June 22, 2024

Gabbing Geek

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Doctor Who “A Matter Of Life And Death”

The Eighth Doctor takes on a new companion and goes on some adventures.

So, the Eighth Doctor, to me, is basically the biggest question mark.  His time was basically limited to a single TV movie and a webisode to depict his regeneration around the time of the Time War.  As such, there’s a lot of room there to do things with the character, and Paul McGann has actually done quite a bit with Big Finish and the like.  But he doesn’t really have one steady companion, and the closest I can come to getting his personality is he is a romantic.

But I’m always up for learning more about the guy, so I got me a trade of some Eighth Doctor comics.

By the by, I wasn’t kidding when I said he doesn’t have a steady companion.  The intro to my trade actually had a little blurb that looked like it listed about a dozen or so folks who were all companions to the Eighth Doctor.  This story introduces a new one, a young painter from Wales named Josie.  Do I need to worry about seeing her anywhere else?  Not in the slightest.  She’s a new character here, and if she ever appeared anywhere else, it’s a mystery to me.

Though I will also add this trade gave a two panel cameo to another Doctor/companion pairing, one that could only come about in the era of Modern Who.  It was a nice touch, but largely unnecessary.  This trade is about the Eighth Doctor, and while there is an overarching mystery involving Josie, each of the five issues reprinted here is essentially a one-shot adventure for the pair.

See, the Doctor came to this house in Wales that is apparently his.  He’s looking for a copy of Jane Eyre that he left there, and Josie is basically squatting in the place.  No one told her who the house belonged to, after all.  She’s been painting things and selling them in the nearby village, and there are two odd things about her work.  One is that they all depict beings and creatures that the Doctor has encountered on various adventures that Josie as a human should have no idea about, and the other is the beings in the paintings all come to life about the time the Doctor shows up because there are some weird particles on Josie that also should not be on any 21st century human painter.

Oh, and then the book has a handwritten note inside of it was four sets of coordinates that may solve the mystery, prompting the Doctor to take Josie away in the TARDIS on a series of adventures, and all of them are rather Doctor-esque.  They stop an alien war between two very different species because one didn’t know they were hurting the other.  They find a shady magician in 19th century Scotland trading people for their reflections.  And they visit a spa in the far future where very wealthy humans have found a way to cheat death and live forever while being pampered.

Oh, and at the last location, the Doctor even learns Josie’s secret.

So yeah, this was all kinds of basic Doctor Who storytelling.  The Doctor doesn’t like war or weapons and wants to seek a way to help people no matter where he goes.  He has no tolerance for bullies or evil.  His companion, often with a great deal of praise coming from the Doctor, proves instrumental in saving the day a few times even while being well over her head.  And in the end, there’s the promise of more adventures.

I still can’t say I am all that knowledgeable on who the Eighth Doctor is compared to the others, but McGann did do a lot of Big Finish stuff too…