Doctor Who: The Curse of the Scarab Review

DW Curse of the Scarab

While I’ve finished playing catch up with the Doctor Who Audios, I just need to quickly run down the stories featured in the Graphic Novel “Ground Zero”, but as each story features a different Doctor I can’t group them up, so there may be a bit of a comicathon coming up!

Curse of the Scarab is set during that rare period of Fifth Doctor and Peri, a period that TV-wise was just two stories long, and also features the return of the Orsiran race. These were probably unique things back in the 90s, but Big Finish and Titan Comics of recent years have put an end to that! Let’s take a look anyway…


The Fifth Doctor and Peri find themselves in 1930s Hollywood — where an ancient menace is about to make a deadly comeback!

*spoilers appear from here on out!*

The Good:

DW Curse of the Scarab 4

Awww, now there’s a heart-warming smile…

The pitch for this story, “You know how Pyramid of Mars was like an old Universal horror movie? How about that again, but on the set of a Universal horror movie?” is great, especially for a three issue-long comic. The Doctor and Peri arrive on a movie set, but the former realises that the set dressing is a bit too convincing. Cue crazy cultist under the influence of an Osiran (in this case Kephri) and a half-rotting actor who is sadly partially possessed by said Osiran, and you have a good, and surprisingly gory, run-around. Seriously, there is quite a bit of blood, an Osiran Service Robot pretty much guts someone with blades sticking out of its thick Mummy-like hand! Very odd!

Anyway, tragic rotting actor is killed as Kephri is resurrected, his loyal servant Seth Rakoff is killed as a show of his power, and then he’s resealed and destroyed by The Doctor using the shadow in the shape of an ancient symbol and a reprogrammed Service Robot. For just three issues it crams a lot in and is a really fun read.

The Bad:

DW Curse of the Scarab 1

Wow, a Service Robot “Shink”-ing like he’s Wolverine!

Not much! Good artwork, fun story. The only thing stopping it from getting a five is it just being too short to get really invested in.

The Continuity:

DW Curse of the Scarab 2

Wait, so summoning an evil that was sealed long ago wasn’t a good idea? Who knew?

The Osirans, along with their Service Robots, first appeared in Fourth Doctor TV classic “The Pyramids of Mars”. They have since made various appearances on audio and in other comics, though this comic is one of their earliest reappearances…

There is a panel in the comic where Peri is confronted by someone off-panel and is confused, and then it’s never addressed… until the Seventh Doctor comic “Ground Zero”, the final of the five comics featured in this Graphic Novel! Hooray!

Overall Thoughts:

DW Curse of the Scarab 3

The Doctor watches on as his foe is killed in front of him. Given this is the Fifth Doctor, you know things must have gotten desperate!

The Curse of the Scarab is a great way to kill a few minutes. At just three issues long there is enough time to tell a fun story with gorgeous artwork, though not enough to give a really meaty story. Still really fun way to kick off this run of Doctor Who Magazine comics!

4 Star Read

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