On the Pollyanna, Sandy Tanaka and Florence Dell chat over coffee. Sandy has been receiving mysterious messages, although Florence is sceptical. The two find a stowaway: Clara Oswald. Clara is taken to "the boss", the quadrillionaire Rudy Zoom, the man behind "the greatest adventure in the history of mankind" to sail through the hydrogen oceans of the sun.
Harriet Wilcox and Georgia Butler are working when Alice Dubrovnik appears to shout at Harriet for tapping into her energy feed. As they argue, Georgia sees a black hand pressing against the window from outside. Her head is suddenly filled with humiliating moments and regrets from her past. Crying and believing that she deserves to die, Georgia opens the airlock. Harriet instinctively pushes Alice out of the way and is vaporised by the super-heated plasma.
The door shuts behind Alice as she falls, and she breaks a tendon in her leg. As she limps away, the door opens to reveal a smiling black figure. Tentacles extend towards her, and she is pulled to the ground. She cries out for help, and sees a pair of feet before her. The Doctor levels his sonic screwdriver and delivers a cold warning to the creature.
Twenty minutes earlier, the Doctor and Clara arrive on the Pollyana. The Doctor moves on ahead, ignorant to Clara's absence, and becomes greatly excited upon realising where they have landed. As he stares out of the window at the sun, a black figure moves towards him. It begins to remind him of his failures, and he reaches out towards it. He manages to shut it out and sees that it has entered the ship elsewhere.
After finding Alice, the Doctor shuts the doors on the creature and runs, carrying her over his shoulder. He again shuts the creature behind them. Alice expresses regret over Harriet dying to save her, but the Doctor is more concerned about how many creatures there are.
Zoom takes Clara to the flight deck. Alice makes contact, informing them of Harriet and Georgia's deaths and the creature on board the ship. Panicked, she demands that they abort the expedition. Zoom dismisses the idea, but the Doctor takes over and advises that they shut their plasma intakes and look for bio-forms.
The creature forces the doors open and the Doctor again picks up Alice and runs. Florence confronts him at gunpoint, thinking that he has Alice as a hostage. The creature moves around the corner and grabs Florence by the ankle, pulling her towards it until she is consumed. Falling through a black void, she is reminded of the deaths of her comrades and feels that she should have died with them. The creature suddenly splits in two. The copy looks exactly like Florence. Alice whispers her name in horror, and the creature gives a chilling reply:
The Doctor attempts to reach out to Florence, but the creatures inform him that they drank her mind and ate her form. They then try to drag two other officers towards them, but are forced to retreat when the Doctor fires at the pipes and showers them with liquid nitrogen. He then flees with the officers and Alice, who takes him to see her invention, the Graviton Inverter.
On the flight deck, Captain Dhawan is alerted to at least five thousand creatures approaching the ship on an intercept course around eight minutes away. Zoom is excited by the discovery of a new alien species, but Sandy looks at them in fear, recounting the Apollonians' prophecy that if the body of the sun is ever violated, the Eye of Torment will open. The creatures make contact, and possess an officer. She opens the plasma intakes, but Sandy stops her and swiftly shuts them down. Clara orders the others not to look at the creatures and to switch off the screen. Sandy then shows her the looped signal that she's been picking up, and Clara uses the power of the TARDIS to translate it.
A hologram of an alien appears. It doesn't give its name, but tells them of how it created a fabric to drain guilt and regret from people in order to give them peace. He made the fabric into a cloak and called it the Umbra. However, the Umbra evolved and became intelligent, and rather than helping people it devoured their minds and used their bodies as a means of multiplying. Eventually, the alien's entire species was wiped out, and it trapped the Umbra in the young star that would become the sun.
The ship suddenly rocks violently as the Umbra swarm the ship. They coalesce and form a pool. Their number makes the sun look like an eye; the Eye of Torment opens...
The Umbra request to enter via a psychic broadcast, and as the Doctor points out, at least two of them are on the ship right now. Alice theorises that the scientist who brought the Umbra into the Eye did so by using self-loathing as bait, which the Doctor realises makes solving things "a lot simpler".
The central lift has been activated, and as the override is down, it cannot be turned off; the Umbra will arrive in four minutes. Despite protest, Rudy believes he can reason with the creatures, though the others maintain that they should be killed.
Using a plasma chamber, the Doctor travels outside the ship to make "the final link". However, the Umbra grab the Doctor before he can do so. Clara, meanwhile, attempts to escape the Umbra via the Zoomtube fire escape; this is not successful, but Sandy fends off the Umbra grabbing Clara with more liquid nitrogen. Zoom and the women begin a trip to auxiliary control, allowing them to navigate with the back-up systems.
Clara tells Zoom that he was right all along - he can reason with the Umbra. He happily marches off to the aliens, who begin to consume his thoughts; however, egotistical Zoom does not have a single regretful or otherwise negative thought about himself. This dissolves the Umbra attacking him.
Meanwhile outside the ship, the Doctor at last manages to make the final link. This inverts the gravity to a specific degree, allowing the heat to be inverted as well; the Umbra are all frozen to death. Back inside the ship, the Doctor praises Clara's idea for Zoom to meet the Umbra; it was the only chance for victory. He comments that Clara is beginning to think like himself...
- Twelfth Doctor
- Clara Oswald
- Alice Dubrovnik
- Rudy Zoom
- Sandy Tanaka
- Rashida Dhawan
- Florence Dell
- Georgia Butler
- Harriet Wilcox
- Clara thinks she's in Antarctica.
- This was the first Doctor Who Magazine comic story to feature the Twelfth Doctor. Due to the first part being released before his first full televised appearance, the Doctor did not appear until the very end.
- The first words spoken by the Twelfth Doctor in his comic book tenure are; "If you've got half a brain, you'll run!"
- Coincidentally, Clara finds herself underdressed for the chilly temperatures of the spaceship, in contrast to her being overdressed in the first Titan Comics Twelfth Doctor story, Terrorformer, published during the run of Eye of Torment.
- The story ends with the Doctor telling Clara that she's beginning to think like him, which Clara doesn't take kindly to. This follows the broadcast of a similar discussion featured in Flatline - in which Clara similarly gambles with someone else's life as she does in this story - while also foreshadowing the state of the character in Series 9 and Clara's Doctor-like thinking in Face the Raven. The next DWM story actually takes place soon after the events of Flatline.
Original print details
- (Publication with page count and closing captions)
- DWM 477 (12 pages) Next: The Coldest Place
- DWM 478 (12 pages) Next: The Eye Opens
- DWM 479 (12 pages) Next: The Road Not Taken
- DWM 480 (12 pages) The End
to be added