previously unseen Clara splinter, for the first time since Clara created them in "The Name of the Doctor". Clara is suddenly hit with the realisation that she could have created a large number of young women solely that they would die for the Doctor. Things are resolved when the splinter survives, proving that not all of them had to sacrifice their lives.
  • Expy: In "The Instruments of War", the bloodthirsty, Scary Shiny Glasses-wearing, podgy, and music-metaphor obsessed Nazi Bruckner is an Expy of the Major from Hellsing. They also both turn out not to be human at the end, although Bruckner is an alien while the Major is a once-human cyborg.
  • 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 the Eighth Doctor's companion. The result is that due to both her and the Doctor believing her original body to have been destroyed, Izzy spends several stories in Destrii's body before she is mistaken for the real deal and kidnapped. From there, the Doctor learns Destrii is still alive in Izzy's body, but ultimately other forces undo the body swap. Izzy leaves the TARDIS after this and a reformed Destrii finally becomes his companion.
  • 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?.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: Invoked in-universe. The ending of "Witch Hunt" has the Doctor tell Clara that neither her students nor he will ever forget her. This comic ran several months after the Series 9 finale "Hell Bent", in which he ended up mind-wiped of memories of her; he does remember traveling with a woman named Clara but not how she looked, sounded, etc. Ouch. However, "Twice Upon a Time" (Twelve's Grand Finale) went on to turn this into Heartwarming in Hindsight in-universe by having said memories restored shortly before he regenerated.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: A fortunately-averted example. The villain of "The Blood of Azrael" intends to wipe out all non-Terran life throughout history. Readers will be able to conclude, although he didn't know, that since there has been so much interference in the Whoniverse Earth's early history by aliens, he would probably end up erasing the human race, at least as he knew it, from history as well.
  • Homage:
    • "Once Upon a Time Lord" includes a three-page section homaging the Rupert Bear strip, complete with its distinctive combination of headlines, illustrations with rhyming couplets, and prose for readers of increasing age and literacy.
    • "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.
  • Hunting the Most Dangerous Game: In "Bloodsport", a pair of alien hunters arrive on earth in search of sentient prey to hunt because the practice has been outlawed on their home world.
  • I Have You Now, My Pretty: In "The Parliament of Fear", Seth gets a second Establishing Character Moment immediately after callously shooting his horse, when he takes Bill hostage and makes a very thinly-veiled threat to rape her.
  • Imaginary Friend: In "The Clockwise War" the Absence, revealed as the last of the Loshann, turns out to be a delusion created by Fey out of her guilt over her inability to save them.
  • Immortality Seeker: Astrolabus.
  • Immune to Mind Control: In the comic strip "The First", Historical Domain Character Ernest Shackleton is immune to the psychic paper. He mentions his wife once took him to see a music hall hypnotist, and that didn't work on him either.
  • Interquel: "Emperor of the Daleks" attempts to fill in the gap between the TV stories "Revelation of the Daleks" and "Remembrance of the Daleks" from Davros's perspective. "Up Above the Gods" is an interquel within an interquel, as it takes place after part one of "Emperor of the Daleks", filling in what happened between the Sixth Doctor and Davros.
  • Insanity Immunity: In "The Eye of Torment", Rudy Zoom is immune to the guilt-eating Emotion Eaters the Umbra, as he's so narcissistic and pampered that he has no negative emotions at all.
  • 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.
  • Knight Templar: The Vortexian Union is pledged to unify the galaxy's races, to bring harmony and order to all species, serving as their protectors - regardless of what the galaxy's races might have to say on the matter - and to that end, where they have jurisdiction, they will punish anything they see as threatening life or the public good. They don't believe in accidents, holding that all actions made by sentient life must be accountable. They do believe in the sanctity of all life, so they've decided not to use death sentences on those who break their laws, but their more serious punishments are essentially Fates Worse Than Death.
  • Late to the Tragedy: Parodied in "Death to the Doctor!", which ends with the Doctor and Martha arriving on a space station strewn with corpses, and the Doctor lamenting that he arrived too late to prevent whatever disaster happened from occuring. The entire previous section of the story depicted the cause of this: a gang of loser villains gathering to try to form a Legion of Doom against the Doctor and all killing one another in paranoia that one of them might be him in disguise.
  • 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.
  • Mask of Power: In "The Blood of Azrael", Azrael's mask contains the memories and reality-warping powers of the Omnicidal Maniac Azrael, waiting for a host of a suitable mindset to continue his work.
  • Master of Illusion: Astrolabus.
  • May Contain Evil: The soft drink Goruda in "The Golden Ones" (actually a product of the Axons).
  • Moe Greene Special: In "A Cold Day in Hell", which in general has an unusual level of graphic violence, an Ice Warrior gets a laser beam through the eye.
  • Mugging the Monster: Happens to, of all people, the Delgado Master in "Doorway to Hell". He isn't ready for a Doctor who is a lot older and more emotionally scarred than the Third, who has a lot less patience for his usual schtick of trying to gain divine power, killing people for lulz, and using silly foreign-language aliases.
  • 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".
  • Named by the Adaptation: "The Clockwise War" gives the Moffat-era Time Lord General the name Kenossium, as a Shout-Out to their first actor, Ken Bones, combining The Danza and This Is My Name on Foreign ("ossium" is Latin for "bones").
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Mary Anne Wesley in "Cuckoo" is strongly inspired by the real early-nineteenth-century palaeontologist Mary Anning.
  • 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.
  • Non-Mammal Mammaries: Used as a plot point in "The Soul Garden". The fact that a Plant Alien has a torso with a bosom shape indicates the brainwashed human mind used to give it consciousness fighting to break out.
  • 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.
  • Phlebotinum Overload: When the Warden of Thinktwice tries to use his memory-draining machine on the Doctor, the Doctor's centuries of experience make the entire machine violently explode.
  • 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. (Although her arc was aborted, we learn he at least partially succeeded in "The Stockbridge Showdown".)
  • The Quincy Punk: "Ravens" involves a gang of devil-worshipping Goths plotting a human sacrifice. Andrew Cartmel actually apologised for this in the 2016 TPB collection that includes the story.
  • Rape as Drama: Almost certainly happens off-panel to Ace in "Evening's Empire". The final panels have her traumatisedly stripping the petals off a flower from Alex's pocket universe, which looks like a blatant Visual Pun for what Alex did to her.
  • 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.
  • Recurring Location: In a non-video game example, the strip has two unique recurring locations: the sleepy English village of Stockbridge, and the alien world of Cornucopia.
  • 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.
  • Retcon: In "Doorway to Hell", the Delgado Master's regeneration uses the visual effects of the revival series' regeneration, rather than any of the original series' regenerations.
  • Reunion Show: One of the ways the strip marks anniversaries:
    • The strip marked the 25th anniversary of the show with "Planet of the Dead" (not to be confused with the Tenth Doctor TV episode of the same title), in which the Seventh Doctor meets all his predecessors and several companions. Subverted, since all of them are actually evil shape-changing aliens.
    • Issue 250's "A Life of Matter and Death" brings back many of the comic's characters in a battle inside the TARDIS's mind.
    • "Happy Deathday", commemorating the 35th anniversary of Doctor Who, pits the (then-)Eight Doctors against a Legion of Doom of their greatest villains.
    • Issue 500's "The Stockbridge Showdown" sees the Twelfth Doctor team up with almost all of the strip's original companions (aside from Fey).
  • 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.
  • Shoot the Rope: In "The Parliament of Fear", the Doctor and Bass Reaves come charging in on horseback to the camp where Bill has been taken. Bass uses the a rifle to shoot the rope that is holding Bill trussed to a totem pole; while still mounted and at the gallop.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Dr Ivan Asimoff, whose name is a shout-out to sci-fi author Isaac Asimov.
    • In "Exodus/ Revelation/ Genesis", all the mad scientists are named after characters played in SF or horror films by Boris Karloff. The Doctor lampshades this by pointing out that one of them, Dr. Poelzig, looks like him. Their security man Krogh is named after, and looks like, the policeman in Son of Frankenstein, played by Lionel Atwill.
    • In "Echoes of the Mogor", all of the Foreign Hazard Duty Space Marines are named after real-world creators associated with the Alien franchise.
    • In "The Good Soldier", which is set around a diner and gas station in Nevada in 1954, the gas station is branded Roxxon, an evil oil company in the Marvel Universe.
    • 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.
    • When Scott Gray decided to feature the General from "Hell Bent" as a major supporting character in "The Clockwise War", he thought that she needed an actual name and asked Steven Moffat himself for one. Moffat suggested "Kenossian", which is a Latin pun on the name of the actor who played the General's previous incarnation, Ken Bones.
  • Space Marines: Several stories feature them. The most significant are the Foreign Hazard Duty (FHD) who appear in various stories by Dan Abnett, a futuristic human special forces team conceived as a far-future "space" analogy to UNIT.
  • 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, the Twelfth Doctor getting stuck in '70s London, the Dreamspace arc...
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial:
    Alan Barnes: 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.)
  • Take That!:
    • The villain of "Evening's Empire" is a repugnant, misogynistic, nerdy serial rapist who abducts random women to an alternate universe to be his slavegirls. Said universe is explicitly based on his genre-fiction reading, and is an unsubtle parody of the notoriously misogynistic BDSM-themed Gor series.
    • One Tenth Doctor strip had a malevolent, bloodthirsty group of Warrior Race aliens abduct the Brigadier and attempt to abduct Mike Yates. However, they abducted a different Mike Yates, a ludicrous, unpleasant little man who was an unsuccessful far-right-wing politician and ended up allying with the aliens. In reality, Richard Franklin, who played the UNIT Mike Yates on TV, has had an unsuccessful political career with a succession of increasingly small and extreme right-wing fringe parties.
    • "The Stockbridge Showdown" has Josiah Dogbolter, the story's Big Bad, standing against publicly owned media, believing that a tiny ultra-wealthy elite should control mass media (referencing the anti-BBC campaign by the tycoons of British media, most notably Rupert Murdoch). It also has a very unflattering caricature of British Prime Minister David Cameron as an obsequious condom-headed alien at Dogbolter's birthday party, thanking Dogbolter for helping him win the last election. (The condom head was a deliberate Shout-Out to Steve Bell's newspaper comic strip If, which does the same thing.)
    • One of the villains in "The Clockwise War" is a former member of an upper class dinner club at college, the members of which were noted to behave appallingly due to their entitlement, and who are introduced in a flashback as looking exactly like the Bullingdon Club. This particular member went on to be a politician, secretly retaining this attitude but disguising it as a Villain with Good Publicity. At this point there are a number of former Bullingdon members who might be getting targeted, but when Bill explains the popular perception of this sadist is someone who was really funny on a Panel Game, it pretty much points straight to Boris Johnson. (Although the actual appearance of the character is more like X-Men villain Sebastian Shaw.)
  • 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.
  • This Is My Name on Foreign: In "Instruments of War", the 12th Doctor enters Field Marshal Erwin Rommel's tent, flashing his psychic paper and announcing himself as Dr. Johann Schmidt: the German version of his Go-to Alias of 'Dr. John Smith'. As it happens, Rommel is one the people strong-minded enough to resist the physic paper's effect, but enough weird stuff is going on that a madman waving an empty wallet in his face barely registers.
  • Through the Eyes of Madness: Walter in "Be Forgot" is being tormented by a monster that kills the Doctor and friends when they investigate... only for it to be revealed they're very much alive on the next page. What's tormenting Walter is a creation of his psychosis, born of his isolation and guilt over not being there when his mother died.
  • 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 appears in the time vortex after falling sideways through time from Marvel UK's Transformers comic during a failed attempt to catch some Decepticon bounties. In turn, the Seventh Doctor shrinks Death's Head down from Cybertronian size to human size and gives him a trip in the TARDIS to his permanent home, the Marvel Universe.
  • Trash the Set: Ground Zero has the Seventh Doctor's TARDIS interior partially exploding and disintegrating as the Doctor and Susan break into the realm of the Lobri, making way for the new interior in the TV Movie.
  • 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.
  • Überwald:
    • In "Exodus/ Revelation/ Genesis", the Doctor is confronted with a group of mad scientists in a creepy old castle, in a society with a distinct central European aesthetic, and has to determine which of them is plotting with a group of Cybermen, whose resonances with Frankenstein are played up.
    • In "Universal Monsters", the Doctor arrives in a village where the people live in fear of the mad scientist in the castle and the monsters he creates.
  • 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).
  • Whole Costume Reference: In the early-70s-set "The Highgate Vampire", Clara's blue minidress, tights, platform boots and fun-fur coat are copied from Jo's costume in the TV story "The Three Doctors". According to Word of God, the idea was that Jo left the ensemble in the TARDIS wardrobe.
  • Whole Episode Flashback: In part four of "The Clockwise War", the Twelfth Doctor tells his allies about his history in the Time War with their current adversary.
  • 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.
  • The Witch Hunter: In "Witch Hunt", Clara is dressed as a witch for Halloween when she is transported through time to The Cavalier Years where she runs afoul of Witchfinder General Matthew Hopkins.
  • 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.

    Other features in the magazine include examples of: 
  • All There in the Manual: In issue 560, Russell T. Davies wrote up some fake Radio Times listings to give additional context to the Doctor Who scene in his 2021 period drama It's a Sin: It's the filming of a fictional Seventh Doctor serial named "Regression of the Daleks" in which the Daleks get hold of a crystal that causes the Doctor to degenerate back into the Sixth and Fifth while Ace gets a new boyfriend who turns out to be a young Davros.


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