Black Death White Life was an IDW one-shot comic book featuring the Tenth Doctor and Martha Jones. It was significant for being the final Tenth Doctor one-shot by the publisher during that incarnation's "era". After this publication, all IDW Tenth Doctor stories were seen in the pages of Doctor Who (2009).

Publisher's summary[]

After the Doctor and his companion Martha mistakenly land the TARDIS during the Great Plague of London, the discovery of a healer draws them into a mystery that could mean the end for Martha.


En route to witness the Beatles' famed rooftop concert in 1969, the Doctor and Martha Jones find themselves instead in rural England in 1669, where there appears to be a revival of the Black Death three years after it was supposedly eradicated. Villagers claim to be cured by a faith healer, much to the plague doctors' annoyance. The Doctor decides to pay him visit, suspecting a connection. Martha stays behind to help care for the sick, but is attacked by one of the doctors.

The Doctor arrives at the nearby church where the healer resides. He is led to him by Father Chadwick Vita, who believes he is an angel. The Doctor, realising he is not so, leaves the church. Once outside, he encounters Martha, who has now been infected, and informs him the plague doctors are aliens. The doctors reveal themselves to be a macro-virus, stating they have an enemy to destroy and that Martha has been recruited. The Doctor barricades himself in the church, realising what recruitment means as some of the infected transform into other macro-virus.

Father Vita and the Doctor try to protect the healer from the oncoming macro-virus. The Doctor realises the healer's true identity, and returns him to his full strength by urging him to be brave and save the Father. The healer multiplies and defeats the macro-virus on Earth. The Doctor has the original healer come with him into the TARDIS, healing Martha and travelling to its home planet with the new army to defeat the macro-virus.

The Doctor and Martha look on as the battle begins. Martha comments that the Doctor usually doesn't allow war, but he replies that his travels have taught him to let wars be sometimes.




  • The comic was originally promoted under the shorter title, Black Death.
  • This was the last of the IDW one-shots set within the Tenth Doctor's era.
  • The story was reprinted in the graphic novel Through Time and Space.


  • The Doctor quips about Martha's liking for milkshakes. (COMICAgent Provocateur)
  • The Doctor and Martha are headed for 30 January 1969 to witness the Beatles' famed rooftop concert in London. Seventh Doctor companion Ace was present at this event. (PROSEThe Left-Handed Hummingbird)
  • The Doctor mentions that one of his earlier incarnations was responsible for the Great Fire of London in 1666, claiming that "it was completely necessary". (TVThe Visitation) The Fourth Doctor arrived on the scene shortly after his future self's departure and he and his companion Sarah Jane Smith were accused of having started it. (TVPyramids of MarsPROSEThe Republican's Story)

Cover gallery[]