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Tuesday, 25 September 2018 - Reported by Marcus
The Unofficial Dr Who Annual 1972 (Credit: Terraqueous Distributers)



Fan project The Unofficial Dr Who Annual 1972 is to be published in February 2019 with a host of star names involved.

Katy Manning, John Levene, Mike Tucker and Alister Pearson have all contributed to the publication, joining a large number of Doctor Who fan writers and artists.

And in a further scoop, Wayne Howarth – the son of Walter Howarth, who was the main illustrator on some of the original annuals – has also lent his artistic skills to the book.

Announced on Doctor Who News late last year with an appeal for contributors, this homage to the World Distributors-produced annuals of the 1970s will be a physical publication packed with stories, puzzles and features, and is intended to fill the gap when – to fans’ great surprise and disappointment – a Doctor Who annual wasn’t published in the autumn of 1971, following Jon Pertwee’s second season in the title role.

Had one come out then, it would have seen Katy Manning’s companion character Jo Grant – who burst into the Doctor’s life on TV in January that year – featured in annual form for the first time. Instead, her inaugural annual appearance happened the following autumn, in 1972, when World Distributors, which began publishing the official Doctor Who annuals in autumn 1965, resumed their production with an annual for 1973 – the first time the cover bore an identifying year. The Manchester-based publisher continued bringing out the annuals until autumn 1985.

Terraqueous Distributors, publishers of The Unofficial Dr Who Annual 1972, said:
We’re incredibly excited by it. As fans of the original annuals, this has been a dream of ours for many years. Everyone has worked hard to emulate and evoke the style, tone and quirkiness of the 1970s annuals. We are so fortunate to have had the kindness and support from all those who have contributed.

Over the years, the programme has been a great inspiration to all of the fans involved in the project, which shows in the talent and creativeness of the material submitted – and it’s only natural that the fans would want to give something back. We’ve been absolutely knocked out by the support from the fan community.

There is so much talent in this fan project that we are convinced The Unofficial Dr Who Annual 1972 will be a springboard for many of those involved. “This is a labour of love by enthusiasts. No-one has been paid for their work. Their support and kindness have been overwhelming.

The project was launched last September and it was initially hoped that the annual would be published this year, but it has been a monumental task and of course people have only been able to work on it in their spare time, so the publication date has unavoidably spilled over into 2019.

However, we think it’s going to be well worth the wait – at last, that niggling gap on Doctor Who fans’ bookshelves is going to be plugged, putting right a very long-standing wrong!
The price of the annual will be determined nearer the time, when the precise date of publication and details of how it can be bought will also be announced.

A Facebook page for the project has been set up.