Doctor Who Magazine - 400!

Doctor Who Magazine - 400!

Tom Baker & David Tennant
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It may be only a handful of heartbeats to a Time Lord, but Doctor Who Magazine has reached an impressive milestone this month - its 400th issue.

To celebrate, the mag's editors tracked down an avid reader since its humble beginnings as Doctor Who Weekly - David Tennant.

"I bought the first issue, in 1979," David told DWM. "I just thought, 'at last! Why's this not happened before now?' I was delighted. I chose it as my order. I used to be allowed one issue a week."

Asked if DWM run for another 400 issues, David seemed optimistic. "Another 400 issues... you know, I'm tempted to say, 'If the television series continues,' but Doctor Who Magazine thrived when the series was nowhere to be seen, to be fair, so I can see no reason why it won't run and run. But hopefully the series will be there with the magazine, side by side, all the way. That's how it should be. Yeah, with me on the cover! Forever..."

We caught up with DWM editor Tom Spilsbury, to find out more about David's involvement in the special issue.

"With Doctor Who Magazine reaching its 400th issue - and what a fantastic achievement that is! - I was determined that we should try to do something as big and exciting as possible for the readers who've stuck with us over the last three decades," said Tom. "And what could be more special than doing a photoshoot with the Doctor himself?

"I came up with the idea of having the Doctor actually reading Doctor Who Magazine for the front cover, in a kind of 'Russian doll' effect. I remembered a brilliant Christmas Radio Times from years ago, where Father Christmas was seen to be reading the magazine that he was on the cover of - and it melted my young brain with its brilliance!

"We mentioned the idea to David Tennant, and fortunately, as a DWM reader since the very first issue, he was incredibly enthusiastic. So the DWM team travelled to the Doctor Who studios back in February (during the filming of Journey's End), and David was kind enough to give up a good portion of his lunch hour so that we were able to get the shots we wanted.

"But I also thought it would be nice to honour the origins of the magazine, and I remembered a lovely photo of Tom Baker reading Issue 1, which had been taken to launch the mag, way back in 1979. I asked David if he'd like to try to recreate the shot, and fortunately he knew exactly the right pose to strike. He got it perfectly! He must practice it in front of the mirror every night.

"Having got that perfect pose, we then thought it would be fun to travel back in time and give Tom Baker a copy of Issue 400, so he could recreate his own pose from 1979 with the latest mag... (Oh, okay, then, we used Photoshop for that bit.) But hopefully people will enjoy the end result. I think it perfectly sums up the fun timey-wimey nature of Doctor Who!"

Other highlights of the special issue include: Executive producer Russell T Davies looking back over the last five years, in his most candid DWM interview ever; Gary Gillatt taking an affectionate look at just what makes Doctor Who the best TV show ever; the Watcher charting the surprising, amusing and often bizarre history of Doctor Who Magazine; The Sixth Doctor himself, Colin Baker, joining The Time Team to watch the end of 1986's epic adventure, The Trial of a Time Lord.

Doctor Who Magazine 400 is out now, price £3.99.

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