|This article is written from the Real World point of view.|
As with the television series, the William Hartnell version of the Doctor was the original comic strip Doctor. However, the actor's portrayal of the character was often lost in TV Comic, the dominant publication to feature First Doctor stories. At a superficial level, the character wasn't called "the Doctor", but "Dr. Who". But at a deeper level, the comics were hampered by the inclusion of two children as his companions. Though they may well have made it easier for kids — the primary target audience for the comic strips — to relate to the Doctor, they made it almost impossible for a well-rounded portrayal of the First Doctor's many qualities. Especially profound was the loss of the Doctor's inherent "grumpiness"; with no adults around, the Doctor had no targets for his anger. Thus, the comic First Doctor was reduced to being just a grandfather with a time-space ship.
But even these two points were somewhat in doubt.
The comic TARDIS wasn't actually much of a time-travel device. As almost every story was set in the far future, it was really more of a simple space ship. So that threw the First Doctor's inclination towards historical adventures out the window. And his status as "grandfather" was a point of some incredulity, as well. How could he be the grandfather to John and Gillian? What was their relationship to the never-referenced Susan? How did the stories told in the comic strips relate to the television series? These were all questions left completely unanswered.
Worse, still, the comic First Doctor was deprived even of the Daleks. Since Terry Nation had licensed the comic Daleks to appear only by themselves from 1965 to 1967, the comic First Doctor never encountered them. He was forced instead to repeatedly face the TV Comic "substitute", the Trods.
The best the TV Comic First Doctor could muster by way of resembling himself was a lone story that tied in with an atypical television adventure: Dr. Who and the Zarbi on the Web Planet.
It really wasn't until Doctor Who Magazine began publishing a handful of original First Doctor stories that the William Hartnell portrayal was really seen in comics. Consequently, most of the First Doctor's companions didn't have their comic debuts until the early 1990s. But by then, thirty years after the fact, it was really a case of "too little, too late". Ironically, comic readers are still waiting for the First Doctor to encounter the Daleks.
Given these facts, It is perhaps not surprising that, as a matter of Doctor Who Magazine continuity, the entirety of the First Doctor's TV Comic run was retconned out of existence as a dream of the Eighth Doctor. (DWM: The Land of Happy Endings)
No doubt inspired by DW: Remembrance of the Daleks, the Seventh/First "non-crossover" comic story deserves special mention. The basic setup of this type of story follows the pattern established in Remembrance: the First Doctor does something in the past that the Seventh Doctor later revisits. The Doctors don't cross paths. The Seventh Doctor doesn't "de-age" into the First. It's just a simple look into the past. There have been three examples of this kind of story.
Since Hartnell relinquished the role, the First Doctor has generally appeared in multi-Doctor comic stories, in which other versions of himself have appeared alongside him. They have taken one of three approaches. Either they've featured serious attempts at justifying the reappearance of the First Doctor, they've been flat parodies. or they've been a little bit of both.
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