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RUSSELL, GARY – THE DOCTOR WHO YEARBOOK 1996 Marvel

 

Essentially a one-volume episode guide to the adventures of the first seven incarnations of Doctor Who in a Christmas Annual presentation, with lots of glossy photos, and bits of trivia, crossword puzzles, etc. The book does give some interesting behind the scenes essays, and even comes forward to cover the uses of specially made programmes for the BBC Children In Need Charity shows, which, though a good fund raiser, were not regarded as canonical Dr. Who material. Even obscure spin offs like the short lived K-9 And Company are mentioned.  The real highlight however is the comic strips, which give new adventures for the Doctor; both focus on the Tom Baker 4th Incarnation of the character. (At least one should have been another Doctor really. The first is a classic story by any Science Fiction standards. Star Beast Two features the cutest and yet most psychotic villain, Meep The Beep, a white rabbit that plans to destroy the universe. He plays on his soft and cuddly persona while concealing laser pistols and his ultimate fate of becoming a child’s pet. The second story, Junkyard Demon Two is a darker tale with the well-known Cybermen as its villains. On a distant planet junkyard, an antiques dealer called Joylove McShane (an obvious pun on the BBC’s Lovejoy TV series that starred Ian McShane), arrives intent on taking over the planet with his army of robots. In fact, the robots he uses are cybermen who have   no desire to follow his orders. They have their own agenda. The Doctor uses the robots in the junkyard to take control of the cybermen circuits and shut them down.  It’s an inventive little tale, and like the previous one, the Doctor travels unassisted (placing the story immediately after The Deadly assassin TV episodes).  A fun annual with a mixture of story, essay and lots of great pictures. http://www.marvel.com/comics/

 

 

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