a real world point of view
|Main enemy:||Mr. Finch|
|Main setting:||Planet Basingstoke|
|Editor:||Tom Spilsbury and Scott Gray|
|Artist:||Mike Collins (pencils)|
David A. Roach (inks)
|Printed in:||Doctor Who Magazine 421 - 423|
|Release date:||29 April 2010|
|Format:||Comic - 3 parts|
|DWM comic stories|
|The Crimson Hand||Planet Bollywood|
Supernature was Doctor Who Magazine's first Eleventh Doctor comic story and their debut of Amy Pond. It was not, however, the comic strip premiere for either character. They were at the time of first publication, already regulars in Doctor Who Adventures.
The Doctor and Amy arrive on a mysterious planet inhabited by criminals. Something is infecting the criminals and now the infection has caught up with Amy. The Doctor must stand alone and fight the infection before it spreads across the Galaxy.
Part One: Supernature Edit
Nerena Cargill, chief medical officer of The Van Diemens III sends a biohazard warning from her colony planet, urging that everyone keep away. She plays a film of a room full of corpses. She says she is the sole survivor and anyone who lands on the planet is condemned to death.
Elsewhere, the Doctor and Amy step from the TARDIS into a jungle teeming with life. He tells her he is ninety-nine percent sure that wherever they are, it isn't Basingstoke. Almost immediately, they are confronted by a large robot spider. It tells them to put up their hands and scans them for concealed weapons. When Amy asks if they are trespassing, it answers in the negative, saying that arrivals are tolerated but departures are prohibited. It leads them to an encampment, where they are tagged with security anklets. Everyone in the encampment is a convict.
When Amy uses the word 'Doctor', one of the convicts leads them to Cargill. She is overjoyed to see them and hugs the Doctor. She says she has been begging the Empire for emergency medical assistance for weeks and asks how and where they landed. Amy and the Doctor say they didn't land and imply they crashed. The Doctor says he and 'Nurse Pond' have been wandering for days.
Their conversation is interrupted by the arrival of a transporter craft full of convicts. Cargill says since the Nigella IV massacre, the Empire has been using convicts as guinea pigs on alien worlds before they are cityformed. The transporters only have enough fuel for a one way trip. As they watch the convicts disembark, a fight breaks out, but a robot spider stuns both of them. Cargill explains she is the nearest thing to a doctor they have. She also says she deserves to be there more than most. She leads the Doctor to a sealed ward holding 'plague victims'. They enter the ward in biohazard suits so the Doctor can make an examination. Every patient is horribly mutated into one of a multitude of different shapes, some resembling humanoid insects, others plants or animals. There seems to be no pattern to the disease.
Their diagnosis is cut short when a monstrous creature bursts into the compound. The spiders (or 'snoops') seem content to let it run amok, but the convicts try to corner and kill it. The Doctor intervenes to let the creature escape into a storage room.He leads Amy into the room and points out the security tag around its lower leg. The monster was once human. Before they can speak to the creature, a party of convicts led by Conrad Finch enter, intent on murder. Finch accuses the Doctor of being behind the infection somehow. Just then they notice that Amy is transforming into a giant insect.
Part Two: Welcome to the Jungle Edit
Cargill persuades Finch not to kill the Doctor so he can help the colony. The Doctor uses Cargill's laboratory to investigate the security tag from the captured monster. It belonged to a man called Buchan Foster. Cargill thinks this makes sense. Foster made several trips into the jungle to explore and claimed he had discovered a dark secret. He disappeared on a survey mission a month ago, just when the transformations started.
The Doctor says the transformations are not due to a virus but are the amalgamations of two distinct life forms into an entirely new species. As Cargill and he step into the jungle, he says the whole eco-system has become a pick and mix of life forms. Cargill asks if that means the life in the jungle is taking humanoid shape. Even as she speaks, they are pursued by a plant with human eyes and sharp teeth. They are saved by a blast from a snoop which halts the monster. Together they run back into the compound.
The Doctor orders the convicts to stay in the centre of the compound while he modifies the snoops to set up an energy ring around them, keeping at bay even more marauding monsters. He tells Cargill to look after Amy while he investigates Foster's secret. Finch accompanies him. They fly a snoop over the energy barrier and across the jungle to a cave behind a waterfall.
Back in the sick bay, Amy is telling Cargill she is sad she will die without her family knowing what happened to her. Cargill says her own family was wiped out by a drunk driver. They are interrupted by a monster breaking through the energy barrier and crashing through the sick bay wall.
The Doctor finds an underground chamber with an ancient machine at its centre. Before he can investigate, he too begins to transform into an insect.
Part Three: The Chimera Effect Edit
The monster pushes Cargill aside and carries off Amy. She is now fully transformed into a giant butterfly woman. She takes flight as the other monsters turn and leave.
The Doctor tells Finch the machine is a gene splicer left by an alien race. Because the planet is in the wrong orbit for life to thrive, the aliens accelerated the process. When Finch asks where the aliens are, the Doctor shows him the jungle. He adds that Foster must have reactivated the machine, causing the new transformations. The Doctor begins to play the keys of the machine like an organ or piano, saying he is resetting the biology. The effect is almost instantaneous. Foster, back in the compound, becomes human again.
Finch punches the Doctor to the ground and pulls out a home-made gun. He says he was innocent of his crime, framed by a boss who embezzled money. This machine is his ticket to freedom once he tells the Empire about it. The Doctor says he is impressed by the gun, but pulls out his screwdriver and uses a sonic blast to make it fall apart. As Finch picks up a club, he is bowled over by the butterfly Amy riding a snoop. She says she followed the Doctor's scent to the cave.
The Doctor redirects the machine's power on itself to prevent it being used again. The cavern's roof collapses. The Doctor and Amy fly out on the snoop, with Finch tied beneath. They land safely. The Doctor surveys the buried cave with satisfaction before turning to find Amy, completely naked, transformed back to human again -- and not trying to cover herself.
They return to the compound, where all of the humans are themselves again. The Doctor deactivates the snoops and tells Cargill it is up to the convicts to make a success of the colony. She says the empire will send their traction factories and concrete over the planet but the Doctor advises her to send a message saying the virus has wiped out the colony. (This is the message that started the story). He tells them to rename the planet, too and suggests 'Basingstoke'. As they make their way back to the TARDIS, Amy realises this was the planet the Doctor had intended to visit all along.
to be added
- Writer Jonathan Morris jokingly claimed on his blog that the story's name was stolen from a B-side on an Erasure single.
- This comic marked a changing of the guard for the regular writing staff, with Jonathan Morris taking over from Dan McDaid as the principal comic writer on the magazine. It also made Mike Collins the first artist to have drawn the first DWM appearances of three Doctors. He had already handled opening duties for the Ninth and Tenth Doctors. It added to his already impressive lead in terms of "most number of Doctors drawn", as he had previously drawn at least one story for each Doctor since the Seventh.
- The Doctor mentions regeneration.
- The Doctor reacts badly to seeing Amy naked and she makes no attempt to cover herself. (TV: Flesh and Stone)