What I learned from the Dr Who Annual… (Excerpt from The Annual Years by Paul Magrs, Obverse Books, 2014.)
What I learned from the Dr Who Annual 1976.
When he tells you he’s taking you to a beautiful world inhabited by friendly pacifists: watch out. Even the most innocuous worlds can be terrifying, especially if you materialize on the wrong scale and fall in a pond. Also, it isn’t just the monsters and stuff marauding about that can do you harm. Some planets are alive and telepathic and can bring your worst fears to life before you. Sponges can be sentient but not necessarily evil. Watch out for noisy feminists. Cabbage tea can do wonders for hormonal imbalances. The Neuronic Zone is a very strange and scary place. Watch out for being zapped into a human farm and receiving the excess psychic energy of flame-headed skeleton people.
What I learned from the Dr Who Annual 1977
The deeper you get into outer space, the stranger the alien species become, and still Dr Who is pretty blase about everything he sees.
What’s more dangerous than evil space lizards who hate you? Evil space lizards with a wind machine who hate you.
Beware of return visits from your old friend Dr Who. He doesn’t ever have quiet weekends away. If he turns up on your doorstep again, something hideous is about to happen.
It really isn’t worth getting into a battle of mind-power with Dr Who. He will most definitely kick your mental arse.
What I learned from the Dr Who Annual 1978
When you go looking up old friends? Prepare to be disappointed. People change. They forget you. They move on. They can go to the bad. When you travel with human beings, they soon get tired of very dusty hot planets with three suns. They quite like going back to Earth every now and then, no matter how much they tease about wanting to be somewhere exotic. Just because someone says they’re a peaceful scientist, don’t believe them. They might be psychotic killers, even if they’re not ugly on the outside. In fact, don’t listen to anyone. Do your own thing. We can’t ever be sure whether the world we’re in and the further adventures we’re heading into are actually real, or whether they’re just a heroic dream that Dr Who is having.
What I learned from the Dr Who Annual 1979
Persecution and sacrifice are both are waste of time, and not at all nice. It’s necessary to cultivate your own garden. And, if you do, you might get help at just the right moment from the unlikeliest of sources. Watch out for gigantic space cows in ermine robes. Anyone too smiley and happy and perfect is bound to turn out to be a vampiric fiend. Always buy Princesses anti-grav belts as presents. If all your clothes and flesh are made to disappear by a crazy mystic in a castle, run straight to Dr Who, who understands how M-Rays work. And never, ever get into a mind duel with him – but you already know that, don’t you?