It’s time to start looking at the final batch of DWM Eighth Doctor comics, starting with a trio of light-hearted stories with The Doctor travelling alone. “Where Nobody Knows Your Name” and “The Power of Thoueris!” are only single issue stories, but “The Nightmare Game” (or “Doctor Who and The Nightmare Game” to give it its full title) is three issues long, so has a bit more weight to it… but not much. Interested? Excited?! Not particularly bothered?!! Either way, let’s take a look…
Synopsis (of “The Nightmare Game”):
When Delchester United’s penalty is blocked by the TARDIS, the Doctor ponders who is operating a Para-static Vortex beam and just what is hidden under Delchester’s stadium?
*spoilers appear from here on out!*
“So the bar is predigest against people with long faces?! Bastard! … Oh wait, I see now.”
We’ll start with the first story (logic!), that being “Where Nobody Knows Your Name”. As the title suggests it exists mainly as a parody of Cheers, completely with cartoony sci-fi versions of some of the original sitcom cast. The Doctor is at the bar because he’s feeling a bit down after suddenly being alone again, but a few amusing confrontations and stopping a love-scorned robot from self-destructing makes The Doctor feel like himself again. He thanks the friendly bartender for the chat and leaves. That friendly bartender turns out to be Sixth and Seventh Doctor companion Frobisher, using his transforming powers to look like a human rather than his regular Penguin form. Due to The Doctor’s regeneration and his disguise neither knew who the other was, so it was a nice little twist and a pleasant nod to DWM comics from the past.
“Doctor Who and The Nightmare Game” is more like a regular story, though it’s very much in the vein of the old football comics my brother use to buy, like Roy of the Rover. Set in 70s England and full of overboard “cor blimey!” London accents, it focuses on the fictional team of Delchester United who have mysteriously had a dramatic downturn in performance in recent weeks. The Doctor meets enthusiastic fan Billy Wilkins and star player Ray Stobbs and soon find a pair of “Morgs” going under the assumed human names of “Milo and Frank Shakespeare”. The duo sends a Morg creature after The Doctor when they sense him meddling in their plans but it’s soon stopped by The Doctor and a bus.
It’s eventually revealed that the Morgs are actually all one entity and they grow new parts (called a “Nukaryote”) to add and rejuvenate their main, erm, mass of stuff, and one such seed had been planted on Earth. The Shakespeare Brothers finish rejuvenating it and it rises into space along with the whole football stadium containing The Doctor, Billy and Ray in order to join the overall whole. Sadly the amusing story ends rather poorly with The Doctor finding a fleshy orb (oo-er!) that apparently controls the entire mass and gets Ray and then Billy to punt some football-shaped non-fleshy orbs at it, causing not just it but the entire Morg Entity to just… explode. The Doctor, Billy and Ray escape in the TARDIS and soon with no Morgs working them to death Delchester United are back in winning form. It’s a fun little strip, which is why I can’t be too down on the complete non-ending…
Wow, first the “why the long face” line and now a denial / Nile joke? This is quite the streak of classic gags…
While more “average” than “bad”, “The Power of Thoueris!” is one of those classic DWM “stylised” one-offs, where you either love or hate the more dramatically different artstyle. I don’t actually mind it here, as the story is pure comedy, with a large member of the Osirans rising out of the Nile while The Doctor is taking a holiday there. The Doctor very swiftly outsmarts her and uses her own crocodile-summoning powers to have her eaten alive. Like I said, it’s a one-off comedy thing with a unique artstyle, it has no real substance or lasting power, but it’s harmless, and I do like the image of the Eighth Doctor in the Fifth’s hat.
I’d say the most unusual thing is the Eighth Doctor not wearing a cravat!
Frobisher last appeared in Seventh Doctor comic “A Cold Day in Hell”, his official leaving story. He has since made a few one-off appearances after this one, though this presumably is set later in his timeline than those if we want him to have a happy ending (which of course we do!)
The Osirans, normally a more feared and formidable race, first appeared in Fourth Doctor TV classic “The Pyramids of Mars”, and have made many appearances across all forms of media since.
A great example of how easily four panels can put a smile on your face….
This is a trio of light-hearted tales that are all perfectly fine, but there are varying levels. “Where Nobody Knows Your Name” has a nice emotional beat to it, plus nice to see Frobisher again, while “The Nightmare Game” was good but had a bit of a crappy ending. “The Power of Thoueris!” was also perfectly fine but was so short and inconsequential that it just doesn’t leave any kind of after-effect. I guess two fours and a three? Makes sense to me!
“Where Nobody Knows Your Name” and “The Nightmare Game”:
“The Power of Thoueris!”: