60 Years On: Dr. What and His Time Clock

Last seen floating in the time vortex in the first of Rebellion’s Cor!! Buster specials, here’s the first episode of “Dr. What and His Time Clock”, the image kindly provided by comic creator and archivist Lew Stringer.

“Dr. What and His Time Clock”  - Boys' World Volume 2 No.22, cover dated 30th May 1964

(Lew writes and draws “Daft Dimension” for Doctor Who Magazine, and spoofed Doctor Who with “Doctor Flu” for The Beano, back in 2014).

This first episode was published in Boys’ World Volume 2 No. 22, cover dated 30th May 1964, 60 years ago, the issue on sale a week before that.

The strip was drawn by Artie Jackson, who was artist on the single-column topical panel cartoon “Doglover” for the Daily Express in 1961-62, who later drew the original “Danger Mouse” for Smash!

A collection of his cartoons, It’s a Smaller World, was published in 1960, and was also creator of the newspaper strip, “Nigel and Pepito”. He signed himself “Artie”.

In the Boy’s World run, Doctor What invents a Time Clock that allows him to time travel, first meeting Sir Isaac Newton, then catches a bus to the Moon where he meets Mooniks, is captured by Martians and has other adventures – before finally winding up in Calais, where he accidentally travels to 1789 at the time of the French Revolution, annoys the Scarlet Pimpernel and almost gets beheaded. A bit of a dark place for a humour strip aimed at young boys!

Luckily, the Time Clock returns him to his own time where he is briefly kidnapped, before making it back across the Channel, but, sadly, with his Time Clock at the bottom of the sea.

“Dr. What” was the earliest Doctor Who related comic strip, appearing in issues 22 to 40 of Boys’ World in 1964, before the comic was merged with Eagle. Eight years later, a modified reprint appeared in the 1972 Cor!! Summer Special, followed by a previously unpublished second story in the Cor!! Annual 1974 (1973).

He also made a brief appearance in one of the two episodes of “Jasper the Grasper” in the same annual, illustrated by Trevor Metcalfe.

Web Links

Dr. What and His Time Clock – Lew Stringer’s guide on Blimey!

Altered Vistas: Dr. What and His Time Clock

Altered Vistas: Doctor Who in Comics – Timeline

Dr What and His Time Clock” from August 1964, drawn by Artie Jackson

The Space Museum: The 1964 Gallery

Kazoop! Dr. What in Cor!!

Lew Stringer’s “Doctor Flu” items on his official blog

Nigel and Pepito – strip samples on CartoonArtFans, posted by Steven Taylor

With thanks to Lew Stringer, Paul Scoones and David Brunt

“Dr. What and His Time Clock” ©️ Rebellion Publishing Ltd

Categories: British Comics, Classic British Comics, Comics, Doctor Who, downthetubes News, Events, Other Worlds

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