Opening narration box
When the Doctor and Martha pick up a distress signal they rush to help …
The Doctor responds to a distress call from Professor Dinsdale of the Interplanetary Archaeological Institute on Brendock Seven with an emergency materialisation. The TARDIS lands at the site of a dig beneath a circle of huge stone heads buried in the ground. They soon find the Professor, who explains that the rest of his team were killed trying to open a door to an ancient burial ground they discovered at the base of one of the heads.
The Doctor bypasses the doors' sonic disruptor. Iinside he finds The Vortex Cannon, a weapon so powerful it could destroy the universe, a dangerous weapon from an ancient and long dead civilisation that the Doctor had only heard of. Fortunately the rare treed crystals used to power the cannon have decayed. Unfortunately the Professor is a shape changing Zaan Warrior, using the guise of the archaeologists to lure help in order to open the chamber.
The Zaan are close to obtaining a new supply of treed and the Zaan Warrior makes his escape to his ship with the Cannon, where his Commander has been watching events. By leaving the chamber and taking the cannon with him, he has activated the guardians of the cannon, giant stony creatures whose heads had been visible when they landed. The guardians emerge from the ground and are quick enough to snatch the Zaan craft from the air as it takes off.
Leaving his officers to die, the Zaan Commander makes his escape in a pod. Knowing that treed crystals can only be found on the planet Garvrath, the Doctor and Martha make their escape in the TARDIS to stop the Zaan powering up the Vortex Cannon.
- Tenth Doctor
- Martha Jones
- Zaan – Spiky-backed, green, bulky-but-agile, humanoid creatures with razor sharp teeth, they are capable of shape changing.
Original print details
- 1/4 DWBIT 22 (4 pages) TO BE CONTINUED!!!
- No reprints to date.
- Supporting the series of collectible Doctor Who trading cards, the magazine carried a regular four page, individually titled comic strip series of the Tenth Doctor’s adventures.
- The artwork and colours were bold and bright, reflecting the tone of the magazine and, as did Doctor Who Adventures, reflected the appeal to readers younger than those catered to by Doctor Who Magazine.
- The stone guardians of the vortex cannon seem to be inspired by the statues on Easter Island.
- The skeletal remains of the Professor's team at the entrance suggests that a dig found the entrance while the Zaan watched and waited, or they were lured to the site by the Zaan. Either way the Professor appears to have been a real person and the shape changing nature of the Zaan is unspecified.
- The Battles in Time comic strip sought to reinforce the association of its Doctor with the one seen on screen with ‘props’ from the TV series: blue/brown suit, intelligent-looking glasses, sonic screwdriver and psychic paper.
to be added
- Head Start takes place after DWBIT: Warriors' Revenge
- Head Start takes place before DWBIT: Jewel of the Vile