Following the 1996 Doctor Who TV Movie, from June 1996 to March 1997 a half page Doctor Who strip by writer Gary Russell and artist Lee Sullivan (with colours by Alan Craddock and lettering by Elitta Fell) ran in each edition of the Radio Times, then the BBC's in-house produced TV listings magazine. The strip featured the eighth Doctor as seen in the TV movie, teamed with new companions Stacy and Ssard (an Ice Warrior from Mars, introduced in the second story). Forty two instalments appeared in all, comprising five stories: Dreadnought (1st June 1996-3rd August 1996), Descendance (10th August-12th October 1996), Ascendance (19th October 1996-21st December 1996), Perceptions (4th January 1997-8th March 1997) and Coda (a two part tale running from 15th-22nd March 1997). A sixth story, Deceptions (which was originally scheduled to follow Perceptions and to run to ten episodes like the four earlier stories) was abandoned when the strip was cancelled, and the trailing plot thread about Stacy being replaced by a shape shifting alien wrapped up quickly in Coda (originally, Deceptions would have revealed the false Stacy to be a Zygon, a recurring monster from the TV series). Stacey and Ssard would later resurface in Placebo Effect, a novel in the BBC Books Eighth Doctor Adventures series, in which the unlikely pair got married.

The Radio Times strip began immediately after the TV Movie aired in Britain, and therefore marks the first appearance of the eighth Doctor in spin-off media, and his second appearance anywhere at all.

A scene from Dreadnought, the first strip in the series, featuring the Cybermen. Art by Lee Sullivan.


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