Monday, 24 December 2007

I’m Gonna Spend My Christmas With a TARDIS

Since its revival, Doctor Who has become as much of a part of Christmas broadcasting as the Morecambe and Wise Show, celebrity guests and all.

It was not always so. Discounting spin-offs (the wretched K-9 and Company saw K-9 singing “We Wish You A Merry Christmas”), Doctor Who had just one Christmas episode in its original 26-year run. “The Feast of Steven” (named after one of the Doctor’s travelling companions at the time) was broadcast on Christmas Day 1965. Famously, it concluded with the Doctor turning to the camera, raising a glass, and saying, “Incidentally, a Happy Christmas to all of you at home.”

That same year, TV Comic also treated us to a Doctor Who Christmas story. I think that it is fair to say that anyone who was old enough to watch the TV show would have found this comic strip too juvenile. The TARDIS lands the Doctor and his grand-children, John and Gillian (fixtures of the comic strip until well into Patrick Troughton’s time), in a snow-covered land. These are non-consecutive panels.

Actually, the children all wanted Daleks, but TV21 had the rights to those, so TARDISes it is.

Fortunately, the Doctor has brought a magic box with him, which can magically replicate toys. Yes, a magic box. Well, two of them, luckily enough.

Because while Santa is replicating toy TARDISes, the Doctor and his grand-children run into the wicked Demon Magician of the Forest.

They have to use the magic box to shrink polar bears …

… enlarge squirrels …

… and melt killer snowmen.

Silly, isn’t it? I mean, even a five-year old is going to have difficulty accepting a story in which the Doctor carries round a single, unexplained tool which just happens to be able to do whatever the plot needs at any given moment.

Oh. Right.

Incidentally, a Happy Christmas to all of you at home.

Panels and pictures

Doctor Who “A Klytode Christmas” Part 1 by Trevor Baxendale (script), John Ross (art), Alan Craddock (colours), Paul Vyse (letters), Doctor Who Adventures Issue 44, BBC Magazines, 6 December – 12 December 2007

Off-screen photographs from “The Feast of Steven” (BBC TV, 25 December 1965) taken from The Doctor Who Missing Episode Nexus

Doctor Who, art by Bill Mevin, TV Comic issues 732-735, 25 December 1965 to 15 January 1966, reprinted in Doctor Who Classic Comics issue 15, 15 January 1994

Illustration by Mike Collins and David A Roach to Doctor Who “The Hopes and Fears of All the Years” by Paul Cornell, Daily Telegraph, 22 December 2007

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