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In the Comics - The Eighth Doctor
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Last update: January 2011

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   Radio Times
25-31 May 1996 - the week before the strip began

The Doctor Who TV Movie aired on British TV screens on 27 May 1996 to impressive ratings. The following week, the Radio Times launched its new Sci-Fi page which included a short Doctor Who comic strip each week featuring the new Doctor, which was presumably intended to bridge the gap between the movie and a series proper.

Alas, it was not to be...


Cybermen board the TARDIS.

SCRIPT: Gary Russell
ART: Lee Sullivan (art)
COLOUR: Alan Craddock
LETTERS: Elitta Fell

ISSUES: 1-7 June 1996 - 3-9 August 1996

1. Stacy Townsend and Bill are running through the corridors of a deep space haulage ship called Dreadnought. Bill is dragged down through the floor by something unseen. Stacy meets the Doctor but they both encounter the Cybermen.

2. Stacy and the Doctor run for the TARDIS, but the Cybermen capture it.

3. They are taken to the Cyberman hive aboard the Dreadnought, where the crew, including Bill, are being converted into Cybermen. The Cyberleader says that the Doctor, with his Time Lord secrets, will become the first of a new breed of Cybermen.

4. Placed in a conversion capsule, the Doctor enters a cybernetic version of the astral plane where he attempts to fight back against cybercontrol.

5. The Doctor refuses to submit and give them the secrets of time travel, so the Cyberleader threatens to kill Stacy.

6. The Doctor gives in and takes the Cybermen to his TARDIS.

7. As the Cybermen examine the TARDIS, the Doctor and Stacy attempt to talk to the partly converted Bill, but he raises his arm to kill them.

8. Stacy appeals to Bill, forcing him to remember when the Cybermen attacked the ship and their planned wedding.

9. Bill attacks the Cybermen while the Doctor gets busy at the TARDIS controls.

10. The Doctor makes the Cybermen magnetically repellent to the TARDIS and they are magnetically disassembled, leaving the Doctor and Stacy free. He decides to try to get her home.

The Cyberleader gets a taste of his own medicine courtesy of Bill...

A fairly interesting build-up and idea is let down by the old cliché of appealing to the humanity left inside one of the partly converted humans and then resolving ten whole weeks of plot with some gobbledegook about magnetism. Art-wise, the strip looks nice, with good colour and interesting angles, and it’s good to see the Cybermats (who appear to assist in the conversion process) even if they are irrelevant to the plot, but the writing lets this down badly.


Stacy worked aboard the deep space haulage ship Dreadnought as a loader, which means her main skill was moving crates from A to B. After this tour of duty, she had planned to marry fellow crew member Bill in a little church called St. Christopher’s in Norfolk (presumably the county in England rather than the city in Virginia). She had planned to wear white, though whether this tells us anything about her is open to debate. She appears to be a shrewd judge of character, correctly identifying the Martian queen as a traitor. In Victorian London, an era she had little interest in, she rescued an Equinoid (purple horse with yellow spots) from a freak show, but was captured and replaced by a shapeshifting alien intent on getting home. The Doctor quickly realised though and demanded her return.

Stacy had slightly odd taste in men and eventually fell in love with Ssard the Ice Warrior. They left the TARDIS together and got married in 3999 AD on Micawber‘s World, events which are detailed in the first Eighth Doctor novel Placebo Effect. As this novel was written by Gary Russell, Stacy is almost certainly the only comic strip companion, apart from Ssord, ever to be written for by a single person.

1 - 7 June 19968 - 14 June 1996
15 - 21 June 199622 - 28 June 1996
29 June - 5 July 19966 - 12 July 1996
13 - 19 July 199620 - 26 July 1996
27 July - 2 August 19963 - 9 August 1996
Stacy Townsend


10 - 16 August 1996

SCRIPT: Gary Russell
ART: Lee Sullivan (art)
COLOUR: Alan Craddock
LETTERS: Elitta Fell

ISSUES: 10-16 August 1996 - 12-18 October 1996

1. The Doctor and Stacy are on Mars discretely observing an Ice Warrior ceremony to make a young noble into an Ice Lord, but they are captured by the Ice Warriors and sentenced to death.

2. The sentence is not carried out and the warriors instead apologise. Until the rites are over, they are charged with protecting the young noble Izaxyrl from an approaching rival Ice Warrior faction.

I do love these mint-green speech bubbles for the Martians!
17 - 23 August 1996
24 - 30 August 1996

3. A battle ensues between the rival factions. The Doctor, Stacy and the Ice Warriors are cut down in the crossfire.

4. The Doctor, Stacy and Ice Warrior Ssard recover and discover that Lord Artix has kidnapped Izaxyrl.

5. The Doctor, Stacy and Ssard go to the palace of the High Lord Uzoxx where the Doctor is blamed for the abduction of Uzoxx’s son Izaxyrl. The Doctor offers to find Izaxyrl. But Uzoxx’s queen Luass is scheming and plans to tell her brother Artix what is happening.

6. The Doctor, Stacy and Ssard plan to find Izaxyrl, but Queen Shssur has had their air car sabotaged.

7. As they travel, the Doctor, Stacy and Ssard discuss the situation. Ssard believes there must be a spy in the palace as the ceremony was secret. Stacy thinks it’s the queen, but the Doctor disagrees. Then the air car blows up.

8. The Doctor awakes in Artix’ palace. Stacy and Ssard are prisoners, as is Izaxyrl who has missed the ascension ceremony and so can now never claim his father’s throne, leaving Artix as ruler. Artix wants the Doctor to take Izaxyrl home in shame. If he refuses then Stacy will die.

9. The Doctor takes Izaxyrl home. He knows someone in the palace sabotaged the air car, and would be dead had Artix not matter transported them to safety. Just then an Ice Warrior bursts in firing his weapon.

10. Izaxyrl kills the assassin. Although he can never be an adult, he is determined to find the traitor in the palace and also to help the Doctor rescue Stacy and Ssard from Artix.

31 August - 6 September 1996
7 - 13 September 1996

The problem with going from a story featuring the Cybermen to one featuring the Ice Warriors is that it looks like you don’t have any original ideas to offer, and this strip’s traditional court intrigue plot does little to alleviate that fear. It is also extremely slow, which is surely a crime in a weekly strip.


Ssard is an Ice Warrior from an early period of Martian history. Along with Risstaal and Tusstokk, Ssard was a guard at the Ascendance Rite for Izaxyrl, the son of High Lord Uzoxx of Balarzus Mons. With the Doctor and Stacy, he got involved with the treachery of High Lord Artix and of Luass, wife of Uzoxx and mother of Izaxyrl. At the conclusion of these events, Ssard was invited on a 'holiday' by the Doctor and gladly accepted the offer to travel with him.

Ssard was not best pleased with Victorian London where he had to wear a cloak to hide himself. He was a capable engineer as he helped to fix P'fer'd's spaceship. Unlike the Doctor, he failed to notice when Stacy was swapped with a shapeshifter. With Stacy, he eventually left the Doctor in 3999 AD. The two became engaged and invited the Doctor to their wedding on Micawber's World, as detailed in the first Eighth Doctor novel Placebo Effect.

14 - 20 September 1996
21 - 27 September 1996
28 September - 4 October 1996
5 - 11 October 1996
12 - 18 October 1996


19 - 25 October 199626 October - 1 November 1996
2 - 8 November 19969 - 15 November 1996
16 - 22 November 199623 - 29 November 1996
30 November - 6 December 19967 - 13 December 1996
14 - 20 December 199621 December 1996 - 3 January 1997

SCRIPT: Gary Russell
ART: Lee Sullivan (art)
COLOUR: Alan Craddock
LETTERS: Elitta Fell

ISSUES: 19-25 October 1996 - 21 December 1996-3 January 1997

1. As the Doctor and Izaxyrl travel by aircar to confront Artix, Queen Luass plots with her brother Artix to kill both them and King Uzoxx...

2. While Artix threatens Stacy and Ssard, the Doctor and Izaxyrl discover a secret passage leading to his fortress... but there is something in  the passage...

3. The Doctor and Izaxryl escape from a large purple monster but fall into phosphorescent slime...

The Optician proved a forbimable foe for the Doctor...

4. The Doctor and Izaxryl emerge into the dungeon but are instantly spotted.

5. Captured by Artix, Izaxryl realises that his mother is in league with Artix. In a rage, he attacks his uncle.

6. Izaxryl and the Doctor force Artix to submit. Meanwhile, Queen Luass realises that something may have gone wrong and prepares to flee... but not before she has killed her husband.

7. Releasing Stacy and Ssard, the Doctor and Izaxryl return to Uzoxx’s palace, but Luass is waiting for them.

8. Killing her own body guard, Luass claims he was an assassin attempting to kill her on the orders of the Doctor’s party.

9. Izaxryl prevents their execution because Artix has made a full confession. Luass kills Artix and prepares to escape, but someone has other ideas.

10. It is King Uzoxx. He kills his wife. The threat is ended. The Doctor invites Ssard for a trip in the TARDIS and the Ice Warrior accepts.

And so the snooze-athon continues for another ten weeks, with barely enough plot to fill a quarter of the time. The first four instalments are essentially nothing more than padding and the actual threat posed by Artix is resolved in just a few panels. Stacy and Ssard spend most of the time chained to a dungeon wall so enjoy no development, and the Doctor rabbeting on about Enid Blyton and the Famous Five feels not only out of character but also monumentally irrelevant.


Unsympathetic architecture was a problem in London even then...

SCRIPT: Gary Russell
ART: Lee Sullivan (art)
COLOUR: Alan Craddock
LETTERS: Elitta Fell

ISSUES: 4-10 January 1997 - 8-14 March 1997

1. In Victorian London, the Doctor, Stacy and Ssard investigate an alien spaceship that none of the local inhabitants can see.

2. The owner of the spaceship invites the Doctor, Stacy and Ssard aboard. He is using a Mark III Image Inducer to disguise the ship as a solicitor’s office. But they are observed by other aliens, shapeshifters disguised as policemen with glowing eyes.

3. The ship’s owner, P’fer’d, who is in reality an Equinoid, a purple horse with yellow spots, explains that their ship got lost and ended up here out of fuel. Since then, his wife, M’rek’d, has been kidnapped by the owner of a freak show.

4. P’fer’d is using urchins to help him track down his wife. Noting the policeman outside, the Doctor goes to ask questions, but Stacy is snatched by someone unseen.

5. Stacy has been snatched by urchins who have found M’rek’d in a freak show in Kennington Park. The Doctor notices Stacy’s absence.

6. Stacy and the urchins rescue M’rek’d, but the freak show owner, who is also a shapeshifting alien who wants a spaceship to get home, grabs the two urchins and threatens to kill them.

7. Stacy rescues one of the boys, but the alien kills the other one with a massive electric shock. He then closes in on Stacy...

8. The Doctor and Ssard repair P’fer’d’s ship. The urchin and M’rek’d arrive and explain Stacy’s predicament. The Doctor and Ssard head off to save her, but she is already free, carrying the dead boy. From the nature of his death, the Doctor realises there are other aliens in London.

9. P’fer’d and M’rek’d leave in their spaceship and the Doctor determines to discover the planet of origin of the remaining aliens. Stacy hands him an alien device that she says she took from the alien she killed at the freak show. The shapeshifting policeman claim everything is going according to plan.

10. Suspicious of Stacy, the Doctor gets a fix on the homeworld of the aliens. But Stacy is not Stacy but another of the aliens.

The Victorian setting initially makes a refreshing change from Mars, but is terribly underused and so adds no atmosphere at all. The Equinoids, clearly taken from the description given by the Third Doctor in Frontier in Space of an alien delegate at a peace conference, look as ridiculous as you’d expect from the Doctor’s original description and only serve to undercut any drama. The murder of the urchin is probably the high point of the whole run of Radio Times strips, but is frankly irrelevant to the actual plot.

4 - 10 January 199711 - 17 January 1997
18 - 24 January 199725 - 31 January 1997
1 - 7 February 19978 - 14 February 1997
15 - 21 February 199722 - 28 February 1997
1 - 7 March 19978 - 14 March 1997


Housework aboard the TARDIS was always a bore...

SCRIPT: Gary Russell
ART: Lee Sullivan (art)
COLOUR: Alan Craddock
LETTERS: Elitta Fell

ISSUES: 15-21 March 1997 - 22-28 March 1997

1. The Doctor presses a switch on the TARDIS console that forces the aliens to reveal themselves - including the fake Stacy.

2. The Doctor demands the return of the real Stacy before he takes the aliens home, sealed in a sonic bubble.

The Radio Times strip was curtailed at this point due to a change of editorial team. Coda was a hastily written conclusion replacing a proposed ten-part story set on an ice planet and featuring the Zygons (who were intended to be the shapeshifting aliens in Perceptions) and a final ten-part strip called Deceptions which was set on the Zygon homeworld (Part One of which was printed in an article in DWM 272). Given the general quality and derivativeness of the strip, perhaps we should be thankful that more pilfering of the past did not take place.

15 - 21 March 1997
22 - 28 March 1997
   Doctor Who Magazine


Issue 244The Toymaker greets his guest in twotone fun!Issue 246
Issue 247
Issue 245
Endgame Graphic Novel

A return to Stockbridge, ancestral home of the Doctor Who Magazine strip, is a neat idea that effectively cements the Eighth Doctor into the fabric of the comic strip, while the return of the Celestial Toymaker (last seen on our screens in 1966) places him in the same televisual continuum as the other seven Doctors. This was possibly seen as an important thing to do, given that the Eighth Doctor had only been seen in one television story. The story itself is a strong one, with dashes of surrealism that evoke The Tides of Time and Voyager, and many arresting images, such as the Doctor battling through a nightmare version of Snakes and Ladders, and the fox-headed huntsmen. There is a nice in-joke here as the Doctor refers to ‘old Mrs Parkhouse’. This is a strong start to the era of the Eighth Doctor.

SCRIPT: Alan Barnes
ART: Martin Geraghty (pencils), Robin Smith (inks), Robin Riggs (page 1 inks)
LETTERS: Elitta Fell
EDITORS: Gary Gillatt and Scott Gray

ISSUES: 244 - 247
COVER DATES: 23 October 1996 - 15 January 1997 (though the cover gives the year as 1996)
REPRINTS: Reprinted as part of the Panini ‘graphic novel’’ Endgame, published November 2005.

On horseback, Marwood pursues and kills a man named Felix. The TARDIS arrives in the valley below, in the  village of Stockbridge, but things are not as familiar as they should be, and the Doctor is soon attacked by grotesquely doll-like people. He is saved by Izzy Sinclair and Maxwell Edison who tell him that Stockbridge has been invaded by aliens. However, Marwood arrives and disputes this. Izzy has a pendant named the Focus that belongs to him. He and his fox-headed huntsmen give chase as the Doctor, Max and Izzy run for the TARDIS. But the Celestial Toymaker is waiting for them.

The Toymaker reveals that the village is not the real Stockbridge and demands a rematch, but the Doctor and Izzy escape into the TARDIS. Max is sadly caught. Izzy explains that two days’ before, she and Max returned to Stockbridge to find it strangely changed and all the people either missing or possessed. They met Felix, who was Marwood’s adjutant, who had stolen the Focus. He charged Izzy and Max with getting it away from Stockbridge. The Doctor thinks the real Stockbridge is close by and disengages the TARDIS’ sub-spatial gyros to get there, but the Toymaker has them and the whole village trapped in a snow globe.

Realising the stakes, the Doctor and Izzy return to the Toymaker’s version of Stockbridge to play the games set for them. Entering a floating castle, they are drawn into the Toymaker’s domain where the Toymaker forces the Doctor to play a deadly game of hangman... with Izzy on the gallows. He loses and surrenders the Focus, which is part of a contraption known as the Imagineum, a device capable to transmuting raw light into matter itself. The Toymaker uses it to create a champion to defeat the Doctor... a twisted version of the Time Lord himself.

Izzy and Max are pursued by the fox-headed huntsmen in a game of Mousetrap while the Doctor battles himself. However, as his destruction seems inevitable, he tells his evil duplicate that the Toymaker will never set him free and will always keep him as a plaything. The duplicate stops to listen. Izzy and Max, meanwhile, turn the tables on the huntsmen and drop a large weight on them, just as in the traditional game. Marwood is distraught at the demise of his little foxes and turns on the Toymaker, who casually kills him. This act is enough to convince the Doctor’s duplicate that the Doctor speaks the truth. While he distracts the Toymaker, the Doctor uses the Imagineum to create a duplicate Toymaker who drags the real Toymaker back to the shadow dimensions, locked in perpetual stalemate. The Doctor’s duplicate then destroys the Imagineum and himself. With the Toymaker gone, the fake Stockbridge begins to break apart. Max finds the real village locked in the snowglobe, actually a macro-dimensional linkage device and the Doctor is able to transpose the containment vectors to restore the village. The Doctor invites both Max and Izzy aboard the TARDIS, but only Izzy accepts

Maxwell Edison
The Doctor loved to make an entrance...


Middle-aged Maxwell Edison lives in Stockbridge, and previously encountered the Fifth Doctor in the story Stars Fell On Stockbridge. There, Max, a UFO chaser known to his neighbours as a crackpot, was able to earn a little credibility in the village community, but it seems that this credibility eventually wore thin leaving Max the same as before, though he does at least now have a friend in Izzy Sinclair, who joined him in his Bureau for Interplanetary Liason - a group extending the hand of friendship to visiting aliens. He puts in cameo appearances in A Life of Matter and Death, The Fallen and manages two in The Glorious Dead, where we learn that he and Izzy once challenged a group of philosophy students from Winchester to the pub quiz at the Redfern Inn in Stockbridge and beat them thoroughly. We see him again at the end of Oblivion, when the Doctor returns Izzy home on the same day she left, and he makes a proper return to the comic strip in 2009’s The Stockbridge Child. Max most recently crossed over onto audio in Big Finish’s Eternal Summer, released in November 2009.


Izzy, who was born on 12 October 1979 (making her exactly the same age as Doctor Who Magazine), lived in Stockbridge, the adopted daughter of Sandra and Les who ran the Redfern Inn pub. She was abandoned by her real parents at a bus shelter when she was only a few hours old. Sandra and Max, who she refused to call Mum and Dad, told her the truth when she was eight, which hurt her a great deal. She claimed everything after that point felt unreal, hence persumably her escape into fantasy. She imagined she was really an alien princess and that her real parents would return from space to take her back to their homeworld. In her late teens, she spent much of her time with Maxwell Edison exploring unexplained phenomena. She is something of a loner, and also a science fiction and fantasy fan, mentioning Star Trek, The X-Files, Star Wars, Terry Pratchett, The Day the Earth Stood Still, Wonder Woman, Wallace and Gromit, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Lara Croft, Sigourney Weaver, Battlestar Galactica, and according to the Doctor in The Final Chapter, she also reads a lot of Iain M. Banks. She also used to love a Japanese cartoon series featuring the Neo-Osaka Robotrox Warmaster, which is what the Lady Asami creates to destroy her and the Doctor in The Road to Hell. In The Keep we learn that she has been on the Twister at Alton Towers. In Tooth and Claw we learn that she is allergic to garlic and also unable to swim. Luckily, Fey Truscott-Sade is at hand to save her from drowning. Both of them take the Doctor back to Gallifrey when he is mortally wounded defeating the Cucurbite, but when he appears to regenerate at the conclusion of The Final Chapter, Izzy has a difficult time accepting the new man, and is indeed the first person to discover the trick that the Doctor has been playing on the Threshold. In destroying the Ion Shield that protected Wormwood, she prevents the Pariah’s plans for total destruction by blowing up the moon. She is deeply upset when Fey, having bonded with Shayde, leaves the TARDIS, and it is obvious that there is a great closeness between them. In The Fallen, we also learn of her best friend Carrie for whom she had deeper feelings. It is at Izzy’s request that the Doctor saves Katsura Sato using nano-drones in The Road to Hell, a move that dooms Sato to eternal life and turns Earth into the oppressed world of Dhakan. However, it is also Izzy who saves the day, making Sato realise his mistake and Kroton realise his full potential. When she meets Destrii, she finally believes she has met a kindred spirit, but Destrii tricks her into swapping bodies, and this is when Izzy’s real problems begin.


Izzy Sinclair
Izzy plays dressing up


SCRIPT: Alan Barnes
ART: Martin Geraghty (pencils), Robin Smith (inks), Robin Riggs (page 1 inks)
LETTERS: Elitta Fell
EDITORS: Gary Gillatt and Scott Gray

ISSUES: 248 - 249
COVER DATES: 12 February 1997 (though the cover gives the year as 1996) - 12 March 1997
REPRINTS: Reprinted as part of the Panini ‘graphic novel’’ Endgame, published November 2005.

Is that a sly REM reference in there?

The Amazon Basin, 51st Century, the Earth is a barren war-torn ruin beneath a failing sun. The Doctor and Izzy track an SOS to a ruined dome but are immediately shot down and imprisoned by Uber-Marshal Run Run Hsui Leng, who suspects they have come from a place called the Keep, which holds a treasure that he wants them to help him acquire. However, before he can ‘persuade’ them, they are matter transported away to the Keep itself by an android named Marquez. Marquez takes them to meet his master, Crivello, the greatest scientist of the age but an aged and dying man, who asks the Doctor to save the human race. Marquez then shows them Crivello’s Cauldron, the nucleus of an artificial sun, which will become the centrepiece of a new solar system. However, the Doctor’s role becomes clear. He is to be a sacrifice to the Cauldron. Marquez throws him into it.

The sun is alive and does not kill the Doctor, and he emerges from it after twenty minutes. Marquez explains that Crivello’s attempts to commune with the Cauldron aged him sixty years in six seconds. It required a time traveller to commune and now the sun is primed and awaiting instructions, which the Doctor gives it. They transmat away from the Keep, but are intercepted by Uber-Marshal Leng still demanding the Keep’s treasure. However, that treasure soars up into the sky, heading for an unpopulated area of the Crab Nebula. Crivello says he did it for all humanity, to give them a chance. The Doctor and Izzy slip away. Alone with Crivello in his arms, Marquez murders the old man and throws his body from a cliff. There is a storm coming...

If there is one thing the comic strip era of the Eighth Doctor should be known for it is involved story arcs and plenty of internal continuity, and the first of those arcs starts here. It is perhaps surprising then that The Keep is also a reasonably satisfying read in its own right, despite being only two parts long. There is a surprising amount of detail crammed in here, and Magnus Greel (from The Talons of Weng-Chiang) gets a name check, as does T-Mat (from The Seeds of Death) and the Dogbolter Corporation (see Dogbolter’s last encounter with the Doctor here). However, it is the last page of this strip that really whets the appetite as we realise the story is far from over and that the Doctor is due to cross paths with some aspect of this story again.

Issue 248
Issue 249
Endgame Graphic Novel


Issue 250
Endgame Graphic Novel
The Doctor's comic strip enemies. An odd bunch...

SCRIPT: Alan Barnes
ART: Sean Longcroft (and Martin Geraghty)
LETTERS: Elitta Fell
EDITORS: Gary Gillatt and Scott Gray

ISSUE: 250
COVER DATE: 9 April 1997
REPRINTS: Reprinted as part of the Panini ‘graphic novel’’ Endgame, published November 2005.

After the TARDIS appears to die, the Doctor and Izzy find themselves in the Courtroom of the Limbo Inbetween. General Ironicus (from Fourth Doctor strip The Iron Legion), Josiah W. Dogbolter (first seen in Fifth Doctor strip The Moderator), and Beep the Meep (from Fourth Doctor strip The Star Beast) give evidence against the Doctor and it looks like the Doctor will be condemned to Hell when they are saved by a mysterious hooded lady who urges them to safety through a portal. There she explains that the TARDIS was attacked in the vortex by a parasite, leaving the Doctor and Izzy in a state between life and death. With the TARDIS dying it created copies of the Doctor and Izzy from its memory banks to defeat the parasite. Both the Doctor and the parasite dredge the TARDIS’ memory banks to create opposing armies. The Doctor strikes the final blow with Sir Justin’s sword, slaying the parasite and freeing the TARDIS and her crew.

The Doctor's comic strip friends. An odder bunch.

Okay, so this strip features cameos from Beep the Meep and the Wrarth Warriors (The Star Beast), the Freefall Warriors (The Freefall Warriors), Vesuvius, General Ironicus, Magog, Morris, assorted soldiers and the Bestiarus (The Iron Legion), Shayde, Sir Justin and Melanicus (The Tides of Time), the Brains Trust (City of the Damned), a mutated Silurian creature (Final Genesis), Brimo (The Time Witch), Werelox (The Dogs of Doom), Kalik (Train-Flight), the Profiteers of Ephte (Profits of Doom), the Dryrth (The Lunar Strangers), Sharon, Gus, Maxwell Edison, Doctor Ivan Asimoff, and at least two other aliens that I haven’t yet managed to identify. That it also manages to tell a coherent and fun story is no small miracle. That it is a shameless celebration of Doctor Who Magazine’s own history should come as no surprise in the 250th issue.


Issue 251
Issue 252
Issue 253

And now the story arc kicks in big time (indeed, an arc within an arc), with more twists and turns and shock reveals than one could reasonably expect of even the sharpest of blockbuster movies. The return of the Threshold changes the whole nature of the story and, though it gets a little complicated in later instalments, it always remains gripping, comprehensible and exciting. The artwork is generally very good (though colour would have lifted a strip like this enormously), and the wasp Daleks (owing something to the designs by Amblin) are a striking invention, though the representation of the Eighth Doctor (as in previous strips) is less an accurate likeness and more an acceptable representation with some essence of the character, much like Parkhouse’s Fourth Doctor or Ridgway’s Sixth Doctor.

That has really got to sting...

SCRIPT: Alan Barnes
ART: Martin Geraghty (pencils), Robin Smith (inks)
LETTERS: Elitta Fell
EDITORS: Gary Gillatt and Scott Gray

ISSUES: 251 - 255
COVER DATES: 7 May 1997 - 27 August 1997
REPRINTS: Reprinted as part of the Panini ‘graphic novel’’ Endgame, published November 2005.

Aboard satelloid Icarus Falling, Communications Seer Ptolemy Muttonchops looks into the Gazing Pool and sees a black sun rising, the end of everything. He reports to Sister Chastity who instructs him to say nothing. The TARDIS lands aboard Icarus Falling and the Doctor and Izzy are immediately captured and taken before the Leaderene. The Doctor identifies Icarus Falling as one of six satelloids orbiting the sun created by Crivello’s Cauldron two hundred years before (see The Keep). He sees it as an unlikely coincidence that he should land here and wonders who has brought him here, but further rumination is dirupted by attacking spaceships which easily penetrate Icarus Falling. The ships contain Daleks.

The Leaderene seals the bulkheads, but it will be only a matter of minutes before the Daleks cut their way through. The Doctor goes with Muttonchops to examine the Gazing Pool, which contains matter from the heart of Crivello’s Cauldron. The Doctor takes a sample for analysis but is curious about why Muttonchops hasn’t aged like Crivello did. However, he glimpses the Daleks’ new weapon - a wasp-like Dalek - in the pool. The wasp-like Daleks burst into the Leaderene’s chamber and infect her with nanites that puts her and most of her crew under Dalek control. Izzy and Sister Chastity escape and meet up with the Doctor. The Doctor entrusts Izzy with the sample of Cauldron matter before surrendering himself to the Daleks. But they exterminate him.

The Dalek fire transmats the Doctor to the Dalek ship where he is taken before the Dalek Supreme. There are enemy forces aboard Icarus Falling which is why the Daleks faked the Doctor’s execution. However, with the Dalek Supreme is Marquez. Meanwhile, Izzy and Sister Chastity are forced to flee when the wasp-Daleks burst in and consume Muttonchops. Marquez explains to the Doctor that three centuries before a space craft emerged from a spatial rift containing an alternative form of Dalek from a parallel universe. All but one of the creatures was destroyed, but the Daleks cannot entertain the idea of a mass attack, so plan to cross into parallel space and wipe out their rivals. To do so they must cross the event horizon of a collapsed star. Only Crivello’s Caudlron is controllable, and they used the Doctor to forge a link with this living sun. Now they will take what they need from the Doctor, allowing them to collapse the Cauldron into their own black hole and navigate across the event horizon. They will invade all realities. Back aboard Icarus Falling, Izzy plans to rescue the Doctor, but Sister Chastity isn’t all that she seems - she is a member of the Threshold (see Seventh Doctor strip Ground Zero).

Having cut free the connection that they need from the Doctor’s living brain, the Daleks prepare to collapse the Cauldron. Chastity appears before the Doctor. The Threshold cannot allow the Dalek plan to succeed. She claims her people are no longer aggressively interventionist and now observe, protect and influence, having funded Crivello’s work and safeguarded the new sun. Izzy watches this from the Threshold’s ship, but doesn’t believe the Doctor will fall for Chastity’s story. When he apparently does, the Threshold reveal to Izzy that they have tampered with the Cauldron so that when the Daleks prepare to pass through it will collapse and trap them. But the Doctor’s life will be lost too. They are working on the orders of very special clients who have promised them secrets from a sealed container. Guided by Chastity, the Doctor is manipulated into stopping the Daleks with his own sacrifice, but then the Daleks enter. They have no need of the Doctor anymore - they have Muttonchops who is a child of the Cauldron. He opens the way through.

Through the portal come alternate Daleks from countless parallel worlds, and the Daleks of this universe are no match. Izzy, meanwhile, unleashes the sample of Cauldron matter, creating an entity that allows her to transport to the Doctor and save him. She has with her the box of secrets and the Doctor recognises the seal on it - the Prydonian seal of Gallifrey: someone on Gallifrey has hired the Threshold to wipe out the Daleks. The Doctor joins with Muttonchops to overcome Dalek control and send the Cauldron nova. He and Izzy then escape in the TARDIS as the Threshold and Marquez fight for the Time Lord secrets. But as the box opens, the Cauldron explodes into a fully fledged sun, destroying the Daleks, sealing the portal and taking the secrets with it. The Doctor and Izzy are safe, but the Threshold promise a rematch. They’ll be just around the corner.

Issue 254
Issue 255
The Doctor was not best pleased to find himself in a shopping centre in Milton Keynes, but Izzy had already found a bargain...


Mother warned me about many things... but jam was never one of them.

The era of the Eighth Doctor comic strip may be characterised by big story arcs, but these are always offset by lighter one-issue strips that allow for a bit of a breather. By Hook Or By Crook is certainly not one of the best of these, feeling more like irrelevant filler, but it does nicely characterise the developing relationship between Izzy and the Doctor. The artwork is occasionally striking but more often slightly messy, not quite in Adrian Salmon’s usually crisp and distinctive style.

SCRIPT: Scott Gray
ART: Adrian Salmon
LETTERS: Elitta Fell
EDITORS: Gary Gillatt and Alan Barnes

ISSUE: 256
COVER DATE: 24 September 1997
REPRINTS: Reprinted as part of the Panini ‘graphic novel’’ Endgame, published November 2005.

Landing in the city state of Tar-Ka-Nom in the year 2708, Izzy wants to finish a chapter of Tar-Ka_Nom: A History of a City State but the Doctor wants to explore. He is soon in trouble, charged and sentenced with the murder of seven jam merchants. Izzy attempts to rescue him by planting the sonic screwdriver inside a birthday cake, but only succeeds in getting herself imprisoned too. As the Doctor is led away for execution, she realises the date and demands a phone call. The Doctor’s conviction is overturned when the police receive an anonymous tip off and arrest the real murderer. Izzy confesses that she got the name of the real killer from her book, which isn’t published for another twenty-three years, and simply told the police his name and address.



The Doctor was having a VERY bad hair day...
Issue 257Issue 259
Issue 258
Issue 260

SCRIPT: Alan Barnes
ART: Martin Geraghty (pencils), Robin Smith (inks)
LETTERS: Elitta Fell
EDITORS: Gary Gillatt and Scott Gray

ISSUES: 257 - 260
COVER DATES: 22 October 1997 - 14 January 1998
REPRINTS: Reprinted as part of the Panini ‘graphic novel’’ Endgame, published November 2005.

A small island in the Indian Ocean in 1939. Wealthy Varney and his monkey servants welcomes Marwood (grandfather of the character we see in Endgame), actress Miss Sabine Snitching, black magic enthusiast Canon Aelfric Pincock and undercover British agent Ms Fey Truscott-Sade to his island to sit out the imminent world war. All offer gifts to Varney, and Fey’s gift is a tin whistle. When Varney blows it the TARDIS materialises. During dinner, when all but Izzy drink a lot of Champagne, Varney recounts tales of his ancestor, Bad Captain Varney, who dined on his enemies. Showing them the Captain’s black chapel, he tells them how his ancestor was shipwrecked on this island and formed a pact with the devil that gave him unique powers. He has a phial of the Captain’s blood. It is said, whoever drinks the blood will be possessed by the Captain’s spirit. Later that night, Captain Lycett, pilot of the plane that brought the guests to the island, finds the phial drained... just before he is murdered.

The survivors gather and accusations fly, but when Marwood and Snitching attempt to leave, Varney and his apes blow up the plane with a canon. The generator fails. The Doctor and Miss Snitching go to repair it while the others nervously watch over each other, but Varney slips away. The Doctor repairs the generator, which was sabotaged, and discovers pictograms in the generator cave describing how the native monkeys were taught by a demon from inside the volcano to hunt and eat their victims. Just then one of the savagely transformed apes attacks with a hypodermic.

Fey drives the ape off. The Doctor has no idea why it was trying to take his blood, but he knows the answer will lie in the volcano. Here, the Doctor, Fey and Ms Snitching discover a hidden facility. Fey explains that Lycett has ferried over a hundred people to the island in the last six months, but now all that remains of them are blood samples in the facility, Lycett’s blood is there too, and the Doctor’s examination of it reveals it to be not even remotely human. Fey finds evidence that the Champagne  during the meal was spiked. Ms Snitching is the first to transform. Marwood and Izzy, meanwhile, find the Canon Pincock vanished. A trail of blood leads to the black chapel where they discover  the Canon was killed by an ape, Marwood kills it, but then transforms into a monster himself and is dragged off by Varney’s apes. Varney put the microbe in the Champagne. He needs transformed blood. Much to Izzy’s relief, the Doctor arrives... but both he and Fey are now transformed.

Varney relocates to the volcano facility and there reveals to Izzy and the transformed survivors a Cucurbite - a spaceship of legend that runs on blood, sucking whole species dry. This last ship plunged into the newborn Earth to be expelled centuries later through the volcano. A cracked fuel tank polluted the island’s water, transforming the monkeys who in turn captured Bad Captain Varney. But Varney communicated with the ship and began to formulate a plan to restore it to full power. Now that plan is about to reach fruition, and Varney will sell the ship’s secrets to both sides in the coming war, along with his sideline in chemical weapons. Before Fey can stop him with a syringe of deadly bacillus, Varney plunges them all into the blood tank. The Cucurbite seizes the Doctor, but as it starts to feed on him, he plunges the syringe of bacillus into his own chest, polluting his blood. The bacillus destroys the Cucurbite, restoring Fey and the Doctor to normal, but the Doctor is now dying of the toxin in his body and Fey realises they have to get him back to Gallifrey.

Varney takes his name from a 1845 vampire novel entitled Varney the Vampire or The Feast of Blood by James Malcolm Rymer, and this strip certainly plays to many of the conventions of the genre in its early parts, with its secluded location, blackouts and long shadows. Varney the vampire, by the way, committed suicide by throwing himself into a volcano... but when the story relocates to this setting it loses a great deal of its atmosphere. The Cucurbite (which literally means a vessel for distillation) is an interesting idea, but the idea of it transforming its victims without in any way affecting their minds doesn’t quite work and perhaps robs the end of the story of some of its potential power. Mind you, the Doctor plunging a syringe into his chest is certainly a strong image and the lead into a story set on Gallifrey, which has been promised since Fire and Brimstone is an exciting turn of events.


Undercover agent of the King George VI, and Katharine Hepburn lookalike Fey Truscott-Sade has met the Doctor before in an adventure as yet unrecorded involving the psychic weasels of Russell Square. During this encounter, he gave her a Stattenheim Summoner disguised as a tin whistle as a favour in case of emergency. He meets her again on an island in the Indian Ocean in 1939 where she is masquerading as an art detective whilst investigating the affairs of Varney and Lycett. Along with Izzy, she took the dying Doctor back to Gallifrey and helped stop the ambitions of Luther. However, unknown to her, she had been kidnapped by the Threshold in 1937, following her first encounter with the Doctor, and implanted with a perceptual relay unit that allowed them to spy on the Doctor’s every move. The Doctor quickly suspected this as Fey was able to pilot the TARDIS using the manual, even though this book was written in a Gallifreyan script. When Shayde was mortally wounded by the Pariah in Wormwood, Fey refused to let him die and instead bonded with him, becoming ‘Feyde’.


Fey Truscott-Sade


Issue 262
Issue 263
Issue 264
Issue 265
Endgame Graphic Novel
The Doctor was attending a Steve Parkhouse convention inside the Matrix...

SCRIPT: Alan Barnes
ART: Martin Geraghty (pencils), Robin Smith (inks)
LETTERS: Elitta Fell
EDITORS: Gary Gillatt and Scott Gray

ISSUES: 262 - 265
COVER DATES: 11 March 1998 - 3 June 1998
REPRINTS: Reprinted as part of the Panini ‘graphic novel’’ Endgame, published November 2005.

As Fey and Izzy pilot the TARDIS to Gallifrey, the Doctor’s imminent arrival is reported to Overseer Luther in his watchtower. When the TARDIS lands, the Doctor’s party is greeted by Castellan Tenion, and Fey forces her to get the Doctor immediate assistance. The bacillus is purged from his system, but to aid recovery his mind is placed inside the Matrix. Here he meets Rassilon and the Higher Evolutionaries. The Doctor confronts them about the Threshold (see here). Back in the real world a college dropout named Xanti attempts to see the Doctor but is incapacitated by Fey. He believes he is being stalked by some strange cult called the Elysians. Just then the Elysians appear over the Doctor’s body declaring that he must die to safeguard the future.

The Doctor’s prone body is saved by the arrival of Shayde who kills one of the Elysians, but the rest of them seize Xanti and Izzy before dematerialising. Shayde summons the Doctor back to the real world, but the Doctor first asks Rassilon to tell him more of the threat he is facing for ‘the good of their bargain’. Rassilon speaks of a shared vision of Gallifrey grown dark and wicked, suppressing the weak, suspending progress. Returning to the real world, the Doctor examines the body of the dead Elysian and discovers it has the face of Xanti. Overseer Luther arrives and asks for the Doctor’s assistance.  He has been concerned about Xanti for some time, but the Chancellory guard will do nothing to investigate the boy’s sightings of the Elysium. He instructs the Doctor to visit Uriel, the boy’s father, now residing in a mental asylum called the Quantum of Solace. It is a place presided over by Tubal Cain (see Fifth Doctor comic strip The Stockbridge Horror) who warns the Doctor that Uriel exists in a dangerous dreamscape of his own making. While Izzy and Xanti discover that Luther is behind the Elysium, Fey goes inside the dreamscape to assist the Doctor, but finds him bound, Gulliver-style, by tiny men.

Fey rescues the Doctor and is in turn rescued by Uriel, but Tubal Cain disconnects the circuits leaving both Fey and the Doctor’s minds trapped in the dreamscape. Uriel tells them he joined the Elysium in its early days. They were a secret society that rejected the old ways of Gallifrey. They were the oldest civilisation and should have been Gods. Xanti was a clone produced from Uriel’s own bio-data to be a weapon in the seizing of the Capitol, but upon seeing his son, Uriel’s feelings changed and he had himself committed to the asylum in shame. Uriel has a device that will allow the Doctor and Fey to return to the real world. They depart, leaving him to his guilt. Knocking Tubal Cain unconscious, the pair head to the department of records and there look at the plans of Luther’s watchtower: the purpose of each storey is clearly marked... apart from the ninety-fifth floor. While Castellan Tenion goes to confront Luther directly, the Doctor pilots the TARDIS to the ninety-fifth floor of the watchtower and is there greeted by the man. Xanti, who contains material from the Eye of Harmony, has been wired into the systems - the watchtower is the central column of a planet-sized TARDIS that will take Gallifrey back to Year Zero.

Luther plans to rewrite all of Gallifrey’s history to set them up as gods, but Izzy appeals to Xanti to use his powers over the Elysium. He does, turning them all against Luther, but Luther kills the boy as the TARDIS prepares to materialise at Year Zero - the year Rassilon activated the Eye of Harmony and turned them into Lords of Time. In turn, as power is unleashed, he is swept into the vortex. To avert the destruction of all Time Lord history, the Doctor must pilot the TARDIS back to its starting point, but to do so will require a living time brain wired into the system. The Doctor is resigned to his fate and tricks Fey and Izzy into departing in the TARDIS. Shayde appears, but it is the Doctor who must endure the agony of transfer. All is restored to as it was, but the strain of the operation forces the Doctor to regenerate...

Featuring the Higher Evolutionaries from The Tides of Time, mention of Merlin, Tubal Cain (going back almost two hundred issues), not to mention gratuitous references to the Order of the Black Sun from Alan Moore’s back-up strips Star Death, 4D-War and Black Sun Rising (earliest appearance in December 1980, almost eighteen years previously) I wonder if this strip actually makes much sense to casual readers or if it was intended to stimulate sales of back issues. It has the sort of breathless, complicated and epic-scale story that the Eighth Doctor’s comic strip adventures seems to turn out with astounding regularity, but is perhaps feeding on the comic strip’s own mythos just a little too much (particularly the surreal dreamscape sequence that harks straight back to Steve Parkhouse’s finest hours) to be totally satisfying. However, the regeneration of the Doctor at the end is the single most audacious thing the Doctor Who comic strip has ever done in any publication and provoked a very lively letters page the following month.

Shayde's unfortunate order and the unhappy result made Fey  gag...

IMAGINARY FRIENDS - SHAYDE (Part Three) (Click here for Part One)

Shayde returns to the comic strip properly (having put in a cameo appearance in A Life of Matter and Death) after an absence of almost fifteen years in The Final Chapter, though what exactly his role in events is remains ambiguous at this time. He turns up to save the Doctor from the Elysium then reappears at the end to offer some words to the Doctor that will have to be heavily reinterpreted by the reader in the light of the following adventure.

The Doctor’s regeneration is a sham devised between the Doctor and the Higher Evolutionaries, with Shayde as their willing accomplice. The new Doctor is in fact Shayde disguised using a personal chameleon circuit, augmented by a persona imprint pulled from the Matrix to give the charade a convincing character capable of fooling the Threshold. It was actually he who piloted the watchtower back to its starting point in The Final Chapter while the Doctor hid aboard the TARDIS. The resulting trauma was sufficient to convincingly stage a fake regeneration and deliver to the Threshold exactly what they wanted: a Doctor who was vulnerable.

The plan exposed, Shayde does battle with the Pariah, his predecessor as an agent of the Time Lords, but loses the fight and is almost destroyed. He survives by bonding with Fey Truscott-Sade, becoming, as he later suggests, an agent of both Rassilon and King George VI. In their new, shared form, Shayde and Fey became known as Feyde.



Abraham White's new massage technique was a huge hit with the public...Issue 266Issue 267
Issue 268Issue 269

SCRIPT: Scott Gray
ART: Martin Geraghty (pencils), Robin Smith (inks)
LETTERS: Elitta Fell
EDITORS: Gary Gillatt and Alan Barnes

ISSUES: 266 - 271
COVER DATES: 1 July 1998 - 18 November 1998
REPRINTS: Reprinted as part of the Panini ‘graphic novel’’ Endgame, published November 2005.

Fey and Izzy struggle to come to terms with the new Doctor, when the TARDIS is almost struck by a Tellesian Cruise Liner. Seconds later, the craft explodes forcing the TARDIS to make an emergency landing on the moon. Except that they appear to be in a town in the 1880s American West... They soon meet Abraham White, who is driving a car not developed for another twenty years. The Doctor sees through White’s charade, and White reveals himself as creator of the Threshold.

The Doctor forces the TARDIS to dematerialise to keep White away from his property. White returns the favour by transporting Izzy and Fey deep inside Wormwood, the Threshold base. In his car, which is capable of flight, he takes the Doctor on a tour of his domain, showing him human monuments such as the Great Wall of China and the Empire State Building which he has had transferred to the moon. Izzy and Fey, meanwhile, meet a familiar face in the form of Chastity (see Fire and Brimstone above), now twenty years older, who reveals that Fey has been an unwitting spy for the Threshold thanks to a perceptual relay unit that they planted in her mind. Furious, she goes to confront White, striking him down. Immediately, White transforms into a savage creature called the Pariah.

The Pariah and White are two creatures sharing the same body mass. When White takes control again he explains how the Threshold began. In Autumn 1879 he was a poor bible salesman when he discovered a strange sphere crash to Earth. Touching it, he made contact with the Pariah who told him of her enemies, the Time Lords. The Pariah tried to take control of his body, but she was weak, so White struck a deal with her; he’d carry her inside him and she would help him make a profit and slow the ageing process. Together they jump-started the Twentieth Century, pushing the right people in the right direction to speed progress. But the ultimate progress came when they applied the principle of industrial reproduction to the Pariah, reproducing her basic sphere form and placing it in a dimensional void. They recruited people of ambition and transformed them through the void into living gateways - the Threshold. They hid from the Time Lords by never time travelling. Izzy, meanwhile, sees a member of the Threshold called Gracie Witherspoon and follows her. She discovers a vast device called the Ziggurat and, just as Gracie grabs Izzy from behind, White uses the device to destroy outer space.

White explains that he has changed every speck of dark matter, every virtual photon and every quantum particle that exists in the vacuum of space into entropic holes that convert anything they collide with into basic energy. Anyone unlucky enough to be outside a planetary atmosphere is now dead. Izzy struggles with Gracie - and receives a shock. White, meanwhile, explains how the Threshold plan to advertise their services to the universe - but they need the Doctor’s gift of universal translation (which was what the box of secrets from Gallifrey seen in Fire and Brimstone contained). This will kill him. However, the Doctor points out that Chastity saw the contents of the box before the destruction of the Cauldron and, as his mind is still clouded from regeneration, she would make a better translator. White agrees and Chastity dies. With space a deadly minefield, White tells the citizens of the universe that the Threshold can provide them with an instantaneous means of travel through dimensional portals... for a fee. Gracie arrives with Izzy as her prisoner, offering to take both her and Fey to a more secure location, but the Pariah speaks out - Gracie is not one of her progeny. Indeed she isn’t - she is the Eighth Doctor in disguise.

The Doctor used a personal chameleon circuit to disguise himself. The ‘new’ Doctor did likewise - he is really Shayde. White switches into the Pariah. The Pariah and Shayde do battle while the Doctor, Izzy and Fey escape through a Threshold portal to the TARDIS. The Pariah reveals herself to be Shayde’s forebear - a Time Lord agent who rebelled, found true life and slaughtered a few thousand Time Lords. Rassilon believed the Pariah dead after their final battle, but she escaped and has planned the ultimate revenge. The Doctor, meanwhile, tells Izzy and Fey that he knew Fey was being used as an unwitting spy by the Threshold and decided, to make them relax their guard, to give them what they wanted: a vulnerable Doctor fresh from regeneration. He hands Izzy a baseball bat and they rush out to stop the Threshold while Shayde keeps the Pariah busy. But Shayde has lost and the Pariah appears before them with his body in its claws. It crushes Shayde’s head.

Discarding Shayde and physically taking the TARDIS, the Pariah goes to meet her ultimate destiny with the Ziggurat. Shayde lacks the ability to repair himself, but Fey refuses to let him die. The Pariah, meanwhile, uses the energies of the TARDIS and the Ziggurat to shift the moon a split second forward in time. She drains all the energy of the Threshold into the Ziggurat. She will destroy not just outer space, but planets, suns, everything. White is horrified and manages to split from the Pariah - both will now die, but the Doctor points out that he will survive inside the Ion Shield of Wormwood. The Pariah gives chase, but this is merely a distraction while Izzy destroys the Ion Shield. It will collapse completely in sixty seconds. The Pariah catches the Doctor, but Shayde appears - now merged with Fey - and blasts her. The Doctor, Izzy and ‘Feyde’ escape in the TARDIS as Wormwood and the moon are destroyed.

Issue 270Issue 271
The Nick Briggs Doctor. They could've saved a fortune if they'd used him on TV as he could have supplied all the monster voices too...

Of all the Eighth Doctor’s epics, few stories come close to being quite as epic as this one. Bringing to an end a complex cycle of linked stories that began back with The Curse of the Scarab more than three years previous, taking in Black Destiny, Ground Zero, Fire and Brimstone,Tooth and Claw, and The Final Chapter, this tale provides a satisfying, exciting and convincing conclusion, and it is especially nice to see Izzy destroy Wormwood and the Threshold’s power using Ace’s baseball bat. The character of Fey, who has been a striking and effective companion over the past three adventures, and the surprising development the character undergoes, sets things up for the future, but just for the moment we are free of complicated arcs. It’s been quite a ride, but as the Doctor says, ‘This body’s just getting warmed up’.

Good dental hygiene was always so important to the pseudo-Doctor...


When the Eighth Doctor apparently regenerated in the pages of Doctor Who Magazine the following issue’s letters page was ablaze: ‘I’m in shock. I’ve read and re-read it but it’s always the same...’ (Lucy Shaw, Skipton), ‘I can’t remember the last time Doctor Who stunned me into silence like this... My first reaction was one of utter disbelief. You can’t just do that sort of thing, can you?’ (Mark Davies, via email), ‘If you were looking for a way to draw attention to your comic strip, you’ve certainly succeeded... It’s a bold step and I look forward to reading the stories of the Ninth Doctor, although I feel we haven’t got to know the Eighth Doctor yet.’ (Simon Catlow, Lichfield), ‘I don’t like change and I really can’t see how we can be convinced by a Doctor that we’ve never seen in the flesh, never heard talk, and never watched.’ (Stephen Bray, via email), ‘How could you possibly consider replacing Mr McGann after only two years of Doctorliness? It is the shortest reign any actor has had in the role. Bring back Paul McGann, I say. The new Doctor seems extremely annoying... Please do something about this, the new Doctor just isn’t right.’ (Ben Goudie, via email), ‘What on earth have you done with the comic strip? What possessed you to regenerate the Doctor with no TV or film model to base him on? I feel, rightly or wrongly, that without an actor having portrayed your new Doctor in any production, he will lack the core and substance that even the brief screen life of the Eighth Doctor had, and your comic strip will end up falling flat on its face.’ (Paul Hayes, Clapham). Two issues later, reaction was rather more positive: ‘I have just read Wormwood and it is absolutely brilliant. The new Doctor is rather sketchy but this is only Part One of his first story’ (Charles Smith, via email), ‘Many congratulations on the first part of Wormwood - it really felt like the first episode of a new Doctor... Stick with the new Doctor even when the TV series returns - you’re creating a unique new piece of Doctor Who’ (Simon Burt, Wakefield), ‘I’m just writing to say that I think that the new Doctor is going to be very good’ (Stephen Oakes, via email). The letters were still coming in the following issue: ‘Are you people utterly mad? I mean, really? The Eighth Doctor was just hitting his stride in the comic strip, Izzy was becoming tolerable, and Fey was a nice addition to the strip. Ah, but what a way to go...’ (Kelly Hodge, via email). In his editorial in Issue 271 (the final part of Wormwood), Gary Gillatt claimed that an entire Doctor Who local group had cancelled their subscriptions to the magazine, and said that ‘The regeneration has been dismissed as no more than a cheap stunt by some critics, but I think that’s a little unfair. It was the result of ongoing efforts to make the strip ever better, all the time thinking about the biggest surprises we could offer.’ And what a surprise was to come...


Issue 272
Glorious Dead graphic novel

SCRIPT: Scott Gray
ART: Roger Langridge
LETTERS: Roger Langridge
EDITORS: Gary Gillatt and Alan Barnes

ISSUE: 272
COVER DATE: 16 December 1998
REPRINTS: Reprinted as part of the Panini ‘graphic novel’’ The Glorious Dead, published November 2005.

The Eight Doctors

All eight of the Doctors are captured by the Beige Guardian and forced to face every single enemy that they have ever defeated. The Second Doctor and the Sixth are pitted against Davros and the Daleks aboard a space station. The Third and Fifth find themselves in Albert Square battling Ogrons, Sontarans and Zygons. The Fourth and Seventh, whilst carrying on a conversation about allergies, defeat the Yeti, the Silurians, the Ice Warriors, The Kandyman, the  Nimon, the Vervoids and the Tractators on a rocky planet. This leaves the First and Eighth to defeat the Beige Guardian. However, the whole adventure is actually a computer game being played by Izzy aboard the TARDIS on the Time-Space Visualiser.

There is some good and amusing dialogue in this strip, most notably between the Fourth and Seventh Doctors, but the real joy of this fun strip is its artwork which successfully caricatures all the Doctors. It’s like a MAD strip for the 1990s.


Issue 273
Issue 274

With so little televisual Doctor Who on which to base the Eighth Doctor’s comic strip reign, it’s perhaps unsurprising that Grace Holloway should turn up in the comic strip at some point, and the way it is done is clever, springboarding its story from dialogue in the TV Movie to great effect. The idea of the Master’s morphant form being a creature from the planet Skaro is also neat and goes some way to making sense of the TV Movie’s nonsense. The ending feels a little easy and lacking in real drama, but of course it’s the final panel, riffing on the TV Movie’s other major character, that leaves the big impression. We have just started on another epic story arc, and this time we know it.

Izzy in songbird mode...
Wonder if I can slip my tongue in again, Grace thought...

SCRIPT: Scott Gray
ART: Martin Geraghty (pencils), Robin Smith (inks)
LETTERS: Elitta Fell
EDITORS: Gary Gillatt and Alan Barnes

ISSUES: 273 - 276
COVER DATES: 13 January 1999 - 7 April 1999
ON TV: The Curse of Fatal Death (Doctor Who spoof)
REPRINTS: Reprinted as part of the Panini ‘graphic novel’’ The Glorious Dead, published November 2005.

Landing in London in November, 2001, the Doctor and Izzy are verbally attacked by a street preacher. They make their escape to a cafe. Meanwhile, a party aboard an advanced helicopter are searching for something strange. They’re not sure what it will look like, but they know they’ll recognise it when they find it. What they do find is the TARDIS, and one of the crew knows it of old and demands an immediate landing. However, Izzy has returned to the TARDIS for her glasses and is soon held at  gunpoint, but a more serious threat, alien in nature, presents itself. The sound of gunfire alerts the Doctor, who has been reading about disappearances in the area, but he is soon held at gunpoint by a man named Duncan. One of the helicopter crew appears, telling Duncan not to hurt him. The crew member is Doctor Grace Holloway.

The helicopter carries the Doctor, Grace and Duncan back to base - MI5. Grace tries to mention what she has been working on, but Duncan silences her. Izzy and a member of the crew named Patrick, meanwhile, find themselves underground. But there is something hungry down there with them. The Doctor meets Leighton  Woodrow, head of MI5, who tells him about the disappearances, and also the disappearance of MI5’s own Professor Donald Stark, a brilliant geneticist, who vanished from his locked lab nine days before. Grace was his assistant. But the Doctor is suspicious - Grace is a surgeon, not a lab assistant. She explains that she found residue of the Master’s substance that he spat at her to control her (see the TV Movie) which she collected. Its complex DNA structure was beyond her background, but she was eventually contacted by Professor Stark and hired by MI5, the aim being to find a way to splice Time Lord and human DNA to make humans capable of regenerating. The Doctor is furious. He examines a sample of the substance and claims it is not Time Lord tissue. Donald Stark has been transformed into a monster, and the Doctor realises that all the disappearances happened on the course of the River Effra, which is now largely underground. Underground, Izzy and Patrick are consumed by the gelatinous creature.

Izzy’s life flashes before her eyes, and it is her memory of the Doctor that saves her, as the creature is intrigued by the alien Doctor. The Doctor, meanwhile, explains to Woodrow, Grace and Duncan that Stark has injected himself with a DNA compound derived from a lifeform native to Skaro known as a Morphant, but Stark doesn’t have the mental powers to control the Morphant or the consciousnesses it absorbs and it will have driven him insane. At the moment he will be trying to increase his mass by absorbing protein. The River Effra only touches the surface in the pond in Brockwell Park, and it is here that the Doctor plans to lure the creature with thirty cow  carcasses. The creature appears, Izzy in its grasp, and offers to spare her in return for the Doctor, but then reneges on the deal, seizing them both. With the Doctor absorbed it will be able to control the TARDIS and plunder the universe for food.

Grace saves the Doctor and Izzy by detonating a canister of carbon dioxide. The creature retreats back into the watercourse, but the Doctor realises it will be heading for the Thames and commandeers the helicopter. Ejecting just in time, he crashes it into the creature,  detonating the supply of carbon dioxide aboard. The creature dies. Duncan, meanwhile, has spotted the street preacher, for the third time in a security area and goes to confront him, but the preacher is not all that he seems... The Doctor gives Grace a tin whistle before returning to the TARDIS, but he has an uncomfortable feeling that he has missed something. Woodrow and an MI5 operative go to examine Duncan’s body. It has been shrunk to the size of a doll...

Issue 275
Issue 276
Glorious Dead graphic novel
What an unusually chatty mugger, thought the Doctor


Issue 278Issue 279
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Issue 282Glorious Dead graphic novel

The Road to Hell is paved with good intentions, so they say, and the Doctor’s good intentions in this story will definitely come back to bite him fairly soon as another part of the latest story arc slots into place. The setting is rich (though sometimes a little sketchily illustrated), the detail impressive, the Gaijin genuinely effective, and the characters well realised, especially Katsura Sato and the Lady Asami, driven mad by visions of her own country’s future. Sato, cursed with immortality, must surely have been the inspiration for Captain Jack Harkness, though Sato’s immortality is even crueller as every moment of his life from this point on dishonours him.

The Doctor hadn't realised the party was fancy dress. What a fool he felt...

SCRIPT: Scott Gray
ART: Martin Geraghty (pencils), Robin Smith (inks)
LETTERS: Elitta Fell
EDITORS: Gary Gillatt and Alan Barnes

ISSUES: 278 - 282
COVER DATES: 2 June 1999 - 22 September 1999
REPRINTS: Reprinted as part of the Panini ‘graphic novel’’ The Glorious Dead, published November 2005.

Seventeenth Century Japan. Samurai Katsura Sato returns from the Shogun in Edo in time to see his aged master killed by demons bearing the crest of the clan Rikushira, the oldest enemies of the Makoto, Sato’s clan. Unable to win the support of the clan elders, Sato sets out alone to take his revenge. The Doctor and Izzy arrive in a small village, but are taken prisoner by Captain Hirotada, who plans to take them to Edo. But en route they are attacked by a fire-breathing dragon.

The dragon scares Izzy’s horse before dissolving into a cloud of insects. The Doctor’s party are taken as guests to the palace of Rikushira, whilst Izzy is saved from her horse by Sato, who tells her he intends to kill Rikushira. But Rikushira, through the alien gifts of his mother, knows of the Doctor’s lineage and poisons Hirotada to get the Doctor alone. He takes him to meet his mother, the Lady Asami, who in turn introduces him to the alien Gaijin.

The Gaijin claim to be students of the abstract seeking understanding of the conceptual. They want to understand honour. In return they have given the Lady Asami a device for fashioning whatever she imagines into reality from a cloud of nano-drones. With it she plans to destroy Edo and the Shogun. Rikushira, meanwhile, has been given a hibernation chamber containing billions of nano-drones programmed to repair cellular damage - immortality for the user. Izzy and Sato gain entry to the palace of Rikushira and, as part of the ruse, Izzy is taken to the Lady Asami. The old woman reaches into her mind to see the fate of her country and eventually uncovers the atomic blasts that devastated Nagasaki and Hiroshima. She vows never to allow it to happen. She will crush the West... beginning with Izzy and the Doctor.

Sato enters and attacks. In the confusion, the Doctor and Izzy escape, but Asami sends a swarm of nano-drones after them which manifest as a giant robot from Izzy’s mind. Sato kills Rikushira, despite the terrified man offering him the gift of immortality, then saves the Doctor and Izzy from the drones... but he is mortally wounded. The nano-drones manifest as a giant, Godzilla-like monster.

The Doctor realises that the nano-drones are being controlled by Asami’s rage rather than her intellect. He and Izzy get Sato inside and save his life using Rikushira’s hibernation chamber, but they are soon captured by Asami’s drones and she threatens a terrible revenge. The Doctor appeals to the Gaijin, teaching them the true meaning of honour. Finally understanding, they turn on the Lady Asami and destroy her and themselves. Now Sato confronts the Doctor. Having failed his master, he tried to commit seppuku, but cannot die. He is cursed with eternal life, and that is the Doctor’s fault.


Issue 283

SCRIPT: Alan Barnes
ART: Roger Langridge
LETTERS: Roger Langridge
EDITORS: Gary Gillatt and Scott Gray

ISSUE: 283 (two covers available)
COVER DATE: 20 October 1999
REPRINTS: Reprinted as part of the Panini ‘graphic novel’’ The Glorious Dead, published November 2005.

The TARDIS materialises in the path of an alien fugitive’s ship just as the alien engages his dimensional transbobulator. Both ships are drawn into a parallel universe. The alien ship crashes into BBC Television Centre, and its occupant, the infamous Beep the Meep uses black star radiation from his star drive to enslave the building’s inhabitants. Captured, the Doctor is brought before the Meep, but Beep refuses to believe he is the same man who defeated him before, and enslaves him with black star radiation. Izzy, meanwhile, finds the one man who can help her. The Meep is about to link his star drive to the BBC’s transmitter, bringing the whole of Britain under his control, when, to his horror, he is confronted by Tom Baker - the image of the Doctor who defeated him so long ago. While the Meep is distracted, Izzy sabotages his star drive, overloading the BBC transmitter and freeing the employees of Television Centre. As the furious Meep is led off to the zoo, Izzy admits she had help defeating the Meep - and gives the Doctor a copy of the Fantastic First Issue of a certain magazine...

Issue 283

A bit of a breather from the story arc, and a spot of light-hearted and dizzyingly self-referential fun (Tom Baker’s dialogue being particularly funny) to celebrate twenty years of Doctor Who Magazine, as the Doctor is forced to recognise his own fictional status as both a television series and a continuing comic strip (with the title a knowing wink to one of the comic strip’s homes during the 1970s). As well as referencing a good deal of the BBC’s late 1970s television output, including Are You Being Served?, The Basil Brush Show, Top of the Pops, The Onedin Line, Larry Grayson’s Generation Game, Fawlty Towers, Blue Peter, Blake’s Seven, Grange Hill, The Multi-Coloured Swap Shop, Animal Magic, The Goodies, Rentaghost (possibly) and Doctor Who (specifically The Horns of Nimon), it also manages to squeeze in a cameo for Hoppit, the bullying security guard from TV Comic strip TV Terrors.

The Doctor was entranced by the free transfers...
Tell him the one about the gravestone, Tom...
Beep the Meep is back in business...


Issue 284
Issue 285

I’m not a great fan of this strip. After a very strong run, it feels rather lightweight and inconsequential and more of an excuse to get Kroton aboard the TARDIS. It also radically redefines Kroton’s character, turning him into a                wise-cracking, fist-fighting guy in a shiny suit rather than the tragic but noble Cyberman he once was. It is, though, a nice piece of development the way the Doctor comes to trust him over the course of the adventure and finally welcomes him aboard the TARDIS. With this story, the final piece of the story arc is manoeuvred into place ready for the epic finale to  come, I just wish this story had been more elegant in itself.

Kroton's Back!

SCRIPT: Scott Gray
ART: Adrian Salmon (pencils), Fareed Choudhury (inks)
LETTERS: Roger Langridge
EDITORS: Gary Gillatt and Alan Barnes

ISSUES: 284 - 286
COVER DATES: 17 November 1999 - 12 January 2000
ON TV: The Daleks (episode 7 only) (repeat), The TV Movie (repeat), Spearhead from Space (repeat), Doctor Who and the Silurians (repeat)
REPRINTS: Reprinted as part of the Panini ‘graphic novel’’ The Glorious Dead, published November 2005.

Qutrusian Space Freighter X-705 is boarded by space pirates led by Grast Horstrogg, who slaughter the crew and disable the engines. Going through the cargo bays, they soon find the Doctor and Izzy, who have landed by accident having meant to land at the Alexandria Library. They also find Kroton the Cyberman who is stowed away, hoping to get to Phodosia, who knocks out a group of pirates and sets off to explore. A power flux from a nearby asteroid field destroys the pirates’ ship, and the Doctor and Izzy escape when the shockwaves hit the freighter, but when they encounter Kroton, the Doctor assumed the worst and attempts to kill him with a power cable.

The Doctor and Izzy are recaptured by Horstrogg and his pirates. Believing the Cybermen are behind the destruction of the pirate ship, the Doctor urges them to repair the engines, but the ship is caught in an energy leash and pulled towards the asteroid belt. As the ship is drawn down to a base on one of the larger asteroids, Kroton revives and befriends the Doctor and Izzy. While the pirates head out to deal with the enemy, the Doctor, Izzy and Kroton discover the TARDIS missing. Something on the planet wants it so that it can escape.

The Doctor, Izzy and Kroton head out into the city and discover the half-crazy Tobal Reist and the Eraser, a sentient multi-function energy manipulator. It explains to them that Tobal invented it and, in testing it, split his homeworld of Trionikus into eighteen billion fragments, with Tobal as the only survivor. The pirates overhear and plan to take the TARDIS for themselves, but Kroton overpowers them. However, Horstrogg kills Tobal and seizes the Eraser, but when he tries to transmat out he finds that the Doctor has stolen the power cell. Horstrogg begins to pursue the Doctor, but Izzy commands the Eraser to destroy itself, which it does. Unfortunately, it was the Eraser creating the atmosphere and gravity on the asteroid. The Doctor and Izzy both entrust their lives to Kroton, who regains them entry to the TARDIS, leaving Horstrogg stranded in space.

Issue 286
Glorious Dead graphic novel
The Doctor, looking uncharacteristically happy...


Issue 287Issue 288Issue 289Issue 290Issue 291

SCRIPT: Scott Gray
ART: Adrian Salmon (pencils), Robin Smith (inks)
LETTERS: Roger Langridge
EDITORS: Gary Gillatt and Alan Barnes

ISSUES: 287 - 296
COVER DATES: 9 February 2000 - 18 October 2000
ON TV: Genesis of the Daleks (repeat)
REPRINTS: Reprinted as part of the Panini ‘graphic novel’’ The Glorious Dead, published November 2005.

Arriving at the Mnemonic Archive on Paradost, the Doctor, Izzy and Kroton are greeted by an expositor, a flying creature called Jynx, who invites them to a ceremony at the Nexus Gallery. En route, the creature explains that Paradost is a planetary museum established to celebrate the life-experiences of over a million sentient species. The Doctor, Izzy and Kroton take their seats and see on the stage Cardinal Morningstar, the Holy Leader of the Church of the Glorious Dead on Dhakan. He is presented with the long-missing final page of Dhakan’s holy book, the Odostra, but the Doctor is troubled by the script the page is written in. At the reception after, he questions Bishop Seidri but learns nothing. Izzy, meanwhile, samples a Mnemonic crystal and remembers a time with Max at the Redfern Inn. Kroton, unwilling to relive any of his past, takes a walk outside, but Morningstar sees him and says there is no place for a Cyberman in the divine plan. The chosen must be summoned. Outside, Kroton is confronted by four Dhakanians who press buttons on their chests that destroy their bodies and release four fiery figures - the Ash Wraiths. The Wraiths tell Kroton that his heretical existence is at an end.

Kroton fights the Ash Wraiths but they are too strong for him and he is forced to leap from the roof to escape them. He is saved by Tyll, another expositor. The Doctor, meanwhile, speaks to Cardinal Morningstar about Dhakan religion, but causes offence when he asks for the Cardinal’s autograph. Outside, he sends Izzy to find every scrap of information about the Dhakanian church. Kroton arrives on Tyll, pursued by the Wraiths, and the Doctor leaps aboard. Cardinal Morningstar, back aboard his ship, communicates with the people of Dhakan. He says the final page of the Odostra commands them to make an example of Paradost, a godless world that celebrates a million heresies. Let the jihad begin. The four Ash Wraiths chasing Kroton, Tyll and the Doctor suddenly multiply into an army. Tyll is killed and the Doctor and Kroton crash to the ground. They run for the TARDIS, but it dematerialises leaving them at the mercy of the creatures.

The Ash Wraiths... what a cool name!

The arrival of the Paradost militia gives the Doctor and Kroton a chance to escape. Jynx rescues them as the Ash Wraiths begin to destroy everything. Morningstar commands Seidri to press his soul-key and join the jihad directly. Seidri obeys, but the creature released from him is clearly not totally under Morningstar’s command. The Doctor, Izzy and Jynx are in a reading room when Kroton arrives to deliver a Dhakan as requested. The Doctor examines the soul-key. It is built into the Dhakan, a device for creating a multi-dimensional portal, using the body’s internal combustion as its power source. Izzy discovers that the Odostra has never been translated and the Doctor reveals that he didn’t recognise the language the final page of the Odostra was written in but the handwriting. Just as he has an idea of how to stop the destruction of Paradost, which is apparently as easy as walking on water, he hears a voice telling him to wake up. The room fades away. The Doctor wakes from a nightmare - in bed beside Grace Holloway!

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Three weeks have passed. Izzy, Kroton and Jynx are fugitives, hunted by the Ash Wraiths and the Dhakanians. Morningstar has erected a barrier around the whole planet, stopping help getting through. But Izzy has worked out what the Doctor meant by walking on water. Paradost’s weather is controlled from a base near the equator. They break in and create a blizzard, hoping it will destroy the Ash Wraiths or at least make them retreat, thus allowing the allied forces access to Paradost. However, Morningstar finds her and shoots her - with a tissue compression eliminator.

The Doctor is living a life of domesticity, married to Grace and working at a university. Until suddenly he isn’t. Now he is a gunslinger in a Western. Then a cartoon cat trying to pilfer some fish from a fishmongers. Then a powerful warlock battling fantastical creatures alongside his apprentice Sayde Le Fey. Then a character in a Peanuts cartoon. Then a private eye on the case of multiple homicides. Then a Cyborg killing-machine wiping out alien invaders. But the Doctor forces himself to concentrate. For a time it seems he is back with Grace, but he realises this is illusion and finally faces a creature called Esterath, who is a gatherer, and who realises the Doctor has learned perspective and awareness, qualities he will need to face his final challenge. He stands on the wheel on which reality turns... the Glory, and the Glory is about to die.

Izzy’s plan worked - most of the Ash Wraiths were destroyed, survivors have retreated to their own realm and the allied forces have recaptured the Southern hemisphere. Morningstar retreats to Dhakan, but Kroton is a stowaway aboard his ship and planning retribution for Izzy’s death. The Doctor, meanwhile, sees that the time/space vortex is but a tiny tributary flowing into the Omniversal Spectrum. The Glory keeps the structure of the omniverse whole, but it requires a living consciousness to direct it. The current director is dying, and the Doctor has been chosen to replace him. Meanwhile, aboard Morningstar’s flagship, Izzy is only miniaturised and not dead. Morningstar removes his helmet to show her his true self. He is Katsura Sato. Esterath delivers the Doctor to the planet Dhakan, a grim world of pollution populated by the enslaved. But when he sees St Paul’s cathedral, he realises that Dhakan is Earth and that the Master is behind it all. The two Time Lords confront each other and the Master declares that he has learned a great deal. The Doctor is the apprentice... and he is finally the Master!

The Doctor as Tardis Tails, with his goofy companion Lizzy

The Master explains how his body was consumed by the Eye of Harmony and his remains spat out into the space/time vortex. There he was found by Esterath who revealed the Wheel to him, which made him realise the true nature of power and the ultimate ambition. But this was then taken away from him as he found himself in the body of a recently deceased vagrant in Brixton, then on the moon observing the Doctor’s fight against the Threshold. When he was consumed by the TARDIS, he infected its systems, forging a symbiotic link. He controls the time machine, and it was he who directed the Doctor back to London (The Fallen) to witness the results of his casual tampering with Grace’s life, then to Japan (The Road to Hell), then to his encounter with Kroton (The Company of Thieves). Katsura tells Izzy of his immortal life without honour, of how he left Japan and turned to piracy, allowing himself to be captured by the Spanish and being freed by the Master, who brainwashed him through a new religion and the Odostra, which the Master wrote in an afternoon. Fanatically dedicated, he launched a holy war, destroyed the unbelievers and finally united the whole world. Dhakan was born. But, the Master reveals to the Doctor, all this is but a gift to the Doctor. Esterath’s job was to find the two combatants who will battle for control of the Glory. One will become the ultimate power. The other will cease to exist.

The Master with some wise words for the Doctor. Which makes a refreshing change.

Esterath arrives: the time of the final conflict is at hand, and the Doctor and the Master are transported inside the Omniversal Spectrum where their souls are their weapons. Sato, meanwhile, is confronted by Kroton, out for revenge for Izzy’s death, and their weapons are rather more traditional. The Master binds the Doctor and casts him into the Omniversal Spectrum. His victory is absolute.

The Doctor frees himself and fights back. Meanwhile, Kroton and Sato continue their battle, plunging down through the dome of St Paul’s cathedral, giving Izzy time to escape the test tube she has been imprisoned in and use the tissue compression eliminator to return herself to full size. Meanwhile, the Master makes the Doctor doubt his motives and, in that moment, he strikes the killing blow.

With the Doctor defeated and the Master ready to ascend to godhood, Izzy bursts in on Kroton and Sato. She forces a Mnemonic crystal into Sato’s hand detailing all her pain and suffering over the three weeks she spent on Paradost. Sato finally realises his error. Then it is Kroton’s turn, and he sees in the crystal the wonderful life that he lost when he was converted. He feels pain and sadness. The Master appears, and with him the dying Doctor. The Master tries to enter the Glory, but Esterath appears and tells him they were both mistaken. Esterath had believed himself the gatherer, but the role was really  Izzy’s. The contest was not between the Doctor and the Master, but between Sato and Kroton. The Master tries to attack Kroton, but Esterath divests him of his powers, and all trace of the link between him and the TARDIS. As Kroton enters the Glory to take his place as the new director, Sato finally gets his wish and dies. Kroton’s first act is to restore the Doctor to health and set the Earth back on its correct history. His second act is to send the Master somewhere else. Esterath fades away leaving the Doctor and Izzy to enjoy the world around them.

Phew! This strip certainly has its sights set on being the epic to end all epics, recalling some of the surrealist grandeur of The Tides of Time, and manages a good many shocking moments (Izzy’s ‘death’, the Doctor and Grace in bed, Katsura’s reveal, Earth as Dhakan, the final twist), but the battles between the Master and the Doctor and Kroton and Sato are definitely drawn out far beyond their natural length which makes you reach the end with a sense of weariness rather than excitement. It is redeemed in that final twist, and Kroton gets a fine send off to the best possible future he could ever hope for, but it could certainly do with being told a little more economically.


Issue 297
Issue 298
Issue 299
Izzy has a spot of robot trouble. Robots of Death it ain't...

SCRIPT: Scott Gray
ART: Roger Langridge
EDITOR: Alan Barnes

ISSUES: 297 - 299
COVER DATES: 15 November 2000 - 10 January 2001
REPRINTS: Reprinted as part of the Panini ‘graphic novel’’ The Glorious Dead, published November 2005.

At the request of a friend, the Doctor visits Blueberry House, where Doctor Andrelina Hastoff is in charge of rehabilitating robots suffering from ‘severe programming deviancy’. While she discusses her work with the Doctor, one of her cloned assistants ‘accidentally’ locks Izzy in the robot congregation chamber, where Izzy is nearly attacked by the mad robots.

The robots realise that Izzy is human -- just as they believe themselves to be. The depressed Emperor Zero tells Izzy that they are all human beings who have been locked up by robots, and the Doctor, watching, realises that the robots have formed their own society. They aren’t insane, they’re sentient; and just like children, they are developing emotions that they aren’t sure how to deal with. Hastoff, however, insists that their deviancy is the result of an undetected virus, and reveals that she has purchased an Adjuster from Kallulio Prime with which to electronically recondition the “deviant” machines, returning them to “normal”. The Doctor is horrified, and realises that Hastoff had Izzy locked in the congregation chamber in the hope that the robots would harm her, giving Hastoff an excuse to use the Adjuster on them all. When he threatens to shut her down, Hastoff tries to kill him with the Adjuster.

He is saved by Izzy, who has decided that, by this time, the Doctor must be in trouble, and she and Zero break out of the congregation chamber to look for him. They find the Doctor being chased by the Adjuster, and Zero gives his life to destroy its guidance systems so that it careers off a balcony and sinks to the bottom of the bay. Angered by Zero’s death, the robots storm through Blueberry House -- but although they capture Hastoff, they don’t kill her. As the Doctor had hoped, they understand mercy; they are maturing, and one day they will be accepted by humanity as equals.

I’m a great admirer of Roger Langridge’s artwork on the lighter one-part stories, but I can’t help but feel that here it works more against the story, somehow making it less engaging and more difficult to follow. There is an interesting idea behind the strip, but the whole is played perhaps too lightly to make it work.


The Mobox are frying tonight...

SCRIPT: Scott Gray
ART: Martin Geraghty (pencils), Robin Smith (inks/colours)
LETTERS: Roger Langridge
EDITOR: Alan Barnes

ISSUES: 300 - 303
COVER DATES: 7 February 2001 - 2 May 2001
REPRINTS: Reprinted as part of the Panini ‘graphic novel’’ Oblivion, published October 2006.

The TARDIS is swallowed by a giant serpent-shaped bio-mechanical spaceship, a dampening field preventing it from leaving. The Doctor and Izzy explore, observed by the apparently invisible Beholder Panoquai, and discover other crashed ships, but are soon forced to hide as a herd of gigantic rock-like Mobox arrive and destroy one of the ships with Isotetric energy streams fired from their mouths. Having been detected, the Doctor and Izzy run, but their troubles worsen as flying Seeonkaas attack. They are saved by a semi-aquatic alien. Beholder Panoquai’s commentary on events in interrupted by another voice. The intruders must be deleted. The amphibious alien introduces herself as Destrii, but Beholder Panoquai has found them again, and prepares to destroy them.

However, the Doctor has detected Panoquai’s presence and topples him from his floating chair. The Beholder was a nanosecond in the future, making him invisible. Destrii explains that she and her void-glider were swallowed by the serpent a couple of months ago, and she survived by finding her way to a cave that leads to a network of tunnels repaired by spider-like servicer drones. Leaving Izzy and Destrii to bond, the Doctor goes for an exploration in Panoquai’s floating chair and discovers an artificial eco-system inside the serpent-ship. He also discovers, inside a special spherical control deck, that the ship is called Ophidius and sees the leader of the Beholders, a being called Gorolith. But he is detected, and held at gunpoint. Gorolith gives orders to destroy.

Before he dies, the Doctor demands some answers. He identifies the Ophidians as beings capable of trading their bodies for the bodies of other species. The jungle provides an arena to select the strongest species, who have been regressed to creatures of pure instinct, and the Mobox proved the winners. Ophidius now approaches the Mobox homeworld so that the weakening Ophidians can renew their race. The Doctor escapes, leaving behind the servicer drone he found earlier. Izzy and Destrii, meanwhile, force Panoquai to lead them to a transmat and get them aboard the Ophidians’ control deck. The Doctor is discovered, but the servicer drone has been reprogrammed by the Doctor and it wrecks the anti-gravity regulator causing the control deck to crash into the jungle below. The machine that regressed the minds of the creatures in the jungle is damaged and the creatures revert to normal. They are keen to have revenge on their oppressors, but the Doctor stops them. Destrii, meanwhile, has found a device that she recognises and convinces Izzy it will allow her to contact the Doctor telepathically. However, it is really one of the Ophidians’ body-swapping devices, and Izzy and Destrii swap forms.

Destrii, now in Izzy’s body, kills Beholder Panoquai and prepares to do the same to Izzy by setting the device to overload. As she leaves to join the Doctor and the TARDIS, blasting a Mobox on the way, the dying Panoquai releases Izzy from the device. To prevent Gorolith destroying Ophidius, the Doctor disconnects him from the ship’s central nervous system, but Gorolith fights back. It is Destrii, in Izzy’s body, who saves the Doctor, blasting the Gorolith and claiming that Destrii was killed by a Mobox, but the Doctor isn’t fooled and demands Destrii return Izzy to her body. But the mate of the Mobox that Destrii killed earlier finds her and - as Izzy approaches - blasts Destrii, destroying Izzy’s true form.


Destrii is eighteen and obsessed with Earth culture, though specifically television shows like Wonder Woman, Bonanza, Lost in Space and Rawhide, and she later mentions Mrs Peel, so we can assume she knows of The Avengers. She is also familiar with the original series of Star Trek, mentioning a ‘five year mission’, the final frontier and quoting dialogue from the episode Spock’s Brain. Having befriended Izzy, she tricks her into swapping

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Destrii rides... er, for the first time.

I must confess I never much cared for this strip. It’s not that it does anything particularly wrong, and the character of Destrii is a fantastic addition to the strip, but the main plot and the subplot never quite mesh to produce a memorable story, the Doctor and Izzy never feel in any particular danger, and it feels like the main threat is rather easily disposed of. Much stronger is the subplot which dramatically kick-starts the next story arc that basically runs until the end of the Eighth Doctor’s comic strip adventures. The move to colour is a welcome one, though the colour here is slightly garish and not entirely conducive to generating atmosphere. The servicer drone the Doctor finds he cheekily calls Boris (a nod to Matt Irvine’s name for the mechanical spider from Planet of the Spiders).

bodies with her, intending to kill her - as she does Beholder Panoquai and the Gorolith. She explains that she is being pursued by a ‘few authority figures’ and the switch is the perfect way to put them off her scent. Unfortunately, Destrii’s lack of respect for life is her undoing. She kills a Mobox called K’yruss, and the Mobox’s mate comes looking for revenge, apparently frying Destrii - and with her Izzy’s natural form. However, it turns out that the Mobox can also deconstruct bodies and store them within themselves, and this is what the Mobox actually did to Destrii, releasing her in the jungles of its homeworld over a pit of piranha-like Mykkadons. Destrii was able to escape this fate, with a little help from a Mobox seer called C’sorr who realised the vital part she would play in saving his planet from the wrath of Ophidius. Against her will, Destrii talked to Ophidius and persuaded it not to destroy all of the Mobox. Equally against her will, the Doctor then took her back to her homeworld. Here we learn that Destriianatos is an alien princess and her mother, the Matriax Scalamanthia, is a cruel tyrant queen of the Imperious House of Endoskiia whose lineage can be traced back three millennia. The Matriax always hated Destrii, punishing her severely for any minor transgression, because the people preferred Destrii to her mother, believing she would save them. She gave six-year-old Destrii a pet, let her care for it, then forced her to kill it. Destrii entered the arena for the first time when she was ten. Her only relief was the time she spent with her beloved Uncle Jodafra. Destrii is due to be wed to Duke Borvathorius, first-born son of the House of Dregganon. She made a mortal enemy of the Lady Tetronnia when she gutted her sister, but finishes Tetronnia by stabbing her in the back. Once her mind is back in her own body, thanks to Helioth and Hassana, she murders her own mother, but this is bad news for Oblivion as it releases the Horde. However, when the Horde catch her, they transform her into their queen and for a while it looks like her self-loathing will lead them to destroy the planet. But Izzy appeals to Destrii, who leads them to Jodafra’s chronon capsule where they are converted into fuel. Destrii is restored to her humanoid form and the two blast off for the adventures she has always craved. However, those adventures are as amoral as the Doctor’s are moral.



Issue 304
Oblivion graphic novel
Izzy wasn't feeling herself that day...

Okay, so there’s not much in the way of actual story here and we never leave the confines of the TARDIS, but as a quieter and more intimate character piece this is extremely well done. Izzy’s emotions are explored well and her interaction with the Doctor, who is clearly as helpless and struggling as she is, are superbly handled. It is a great irony that Izzy, who can’t swim, ends up trapped in an amphibious body and her ducking (baptism) by the Doctor is the turning point in this poignant little tale. On the downside, the Doctor issues the very strange expletive ‘Rassilon’s beard!’

SCRIPT: Scott Gray
ART: Martin Geraghty (pencils), Robin Smith (inks/colours)
LETTERS: Roger Langridge
EDITOR: Alan Barnes

ISSUE: 304
COVER DATE: 30 May 2001
REPRINTS: Reprinted as part of the Panini ‘graphic novel’’ Oblivion, published October 2006.

Izzy struggles to come to terms with her new appearance, initially blaming the Doctor. However, when he saves her life by submerging her in the TARDIS pool, she realises that he is not to blame.


After being tricked by Destrii into swapping bodies and then seeing her natural form apparently destroyed, Izzy is initially consumed with grief and feelings of self-loathing. She feels suicidal, and also blames the Doctor, but she does come to terms with it, promising to be less trusting of people in future. Arriving in Mexico, 1941, she initially decides to stay inside the TARDIS, but summons her courage and ventures out. It is here she meets world-famous artist Frida Kahlo, who teaches her to take control of her destiny and never forget what lies within, an important step towards her emotional recovery. On Kyrol, though she feels shunned by many of the xenophobic humans, she learns to embrace the abilities of her new body, but it is here that she is captured by agents from Oblivion who mistake her for Destrii. It isn’t until her final story that we learn Izzy’s surname is Sinclair. Her childhood dreams of being an alien princess are finally realised, though probably not in the way she would have imagined as she is attacked by the alien queen Matriax then forced to fight in matrimonial conflict in an arena. It is in this arena that she finally meets Destrii again. She is consumed with rage and almost kills the deceitful body thief. However, Helioth and Hassana, alerted to the mind swap by Fey, stopped the fighting and switched the minds back again, thus finally ending Izzy’s nightmare. However, during the transfer she saw into Destrii’s mind and saw the suffering she had endured at the hands of her mother. She forgave her, and it was Izzy who talked her round when she became possessed by the Horde. Izzy’s ordeal taught her a lot and helped her come to terms with her nature, clinching a lingering kiss with Fey. She realised she had treated her parents badly and wanted to return home to put things right. The Doctor returned her on 19 December 1996, the same night she left.

As the longest serving comic strip companion of all time, Izzy’s development is one of the great triumphs of the Eighth Doctor’s strip adventures. We end up with a more thorough understanding of her than many of the television companions, and it is an extremely rounded and believable portrait of an isolated young woman, afraid of her sexuality and seeking comfort in fantasy. Her adventures with the Doctor teach her to grow, and this is one of the key things that was surely picked up by Russell T. Davies in developing the new television series of Doctor Who. The emotional heart of the new series starts beating in the comic strip.

Izzy (now without the blonde streak) puts in one final cameo in the last instalment of The Flood, fittingly the final Eighth Doctor comic strip, and even narrates part of the tale, but has since turned up in the Big Finish audio adventure The Company of Friends where she is attempting to track down ultra-rare back copies of Aggrotron, the most dangerous comic in history. Here she is played by Jemima Rooper. She makes further cameos in the Tenth Doctor stories Death to the Doctor! and The Stockbridge Child, this latter tale revealing that she has become a traveller and explorer, stays in touch with Max Edison, and has recently discovered something interesting in Kabul.

Izzy Sinclair


Glowy floaty aliens (again)

SCRIPT: Scott Gray
ART: Martin Geraghty (pencils), Robin Smith (inks/colours)
LETTERS: Roger Langridge
EDITORS: Alan Barnes and Clayton Hickman

ISSUES: 306, 308 - 310
COVER DATES: 25 July 2001, 19 September 2001 - 14 November 2001
REPRINTS: Reprinted as part of the Panini ‘graphic novel’’ Oblivion, published October 2006.

Mexico, 1941, November the Second. Artists Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera are driving to a party during Los Meurte Dos Dios (the Day of the Dead) when their car hits Izzy, knocking her unconscious. Diego wants to call a doctor, but Frida knows doctors would only cut her open to find out why she looks the way she does. Instead, she takes her home to nurse her better. When a semi-conscious Izzy mentions a companion, Diego goes to look for him. Izzy is alarmed by a skeleton-shaped festival decoration and runs off. Frida tries to stop her, but receives a visitation from Guillermo, her dead father. Izzy sees this and stops her touching him, but the spectre fights back. Diego, meanwhile, sees lights coming from Costillio Park. There he finds the Doctor studying a cloaked spaceship with an endo-dimensional tracer, but both of them are soon surrounded by the alien inhabitants.

The Doctor identifies the aliens as being composed of pure plasma matrices. When questioned further, he claims both he and Diego are Time Lords, and the aliens, apparently led by Voreseth, decide they warrant further investigation. Izzy is losing the fight, but the spectre destroys Frida’s shrine to her father and she realises this is not him. She shoots the spectre and it explodes. Aboard the ship, the Doctor and Diego meet Susini of the Wasting Wall, the greatest artist to ever grace the nine dimensions. She has long wanted to get her hands on some Time Lords. Now they will be her clay to shape into a work of art.

The Doctor turns on Susini. She belongs to the necrotists, a movement denounced across the civilised universe for its slaughter of innocents. Voreseth says that his race - the Torajenn - became plasma matrices after an unfortunate war. Susini will give them flesh again by allowing them to appear to the locals disguised as dead ancestors. Then they can drink the flesh from the bones of their victims and resume corporeal existence. She goes to meet her public, leaving the Doctor and Diego at the mercy of one of the Torajenn, but he suddenly explodes. Izzy and Frida head to the cemetary to warn the locals of the danger, but Frida is knocked out and Izzy, shunned as a freak, receives a visitation from her own human body. Tired, she reaches out to touch it.

Frida recovers consciousness and shoots at the apparition. She misses, but the sound is enough to make it revert to its natural Torajenn form. Izzy and Frida use the planned firework display to make the Torajenn revert. The locals see them as demons and the Torajenn are forced to flee. The Doctor and Diego escape the ship and confront Susini, who is busy building a tower of human bones using an energy vortex. She sets Voreseth on them, but the Doctor seizes Susini’s ultrasonic projector - a fail-safe weapon in case the Torajenn turned on her - and uses it to destroy them. However, Susini fights back and it is left to Diego to topple her into the energy vortex. It strips the flesh from her bones and she becomes part of her own work of art. Izzy is distraught because the Torajenn stole the one photographic image she had of her original body, but Frida paints a portrait of her human form, telling her never to forget who she really is.

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Frida and Diego Kahlo were real people, living in Coyoacán in Mexico. Both Diego and Frida were famous artists and many of the details in the story are genuine. By 1941, Frida and Diego had been divorced once but remarried in 1940. Their second marriage was just as turbulent as the first. In the strip, Frida says that her sister owes her far more than she can ever repay. This is true, as her sister had an affair with Diego. So, that’s the educational stuff done with, what of the actual strip? It’s a reasonable one (though it would be nice to meet a race of aliens that doesn’t glow and float), given much depth and colour by the setting and the supporting cast, and is as much about Izzy coming to terms with her predicament as it is about Susini and her ‘art’.

Diego’s utterance of ‘Mierda’ is rather grown up for the magazine and probably the first instance of swearing in the comic strip.

Susini was having a very bad day...


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SCRIPT: Scott Gray
ART: Lee Sullivan (art), Adrian Salmon (colour)
LETTERS: Roger Langridge
EDITORS: Alan Barnes and Clayton Hickman

ISSUES: 312 - 317
COVER DATES: 9 January 2002 - 29 May 2002
REPRINTS: Reprinted as part of the Panini ‘graphic novel’’ Oblivion, published October 2006, with additional material .

The Doctor takes Izzy to the planet Kyrol aboard a huge high-tech submarine called the Argus, so that marine biologist Alison Lavelle, an old friend of the Doctor’s, can examine Izzy and better help her understand her new form. The Argus arrives at the Asamda Ridge for a mineralogical survey, Despite the Doctor’s protestations, Alison wants to monitor Izzy in the ocean rather than a tank aboard the Argus. However, as she feels the rush of the ocean, the Argus is struck by a sonic wave and begins to sink. Oblivious, Izzy swims on, but suddenly finds herself surrounded by Daleks.

The Doctor and Alison manage to survive the Argus plunging down to the ocean bed. Whilst Captain Julius Otago and his second-in-command Theo Rankin try to send a distress call to Kyrol central, the sub is attacked by Daleks. Izzy, meanwhile, is taken prisoner. The Doctor and Alison gain entry to the Argus through a hull rupture as the Daleks seize the bridge. The Doctor and Alison make for the reactor, where they try to prevent a reactor meltdown - but it is the Daleks who prevent this happening. Identifying the Doctor, they hail him as the saviour.

While the crew are held prisoner aboard the Argus, the Daleks attach devices to the hull. Julius and Theo are suspicious of the Doctor because of the Daleks’ odd reaction to him. The Doctor needs answers and goes to the bridge to get them. There he meets a Dalek who calls himself Makkith. Makkith says the Daleks are saving the humans following the mysterious sonic wave. The devices on the hull give the sub structural integrity and allow it to be piloted - through a holographic projection and into the heart of the Asamda Ridge. Here they discover a vast Dalek city called Azhra Korr. Disembarking the Doctor is reunited with Izzy, but also meets Alpha, one of the three Daleks he conditioned with the Human Factor during his second incarnation (Evil of the Daleks). Alpha shows the Doctor the peaceful society they have built, developing their psychokinetic powers. But he cannot allow the humans to leave and expose them to danger. The Argus is destroyed. They will remain here and make a new life.

Icing a giant hexagonal cake was easy for the Daleks...

Despite tensions between the Daleks and the humans, Alpha is keen to preserve his society’s security. He tells the Doctor of the escape from Skaro during the civil war and how he had a vision of Kyrol. They have remained hidden for decades, hated and feared by all. The Doctor wants to trace the source of the sonic wave. He gives Alpha his word that he will not attempt trickery. Meanwhile, Julius and Theo are planning escape, but distrust the Doctor and refuse to let him in on their plans. Izzy also feels rejected by the humans. The Doctor tells her he and Alpha are going to find the source of the sonic wave, but he has another task for her to do. As the Doctor and Alpha head off into the waterways beneath Azhra Korr, Izzy swims out to the wreck of the Argus to retrieve the TARDIS. But she is seized by a gigantic tentacle.

As the Doctor and Alpha explore the waterways, Julius and his elite of men launch an attack to seize the saucer that the Daleks arrived in. But tensions between humans and Daleks reach boiling point and an all out attack begins. The Doctor and Alpha, meanwhile, reach the source of the sonic wave - a huge many-tentacled creature called Kata-Phobus. The creature reveals that it led Alpha and his Daleks to Kyrol and has been protecting them ever since. It shows Alpha the conflict in Azhra Korr, but when the Doctor tries to intercede, it reveals his deception to Alpha by producing Izzy and the TARDIS. Feeling betrayed, Alpha opens fire on the Doctor.

The Doctor dodges Alpha’s blasts and manipulates the Dalek into accidentally firing on Kata-Phobus. This gives the Doctor the chance he needs to rescue Izzy and the TARDIS and escape back to the surface. But Kata-Phobus, with Alpha its prisoner, arrives in Azhra Korr first. It explains how it consumed the last remaining member of its own species before looking elsewhere for sustenance. It feeds on psychokinetic energy and saw the potential of the Daleks as psionic generators. Now it plans to feed and use its new strength to destroy all humans on Kyrol. But Alpha will not allow his people to be used as weapons and self-destructs. The other Daleks follow, destroying Kata-Phobus. But some of the humans fail to understand the Daleks’ act of self-sacrifice, and a disgusted Doctor and Izzy head back to the TARDIS. However, outside the ship, they are confronted by two glowing aliens who think Izzy is Destrii. They knock the Doctor unconscious and carry Izzy away into the vortex... back to Oblivion.

Alpha makes a noble speech
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Taking Evil of the Daleks as its inspiration, Children of the Revolution weaves around it a thought-provoking, mysterious and compelling tale, subverting all normal expectations by making the Daleks the heroes and the humans the ones to be pitied. It resolves its mysteries at a perfect pace, saving its best twists for the final instalment, though it’s a shame the Doctor isn’t more directly involved in the conclusion. The artwork and colour are top notch, adding tremendously to the  story. And then, right at the end, more glowy, floaty aliens appear and abduct Izzy! We must surely be off on another story arc here. I can’t wait to find out what happens...

Theo's new trouser press was surprisingly difficult to operate...


Issue 318

SCRIPT: Scott Gray
ART: John Ross (art), Roger Langridge (colour)
LETTERS: Roger Langridge
EDITOR: Clayton Hickman

ISSUE: 318
COVER DATE: 26 June 2002
REPRINTS: Reprinted as part of the Panini ‘graphic novel’’ Oblivion, published October 2006.

Austria, November 1941. A Nazi patrol searches for a pair of escapees. One of the escapees, an old man named Jacobs, is dying, but he entrusts vital documents to the other - Fey Truscot-Sade. She must get them across the Swiss border. Colonel Kessler joins the Nazi patrol and sets his dog on Jacobs, but Fey is slowly killing his patrol, and she contacts him by walkie-talkie to tell him that she will kill him too. Using

her link with Shayde, she picks off all of Kessler’s soldiers before finally revealing herself to Kessler in her Feyde form and dispatching him. Aboard a train to Zurich, Fey and Shayde argue because he will not allow her to shadow-slide to Berlin and kill Hitler, but the debate is interrupted when Shayde receives an urgent summons - from the Doctor.

This is another of those interesting little character pieces that start to appear during the Eighth Doctor’s comic strip run. Fey’s dealings with the Nazis are nothing special, fairly standard comic strip fodder, but the real focus here is the relationship between Fey and Shayde and this is handled extremely well. Add to this the surprise ending with the summons by the Doctor and suddenly the story becomes part of a larger story (one that arguably stretches all the way back to The Tides of Time). The artwork is very nicely done and the colours are muted, sometimes almost sepia, and extremely sympathetic to the tale being told.

Fey and Shayde are trapped in a marriage of inconvenience...


We next meet Fey and Shayde, still inhabiting the same mind, in Austria 1941. It seems things are not running quite as smoothly as had been hoped. Shayde’s conscious mind cohabiting with Fey’s was proving too confusing for both of them so Shayde is forced to mainly function on a subconscious level - sleeping, as Fey calls it. There is also a good deal of tension and resentment between Fey’s loyalties to her friends and country and Shayde’s broader perspective on the web of time, with him stopping her from using his powers to end the Second World War. In return she refuses to obey orders from Rassilon and the Higher Evolutionaries. Trapped by the Mobox, she is forced to allow Shayde to take complete control of her, something she is resistant to, though being forced to trust him and both working together to help the Doctor recover Izzy seems to improve their relationship, the respect between them and ultimately their efficiency. The feelings that had been brewing between Fey and Izzy for some time finally found expression as Fey prepared to return to her duties during the Second World War, having spoken to Izzy about her decision to return home.


Issue 319
Issue 320

SCRIPT: Scott Gray
ART: John Ross (art), Adrian Salmon (colour)
LETTERS: Roger Langridge
EDITOR: Clayton Hickman

ISSUES: 319 - 322
COVER DATES: 24 July 2002 - 16 October 2002
REPRINTS: Reprinted as part of the Panini ‘graphic novel’’ Oblivion, published October 2006.

When big, red snakes attack...
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As Feyde arrives aboard the TARDIS, the Doctor uses Shayde’s skills to trace the kidnappers’ energy trail back to its point of origin. As they travel back to Mexico, he realises they have been following him. However, his next destination is Ophidius (see Ophidius here), which leaves the TARDIS immobile. Fey goes to disable the power inhibitor. The Doctor, meanwhile, is captured by the now-ruling Mobox. He realises they are repairing Ophidius to help them in a coming war. Fey makes it to the heart of Ophidius, but is shot down by Mobox.

The Doctor sees Presidor B’rostt give a speech about the coming war with the Ophidians, then meets a seer called C’sorr who tells him that moments yet to be may become entwined with those departed. Fey, meanwhile, is examined by S’lokk, chief scientist of the Mobox Empire. She is trapped and unable to escape. The Doctor meets Presidor B’rostt and realises this is the same Mobox who killed Destrii. But the Doctor is not interested in B’rostt’s power games - the Ophidians are no longer a threat, and B’rostt is simply building his own power base. However, B’rostt believes the Doctor and his accomplice have come to steal Ophidius. He orders the Doctor’s body to be dumped in the jungle, but the Doctor seizes control of the flyer that he is forced aboard and crashes it into a jungle lake. Escaping, he finds himself face to face with Destrii, still wearing Izzy’s body.

Destrii eventually tells the furious Doctor that B’rostt did not destroy her body but deconstruct it and store it inside his own body. He then went to the jungle of Mobox and reconstructed it over a pool of piranha-like fish, feeling it a fitting death. But Destrii managed to escape the fish, with help from a mysterious benefactor, and survive in the jungle. The Doctor is wracked with guilt - he could have spared Izzy months of anguish if only he’d researched the Mobox. With Destrii as an uneasy ally, they head back to the Mobox village. Fey manages to escape confinement by allowing Shayde to take complete control, but Ophidius has been reactivated and it is beyond control.

As Ophidius begins to attack the Mobox, calling for the Saviour, the Doctor steals a flyer with Destrii’s help. Pursued by the Presidor, he flies straight inside Ophidius. Feyde shadow-slides aboard and they head for the integrated processing cortex. Here the Doctor says that Destrii is the saviour - she freed Ophidius by destroying the Gorolith. But Destrii doesn’t care... at least until Fey offers to put a bullet through her head. Destrii talks to Ophidius and persuades it not to kill any more Mobox. But as the Presidor arrives, she adds one final instruction and the Presidor and his men are all stakes and killed. The Doctor visits C’sorr. He knows it was the seer who saved Destrii from the fish in the jungle. However, C’sorr tells him that he will fail to recover Izzy, but the Doctor is determined - and he’s taking Destrii with him whether she likes it or not.

Given that I don’t much care for Ophidius, it may not surprise you too much to learn that I’m equally unimpressed by its sequel. Again, it does nothing seriously wrong, has some interesting plot developments, such as C’sorr’s prophecy and the means of Destrii’s survival, and is equally attractively illustrated and much more sympathetically coloured than its predecessor, but I just find it all a little flat and unengaging. It’s hard to care about the fate of the Mobox and they are again entirely overshadowed by Destrii, who is a great character. The Doctor’s final declaration that he’s not scared of monsters, they’re scared of him shows us a much tougher side of the Doctor’s character


It was several minutes before Helioth realised her bra was on fire...

SCRIPT: Scott Gray
ART: Martin Geraghty (pencils), David A. Roach (inks), Adrian Salmon (colour)
LETTERS: Roger Langridge
EDITOR: Clayton Hickman

ISSUES: 323 - 328
COVER DATES: 13 November 2002 - 2 April 2003
REPRINTS: Reprinted as part of the Panini ‘graphic novel’’ Oblivion, published October 2006.

Izzy, trapped in Destrii’s body, is punished by the Matriax, but saved further torment by the arrival of Destrii’s uncle, Count Jodafra. However, Jodafra’s casual manner to the Matriax infuriates one of the lords, who challenges him to a sword fight. But the Matriax has her own defenders, glowing aliens called Helioth and Hassana who appear hand-in-hand and vaporise the lord. The Matriax tells Izzy that her wedding will commence at dawn. Meanwhile, the Doctor, Feyde and Destrii arrive on Oblivion. The Doctor is puzzled because no planet is recorded at those spatial coordinates during any time period. It is a dead, stale world.

Count Jodafra - the anti-Doctor...

Discovering a palace, Feyde shadow-slips inside, but Destrii gets away from the Doctor by setting some of the locals on him. He is saved by Jodafra, who detected his arrival, but Jodafra insists that the Doctor accompany him to the palace. Destrii, meanwhile, sees Izzy on a screen, realises she has been gone a lot longer than she planned and races to save her own skin. Feyde shadow-slips into Izzy’s chamber and prepares to rescue her, but the Matriax knew deceit was planned and summons Helioth and Hassana who blast Feyde.

Using Shayde’s skills, Fey fights back, but cannot hurt the aliens. Swearing to return for Izzy, she flees, but the Matriax sends Helioth and Hassana after her. While Jodafra tells the Doctor of a plague that transformed the royal house into bizarre creatures and shows him the chronon capsule he has been building as part of his obsessive scheme to create a working time machine, Izzy is escorted to an arena. Here she sees her future husband, but is even more shocked when she realises she must fight to the death against the Lady Tetronnia in order to marry him. She loses the fight and Tetronnia is about to slay her when Destrii stabs Tetronnia in the back. Consumed with rage for the anguish Destrii has caused, Izzy attacks her, intending to kill the bitch.

Feyde has shifted as far as possible to escape Helioth and Hassana, materialising on the outside of a vast dome that covers the city. The aliens appear

but no longer wish to kill her as she is now outside the Empire. Feyde explains about the mind swap and the aliens determine to fix things. As the Doctor and Jodafra race to the area, Helioth and Hassana halt the duel and place the minds back in their respective bodies, though there is a moment when Izzy and Destrii’s memories mix. The Matriax is furious that Destrii has made a mockery of the ceremony and attacks the girl, but Destrii takes a knife and stabs her mother in the guts. Jodafra is horrified; the thread has been cut. Feyde sees aliens like Helioth and Hassana emerge from the landscape around the dome. There are ten billion of them, and Shayde detects that they are angry.

The beings advance on the domed city, scattering the molecules of anything in their path. Feyde joins the Doctor and Izzy. The Doctor has a plan. He tells Feyde to fire at Helioth and Hassana’s hands to separate them. She does, which leaves them powerless and blind. Heading for Jodafra’s home, the Count explains that Oblivion was once a rich world where the ruling houses made proud war. But weapons were created that ate the flesh from within, mutating minds, destroying memories. The capital city was sealed off in a dome, leaving the population to die. Six months later, a masked ball was held in the palace, with everyone disguised as a beast, but a psychokinetic pulse reshaped their molecular structure so they became the creatures they resembled. The cause was the Horde, the transformed remnants of the population. They were childlike and eager for entertainment, hence the arena, but also held some memory of the Matriax as their ruler. Izzy tries to comfort Destrii, now knowing what she went through, but Destrii rounds on her - at least she had parents who cared. Destrii goes outside to offer herself to the Horde for punishment for killing her mother. But the punishment transforms Destrii into the queen of the Horde.

Izzy attempts to talk Destrii round, while the Doctor follows Jodafra. The Count plans to escape in his chronon capsule. He has adapted the engines to feed on the psionic energy generated by the Horde, but Destrii senses his plan and goes to him. She raises the chronon capsule into the air and the Horde follow, but it is a trick and Destrii is returned to flesh and blood and the Horde become fuel for Jodafra’s ship which takes off for worlds anew. Izzy has learned a lot from her experiences, including people can’t help being who they are and shouldn’t be afraid of who they are. She proves she no longer is by kissing Fey, but she wants now to go home to Stockbridge to try to put things right between her and her parents. The Doctor returns her the same night she left in the TARDIS.

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Lady-on-lady love action aboard the TARDIS. It was never like this during the First Doctor's TV Comic adventures...

As the conclusion of the Izzy-Destrii mind swap arc (not to mention Izzy’s long adventure through time and space), this story has a lot to live up to, and it does it too. Although glowing, floating energy-type creatures are becoming something of a bore, the creatures in the Matriax’s palace are wonderfully motley and gruesome and the reason for them being like that is the science fiction equivalent of a fairy tale curse, with all the macabre qualities that that suggests. But the real focus here is Izzy and Destrii, and both characters are developed beautifully. Destrii’s brutal past at the hands of a jealous mother is painted in vividly. Izzy’s final farewell snog with Fey is well handled and, far from being gratuitous, ties up hints and clues about Izzy’s nature stretching back at least as far as Tooth and Claw. Her return to Stockbridge is perfect, bringing a genuine sense of closure to her time aboard the TARDIS. It is this sort of comic strip that surely informs the new television series of Doctor Who in so many ways.

Count Jodafra is probably the single finest character ever to grace the comic strip. Totally amoral, he misinterprets almost everything the Doctor says. For instance, when the Doctor comments on how the city is filled with hungry people, Jodafra replies, ‘I know, shocking isn’t it? The poor can always be relied upon to breed and starve. The obvious solution is cannibalism, but they seem quite resistant to the notion.’ Priceless stuff. Of course, when he and Destrii depart at the end of the story aboard a time machine in search of adventures anew they are in many ways an amoral mirror of the Doctor and Izzy and we just know that we’ll be meeting such fine creations again.

A fitting farewell for Izzy Sinclair


Issue 329
The Flood graphic novel
Zalda is spurned. Poor girl... She's also primed. Poor everyone else...

SCRIPT: Scott Gray
ART: Roger Langridge (pencils, colour), David A. Roach (inks)
LETTERS: Roger Langridge
EDITOR: Clayton Hickman

ISSUE: 329
COVER DATE: 30 April 2003
REPRINTS: Reprinted as part of the Panini ‘graphic novel’’ The Flood, published July 2007.

Having a crisis of confidence, the Doctor takes a drink in Bish’s Bar and talks to Bish about his responsibilities. He stops a drone named Zalda from blowing herself up in the name of love, and then decides to take Bish’s advice and take a holiday. When the Doctor leaves, Bish closes the bar and transforms back into the form his wife Caralla loves - he is Frobisher the Penguin.

As we’ve come to expect by now, when a story arc comes to a close (albeit temporarily) we have a quieter, funnier, more off-the-wall story usually drawn by Roger Langridge. This one, taking its lead from the American TV sitcom Cheers, is quietly effective and rather sweet, mainly due to the final reveal of Frobisher, with neither he nor the Doctor aware that they have just renewed an old acquaintance. It’s really another example of the Eighth Doctor’s comic strip adventures drawing on the rich past that Marvel and Panini have created through the years.


Precocious 1977 child and rampant 1977 sideburns...

SCRIPT: Gareth Roberts
ART: Mike Collins (pencils), David A. Roach (inks), Dylan Teague (colour)
LETTERS: Roger Langridge
EDITOR: Clayton Hickman and Scott Gray

ISSUES: 330 - 332
COVER DATES: 28 May 2003 - 23 June 2003
REPRINTS: Reprinted as part of the Panini ‘graphic novel’’ The Flood, published July 2007.

Drawn off course by a para-static vortex beam, the TARDIS materialises in a football stadium in 1977. Investigating, the Doctor questions young fan Billy Wilkins, who tells him that Delchester United has performed poorly since the Shakespeare brothers, Milo and Frank, bought out the team. The Doctor is attacked by two alien Morgs who believe that the Doctor is an agent of the Galactic Police, but he escapes, waits for nightfall and then returns to the stadium. There, he meets Ray ‘Butch’ Stobbs, a disgruntled player who hasn’t been allowed to participate in the new special training programmes - because he’s too stupid for the alien hypnotic conditioning to work on him.The hypnotised players are being used as slaves to tend to a vast alien being called the Nukaryote beneath the stadium; the team’s performance has suffered because they’ve been too tired to play. But the creature is hungry and it seizes the Doctor.

The Doctor escapes by feeding it crisps, but is spotted on the closed circuit television. The Shakespeare brothers send a new Morg creature to kill the Doctor. Billy Wilkins breaks into the stadium to help the Doctor because there’s nothing good on TV, and helps Stobbs to distract the Morg killer-unit by kicking footballs at it while the Doctor confronts the Shakespeare brothers, who are revealed to be components of a single biological entity, the Prime Morg, which absorbed all life on its homeworld and is now expanding to consume the universe. A seed of the Morg’s being, a Nukaryote, was planted on Earth centuries ago and has been absorbing life energy from the planet ever since; the Prime Morg has now returned to absorb it into itself with the vortex beam. Fearing the Doctor is from the Galactic Police and will send in agents, they activate the Nukaryote, launching the football stadium into space.

In orbit the Nukaryote melds with the Prime Morg. The Prime Morg tries to absorb the Doctor’s knowledge, but he resists its probing and learns that the entire organism is still dependent upon the original Morg cell. The Doctor, Stobbs and Billy get hold of one of the Morg’s seed pods, and with a series of soccer moves they kick it into the original cell, splattering it and delivering a fatal blow to the Morg. The Morg’s human slaves are freed from its control, and the Doctor takes them all back to Earth in the TARDIS as the Morg explodes. The team’s play promptly improves, and though the Doctor later returns to offer Billy a ride in the TARDIS, Billy is too caught up watching the game to notice.

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Issue 332The Flood graphic novel

This isn’t so much light-hearted as tongue in cheek, deliberately harking back to the style of 1970s football team comic strips both in its tone and in its artistic presentation. The latter of these is probably the more successful of the two elements, with the 1970s evoked through the use of colour (the duo-tune panels in blue and, later, red strongly evoke the annuals) and details, such as Texan bars, Space Raiders, Spangles, Cheeky comic (placing this story after 22 October 1977 when this title launched), Judge Dread and punks. There are also a couple of in-jokes; a bookshop named W. Gray Booksellers (Warwick Gray aka Scott Gray), and a stand in the stadium advertising Hickman powertools, but I don’t want to think about this one too hard. The story itself is okay but nothing startling, just a little thin and inconsequential, as though the setting came first and then a reason for the setting came last.


The Flood graphic novel
The power of Thoueris? Not a lot if she can be defeated by a few badly drawn crocodiles...

The Doctor gets his holiday, but it feels like the editorial staff might be taking one too, as this is the third light-weight and fairly undramatic story in a row. The idea of the Doctor feeding anyone, even an Osirian, to crocodiles just doesn’t sit right with me, but there’s little else to the story to commend it. And I’ve said it before, but I love Adrian Salmon’s illustrative work and I also love his work as a colourist, but for a comic strip it never quite comes together for me, feeling far too heavily stylised to bring the (slight) story to life. This may be the only Doctor Who story in any medium where the Doctor goes topless throughout...

SCRIPT: Scott Gray
ART: Adrian Salmon (art and colour)
LETTERS: Roger Langridge
EDITOR: Clayton Hickman

ISSUE: 333
COVER DATE: 20 August 2003
REPRINTS: Reprinted as part of the Panini ‘graphic novel’’ The Flood, published July 2007.

Enjoying his holiday, the Doctor and boatman Ediphis are sailing down the Nile when they notice a bubbling in the water. Hippopotamus god Thoueris emerges. Thoueris demands tribute of the pair but Ediphic tells her he has none. Thoueris forces him to return up the Nile. Soon a large group of Egyptians are worshiping Thoueris. To demonstrate her power Thoueris throws an Egyptian into the Nile and uses her ring to summon crocodiles which eat him. The Egyptians hurriedly bow to Thoueris. The Doctor and Ediphis are hiding in a bush on a cliff above Thoueris. Ediphis is worried that going against Thoueris is sacrilegious, but the Doctor recognises her as an Osirian and begins hurling insults. Thoueris promptly throws her knife at him. It misses so she begins to climb the cliff. The Doctor and Ediphis pour oil on her hands and light it forcing her back into the water below, but the Doctor seizes the crystal from her ring before she falls. He uses the ring to summon the crocodiles who kill Thoueris. The Doctor then continues his holiday on the Nile.


The Doctor defeats another evil alien by stapling him to the roof of a hansom cab. Maybe.

SCRIPT: Scott Gray
ART: Anthony Williams (pencils), David A. Roach (inks), Adrian Salmon (colour)
LETTERS: Roger Langridge
EDITOR: Clayton Hickman

ISSUES: 334 - 336
COVER DATES: 17 September 2003 - 12 November 2003
REPRINTS: Reprinted as part of the Panini ‘graphic novel’’ The Flood, published July 2007.

The Doctor is exploring in Covent Garden, London, 1840, when he is approached by a strange blonde girl who tells him that the essence is ready. Intrigued by her trance-like state, the Doctor tries to talk to her, but is disturbed by the sudden appearance of Spring-Heeled Jack, who detects the Doctor’s alien nature. The arrival of the police forces the strange fire-breathing creature to retreat. The appearance of Jack has shaken the blonde girl - Essex-born Penny Chapman - from her trance. She says Jack seems familiar to her. However, once the Doctor has seen her home, Jack appears to him, and blasts him with his fiery breath.

Jack digs into the Doctor’s mind to discover his alien nature, but the Doctor fights back and sees into Jack’s mind - a thousand skies on fire, lit by war, his race dying, and Jack a symbol of hatred. But Penny sees the mental battle and comes to the Doctor’s aid with a shotgun, forcing Jack to flee. The Doctor, with Penny, returns to the TARDIS to locate the source of any electronic impulses. He finds one at the Blackthorne Gasworks, the place where Penny works. However, once back in the gasworks, Penny slips back into her trance and leads the Doctor to a chamber containing the essence, a proto-morphic lifeform capable of controlling Penny. She says the Pyrodines are coming. Across London, gas lamps shatter to release the fiery Pyrodines.

As the Pyrodines attack London, Penny reveals herself to be Morjanus, shielding her mind behind the disguise of Penny Chapman to avoid detection from Jack, who is trying to stop her mission to create an experimental weapon - the Pyrodines - to help her people win the war against Jack’s kind. She attempts to kill the Doctor, but he uses two shotgun shells and a crowbar to shatter the essence’s casing, which destroys the Pyrodines. As she is about to take her revenge, Jack captures her in his psychic fire, but he only destroys Morjanus’ mind, leaving Penny Chapman intact. The Doctor offers Jack a lift home, but the creature says he will stay to protect London. The Doctor tells Penny to return to the country and live a quiet life.

Issue 334Issue 335
Issue 336The Flood graphic novel

This story is a clever little tale, pretty well confounding our every expectation. We expect Jack to be the bad guy and Penny Chapman to be the new companion, but it doesn’t turn out that way at all. Actually, Penny would have made a rather good addition, being feisty, inquisitive, and a crackshot with a shotgun. We do get some more floaty glowing aliens, which is slightly tiresome, and the completely unnecessary addition of a police inspector from Scotland Yard, who adds nothing to the story and is therefore only really padding, but we could be generous and say that this is just more of our expectations being confounded. It is also unclear why Jack is interested in the Doctor rather than his actual target. The idea of aliens emerging from gas lamps would be picked up by the new series of Doctor Who with the Gelth in The Unquiet Dead. The art is frequently very atmospheric, and occasionally a little flat and bland, but Anthony Williams’ Eighth Doctor is rather generic throughout and looks even less like Paul McGann than some of the previous interpretations.


Issue 337

As gloriously insane as the TV Comic strips it parodies, this story is a glorious celebration of the origins of the comic strip, somehow fitting for the Eighth Doctor for whom this sort of exploration and development has become almost a running theme. The artwork perfectly evokes the somewhat static and  simplistic style of Neville Main, to whom the strip is respectfully dedicated, and even the colour is spot on. A real gem of a strip, and very funny too, though with a nice touch of balancing sadness right at the end.

'It's either this or vodka jellies,' thought Dr Who...
Evil robots! Oh no, Dr Who, watch out!

SCRIPT: Scott Gray
ART: Martin Geraghty (pencils), Faz Choudhury (inks, pages 1-6), David A. Roach (inks, page 7), Daryl Joyce (colour, pages 1-6), Adrian Salmon (colour, page 7)
LETTERS: Roger Langridge
EDITOR: Clayton Hickman

ISSUE: 337
COVER DATE: 10 December 2003
REPRINTS: Reprinted as part of the Panini ‘graphic novel’’ The Flood, published July 2007.

Doctor Who, with his grandchildren John and Gillian, land in an alien city where the inhabitants, the Darbodians, are all very sad and disinterested, but Doctor Who breaks their torpor with a fireworks display. However, this is observed by evil eyes. Doctor Who and his grandchildren are attacked by flying robots and Gillian is captured. With the Darbodian artist Pobla, they set off to rescue her from Darbodia’s parliament house, but they fall through a trap in the floor into a darkened cell. Here they discover the Figments, friendly creatures made out of thought that give all Darbodians their dreams. The Doctor escapes using an oxyacetylene torch from his carpet bag and confronts Wargonn, the greatest Darbodian scientist of all time. He believes ideas are dangerous and must be suppressed by the most intelligent, which just happens to be him. He is interested in Doctor Who’s carpet bag, but John pushes him into its dimensionally transcendental interior and the Doctor forces him to surrender before he will let him out. The Figments are returned to the Darbodians once more and everything is well...

But this is all just the Doctor’s dream, a comfort in his loneliness.

Gillian suddenly wished she's said no to a second helping of magic mushrooms....


Issue 338
Issue 339
Issue 340

Give or take The Curious Case of Spring-Heeled Jack, it feels like we’ve been on a diet of low fat Doctor Who comic strips ever since Izzy departed eight months previous, but that definitely ends with this strip. This is the real deal, and what we have come to expect of the Eighth Doctor’s comic strip adventures. Of course, with the announcement on the cover of Issue 342 of a new Doctor, we also know that his tenure is coming to an end, but it is clear that they intend to try and end his reign in style. This is a strong story, though I can’t help but think that it would have been stronger still had it not featured real historical figures, for here they add nothing to the narrative. It is good to see Jodafra and Destrii again, though the former is nowhere near as amusing as before, though just as vicious.

No glowy floaty aliens! Hoorah!

SCRIPT: Scott Gray
ART: Martin Geraghty (pencils), David A. Roach (inks), Adrian Salmon (colour)
LETTERS: Roger Langridge
EDITOR: Clayton Hickman

ISSUES: 338 - 342
COVER DATES: 7 January 2004 - 28 April 2004
REPRINTS: Reprinted as part of the Panini ‘graphic novel’’ The Flood, published July 2007.

The Black Hills, Dakota, 1875, and the Doctor’s arrival is foreseen by Running Bear of the Lakota Sioux, who greets him as he steps from the TARDIS and takes him to his village. There he meets Tatanka Yotanka, better known as Sitting Bull, who tells the Doctor that the land they occupy was promised to them by Washington, but now soldiers have discovered gold and miners are swarming across the area disturbing ancient powers that should not be disturbed. Sitting Bull receives a report that the mining town of Lincoln has been found empty, and the Doctor rides there with a small party to investigate. Everyone is vanished apart from the priest, who is dead, internal organs ripped out. General George Armstrong Custer of the United States’ Seventh Cavalry arrives, believing the native Americans have done this, but the emergence of huge, hairy creatures suggests otherwise.

Cavalry and natives attempt to fight back, but there are too many of the creatures and they are forced to retreat, heading for higher ground on Saunders Plateau. There Custer plans defense, but tensions are high between the two groups, especially when Running Bear identifies the creatures as Windigo. When one of the cavalry men scratched by a Windigo transforms into one of the creatures, the Doctor realises the miners of Lincoln weren’t killed by Windigo, they are the Windigo. As the Windigo attack, the Doctor and the men drive them back with fire and bright light, but the Windigo are suddenly all killed by rays from a landing spaceship. Aboard are Jodafra and Destrii...

Jodafra offers the Doctor and Custer supper aboard his ship, and while Destrii distracts the Doctor, offers Custer the power to rule the world. The Doctor realises something is afoot, but Jodafra returns him to Sitting Bull’s village, having made it clear that this is now a contest between the two of them. Sitting Bull takes the Doctor into the spirit streams to speak with the Wakan Tanka. It tells them that they do battle with an old poison fed by a new one, and that the Doctor’s purity may be his strength, but may also lead to his enemy’s victory. However, before they can return from the spirit stream, they are seized by a psychic projection of the one true Windigo.

The Doctor forces his world-bound body to cry out, alerting the tribe to their danger, and Running Bear throws water over their bodies, drawing them out of the psychic projection. Jodafra and Destrii, meanwhile, are teaching Custer’s men to use advanced weapons, though Custer is uneasy with the terms of Jodafra’s contract. The Doctor realises that alcohol is the catalyst for the change into Windigo, and also the reason the Windigo wants the Lakota Sioux destroyed as they do not drink. Jodafra captures the TARDIS, but the Doctor can trace it to the mine workings. However, the Doctor has not anticipated Jodafra capturing all the Sioux children with the help of General Custer.

Seeing the Sioux children caged as bate in the mining cavern, and all his men transform into Windigo, General Custer realises that Jodafra has been lying to him and flees into the night. Jodafra urges the Windigo to dive into the pool in the centre of the cavern, combining to form the flesh of the one true Windigo, a gigantic time manipulator capable of freezing temporal fields with the sound of its cry. It has offered Jodafra mastery of the time/space vortex in return for giving it form. Destrii enters and sees the caged children, which shocks her. Jodafra explains that the Windigo needs to feed its new body on human flesh free of toxins, but Destrii, spurred on by the Doctor, will not allow it and blasts Jodafra’s equipment. The temporal fields revert to normal and the Lakota Sioux destroy the Windigo with burning arrows before rescuing their young. Jodafra turns on Destrii, furious that she sided with the Doctor, and leaves her for dead. The Doctor carries her into the TARDIS.

Issue 341
Issue 342
The Flood graphic novel
You will indeed.


Destrii's interior design company was a little unorthodox in its approach...

SCRIPT: Scott Gray
ART: John Ross (pencils/inks), Adrian Salmon (colour)
LETTERS: Roger Langridge
EDITOR: Clayton Hickman

ISSUES: 343 - 345
COVER DATES: 26 May 2004 - 21 July 2004
REPRINTS: Reprinted as part of the Panini ‘graphic novel’’ The Flood, published July 2007.

The Doctor has taken Destrii to Hippocrates Base, a gigantic spaceship in a busy sector of space run by the Kulkan Collective, where, despite extensive damage, she is making a full recovery. While Doctor Partho shows the Doctor around the ship, and tells of how his ancestors used to be the oppressive Kulkan Empire, Nurse Weaver deliberately pumps drugs into Destrii that send her psychotic. Bob, the station computer,

alerts Doctor Partho to the disturbance and he and the Doctor race to Destrii’s room, but Weaver goes to Bob’s systems core and destroys it. The artificial gravity fails as a result, but there are bigger problems as Zeronites enter the base

The intruders plan to destroy all Kulkans and avenge their forefathers. The Doctor and Destrii go to the systems core to restore the gravity enhancers, and there find Nurse Weaver. Destrii fights her and knocks her out. They discover she is disguising her true alien body with a holographic envelope, having murdered the real Weaver three weeks before. Destrii takes the envelope while the Doctor begins to repair Bob’s systems. Bob tells them that the Kulkans genetically engineered the Zeronites as servitors only able to function in zero-gravity environments. Bob also says that he cannot repair the gravity enhancers as they can no longer lock onto the mass of the nearest star. Destrii goes out in her new human disguise to buy the Doctor some time. As the Zeronites plan to detonate a bomb, Destrii takes their leader, Centurion Tollios, hostage, but he is not afraid to die for his cause.

The Doctor interrupts, and saves Destrii by getting her and Tollios to have a proper fight. If he wins then he can carry on as before. If Destrii wins then they can still blow up the station but must allow everyone to leave first. Tollios accepts. The Doctor and Bob use the mass of the TARDIS’ internal dimensions to re-stabilise the gravity enhancers and, just as Destrii seems about to die at Tollios’ hands, he plunges to his doom as the gravity kicks in. The Doctor, convinced that Destrii isn’t such a bad person after all, offers her a scenic ride home in the TARDIS and Destrii accepts.

Issue 343Issue 344
Issue 345The Flood graphic novel

This story of vengeful space monkeys never really captured my imagination. It is too much about fisticuffs and shooting and too little about the real stuff of Doctor Who, which is even a point the Doctor makes at the end, levelled as a criticism against Destrii.


Issue 346
Issue 347
Issue 348
Issue 349

SCRIPT: Scott Gray
ART: Martin Geraghty (pencils), David A. Roach (inks), Adrian Salmon (colour)
LETTERS: Roger Langridge
EDITOR: Clayton Hickman

ISSUES: 346 - 353
COVER DATES: 18 August 2004 - 2 March 2005
REPRINTS: Reprinted as part of the Panini ‘graphic novel’’ The Flood, published July 2007.

The TARDIS lands in Camden Market in the early 21st Century. While the Doctor is observed by an undercover agent, Destrii makes an enemy by making racist remarks to Tony, a Chinese noodle seller. His wife Linda tries to calm him, but he attacks Destrii and she knocks him out. Agents Carter and Morris, meanwhile, are dispatched to find the TARDIS. They do, but are observed by advanced, invisible Cybermen.

Not only that, but Size Zero Cybermen!

The Doctor, with Destrii, invites Tony and Linda to a pub where they witness the barmaid having an acute emotional attack. Agent North tries to bug the Doctor, but Destrii apprehends him and the Doctor interrogates him, discovering that he’s an MI5 agent working for Leighton Woodrow (see The Fallen). However, Destrii’s alien eyes sees two large, silver figures in the room that nobody else can see. She fires at them, making the Cybermen visible. They have come for the Doctor, but he, Destrii, Tony, Linda and North escape. However, outside, they are cornered by more Cybermen.

The Doctor goes sonic - super...

The Doctor uses the sonic screwdriver on a wide wave-stream to scramble the Cybermen’s identification codes, allowing his group to escape in North’s van. They contact agents Carter and Morris at the TARDIS, but the Doctor correctly deduces that they are now under Cyberman control and decides instead to head to MI5 HQ. However, they are pursued by Cybermen who shoot the van, knocking out the Doctor, Tony and Linda. North gets the Doctor aboard the rendezvous helicopter, but it leaves before Destrii can get Tony and Linda aboard. She fights the Cybermen and loses. They prepare for Cyberconversion.

The Cybermen realise Destrii is non-human so sedate her for further analysis. The Doctor, meanwhile, harangues Woodrow for abandoning his friends. Meeting Doctor Emily Rice, MI5’s chief scientific aide, the Doctor deduces that these Cybermen are a more advanced model from the future and also that they will try to capture or eliminate him. Retuning MI5’s external sensors, he sees them approaching. They attack, wiping out all initial resistance as the Doctor’s party  flees. Almost simultaneously, every vehicle in London stops working and the Cyber-control ship descends over the city...

The fashion show was not going as well as the Cyberleader had hoped...

As the Cybermen launch a full-scale invasion of London, the Doctor and Emily Rice work on a device to boost the sonic screwdriver’s scrambling signal, but when he tries to use it, he realises they have found a way to deflect the signal. Destrii sees the inhabitants of Camden, including Tony and Linda, rounded up for conversion before she is taken with the Cyberleader to the MI5 building. Here the Cyberleader demonstrates the neuro-stream, a device that breaks down people’s emotional control. But the Cybermen can free humanity from the tyranny of fear, and hatred and joy. Driven almost insane by the neuro-stream, the humans gladly accept the Cybermen’s gift of conversion.

The Doctor and Destrii are taken aboard the Cyber-control ship along with the TARDIS. The Doctor fleetingly detects another presence aboard, but cannot identify it. He is then presented before the Cybercontroller. The Doctor guesses that the Cybermen will launch the neuro-stream as a bio-chemical agent through rain across the world, reducing man to cowering creatures who will welcome conversion. The Cybercontroller will save humanity. They see Linda, Tony, Woodrow, Emily and North being converted and the Doctor offers a deal. If they stop this, he will offer the Cybermen his own death.

Cyberconversion has always failed on non-human life forms because of tissue rejection, but he can offer them his own cellular resequencing template allowing them to convert any species in the universe. All they have to do is monitor him while he regenerates. He suggests radiation as a means of triggering a regeneration, but the control ship is powered by something much more powerful - a fragment of the space/time vortex, the presence the Doctor earlier detected. Exposure to the time winds will force the Doctor to regenerate. Wiring the Doctor into the system, the Cybermen tell him that Destrii will be the first test subject and that the invasion of Earth will continue. Destrii springs into action while the Doctor frees himself and tries to blow up the cyber-control ship, but the Cybercontroller stops him. However, rather than surrender his secret, the Doctor throws himself into the heart of the space/time vortex.

Destrii is subdued and the order is given to eliminate her, when the Doctor, empowered by the time vortex energy, emerges from the ship’s power source. He channels the vortex to destroy the Cybermen, freeing the Earth, but the vortex threatens to consume him. However, when the ship begins to break up around Destrii, he forces his way back to save her. They escape in the TARDIS just before the ship explodes. The TARDIS lands somewhere on Earth and the Doctor and Destrii head out to explore.

Issue 350
Issue 351
Issue 352
Issue 353
The Flood graphic novel

I’m guessing that this comic strip is Russell T. Davies’ favourite one ever, given how many elements he’s paid homage to in the television series. Firstly we have Emily Rice, a scientific advisor who is the Doctor’s biggest fan, just like Malcolm in Planet of the Dead. Then we have the idea that exposure to the space/time vortex will cause the Doctor to regenerate, as in The Parting of the Ways. Then we have possession by the vortex and channelling its powers to destroy an invading force ala the same episode. Then we have the vague idea of the Doctor tapping into the collective consciousness of the world (albeit in reverse) and him glowing and floating which is echoed in The Last of the Time Lords. Destrii’s development throughout this strip is fantastic to see, and the Cybermen’s plan probably the most persuasive ever seen in any medium. This is an explosive and visually stunning conclusion to the Eight Doctor’s era, and the final pages are really sweet too.

   The Eighth Doctor Additional Strips

The Flood concluded the Eighth Doctor’s regular run of comic strips. However, he would return for one final encore...

    Doctor Who: The Forgotten
Issue 5
Issue 5 Retail Incentive cover
Graphic Novel 2009
Sort of reminds me of Neville Main...

SCRIPT: Tony Lee
ART: Pia Guerra (pencils), Kent Archer (ink), Charlie Kirchoff (colour)
LETTERS: Richard Starkings
EDITOR: Denton J. Tipton

COVER DATE: December 2008
Doctor Who: The Forgotten, ‘graphic novel’, IDW April 2009.

This story is a mini-story told within a much larger tale. To see the larger tale, click here.

Imprisoned for twenty-one days while a war rages outside, the Doctor receives a new cellmate in the form of Chantir, a Malmooth. Sixteen days later, a ship lands that is the key to their escape. The Doctor feigns death to get them out of the cell then recovers the Great Key of Rassilon with which he plans to build a De-mat gun to seal the Medusa Cascade, if need be.

This isn’t really a story at all, just some continuity references strung together around an escape attempt, and, without feeding into the whole Time War mythos, it makes absolutely no sense at all. However, one thing I really don’t like is the attempt to smooth over the continuity cracks opened by the TV Movie by suggesting that the Doctor convinced the Master he was human using a half-broken Chameleon Arch. Fannish and pointless with adequate artwork and colour.





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