My journey through the Emperor of the Daleks collected Doctor Who Magazine graphic novel thingie continues with the four-part alternate Earth story “Final Genesis”, and the 30th Anniversary 10-page colour special “Time and Time Again”, plus both feature the “bad ass” New Adventures version of Ace, so… hooray? Let’s find out!
Synopsis (of Final Genesis):
Then: A bomb explodes, killing the Third Doctor and Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart.
Now: The TARDIS arrives with a rising tone, rather than the usual “vworp, vworp”, the first sign for Ace and Benny that something is not quite right. Unable to get a straight answer out of the Seventh Doctor, they find the world itself isn’t quite right. They see dinosaurs and are arrested by strangely familiar soldiers working for URIC rather than UNIT…
Synopsis (of Time and Time Again):
The Black Guardian has changed time so that the Doctor never left Gallifrey. This causes chaos amongst the stars. The Doctor must revisit his past and hunt for the Key to Time, which will put time back on track and defeat the Black Guardian.
*spoilers appear from here on out!*
Cast of Characters:
Very Crisis on Infinite Earths!
The Doctor (Sylvester McCoy) – Instead of running about with a silly umbrella, the later version of the Seventh incarnation of the Doctor is instead manipulating things from the shadows… with a silly umbrella.
Bernice Summerfield – Benny is now more used to travelling with The Doctor, but not as used to it as returning companion Ace, who is trying to teach her the truth behind his actions…
Ace (Sophie Aldred) – After leaving The Doctor to fight Daleks, Ace is now a hardened “bad ass” woman who wears her sunglasses at night, because she can, because she can…
Professor Thactus – Silurian scientist from this alternate Earth. He works for URIC, and … that’s about it for his story, really…
Mortakk – The old evil Silurian scientist who wants to either kill or transform the human race so the Silurians can be the dominating people on Earth once again.
The Black Guardian – Back to get revenge on The Doctor again, leading to the Doctor having to recollect the Key to Time again, because… anniversary!
Although it is once again based on a returning monster / continuity, Final Genesis at least tells an interesting story. An alternate Earth where The Doctor managed to successfully broker peace between the humans and Silurians (who then wake and join up with the Sea Devils, based on the opening chapter), it shows the two species working together, even after The Doctor and the Brig have been killed. The Doctor, Ace and Benny arrive and eventually track down the culprit Mortakk and The Doctor, unusually, straight up kills him via poisonous gas that the Silurian himself had created. It’s then hinted at that The Doctor somehow knew a version of himself had been killed and came to this universe in order to get revenge on his behalf. Very odd concept, but interesting.
Time and Time Again is nothing but “remember this story?” continuity-fest, but given it was a one-issue 30th Anniversary special, it’s fine. The Doctor, Ace and Benny visit two of the previous six Doctors each and retrieve a piece of the Key to Time, each related to the Doctor or the TV adventure their meeting takes place in. It then ends with the first depiction of the Doctor and Susan leaving Gallifrey. It’s a fun little read, but I certainly would want stuff like this too often.
I don’t like the New Adventures version of Ace, never have, never will. At least its kept quite low-key here, nothing too… over the top and very few vein attempts to make her “cool”.
The entire plot in three panels!
Final Genesis takes place on an alternate Earth where the Doctor had successfully made peace with the Silurians, rather than watching them get killed in the actual Third Doctor TV serial “and the Silurians”. Other than that, not much continuity, which is rare for this collection of comics…
Time and Time Again, as I said, saw The Doctor, Benny and Ace visit past Doctors to get bits of the Key to Time, which was the Seventh Doctor visiting his first self just before the very first episode, and his Sixth self while he was fishing during his time with comic companion Frobisher. Ace meets the Third Doctor during the TV serial “The Day of the Daleks” and the Fifth Doctor (or more specifically Adric with the Doctor in the background) during the TV serial “Black Orchid”, and Benny meets the Second Doctor during “The Mind Robber” and the Fourth during “Nightmare of Eden”, of all things.
The White Guardian mentions that his Black counterpart was still mad from the TV Serial “Enlightenment”, and the Guardians and the Key to Time all come from the Key to Time story arc that encompasses the entire of Season 16.
Two good stories here. Final Genesis is actually just a good Silurian story set in an interesting alternate Earth, and Time and Time Again is a fun mini celebration of Doctor Who in general (up to that point). Good stuff.