DWM 467 One Year Anniversary

AUTHOR’S NOTE: This was written for a special anniversary pull-out DWM that came with issue 467, imagining the magazine as it might have been for the first anniversary back in 1964.

Only a generation or two ago, pink was the colour for boys and blue the colour for girls. I’m guessing that Mr Frederick Muller’s designers haven’t caught up with the fact that it’s been switched round now, because why else would they make the jacket for their Doctor Who book ‘Doctor Who in an Exciting Adventure with the Daleks’ bright pink? That didn’t go down too well with the children, I can tell you. Obviously I defended it – we women have had equal voting rights for over thirty years now, so there’s no reason to despise something for being feminine!

Luckily, the children were so excited by the prospect of reading the book that the cover was soon forgotten. How incredible it would be to be able to ‘see’ a Doctor Who story again! We still remember clearly watching that mysterious girl in the classroom – her teachers following her home – the incredible police box – their adventure with the cavemen – then this story, the one we all loved the most, the one where they met the Daleks!

Or did we remember it clearly? Perhaps our memories were playing tricks. I started reading aloud from our new book. ‘I don’t remember there being a car crash at the beginning,’ said one twin. ‘Did they even have cars on Skaro?’

‘How come Ian and Barbara don’t know each other?’ said the other. ‘They were both teachers at the same school!’

‘Maybe we’ve got it wrong,’ I said. ‘Maybe they did have the adventure with the Daleks first, and all that stuff with the cavemen came later.’

In the end we decided that it didn’t really matter. After all, it’s almost a year since it was on telly, and we’re never going to see those episodes again, so for all intents and purposes this book is the story from now on.

‘It’ll be nice to be able to read this book again after Susan leaves,’ I said. ‘Then we won’t forget her.’

Oops. ‘Susan is leaving?’ they cried with one voice.

‘Er, yes,’ I had to admit. ‘It was in the paper. But don’t worry, there’s going to be a new girl instead.’

‘What about the others?’ asked one child.

‘Well, Ian can’t leave because he’s the hero,’ said his brother. ‘And Barbara won’t leave because she’s his best friend.’

‘She’s his girlfriend!’

I waited until the giggles had died down. ‘What about the Doctor?’ I said.

They thought about that for a moment. ‘Well, the show’s called after him,’ said one. ‘So he can’t leave. He’ll have to be in it for ever and ever.’

For ever and ever? That’s asking a lot of one old man. I guess he’ll probably have had enough in a year or two, and they’ll stop making the programme. That’ll be a shame, but we’ll get over it. Something else will come along. After all, there’s never going to be one television programme that stays with you all your life.

Is there?