Across three decades, Manchester-based publishers World Distributors released a series of popular and enduring Doctor Who annuals, which became staple items in many a young Who fan’s Christmas stocking.
Their long series of annuals began in 1965 and continued until 1985, missing only one year along the way (though enterprising fans have since filled this gap with an unofficial 1972 annual). Alongside the Doctor Who annuals, World also published four Dalek annuals in the late 70s and one K-9 Annual in 1982 (all listed below).
Like most typical annuals, these slim A4-sized hardback books contain a mixture of factual articles, short fiction, comic strips, and crosswords or other puzzles.
A word of warning if you’re searching for a particular World annual online — the year of publication is always printed inside each annual, but the title of the annual (if shown on the cover or spine) traditionally refers to the following year. For example, the annual published in September 1975 is referred to as the “1976 annual”. This would be straightfoward, except that about half of the World annuals don’t actually show the year on the cover or spine. For example, the 1982 annual simply says Doctor Who Annual on the cover, so the publication date of 1981 printed inside means some online sellers confuse it for the 1981 annual and list it accordingly on Amazon or eBay. Don’t buy the wrong year by mistake!
Also worth mentioning are three books not listed on this page (as they’re not labelled as “annuals”) but which consist of content mostly or entirely reprinted from World annuals, namely: The Amazing World of Doctor Who, Adventures in Time and Space and Journey Through Time.
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