In the first of many things from the Eighth Doctor DWM comic run that will make you think of Russell T. Davies, Tooth and Claw the comic sees not only mythical creatures (though more like vampires than werewolves) but also sees the debut of Fey Truscott-Sade, a character that would go on to appear a fair few times across the magazine’s history. Let’s take a look, shall we?
Fey Truscott-Sade, a female spy that The Doctor had met in a previously unseen adventure, has summoned the Time Lord to a small island in the Indian Ocean in 1939. There The Doctor, Izzy and Fey uncover the crazy plan of a human named Varney, and his very non-human ally…
*spoilers appear from here on out!*
Yeah, I know, I already used this as the thumbnail, but that cut off “evil vampire Fey”!
There is a good old fashioned horror vibe throughout the whole story, very much an “Island of Lost Souls” take complete with 30s aesthetic, isolated island and killer monkey butlers… the last bit is only a little far removed from the film, before you say anything. Anyway, it also includes people being mysteriously murdered in rooms “off screen” to add a bit of classic murder mystery as well.
The Doctor and Izzy are still a great pair, but the addition of Fey is good fun too, a sarcastic and often violent female agent. So the three of them start exploring the large house on the island and soon The Doctor and Izzy are accused of murder, as they tend to be, before a monster is spotted. Turns out that Barney and his ancestors have been under the vampiric influence of a sentient spaceship known as a Cucurbite, a ship that runs of the blood of “whole races” and were long thought to be extinct.
There is a great cliffhanger where The Doctor and Fey have become infected, leaving the teary-eyed and shocked Izzy behind, but eventually The Doctor almost sacrifices himself in order to destroy the Cucurbite, and once it’s destroyed all those infected revert to normal. Fey mysteriously pilots the TARDIS and takes Izzy and the dying Doctor to Gallifrey in the hope they can save him from death…
If memory serves this never needs to be stated during the whole run of these comics, but I’ll say it anyway: the artwork is gorgeous.
It’s Barney, the not-purple not-dinosaur!
Barney himself is a pretty plain villain, and his other guests are the generic early 20th century snobby dinner guests I don’t particularly enjoy. I like the 30s gothic, don’t like the 30s people, I guess!
Fey stays with The Doctor and Izzy for the next two stories before leaving for a while, and when she leaves I’ll talk about other appearances, for spoilers sake!
One of Varney’s guests is Marwood, a relative of the Marwood The Doctor and Izzy met in Stockbridge during “Endgame”.
I’ll also mention the elephant in the room: there is a Tenth Doctor TV story titled “Tooth and Claw”, though beyond the name it shares nothing in common with this story.
This was the only other panel I could find. Given how long it took for the Endgame Graphic Novel to get a reprint, I’m sure as hell not breaking my book’s spine to scan some myself! Sorry!
Tooth and Claw has a really thick atmosphere of classic horror, debuts a fun new companion and has a corker of the cliffhanger, but some boring characters drag it down just a little. Still a really fun read, and starts a chain of three stories that culminate in the biggie known as “Wormwood”…