Or – “Man, I Sure Hope This Is Canon…”

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Them are some seriously disconcerting Doctors there, aren’t they?  I don’t recall number nine’s nose being quite that…  bulbous, do you?

DW1_1.jpgPreviously, on Doctor Who – The Forgotten:  The Doctor has found himself in a conundrum.  Trapped with his companion, Martha Jones, in what seems to be a museum devoted to his 900+ years of life, his memories erased, the man once known as Theta Sigma has had to relive memories of each incarnation, only to find that knowing what has happened gives him little input into what is going on.  Moreover, each incarnation’s memories add to the ongoing feeling that something is very, very wrong in the state of Denmark.  Having regained seven of his ten lives, the last scion of Gallifrey realizes that even Martha herself is something of an issue, expressing memories of things that she rationally should not know.  The sudden sound of the cloister bell (a device that has several times before heralded the return of the Doctor’s knowledge) brings us to the beginning of our festivities…

“Why do I feel like I’ve forgotten my FUTURE as well as my PAST?” asks the suddenly angry Tenth Doctor, just as two of his old foes arrive and start blasting.  The run, and Martha expresses her belief that the creatures they’ve been facing are designed only to distract them from the ongoing issues at hand.  She reaches into Ace’s bag of tricks, and pulls out a cravat.  The Doctor makes a joke about a theatre of midget assassins (a remark he made earlier in the series) and then admits that he found it in the San Francisco morgue, a reference to his regeneration from seventh to eighth versions.  This is where it gets a bit dicey for me, so bear with me as I process.  We see his eighth self in what seems to be a prison cell, watching warring starships in the sky.  The much-discussed Time War is in full flight, and one day, he tells his cellmate that it’s time to escape.  The alien creature tells him it’s impossible, but the Doctor smiles.  “I once convinced my most hate enemy that I was half-human with nothing more than a wide-eyed expression, a couple of words, and a half-broken chameleon arch,” he says, explaining away one of the remaining mysteries from the Doctor Who television movie.  The Doctor makes good on his escape, using the scarf to slide down a power line to freedom, and takes off to do something that will end the war.

The Doctor returns to reality, and tells Martha that his eighth incarnation was his most solitary of all, and she hands him the psychic paper that was most identified with his ninth self.  “Everything is not as it seems,” read the words on the paper, and the Doctor snarks, “Like I hadn’t worked THAT out.”  We see the Ninth Doctor and Rose on a chilly Christmas Day, 1914, as they attend a legendary soccer match between German and British troops.  (I believe they calls it football there…)  They play the game, with the Doctor refereeing, and he and Rose disappear into time.  “I last spoke to her in Bad Wolf Bay, before the signal was lost…  But… I didn’t, did I?”  The Doctor stands, and demands the last item, the one that would define him in his current incarnation.  Martha hands him the fobwatch that hid his identity when he was on the run from The Family, and he suddenly remembers everything that happened AFTER that, including the loss of Rose, and Martha’s exit.  He realizes this can’t be Martha, and she tells him the truth.  “I am your most faithful companion, and yet I have never been one.”  He realizes that she is the TARDIS and that means that he is trapped in the TARDIS matrix.  He then realizes who the villain is, and turns to see…  himself?  Turns out the less-compassionate version of him that regenerated from his hand (having now grown a goatee, ala the Master) is behind all his current troubles…

I have to say, I’m really impressed with this series.  It’s hard enough to write a good Doctor Who story for comics, but one that captures the various voices of the eras in which the character existed is even tougher.  This issue’s climax is the only part that’s confusing, as the duplicate Doc left Earth with Rose, ostensibly to be her boyfriend forever…  Granted, the realization that this is taking place in the TARDIS means that it may be taking place entirely in his mind.  Still, this issue gives us a tantalizing glimpse of what the Eighth Doctor’s adventures could have been, and a tale that feels right for Christopher Eccleston’s Ninth (though the artist doesn’t ever quite get his likeness down) and the overall feeling is excitement and suspense.  It’s a nice tale, with lovely art by a returning Pia Guerra, and it’s a nice placeholder to try and get me through to the next Doctor Who special.  Doctor Who: The Forgotten #5 earns a “fantastic” 4.5 out of 5 stars, reminding me what I miss about the character during the long hiatuses…  (Although, nothin’ will ever be as long as the 1989 to 2005 gap, but still…)

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The Author

Matthew Peterson

Matthew Peterson

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture!

And a nice red uniform.

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4 Comments

  1. Scar
    January 19, 2009 at 6:22 am — Reply

    Nice to have the Half human thing cleared up.
    Now if we could just get his age consistant…………

  2. Slappy
    January 19, 2009 at 7:49 am — Reply

    Remember according to the 1st Doctor, he had over 900 years expin a TARDIS.

  3. January 19, 2009 at 9:13 pm — Reply

    Actually, the first Doctor said himself to be 450 years old back in the day… The fourth Doctor gave his age as 750 a couple of time, but the Sixth doctor said he was 900 years old, and the Seventh 953 years old. By the Ninth Doctor’s era, though, he was saying 900 years old again…

    Obviously, this implies some unseen adventures, and allows for all sortsa weird shit. :)

  4. Sean
    January 23, 2009 at 1:25 am — Reply

    I rather like that explanation to the half-human debacle. I hope that part at least is canon.

    By the way, is there a review for issue 4?

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