a real world point of view
|Don't Step on the Grass|
|Companion(s):||Matthew Finnegan, Emily Winter, Martha Jones|
|Main enemy:||The Advocate, Lau'Tan|
|Main setting:||Greenwich, 2009|
|Artist:||Blair D. Shedd|
|Printed in:||Doctor Who (2009) #9-12|
|Release date:||March to June 2010|
|Format:||American comic book - four issues|
|Doctor Who (2009)|
Don't Step on the Grass was the four part story arc begun in Doctor Who (2009) #9. It was the first story in the series to be set on modern Earth, and featured the return of newly-married Martha Jones, Captain Magambo and UNIT.
Solicitation summary for part one:
- "When The Doctor is called back to modern-day London by Martha Jones and UNIT, the last thing he expects are the Enochian Angels of Elizabethan magician John Dee, the secret underground library of Greenwich Park, and an army of angry living trees!"
The Doctor was summoned to Greenwich Park by Martha and Captain Magambo who claimed that the trees were moving, three people were ingested by them and the trunks were marked with Enochian symbols, a language invented by mathematician and magician John Dee to converse with angels. The Doctor realises the ‘angels’ were trapped beneath the observatory for four hundred years, but emerged through the trees in the park. While he sent Martha and Matthew to investigate Crane’s house, the Doctor, Emily and gardener Mr Crane headed into the passages beneath the park to communicate with the ‘angels’, in actual fact aliens waiting in suspended animation for the Doctor to come and take them home. With a UNIT soldier, Martha and Matthew searched Mr Crane’s house. Matthew discovered a sketch of the Advocate, but the soldier took it from him, urging caution in his dealings with the Doctor. The soldier was really the Gizou in disguise. Martha, meanwhile, discovered an alien dossier on the Doctor and realised he was set up. Believing the Enochai’s story, the Doctor set them free, but it was a trick. John Dee trapped them, but they became free to take over all of the trees and claim the Earth. The Enochia realised the Doctor didn't remove the forcefield trapping it and ordered Crane to shoot Emily. The Doctor and Emily escaped but plunged down a hidden shaft into an ancient cavern where they discovered a stripped down colony ship containing thousands of Enochians in stasis. A holographic projection of John Dee informed them that the Enochians were energy beings who planned conquest. Emily escaped to the surface but Crane caught the Doctor and the Enochian ordered his imprisonment. The Advocate arrived and opened the stasis pods, releasing the Enochia. The trees drove UNIT back, but the situation became even worse as the Enochia flooded out of the ground. The angels trapped Central London in a forcefield. A battle with UNIT began, leaving UNIT seriously outgunned. The Doctor spoke to one of the angels and realised it was the Gizou in disguise. The Gizou revealed that the whole scheme was a set-up. The Advocate appeared to Martha and the trapped humans and proposed a way of ending the crisis, by striking at the Enochian ship. Crane, who overheard the Gizou, rescued the Doctor. Martha, meanwhile, escaped the bunker, found Emily and, with the help of the Knights Arboretum, a select group of gardeners of which Crane was once a member, was reunited with the Doctor. Returning to the bunker, the Doctor confronted the Advocate, but Magambo refused to allow him time to develop an alternative solution to the Enochia threat and insisted on following the Advocate’s plan. She arrested the Doctor. With the help of the Knights Arboretum, Martha and Emily rescued the Doctor. Mr Crane, meanwhile, returned to the ship on a suicide mission to destroy it. The Doctor arrived and launched the ship into space, which drew all the energy creatures up with it. The Advocate’s bomb was no longer needed, but the countdown was accidentally started. Mr Crane spotted it in the nick of time, but if he rose his finger from the button, the ship would explode. The Doctor could do nothing to save him so escaped using a pair of angel wings. The Advocate used Crane’s death to finally destroy Matthew’s faith in the Doctor and Matthew elected to instead travel with the Advocate.
- When the Doctor explains why he answered Martha's superphone call, he says he'd never ignore the phone call of a woman in trouble — or man, or penguin. This likely refers to Frobisher.
- The Doctor says he "played Hamlet a little while back". This is a fourth-wall-breaking in-joke for fans of David Tennant, who played Hamlet in a 2008 Royal Shakespeare Company production, due to there being no regular series of Doctor Who in 2009.
- Martha and a UNIT officer find some documents from the in-universe website, whoisdoctorwho.com.
- A UNIT soldier calls for "five rounds rapid" to be fired into the Enochai Angel. This recalls the Brigadier's famous line from The Dæmons.
- Brian Green is British Prime Minister. He was preceded by Aubrey Fairchild.
- The Doctor suspects the tree creatures to be Krynoids, but is proven wrong when the Krynoid rockets fail to kill them.
- When the Doctor finds a spaceship trapped deep under Greenwich Park, he says it must have slipped through the Rift.
- This story was originally solicited as a two-parter in December 2009. By January 2010, the story was described to retailers as a four-parter.
- According to the website of artist Blair D. Shedd, distribution problems plagued the first part of this story, and it was unusually not released across the United States on the same day. Readers on the east coast were not able to purchase Doctor Who (2009) until 24 March 2010. Readers in the midwest and west got it on its intended release date, 17 March 2010.
- The Doctor says he gets bored with repeats. He later echoes these sentiments in TV: The Big Bang, saying that he hates them.
- The Doctor inquires as to whether his phone will work deep underground, and a UNIT soldier assures him it will, as it's on "the Neon network," created by Joshua Naismith. The soldier goes on to mention how Naismith's book (shown in The End of Time as being called "Fighting the Future") was "life-altering."
- The Doctor says he had a hand in the establishment of the Black Archive, and sends Martha there. (TV: Enemy of the Bane)
- The Doctor reveals he's still angry with Martha for nearly engaging the Osterhagen Project. (TV: Journey's End)
- The Doctor again employs the phrase "spit-spot" as a means of encouraging people to spring into action. (TV: The Wedding of Sarah Jane Smith)
- Martha says Matthew, who is feeling like the least valuable companion, is suffering from "tin dog syndrome". Since she wasn't present during the events of TV: School Reunion, this may be further indication that she is married to Mickey Smith — the original sufferer of "tin dog syndrome" — at the time of this story. Furthermore, Captain Erisa Magambo often refers to Martha as "Mrs Smith", which must be her married name by now.
- The Doctor references his and Martha's trip to visit William Shakespeare. (TV: The Shakespeare Code)
- Martha says she expected the Doctor to avoid modern Earth because of Donna Noble's recent memory wipe. (TV: Journey's End) How, exactly, Martha knows of Donna's fate is not made clear.
- This story establishes that the incident with the Osterhagen key made Martha leave UNIT. She appears in this story as a an explicit "freelancer" who is back with UNIT only on a temporary basis — and only as a favour to her friend, Malcolm Taylor. Thus the story appears to have been written with knowledge of Martha's fate in The End of Time.
- Magambo obeys the Doctor's express wishes in Planet of the Dead and fails to salute him when they first meet.
- The Doctor seems unaware of the events of TV: Children of Earth, but Martha makes an oblique reference to them, both with her dialogue and her body language. Children would in fact be quite a recent event, as Day One makes reference to the fact that Martha was on her honeymoon, and Tesseract establishes she's recently returned from it.
- The Advocate escaped the Time War by following Davros when he was saved by Dalek Caan (TV: The Stolen Earth).
- The Advocate says that when the Doctor activated the Moment using the Great Key, the Doctor time-locked the Last Great Time War. (COMIC: The Forgotten)
- The Doctor asks Matthew why he never read "The Lord of the Rings". Matthew then explains that he already worked at the age of fourteen and was not very interested in a book about talking trees. However, since the first part was published on July 24 in 1954 and because Matthew came from the 1920s, it would be impossible for him to read a book, 30 years before it had ever been published.
Cover Gallery Edit
Reprinted in the IDW graphic novel Tesseract.