Saturday, October 01, 2011

40 Year Flashback: Dr.Who


The current series of Doctor Who ends tonight with an episode that producer Steven Moffat promises is "the maddest ever". Forty years ago Doctor Who wasn't on at this time of year, taking a break until Day of the Daleks started on New Years Day 1972 (a story just released on DVD by the way).

However, 40 years ago this weekend Doctor Who was still running in comic strip form in the pages of Countdown. Here's the episode from the serial Backtime from issue No.34, dated October 9th 1971 (published October 2nd of that year). Artwork is by Frank Langford and, although Whovians may hate to see it, The Doctor is quite clearly called "Dr.Who" here and in numerous other comic strips of the Sixties and Seventies, just as he was in the Peter Cushing movies and in the closing credits of the TV show itself back then. That's his name you see. The question whose answer has been hidden in plain sight for decades. Who is The Doctor? Who is The Doctor! And why not? ;-)

6 comments:

SHINGO said...

Good episode. The mention of The Brig's death was heartbreaking.

So Lew how did you know the ultimate question? Did you see a preview disc?

Lew Stringer said...

No, it just seemed like the obvious question. "Hidden in plain sight" and all that. And of course when it's finally answered The Doctor's silence WILL fall... 'cos he wouldn't be Doctor "Who?" anymore would he? ;-)

Anyway, The Doctor is Who... you want him to be. Prophet, god, fallen angel.. whoever.

Zokko said...

What was good about 'The Wedding Of River Song'? Nothing. Give me 'Countdown' ( and 'T.V. Comic' for that matter ) over Steven Moffat's muddled stories any day.

Lew Stringer said...

Well I enjoyed the episode anyway. Fast paced, exciting, intriguing, and completely barmy. Just right for a Saturday evening.

Zokko said...

Glad you enjoyed Saturday's episode, Lew. Personally, it gave me migraine.

Onto 'Countdown', I love these strips, particularly 'The Celluloid Midas' and 'Planet Of The Daleks'. Both would have made great T.V. episodes.

LizR said...

Yep, he was called "Dr Who" quite a lot back in those days, though never to his face, or verbally (except by WOTAN, I think?) Terry Nation calls him "Doctor Who" in that story about how the Daleks are descended from humans, too...

So my take is that it could be seen as an acceptable way to refer to the character in print, but something that wasn't correct "in universe" - like the theme tune, say.

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