December 7, 2023

Gabbing Geek

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Doctor Who Classics “The World Shapers”

The Sixth Doctor fetches a former companion for one last adventure.

Grant Morrison is Scottish and is not above putting Scottish characters in their work.  So, really, who else was going to pop Jamie McCrimmon into one of these and give him a heroic final story?

The Sixth Doctor, with Peri and Frobisher, follow a distress signal from another Time Lord to a water planet.  Said Time Lord dies and decays very quickly, causing the Doctor to realize time is running in odd ways here.  But he does vaguely remember being there before, and something involving the Cybermen.  That happened during his second incarnation, so perhaps the old companion from that time could help.

That meant going to find Jamie McCrimmon.  And yes, he will always help the Doctor.

He’s also an old man the locals dub “Mad Jamie,” seen as a harmless old man who must have developed some problems during the war, always telling stories about space aliens and monsters.  But yeah, he remembers the Doctor, the TARDIS, and Peri.  Frobisher?  Not so much, but the Doctor knows he and Jamie were there based on a past interaction he only vaguely remembers.

It turns out the planet was also once visited by the First Doctor, and some terraformers were told to do their thing to that planet, but they were only supposed to do it to uninhabited worlds.  Turns out there were some hostile aliens down there that evolved into the Cybermen, and they had a deadly weapon that would do a number on time and space.

So, naturally, Jamie sacrificed his life to stop it in one last, heroic charge.

Is that an appropriate way for a Doctor’s companion to go out?  I don’t know, but Jamie didn’t seem like the type to die happily in his bed of old age.  He was a guy who would run into anything headfirst.  That said, there has always been some interesting ideas floating around about what happens when a Doctor’s companion leaves the TARDIS, and it isn’t always pretty.  Jamie doesn’t have the benefit of a support group like was seen in the last Thirteenth Doctor episode.  He’s all alone there, and maybe if he had forgotten as the Time Lords had intended he would have been fine.  But the Doctor apparently taught him how to overcome that sort of thing, and he died, much to the Doctor’s displeasure.

But not to the Time Lords.  Mostly because they know the Cybermen eventually become peaceful and lead the universe to a new golden age of peace and prosperity at some point in the future.

I somehow don’t think I’ll ever see that.

That’s actually the last of the Morrison stories in my volume.  The rest are Dave Gibbons-drawn Fourth Doctor adventures.