Doctor Who: Time Lord Victorious – Defender of the Daleks Review

You thought we were done with Time Lord Victorious? Not yet! Along with the DWM Ninth Doctor story yet to be released in GN format (so who knows when we’ll actually be done…), there was this story from Titan Comics that I thought I’d finally get round to reading as we have the only other TLV release up on the site this week. Defender of the Daleks is… Alright, I guess. It doesn’t really add anything to the overall narrative though… so it’s right at home! Let’s take a look…

Synopsis:

The Doctor has been mysteriously transported to a rewritten timeline where the Time War never happened and the Dalek Empire is still a fearsome force in the universe. Recruited as an unlikely ally by the Emperor Dalek, the Doctor must now face a deadly, alien threat that even the Daleks fear: the Hond. Aided by the Dalek Prime Strategist, the Doctor is preparing for battle, when he encounters the deadly Hond…

*spoilers appear from here on out!*

The Good:

Seeing the Tenth Doctor among original grey and blue Daleks is a fun use of the comic medium, if nothing else…

So rather than have this be from the POV of The Doctor just before, during or after the Time Lord Victorious story it’s instead an earlier version of the same incarnation of the Doctor (well, technically not but let’s not get into that…) that got accidentally sucked into the universe his future self creates when he wiped out the Kotturuh. What “Defender of the Daleks” is instead is a lead-in to the group of Daleks we follow in the story strand instead.

The Dalek Prime Strategist insists on using The Doctor for his plan and so they recruit him to help with an invasion from a Dark Times-era alien race known as “The Hond”. I really liked The Hond’s backstory, they were created feeling nothing but pain, possibly during a time only such creatures could exist, so they go round killing other races to free them from the constant agony, not understanding the idea of other beings living pain free. Basically after The Doctor captures one and figures out what’s going on he does some “clever technical bits” and relieves them of their pain, making them dissipate. He then blows up the Dalek weapons factory and legs it, being picked up by the Thirteenth Doctor on the way out so he can be placed back in his proper time. The Dalek Prime Strategist then informs the Emperor that his mission hasn’t failed and there are plenty of other Doctors out there to recruit, ending with a picture of the Eighth Doctor, tying this into the Time Lord Victorious strand rather nicely.

… That was it. It was only two issues long, meaning the TPB I have of it is pretty thin!

The Bad:

What’s going on here? Just look at the hair and face in the first two panels… Completely different. It gets worse later, too…

The worst part about Defender is the artwork, or rather The Doctor’s artwork. He rarely looks like David Tennant at all and sometimes looks completely different in two panels one after each other. He looks too youthful, then has a weird round head, his hair is all over the place… it’s really weird, often the likenesses are either constantly good or constantly bad in one specific way, this was just all over the place…

The Continuity:

This sadly low-rez picture is the best I could find for the Hond. You get the idea though, basically green Clayface from Batman.

As mentioned, this ties into Time Lord Victorious via this specific group of Daleks. This is after the “Daleks!” animated series and literally just before the Audio Drama “The Enemy of my Enemy”, or technically just before the cliffhanger to “He Kills Me, He Kills Me Not”.

The Tenth Doctor finds himself in this universe due to something that happens in his and the Thirteenth Doctor’s comic story “Alternating Current”, not their story “A Little Help from My Friends” which came out just before this (it was a COVID reshuffle thing…) This is why Doctor No. 13 arrives to save him at the end and yes there was two different Tenth / Thirteenth Doctor meet up comics released one after the other… I’ll get to them eventually…

Overall Thoughts:

This would be a cool moment if it weren’t for Titan’s entire Doctor Who comic line this year being these two incarnations meeting up…

“Defender of the Daleks” is a fun little story, let down by inconsistent artwork. It doesn’t really add anything to the Time Lord Victorious strand we didn’t know already but does at least tie itself in well enough… Basically, like so much of the TLV story arc, it’s fine, but not exactly ground breaking…

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