Doctor Who: The Seventh Doctor #3

3

Bad

DoctorWho[7]3VCProviding a somewhat saccharin-sweet, arguably all-too neat conclusion to Andrew Cartmel’s three-issue mini-series, this twenty-two page periodical reads more like a re-imagination of Lewis Gilbert’s 1967 James Bond film “You Only Live Twice” than “an epic all-new adventure” featuring the Seventh Doctor with its strong spy-fi shenanigans and pitched battle inside a volcano-based secret military headquarters. Indeed, apart from a truly surreal moment when the titular Time Lord uses his umbrella to subdue a plethora of extra-terrestrial terrorists with a dose of knock-out gas, this publication’s plot noticeably ignores Sylvester McCoy’s television character in favour of focusing upon the exploits of the Intrusion Countermeasures Group and their successful efforts to parachute a heavily-armed force of soldiers into the alien’s underground nerve centre; “You know what, mate? This is the bit I live for. When all the c@#p stops and the action finally begins.”

True, such a decision makes some sense when it generates plenty of automatic-weapon firing gunplay and a high-octane chase between Group Captain Gilmore and his treacherous former junior officer, Delafield, as the pair desperately clamber up the tower-block tall ladder leading to the cockpit of a technologically advanced spaceship. But just why the almost-absent Gallifreyan doesn’t simply instruct Ian to drop gas-bombs from the Lockheed C-130 Hercules transport aircraft as opposed to paratroopers is never raised, nor why the Doctor decides to materialise the TARDIS smack bang in the middle of the Royal Australian Air Force’s attack with nothing to protect either Ace or himself with other than a flimsy-looking radiation hazard suit..?

To make matters worse, the former script editor’s narrative also illogically has the incredibly talented Christopher Jones suddenly pencil both Professor Jensen and Doctor Williams wearing the self-same blue jumpsuits of the alien aggressors as opposed to their archaeological dig attire. As the Time Lord’s feisty companion quickly points out, such a change of clothes is a “bit dangerous” as the pair “might be mistaken for bad guys”, and seemingly appears to have been perversely penned simply to provide Allison with an opportunity to have a moment’s banter with Rachel as to the women’s ‘good looks.’ Certainly it makes no sense for the duo’s captors to have forced them into the uniforms as it would have made their prisoners, who had already previously attempted to sabotage their operation, even harder to spot from amongst the plethora of similarly-dressed scientists working around them.

Undoubtedly Cartmel’s biggest ‘leap of faith’ with his audience however, has to be the contrived nature of Gilmore’s rescue “over sixty years, and half a world away” following the senior soldier’s entombment within Delafield’s orbiting spaceship. Locked inside the vessel’s cockpit, circling the Earth, the military officer is nonsensically forced to ludicrously survive “in some kind of state of hibernation so I didn’t die from lack of oxygen… [or] even age” instead of being simply liberated by the Doctor in the TARDIS just as soon as the alien craft had entered a stable flight path.

Publisher
This article is the opinion of the author and does not represent the views of the site owner.
3

Bad

Reviewed by
For the past forty or so years I have been collecting American comics… To begin with they were predominantly black and white British reprints of “Marvel Comics Group” titles such as “Spider-Man Comics Weekly”, “The Mighty World of Marvel” and “Star Wars Weekly”; all six to ten pence editions I could store away under my bed in a large cardboard box. As a result though I was introduced to the teenage angst of Peter Parker, the discovery of a frozen Captain America by Earth's Mightiest Heroes, witnessed the dreadful rage of Doctor Bruce Banner, and even travelled to a galaxy far far away... Later I would be able to afford actual America colour comic books and supplemented my collection of “Marvel” titles such as “Conan the Barbarian”, “Howard the Duck” and “Captain America” with some “DC Comics” issues of “Batman”, “Green Lantern” and “Captain Carrot and his Amazing Zoo Crew”. There would even be time for Independent publications such as “Wildcats”, “Spawn” and “The Authority”. These days however I must admit to yearning back to the simpler times of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, back to when both artwork and storylines were straightforward, easy to follow and super-heroes were just starting out on their adventures. A time when no-one had yet to be resurrected from the dead for the fourth time. I've written over seven hundred comic book reviews on my blog over the past few years, with them usually following my latest purchases, all wrapped up in a large brown paper bag, as well as occasional ‘flashbacks’ to some of the classic "Golden Age" issues I already own…

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