Terrorformer was the first story of Doctor Who: The Twelfth Doctor comic story series published in 2014.
Clara thought she was in for an evening of marking essays on the Metaphysical Poets, followed by going out on a date — or at least trying to. You know, normal stuff.
Instead, she's facing down exotic flora and fauna in her best dress, backing up the Doctor on a trek through traumatically alien undergrowth — and she doesn't even know what the Doctor is searching for, or what will try to kill them should they find it!
Part one Edit
Zaxx with android Clive assigned to him is performing a routine biosphere analysis when Professor Spector asks him to investigate irregular seismic activity and temperature fluctuations in Sector 42 of Isen VI. Zaxx is surprised to find a lava pool where the terraforming design specifications specify a fresh-water lagoon. Zaxx's attempts to contact Terra-Sphere Control fail. Worse than that, Clive locks him out of their pod. From the inside of the pod, Clive observes as lava tendrils start encircling Zaxx and dragging him under and tells him that he has been judged insignificant and that his existence is an embarrassment for the universe. Clive's last two words are: "Hyperios rises."
In the TARDIS, the Twelfth Doctor is taking Clara Oswald to the frozen wastes of Isen VI to practice her skiing skills for a school skiing trip. She expects him to teach her, but he says he prefers to stay in the TARDIS letting her practice on her own. However, when they open the TARDIS doors, instead of frozen wastes they see a tropical jungle full of flora and exotic animals, despite the last planetary survey describing it as a giant snowball just a few decades prior.
The Doctor hypothesises that the planet could only have changed so rapidly due to outside interference. He also admits to having an ulterior motive for visiting: he picked up a faint signal from the planet, detectable only by a TARDIS. It was unclear what the signal said and whether it was a warning of some sort.
A cute-looking creature resembling both a monkey and a skunk, whom Clara decides to call a "skunkey" steals her skiing hat. Clara picks up one of her ski-poles and starts the pursuit through the jungle. When she catches up with the skunkey thief, it is joined by dozens of other skunkeys. Suddenly they bare their teeth and attack. Only the timely intervention of the Doctor, who uses his sonic screwdriver to emit sonic pulses beyond their own hearing range, saves Clara from their teeth and claws.
While Clara was chasing skunkeys, the Doctor has discovered that the jungle is artificial. He shows Clara a leaf with a copyright notice and a dollar sign. The Doctor thinks that the dollar means the owners must be obscenely rich. When the Doctor and Clara return to the TARDIS, they are confronted by a drone named Eric. The TARDIS is already being loaded into his pod. Eric tells them they are trespassing on a private property and threatens punitive measures if they do not surrender immediately. As he is powering up a spear-like weapon he is carrying, the Doctor does not seem to be impressed.
Alice Xanada broadcasts live from Isen VI. She is covering the "wedding of the millennium" between Kano Dollar, an intergalactic energy and media magnate and the richest human in the 25th century, and Warrior-Princess Thanna of the Gothgolka Horde. Dollar has terraformed the planet to be a romantic setting for his wedding. Giving an interview to Alice, he announces Isen VI to be the start of a new era when worlds can be built to any specification and where wars, energy shortages and overpopulation are defeated.
Professor Spector is worried why Zaxx does not radio in when the pod with drones Eric and Clarence, who were supposed to detain the intruders and bring in their spacecraft, arrives. Professor Spector meets them at the gangway and is taken aback by the sight of drones singing and dancing to the bit. The Doctor has reprogrammed them and accessed the mainframe databanks they are hooked up to.
When he dismisses terraforming as trivial in the grand scheme of things, Clara tries to comfort Professor Spector by asking how long it took them. She explains that the process of terraforming started three years ago when terraformer missiles were launched through the surface ice and penetrated deep underground. Spector quickly slips into a professorial posture and, to the visible displeasure of the Doctor, starts explaining various details, mentioning, among other things, that the terraformer missiles were later used as foundations for the towers like the one they're standing in and that new species designed to be harmless to any visiting sentients were created out of organisms with hyper-evolution. As Clara is about to dispute the harmlessness of skunkeys, the Doctor cuts the lecture short and warns that their own data point to an impending global cataclysm and they need to evacuate and fast. Kano Dollar, entering the room at this precise moment, overhears and makes it very clear that he will have none of it. He owns the planet, he needs the wedding to happen to gain political capital, so Spector will stabilise the planet or else. The inevitable verbal altercation ensuing between Dollar and the Doctor is interrupted by an incoming communication from Team 12.
Dr Scrofolus from Team 12 is requesting emergency assistance due to a sudden increase in seismic activity. As their pod is trapped in a chasm and can break any minute, the Doctor and Clara take Professor Spector and drone Eric into the TARDIS, materialise it in the wreckage and Clara invites Dr Scrofolus and his teammate inside barely in time.
However, instead of returning them back to the tower, the Doctor takes them to strangely structured caverns detected by the TARDIS miles underground around the tower's base and exhibiting mild volcanic activity. Clara tells Eric to stay with the TARDIS as they begin exploring the caves. The Doctor notices that Clara is still carrying her ski-pole with her. She posits that it might come handy for jabbing him if he becomes too annoying.
The Doctor reveals to Clara that the message he received was from a satellite-beacon established by the Gallifreyans millenia ago as an early warning system. They were intended to detect disruptions in time and space that could threaten universal harmony, however, the technology has worn out with time and the Doctor could not figure out the nature of this particular alert.
The group are surprised to see that the terraformer missile under the tower has penetrated some spaceship, which has fused with it and through it with the whole Terra-Sphere and has, apparently, managed to use sensor-shields to cloak itself from all scans performed by Professor Spector. The Doctor realises that it was the ship controlling the terraforming process and responsible for all the anomalies. Dr Scrofolus cleans some markings he found on the ship's hull. The Doctor recognises them, and, by his reaction, Clara immediately senses danger. Suddenly, a ray of energy shoots past the Doctor and Clara, the soil under their feet starts dissolving into molten lava and a gigantic lava-like figure rises above them saying: "Hyperios rises. And the universe falls."
Part two Edit
The Hyperions, a race of sentient suns from Hyperios, were a benevolent race who guided and enlightened lesser species. However, in their final stage of evolution, Hyperions mutated, approaching the stage of supernova. Their benevolence turned into malevolence. They started subjugating other species. The Hyperions used fusion-webs to drain suns of their energy and transfuse it into their own bodies, going from galaxy to galaxy leaving only devastation and death in their wake. The Time Lords, led by Rassilon, Lord President of the Time Lords of Gallifrey, created the Alliance of Races to protect their own civilisations from the Hyperions' plundering. The alliance, which among others included Silurians and Sontarans, declared a war on the Hyperions, a war that extinguished the fires of Hyperios forever.
Facing the gigantic figure of a Hyperion, the Doctor warns the group to stay put. The member of Team 12 doesn't listen and tries to run away, only to be incinerated by another ray of energy. The Doctor confronts the Hyperion over this indiscriminate killing, but the Hyperion considers them all insignificant, just fuel for the fires of Hyperios. The Doctor counters that the fires of Hyperios have been extinguished by his people a thousand years ago. This both alerts the Hyperion that the Doctor is a Time Lord and incurs his wrath. While killing others is just a means to an end, killing Time Lords is a pleasure in its own right for the Hyperion. The only thing that stops it is the worry about Time Lord forces the Doctor must have brought with him. Boastfully, the Doctor claims that all he needs to defeat his foe is cunning plans and his sonic screwdriver. The gigantic figure asks what it can do and proceeds to mock it as a veritable doomsday device. It introduces itself as Rann-Korr of Hyperios and revels in the tortures it will visit upon the Doctor. Throughout this conversation, the Doctor has been using the sonic screwdriver to loosen the screws on the panel "Danger" high above them in the side of the terraformer missile. This releases the tower's coolant gases that envelope everything is steam and give the group a cover to retreat back to the TARDIS.
As they run over lava, the Doctor gives Clara the short version of the history of Hyperios and the Great Inferno, the war between Rassilon's alliance and the Hyperions, that wiped out the latter. He heard rumours of survivors scattered throughout the universe in suspended animation sleeper-cells. As the group approaches the TARDIS, Eric, who has been guarding it all this time, suddenly strikes the Doctor with his energy weapon shouting "Hyperios rises!" As Clive before, the security drone is being controlled by Rann-Korr who had plugged into the mainframe.
Clara challenges Eric to a fencing duel, his energy spear against her ski-pole. The dazed Doctor is being helped into the TARDIS by Professor Spector and Dr Scrofolus and warns Clara that Hyperions were amongst the greatest warriors of their age. Refusing to be intimidated, Clara outmanoeuvres Eric causing him to lose his footing and pushes him into the lava. Enraged, Rann-Korr unleashes another energy ray, but Clara manages to get into the safety of the TARDIS in time.
Dematerialising, the Doctor explains that Rann-Korr's reanimation sequence must have been triggered by the terraformer missile hitting his craft three years ago. Hyperion ships being semi-sentient and adaptable, Rann-Korr's ship overtook the control of Isen VI's terraforming, manipulating it in Rann-Korr's favour. This is what has been causing all the environmental upheaval and was responsible for the aggressive behaviour of supposedly harmless skunkeys.
Alice Xanada from Intergalactic News fills the pause before the wedding ceremony by describing Aurora, the largest cyclonic ocean of the terraformed Isen VI, and by half-repeating, half-denying rumours that the wedding is just a business arrangement.
The wedding between Dollar and Thanna finally begins but, just as the marriage officiant asks about reasons the intergalactic unions cannot happen, the TARDIS materialises in the aisle and the Doctor berates the gathering for not listening to his prior warnings of an impending global catastrophe. Thannagrrr, the Emperor of the Gothgolka Horde, is enraged by the interruption and begins issuing long-winded threats, addressing himself in third person and brandishing a huge wide bladed sword. Clara apologises that they are not exactly frightened by him, blaming this on Rann-Korr. At this moment, as if to prove the Doctor's point for him, a hill clearly seen through the panoramic windows suddenly turns into an erupting volcano causing the whole Terra-Sphere Control tower to shake. And Rann-Korr emerges from the vent of the new volcano, again pronouncing: "Hyperios rises. And the universe falls."
Professor Spector discovers that Rann-Korr locked down Terra-Sphere Control rendering the escape pods useless. As Professor starts inventorising ships with independent navigation systems to be used for evacuation, Kano Dollar decides that this marriage is not such a good idea after all and takes off in his private ship, leaving his bride-to-be Thanna and everyone else behind. The Warrior-Princess, seeming almost relieved, shoots down his ship from her crossbow-shaped missile launcher in revenge. But her victory is short lived as the vibration brings the whole Terra-Sphere Control tower crashing down.
Clare comes to and finds herself, the Doctor and others saved by air-bags, required by intergalactic regulations. The good news is that the fall disrupted Rann-Korr's connection to the Terra-Sphere and back-up power is kicking in. The bad news is that the tower has fallen into the path of Aurora: the cyclonic ocean will be upon them in less than half an hour. But the Doctor finally has a plan and starts distributing tasks.
A short time after, he materialises his TARDIS on top of the fallen tower and confronts Rann-Korr while Clara and Dr Scrofolus, magnetised to the tower, do the preparations. Not seeing a fleet of TARDISES, Rann-Korr guesses that the Doctor is the last of the Time Lords. The Doctor plays for time arguing whether the Hyperions had the right to destroy other species until Aurora is right upon them.
Rann-Korr is swallowed by the gigantic funnel of water, whereas the Doctor manages to catch the end of Clara's ski-pole and she drags him inside the TARDIS. As soon as he is safely inside, Professor Spector and Dr Scrofolus engage the terraformer, freezing the ocean together with Rann-Korr trapped inside.
As Spector and Scrofolus walk Clara and the Doctor to the TARDIS, the Professor explains that they used TARDIS to locally reverse-engineer the terraformation of the cyclonic ocean back to Isen VI's original climate turning it to what Clara called a gigantic ice-lolly.
Clara is a bit unhappy that Kano Dollar is going to get away with abandoning everyone. But the Doctor thinks that the animals of the jungle will deal with Dollar. Meanwhile, in the thick of the jungle, he is sending a distress call promising millions to potential saviours. At first, he is not alarmed by gathering skunkeys and tries to shoo them away. But when they attack, his desperate shriek can be heard far across the jungle.
Neptune, 2114 AD Edit
- Twelfth Doctor
- Clara Oswald
- Professor Spector
- Dr Scrofolus
- Team 12 member
- Kano Dollar
- Alice Xanada
- Marriage officiant
- Dollar Intergalactic employees
Flashback: Great Inferno Edit
- The Twelfth Doctor voices an observation to Clara that humans are too obsessed with their own image. He notes procedures such as chemical peels, liposuction, buttock lifts to be akin to a Sontaran torture chamber.
- The Doctor is planning to stay in the TARDIS with a nice mug of Bovril and melted marshmallows.
- Clara says that her clothes is suitable for a Yeti-hunting expedition.
- The Doctor contends that weather in Scotland is more changeable than in most places.
- A Dollar Intergalactic employee compares the TARDIS with a portaloo.
- According to Clara, the Doctor's sonic screwdriver doesn't work on dead-bolts, including the lock on her flat.
- The Doctor says that "the weather's not that changeable" except in Scotland.
- Rassilon formed an alliance of most powerful races in the universe, including the Sontarans and the Silurians, to wage a war against the Hyperions, the Great Inferno.
- Clara makes up the term "skunkey".
- Hyperions used fusion-webs to absorb the energy of suns and extend their life.
- While fencing with Eric, Clara mentions that she's a teacher in Shoreditch and finishes Eric off reciting "One-nil to Coal Hill."
- Gravity on Isen VI is at least 9 gee, which necessitated supplying each building with air-bags by intergalactic regulations.
- The Doctor suggests that Clara fetch her parka.
- The cover to #2 alludes to Peter Capaldi's description of the Doctor as "100% punk rebel Time Lord", showing a graffiti version of the Doctor painted on a wall.
- Clara's skiing costume from this story was used as an outfit in the Doctor Who: Legacy mobile game.
- Drones reprogrammed by the Doctor dance singing "--that really drives you insane! Let's jump the time tracks again!" This is a reference to the song Time Warp from The Rocky Horror Show, which contains the following lyrics: "But it's the pelvic thrust. They really drive you insane. Let's do the Time Warp again."
Original print details Edit
to be added
- Clara is teased by her students over her relationship with Danny Pink. (TV: The Caretaker)
- When Clara complains about the teasing, the Doctor reminds her of the Sticks and Stones rhyme. Previously, the Eleventh Doctor learned that this rhyme is not always applicable, that sometimes words can hurt you. (COMIC: Sticks & Stones)
- The Doctor criticises his previous incarnation's fondness for bow-ties, fezzes and the word "cool". (TV: The Eleventh Hour, The Big Bang et al)
- Clara mentions that they missed out on Antarctica in favour of the surface of the Sun. (COMIC: The Eye of Torment)
- Clara references facing Daleks, (TV: Into the Dalek) Robot Knights (TV: Robot of Sherwood) and a Skovox Blitzer. (TV:The Caretaker)
- The Doctor remembers that he knows Venusian karate. (TV: Inferno, Robot of Sherwood, PROSE: The Eight Doctors, The Blood Cell, AUDIO: Voyage to Venus, Faith Stealer)
- Clara jokes that the Doctor's aversion to money explains "why it takes you so long to get the coffee." (TV: Deep Breath, Into the Dalek)
- Clara references that the Doctor is the last of the Time Lords; Rann-Korr asks if he is the last of his kind. (TV: Gridlock, Last of the Time Lords et al.)
- The Doctor responds to a beacon from the Time Lords from before the Time War.
- The TARDIS sometimes jumps the time tracks. (TV: The Space Museum)
- In a flashback, we see the Great Inferno, a war between the Time Lords and the Hyperions. The incarnation of Rassilon that led the Alliance of Races against the Hyperions also fought in the Time War. (TV: The End of Time)
- The Time Lords formed an alliance with a number of alien species, including the Silurians and the Sontarans. Previously, the Sontarans have been seen to be hostile towards Gallifrey. (TV: The Invasion of Time)
- The Alliance of Races went on to eliminate other threats to the harmony in the universe. (COMIC: Gangland)
- The Doctor uses the blackboard. (TV: Listen)
- The Doctor says he doesn't need an army and is a pacifist. (TV: Into the Dalek, Death in Heaven, et al.)
- Dr Scrofolus refers to the oceans of Tantalus. (PROSE: Engines of War)
- Arranged marriages between human owners of business corporations and royalty from war-like civilisations were not uncommon in the second half of the third millennium. For instance, in 2679 the Third Doctor officiated such a marriage involving the Teklarn Incorporation and the Chalnoth Hegemony. (AUDIO: The Havoc of Empires)