Doctor Who: Oblivion Review

It’s time to not only conclude the story arc that began back in “Ophidius”, but to see how Izzy leaves the TARDIS after many adventures. Oblivion is less of a large scale “season finale”, but instead a rather emotional story that has a great pay-off. It’s hard to talk about it any more without spoilers, so … off we go!

Synopsis:

Izzy has been mistaken for Destrii, currently inhabiting her body and all, and is now on verge of having to marry someone under the threat of death from Destrii’s mother Matriax Scalamanthia. Will The Doctor, Feyde and the actual Destrii arrive in time?

*spoilers appear from here on out!*

The Good:

Not the most functional trio ever to stand outside the TARDIS…

The key to this whole plotline is Destrii’s family, revealed to be a tyrannical leader of her home planet, or the “Matriax”, who forced her to fight in gladiatorial combat since she was a child, and an Uncle named Jodafra, who always pushed her mischievous side and in fact helped her escape the first time round. This is what Izzy is dealing with after being “brought home” due to her being in Destrii’s body, well, that and an arranged marriage that Destrii was dodging at the time. As The Doctor, Feyde and Destrii all arrive on Oblivion (yes, that’s the name of the planet…) Destrii runs, Feyde goes off on her own and The Doctor runs into Jodafra, who starts showing him the sights before taking him to a large gladiatorial arena when Izzy-as-Destrii is being forced to fight.

While this is going on Feyde meets Helioth and Hassana, the two floaty energy beings that kidnapped Izzy a few stories ago, and is forced to fight them all the way out of the protective dome surrounding the single city on Oblivion. When they reach outside the twins are free from subservience to Scalamanthia and instead talk to Feyde, who they feel kinship with due to also being “two beings as one”. They find out that Izzy and Destrii have switched bodies and so head back down to fix the issue. As this happens Destrii arrives to save her original body from falling in combat but ends up fighting with Izzy instead, the human exhausted and enraged at all she’s been through due to the actions of the woman now inhabiting her body.

Helioth and Hassana arrive as the two fight and use their powers to place them back into their own bodies, the process having the side effect of allowing each to see the upbringing of the other. Izzy sees Destrii’s brutal childhood full of threat and forced combat, while Destrii sees how Izzy finding out she was adopted made her lose trust in her parents and retreat into herself. As they wake up in their own bodies Izzy tries to apologise but Destrii hears none of it, the confusing mix of emotions coming to a head as Scalamanthia demands her execution for breaking the rules of Oblivion and Destrii responds by running her own mother through with a sword. As The Doctor, Feyde and Jodafra arrive everyone is thrilled… except the latter, who says Scalamanthia and her position of power was the only thing holding back Helioth and Hassana… and ten billion entities just like them.

Never trust a cat in a cravat, that’s what I always say…

It’s revealed that these 10 billion entities of energy were once the working class of the planet who had their bodies destroyed by a plague unleashed by the upperclassmen, but they got revenge by turning all of them into human-animal hybrids. Somehow or other Scalamanthia was holding them at bay, but now they were free to finish off what they started. They soon all pool into Destrii, giving her super powers and allowing her to get revenge on all of the people who took joy at her suffering, but Izzy manages to reach her and remind her that she wanted to be free of the planet, not destroy it. Jodafra is then revealed to have created a space-time capsule so he could finally also be free of the planet and had used Destrii’s escape as a test run. Angry at the betrayal, Destrii unleashes the entirety of her energy at the capsule but only succeeds at charging it up. Jodafra helps the now in her normal body Destrii up and invites her to join him in travelling time and space in the newly powered capsule, which she accepts.

Feyde tells Izzy to be true to herself and the two kiss, showing the Izzy is the first lesbian companion in Doctor Who history, before Feyde returns home, something Izzy soon reveals to The Doctor that she wishes to do, the experience having shown her that she had been treating her parents unfairly due to the adoption thing and wished to make amends. The two have a lovely goodbye as the TARDIS actually manages to arrive just seconds after it left all those stories ago, and she soon excitedly tells her mum of the “interesting friends” she’s met. A rather lovely send off.

The Bad:

I’m pretty sure “Ten Billion” is the amount of times we’ve seen beings like these in the DWM comics…

The only real downside to the story is yet another powerful floaty energy race only a couple of stories after the last time DWM used the concept. It won’t be the last time either, so I don’t know what the obsession is but to see it again so soon is a turn off. Doesn’t hurt a great story though!

The Continuity:

Funny how if this story was printed today it would be seen by some as just “pandering to the left” rather than the great moment it was. … Wait, that’s not funny at all…

Ignoring the fact that it links back to recent comics “Ophidius”, “Children of the Revolution” and “Uroboros” there isn’t a lot. Izzy would make one more non-cameo appearance in the 500th issue special “The Stockbridge Showdown”, showing her working for Médecins Sans Frontières, so having become a travelling Doctor, rather appropriately. She tells The Doctor (now in his Twelfth incarnation) that she long settled her issues with her parents.

Destrii and Jodafra next appear in a few stories time in “Bad Blood”, kicking off what will be the final story arc of the Eighth Doctor DWM comics. Feyde on the other hand will next properly appear in the Twelfth Doctor story “The Clockwise War”, where her story arc is finally capped off, many… many years after her last appearance here!

Overall Thoughts:

A companion just returning home happy with lots of fun memories?! That’s not right…

Oblivion is different to the two previous “season finales” in these Eighth Doctor comics, as where “Wormwood” and “The Glorious Dead” were epic, universal-scale stories this is focused on the fate of just one planet and the tension and drama is all focused on the issues of two girls who had been through a lot of emotional trauma, even before swapping bodies. It’s not only a really good story, but it’s one of the better send offs for a companion in Doctor Who period, a character that’s been through hell actually gets a completely happy ending and it feels earned. A must read, once again.

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