Art from Emsone's Castle by Paul Crompton


The first Doctor Who annual was published by World Distributors in 1965, and featured text stories and comic strips starring the original Doctor as played by William Hartnell. A second Hartnell annual followed the following year, with the 1967 annual marking the debut of Patrick Troughton's Second Doctor. After a further two Troughton annuals in 1968 and 1969, Third Doctor Jon Pertwee appeared in the 1970 annual, but no annual was released in 1971; instead, the next annual was cover dated 1973 and released in late 1972 (this was the first annual with a cover date).

World Distributors published two more Third Doctor annuals dated 1974 and 1975, then annuals featuring Fourth Doctor Tom Baker dated 1976 to 1982 (the 1982 book also featuring some text stories starring incoming Fifth Doctor Peter Davison, though only his head was shown in pictures as his costume had yet to début on TV). Two more Fifth Doctor annuals were issued, dated 1983 and 1984, and Sixth Doctor Colin Baker featured in the 1985 to 1986 books.

After this, World Distributors published no more Doctor Who annuals, though Marvel UK released Doctor Who yearbooks in the same format from 1992 to 1996. Panini later published a Doctor Who yearbook for 2015, but this was essentially just a 100-page magazine, not a traditional annual.

After the series was relaunched

In late 2005 Panini, who by then were publishing Doctor Who Magazine, released a 2006 Doctor Who annual to tie in to the newly relaunched series. Following this, BBC Books took back the licence, and they have published the annuals ever since.

Doctor Who storybook annuals containing mostly comic strips were also released from 2007 to 2010 by Panini, before the storybook annual was replaced by 'The Brilliant Book', published by BBC Books, in 2011 and 2012. There was no Doctor Who storybook annual or Brilliant Book for 2013, but the Doctor Who annual itself carried a larger than usual amount of comic strip material.

Similar publications

World Distributors also published The Amazing World of Doctor Who in 1976 and an oversized compilation of stories from earlier annuals (titled Doctor Who: Adventures in Time and Space) in 1981. Galley Press released a second one, Doctor Who Special: Journey Through Time in 1985.

Several Doctor Who spinoff annuals have also been produced, notably the K9 Annual in 1983, published by World Distributors. There were three Dalek 'annuals' in the sixties: The Dalek Book (1964), The Dalek World (1965) and The Dalek Outer Space Book (1966). All three were published by Souvenir Press. Another four, all titled Terry Nation's Dalek Annual, were published by World Distributors from 1975 to 1978 (though all were given the date of the following year, meaning that the covers show 1976 to 1979). Artists included Paul Crompton.

Classic annuals gallery

Marvel UK yearbooks gallery

New series annuals gallery

Miscellaneous annuals gallery

Storybooks and Brilliant Books gallery