Summary[edit | edit source]
Returning to Earth, the Doctor is reunited with UNIT and his old enemies, the Skith. As a master plan to crack the codes of time travel gets underway, the Doctor, Majenta and UNIT must race against time to stop the Skith leader from avenging the destruction of his home world by wreaking havoc across the Earth...
Plot[edit | edit source]
Part 1 (The Age of Ice)[edit | edit source]
As a passenger aircraft approaches Sydney airport, it hits a patch of bright blue lightning. The plane is ripped apart and oxygen masks deploy as the lightning strikes the plane.
Later, the TARDIS lands in Sydney, near the Opera House. Majenta heckles the Doctor about the fact that they're not on Panacea, but the Doctor's looks at a landing helicopter. UNIT soldiers emerge. One of them introduces herself as Captain Kath Braxton. The Doctor is taken to UNIT's underwater base.
As the Doctor and Majenta are taken down UNIT's corridors by armed soldiers, one, named Colonel Tom McCay takes them into the base's hospital ward. They are greeted by Corporal Manning, who is taken aback when he sees Majenta. The Doctor investigates the patients there. He is surprised that they are hundreds of years old. McCay says they have aged in the passenger aircraft after it was hit by a chronal wave. He says prehistoric creatures have been rampaging across the city.
The Doctor sees a small column of ice. McCay says the ice was found in the plane's wreckage. It doesn't melt, and is giving off electrochemical signals. McCay organises a helicopter for the Doctor so he can see the chronal wave himself. They realise Majenta is not with them.
Corporal Manning had also left the group and is entering the bestiary in the basement. Majenta follows him and finds a room full of (mostly alien) tech — Cybermen carcasses, Autons, War Machines and more. Manning is communicating with a sentient life form when Majenta appears in front of him. Manning holds Majenta at gunpoint. She says she can tell he is using a cloaking device. Corporal Manning turns off the device...
As the helicopter approaches the source of the chronal wave, the piece of ice begins talking to the Doctor. It is a message from a life form who has met the Doctor before. UNIT Sergeant Talbot notes that another chronal wave is approaching. Hundreds of prehistoric creatures appear near the bridge.
In the bestiary, Corporal Manning turns out to be an alien of the same species as Majenta: an old friend of hers called Fanson. He tells Majenta how much he's missed her, but Majenta pushes him away and asks him to explain everything. Fanson says he can't. Majenta is blasted away by a pulse of energy as a crystalline life form called the "Skith Leader" appears...
Part 2 (Secrets and Lies)[edit | edit source]
UNIT's helicopter flies past the bridge as the Doctor communicates with an "old friend" via the strip of ice. The helicopter is ruptured by a flash of bright blue lightning — an energy spike. It destroys the engines and kills Sergeant Talbot. The Doctor hits the eject button on his seat. McCay and he are ejected from their seats just as the chopper explodes in flames behind them. Their parachutes deploy and they land safely near the city.
Back in the UNIT Underbase, Majenta begins to recover. Fanson begs the Skith Leader to save her life. He agrees, but warns Majenta not to interfere with their plans. Fanson says that after the incident with the Hotel Historia, they were both teleported to Thinktwice. Fanson, however, was intercepted, and brought down to a butcher's shop in Australia, where he found the remains of the Skith leader. They made a deal so both of their lives would be saved. He disguised himself as Corporal Manning to carry out the tasks of the Skith. As Fanson finishes his explanation, two UNIT soldiers burst in. Fanson orders the Skith leader to attack the soldiers. The soldiers are transformed into Skith and commanded to spread the Skith transformation through the Underbase.
The Doctor and Colonel McCay enter a gift shop. After speaking the keyword, they enter a UNIT safehouse behind the shop. Using the computers and technology, the Doctor reveals the "invisible object" — a huge crystal ship hanging over Sydney. The Doctor explains that the Skith's motivation is to "rebuild the world in their own image". Colonel McCay sends a command to the Underbase control room to attack the bridge. Suddenly, the two UNIT soldiers converted by the Skith enter the control room...
McCay and the Doctor return to the Underbase, where the Doctor complains of an ice cream headache. Thinking nothing of it, he spots Majenta, who stops, reaches for a taser and electrocutes the Doctor. McCay orders Manning to stop her but Manning refuses, pointing out that McCay is no longer in charge as newly converted Skith soldiers take UNIT captive. The Doctor is dragged away by the converted soldiers...
The Doctor wakes up with the Skith leader, Majenta and Fanson, whom he fails to recognise. The Skith leader tells the Doctor that the Skith need him to access their crystal ship, which is phased out of time. The Doctor, Fanson and Majenta are taken to "the Starling", a UNIT flying base. In the control room, the Doctor asks the leader about their plan. The leader says the Doctor is time sensitive, He will open the door and throw him at the ship. Another Skith approaches the leader and warns him not to take such drastic action. He tells the Doctor that "everything is going according to plan" as hundreds of Skith fighters swarm out of the ship towards the UNIT flier...
Part 3 (The Master of the Skith)[edit | edit source]
In Sydney dinosaurs still roam the streets and chase humans. The Doctor, Majenta, Fanson and McCay are being marched down an ice corridor by the Skith. The Doctor notes the Skith have a huge army. As the is separated from the group by the Skith, he tells Majenta to take care of herself.
The Skith General and the Skith leader meet. The Skith leader is annoyed at the Skith General for the breach of authority. As the Skith Mindcore watches in tacit approval, the General turns on leader and throws him into the ship's fusion core.
At the Underbase the Skith soldiers sense the leader's demise and hesitate. Captain Braxton sees an opportunity and calls out the keyword, "Leviathan".
Majenta, Fanson and McCay are bound on examination tables. The Skith scan them and find they can't get anything from Majenta, except that she's a time traveller like the Doctor. While the Skith discuss what to do next, McCay melts through his bindings, grabs a Skith weapon (with Skith attached) and shoots down his captors.
The Doctor confronts the Skith General, who says that the Skith home world was destroyed by a large crimson hand. The Mindcore can't figure out who or what caused this, but has put the Skith on a war footing to stop it from happening... and are working on time travel as a solution. McCay has freed Majenta and Fanson, with a plan to storm the ship's nerve centre.
At the Underbase the Leviathan protocol activates. The base computer projects a psychic wave that incapacitates all of the Skith in the base, then takes the Underbase up to the surface of Sydney Harbour.
The Skith General takes the Doctor to the Skith time machine, which he calls the SKARDIS. The Skith learned of the TARDIS when they probed the Doctor's mind in 1915 and built their own version, but found it needed a living time brain to work. The Doctor seems eager to cooperate, but the Mindcore warns this is the Doctor's way of "getting inside the system, destroying it from within."
At that moment McCay, Fanson and Majenta race in. The Skith General easily subdues McCay, then turns toward Majenta as a more suitable subject. Over the Doctor's protests she is transformed into the new Queen of the Skith.
Part 4 (Ruins and Snow)[edit | edit source]
Majenta, now the Skith Queen, orders the Skith General to throw the Doctor, Fanson and McCay into the fusion core. She's elated to be part of something big again, but thinking about it brings up a fleeting image of four darkened figures. As the others are led away to the core, the Skith Queen tries out her new SKARDIS.
In the newly surfaced Underbase Braxton and Lowrie observe as a chronal wave freezes the Sydney Bridge, killing all the dinosaurs.
The Doctor and others arrive at the central core. The Mindcore gloats it will watch as the Doctor falls and burns. The execution is interrupted, however, when the Skith Leader claws his way up from the fusion core and shoots the Skith guards. With his dying breath, the Leader tells Fanson he must save the Skith. Fanson reaches for him as he dies and breaks into shards.
Braxton reports to McCay that the Skith ship is making a new Ice Age envelop Sydney.
At the SKARDIS the Skith General suggests they strike "the Hand". The Skith Queen has other ideas, and suggests they go to Panacea to restore her memory first. The Doctor returns. He appeals to the vestiges of Majenta still in her. He tells her that every time they use the SKARDI,S a chronal wave moves across the city, leaving devastation. Unmoved, Majenta turns a dial and the SKARDIS materialises above Sydney.
Braxton, seeing the opportunity, turns the Underbase's main guns on the Skith ship.
The Doctor advises the Skith General to take his ship (the Oppressor Two) and leave Earth. The Mindcore agrees. The General, furious at the Queen's betrayal, shoots ice spikes at her, but Fanson dives in front and takes the blow instead. Fanson, dying, tells Majenta it was he who had wiped her mind. She had gotten herself mixed up in a terrible secret that was driving her mad. Fanson dies as the Doctor pulls an angry Majenta away to the Starling. The flier escapes as the Skith ship is destroyed.
Inside, the Doctor says the effects of the chronal wave should clear up in a few days. Majenta asks if the Doctor still wants to help her. He admits he can't pass up a good mystery, and they agree to stay together.
Characters[edit | edit source]
- Tenth Doctor
- Majenta Pryce
- Colonel Tom McCay
- Captain Kath Braxton
- Skith Leader
- Skith Mindcore
- Skith General
- Sergeant Talbot
References[edit | edit source]
- The previous year Corporal Manning dealt with an advance party of Ice Warriors.
- The Doctor mentions Benidorm and Skyhammers.
Notes[edit | edit source]
- This was voted in the Doctor Who Magazine 2009 survey as the most popular comic strip of that year.
- The Multiverse is mentioned for the second time in this arc.
Continuity[edit | edit source]
- Fanson was last seen in COMIC: Hotel Historia.
- The Skith and the Skith Leader were last seen in COMIC: The First.
- Inside the UNIT Underbase 1 there is a section called "the Bestiary". It contains:
- a Sontaran scout ship (TV: The Time Warrior)
- a Sontaran Mezon Rifle (TV: The Two Doctors)
- a War Machine (TV: The War Machines)
- a Robot Yeti (TV: The Web of Fear)
- a Cyberman (TV: Attack of the Cybermen)
- half of a Dalek (TV: Remembrance of the Daleks)
- an Osiran service robot (TV: Pyramids of Mars)
- thirteen copies of the Mona Lisa (TV: City of Death)
- an Ogri (TV: The Stones of Blood )
- a Sea Devil outfit (TV: The Sea Devils)
- an Auton (TV: Spearhead from Space)
- a Dæmon's skull (TV: The Dæmons)
- the head of a Cyberman (TV: The Invasion)
- a large, transparent cylinder with what appears to be the weed creature from TV: Fury from the Deep.
[edit | edit source]