So Titan Comics’ Year Three comes to an end with a massive crossover storyline, as they tend to do. Last year’s crossover was something of a disappointment, but what about this year? Does throwing every Doctor at the thing until something sticks the best way to go about it? Can they have an entity called a “White Hole” without quoting the classic Red Dwarf episode?! Let’s find out!
All the Doctors! Jenny, the Doctor’s daughter! River Song! United against a threat that could wipe out the universe completely! Celebrate the Twelfth Doctor’s reign with the ultimate Doctor Who crossover spectacular!
*spoilers appear from here on out!*
It’s the post 2005 Doctors! Well, at the time this was released. … and not including the War Doctor.
This worked in a very similar manor to regular comic crossover events, with specific issues of on-going ranges as well as small spin-off issues, plus two crossover only “event” issues. Reading it as two paperbacks was a little jumbled, but still enjoyable, so let’s take a look at the main premise, and that’s a White Hole. (“A White Hole?” “So what is it?” “You mean spewing time *puts hat on* back into the universe?” and so on. There wasn’t actually any Red Dwarf references, by the way… sadly.) This White Hole is attacking and erasing large chunks on the universe and some Doctors along with it. The Ninth Doctor loses contact with Captain Jack, the Tenth sees his Third self in agony in the middle of his TARDIS briefly, the Eleventh Doctor flies into the anomaly itself, and the Twelfth Doctor gets a visit from his sort-of daughter Jenny from the 10th Doctor era, and then sees a bunch of his friends possessed by the White Hole energy.
This is when we get the individual chapters, the highlight of which is the Ninth Doctor one. In it he meets up with Madame Vastra and the two of them and Rose end up encountering a Silurian of the “scholar class” in a haven that the Sixth Doctor had set up, and Vastra was furious that The Doctor would keep more of her kind away from her, but it turns out they carry a disease that’s harmful only to Silurians, so in fact it was a quarantine and he was protecting Vastra by keeping her away. It was a good little story, and ends with everyone getting possessed by White Hole energy and eventually the Ninth Doctor running off by himself. Oh, and the Fourth Doctor appeared to give a message to his big-eared future self, which was fun. It was interesting to see the different Silurians come face to face and have a little bit of an explanation for the visual differences.
I’ll also mention the Tenth Doctor part, which had a fun and basic “Cybermen invading a space station” story and shows us how the White Hole formed. When then get to the Twelfth Doctor issue, which really is where the big crossover really begins to … Crossover. The Tenth Doctor arrives and starts helping out The Twelfth Doctor, Bill, Nardole and Jenny (who is thrilled to see her original Dad), then they decide to analyse Jenny’s Bowship for clues and get surrounded by White Hole possessed students before being saved by The Ninth Doctor, but before the three can have a chat the White Hole fully opens up in the sky above Earth.
This brings us to the big final issue, where the Twelfth, Tenth and Ninth Doctors try to come up with a plan, encounter the Eighth Doctor (and his Titan Comics companion Josie) and then soon head into the White Hole itself and encounter the Eleventh Doctor, who has been partially taken over by an original Type-1 TARDIS that’s at the root of the problem (more on that in The Bad I’m afraid). Doctors 1-7 and the War Doctor are also in the White Hole and have managed to reassemble their TARDISes, so everyone works together to calm the Type-1 and get it to “spit out” all of the universe it ate and soon return to their own places in time. It’s a fun issue, has some nice splash pages and there was something fitting to see the Eighth Doctor as the only one who stayed behind on Earth to protect the companions while this was going on. I guess that’s the best way to describe most of the story really, a bit of fun.
What on Earth happened here? Did they not have rights to the likenesses or something?
The most disappointing part of this I think is the fact that one part was focused on the Fourth Doctor and Romana (II) but the art was so… so bad. I don’t know what happened, it’s like they drew the brown curls and the long scarf and thought “That’ll do. We don’t need to draw an accurate face, do we?” The Doctor literally looks like some young guy cosplaying as the Doctor, and Romana is just a generic blonde. It’s a shame, as the story is a stupid continuity-fest as the duo encounter a host of alternate universes where obscure races like The Krotons and the Quarks have built mighty empires before they themselves get stuck in the White Hole. It was a good laugh, but every panel with The Doctor just made me shake my head.
The Eleventh Doctor issue had a similar problem. While the art wasn’t as bad as some of his other Year Three was in general, it wasn’t great, but the more importantly the story also was… a bit crap? The Doctor and Alice pop into a tiny hole and end up in ancient Gallifrey and despite being worried about potentially altering the whole history of his own race he ends up as a prototype TARDIS test pilot for Rassilon himself, who he ended up calling “Rassy”, which… well, is a very Eleventh Doctor thing, I’ll admit. Anyway the test goes wrong and that’s how the Eleventh Doctor was at the heart of the White Hole, it was all the Type-1 TARDIS acting out and trying create peace through absorbing everything. So key to the plot of the whole thing, but the story was just… meh. Meh and not great to look at.
There was also a two-part mini story with River Song that was fine but didn’t really connect to the core story at all, and a mini story with Jenny showing how she got from the end of “The Doctor’s Daughter” to the start of this story, but again it was just short little thing that didn’t really need to be shown. All three of these stories could’ve been exorcised and then whole event would’ve fitted into a slightly larger paperback rather than two thin ones, but hey-ho.
*Raises hand* I get it!!
Well apart from taking place in the middle of the Tenth, Eleventh and Twelfth Doctors “Year Three” run, and at the end of the Ninth Doctor’s Titan run, there is…
Jenny first appeared in the 10th Doctor TV story “The Doctor’s Daughter” and this actually marked her first reappearance. She has since appeared in Big Finish’s audio celebration “The Legacy of Time”, specifically “Relative Time”.
The Ninth Doctor is bringing Rose to see his hidden group of Silurians to help her mind after it was fractured during the final Ninth Doctor titan comic story “The Bidding War”. The original Silurians from 3rd Doctor TV story “and the Silurians” among others, are identified as the “Scholar Caste”, while the new type that debuted in 11th Doctor story “The Hungry Earth / Cold Blood” are identified as from the “Warrior Caste”. Makes sense to me!
The Eleventh Doctor mentions a rumour that Omega was betrayed by one of his assistants, which is a reference to the great Fifth Doctor audio “Omega”. Speaking of audios, a couple of ancient Gallifreyans shout “Zagreus!” as an exclamation of surprise or anger, which is a reference to the 8th Doctor audio of the same name.
In the Fourth Doctor part we see him come up against alternate universe versions of the Krotons (Second Doctor TV serial “The Krotons”, plus Sixth Doctor audio “Return of the Krotons”), The Quarks (Second Doctor TV serial “The Dominators”, plus recently cameoed in the Twelfth Doctor comic “Terror from Beneath”) and the Ogrons (Third Doctor serial “Day of the Daleks” and a fair few others).
The Eighth Doctor is travelling with Josie Day from the Titan Comic limited series collected as “A Matter of Life and Death”. That’s about it, though as with these things there were a lot a one-off little references and elbow-nudging “do you get?” remarks, but nothing of note.
“Hang on, something’s wrong here…. Did I always wear that cape?”
The Lost Dimension is a good bit of fun. It has some slower bits in the middle, the Eleventh Doctor bit isn’t great and I have no idea what happened with the Fourth Doctor’s likeness, but otherwise it’s a really good laugh for long-time fans, and it may end up being the only time we see the Ninth Doctor interacting with other incarnations of himself…