Monday, 9 January 2017


Dr. WHO copyright BBC TV

When I was a mere lad back in the 1960s, my brother one
day acquired from somewhere the very first paperback adventure
of Dr. WHO - in an exciting adventure with The DALEKS no less.
The grim and moody illustration of WILLIAM HARTNELL's Doc-
tor looking out at the reader from the cover transfixed me - and set the
pattern for how I think the character should be portrayed.  To me, The
Doctor should be an enigmatic, mysterious figure that nobody is quite
sure of.  Is he good or bad?  Where does he come from?  Who is he?  I
rue the day when the powers that be at the BBC decided he should be
a babbling idiot who looks like he's having heaps of fun in what-
ever adventure he currently happens to be explaining aloud
as he runs from one darkened corridor into another.

The paperback contains 6 illustrations

A few years ago, I managed to obtain a replacement for the
1965 ARMADA paperback I'd owned as a kid.  Due to insufficient
packaging it was severely damaged in the post, which meant I had to
completely re-glue the spine and repair the cover.  (Don't worry - the
spine work is undetectable.  You'd never know unless I told you - which
I just did.)  I could have returned it, but these books tend not to turn up
too often so I decided to hold onto it in case I never got the chance of
one again.  It's enough for me that the mood of the cover is intact
and that one glance is enough to return me to an earlier time.
(Rather apt, considering we're discussing Dr. Who.)

The hardback contains 12 illustrations

The hardback was first published by FREDERICK MULLER
in 1964, but it's the paperback edition issued the following year that,
to me, is the definitive edition - cover-wise at least.  When TARGET re-
printed the paperback in the '70s, they ignored the interior illustrations
by PETER ARCHER from the Armada edition and instead opted for
the original ARNOLD SCHWARTZMAN ones from the Frederick
Muller hardback.  And guess what?  This 'exciting adventure' is
still available from BBC BOOKS.  It's well-worth reading.


John Pitt said...

As you've just told me that the Armada paperback contains only 6 illustrations, I may well already have scans of all of them? Going to try and find them in my archives...

Kid said...

If not, they'll probably be on the internet somewhere, JP. Happy hunting.

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