“Looks like I arrived in the nick of time. Show me to the stage. There’s a Doctor in the house!”
In the last issue, we left Rose having wandered off to find some answers regarding the Doctor Who? television show that had gathered a cult following on Gharusa Prime and to see if she could learn more about the man wearing the Doctor’s face. In typical Doctor Who style, Rose found exactly what she was looking for – only to come face-to-face with –spoilers! – the Slitheen that had been wearing the skin suit in question. Meanwhile, the Doctor and Jack had been arrested by the police on an identity theft charge.
In Issue #2, we find that the Doctor and Jack are now being held for questioning by an Investigator Estiva who has been looking into the odd happenstances linked to the stars of the Gharusa Prime series of Doctor Who? Of course, the Doctor professes his innocence and states that he is just as concerned about this doppelganger as she is. It is only when Estiva reveals that she knows the man in front of her is the real Doctor that Estiva, the Doctor, and Captain Jack go looking for answers…
But how does Rose survive her cliff hanger? Well, she has gained a lot of information about aliens and distant worlds in her travels with the Doctor and she uses this to save her skin. Of course, this backfires when the previously disguised Slitheen recognises Rose as the real Doctor’s accomplice and the one who helped kill most of its family.
It is at this point in the issue that we start to learn a little bit more about the politics behind Raxacoricofallapatorius and those who live there. Firstly, we learn about another family from that planet, the Jinglatheen. The fake Doctor believes that the Jinglatheen are attempting to find and kill the last surviving Slitheen and has been hiding from them. It turns out that the Jinglatheen have been looking for the Doctor to help bring peace to The Raxas Alliance of four planets which includes Raxacoricofallapatorius, Clix, Clom and Raxacoricovarlonpatorius.
It is revealed by the Jinglatheen that,
The Alliance used to be the envy of the galaxy. Economic stability, trade agreements with every major system… A commercial paradise. And then the Slitheen seized power. Their atrocities tainted the entire alliance. Cue trade sanctions, economic collapse and civil war.
These peace talks that the Jinglatheen mention are being held on Clix and seemingly hold the final chance for war in The Raxas Alliance to be averted. Apparently, the Doctor is the only one who could bring such peace and so they implore the fake Doctor, now back in disguise, to help them. After being convinced to take a sizeable amount of money for his help, the Slitheen pretending to be the Doctor agrees to speak in front of The Raxas Alliance but only for financial gain. ‘Bringing peace to Raxas… It’ll make me a fortune.’
For a lot of this time, Rose has been unconscious and is only aware of the deal when it’s too late. The fake Doctor is using her to make his disguise all the more believable. Rose threatens to reveal the truth about the whole affair only for the Slitheen to reveal that whilst Rose was unconscious, a small explosive probe was inserted beneath her skin…
I really enjoy the exploration of Raxacoricofallapatorian society and how it adds flesh to the bones of these aliens which have always been a personal favourite. We get very little information from the episodes of Doctor Who and The Sarah Jane Adventures that they appear in, so any extra information is always very welcome. We see a throw-away, jokey line from Boom Town expanded on very early in the issue, and the aliens themselves are rendered well by Adriana Melos. They look a lot more threatening at any rate. Her style is a lot ‘scratchier’ than the art for the previous Ninth Doctor limited series (which was by Blair Shedd – who provides a great variant cover for this issue), but it works well, especially in the grislier scenes.
And the Slitheen are a great choice of monster for the series, rooting the adventure firmly in Doctor Who Series 1. Good call, Cavan Scott!
We leave the issue with civil war apparently exacerbated; can the Doctor get there in time to stop the violence and bloodshed? What will become of The Raxas Alliance and where does Jack’s message from Issue #1 come into the equation? I guess we’ll find out!
To look at our review of the Ninth Doctor #1, click here.
Doctor Who: The Ninth Doctor #1 and #2 are available from all good stockists and digitally via Comixology.