Doctor Who Classics series 2 #7
(collects comics from Doctor Who Magazine #67-69, 1982)
ORIGINAL PUBLISHER: Marvel UK
REPRINTER: IDW (June 2009)
WRITER: Steve Parkhouse
ARTIST: Dave Gibbons
EDITOR: Alan McKenzie
IDW COLORIST: Charlie Kirchoff
IDW EDITOR: Denton J. Tipton
DESIGNER: Amauri Osorio
“The Tides of Time” conclude as the “higher evolutionaries” are able to locate where Melanicus has hidden the Event Synthesizer. The Doctor and Justin find him in an old church on Earth, which is pretty much wiped out thanks to the “Millennium Wars”. Our heroes confront Melanicus, with Shayde shooting him and Sir Justin stabbing him. Shayde gets to go home, but Sir Justin turns into a statue. Or was he always a statue? With the Synthesizer back under the Prime Mover’s control, time is restored, the Wars never happened (makes you wonder where he was during the Time War, doesn’t it?), and the Doctor finds himself in a restored version of the church during his cricket game. St. Justinian’s Parish Church to be exact.
The second story, “Stars Fell on Stockbridge” finds a UFO nut who stumbles on the TARDIS and just happens to also be able to detect a derelict starship orbiting the Earth. There’s a presence aboard the ship, and the Doctor accidentally frees it. However, it’s not a threat, and the ship harmlessly burns up in the atmosphere, but the nut uses it to gain a bit of respect from the locals.
What they got right: Although the story itself is a bit odd, the ending is rather satisfying, and a rare example of the “Magic Reset Button” properly used. (Although a story set post Millennium Wars might be interesting, some status quos should remain.) The second story has many of the good qualities of the new series episode “Love and Monsters” (updated thought: I know people hate it but it’s not all bad, just kind of strange and the ending stinks), without the exploration of the world of Doctor Who. It reminds us that until Russel T’s concepts, Earth is mostly unaware of the outer universe, so anyone who even tried talking of actual other planets would probably be seen as being a UFO nut themselves. I wonder if Sarah Jane is the only companion who had trouble re-adjusting to a boring old Earth life?
What they got wrong: Using other Whoniverse-based comic stories, like personal favorite “Abslom Daak: Dalek Killer“, Marvel US did a better job spreading the stories out in their comics than IDW does, and comics had more pages back in those days. I wouldn’t mind seeing those comics, and ones I’ve only seen in other collections, like the Daleks’ own comic strip.
Further updated thoughts: What I didn’t mention in the original review (and maybe didn’t catch until now) is that Max appears to have at least some psychic ability, just not very strong. This would not be his last appearance in the magazine comics. I wish Sir Justin had stayed on as the Doctor’s Companion. We really haven’t seen him with a capital C Companion since K-9 and Sharon left the comic and I don’t think we get another one until Frobisher. And yes, there are more stories with Shayde. None in the Marvel US run but I’m hoping there were in IDW and the big collections I own.
Recommendation: A satisfying end to one arc, and a fun little stand-alone. Worth getting.