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John and Gillian
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In terms of number of separate adventures, John and Gillian are the longest-serving comics companions of the Doctor. They began in the first adventure starring the First Doctor and remained in the TARDIS until about midway through the Second Doctor's TV Comic run.

They purport to be the Doctor's grandchildren. During the First Doctor's run, they were generally seen to be adolescents, whereas by the Second Doctor's time, they are drawn more like teenagers.

They were never seen separately, nor were their characters really well-developed enough to warrant separate entries in this database. Indeed, not even their last names were given at any point in their run. In truth, they were meant to simply be characters that the target audience kids could identify with.

To this end, they are completely normal children, with no special skills. About the most remarkable thing that can be said about them is that John once competed in track and field events in the Galactic Games, and was shown to have bested other entrants whilst representing the Earth. This would seemingly make them human.

The claim that they are, like Susan, the Doctor's grandchildren, thus poses a certain continuity problem. Since they are ostensibly human, it is unclear how they could be the Doctor's biological grandchildren unless one believes the Eighth Doctor's televised claim that he is "half human". Moreover, their utter failure to even mention Susan would seem to suggest that she is not their sister. This might indicate that, if telling the truth about their lineage, they are Susan's first cousins.

John and Gillian first appeared in the story "The Klepton Parasites" (TVC #674-#683). They began by looking for their grandfather, the Doctor, in a junkyard. This paralleled the events of the television series' first episode "An Unearthly Child", although in the strip, the junkyard was at No. 16 instead of No. 76.

The Doctor did not appear to have met them prior to their first appearance, but they were aware of him, and he recognized them as soon as they entered the TARDIS by saying, "You must be John and Gillian," implying that he was expecting them. During their visit, John accidentally pressed a control button which transported them to the 30th century, where they met and defeated the alien Kleptons.

John and Gillian travelled with the Doctor for many adventures and fought against many enemies, one of the most notable being the Trods. The Trods, cone-shaped robotic creatures that ran on static electricity, were created for the strip as the Daleks could not initially be used for contractual reasons. These were solved by the time the Second Doctor entered the strip, and the Daleks began making appearances beginning with "The Trodos Ambush" (TVC #788-#791), where they massacred the Trods.

The siblings' parting of ways with the First Doctor was never shown. They returned to the TARDIS with him at the conclusion of "The Experimenters" (TVC #780-#783) and were seen awaiting the Second Doctor's return to the TARDIS in "The Extortioner" (#784-#787). No explanation was given for the Doctor's change of appearance and the two never commented on it. However, some time seemed to have elapsed, since they now appeared to be in their mid-teens. Although in "The Extortioner" the Second Doctor once again reiterated that John and Gillian were his grandchildren, for most of their remaining time with the Second Doctor he referred to them as his "companions" and they usually called him "The Doctor".

John and Gillian remained with the Second Doctor for many more comic strip adventures until the first part of "Invasion of the Quarks" (TVC #872-#876), when the Doctor enrolled them in the university on the planet Zebadee. This was their last appearance in the TVC comic strip.

The postmodern John and Gillian
Several attempts have been made to reconcile or incorporate John and Gillian into the various "adult" Doctor Who continuities. In the Past Doctor Adventures novel, Heart of TARDIS, the Second Doctor commented that he had friends and family living in late 20th century London.

In the Virgin New Adventures novel Conundrum, which took place in the Land of Fiction previously encountered by the Second Doctor in "The Mind Robber", the new Writer prepared for his confrontation with the Seventh Doctor by creating and pitting himself against a fictional character named "Dr. Who" and his grandchildren John and Gillian, implying that the TV Comic strips were all part of such simulations. When the Doctor met the two children, they called him "grandfather", but he replied that he had never met them before.

John and Gillian or rather John Brent and Gillian Roberts appeared in the novella Time and Relative by Kim Newman, featuring the First Doctor and Susan, and taking place in 1963, some six months before the events of "An Unearthly Child". This John and Gillian were friends of Susan's, attending the Coal Hill School with her. Aside from the coincidence in names (an obvious homage), there is no resemblance between them and the John and Gillian of the TV Comic strips.

However, if we're to take Doctor Who Magazine as the main "keeper" of comics continuity, they were effectively written out of canon as a dream the Eighth Doctor had in Doctor Who Magazine #337. This is generally considered a satisfactory explanation, because they would be otherwise very hard to fit into the overall continuity, as framed by the TV series. Secondarily, the story can be more broadly read to fit all the TV Comic stories into modern comics continuity as having happened in the Doctor's dreams.

This entry uses some material derived from

In fairness, it should be noted that the claim that John and Gillian are the Doctor's grandchildren is something that would bother only modern readers of their adventures. Contemporary readers wouldn't have flinched. This is largely because the First Doctor's racial heritage was deeply shrouded in mystery. Until the third season televised adventure, "The Time Meddler", there was nothing which clearly suggested he was anything but human. And it wasn't until the Second Doctor's last televised adventure, "The War Games" that the Doctor's "alien-ness" was explicitly confirmed.

Thus the TV Comic writers weren't deliberately flouting established continuity. It's more a case of the televised Doctor Who gradually building a mythology that made John and Gillian implausible.

First Appearance: TV Comic (1951) #674

View a chronological listing of this character's appearances

Issue Appearances:
Doctor Who Classic Comics (1992)

Doctor Who Graphic Novel (2004)
Doctor Who Magazine (1979)
The New Sharon from Blackcastle Adventures (2004)
TV Comic (1951)
TV Comic Annual (1951)
TV Comic Holiday Special (1963)

Group Affiliation(s):
Doctor Who companions

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