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    The Ninth Doctor Contemporary Strips

Last update: January 2011

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    Doctor Who Magazine

 THE LOVE INVASION

Issue 355
Issue 356
Issue 357
The Ninth Doctor Collected Comics

SCRIPT: Gareth Roberts (story by Roberts/Clayton Hickman)
ART: Mike Collins (pencils), David A. Roach (inks), Dylan Teague (colours)
EDITOR: Clayton Hickman

ISSUES: 355-357
COVER DATES: 27 April 2005 - 22 June 2005
ON TV: Dalek - The Parting of the Ways (Season 1)
REPRINTS: Reprinted as part of the Panini ‘graphic novel’
The Ninth Doctor Collected Comics, published in April 2006.

The Doctor and Rose land in London, 1966, where they soon encounter a pretty young woman from the Lend-a-Hand Agency who immediately arouses the Doctor’s suspicion - she doesn’t smell human. Stranger still, when they go to the site that will one day become the Brandon Estate, they find a property development that shouldn’t be there. Investigating, they discover a grisly murder of one of the Lend-a-Hand girls and the Doctor chases after the female murderer while Rose goes to investigate the Lend-a-Hand Agency. There she and her new friend Shirley Gilbert are scanned by an alien intelligence. They escape, but not before the intelligence has detected the Doctor. It suspects him of being the creature murdering its operatives.

The Doctor meanwhile has tracked the murderer to a University Hospital. She is called Charlotte Cobb. However, soon both of them are attacked by Lend-a-Hand girls and forced to escape the  building.

Meeting up with Rose and Shirley at a pub, Charlotte reveals that her scientist husband Peter was murdered by Lend-a-Hand girls. And other scientists have disappeared or been murdered too. Charlotte decided to fight back.

While Rose and Charlotte go back to the university to look into Peter Cobb’s research notes, the Doctor goes to Lend-a-Hand HQ with Shirley where he discovers that the aliens behind the agency are called the Kustollons, who will attack Earth in the 31st Century. However, they are captured and the Kustollon, Igrix, reveals that it plans to destroy the moon. This is just the first step in a plan to stop the 31st Century war that will leave both humans and Kustollians reeling with famine, plague and misery. The Lend-a-Hand girls are organic tech grown from raw Kustollian genestuff, though there numbers have been swollen with converted Earth girls. The scientists were killed to stop the humans advancing in certain fields that could be put to military use. The Doctor escapes and meets up with Rose and Charlotte where they begin to plan a counterattack.

Returning to Lend-a-Hand armed with virus containing Rose’s DNA, the Doctor deprograms the army of girls, but Igrix escapes and climbs the Post Office Tower where his ship is hidden, still intent on destroying the moon. However, the biotech ship has also been infected with the Doctor’s virus and refuses to obey.

ALTERED VISTAS SAYS:
Just as the TV series spreads its wings and becomes big and bold for the first time since the 1960s, the comic strip suddenly feels small, especially compared to the epic tales told during the reign of the Eighth Doctor. This story is fun - as you might expect from Gareth Roberts - and contains the seed of the idea that would turn up on screen during the Doctor’s poisoning in The Unicorn and the Wasp, but it all feels rather safe and inconsequential, as though restricted by its TV parent.
 

War Machines joke
Nutjob
Rose Tyler

IMAGINARY FRIENDS - ROSE TYLER
Like no other companion before her, Rose features in not one ongoing comic strip but three, these being the Doctor Who Magazine strip, the Doctor Who Adventures strip and the Doctor Who Battles in Time strip. It is therefore perhaps surprising (or a mark of how tightly these things are now monitored by the production office) that almost no new information or titbits of interest are gleaned about Rose during any of her thirty-one comic strip exploits. Of particular note is the fact that she gets Shakespeare coming on to her in A Groatsworth of Wit before the same thing happens to Martha in the television story The Shakespeare Code (by the same author), and that she takes the place of Amy Pond in the comic strip version of The Lodger (by the same same author). Within the continuity of the strips, she escapes death when the Iagnon invades her mind because the Doctor actively exploits her jealous feelings about him in The Green-Eyed Monster and dies in the 31st Century during an incident with a time loop, but is instantly resurrected when the time loop is reset in Interstellar Overdrive. She mentions in The Futurists that there was a boy in her school that she liked who was into Power Metal, particularly Pantera. She bought all their albums as a result but now can only listen to ‘Planet Caravan’. However, she does join a select and somewhat unlikely band consisting of just John and Gillian, Sarah Jane Smith and Frobisher who have travelled in the comic strip with more than one Doctor. Her final regular appearances are in the Doctor Who Battles in Time strip The Glutonoid Menace (13 December 2006), A Date to Remember/Snow Fakes in Doctor Who Adventures (2 January 2007) and The Green-Eyed Monster in Doctor Who Magazine (13 January 2007). She returned for the Ninth Doctor instalment of the IDW strip The Forgotten published December 2008.
 

 ART ATTACK!

Issue 358

ALTERED VISTAS SAYS:
Oh dear. If the previous strip felt inconsequential, then this one feels positively throwaway. The art is okay and nicely coloured and has a pleasing cameo from an inhabitant of Alpha Centauri, but the villain is absurd and instantly forgettable and the story is unengaging.
 

The Doctor and Rose

SCRIPT: Mike Collins
ART: Mike Collins (pencils), Kris Justice (inks), Dylan Teague (colours)
EDITOR: Clayton Hickman

ISSUES: 358
COVER DATES: 20 July 2005
REPRINTS: Reprinted as part of the Panini ‘graphic novel’
The Ninth Doctor Collected Comics, published in April 2006.

The Doctor takes Rose for the grand opening of the Oriel, a transdimensional art gallery in the 37th Century.  However, an artist named Cazkelf the Transcendent enslaves the humanoids in the gallery using the free tour headphones and uses them to send a psychic distress signal amplified by the Oriel to alert his own people to his whereabouts. However, his people do not arrive, so the Doctor takes him back to his home planet in the TARDIS. Unfortunately, his home planet has been devastated by some disaster while Cazkelf has been away, so the Doctor returns him to the Oriel where he determines to make art even more impressive than the TARDIS’ materialisation.

 THE CRUEL SEA

Spooky...
Issue 359
Issue 360
Issue 361
Issue 362

SCRIPT: Robert Shearman
ART: Mike Collins (pencils), David A. Roach (inks), James Offredi (colours)
EDITOR: Clayton Hickman

ISSUES: 359-362
COVER DATES: 17 August 2005 - 9 November 2005
REPRINTS: Reprinted as part of the Panini ‘graphic novel’
The Ninth Doctor Collected Comics, published in April 2006.

The Doctor takes Rose for a cruise on Mars’ Red Sea in the 22nd Century. The cruise ship is oddly deserted, but they are soon found by a woman who calls herself Ex-Wife Number 7, who tells them that the ship has been privately hired for a wedding party. Meanwhile, below deck, the elderly XXX, also an ex-wife and financial advisor, is bemoaning the fact that the bride appears to have thrown herself overboard to escape 143-year-old Alvar Chambers, her husband, who is held in a special casket. However, the bride is very much alive and still on deck, claiming that the sea is hungry. Rose is left to deal with her while the Doctor, believed to be a medical man, is taken below to attend to Mr Chambers. But Mr Chambers orders the Doctor to be thrown overboard.

The bride explodes and the Doctor is thrown overboard, but he soon returns. He says that the sea sent him back. The humans have turned Mars into a boating lake for the rich and tasteless and also released something very old and very powerful. The sea is alive and screaming with pain. He demands the ship be stopped immediately then sends everyone to their cabins. But it turns out the entity masquerading as the Doctor is in league with the creature now inhabiting the body of Alvar Chambers.

Rose, meanwhile, is absorbed into the creature. There she experiences a strange fantasy of what life might have been like had she never travelled with the Doctor. But Rose fights back and through it all finds the real Doctor who explains that the creature plays with your fears and eats you alive. It isn’t the sea but some nebulous entity in every reflective surface seeking to become real, but is has swallowed so many people now that it is almost fit to burst.

Rose awakens all the other people the creature has swallowed and tries to lead them to safety whilst the Doctor does battle with the entity. They are dependent on a stable image refracted through the air, so the Doctor changes what the air is doing and dissipates the entity.

The Doctor fights back

ALTERED VISTAS SAYS:
Wonderfully atmospheric with some strong characterisation and some memorable moments, as one might expect from Robert Shearman, particularly in Rose’s dream sequences enhanced greatly by some powerful and imaginative artwork. However, the story does become a little confusing in its last instalment, which is a shame as a little more clarity would have made it a truly great comic strip outing for the Ninth Doctor. It still stands out though as one of his best stories.
 

    Doctor Who Annual 2006

 MR NOBODY

Doctor Who Annual 2006
Ooh, he's so tough

SCRIPT: Scott Gray
ART: John Ross (art), James Offredi (colours)
EDITOR: Clayton Hickman

REPRINTS: Reprinted as part of the Panini ‘graphic novel’ The Ninth Doctor Collected Comics, published in April 2006.

Phil Tyson, a lowly and unhappy worker in Cheeky Chicken, is mistaken for a super criminal called Shogalath and teleported for trial by the Vandos Tribunal. The Doctor steps in, sure there is a mistake, but the Vandos believe Phil to be a reincarnation of Shogalath and therefore still guilty. On the Doctor’s signal, Rose rescues them both, but the Vandos send the court bailiffs after them. They catch them, but Phil saves them with the ammonia in his Cheeky Chicken cleaning bucket. The Vandos threaten retribution against Greet Britain, but the Doctor has already fiddled with their defence systems, and when they fire their lasers, they only succeed in blowing up their own ship.

The Doctor reveals that Shogalath was no super criminal, but a figure akin to Gandhi, an inspiration to billions. The Vandos court was a fanatical group ousted from power by his peaceful revolt.

Phil is returned to Earth a stronger and better man with a new found sense of pride and hope. Cheeky Chicken is a thing of the past.

ALTERED VISTAS SAYS:
Slight and light, but also quite fun and definitely embodying one of the guiding principles of New Who, which is that the Doctor makes ordinary people realise their potential and makes their lives better as a result.

The artwork is sometimes fairly basic, but the colouring helps to give it some depth, life and  polish
 

Court adjourned
Kra-Thoom! Apparently.
    Doctor Who Magazine

 A GROATSWORTH OF WIT

Issue 363
Issue 364

SCRIPT: Gareth Roberts
ART: Mike Collins (pencils), David A. Roach (inks), James Offredi (colours)
EDITOR: Clayton Hickman and Scott Gray

ISSUES: 363-364
COVER DATES: 7 December 2005 - 4 January 2006
ON TV: Doctor Who: Children in Need, The Christmas Invasion
REPRINTS: Reprinted as part of the Panini ‘graphic novel’
The Ninth Doctor Collected Comics, published in April 2006.

Playwright Robert Greene, contemporary of Shakespeare, is a man consumed by plague and hatred of the Bard. He believes Shakespeare an upstart and he a great talent, so when Woodscrape and Bloodfinger, two Shadeys from another dimension, offer him a chance to see the future and learn how he will be remembered he cannot resist.

The Doctor and Rose are pulled down to contemporary London by a negative force of anti-science and quickly set about finding the source of the disturbance, which they track to the local library when Robert Greene discovers that he is remembered only for providing clues to the dating of Shakespeare’s early plays. The Doctor corners Greene at the premiere of a new film called Shakespeare’s Shrew at the Leicester Square Empire and forces the Shadeys to reveal themselves. They then flee with Greene back to 1592, where Greene plans to assassinate Shakespeare, thus disrupting the timelines.

Travelling back to the Rose Theatre on the opening night of Richard III, the Doctor takes Shakespeare’s place on stage while Rose lures Shakespeare away, but Greene and the Shadeys soon catch up with them both and they are forced to flee back to the theatre. However, the Doctor and Rose convince Greene that he is being used and he turns his powers against the Shadeys.

Not at all similar to Martha's encounter then...

ALTERED VISTAS SAYS:
Gorgeous art combines with a strong and intelligent script in easily Gareth Roberts’ best comic strip to date. It gains extra significance by being almost a dry run for The Shakespeare Code, especially in its portrayal of Shakespeare and his interactions with the companion. Robert Greene was a real person, by the way, fact fans, and the facts about him contained in the strip are broadly accurate.
 

A final farewell
The Shakespeare Code graphic novel, anyone?
    Doctor Who: The Forgotten
Issue 5
Issue 5 Retail Incentive cover

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

ISSUE: 5
COVER DATE: December 2008
REPRINTS:
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.

The Doctor takes Rose to France, Christmas Day 1914, and organises a football match between the British and the Germans, which he referees.

ALTERED VISTAS SAYS:
This brief interlude, which apparently takes place after The Unquiet Dead, has little story and less substance, but is a pleasing interpretation of actual history. The artwork is passable, but you’d never pick either of the two regulars out of a line-up after seeing them here.

There’s a soldier called Benton (clearly not the same person), and Captain Jack gets a namecheck.
 

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Football mad... or just mad?
Graphic Novel 2009