Doctor Who – Battles in Time
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Doctor Who – Battles in Time #1
|Categories||Science fiction television|
|First issue||20 September 2006 (Nationwide)|
|Final issue||13 May 2009 (70 issues)|
|Website||Doctor Who – Battles in Time|
Doctor Who – Battles in Time is a trading card game and fortnightly magazine from the partwork publishers GE Fabbri, who acquired the license to produce Battles in Time. The game and magazine were first released in mid-April 2006 in two 'test-regions' in the United Kingdom and was made available across the UK on 20 September 2006. The magazine was released in Australia a few months later. However, only in South Australia was it made available in newsagents. In the rest of Australia it was available by subscription with the distributor only. The subscription and back issue services have now been removed from the official website. Battles in Time magazines are no longer available and the last issue was released on 13 May 2009.
The Test Run
The test series was run in the Westcountry and Grampian television areas of the UK at a test market to see if Battles in Time would be popular. It released 7 pilot Magazines and a "test set" version of the Exterminator card set comprising only 85 cards, plus a "test set" Super Rose. These 85 cards were essentially the same as the first 85 cards of the Exterminator set that was released nationally. However, card 42 featuring "Captain Jack" had a picture change in the national set. Test set cards are recognized as they did not include the icon, in the bottom left of the card, which would subsequently be used to identify common, rare, super rare and ultra rare cards. Also, test set information cards had a lightning icon within a triangle above the information box. This was amended for the national release to an oval shape. This can be seen, for example, in the Ultra Rare cards in the series and also the test set Super Rose card.
Complete sets of this 85 card set area very rare, particularly if they include the test set Super Rose card as there were very few test set Super Rose cards manufactured.
Each issue of the magazine includes :
- Rules for a different game each issue (not in issues 61 onwards)
- Deck Doctor (although no Deck Doctor in issue 1)
- Deck Doctor puzzles based on the cards (since issue 61)
- Comparison between cards; e.g. Rose vs Cassandra, Doctor vs Dalek Emperor, Captain Jack vs Empty Child.
- A guide on each episode with scenarios based on the episode that can be played with the cards.
- Fold-out guides to a different monster each issue, with notes on cards that feature that monster.
- Behind-the-scenes guide to certain monsters or shots.
- Comic strip story drawn by John Ross [issues 1 to 6] and Lee Sullivan. Colours by Alan Craddock
- Artwork depicting the "Dalek Wars"
- Doctor Who themed puzzles.
- "Which hero/monster are you?" quizzes.
Each issue has a three page comic story. Occasionally these are [stand-alone] stories but usually they fit into story arcs over many issues.
Four special issues have been released (Daleks V.S Cybermen, Invader, Ultimate Monsters and Devastator). These contain several packs of cards of the current set.
The Card Sets
|Publisher(s)||G E Fabbri|
|Skill(s) required||Card playing
Basic Reading Ability
|Doctor Who – Battles in Time at BoardGameGeek|
In addition to the rare "test set" described above, six national release card sets were issued.
The Exterminator set totals 275 cards and was issued on 20 September 2006. It covered the 2005 and 2006 series, plus the 2005 Christmas special The Christmas Invasion.
The Annihilator set, comprises 100 cards, taken from the first two series and the 2006 Christmas special The Runaway Bride. This set was released on 21 February 2007.
A Daleks vs Cybermen special was released 16 May 2007. This special came with a set of 18 cards, including 16 common cards and one of four variants of both a Dalek and Cyberman rare, making the full set 24 cards, and not the 18 that are usually found advertised as a full set.
The Invader set, released on 5 September 2007 consists of 225 cards from the 2007 series.
The Ultimate Monsters set was released on 5 March 2008. This 225 card set is primarily sourced from the "Classic Series" of Doctor Who that ran from 1963 to 1989. Other cards came from the 2007 Christmas special Voyage of the Damned as well as the first three series of the revamped show.
The most recent release is the Devastator set which is based on the 2007 Christmas Special and the 2008 series of Doctor Who. The Devastator set was released on 3 September 2008. A special issue with four free packs and a series 4 guide was released on 17 September 2008 priced £4.99.
Additional cards released include an unnumbered card, 'Super Rose', which may be found in every 1,000 packs of each of the five main series, the 'psychic paper' card, which only came with the first issue of the magazine series, and a lenticular card, 'Dalek Blaster' unnumbered and distributed with the special issue launching the Invader series.
A special edition pack of cards on The Sarah Jane Adventures came with Issue 62 as a one-off set. There were 10 cards in total.
An additional variant card is the variation between the test set cards 42 - Captain Jack - which had featured photograph changes between the two sets.
There were five different main card sets in the national series. These are:-
- Exterminator (2006)
- Annihilator (2007)
- Invader (2007)
- Ultimate Monsters (2008)
- Devastator (2008)
There were two other, special, sets, which were
- Daleks vs Cybermen (2007). Released in two different packs, 'Daleks' and 'Cybermen'. There were 18 cards, the first sixteen were shiny, but "common", the remaining two were of a super-rare texture, but designated "rare". These came in four different images, making the complete set of 24 cards.
- Adventurer (2008). All ten cards were released in a special packet. Cards of from The Sarah Jane Adventures. Released in Issue 62.
Additionally, there were some special, un-numbered, cards. These were
- "Super Rose". There was only one in every 1,000 packets of all five main sets. It was titled the "golden ticket" on the packets, this being because the back of the card was partially gold. The card itself is a lenticular card, in a similar manner to the ultra-rare cards.
- "Dalek Blaster". This was a special lenticular card of a dalek being 'blasted', and came free with the "Invader" launch special magazine.
- "Psychic Paper". A special card with a piece of red film over one part of the card, which could be placed over some of the bonus cards to reveal their playing effect. It came in the first issue only. The card is named after the gadget owned by The Doctor in the show, a gadget which was not given a trading card in any of the five sets.
- There was a special card in the Adventurer set which was used at the front of the transparent packet. It simply shows the logo for the Adventurer set, the Doctor Who Battles in Time logo, and a picture of the cast from The Sarah Jane Adventures. There are 10 cards in total.