Spin-off starsThe magazine also gave birth to several original characters who would go on to become minor Marvel stars in their own right, including Abslom Daak, Dalek Killer, the Special Executive, Kroton the Cyberman, the Sleeze Brothers and the Freefall Warriors (as well as giving the Doctor a rather...unique...new companion in the shape of Frobisher, a shape changer trapped in the form of a penguin, who later found his way into Doctor who stories in other mediums).The title eventually changed to the now more familiar Doctor Who Magazine. See Doctor Who in comics for more detail on this period.
Doctor Who Magazine and move to PaniniOver the years, the magazine spawned a number of spin-offs, notably Doctor Who Classic Comics, various Doctor Who Specials, the Doctor Who Yearbook and Doctor Who: It's Bigger on the Inside (a collection of the humorous Doctor Who? strips by Tim Quinn and Dicky Howett which ran on the letters pages for several years). It also helped launch the career of another Marvel UK star (later adopted by Marvel in the US), the robotic mercenary Death's Head, who guest starred in the Doctor's strip after first appearing in the pages of Transformers; later, the Doctor himself would make a surprise appearance in Death's Head's own book!
When Marvel UK folded in 1995/96, Doctor Who Magazine was sold to Panini UK, who still publish it today (the Marvel UK logo continued to appear on the cover until the end of 1999, when Marvel's already existing licence to produce a Doctor Who title ran out). The comic strip remains a regular part of the magazine, drawn by artists such as Mike Collins and Martin Geraghty and scripted by writers including Scott Gray and Jacqueline Rayner, but it is no longer a 'comic' in the sense that Doctor Who Weekly was, and the target audience is now very definitely adult readers. The magazine received an overhaul in 2005 to coincide with the return of Doctor Who to television, becoming thicker, squarebound and with a higher price. It is the world's longest running periodical based on a television programme.