The [Unofficial] Dr Who Annual [1965], by David May

Second paragraph of third chapter ("The Space Buoy", by Paul Vought):

He flicked a switch on the control panel and waited for an image to appear on the monitor. Seconds ticked by, the screen remained black. Although it normally took a short while to show an image, this was taking too long. What was wrong with the confounded thing now? He had only recently replaced the valves in the device. He flicked the switch back and forth but the screen was still resolutely black.

There is a bit of a cottage industry at the moment in producing unofficial annuals for old TV series; I had already tried the 1984 Blake's 7 Annual, and I have a few more Doctor Who ones on the shelf.

The very first Doctor Who annual was the 1966 one, published in late 1965, the only one featuring William Hartnell. What if the BBC had got into the game a year earlier, and published an annual at the end of the show's first full year? David May and collaborators have produced 156 pages of material, mostly prose stories, though with a couple of comic strips, a few little features (including a mock interview with William Hartnell) and the usual rather pointless games and puzzles.

The stories are a mix of standard sf and historicals, the latter including encounters with Amundsen and Magellan, and a visit to the Russian Revolution. None of the TV aliens or companions appear, though the Doctor rescues a girl from 1918 Russia who stays with the TARDIS for the last few stories. (The real 1966 Annual also had the Doctor travelling alone, but featured several aliens from the TV show.) Most of the stories are decent enough – though there is one awful battle-of-the-sexes tale by Gordon Tarrant – and the art is lovely.

I normally provide a link where you could buy this for yourself, but I see that the Lulu webpage where I got it from has been closed down, so I guess you'll have to look for a second-hand copy. (Not selling mine!!!)


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