Sunday, August 3, 2014

The First Games Workshop Space Marine?

Is this Games Workshop's first use of the term Space Marine?
Whilst playing the Doctor Who board game the other day, I came across something very surprising - at least to me.  In addition to the well known companions which a Doctor may acquire during the game, such as K-9 or Sarah Jane, a character named a "Space Marine" is available.

Second billing to Lyla.  Not too shabby, Mr. Space Marine!
I loved Doctor Who as a young lad, but I'm not so well versed in its cannon as to recognize that any Space Marines had been involved with the Doctor at all, let alone enough to qualify selection as a companion to the Doctor.  Other than "Army Unit" - which I assume refers to the United Nations Intelligence Team - the "Space Marine" is the only generic, unnamed companion.
Army Unit.  And Sara Jane - during the game my young opponent inquired as to why she was a hunchback.  
According to Wikipedia, Doctor Who featured the "Marine Space Corps" in the serial "Death to the Daleks" back in 1973.  According to Games Workshop's trademark registration with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office ("PTO") for the mark "SPACE MARINE" for use with board games, Games Workshop started using the term Space Marine in 1987.  This board game is from 1980.

From the back of the box.
The game includes copyright attribution to both the BBC and Games Workshop.  Whether the Space Marine in this board game is a BBC character, a prototype of Games Workshop's own concept of a Space Marine, or the term is just being used generically, is a mystery to me.

And, one more bonus item of trivia I learned from the game.  If you take a look at the "Credits" below, you'll see U.K. gaming luminaries Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone both participated in play testing.  

Hope you enjoyed this little walk through gaming history!