Doctor Who #8
Marvel Comics Group (May, 1985)
“The Collector” and “Dreamers Of Death”
WRITER: Steve Moore
ARTIST: Dave Gibbons (also reprint cover art)
EDITOR: Paul Neary
Abslom Daak finale
ARTIST: Steve Dillon
REPRINT COLORIST: Andy Yanchus
REPRINT EDITOR: Jim Salicrup
Three stories so let’s go through this quick. “The Collector” (originally published in Doctor Who Weekly #46) has our team finally getting back to Blackcastle before being teleported away for an alien anthropologist who has been teleporting new beings into time stasis capsules to study ever since his ship crashed. His computer has gained sentience and fallen in love with him and won’t let him leave, at least until the rescue ship comes in another hundred years. The real reason is that Earth is rather toxic to his species, which the Doctor finds out only after affecting his escape. Using the time stasis tech he manages to go back and stop himself from sending the alien down.
I have two problems with this story. One is that if she told him that Earth was toxic to his people…we wouldn’t have a story but it would have made him less anxious to visit. But writing that off for the sake of actually having a story the Doctor seems to be breaking the rules of time by doing this, and later TV episodes (both old and new Who) would show numerous bad results of numerous parts of his solution. I wonder if Moore wrote himself into a corner and didn’t have time to fix it, since this only took one strip.
“Dreamers Of Death” (originally presented in Doctor Who Weekly #s 47-48) finds the Doctor bringing Sharon and K-9 some old friends on Unicepter IV. The latest craze is “dreaming”, where the dreamers (in this case think your average D&D dungeon master) use psychic creatures called Slinths to create a shared dream. However, it turns out the creatures are actually psychic and energy vampires and were just biding their time until they had the mental energy to turn the planet into a full meal. The Doctor manages to defeat the monsters with their weakness to water (what with all the electrical energy they also absorb), and Sharon decides to stay behind because she has fallen for one of the now former dreamers.
I like the story itself. The idea of creatures who can create a shared dream is a neat idea (sort of a mental holodeck) and of course they’re going to be dangerous. It’s Doctor Who after all. However, I wonder if our dreamer friend knows he’s dating a teenager in an adult body? And I know most Who Companions in the old series seemed to forget they had family at home when falling for an alien they decide to leave the TARDIS for, but as a teenage girl won’t her parents miss her? Or friends like Fudge? One thing New Who did right was address this issue.
Finally we have the short conclusion to “Abslom Daak: Dalek-Killer” (originally presented in Doctor Who Weekly #20). Daak and Taiyin make their way through the Dalek ship and take out the Command Dalek before escaping in one of their own escape pods. However, a straggling Dalek near where they landed kills Taiyin, meaning now Daak wants revenge on all Daleks. Honestly, I’m not thrilled with the ending. Taiyin gets fridged, the love story never worked for me to begin with given the time frame, and having him kill Daleks out of a mix of being suicidal but loving the kill challenge the Dalek’s offered was motivation enough for me. And Daak will return in the “Star Tigers” story, and made his way into New Who comics as a member of the TARDIS crew. So we aren’t done with Daak just yet.
Overall these were good stories. While the endings weren’t quite right they were still satisfactory. I’m not sure why they wrote Sharon out (it’s not like her actress wanted to leave or anything) but it fits with other classic Who departures. And Daak is more enjoyable to watch than I usually enjoy. This is an issue worth checking out.