Agent Provocateur was the retroactive name applied to Doctor Who (2008), issues 1-6, after the publication of its collected edition. It was published in the first half of 2008 in the United States, and was significant for being the first original Doctor Who comic book published in that country. Originally meant to be one story in an ongoing monthly publication, it turned out to be the only story of that title, and, therefore, a mini-series. It should not be confused with IDW's later Doctor Who (2009), a true ongoing monthly comic book.
Over the course of seemingly unrelated adventures, the Doctor and Martha find that events are being manipulated by an alien Pantheon who need the Doctor to clean up their mess. They are simply looking for the best milkshakes in the cosmic galaxy, when a heap of trouble occurs.
The Doctor takes Martha to a space station where Martha can have the tastiest milkshake in the whole universe. Once they get there the Doctor notices a Gizou, a shapeshifting alien, currently in the form of a reptilian alien, and the Doctor decides to talk to it. Before they can catch up with the Gizou, a figure in the shadows gets an electronic whip and kills him. The Doctor and Martha find only the Gizou's remains – now ashes on the floor. The Doctor is knocked out by the same figure, who also grabs Martha with the whip. Their captor, a Sycorax, takes the unconscious Doctor and Martha to his ship and he tells Martha that he is a collector of alien races. Suddenly the Doctor wakes up and the Sycorax aims his whip at the Doctor, only for the Doctor to grab it. He then begins to sabotage the Sycorax's weapon, Martha helps by destroying its staff. He tells Martha that legends say the Sycorax will be one of the last three species remaining at the time the universe ends.
On the planet Kas a race of lion-like aliens are busy working when all but one vanishes into thin air.
On the planet Nyrruh 4 a race of humanoids all vanish, leaving one survivor.
The Doctor and Martha are visiting London in 1974 when they find statues of rock and pop stars in a grassy area in front of Westminister. Invited to an art exhibition, they set off to attend and do not notice that they are being followed by a black cat, much less that it suddenly vanishes.
Once at the art exhibit, the travellers find figures from throughout British history, all made of sand. The Doctor detects that the statues are modified from living beings—someone turned them into sand statues. Martha asks who could have done it. They turn around to see the man who had invited them to the exhibition, accompanied by a bald woman. The bald woman strokes the black cat who'd been observing the Doctor and Martha; a green energy surrounds her, she points at Martha, and Martha is turned into a sand figure.
Horrified, the Doctor tries to find out what has happened. The man explains...
4000 years ago, an Egyptian princess, Hentopet, prayed to the cat goddess Bast. At around the same time, some enemies of the Pharaoh were killed by a giant cat with a strange green glow. Hentopet tells her father, the Pharaoh, of her visitation—then suddenly stabs him in the chest. She and the Pharaoh's scholar talk to Bast. Bast tells them that her true name is Bubastion and she was dispatched there by the Shadow Proclamation to oversee development of Earth. Enraged at the humans' behaviour, Bubastion curses them never to age.
The Doctor realises that the Pharaoh's scholar is the man who invited him to the art exhibit, and the bald woman is Hentopet. The man takes advantage of the moment to free himself and Hentopet of the Curse: he turns them both into sand statues. The cat frees Martha and the rest of the people in the building. The two new statues crumble, the cat escapes, and the Doctor and Martha make a break for it in the TARDIS for their next adventure.
Elsewhere in space and time, a human male followed by two red humanoids opens a door marked "Executives Only". Inside the room is full of beings known as the Pantheon, and Bubastion is among them.
On the planet Mer, a race of amphibious aliens are about their day-to-day business when all but one vanishes instantly.
The Doctor and Martha land on New Savannah, where the Catkind are having a meeting with the same human seen entering the executives' room at the end of Chapter 2. They are talking about giving the planet to the Earth Empire as the sun has expanded destroying Earth and the remaining humans want to live on New Savannah.
Suddenly, the room blows up – rubble falls everywhere, injuring humans and aliens alike. In the middle of the devastation lands the TARDIS, and the Doctor and Martha run to help the wounded.
A green sphere appears out of nowhere behind an alley way. The man and the red humanoids appear. He says he wants to get off the planet before midnight. The Doctor and Martha find they are on a planet near New Earth. A male Catkind goes up to him he goes off with him while Martha helps the wounded. Martha asks the Catkind his name. It is Garrard Townsend. All of a sudden Martha is arrested by the police force there. She tells Garrard to tell the Doctor where she is. The man and the red humanoid henchmen enter and doorway and find themselves in a space environment. There is a man there called Silas Wain. Bubastion is also there and they have a quick conversation about private deals.
Meanwhile on the planet Omphalos, all the citizens bar one man and its robots are there. This is all part of the plan.
On New Savannah, the Doctor is investigating the rubble and he finds force fields. He says that it is interesting how the boardroom was not damaged. He finds out that there was a human in the room and made an Emergency Spatial Shift. The Doctor walks down the stairs and finds Garrard saying he needs to have a little chat.
Martha is being interrogated at the New Savannah police station. She is told the story about how the humans saved the Catkind from extinction. But the Catkind had to make an agreement – New Savannah would become part of the New Earth Empire. The Doctor arrives and bails Martha out. He tells her that Garrard was responsible. Garrard is part of an anti-human cult who is planning to overthrow the empire. The force fields that defend New Savannah city were programmed to go down by the man who blew the offices up. All of a sudden giant cat robots that look like Bubastion in his true form attack. The cat robots start killing everything they can find.
Martha and the Doctor find Garrard. The Doctor and Garrard have a brawl but the Doctor opens a door to Limbo Space. There he finds Silas Wain. She is killed by a robot but the door closes. There they see Bubastion who tells Martha this is Limbo Space, his home. Bubastion reveals that he has tricked Garrard and the anti-human cult. Garrard escapes but the Doctor and Martha do not pursue him. Bubastion tells the doctor that he is tricking him. The door to Limbo Space begins to close but the Doctor and Martha make it out alive. Garrard stops the giant cat robots. The Doctor, though, says he is going after the cats.
The Doctor and Martha are in the TARDIS. Martha is flying in the air because the Doctor had said she could do that. They are on their way to a planet. Once the TARDIS lands they walk out and find they are in a mechanical futuristic city with robots everywhere. Martha notices there is no movement apart from these robots. All of a sudden the robots smell out the Doctor and Martha and start chasing them looking for their flesh. They make it to a lift. As they get to the top of the lift they find a man called Professor Tharlot who says he is the only survivor of Omphalos. The Doctor and the Professor go to the lab but Martha, unknown to them, is taken away by a robot. The Professor takes the Doctor to a room with a screen with all the survivors of planets that have had their populations taken away. The Doctor discovers that Tharlot was researching him! Tharlot and the Doctor start having a confrontation but Martha runs in being chased by the robots who are demanding flesh. The Doctor confronts them as Tharlot runs away, the robots say they need a leader (i.e Flesh). The robots then tell them Professor Tharlot is a criminal. The Doctor thinks Tharlot is behind the population theft but finds that the whole planets have been made to align with each other. The Doctor comes to the conclusion that one of the people who Tharlot has found is in league with him. Tharlot, who is watching over a monitor, turns out to be in league with Silas Wain. Wain discovers that Tharlot has grabbed the Doctor's ship with a robotic device.
The robots tell the Doctor that Tharlot was imprisoned twelve cycles ago for murdering his own kind. When his kind vanished he got back to power. The robots theroize that, as a criminal, he was responsible for the disappearance of all the planet's inhabitants. Tharlot, still watching, activates the robots' self-destruct mechanisms, causing them to explode.
The Doctor and Martha run up to a room and find that the TARDIS has gone missing. Tharlot comes out and says he designed the room that the TARDIS was in. He gives the Doctor a device that will lead him to the "Leash". They walk up to a circle on the floor, the Doctor and Martha and start to fall through the time vortex. Meanwhile there in a star system where all the planets are. The gravitational pull of them is affecting space creating a rend. A ball of energy fires up and two red hands appear.
On Omphalos, Tharlot says he has the Doctor and the TARDIS safe.
Silas Wain, who is in Limbo space, says he will send men to retrieve the Doctor. The members of the Pantheon including Bubastion and Silas.
But the Doctor and Martha are still hurling down the time vortex.
In Cumbria, at Ainsworth Point, some seagulls are flying about. One of these seagulls is turned into a crystalline form and smashes on the sand. The Doctor and Martha crash land on a shed on the beach. They can't hear anything.
All of a sudden Martha is shot in the arm and is wounded. The Doctor takes her half a mile to Ainsworth House where he finds out the place is run by the Ministry of Defence and the year is 1957. A nurse called Nancy sees to Martha and puts her on a stretcher. The receptionist rings the commodore. The Doctor tells them Martha suffered an accident on the beach and introduces himself as Harold Sullivan of the Ministry of Defence.
Meanwhile in Limbo Space, Silas is angry that someone has shot Martha. The Pantheon, including an infuriated Bubastion, show up, having only just discovered that the Doctor and Martha were on 1950s Earth.
The Doctor and the receptionist wait outside Martha's ward. The receptionist takes the Doctor away; a yellow-eyed nurse, who is looking after Martha, is spying on them. Martha asks for tablets for her headache, prompting the nurse to offer to get some, but when Martha points out they weren't available in 1957 the nurse transforms into a Catkind, one Martha had saved from the rubble.
Mr Rawlings, the receptionist, takes the doctor to a room containing a Sonic Weapon from the 51st century. The two encounter Silas Wain whose synthetic clothes give him away; frightened, Mr. Rawlings runs off. Silas's two red guards confront Rawlings but when his eyes turn red it frightens them off. The alien nurse says she's been protecting Martha. They walk down the corridor and find a man lying dead – a doctor. Martha enters the mess hall only to find everyone inside is dead...
The Doctor and Silas Wain find Martha and the nurse who reveals herself as Brel-Whispah. She wants to know why the Doctor and Martha are on Earth rather than Omphalos where the Pantheon was supposed to meet them.
Elsewhere the ten planets begin to make an energy circle and a red beast walks out of the ball of light that was forming.
Back in 1957, the Doctor finds out that the Pantheon and Silas tried to find the Doctor to stop a creature from getting into the universe. Silas also roped in Tharlot and he sent them there. Mr Rawlings comes in, reveals himself as Tharlot, and claims he is in control of the Sonic Cannon. He fires it at Brel-Wispah, shattering her into crystal. He then aims it at the Doctor and Martha.
An alien named Tarq battles alongside his kind and is wounded. Martha Jones finds him but informs his friends there's nothing she can do for him. An army of Robots is advancing on them and millions of species are fighting. The Doctor is riding on Bubastion's paw and Bubastion fears they won't survive.
Martha flashes back to the circumstances that led them there: In Cumbria, the Doctor deflects Tharlot's beam, saving Martha and Silas Wain; in response, Tharlot teleports away as his machine blows to bits. Silas explains to the Doctor what has been going on – Silas, who's been working for the Pantheon, unwisely hired Tharlot.
The three adjourn to go to Limbo space, discuss plans with the Pantheon, and prepare for battle; though the Doctor tells Martha to stay in the TARDIS, she insists on participating. Silas, his work complete, is sent home; he requests one of his workers to track down Martha Jones' ancestors.
Back on the battlefield, the Doctor confronts Tharlot, and manages to turn his own weapon against him, crystallising him. The Demon that has been summoned attempts to kill the Doctor and Martha, but the Doctor uses Tharlot's weapon to send it back to its own dimension.The battle over, the combatants celebrate their victory. The Doctor and Martha leave in the TARDIS.
- When the Doctor enters the hospital in Cumbria 1957 he uses the alias of Harold Sullivan.
- Reference is made to the actress Alex Kingston who acted in the US show ER.
- All six issues were reprinted as a graphic novel.
- The Catkind return and much of their history is revealed. (TV: New Earth, Gridlock)
- A Sycorax appears. (TV: The Christmas Invasion)
- According to the Doctor, the humans are one of the three races left when the universe finally dies. (TV: Utopia)
- The Doctor refers to the time Martha's mother Francine Jones slapped him in the face. (TV: The Lazarus Experiment)
- The Doctor tells Martha there are two Loch Ness Monsters, a cyborg and a mutated DNA experiment between a man and a snake. (TV: Terror of the Zygons, Timelash)