Saturday, January 23, 2016

Doctor Who in TV21

Although The Daleks had their own regular strip in the first 104 issues of TV Century 21, and they appeared in headline news items on the cover a couple of times, Doctor Who never appeared because rival title TV Comic had the rights to the strip. However, one issue of TV21 did feature the Doctor, albeit not in strip form. Issue No.28, which went on sale 28th July 1965, heavily promoted the movie Doctor Who and The Daleks, with Peter Cushing's screen version of The Doctor on the front cover.

Inside, there was a special photo-feature on the movie, with a synopsis of the story, including the ending! Ah, where was River Song to warn of "spoilers" back then? 

TV21 had a regular little PR feature with celebrities being "interviewed" by Lady Penelope, but in this issue it was expanded to a full page, accompanied with an exclusive photo of Jennie Linden and Roy Castle reading the comic.

As stated on the cover, the big attraction of the issue was a competition to "Win a real Dalek!". The feature included a photograph of the Dalek plus the runners-up prizes of other Dalek merchandise of the sixties. Wonderful stuff. 


That issue was so Dalek-focused it had eight extra pages to accommodate all the extra features and adverts for various merchandise featuring the Daleks and other characters. I'm pretty certain the artwork on the half pager for 'Stingray Arm Fins' is by Brian Lewis. (I seem to recall either these items or the Stingray inflatable were withdrawn after swimmers got into difficulty.) Art on the ad for the inflatable is by Ron Embleton, the regular artist on the Stingray strip at the time... 







Bizarrely, despite all the Dalek promos throughout that issue, the regular Dalek strip on the back cover didn't feature any Daleks! Art by Richard Jennings...

That issue also featured all the regular strips of course, and I couldn't let the moment pass without showing one of them. A memorable episode of Fireball XL5 by Mike Noble...


This issue is highly collectible and I had it missing recently until I snapped it up on eBay recently. I now have a full run of the first series of TV21 except for No.2. I doubt I'll ever find that one at an affordable price, but no worries. 

As always, click on each page to see it much larger.

11 comments:

djh62uk said...

That Mike Noble art is wonderful, no surprises I guess, but well done on picking up the issue.

Tony Howson said...

I had one of those Dalek badges and a couple of the Hertz push along models. Seem to recall they were just dull grey plastic with detachable black guns and eye stalks. My cousin had one of them too but, because she was a girl, her mum wouldn't attach the guns for her (at least that was the explanation offered to us - more likely my aunt was worried they'd get swallowed).

I used to love the little rolykin Daleks with the steel marble in their base - apart from anything else they were at pocket money prices so I acquired a small army of those that regularly exterminated my Airfix soldiers.

Although I was Dalek mad and an early reader, for some reason I never bought TV21 regularly until Thunderbirds started. Maybe my parents thought it was too expensive for one page per week?

Lew Stringer said...

Yes, those grey Daleks were made of what used to be called "unbreaksble plastic". I still have mine, although the detachable appendages are lost, but probably around in the bottom of a box somewhere. I still have the Rolykins and the badge.

paddykool said...

What about that "scooter skate"? eh? That must have been the first skateboards anyone saw back then.Anything coming from the USA back in 1965 seemed so exotic, as I can recall.

Colin Jones said...

I don't understand why the Doctor was changed so radically for the film version - he wasn't even a Time Lord...just a dotty old human inventor.

Lew Stringer said...

He wasn't a Time Lord on tv at that stage, Colin, just a wanderer in time. I suppose producer Milton Subotsky decided to simplify things for the movie to make it easier for the wider audience to relate to.

Yes, paddykool, "scooter skates"! :) I don't recall them catching on around my neck of the woods until they were relaunched as skateboards years later.

Hedley said...

I saw the Dr Who movie at the Odeon Epsom (or was it Dorking ?, it sucks being old) .think I tried to win the real Dalek but can confirm that I didn't . I do remember being horribly disappointed by the movie other than the Daleks were in color.

Tony had a cool comment about the rolykin Dalek, but how about the World Cup Willie zooming around on that little steel ball ?

Nutty Big D said...

I believe it was the inflatable Stingray (rather than the arm fins) that was withdrawn following a serious incident. The interior of the Tardis in the films differed from the TV show, to reduce royalty payments needed to the BBC - none needed for the outside of course!

Lew Stringer said...

Yes, I have the World Cup Willie rolykin, Hedley. You can see a photo of it here:
http://lewstringer.blogspot.co.uk/2010/06/1966-and-all-that.html

Yes Nutty, I seem to think it was the inflatable Stingray too. The story was in the Daily Mirror as I recall.

John Pitt said...

I saw the film, bad the Comic ( congratulations on your acquisition, good luck for #2?) And entered the competition. I was stuck on the tie breaker question and my Mother came up with, "....I would be very surprised!" Well, this sounded good go me!
I didn't even win a consolation prize of a Dalek pencil!!
:-(

Lew Stringer said...

I saw both Dalek films on release at the local Ritz. I didn't really mind the "real" Doctor Who not being in it, as the Daleks were the stars anyway. They're excellent children's films.

Peter Capaldi's Doctor reminds me of Cushing's version in certain ways. Capaldi's about the same age as me so I'm sure the movies must have left an impression on him.

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