With the venerable Doctor Who Magazine celebrating 500 issues this month, we take a special look back at our favourite ten covers from the past 36 years… and a bit more!
It was a difficult choice, with the wonderful recent “Genesis of the Daleks” Issue #499 running close, alongside the excellent Sylvester McCoy photography of Issue #486. But in the end, we somehow, someway.. found our ten favourite covers. Enjoy, and don’t forget to let us know your own favourite covers.
The other contenders: Issue #264, Issue #384, Issue #406, the twin minimalist Issues #477 and #482, plus we discounted Issue #190 as a reprint of the 10th Anniversary Special, despite our love of it!
Nearest Runner-Up: Issue #256
The 1970’s glory of issue #256 couldn’t be more groovy if it tried! Cover dated 24 September 1997, the issue featured the second part of Richard Molesworth’s Out of the Vaults, looking at the state of the BBC’s archives. Andrew Pixley took a closer look at Planet of Giants in the monthly archive and the one-off comic strip was By Hook or By Crook, written by Scott Gray.
10: Issue #280
The original you might say, hmn? The First Doctor is the focus for this striking cover from 1999 while features included Blimey, that’s a bit like Doctor Who, that is… where six DWM experts tune into a bunch of cults and look for Doctor Who by any other name. The Crusade got the tele snap treatment and The Road to Hell – Part Three was our monthly strip.
9: Issue #393
Peter Davison’s return to Doctor Who in Time Crash is the focus here, with added Fifth Doctor goodness on the front as DWM gave away Big Finish’s Cuddlesome. Other features included The Deaths of Doctor Who – DWM’s look at the depiction of death in Doctor Who and Script Doctors by Gareth Roberts.
8: Issue #320
Taking on the image of Lord Kitchener, Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart is calling DWM readers to service! Features in this issue include How To Make Fans (And Influence People!) by Tat Wood and The DWM Awards 2001. Uroboros – Part Two was the monthly comic strip and The Green Death featured as part of Andrew Pixley’s Archive series.
7: Issue #428
DWM riffs on the likes of Inside Soap with this special soap themed issue from December 2010. Features included The Greatest Soap In The Galaxy by Phil Collinson, interviews with joint Doctor Who and soap stars such as Frazer Hines and June Brown. Our regular comic strip was The Golden Ones Part 4 by Jonathan Morris.
6: Issue #483
Another retro style cover, invoking memories of classic horror of decades past as Mummy on the Orient Express takes centre stage. The Instruments of War Part Three by Mike Collins was our regular monthly comic strip and there was a special prose story from Andy Frankham-Allen – The Ambush!
5: Issue #487
It was a close run thing between this issue and the visually quite similar “every Dalek ever” issue… but the iconography of the Daleks on Earth outside Big Ben win out! The issue featured Earth: Past, Present & Future – the history of the Earth is charted in detail… The Golden Age of Videotape and a long lost interview with John Nathan-Turner.
4: Issue #436
Poignant and dignified, DWM pays suitably classy tribute to the late, great, Nicholas Courtney. The majority of the issue is given over to paying tribute to the Brigadier actor and is one of the longest editions of the magazine. Featuring interviews with Doctor Who alumni the breath of his career, a career retrospective and much more, Issue 436 was a fitting tribute to one of the show’s most beloved figures.
3: Issue #443
Featuring two different covers from the Hinchcliffe era, Terror of the Zygons and The Seeds of Doom, each cover also advertised one of two recent discoveries of lost episodes episodes from the classic series- episode 3 of Galaxy 4 and two episodes of The Underwater Menace. The regular monthly comic strip was The Chains Of Olympus (Part 2).
2: Issue #465
What’s not to love about this image? The five surviving Classic Series Doctor’s in a photoshoot that is unlikely to ever be repeated. The cover in many ways captures much of the celebration of the show’s 50th anniversary year, focusing on the classic-era Doctors and the actors who portrayed them uniting to take part in the audio special The Light at the End. Welcome to Tickle Town part one by Scott Gray was the comic strip and The Sea Devils featured in The Fact of Fiction.
1: Issue #1
What else could it be but the often replicated and iconic first issue of Doctor Who Weekly?
With a over date of 17 October 1979 and with free transfers, the Dez Skinn edited first issue boasted the first part of The Iron Legion, articles on the story of Doctor Who and The Day of the Daleks, plus the very first Crazy Caption Competition!
Truly the stuff of legend.