The comic marked the Thirteenth Doctor's return to the comic strip after being absent since May due to delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and the publication of Monstrous Beauty starring the Ninth Doctor.
Summary[edit | edit source]
Part one[edit | edit source]
Hong Kong, 1940. With the sun setting over Guangli Bay, a talkative young fisherman called Hai Lan chats to his co-worker Chen Luo about their differing mentalities over work. As he does, their final haul reveals a strangely clean and shining porcelain-like oval which Hai obsesses over. Despite Chen asking for it, Hai refuses to hand it over due to their "finders keepers" rule, knowing that he could sell it for a fortune and retire. As he talks, Chen pulls out a dagger. Later that evening, Chen studies the object himself with Hai's arm draped unmoving over the hull of the ship, something new being born as their friendship dies.
32 years later, the Thirteenth Doctor, Graham, Yaz, and Ryan explore a bustling night market in the city, all excited to sample the sights and tastes. As the Doctor and Ryan try out the street food, Yaz goes jewellery shopping for a black pendant while Graham fails to get her to haggle.
Meanwhile, a young woman sprints through the market, knocking people aside before she finally bumps into Yaz, dropping the white pendant she was holding. Looking up, Yaz and Graham learn that she is called Tung-Mei and she is being pursued for lying by a man called Renshu and his bodyguard, both armed. As he threatens to take Yaz and Graham with them, Tung-Mei tries to plead their innocence. However, Renshu steals Yaz's pendant, believing it to be Tung-Mei's, and forces the trio into a car before threatening the crowd to stay silent.
With the Doctor still trying food, Ryan notices the car zoom past but is unable to catch the license plate. Although the public are unwilling to help, Ryan notices Tung-Mei's white pendant and the Doctor confirms with her sonic screwdriver that it is a receiver unit for some "telepathic alien tech". Picking up a signal nearby, the two run off to help.
Renshu and his bodyguard lead Graham, Yaz, and Tung-Mei out of the city and onto a small boat, threatening them to not ask questions. On the boat, Tung-Mei apologises and explains that she and her pursuers work for the same man and she was chased after trying to quit, but Renshu counters that she actually stole something from their boss. Finally, their destination appears: a huge floating castle restaurant that is populated by the rich and famous.
Inside, the boss calmly scolds Tung-Mei for her foolish ways, revealing himself to be an older and much more powerful Chen Luo. Renshu hands Yaz's pendant to him, only to be met with fury that he gathered the wrong item, demanding that Renshu finds the correct pendant or he will kill him. As Renshu runs off, Chen demands his guards lock up the three visitors so his son can talk to them later.
Meanwhile, on a tram in the city, the Doctor holds the pendant to her forehead to try and track its telepathic pulse, receiving some strange looks from locals. Soon, Renshu and his backup continue to trawl through the market, spreading the word that they need to find two Brits who have the correct pendant before the night is out.
Hours later, the Doctor and Ryan reach the upmarket area of the Walled City of Kowloon, seemingly finding the source of the pendant's pulse. Sonicking her way into the grounds of a very posh villa, the two prepare themselves for anything, but they are met at the front door by its owner, furious at them for breaking and entering - Bruce Lee! The Doctor and Ryan are speechless and Bruce advances on them, assuming they are fans that have greatly overstepped the mark, but they are interrupted by Renshu, now with a whole gang of armed backup. Surrounding the Doctor, Ryan, and Bruce in a circle, he warns her to hand over the pendant "and maybe we'll just shoot you a little."
Part two[edit | edit source]
With the Doctor at gunpoint, she is left unfazed, knowing that if Bruce is caught in the crossfire, the attackers would be immediate targets for the police. Renshu admits this and the goons holster their guns and grab knives instead. Bruce calls Renshu the luckiest man in Hong Kong, as if he had appeared on a day when Bruce's wife and children were around, he would already be dead. A mass brawl ensues, with Bruce seeing them off easily, and as Ryan looks on amazed, the Doctor sheds her coat to join in, performing Venusian aikido back to back with Bruce.
As Renshu gets back to his feet, however, Ryan lunges at him but is effortlessly caught and threatened at knifepoint. Renshu forces the Doctor to hand over the pendant or Ryan will be killed, and despite Ryan's urging, she agrees and the goons leave. Ryan yells at the Doctor for giving up their chances to win to save him and walks off. As he does, Bruce goes back to demanding answers from the Doctor, but she continues tracking the pendant's signal into his house with her sonic screwdriver.
Working her way into his library, she begins to get on Bruce's good side and explains the situation with Graham and Yaz to him. He admits being greatly impressed by her fighting style and asks to spar, and she agrees to it once she finds her friends. The two shake hands.
On the floating restaurant, Graham, Yaz, and Tung-Mei are locked in a small room with two beds, and they learn about the woman's past. She admits she is an orphan who came to the mainland two years ago for work and found it as a waitress on this boat. After Chen's son took an interest in her, he forced her to stay when she tried to leave and later giving her the white pendant. She explains it came alive recently and tried to read her mind, just as a tall, robed man with a goatee and triangular sunglasses bursts in. He is Shui Long, Chen's son and the man arranged to marry Tung-Mei. Although she again protests against him, he grabs her wrist, and as Graham threatens him, he receives a chop to the head as a reply, knocking him to the floor. Shui leaves, saying that "when you gaze upon the glory that awaits me... you will beg to be mine."
In Bruce's library, the next day dawns and he goes to take a break, with the Doctor trawling over dozens of books for clues. Later, Bruce finds Ryan in his garden, brooding over how he let himself down so badly upon meeting one of his heroes, not helped by his dyspraxia. Bruce explains that trying to copy others is not the goal in life and his fighting style is only a guide as well. He sketches a yin and yang in the dirt, and although Ryan thinks they represent two opposing forces, Bruce clarifies that outside of the West, they show two complementary forces. Upon thinking of this, Bruce offers to spar with Ryan, and he jumps at the chance. Bruce praises him for a beginner, but the Doctor interrupts, finding the symbol from the pendant in a book, but with no other text. Bruce admits he does not know its meaning, but says he knows someone who might.
Meanwhile, Graham wakes up after a nap, feeling much better. As he does, Yaz continues practicing her lockpicking skills with a toothpick and eventually breaks through. The trio leaves towards a service exit but they are stopped by Chen who was coming to see them. He admits he does not care about Tung-Mei, but says that customs means that anyone who owns the white pendant must witness a ritual. As he holds it, it glows, and a group of large, fleshy monsters with some armour plating and long teeth materialise. He calls them the Kalatra: the rulers of their world, ready to make Chen the ruler of his.
Characters[edit | edit source]
- Thirteenth Doctor
- Graham O'Brien
- Yasmin Khan
- Ryan Sinclair
- Hai Lan
- Chen Luo
- Bruce Lee
- Shui Long
References[edit | edit source]
Historical figures[edit | edit source]
Locations[edit | edit source]
- The TARDIS team arrive in Hong Kong.
- The market street reminds Graham of Brick Lane.
- Bruce Lee's wife and children are visiting family in America.
Food[edit | edit source]
Culture[edit | edit source]
- The Doctor eats with chopsticks.
Slang and colloquialisms[edit | edit source]
Miscellaneous[edit | edit source]
- Yaz wants to buy some jewellery for her mum and Sonya.
- The Doctor asks Ryan if he saw the licence plate of Renshu's car.
- Bruce Lee's house has a library.
- Ryan mentions his dyspraxia.
- The Doctor performs unarmed combat, asking herself "What is it about the seventies...?"
Notes[edit | edit source]
Original print details[edit | edit source]
- (Publication with page count and closing captions)
Continuity[edit | edit source]
- The Doctor recalls trekking with Marco Polo. (TV: Marco Polo)
- The Doctor mentions having met Virginia Woolf. (TV: The Time of Angels; AUDIO: The Quantum Possibility Engine)
- Ryan tells Bruce about his dyspraxia. (TV: The Woman Who Fell to Earth, The Ghost Monument, et al.)