Untitled (DWM 598 comic story)

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An untitled comic story was published in issue 598 of Doctor Who Magazine, starring the Fourteenth Doctor and Donna Noble. Following the precedent started by Liberation of the Daleks [+]Loading...["Liberation of the Daleks (comic story)"], it is set directly between the TV episodes The Star Beast [+]Loading...["The Star Beast (TV story)"] and Wild Blue Yonder [+]Loading...["Wild Blue Yonder (TV story)"], showing where else the Doctor's TARDIS went after Donna spilt her coffee on the controls at the end of the former.

The strip has a much different format than is usual for those in Doctor Who Magazine, in that it is made up of four parts published throughout the issue, with each part consisting of art spread across two pages.

Other notable aspects of the strip include that it saw the return of Donna as a companion for the first time since The Time of My Life [+]Loading...["The Time of My Life (comic story)"] in 2008. It also included cameo appearances by Wilfred Mott and Sylvia Noble, marking the former's DWM strip debut, and the latter's first comic strip appearance ever.

Finally, it marked the end of the Fourteenth Doctor's brief comic strip tenure, with his successor taking over in the next strip.

Plot[[edit]]

Part One: A new comic strip adventure - starting where The Star Beast ended![[edit]]

With the console of the Doctor's TARDIS on fire, the Fourteenth Doctor reconfirms to Donna Noble that the ship is completely out of control. However, he realises he can materialise it briefly.

In the skies above the Western Front in 1917, a British photographic recce pilot has been intercepted by the infamous Manfred von Richthofen, better known as the Red Baron. He attempts to shoot his opponent down with his machine gun but is interrupted by the arrival of the TARDIS in mid-air, which allows the British pilot to flee. Desperate for fresh air due to the smoke filling the control room, Donna opens the doors directly facing the Red Baron's plane, but both craft are stopped in their tracks by a null-grav haulage ray belonging to a hovering spaceship. They are beamed on board to meet the Brigade of Gübernators - a biomechanical squid-like species that hijacks the brains of skilled pilots to use as their own. He uses his sonic screwdriver on the ray's control orb and they are released.

As the TARDIS dematerialises again, the Doctor explains that history will take care of the Red Baron on its own, while he previously dealt with the Brigade of Gübernators in the Bermuda Triangle in 1976. He promises Donna that they "won't be seeing them again", unaware that a single Gübernator has escaped and attached itself to the TARDIS' roof.

Part Two: A lost world... on Earth![[edit]]

The Doctor and Donna's wild ride continues, with the TARDIS console now too hot to touch. Elsewhere, in the Royal Geographical Society of 1878, an explorer named Roxton Vincey claims to a busy room to have discovered a missing link in humanity's evolution. Despite disapproving laughter from his fellows, he shows his discovery the previous year from a plateau east of Venezuela on his magic lantern slides.

200,000 BC, and a fight has broken out between rival Neanderthals when Ig "the scrawny" offended the tribe head Og by eating his coveted papaya. Ig looks destined to lose before the TARDIS lands and Donna exits, again looking for fresh air. Noticing the unfair fight, she yells "oy" at them, and Ig takes the opportunity to knock out Og and take his place as head of the tribe. Ig is immensely grateful, but Donna has to rush back as the TARDIS leaves once more, with the tribe chanting "oy" in her honour.

Vincey explains that he stumbled upon the tribe, unchanged for millennia, praying before their goddess totem: a ginger-haired figure based on Donna. However, he was forced to escape when an enormous tortoise arrived and began to massacre the so-called "Tribe of Oy". His presentation finishes, but despite the photo evidence, his fellow geographers refuse to believe his story and boo him off while the TARDIS flies onwards with the Gübernator still attached.

Part Three: Donna makes a royal acquaintance![[edit]]

The TARDIS lands again, but with the scanner broken, Donna checks their surroundings, finding herself in the middle of a huge medieval battle. The Doctor quickly realises they have arrived during the Battle of Hastings, as depicted by the Bayeux Tapestry. Donna is shortly knocked off her feet by an Anglo-Saxon warrior on horseback, but he helps her up again. Noticing a flurry of arrows coming his way, she pushes him out of the way but quickly realises the ramifications of what she has done. The Doctor confirms that the man is none other than King Harold Godwinson of England - famous for supposedly dying from an arrow in the eye in this very battle. However, he also instinctively pushes Harold away from more arrows and decides to leave before making things any worse. Donna regrettably tells him that he will not see her again, leaving him in anguish as the TARDIS dematerialises.

Inside, Donna checks the internet of 2023 on her phone and explains that history is essentially unchanged; scholars still disagree on Harold's death, while the final panels of the tapestry are still missing. The Doctor admits that he tore off the last few feet himself in 1111 when he noticed it depicted the TARDIS. However, when he reiterates that he dealt with the Gübernators, Donna adds in terror that he is wrong, as the stray one tries to attach itself to her head.

Part Four: Some very special guests... at Christmas![[edit]]

The Gübernator, malfunctioning after its exposure to the Time Vortex, demands that Donna surrenders her neural pathways, believing her to be the pilot of the TARDIS. When the Doctor explains that he is who it is looking for, it attacks him instead, and as the TARDIS lands once more, he tells Donna to quickly find something to hit it with.

Donna walks through a pair of curtains in "December 1970-something" to unexpectedly find herself on stage with Eric Morecambe and Ernie Wise, filming a comedy show for TV. Morecambe brusquely tells her to leave, with the crowd believing it to be part of the act. After returning to the TARDIS, the Doctor tells the Gübernator that they will have to abandon ship or die, and they rematerialise hundreds of feet above the ground in a snowstorm, with the monster leaping out in terror. Although the Doctor believes them to be above an alien planet with a quarter of Earth's gravity and pure ammonia atmosphere, Donna corrects him: they are simply above London in the same time period. The Doctor promises that the Gübernator's anti-crash self-destruct will kick in before it hits the city, with the shockwave destroying a few windows at worst. The TARDIS spins off uncontrollably in the Time Vortex once more.

Unbeknownst to the time travellers, on the ground below, in a church amongst the snow, a very young Donna is taking part in a school Christmas nativity play, in character as the donkey. The Gübernator's explosion overhead shatters a stained-glass window, and her friend Nerys, playing Mary, nearly drops the doll of baby Jesus Christ. At this, Wilfred Mott stands up, telling Donna to carry on regardless, embarrassing Sylvia Noble in the process. At the end of the play, Wilf looks to the snowy night sky and notices the falling Gübernator, believing it to be a new star.

Characters[[edit]]

Worldbuilding[[edit]]

Notes[[edit]]

  • The last words spoken by the Fourteenth Doctor in his comic book tenure are: "Pff, it won't even hit the ground. Shockwave might blow out a few windows at worst!"
  • Being printed as a two-page format throughout DWM 598, the untitled comics are read horizontally instead of vertically.
  • The Doctor's TARDIS has previously appeared in the Bayeux Tapestry in the comic story Hunters of the Burning Stone [+]Loading...["Hunters of the Burning Stone (comic story)"], and it was claimed by a user named bobby on the Who is Doctor Who? website in the short story The Doctor Was Involved in the Dummy Massacre [+]Loading...["The Doctor Was Involved in the Dummy Massacre (short story)"] that the Tapestry featured the TARDIS with the Ninth Doctor and Rose Tyler standing next to it, and in the art piece Knights [+]Loading...["Knights (illustration)"], Silurians are shown to be in the tapestry.

Original print details[[edit]]

(Publication with page count and closing captions)
  • DWM 598:
    • Part 1 (2-page spread): The story continues on page 30!
    • Part 2 (2-page spread): The story continues on page 44!
    • Part 3 (2-page spread): The story continues on page 58!
    • Part 4 (2-page spread): The story continues in Wild Blue Yonder!

Continuity[[edit]]

  • The TARDIS is out of control and catching fire, as depicted at the end of The Star Beast [+]Loading...["The Star Beast (TV story)"], with the Doctor saying that he and Donna will soon have to abandon ship. They are forced to shortly afterwards in Wild Blue Yonder [+]Loading...["Wild Blue Yonder (TV story)"].
  • The Doctor introduces Donna to Harold Godwinson, whom he had been acquainted with in prior incarnations, as demonstrated in such stories as Mary's Story [+]Loading...["Mary's Story (audio story)"], The Real Hereward [+]Loading...["The Real Hereward (short story)"], and Mistress of Chaos [+]Loading...["Mistress of Chaos (comic story)"].