Written by Paul Cornell
Art by Christopher Jones
The Doctor, Jo and UNIT investigate a spaceship crash in Bedfordshire…
A few years back, Mark Gatiss wrote Third Doctor tale Last of the Gadarene (recently rereleased on BBC Audio) which was criticised in some quarters for being an archetypal story of the era (which did seem to miss the point of Missing Adventures, but never mind!). I suspect that Paul Cornell may well get similar comments about this story, which – at least judging by this opening instalment – hits all the keynotes that you’d expect from a late Pertwee era adventure.
The Doctor is suitably flamboyant and at home in the finest clubs, Jo and Mike Yates have a meal for two interrupted, Sergeant Benton gets to lay on a chopper (hmmm….), the Brigadier has to restrain himself when the obvious is said to him… and there’s a guest appearance by another renegade Time Lord. Hopefully the revelation on the last page will send the story off in a slightly different direction (although many of the potential ideas were mined in one of Paul Magrs’ Nest Cottage tales).
The artwork is a bit of a mixed bag: some of the likenesses of Pertwee and Manning are spot on, but they’re followed in the next panel by much poorer renditions (and I’m assuming there’s a reason for Jo’s costume choice for the majority of the story). There’s the odd place where it looks as if the illustrations from the Target novels have been the templates (and the cover for issue 2 seems to be taken directly from Doctor Who and the Doomsday Weapon!). The shots of the Brigadier, on the other hand, are consistently on form.
Verdict: A fun recreation of the period. 7/10