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Digital Subscriptions > Doctor Who Magazine > 500 > Let's do the TIME VWORP again!

Let's do the TIME VWORP again!

Thirty-seven years ago, the Fourth Doctor ran into robot Roman legionaries running amok in the village of Stockbridge. So began (almost) 500 issues’ worth of DWM’s comic strip adventures – some thrillingly vast, some laugh-out-loud funny, some downright peculiar. And yet... for all that strangeness... there’s often something greatly familiar about them! Because the strip has often been startlingly prescient, too – as we’ll see, as we distil hundreds of pages, thousands of panels and even more VWORP VWORPs (probably) into just 20 utterly essential moments...

# 1 ”POOR MR MORRIS...”

FromDoctor Who and the Iron Legion Episode 6 (DWM 6, 1979)

Script Pat Mills and John Wagner

Art Dave Gibbons

Mortally wounded while defending the Fourth Doctor’s air car from a ‘flying squad’ of robot Roman legionaries, ex-galley slave Morris is laid to rest.

■ There’s a touching little detail here: the Doctor uses his scarf as a pillow to prop up the dying Morris’ head, a man he’s only known for 13 pages! This tragic little tableau, in which both the Doctor and the oil-spouting historian droid Vesuvius honour their fallen comrade, provides a brief respite from the action, ahead of the Doctor’s final showdown with the shape-changing Magog, leader of the alien Malevilus. “These days,” as Vesuvius says, it might not seem like much – but the fact that the story stopped at all made Doctor Who and the Iron Legion much more emotionally intelligent than, say, The Creature From the Pit (1979), on TV at the time.

FANTASTIC FACTS

■ Killer Kronks from the Crab Nebula are just one of the monster species imported to fight in the Rome Hyp-Arena – and elsewhere, the robot Vesuvius describes how the alien guards fry their Kronkburgers on his Flame of Freedom. Said Kronkburgers later featured in The Long Game (2005), as street food aboard Satellite Five.

Read it in:Doctor Who: The Iron Legion

# 2 ”I HATE YOU! YOU’RE HORRIBLE!”

FromDoctor Who and the Star Beast Episode 8 (DWM 26, 1980)

Script Pat Mills and John Wagner

Art Dave Gibbons

High above the Earth, space coppers the Wrarth Warriors have finally caught up with murderous alien fugitive Beep the Meep...

■ Big-eyed furry alien the Meep shows his true colours for the first time in the fourth episode of Doctor Who and the Star Beast, by pulling a blaster from inside a hidden pouch in his pelt and letting his pursuers have it. But right at the end of the story is where formerly gulled teenager Sharon first shows what she’s made of, earning her status as the first in a long line of strip-only companions by denouncing the Beast when he turns on the waterworks and tries to manipulate her one last time: “Don’t let them cut my furry little head off...”

Sharon will become the Doctor’s first non-white companion, of course – but then, the whole of Star Beast is extraordinarily forward-looking. With its everyday urban English setting and its focus on everyday urban English characters, it makes many of the same choices Russell T Davies did when he came to revive Doctor Who as a popular entertainment TV show with Rose (2005) – only Sharon and her (white) boy friend Fudge were the Rose and Mickey of a quarter of a century before.

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About Doctor Who Magazine

The biggest issue ever to celebrate 500 editions of DWM! Contents include: Interviews with Tom Baker, Peter Capaldi and Steven Moffat; a message to readers from new companion Pearl Mackie; a letter from the Doctor; a 20-page celebratory comic strip, The Stockbridge Showdown by Scott Gray, drawn by a host of guest artists; an exclusive look at Mark Gatiss' 2001 pitch for Doctor Who; Peter Capaldi answers questions once put to William Hartnell; Fact of Fiction on The Day of the Doctor; competitions to win HUGE prizes; a bonus 116-page section looking back at the history of DWM, featuring every single cover and commentary from the editors; plus News, Reviews, Coming Soon, Wotcha... and LOTS of surprises!

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