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1964 saw the introduction of the first Doctor Who merchandise—items that were specifically related to the programme and could be purchased by the general public.
The distinctive theme music provided an early merchandising opportunity that has continued across the years. An orchestral version of the theme by Eric Winstone was released in January by Pye as a 45 rpm single (although it was probably not licensed by the BBC); followed in February by the BBC’s version from the Radiophonic Workshop on the Decca label. This latter version represented early international merchandising when it was subsequently released in Australia and New Zealand. Sheet music of the Doctor Who theme arranged for piano was also released. Finally, the first novelty record became available when the Go-Gos recorded "I’m Gonna Spend My Christmas With A Dalek," which was released by Oriole in December.
The first of many Doctor Who and the Daleks books were published in 1964. "Doctor Who: In an Exciting Adventure with the Daleks," which provided a loose adaptation of the second television story, was written by David Whittaker and published by Frederick Muller Ltd. The first annual-style book, "The Dalek Book," was released by Panther Books Ltd. in association with Souvenir Press Ltd.
Doctor Who merchandising’s long association with food items also began in 1964; starting with confectionery. Sweet cigarettes were released by Cadet, with each packet containing one in a series of fifty collectible cards that tell a story through images and narrative over the set of cards.
While 1965 was to become the year of Dalek toys, a now highly-sought after item was released to capitalize on the Christmas 1964 market: the Dalek playsuit made by Scorpion Automotive. However, a factory fire in April 1965 destroyed all undistributed, completed stock and many of the parts needed to manufacture additional suits, and so Scorpion was unable to take advantage of 1965's Dalekmania. As such, very few Scorpion Dalek playsuits remain and fewer still have their original, TARDIS-style box. Louis Marx also got its first battery-operated Dalek into the shops before Christmas 1964. The first version was spray-painted grey with a blue fender. With variant packaging and in a variety of colours, this toy remained available for several years. Walter Tuckwell & Associates, the company hired by the BBC that would play a significant role in the explosion of merchandise that started in 1965, issued its first licensing material in late 1964.
Collecting is not limited to merchandise made exclusively for the Doctor Who or Dalek franchises. A variety of other items have become collecting staples over the years. In 1964, Doctor Who made its first appearance in comic form: TV Comic issue 674, dated 14th November 1964. This anthology comic first published by Beaverbrook in 1951 and becoming part of Polystyle Publications in 1960, had the Doctor and new companions, his grandchildren, John and Gillian, face The Klepton Parasites. An official Doctor Who comic strip was interestingly beaten into print by an early spoof version: "Doctor What and His Time Clock," a character clearly based on William Hartnell’s Doctor, was published in Boys' World Volume 2, issues 22-40 between 30th May and 3rd October 1964.
The Radio Times continued to provide collecting opportunities. Most valued by collectors are the early Doctor Who covers, and 1964 saw two of these: the issue published on 20th February 1964 had a Marco Polo cover and the issue published on 19th November 1964 featured The Dalek Invasion of Earth on the cover. In addition to the Doctor Who covers, there are multiple issues with other Doctor Who features, as well as the episode listings, that can be acquired by collectors. More information about Doctor Who content in the Radio Times can be found here. The BBC staff magazine, Ariel, is also a source of Doctor Who articles; most notably, the June 1964 issue features a cover with William Hartnell from an episode of The Sensorites.
To satisfy the interests of fans of the new programme, cast cards—postcard-sized, black and white photographs issued by the BBC with space for an autograph—were available for the principal actors. A single Hartnell image was used throughout his tenure, but variants are available for Carole Ann Ford, Jacqueline Hill, and William Russell.
Finally, the variety of collectible ephemera expanded during 1964, including newspaper and magazine articles, promotional and advertising material, and point-of-sale items. It is impossible to comprehensively catalogue this material. However, examples of interest to collectors are illustrated in the gallery.
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