Doctor Who Annual 2022, by Paul Lang

The third section is a comic, of which these are the second and third frames:

I am not one of those who delights to dump on the Whittaker/Chibnall era of Doctor Who. I think it’s had its highs and lows, and while its highs have not perhaps been as high as other eras of the show, its lows have not been epochal either (though we came close with Kerblam!). I was astonished when a Twitter poll of all 296 Who episodes up to mid-2019 put The Battle of Ranskoor av Kolos at the very bottom, behind even The Twin Dilemma; I can only guess that a lot of those voting had not seen The Twin Dilemma, and to be honest, I can’t really make a strong argument as to why they should.

However. Chibnall has clearly not been as assiduous in pushing spinoff material in the way that Stephen Moffat was, let alone Russell T. Davies, and the first two Thirteenth Doctor annuals, for 2019 and 2020, are the least impressive by far in a series of publications going back to 1965. The 2021 Annual was a step up; I’m afraid that this year’s is half a step back down again. Marketed to kids who have been watching this year’s six episodes, it goes into detail about last year’s ten, just like the last annual did, with the addition of this year’s New Year special and a little bit of retrospective acknowledgement of the show’s history. There is no original fiction; the comic strip is a print adaptation of part of the (excellent) 2020 Daleks! animated webcast which you can watch here. There are some pointless games and quizzes. When you compare it to the 2006 annual, the first produced by Russell T. Davies, there really is no competition. You can get it here, but if I was looking for Christmas presents for a young Whovian I might look elsewhere.

One thought on “Doctor Who Annual 2022, by Paul Lang

  1. I did wonder about the clowns and practical jokes. I sort of thought that maybe that was another aspect of the tragedy– Faustus could not, in the end, do much with his powers but selfish tricks.

    I think one of the most moving things for me is at the start, where he makes the speech about how he will give the students warm bright clothing. How many hours of study did child-Kit shiver through, bored already maybe, with nothing bright or new to see?

    I mean, I guess he gives grapes to the pregnant woman. That was nice. But in the end Faustus is limited by his own nature.

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