Arriving at a final frontier called Dustville, (aka Arkansas XVl Colony Base One) the Tenth Doctor is curious why at noon the town’s streets are empty. From nearby a young boy, Ben McGill, calls to the Doctor to hide as bandits (large fearsome beasts with red eyes) tear through the town, leaving a trail of damage in their wake.
The bandits have been coming every day at high noon. They steal the town's supplies. Fixing the town’s generator unit, the Doctor stays overnight, heading out in the morning with Ben to track down the bandits in horse-shaped sky bikes. In the Wastes (the salt and dust land surrounding the settlement) the Doctor and Ben analyses the ground with his sonic screwdriver near to where Ben spots one of the satellite antennae from the town embedded in the rock. The salt bed is full of tiny living crystals. At its hottest point, the twin suns heat creates a chemical reaction which gives rise to the bandits.
As noon approaches, the bandits chase the Doctor and Ben back to Dustville. The Doctor confronts them and suggests that they live with the settlers. The bandits refuse. This dry and barren world is perfect for them and they will take what they want. The Doctor has other ideas, and, Ben, armed with the Doctor’s sonic screwdriver and the TARDIS, creates a localised atmospheric excitation, causing the first heavy showers on the planet for a thousand centuries. The icy rain makes the bandits molecules to cool too quickly and they are unable to hold their form. They are reduced to puddles. The Doctor gets the settlers to collect up the ‘puddle’ of bandits in buckets, and safely takes them in the TARDIS to be resettled on a dry world they can make their own.
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- The DWA comic strip adventures were aimed at a younger audience and the artwork and colours were bold and bright, reflecting the tone of the magazine.
- Self contained, one part stories were the norm.
- The idea of using the TARDIS to create a localised atmospheric excitation producing rain is not without precedent. In the television story The Runaway Bride the Tenth Doctor does a similar thing to make it snow for Donna Noble.
Original print details
- Publication with page count and closing captions
- DWA 156 (4 pages) NEXT WEEK UFO alert!
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