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Comic-strip ROBOTS

Quarks are just some of the memorable robots to have menaced the Doctor in his numerous comic-strip incarnations.
Neville Main artwork for The Gyros, from issue 699 of TV Comic (May 1965).
Invasion of the Quarks from issue 872 of TV Comic (August 1968). The strip was written by Roger Noel Cook and illustrated by John Canning.

Unfettered by the limitations of television production, Doctor Who comics have featured robots of all shapes and sizes. Indeed, if there were any doubts about the degree to which the robot ‘image’ can be stretched and repurposed by imaginative writers and artists, the various Doctor Who strips over the years have surely silenced such objections once and for all. Quite apart from the varied looks applied to them since the mid-1960s, robots have often been distinguished, in a comic-strip context, by their dialogue, which is frequently marked out in a highly distinctive style, with angular lettering and oddly shaped speech balloons.

Doctor Who comic strips appeared in the pages of TV Comic from November 1964. Robots first appeared in the fifth story, The Gyros (contained in issues 699-704, May-June 1965). A Gyro, according to the artwork, is a large hovering metal sphere with protruding antennae and spindly appendages, the latter mounted with various attachments such as claws, cutting tools and even a decidedly familiar-looking sucker arm.

Another Cook/Canning collaboration – The Trodos Tyranny, from issue 748 (April 1966).
The menacing Super Trod from a later instalment of the same story, in issue 752.
Cook and Canning’s Return of the Trods, from TV Comic issue 775 (October 1966).
The Daleks are attacked by the Engibrain robots in issue 43 of TV Century 21 (November 1965). This story was written by David Whitaker and illustrated by Richard Jennings.
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About Doctor Who Magazine

Robots have been an essential part of Doctor Who for six decades. The latest issue of Panini’s lavish Doctor Who bookazine includes features on classic robot stories such as Galaxy 4, Pyramids of Mars and The Robots of Death. Other highlights include interviews with the actors, writers and directors who helped to create some of these episodes. Packed with exclusive content and rare images, this 116-page bookazine is a must-have for fans