The third of the four stories from “Mistress of Chaos” funnily enough features the Mobox, who made two major appearances in the past, both during the Eighth Doctor DWM run, the same run I’m currently covering on-and-off here at the moment! After Josiah Dogbolter’s daughter appearing in the first story it’s odd to see two examples of DWM bringing back their continuity so close together, given they normally just save it for big occasions. Is it any good, though? That’s the more relevant question!
The Doctor has taken Ryan, Yaz and Graham to a peaceful planet devoid of intelligent life, and as per usual they’ve ran into trouble at the hand of intelligent life, in this case the Mobox Empire. But are they really the biggest threat?
*spoilers appear from here on out!*
The Mobox are basically albino versions of The Thing… just thinking out loud…
The Power of the Mobox, while no Power of the Daleks, is a perfectly harmless story. The Doctor and co. arrive in what they think will be a peaceful planet but soon not only encounter the Mobox but get caught in a strange “magno storm” that fires red lightning down on them. One Mobox is killed, Ryan goes flying off the side of the mountain, and Mobox commander R’Takk forces the ship with himself, a pilot, The Doctor, Yaz and Graham to take off, much to our heroes’ distress. At least momentarily anyway, as soon The Doctor is having a bit of a sneak around a city where humans and Mobox work side-by-side and soon discovers a horrible plot alongside wimpy assistant Rodney, as she tends to do (discover a horrible plot I mean, not do things alongside someone called Rondy…). Turns out the Magno Storms are being caused by 100s of captured Mobox, using their inner-energy as a battery to power the city and soon to be sold off as a power source off-world, all of which was known to Rodney, who suddenly stops being wimpy in order to unveil his great plan.
During this time R’Takk, Yaz and Graham travelled back to where Ryan vanished and got shot down which led to a funny cliffhanger where R’Takk mouth-blasts the two humans into nothing, but as anyone who read the Eighth Doctor comics will know, they actually just got stored in the Mobox’s internals and were soon reconstructed outside the ship. It was a dramatic cliffhanger if you hadn’t read the old comics, and a rewarding one if you had! Anyway, they come under attack by red lightning again but Ryan coincidentally finds the people responsible and gets them to turn it off, then blags his way through the confrontation for a bit until R’Takk and co. arrive. Meanwhile The Doctor releases all the angry, tortured Mobox who then go on the attack, but in order to avoid a massacre she turns the gravity off until everyone cools down. The Mobox arrest Rodney and his cohorts and thank The Doctor and her companions for their help. At three issues, it wasn’t offensive, it didn’t have me on the edge of my seat, it was just… good.
“Cor! Look at the size of that long tube!” was cut from the dialogue in the final script.
Nothing too bad, for a three-issue story. That being said there was a distinct lack of a satisfying ending, just when things were getting interesting and maybe Rodney the plonker was going to get his comeuppance, The Doctor turned off the gravity and we soon cut the villains in chains. It felt like the Mobox needed something more, even if it was just Rodney being mouth-blasted and stored for “punishment later” or something…
To be fair, for suits “just made for radiation leaks” they do look pretty bad-ass.
The Mobox first appeared in the Eighth Doctor DWM Comic “Ophidius”, and would later reappear in “Uroboros”. They have made one or two background cameos later on, but this has been their first proper return since then.
Let’s all shed a tear for random Mobox… His death is a tragedy that will haunt us all for many years.
The Power of the Mobox was, as I said, a perfectly harmless little three-issue story. It won’t win any awards or blow you away, nor will it annoy you or turn you off entirely. Given it’s in the middle of the book (ish) it’s a fine little filler before we get to the big finale, and it was nice to see the Mobox again, even if they were never the most interesting aliens, visually.