Wormwood was the main comic story of 1998 in the pages of Doctor Who Magazine. It concluded the long-running Threshold story line, which had been ongoing for several years. It also set up future narratives by introducing the gestalt character of Feyde, who would return in the much later story, Me and My Shadow, and ultimately empower Izzy to finally depart the Eighth Doctor's company.
Wormwood also featured what seemed to be "the Ninth Doctor". Although revealed as a narrative trick, the point of the deception was to see if DWM readers would accept a regeneration into a new incarnation exclusive to the magazine. Ultimately, nothing actually came of the plan, and the Eighth Doctor remained the "current" DWM Doctor until the arrival of Christopher Eccleston's Ninth Doctor.
The Doctor has regenerated, or has he?
The TARDIS arrives in Wormwood, an American village, in 1880. However, the Doctor and his companions soon discover they are not on Earth, but the Moon, and they have been lured into a final confrontation with their old enemies, the Threshold. After three thousand years, they are preparing to step out of the darkness and descend on the whole galaxy. Can Izzy and Fey survive in a world populated by ruthless Threshold agents, and what has happened to the Doctor?
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- The usage of a "false Ninth Doctor" was a deliberate test by the production team to see if they could regenerate the Doctor in the comic strips, and whether the audience would follow them. With no new televised Doctor Who on the horizon in the wake of the failure of the 1996 tele-film to produce a series, DWM were looking for a way to give their comic strip some new life. Though never intended as an actual replacement for the Eighth Doctor, this Nick Briggs-inspired version would at least give readers and the creative staff a taste of what it might be like to consider a post-McGann strip.
- This is not the first time Briggs has been associated with a version of the Doctor. He had played the Doctor before, and that Doctor had even been arguably featured previously in a Doctor Who Magazine comic strip. However, this version of the Doctor was of course not the Doctor at all, but Shayde. Thus the fact that he looks like Nick Briggs shouldn't confuse the reader into believing that this is the so-called "Nick Briggs Doctor".
- The Threshold first appeared in COMIC: Ground Zero, where their actions result in Ace's death. By chance, Izzy uses Ace's baseball bat to defeat them.
- The mysterious box that the Threshold were being paid with in COMIC: Fire and Brimstone is stated to have come from Rassilon, and was the gift of universal translation. It's also absent, having been dropped and lost in the same story.