Doctor Who: The Fallen Review

We return to the Eighth Doctor DWM comic strips for a run that will cap-off the black and white comic era, and do so with a bang! First we get a story that is most infamous for bringing Dr. Grace Holloway back from the TV Movie, something most entities, including the likes of Big Finish, haven’t been able to do (due to the character’s mixed ownership). The Fallen also introduces something far more significant, but I’ll get to that in the spoiler bit…

Synopsis:

The Doctor is reunited with Grace Holloway, but soon finds out that her career has taken her and her colleagues down a dark path, and a dangerous one… though the results of their experiments may not be the most deadly thing in the area…

*spoilers appear from here on out!*

The Good:

It’s Grace! …. Did anyone really want her back?

So the gist of The Fallen is that Grace has joined up with MI6 head Leighton Woodrow and other scientists to experiment with mixing Time Lord and Human DNA thanks to a sample of The Master that Grace had kept. This soon makes The Doctor both thrilled to see her again, and rather disapproving, as you’d imagine, especially when Grace tries to put it on him and his “you’ll do great things” message. To make matters worse the sample was one of Deathworm Morphant DNA, not Time Lord DNA, which means the poor scientist named Donald Stark who injected himself with it turned into a horrible creature that has to feed on the bodies and psyches of others to survive.

Izzy is soon captured and nearly devoured by the creature, but it sees The Doctor in her mind and is far more interested in luring him out instead. This works, but at the same time it becomes clear to see that Stark has slowly but surely gone insane the more people he’s absorbed, his human brain unable to process all the voices and memories (unlike The Master). It grows bigger and bigger until The Doctor manages to steer a helicopter into it, exploding the creature into bits. The Doctor and Grace part once again, having found neutral ground and even repeat their infamous kiss.

Oh and a mysterious Preacher appears in a few parts of the story, and eventually leaves a Tissue Compressed corpse of an agent behind in his wake…

The story is good fun, well drawn and doesn’t overstay its welcome. Lays some nice groundwork too…

The Bad:

Well, to be fair, you must to used to that by now Doctor…

Not much. I’ll admit the central antagonist was a bit boring and cliché, but then again the story was more about The Doctor meeting back up with Grace and laying future groundwork than it was with being a great and unique story by itself.

The Continuity:

I wonder if he black goatee was an intentional misdirect as to the identity of the new Master?

The mysterious Preacher, who if you haven’t guessed yet is a new version of The Master, reappears in the big 10-issue epic “The Glorious Dead”. Leighton Woodrow and his MI6 reappear in the final Eighth Doctor DWM strip “The Flood”.

Also, pretty obvious, but Grace Holloway first appeared in the “TV Movie” and doesn’t really appear again, beyond cameos and alternate realities…

Overall Thoughts:

Good old Tissue Compression Eliminator… well, maybe not so good for those who are hit by it…

The Fallen works as an exploration of The Doctor and Grace’s relationship and how she took a wrong turn but the two managed to salvage their relationship. It also works as the start of a multiple-story arc. It’s a bit flat if viewed by itself with a rather seen-it-all-before villain, but that would be a bit unfair. A good start to this “era” (or graphic novel) of the DWM Eighth Doctor run.

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