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TARDIS Index File

Stairway to Heaven (comic story)

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Stairway to Heaven
Stairway to heaven
Doctor: Seventh Doctor
Main enemy: Garg Ardoniquist
Main setting: Chardaz Museum of Modern Art
Key crew
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Editor: John Freeman
Writer: Paul Cornell / John Freeman
Artist: Gerry Dolan / Rex Ward
Release details
Printed in: Doctor Who Magazine 156
Release date: January 1990
Format: Comic - 1 part
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Stairway to Heaven was a Seventh Doctor comic published in Doctor Who Magazine.

Summary Edit

Hoping for the Chardaz Museum of Modern Art, the Seventh Doctor finds himself within a domed park-like area. Examining his map, he comes upon a large egg, from which hatches a small marsupial-like creature. Greeting it, he falls back in surprise when it uses its fiery breath to set fire to his map. Trying to get directions, the Doctor follows it, watching as it ages rapidly and uses its breath to bake a lump of mud into a brick. It carries the brick to a staircase — its steps constructed of such bricks — which spirals up to the roof of the dome. The staircase is also decorated with bones, which the Doctor discovers are from skeletons of the creature's own kind, all of which appear to have died from a high fall. Crying "heavenwards", the creature scampers up the staircase, the Doctor fearing that the TARDIS has arrived where he intended as he chases after it.

Up above them, Garg Ardoniquist, an obese humanoid and controversial genetic sculptor, is being interviewed by a reporter named Brin at a party for the unveiling of his latest masterpiece. Gathered around a small dome-like structure with a hinged top, Garg explains to Brin that this work represents the suffering an artist goes through to reach the top of their field. Beneath them, the creature has added its brick as the latest step on the staircase, and is narrowly prevented by the Doctor from stepping off the staircase to its death. Successfully guessing that the creatures are following a program, the Doctor reaches up and unlocks the hatch. Hauling himself and the creature into the museum, the Doctor is waylaid by the interviewer, asking what it's like to be part of a work of art, while the now-elderly creature adoringly beholds its creator, Garg Ardoniquist, who narcissistically invites it to embrace its creator, for having successfully climbed the Stairway to Heaven.

The Doctor, however, is having none of this, and berates Garg as a pompous fool, having abused genetic science for his own ego. When Garg defends himself, saying he had suffered greatly to bring art into the world, the Doctor outlines that it was his creations that did the real suffering, the latest creature having no more reason to exist now that its programming was completed. At this point, the creature then tackles Garg, wishing to be united with its creator, resulting in them falling through the hatch to their deaths. While the attending party-goers acclaim Garg for getting so involved with his work, the Doctor makes a hasty retreat back to the TARDIS, unhindered by the security guards, who begin grabbing up bricks for collectors' items. Lamenting that one small step sometimes proves to lead one downwards, he leaves, yet another egg cracking open as he dematerialises.

Plot Edit

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Characters Edit

References Edit

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Notes Edit

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