Aug 20, 2016

The 40 Years of Comics Project - Day 542: Doctor Who Weekly #38, 3rd July 1980

And so we come to the conclusion of this particular adventure of the Doctor and Sharon. It's a very strange confrontation, as the Doctor demonstrates just how quick a mind he really has, and just how fundamental an understanding of the strangeness of the universe he has. He tricks Brimo into re-imprisoning herself, unsticks the TARDIS from the gap between the universe and the blank dimension, and leaves Brimo there for all eternity.

It's one of those things that they deal with occasionally in the television series, this propensity of the Doctor to not kill, but to occasionally mete out punishments that one might consider worse than death. In particular "The Family of Blood" story with David Tennant addresses this in its denouement, as the villains of the piece realize that he was trying to spare them his wrath by running from them, trying to spare himself having to implement these horrific punishments. Brimo will never, ever hurt anyone again, and she will have eternity to think on that. Chilling.

There's also a cool moment at the end of the story where there's a glitch in the TARDIS's ability to return to normal space, and although it's an instantaneous transition, the inhabitants of the machine age four years each. For the ancient Doctor, this is no problem, but the teenaged Sharon grows into an adult - this presents some problems for her return to her time, and high school, which will be dealt with later in the series. We'll get there eventually.

"Black Legacy," the story of Maxel the Cyberleader and the ultimate weapon also comes to an end with Maxel destroying himself and his ship in order to keep the weapon from escaping the planet and ravaging the universe. The characterization of the villains in these comics is very interesting. In both this story and in "The Dalek Tapes," we see much more emotional reaction to situations than in the television series. Where the Cybermen ostensibly have their emotions removed, it seems that anger and hatred remain, much more like we might imagine the Daleks, really. And the Daleks, in their story, are far more individual than their televised counterparts, having names and drives of their own rather than being the obedient drones we're used to. This is one of the things I love about the idea of transmedial storytelling, the influence of the medium itself even on the characters whose stories we're experiencing. As Maxel and the Dalek Emperor are our focal characters in the stories, there has to be some common link that we can latch onto as we read, even if it's negative emotions.

Something different tomorrow. Onward.

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