‘Four Color Memories’ – by K. Patrick Glover – Installment the Ninth, in Which Who is Most Definitely Not on First


‘Four Color Memories’ by K. Patrick Glover

K. Patrick Glover is the writer of the webcomic The Invisible Skein, which is being illustrated by Amanda Hayes, and the first chapter of the story is set to appear on the web on December 14th.

‘Four Color Memories’ is a column about the comics of our youth, full of nostalgia for the days when heroes were heroes and villains were villains, before the Avengers were DARK and before the Lanterns were BLACK.

To see a directory of previous installments of the column, please click here!

Installment the Ninth

In Which Who is Most Definitely Not on First

I remember my first experience with Doctor Who.

It was 1975. My cousin David was visiting and we were staying up late to watch the late night Creature Feature movie on channel 20. It starred Peter Cushing as a crazy old scientist who had invented a time machine that looked like a blue phone booth (at seven years old, I had no idea what a police call box was).

He traveled in this incredible machine, with his companions, not just in time but in space, ending up on a strange planet populated by alien robots called Daleks. The movie was vivid and exciting and neither of us had any idea that it was loosely based on a TV series.

Flash forward two years. I’m visiting my cousin David in West Virginia. He drags me down the steps, asking me if I remember that movie we watched with The Doctor and The Daleks. He turns on the TV and I’m immediately sucked into ‘The Ark In Space’ (the second appearance of Tom Baker as The Doctor). [ED note = Tom Baker was the BEST]

(For the benefit of the uninitiated: The Doctor is a member of an alien race known as the Time Lords. They travel through time and space in a machine called a TARDIS, which can disguise itself as damn near anything. Except The Doctor’s TARDIS is broken and therefore stuck in the shape of a 1960’s London Police call box. Time Lords are all but immortal, but their bodies can be damaged. When this happens, they regenerate into a new body, with a slightly altered personality to go with their new appearance. Hence the wide variety of actors to have played The Doctor. Tom Baker was number four. The current Doctor, David Tennant, is number ten, and he’s about to be replaced next year.)

I am now hooked for life.

Jump forward again. It’s 1980. I’m at the local comic store (which is brand new) and I find, sitting on the rack, a copy of Marvel Premiere #58, featuring none other than Doctor Who (the Tom Baker incarnation, no less). This, of course, goes home with me.

A careful read of this wonderful find reveals that these are reprints of a comic strip that appears in the British Doctor Who Weekly. A call back to the shop and I discover that not only can they get me this wonderful magazine, but they have several back issues available right there.

The magazine turned out to be far more than just the comic strip. It featured reviews, articles on various aliens, spotlights on individual stories and even interviews with various creators. (sounds a lot like this site when described that way, doesn’t it?) While it started as a weekly publication in 1979, it became monthly with issue #44 and is still being published today. (I think the latest issue in my pile is #415 or #416)

In fact, in many ways it outlasted the series. Doctor Who debuted in 1963 (a week after John Kennedy was assassinated) and ran for 26 seasons, coming to an end in 1989. The magazine continued on and Virgin Books began publishing a series of ‘New Adventure’ novels. Then came the 1996 TV movie, co-produced by Fox TV in America. It was, in most respects, a failure (although Paul McGann made an engaging Doctor, the eighth).

In 1999, Big Finish Productions began a series of original audio dramas, featuring Doctors five through eight and starring the original actors. Released monthly to CD, these sets continue today and provide top notch entertainment for fans of the classic series.

I say classic series, because just a few years ago, to much fanfare, Russell T. Davies revived the Doctor in a brand new TV series, first starring Christopher Eccelston as The ninth Doctor and then Tennant as the tenth.

Which leads us back to the realm of comics, because now IDW is producing some wonderful comics featuring Doctor number 10, but also reprinting the classic stories from the Doctor Who Magazine, all newly and beautifully colored. They’re also issuing trade paperbacks of stories, both old and new.

Did I mention any of the names of the writers and artists who did those classic strips for Doctor Who Weekly (and Monthly)? You may recognize some of them: John Wagner, Pat Mills, Alan Moore, Grant Morrison, Dave Gibbons, Ian Edginton and many others.

Well worth adding to your collection. Trust me.

Now, onto other matters.

As I’m sure you are aware, Ed has launched a new forum for Hypergeek, and it includes a section for ‘Four Color Memories‘ (and a thread for The Invisible Skein, which I’ll get to in a moment). You can discuss the column there as you like, ask any questions that might pop into your head, and even suggest ideas for future columns. You can also tell me about your fondest four color memories and I just might work them into a future column.

The Invisible Skein (the comic written by yours truly and illustrated by the talented Amanda Hayes) launched on the net this week at http://theinvisibleskein.com . 5 pages up, with updates coming every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. We hope you’re enjoying the strip and if you are, drop by the Hypergeek forum and tell us about it.

And finally, as we are upon that time of year, when everyone’s mind is occupied by family gatherings and fat men sliding down chimneys, you, inevitably drift away from the internet to interact with the people in your lives. This is how it should be. However, that would leave me talking to myself for the next two weekends as they fall on Christmas and New Year’s.

[ED note: Don't worry though, I'll still be updating regularly, as I have absolutley no life worth speaking of, and have about as much Christmas spirit as a turnip!]

So ‘Four Color Memories’ is going to take a brief (very brief) hiatus. But fear not, I shall return on Saturday, January 9th, with new tales to tell and memories to rekindle.

Happy Holidays,

K. Patrick Glover

Ancillary matters

Don’t forget that my webcomic The Invisible Skein, launched on Dec 14th at http://www.theinvisibleskein.com, and we’ve now got 5 pages live!

I can be found regularly at my blog, http://kpatrickglover.wordpress.com or on the Twitter thing at http://www.twitter.com/kpatrickglover

Related posts:

  1. ‘Four Color Memories’ – by K. Patrick Glover – Installment the Eighth, In Which We Briefly Look Forward and Not Back
  2. ‘Four Color Memories’ by K. Patrick Glover - Installment the Second, in Which Fear and Loathing is Entirely Appropriate
  3. ‘Four Color Memories’ By K. Patrick Glover - Installment The Fourth, In Which Worlds Collide
  4. ‘Four Color Memories’ by K. Patrick Glover - Installment The First, In Which Parameters Are Set
  5. ‘Four Color Memories’ - by K. Patrick Glover - Installment The Sixth, In Which We Happily Spend Money Like Good Little Consumers

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