WRITER - GEORGE MANN
ARTIST - EMMA VIECELI
LETTERER - RICHARD STARKINGS AND
COMICRAFT’S JIMMY BETANCOURT
SENIOR EDITOR - ANDREW JAMES
ASSISTANT EDITORS - JESSICA BURTON
& GABRIELA HOUSTON
DESIGNER - ROB FARMER
COVER 1: RACHAELSTOTT & HI-FI
COVER 2: WILL BROOKS
COVER 3: CAROLYN EDWARDS
"What happens next will define you. This is your chance to show the Universe who you are. Will you be born in a haze of blood and war, or will you choose a better path?...I love it when people make the right choice! Now, here’s the plan... It’s up to you. Right now. Right here. Make your decision well." - The Doctor
The curly-haired TARDIS captain, and new shipmate Josie, soon are caught in the middle of a thoroughly perplexing moral dilemma, when they take in the apparent luxury of a Bakri Resurrection Barge out in deep space. The Doctor is forced to use his scientific genius and a hint of rushed inspiration to resolve a major crisis. But the real battle concerns Josie, and a being that is in many ways the mirror image of her..
This final story of the vigorous and eclectic miniseries is introduced via a traditional set-up in many ways, but some very strong emotional beats, worthy of the 21st century brand, are part of the storytelling process at the same time.
This story is set in the continuity/canon spectrum before 'psychic paper' became the norm for plot acceleration, and was used by the 'modern' Doctors.
However there is a little premonition of the Ninth Doctor with one of his more important quotes upon achieving triumph. I personally have mixed feelings over this somewhat needy self-reference, but it clearly signals an intent to tie what is a somewhat 'limbo' period of Doctor Who history with the much more fluid and popularly accepted modern incarnation of the show.
Also remarkable is a display or two of simmering anger that is presented by the Eighth Doctor. Fury is not the first component a person would use to characterise him, but this is organic in that it strongly ties with the shocking revelations over Josie's true identity.
The core themes of this tale bring to mind, in some respects, the uncompleted Shada, which of course has been 'finalised' in multiple video/audio/novel versions. One of those variant did allow another chance for Paul McGann to flex his considerable acting muscles, and in a production that was readily available for a long time as a mainstream webcast.
In both a subtle and tantalising manner the auction mystery of Issue Four is addressed. A suggestion is made that the Doctor and Josie were attending an event eerily similar to one in years gone by, that was critical to the future of the Doctor's youthful cyan-haired friend.
Much emotional power is generated in this finale story from the pen of George Mann. The art continues to be a delight as well, with some lovely sections of exposition framed in plaited blond hair, rather than the conventional square or rectangular panel outlines.
Ultimately, this is nothing shy of being a wonderful end to a comfortably above average short term series from Titan. Thus I wish there is more to come with the ebullient 'Victorian gentleman' of Gallifrey, who was the first to bring a strong element of romance and passion to the Who mythos.
Certainly the final 'the end... ' caption does inspire hope of at least another mini series, if not a full blown monthly one.
Lastly, do keep your eyes peeled for a pay-off of a different kind. The previously subtle link to the Twelfth Doctor comic Unearthly Things, is made into a rather more explicit one. Readers are treated to a cameo of the most recent TARDIS crew playing a little game of 'spying' on the past life of the valiant Time Lord.
As well as the splendid main cover, there are two variants which convey the action and warmth of the Eighth Doctor respectively, to telling effect. Some preview art for the new Fourth Doctor monthly series is included also.