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A Matter of Life and Death was the final story of the Doctor Who: The Eighth Doctor comic book mini-series, published in 2016.


It's the final stop on the Eighth Doctor's enigmatic to-do list: a Bakri Resurrection Barge, where the super-rich are 'remade' into luxurious artificial bodies after corporeal death. But the resurrectees are dying... their bodies rebelling against their implanted minds! And what is the shocking truth Josie has been hiding from the Doctor?


The Eighth Doctor and Josie have arrived at their final set of coordinates, a Bakri Resurrection Barge in deep space, the opulence of which disgusts them both. At Josie's confusion regarding the name, the Doctor explains that the Bakri have perfected the technology to capture a mind at the moment of death and deposit it in a synthetic body. A privilege available only to the richest .0001% of the Vast and Bountiful Human Empire. Before he can say more, a scream draws their attention to a dead technician floating in the pool. No sooner has the Doctor pegged the death as murder are both he and Josie arrested as stowaways, the Doctor suspecting that they've just been scapegoated.

Though the two are quickly shoved in the brig, the Doctor is even quicker to use his screwdriver and free them. Exploring, the two find a resurrection chamber, containing dozens of synthetics. As the Doctor accesses the computers, one of the synthetics lunges at him, crying out for liberation before another voice speaks out as the body halts, claiming that the first voice is the body asserting itself. Realising that the synthetic bodies are so perfect as to start developing their own personalities, the Doctor leads Josie back to the lido deck.

Arriving, the two find that the uprising has already begun but the Doctor is able to talk down the synthetics, claiming that there is a better way than murder. Though skeptical, the synthetics agree to give him a chance.

Heading to the ballroom, the Doctor gets everyone's attention before announcing that half of the synthetic bodies are now being controlled by their natural personalities. Though the synthetics are reasonable enough, the Bakri and their customers refuse to bargain, denouncing the synthetics as imitations of life. Josie speaks up at that, proclaiming the synthetics as the first children of a new species who need help to survive in the universe before she's seized from behind by Lady Josephine, a woman she thought dead. Seeing the Doctor's confusion, Josephine explains.

A lifetime ago, Lady Josephine commissioned a portrait of herself, one that would capture the totality of her beauty. When an Artificer of Wrall was hired for the task, he completed it beyond Josephine's expectations, the Animae particles bringing life to the art. And while time and mortality took its toll on Josephine, the portrait remained un-aging. When she finally passed, her collection, the portrait included, was sold at an auction before, some months afterward, she awoke on the Barge thanks to an old insurance policy.

And now the portrait stands before them both as Josie Day, whose body Josephine intends to inhabit in light of the synthetic uprising. Despite Josephine's claims to the contrary, the Doctor appeals to her better nature as she begins the consciousness transfer only for the process to halt. The Doctor was not appealing to her better nature, he was appealing to the synthetic. Running down to the resurrection chamber, the Doctor downloads all the organic minds into virtual environments aboard the TARDIS before summoning the Shadow Proclamation to deal with the Bakri. At Josie's hesitations, the Doctor confirms that he meant everything he said earlier, that she is her own person and his friend.

Back at the cottage, Josie brings out tea before she explains that she was bought at the auction by another of the Doctor's incarnations, one from his future, who brought her back to the cottage, saying that the Eighth Doctor would be better suited to help her than he was. Laughing, the Doctor realises that his future self wrote the note based on his own memories of it, knowing that seeing life in so many different forms was exactly what Josie needed to overcome her doubts. Assuring her that she can stay with him, the Doctor invites her to Epsilon Eridani for eggs and chips.

Watching from outside, Clara Oswald teases the Twelfth Doctor on his sentimentality before he leads her away.




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