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The Phantom Piper was a comic story published in Doctor Who Magazine in 2017 and 2018. It was the first Doctor Who comic to be published in 2018.

Summary Edit

Part one Edit

Following on from the Twelfth Doctor's idea in the previous story to solve the mystery of the symbol on the TARDIS by finding Alan Turing, Bill prepares for landing by changing into traditional World War II clothes, proud at herself for getting prepared in advance for once. However, when exiting the TARDIS, the Doctor proudly reveals they have actually landed on Athenia, a huge human colony on the Moon. After Bill gets changed back to normal, the Doctor explains to her he never guaranteed they were going to visit the 1940s, while Bill spots the other major inhabitants of Athenia - Galateans. The Doctor describes the backstory of the creation of the Galateans and the ensuing war that followed before explaining that everything seems so peaceful on the lunar base because he erased the timeline, preventing the war from having started, with some help by Chiyoko.

Chiyoko is also seen living on Athenia alongside a man named Ranesh. While talking with him, she is alerted to the reappearance of her "mother" and sprints off towards it. Meanwhile, as the Doctor attempts to locate Turing, police officer Maggie Cortez reveals he has been missing for two years, and since then, a group of Galateans calling themselves the Children of Turing have begun worshipping him. As the Doctor and Cortez observe one of their marches, Chiyoko appears and senses the essence of her "mother" on Bill, and drags her off. Cortez squares off against her Galatean counterpart Delphi, displaying their greatly differing ideals, as riot police backup, led by Tony Moxham, storms in and quickly causes a brawl between them and the Children of Turing.

Chiyoko finally drags Bill to the location of her "mother", revealing it to be the TARDIS. She ends up greatly concerned by the symbol on its doors, and angrily tells Bill that the TARDIS is screaming.

Part two Edit

As the humans and Galateans continue to fight, a holograph of Alan Turing appears in the middle of the action and tells all of them off for fighting in his name and forces them to stop. The Galateans are overjoyed at Turing's reappearance, but the Doctor confirms to Cortez it was just him imitating Turing.

Meanwhile, Bill explains to Chiyoko that she had nothing to do with hurting the TARDIS. When Bill asks how Chiyoko came to consider the TARDIS as her mother, she details the story of her creation and the Human-Galatean war that she created and eventually stopped before being placed in a Galatean body. Eventually, the two of them meet up with the Doctor and Cortez. Ranesh appears and is so relieved to see Chiyoko safe that he invites the whole group to his house for dinner.

Moxham, having returned home, settles down and uneasily dreams about the war that never was, picturing himself leading a group of troops to victory over the Galateans. Suddenly, a black-and-white figure appears in the dream and tells Moxham that if he wishes hard enough, his dream can come true.

On Ranesh's balcony, Ranesh explains to Bill about his past with Turing and how he used to admire his work. Eventually, Ranesh proposed to him, but Turing eventually broke it off and disappeared soon after. In Chiyoko's room, the Doctor explains to Cortez the meaning behind the Galateans acting as the Children of Turing and eventually realises that Chiyoko knew where Turing was all along, but was sworn to secrecy. Chiyoko eventually relents, but on the condition that the TARDIS is not used to travel, as Cortez offers to provide transport to find Turing.

Meanwhile, in the temple of the Children of Turing, the Galateans are recharging overnight as Delphi also has a restless sleep. She also dreams of the war, but of being injured in an explosion, as the same dream figure appears before her.

The Doctor, Bill, Chiyoko and Ranesh leave Athenia and glide to the dark side of the Moon, understanding that Turing wanted to keep as far off the radar as possible. When they arrive, they discover a recreation of King's College, Cambridge on the Moon's surface, and as they ask to be let in, the four of them are attacked by enormous stone hands rising out of the ground.

Part three Edit

Still being attacked by the stone hands and with Chiyoko unable to help, a holographic face appears and tasks the Doctor with solving an incredibly complex mathematical equation in five seconds or else "you will be deposited one thousand miles south." The Doctor solves it easily and the group are able to enter the recreation of King's College. There they meet one of Turing's co-workers, Tommy Flowers, who directs the group to Turing's study, revealing him to be alive and well. Ranesh is incredibly relieved to see Turing again, but Turing does not return the compliments sincerely. After ignoring the Doctor's attempts at light-hearted chat and telling Chiyoko off for leading the group to him for something he does not consider to be an emergency, Turing admits that he is sick of being seen with such a high level of responsibility and just wants quiet. He explains to Bill that he is actually a Galatean copy of the real Alan Turing, rescued by Chiyoko before his real death. Poking around, the Doctor realises that the replica of King's College is not made of lunar rock and Tommy is neither human nor Galatean, and realises Turing has been up to something greater.

As the Children of Turing continue to recharge, Cortez inspects Delphi, upset that tensions between humans and Galateans are beginning to rise again. However, as Delphi begins to stir, Moxham appears and knocks Cortez out for being a "traitor". In Delphi's dream, the phantom figure tells her to wake up and she does, to see Cortez on the floor and Moxham scheming to manipulate the Children's recharging unit to kill them. Delphi punches Moxham in the face and he slips, catching his hand in loose wiring, and immediately dies of electrocution.

Back at Turing's laboratory, Turing begins to inspect the message on the TARDIS and realises it is actually a question. As the Doctor finally figures out what Turing has been doing, the message magnifies and begins to glow red, revealing its message as saying "What gives you the right?" From the opening left by the message, the phantom figure from the dreams appears, revealing himself as the Phantom Piper.

Part four Edit

In Turing's laboratory, the Phantom Piper excitedly examines himself in the real world. The Piper declares himself "the King of the Dreamspace" and reveals he has existed in the dreams of people in war for thousands of years. He explains that he has appeared for no reason other than to cause chaos, but is also able to undo any of Turing's creations in the lab, causing them to disintegrate. The Piper reveals that he does not appreciate Chiyoko erasing the Human-Galatean war when he could have benefited from it and attempts to grab her. However, when Flowers punches the Piper, he is simply disintegrated on the spot, and the Piper leaves with Chiyoko.

As the group prepares to take the TARDIS to catch the Piper, as the message on it has disappeared, the Doctor studies the machine Turing used to decode the message on the TARDIS, discovering it has no working parts at all. The Doctor realises he was right about what Turing had been doing on the Moon - using Block Transfer Computation to build the recreation of King's College and everything within it, including Flowers, out of the sheer power of mathematics. Turing finally apologises to Ranesh for his actions. The Doctor realises he fell into the Piper's trap by giving him a physical form, and although the Computation cannot measure dreams, it can do so with artificial intelligence. Hence, the Piper appeared to utilise the Galateans for his own means.

Back in the Children of Turing's temple, Cortez and Delphi square off and briefly fight about the differences between humans and Galateans. Suddenly, the rest of the Children all wake up and begin to tear off their artificial skin. Outside, it is shown the Piper is forcibly tapping into Chiyoko's war-filled mind to control the Galateans. As the Doctor arrives to stop him, the Piper turns down controlling the Doctor's mind instead, and uses Chiyoko's powers of Block Transfer Computation to summon an enormous army of skeletal soldiers from across thousands of years of war.

Part five Edit

As the skeletal army attacks and the Doctor and his friends run, Bill realises that the soldiers are actually intangible as Chiyoko attempts to resist the Piper's influence, but their intangibility does not last long. Eventually, Turing realises that Ranesh has disappeared just as the group gets cornered in a small alleyway - only for Ranesh to burst through the soldiers in a hovercar. The Doctor and Turing join Ranesh and take off, leaving Bill, Cortez and Delphi on the ground to take cover both from the skeleton army and the Children of Turing, still controlled by the Piper.

The Piper reveals to Chiyoko that he wants to fuel a new war between the humans and Galateans for his own benefit, just as the Doctor appears and gives him one final chance at redemption. The Piper ignores it, and Turing shoots him with a machine intended to destabilise his structure, but it has no effect at all. The Piper counters by shooting Turing with a pistol, and he falls out of the hovercar and plummets to the ground. However, as the Piper attempts to finish off the grieving Ranesh, he is left extremely confused to see Ranesh and Turing grinning at him, perfectly intact. In reality, Turing never left King's College and used a Block Transfer Construct of himself the entire time. He reveals he correctly goaded the Piper into shooting him, and takes the bullet out of his body. Turing reveals he now has a piece of the Piper, as all elements of a construct contain all of the owner's code, and uses his power of breaking down codes to transform the bullet into a paper aeroplane that hits the Piper in the chest, causing him to disintegrate where he stands. With the skeleton army also disintegrated and the Galateans returned to normal, the people of Athenia hail Turing as a hero.

Back at Ranesh's house later that night, the Doctor and Turing discuss how Turing's intelligence makes him as real as any human, although he still worries about his lifespan compared to Ranesh. With some encouragement from the Doctor, Turing walks up to Ranesh and proposes to him, and Ranesh wastes no time in saying yes. As the Doctor quietly smiles at a job well done, he hears a woman's voice telling him not to celebrate yet. It is Fey Truscott-Sade, former companion of the Eighth Doctor, who the Doctor believed to be dead. She warns the Doctor to assemble his forces, as the Absence is coming, before taking off, leaving him shocked and very confused.

Characters Edit

References Edit

to be added

Notes Edit

Original print details Edit

(Publication with page count and closing captions)
  1. DWM 519 (8 pages) Next: Dark Dreamers!
  2. DWM 520 (8 pages) Next: Breaking the Code!
  3. DWM 521 (8 pages) Next: The Dream Warriors!
  4. DWM 522 (8 pages) Next: The Shroud of Turing!
  5. DWM 523 (8 pages) Next: The Clockwise War!

Continuity Edit

to be added

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