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TARDIS Index File

Planet of Bones (short story)

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RealWorld
Planet of Bones
PlanetOfBones
Doctor: Second Doctor
Companion(s): Ben, Polly
Main setting: Harmony
Key crew
Release details
Printed in: Doctor Who Annual 1968
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Planet of Bones was the fifth illustrated short story in the 1968 Doctor Who Annual. It featured the Second Doctor, Ben and Polly.

Summary Edit

The Second Doctor, Ben and Polly land on what appears to be an idyllic world. So peaceful does it seem that Polly immediately dubs it "Heaven". After some exploration, Ben discovers the world is inhabited. The TARDIS crew go to meet the locals, humanoids dressed in what resemble Greek clothing. They speak musically and stop the Doctor and his companions from bickering with each other. This world, it turns out, is actually named "Harmony", and they wish to ensure the name is accurate.

At first, the TARDIS crew are amazed at the sumptuous treatment they're accorded. But as the Doctor begins to ask questions about the word, he encounters some nonsensical answers. Their hosts claim not to have either animals or farms. While his companions are sleeping, the Doctor determines to figure out how the locals derive their nutrition. What he discovers is a rather gruesome room filled with heads. When his presence is detected by Alba and Sandor, they tell him that their world once did have animals, but they died out long ago. Now they wait for people to come to their planet, so they can harvest them.

Sensing he is in immediate danger, he pulls his recorder from his pocket, and begins to play discordant notes on it. The locals are all physically stunned by this disharmony. The Doctor runs to the sleeping quarters to retrieve Ben and Polly. Still using the recorder for protection, the trio manage to find their way back to the TARDIS and depart. Ben and Polly never find out exactly why the Doctor rushed them off the planet, because he judges them "too young" for the awful truth.

Characters Edit

References Edit

to be added

Notes Edit

  • Like many early Doctor Who print stories, both comic and prose, the Doctor is referred to as "Doctor Who" or "Dr. Who". The word "doctor" is not even seen as a proper noun here when used on its own to refer to the character.
  • As with other stories in the 1968 annual, the second Doctor refers to Ben and Polly as "my children", or, individually, "my child", "my girl", or "my boy". Uncharacteristic of the Troughton Doctor, this seems to be a hold-over from the Hartnell interpretation; there was simply too little time between when Troughton took over and this annual had to go to print for the annual's editors to understand Troughton's approach to the role.
  • As in other illustrated stories throughout the second Doctor's appearances in World Distributors annuals, the Doctor is shown here wearing his stovepipe hat — despite the fact that Troughton had abandoned the hat some eight months before publication.
  • The Second Doctor and Ben have an especially contentious relationship here, perhaps because the second Doctor is generally characterised throughout this annual as being considerably more like the televised First Doctor. At one point, the Doctor threatens to abandon Ben "in some world filled with loathsome monsters [where] you may begin to feel at home at last." Their extreme discord, however, is a essentially a plot device.

Continuity Edit

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