Wait, was that The Beano in the new Doctor Who trailer?

The first trailer for Jodie Whittaker’s era of Doctor Who features a nod to a past Doctor and, hopefully, a nice nod to the ongoing 80th anniversary celebrations for the weekly British humour comic, the Beano.

As the Doctor’s golden regeneration energy sweeps through the lives of new companions Graham, Ryan and Yasmin (Bradley Walsh, Tosin Cole and Mandip Gill), subtly changing their lives in small and fun ways, Graham’s newspaper is replaced with a copy of the 1981 Beano Summer Special.

The Doctor reading The Beano 1981 Summer Special in the 2013 episode The Rings of Akhaten. Image: BBC
The Doctor reading The Beano 1981 Summer Special in the 2013 episode The Rings of Akhaten. Image: BBC

Yes, the very same Special the Eleventh Doctor, Matt Smith, hid behind in the 2013 episode The Rings of Akhaten, he went back in time to the 1980s to spy on the parents of then-companion Clara Oswald (Jenna Coleman).

1981 Beano Summer SpecialThe Beano was of course quick to offer the  Doctor Who Production Team other back copies of the comic if they needed them.

When the same special Beano featured on Doctor Who, DC Thomson reprinted it as part of the regular comic, released Wednesday 15th May 2013, after they were inundated with messages from fans asking for copies.

The front cover of that weekly issue also features a caricature of Matt Smith and Dennis the Menace making short work of a Dalek.

Beano - with Daleks - cover dated 15h May 2013
Beano – with Daleks – cover dated 15h May 2013

Editor-in-chief Mike Stirling told the Daily Record at the time: “Everyone at The Beano was delighted to see one of our summer specials appear on Doctor Who. We’re big fans of the show and so are our readers, who haven’t stopped talking about it.”

The Daleks have made “sight gag” appearances in the Beano many times over the years, of course, including an earlier appearance by the Tenth Doctor (David Tennant) in a special Comic Relief edition of the title.

• Doctor Who returns to BBC1 this autumn

John Freeman

The founder of downthetubes, John describes himself as is a "freelance comics operative", working as an editor, as Creative Consultant on the Dan Dare audio adventures for B7 Media, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. John has worked in British comics publishing for over 30 years. His credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine at Marvel UK and Star Trek Magazine and Babylon 5 Magazine at Titan Magazines. He also edited STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics, including Team M.O.B.I.L.E. and The Beatles Story. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War and “Dan Dare” for Tian Books. He’s the writer of “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz, published on Tapastic; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood for digital comic 100% Biodegradable.