|Companion(s):||K9 Mark II and Sharon|
|Main setting:||China, 1522|
|Publisher:||Marvel Comics UK|
|Printed in:||Doctor Who Weekly 39-45|
|Release date:||10 July - October 1980|
|DWM comic stories|
|Doctor Who and the Time Witch||The Collector|
- You may be looking for the graphic novel of the same name.
The TARDIS materialises in a Chinese fishing village in the year 1522 AD, where warrior monks are fighting pirates with uncharacteristic fierceness — and the Doctor and Sharon find evidence that an alien weapon has been used. Abbot Yueh, puzzled by the strangers, takes them back to Shaolin monastery as prisoners. The Doctor learns from the novice Chang that the monks have been practising martial arts for centuries; but ever since Yueh took over from the former abbot Hsiang, the monks' abilities have been tested by the "bronze men" in a secret chamber. The Doctor slips out of the monastery to question Hsiang, who has apparently become a hermit. Hsiang informs him that some time ago a star fell to Earth, and Yueh went to investigate; when he returned, he deliberately crippled Hsiang and left him here on the mountain. The Doctor returns to the monastery, but his absence has been noted and Yueh pursues him into the hall of the bronze men. The Doctor discovers that the "bronze men" are Sontarans, but he manages to escape, and Chang accompanies him and his companions in their flight, seeking answers. Hsiang directs them to the site of the fallen star, a Sontaran scout ship with a damaged hyperspace transmitter. The transmitter requires quartz crystals to function, and Chang informs the Doctor that the Emperor owns a similar crystal the size of a man's fist. The Doctor questions Chang about his training with the "bronze men", and realises the monks have been given post-hypnotic commands. When they learn that the Emperor has invited Yueh to bring his monks to demonstrate their abilities to his court, the Doctor realises that Yueh intends to order the hypnotised monks to the Emperor. But while Yueh believes he will then become ruler of China, the Sontarans will in fact use the Emperor's crystal to repair their transmitter, summon reinforcements, and conquer the Earth.
The Doctor and his friends return to the monastery with Hsiang and reveal the truth to the monks. Yueh speaks the command phrase which turns the monks into bloodthirsty killers, but K9 records it and plays it back, breaking the spell. Chang, however, only hears the voice once, and attacks the Sontarans in a berserker frenzy, killing them all. The Doctor, Sharon and K9 return to the TARDIS while Hsiang is reinstated as abbot.
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