Doctor Who Magazine

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
Jump to navigation Jump to search
All of time and space -- every four weeks
—Masthead promo, since issue 417

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[edit | hide | hide all]

  • 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) 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 is available in the Eighth Doctor compilation The Flood.
  • 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. 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.
  • 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).
  • 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.[edit | hide]

  • "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).
  • 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 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" as per the ending of "Turn Left".
  • DWM 423's cover was timenommed in anticipation of "The Big Bang".

Tropes used in Doctor Who Magazine include:
  • 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.
    • Not the first time the strip's aborted its arc; 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.
  • Adaptational Attractiveness: Eight wasn't mostly legs in the Made for TV Movie...
  • Agent Mulder: Maxwell (Max) Edison, a UFO spotter who becomes a long-standing friend of the Doctor's throughout his incarnations.
  • Exclusively 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.
  • Arc Words: The Crimson Hand in the Majenta 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.
  • Bifauxnen: Fey.
  • Biological Mashup: The Pariah and Abraham White, Fey and Shayde.
  • The Blank: Shayde, who has a black sphere for a head.
    • And the faceless children from "Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night".
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: "Happy Deathday", which parodies the concept of multi-Doctor teamups.
  • Butch Lesbian: Fey
  • Canon Discontinuity: Following Doctor Who's initial cancellation in 1989, the strip tied in with Virgin Publishing's 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. Notably, "Death to the Doctor" had a gathering of previously unseen villains who had all lost to one of the Doctors at some point. One flashback featured the Eighth Doctor and Izzy, confirming that the ninth and tenth Doctor comic strips are in the same continuity as the post-"Ground Zero" strips. Meanwhile, "The Betrothal of Sontar" makes reference back to "Pureblood", one of the NA tie-in strips. Izzy has also gone on to appear in a Big Finish audio play. Considering The TARDIS is capable of reviving the dead via the wibbly-wobbly powers of a "temporal orbit", it's not TOO hard to fathom how Ace could survive the events of "Ground Zero" and still have her adventures in the Virgin books
    • Adding to the complications surrounding Ace, Russel T. Davies hinted in the SJA/DW crossover "Death of the Doctor" that Ace had established a charity on Earth under her real name of Dorothy. In the novels, Ace goes on to become a time vigilante living in remote Paris...and in the audio play Death Comes To Time, she inherits the TARDIS after the Seventh Doctor seemingly dies and goes on to have solo adventures. Will the real Dorothy please stand up indeed...
  • 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...
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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, Death's Head, was once thrown out of Marvel's |Transformers comic into the Doctor's TARDIS.
  • Dark Action Girl: Destrii. An exception to the norm, in that she starts a Heel Face Turn.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Shayde.
  • Deadly Decadent Court: Oblivion's nobles.
  • Everything's Better with Penguins: Frobisher.
  • Everything's Better with Princesses: Subverted to Hell and back with Destrii.
  • Expanded Universe: Doctor Who
  • Geek: Izzy.
  • God Save Us From the Queen: Destrii's mother, the Matriax.
  • Grand Theft Me: Destrii does this to Izzy, hoping to take her place as Eighth's companion. It gets reversed... eventually.
  • Green-Skinned Space Babe: Majenta.
  • Heel Face Turn: Kroton the Cyberman, who rejects the other Cybermen's goals, in the backup strip "Throwback: The Soul of a Cyberman".
  • Heroic BSOD: Izzy, following her bodyswap.
  • 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 the Real Monsters: "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.
  • Killer Rabbit: Beep the Meep
  • Les Yay: The strip gave the Doctor his first openly lesbian companions (in fact, his first openly homosexual companions period): Izzy and Fey. They get to share an intentional kiss on panel.
    • Also Majenta and Zephyr.
  • Living Shadow: Shayde.
  • Mad Artist: Susini, in "The Way of All Flesh", who sees others as raw material for her artworks.
  • May Contain Evil: The soft drink Goruda in "The Golden Ones" (actually a product of the Axons).
  • Master of Illusion: Astrolabus.
  • Musical Episode: "Planet Bollywood".
  • The Music Meister: The Muse from "Planet Bollywood"
  • My Species Doth Protest Too Much: Kroton
  • 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.
  • No Name Given: Izzy S. She claims the S stands for Someone/Somebody; in reality, it stands for Sinclair.
  • Only One Name: Astrolabus, Destrii (Destriianatos), Shayde.
  • Omnicidal Maniac: The Pariah.
  • 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.
  • Plot-Relevant Age-Up: Sharon.
  • 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.
  • Rebellious Princess: Destrii. Justified, in large part thanks to her mother.
  • 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.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Money: Dogbolter, who's willing and prepared to buy the TARDIS.
    • Also Majenta, who is somehow able to maintain this attitude even when she doesn't have money.
  • Shapeshifter Mode Lock: Frobisher, who gets stuck as a penguin for a while.
  • Shout-Out: Dr Ivan Asimoff, whose name is a shout-out to sci-fi author Isaac Asimov.
  • Story Arc: Numerous. Voyager, the Threshold, the return of the Master, the Crimson Hand, Izzy's bodyswap...
  • Ten Little Murder Victims
  • Transplant: Death's Head was appeared after falling sideways through time from Marvel UK's |Transformers comic.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: Whifferdills (Frobisher's species) are shapeshifters.
  • 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 Wants to Live Forever?: Samurai Katsura Sato.
  • Xanatos Gambit: See The Chessmaster above.
  • Zettai Ryouiki: Amy Pond in "The Golden Ones".