DW: Bringer of Darkness & Land of the Blind Review

DW Bringer of Darkness and Land of the Blind

We end our run through the DWM graphic novel “Land of the Blind” with the titular story, as well as a single chapter bonus story (with Victoria and Daleks!), both from the 2nd Doctor era. Normally have two stories from two different TARDIS teams in one article would annoy me, but there will be so few Second Doctor DWM stories to list, it’s not going to hurt… Much. Anyway, how are the stories I hear you say? Well…

Official Synopsis (for Land of the Blind):

The Doctor, Jamie and Zoe arrive in a space port… a space port which hasn’t seen a new ship land in over two decades. Before they can even stop to think The Doctor has been captured by the mysterious Vortexians…

Note: Full Spoilers From Here On Out!

Cast of Characters:

DW Bringer of Darkness and Land of the Blind 1

The cover art for the overall Graphic Novel, rare to see Jamie and Zoe in colour!

The Doctor (Patrick Troughton) – The Doctor has been enjoying his second life for a long time now, and it’s certainly been more fun that the majority of his first, but sometimes, like when your very atoms are being stretched to nothing, he probably misses his dull life of Gallifrey…

Jamie McCrimmon (Frazer Hines) – Jamie has been with the Doctor for good chunk of time, and despite all this he has changed very little from the Scottish warrior that first met the Time Lord…

Zoe (Wendy Padbury) – Zoe is a genius who has never really seen the wider world, until her travels with The Doctor. She is slowly getting round to the idea of enjoying the moment without over analysing everything, though sometimes it’s hard to have fun when surround by such horror…

The Vortexians – A trio of aliens who travel the time vortex and wish to further study humanity… whether  they like it or not.

Victoria Waterfield (Deborah Watling) – Victoria lived a quite and innocent life in Victorian London, until The Doctor and Jamie arrived. Still, looking back, it wasn’t all bad…

The Daleks – The Daleks are mutant creatures stuck inside metal cases, wishing nothing other than the genocide of all non-Dalek life…

The Good:

DW Bringer of Darkness and Land of the Blind 3

The Vortexians. They were actually designed by a fan who won a competition to have your creations in a DWM comic strip.

Bringer of Darkness is a fine short story. The Doctor, Jamie and Victoria happen upon a group of three Daleks trying to contact their own kind in order to escape the planet, or bring in reinforcements, so The Doctor and Jamie decide to stop them. Victoria watches the beings that killed her father from afar and causes a mild distraction while the two brave men disable their large antenna (sadly realistic!) and eventually cause the trio of Daleks’ death by getting them to destroy themselves via destroying their own equipment. At the end it reveals that the story is being recited by Victoria after her travels with the Doctor are over, almost making this a proto-Companion Chronicle (Big Finish audio range, in case you don’t know!). As I said, it’s a good story, especially given its length.

As for our “main event”, Land of the Blind is also a fun tale. A whole spaceport is under lockdown by the Vortexians, who punish anyone trying to stop them by putting them inside some horrible time bubble-thing that leaves the criminal’s minds empty. The Doctor, Jamie and Zoe arrive and of course soon meet some rebels fighting against their oppressors (their oppressors for over 20 years!), which then leads to The Doctor being captured in order to spare the life of one such rebel.

The Doctor is thrown in the bubble and of course survives, and begins to understand what’s going on. In a fun twist, the spaceport itself was lifted from the planet and sent into the space / time vortex, the only place the Vortexians can survive, for experimental purposes. It was teased by the landed TARDIS still flashing and making travelling noises, which is fun looking back on it. In the end The Doctor outsmarts them after they accidentally kill an older rebel using their stun guns due to his ill health, convincing them that they broke their own rules and had to punish themselves. Everything goes back to normal, the spaceport is returned, and The Doctor and co. leave, with the poignant image of a young female rebel holding her father’s corpse as a reminder that freedom often comes with a cost. Overall, I really enjoyed the story. It has some familiar beats, but it was well written, the art was good and the lead trio were firmly in character.

The Bad:

DW Bringer of Darkness and Land of the Blind 4

Daleks in the comics is also quite rare, really…

Not a lot bad to talk about, really. Bringer is too short to be truly amazing, and Land of the Blind was a tad too generic in places to wow me enough for a 5-star rating, but both were solid and fun reads.

The Continuity:

DW Bringer of Darkness and Land of the Blind 2

Oh my giddy aunt! … or some such phrase.

Bringer of Darkness has a few call backs to Victoria’s debut story, “The Evil of the Daleks”, as well as the final panel confirming this takes place after her leaving story “Fury from the Deep”. She also mentions “the horrors on the London Underground”, referencing the 2nd Doctor classic “The Web of Fear”… so her beginning, middle and end are all referenced!

The Doctor being called the “Bringer of Darkness” by the Daleks was established in the Seventh Doctor TV story “Remembrance of the Daleks”.

Funnily enough, the titular Land of the Blind has no connections with anything!

Overall Thoughts:

Two 2nd Doctor stories spread over four chapters, this is a really fun chunk of Who. Neither are amazing “must see”, but they both nail their respective 2nd Doctor periods well via dialogue and good artwork, and both have good stories behind them. Land of the Blind is worthy of its “headline” status in this Graphic Novel release.

4 Star Read

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