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Out Now: Doctor Who – The Complete History #22

Head to your nearest newsagents because the latest issue of Doctor Who: The Complete History is out right now.
Issue 22 is the third Tenth Doctor volume released, but focuses on tales near the close of David Tennant’s tenure. One of them is a fan favourite; the other… less so. But is better than people say:

Planet of the Dead

The Doctor and a cat burglar are aboard a double-decker bus when it is transported, via a wormhole, to the planet San Helios, which has been left barren by a swarm of alien parasites that are poised to invade the Earth.

The Waters of Mars

Mars, 21st November 2059: the Doctor arrives at Bowie Base One, Mankind’s first outpost on another world. But the Doctor knows that this is the day that the base’s crew will have an ill-fated encounter with the alien Flood, and he is bound to allow history to take its course.

Oh, The Waters of Mars: the finest Doctor Who of 2009, arguably of the Tenth Doctor era (though for me, it’s beaten by The Impossible Planet/ The Satan Pit and maybe Midnight). It’s wonderful, isn’t it? I’m a sucker for a base-under-siege tale.
As for Planet of the Dead, its worst crime is the flying bus. Or maybe letting Lady Christina go off into the sunset. They should’ve had the guts to shove her in jail. I know that makes the Doctor a hypocrite – he did, after all, steal the TARDIS – but it wouldn’t be the first time. Planet of the Dead looks fantastic too. The art inside this issue of The Complete History attest to that.
Of course, the really interesting thing here is that it sounds like The End of Time, the two-part swansong for the Tenth Doctor, will take up a whole volume of the partwork itself!
Doctor Who: The Complete History #22 is out now, priced £9.99 in the UK, or $24.99 in Australia and New Zealand.

Philip Bates

Editor and co-founder of the Doctor Who Companion. When he’s not watching television, reading books ‘n’ Marvel comics, listening to The Killers, and obsessing over script ideas, Philip Bates pretends to be a freelance writer. He enjoys collecting everything.

15 thoughts on “Out Now: Doctor Who – The Complete History #22

  1. Planet of the Dead… More like Planet of the Brain-Dead. At least the 2009 specials had The Waters of Mars, which I agree is one of the high-water marks of the Tennant era (for me, the others would be Human Nature/The Family of Blood, Blink, and Midnight).

    1. High-Water Marks Of The Tennant Era:
      The Impossible Planet / The Satan Pit
      The Day of the Doctor (not technically part of The Tennant Era)
      The Girl in the Fireplace
      Human Nature / The Family of Blood
      The Waters of Mars

      1. You don’t rate Blink? maybe ‘cos it’s Doctor-lite. Still brilliant concept, and in contrast to whoever was in PotD, exceedingly likeable one-off companion.

        1. I tried to limit myself to five of the best. Blink is brilliant in every way but it doesn’t quite get up there with the ones I listed.

          1. Despite Girl in the Fireplace being a Moffat script, I can’t stand it for one fact: the clockwork Droids are totally unscary. They move so slowly that you could escape them at a mild walk. Definitely his worst creepy creation when compared to Gasmask Zombies, Weeping Angels, and the Silence.
            And you already know how I feel about Impossible Planet/Satan Pit. 😛

          2. The droids were used much better in Deep Breath. “Yes, we have a children’s menu.” *shudders*

          3. Quote: “the clockwork Droids are totally unscary. They move so slowly that you could escape them at a mild walk”
            How many monsters from Who’s past have you just described? Most of them probably! The Autons didn’t run after the people in the street in Spearhead but it was terrifying. The Cybermen were never famed for their hasty mobility until Nightmare – which actually made them less threatening. I can’t remember the Zygons giving chase in their first outing yet they and the story are highly regarded to this day. I could probably go on but I hope you get the point. Fast and quick does not necessarily mean good or frightening. Slow and menacing is what freaked me out when I was a kid watching Who.

          4. Yes, slow and menacing can be scary, but I still think t he droids were the weakest element of the story. Compared to other Moffat monsters I cited – Gasmask Zombies, Weeping Angels, Silence, heck even the Vashta Nerada which I left out before – they just don’t stack up. Add on another inexplicable romance for the Doctor after School Reunion had already brought out the worst in Rose (although she handles it better in Fireplace) and to me it’smy least favorite Moffat script of its era.

          5. The droids were beautiful. I thought they were an effective threat, but I do agree that they pale into comparison to the Angels or the Silence (LOVE the Silence). I still think they were better in Fireplace than in Deep Breath, but then I do dislike much of Deep Breath. Peter Whatshisname is wonderful as the Half Face Man however.

          6. I agree that on visual design alone, the droids in Fireplace are quite good, with the period French outfits and the elaborate masks. I think the best droid moment was the one under the bed. I mean, THAT one was able to move quite quickly, making a grab for the Doctor. But then it went downhill from there for me.

  2. Planet of the Dead:
    Silly-looking monsters? Check. Dumb flying bus? Check. Unlikable one-off companion? Check. Incoherent plot? Check. Mediocre acting from the supporting cast? Check. Unnecessary stunt-casting of a comedian? Check. Makes UNIT look like a bunch of incompetents? Check. Planet of the Dead has it all! The one thing going for it is that we didn’t have to fear that Christina was going to be the next companion. But that’s literally the only positive I can think of for this one.
    The Waters of Mars:
    The Doctor is presented with a fixed point in time and what follows is a scary and startling edge-of-your seat race against time that you know the Doctor shouldn’t win – but he does. The 10th Doctor could be an arrogant arse and all too rarely was this negative character trait emphasised but here we have the chance to see him get some comeuppance for once , it’s very welcome but also very terrifying to see the Doctor go, for all intents and purposes, from good to evil. An essential episode that everyone should watch and treasure, a reminder of what happens when the Doctor fails to do the right thing.

    1. This was a moment that I really wanted the new series to touch upon the possibility of the Valeyard (rather than just giving him a name-check). It’s easy to believe that through god-like arrogance like the “Time Lord Victorious” that the Doctor would put himself on the path to his darker alter ego.

      1. It also fits in with the time line for the Valeyard to show up then (considering that post-series4 the 10th Doctor is the 12th incarnation). Of course we didn’t know that then…!
        They *NEED* to address the Valeyard during The Capaldi Years at some point. That’s a 30 year-old plot point now, it can’t just be thrown away.

        1. I completely agree. I mean, you could argue that the Time War and the breaking of the regeneration limit now leaves the exact point of the Valeyard’s existence up in the air, but since he finally got checked by the Intelligence as one of the names the Doctor would later be known by, then that should reiterate his position in canon. In a way though you could say they have played around with it, as the Dream Lord in Amy’s Choice could be seen as another manifestation of the Valeyard.

  3. I have this theory, that PotD is totally infiltrated by the Silence. Which is why I can never remember a damn thing about it, even just after I’ve watched it.

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Out Now: Doctor Who – The Complete History #22

by Philip Bates time to read: 1 min
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