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The Arts in Space was the two-part second story of the Doctor Who: The Tenth Doctor comic story series published in 2014. It described Gabby's first trip in the TARDIS and showed Gabby receiving some unusual abilities connected to Block Transfer Computation.

Summary Edit

In exchange for the invaluable assistance she offered defending New York – and to say sorry for dropping into her life like a tornado! – the Doctor has promised Gabby one trip – just one trip! – in the TARDIS.

With the whole universe laid before her, all of time and space, where will Gabriella Gonzalez choose to go? What will they find when they get there... and can one trip in the TARDIS ever be enough?

More importantly, the Doctor has been hurt by the fate of his companions before – and recently! With Donna still fresh in his mind, can Gabby convince him that he shouldn't travel alone, for just a little while longer?

Plot Edit

Part one Edit

Given a choice for one trip in the TARDIS between the past, present, or future, Gabby Gonzalez picks the future. Knowing her artistic nature, the Tenth Doctor suggests visiting the Pentaquoteque Gallery on Ouloumos. Gabby absorbs the sensation of her first alien planet to the full. She is amazed by the strange landscapes, sky aqueducts and all the subtle differences from Earth in the animals, the birdsong, the sand and the grass. With her excitement overflowing, she needs to share it with somebody. The Doctor acts like he has seen this all before, so Gabby decides to write and draw her impressions for Cindy.

In the Pentaquoteque Gallery, the Doctor shows Gabby a variety of art styles, both futuristic and known in her time. Among the highlights on the Doctor's list are block transfer sculptures by his friend Zhe Ikiyuyu, which she sings into existence using pure mathematics. Thus, he is all the more disappointed to find an empty room where Zhe's sculptures used to be. Determined to find out what happened, the Doctor takes Gabby to the museum curator, who explains that a century ago, having faced some criticism, Zhe had withdrawn their works and exiled themselves to their private retreat on the planet's moon, which can be accessed by a private space elevator. Since then, the only person to attempt a visit about seventy years ago was an art dealer, who quickly returned from the moon in a great rush.

The elevator's robotic pilot Vernon recognises the Doctor by DNA, treating Gabby as a "plus one" and letting them board the elevator. Now Gabby can observe Ouloumos from up high. A path leading from the elevator to the gates of Zhe's mansion passed through a sculpture garden. Gabby thinks that these sculptures are somewhat old fashioned compared to the art she's seen in the Pentaquoteque Gallery. The Doctor explains that Zhe found beauty in any form - humanoid or alien — and that they used body augmentation to change between genders and forms to see the world from different perspectives.

Suddenly, the sculptures begin moving and try squashing the visitors. The Doctor lifts Gabby and throws her out of harm's way, then grabs her hand and runs towards the gates. He is surprised as matter manipulation on such a scale should have been beyond Zhe's abilities. Opening the gates with his sonic screwdriver, he correctly guesses that the sculptures will not follow them inside the grounds and proceeds to Zhe's house.

The Doctor and Gabby are greeted at the entrance by a male figure, who calls himself the "Ultimate Apprentice". He seems worried that the newcomers want to become apprentices too. But the Doctor assures him that he is an old friend of Zhe's and is just paying a friendly visit. The apprentice then brings them to a room where Zhe sits motionless. She has four arms, more than during the Doctor's last visit. Upon a closer examination, the Doctor concludes that this must be a block-transfer-sculpture self-portrait of Zhe.

Suddenly, the Doctor and Gabby find themselves separated: the Doctor is still in the room with the motionless likeness of Zhe and the boy apprentice, whereas Gabby is in a different room with a figure almost identical to the apprentice but female. The girl apprentice accuses Gabby of lying and of trying to become an apprentice. Strangely, she also calls herself the "Ultimate Apprentice". Gabby asks her about the male Ultimate Apprentice she just met. At this, the girl apprentice grows a second, male head and claims to be all aspects. Without waiting for the apprentice to finish growing more extremities with sharp claws, Gabby runs away trying to find the Doctor.

Meanwhile, the boy apprentice accuses the Doctor of being a critic because he could hear them criticising the sculptures in the sculpture garden. He grows scissors from his hands and proceeds to attack the Doctor. The latter escapes onto a roof terrace, where he hears Gabby's cries from below and observes her throwing a plant pot at the multi-armed and two-headed apprentice. He calls to her and suggests to try finding Zhe in their studio in the glass wing. As Gabby runs back into the house pursued by the two-headed apprenitice, the boy apprentice catches up with the Doctor. He tries to reach the main stairwell, which he remembers from his prior visits, but the apprentice has modified the house layout, and the Doctor falls down what looks like an infinite stairwell.

Part two Edit

To the surprise of the boy apprentice, a trapeze suddenly appears, giving the falling Doctor something to cling to. The Doctor thanks Zhe for looking out for him and uses the trapezes to get to another exit from the stairwell. The angry apprentice transforms the whole spiral staircase into a dragon. The Doctor can't help being impressed with this real-time block transfer manipulations, remarking that even Zhe themselves was not this powerful. The dragon starts chasing the Doctor around the mansion.

Meanwhile running away from the two-headed apprentice and trying to find Zhe, Gabby finds a studio filled with sketches for sculptures and paintings and other artistic bits and bobs. By the time the apprentice catches up with her, Gabby is so fascinated with some of the sketches that she asks to show her more. And when Gabby suggests she might even become an apprentice to her pursuer, the latter finally believes Gabby is not trying to take her place and reverts to a one-headed female form. The now female apprentice agrees to show Gabby her private sketches. The two understand each other very well, both being unsure of their artistic abilities. The girl apprentice explains her theory that drawing is the one of the first things life forms develop once the basic needs, such as food and shelter, are satisfied. She illustrates her words with moving images she creates using her block transfer powers. For her, drawing is the beginning of representational thinking, which leads to language, symbols, numbers. And numbers are what the universe itself is made of. The images surrounding Gabby turn into mathematical equations.

The Doctor has found Zhe's Gallery and starts reminiscing. Suddenly he hears a question and recognises Gabby's voice. They walk along the gallery marvelling at the paintings and sculptures. The Doctor is wondering aloud at the computational powers the apprentice needs to change its own shape. He thinks it can even split into two entities. Behind his back "Gabby"'s arm suddenly grows sharp edges. But the Doctor effortlessly dodges the blow and enquires if the boy apprentice, who has been pretending to be Gabby, and his twin are not themselves block transfer entities created by Zhe. He recognised the fake from the very beginning and is able to get away once again.

Gabby is in awe of the girl apprentice's ability to create something out of nothing. The apprentice, won over by her sincerity, grows mouths on her hands and offers to impart some of her powers to Gabby. Not being able to resist the temptation, Gabby lets her.

Meanwhile the Doctor manages to get back to the room with the four-handed Zhe and suddenly understands he was wrong before. This is not a sculpture of Zhe. It is Zhe, frozen and trapped but still able to help the Doctor by creating a trapeze swing for him or guiding him back to them. He takes their hands and tries reaching her telepathically.

Gabby's first attempt at block transfer art produces a flock of butterflies. She hears the cosmic Song of Ages and her cosmic footprint is noted by an Ood. She also sees her past self singing. The girl apprentice thinks that Gabby has a natural resonance with the local quantum harmonics. Suddenly, the experience is interrupted by both aspects of the apprentice feeling the interference in the neural connectors caused by the Doctor contacting Zhe. The male aspect of the apprentice walks in, merges with the female aspect, and leaves, intent on destroying the Doctor. The disoriented Gabby needs some time to return to reality, especially given that she is surrounded by levitating mouths who talk to her and speak what is on her mind. They call themselves little echoes of her. But soon Gabby runs after the apprentice. On the way, one of the echoes notices that sculptures are gathering outside the windows.

While the Doctor is kneeling motionless in front of Zhe telepathically helping her return to her body from the deep internal seclusion, the apprentice splits into the boy and girl aspects again. Gabby pleads with them to believe in their good intentions and manages to persuade the girl apprentice. But the boy apprentice is unmoved. When the girl apprentice stands in his way, he calls on his artworks to destroy them all. The Doctor and Zhe open their eyes to the scene of total chaos with Gabby and the girl apprentice hand-in-hand, battling the onslaught of the boy apprentice's statues.

Returned to the physical world, Zhe takes control. The creation of the binary apprentice was against the cardinal rule, and now she is planning to correct her mistake. She created block transfer manifestations of opposing aspects of her own psyche and now that they turned to destruction, she denies them existence.

When it is all over, the Doctor introduces Gabby to Zhe. Gabby's echoes do all the talking for her in a brutally honest way that leaves her embarrassed. Zhe explains that Gabby is drawing the residual block transfer energy left over from her connection to the girl apprentice who is now in the blue quantum sphere. Gabby is subconsciously generating these little levitating chatterboxes.

They move to the terrace and Zhe begins explaining how it all happened. She was upset by some criticism almost a hundred years ago and retreated to her moon. Feeling lonely she created the apprentice. But it almost immediately split into two aspects, each as powerful as her. She went into a voluntary stasis to try and drain the apprentice of the power.

The Doctor is worried about Gabby's new abilities, but Zhe thinks that they will mostly subside, apart from an occasional incident and the general heightened awareness.

They all return to Ouloumos, where the curator of the Pentaquoteque Gallery thanks the Doctor for bringing Zhe back.

Zhe sees the Doctor and Gabby to the TARDIS and privately invites Gabby to become their apprentice if ever she decides to leave the Doctor. Gabby begins explaining that this was a one-off trip, but the Doctor interjects inviting her to travel with him permanently.

Characters Edit

References Edit

Notes Edit

The Art in Space Many monsters

Original artwork.

  • Parts of the story are presented as Gabby's diary, written for Cindy and accompanied by Gabby's sketches.
The Art in Space Many Monsters 2

Revised artwork.

  • When the story was republished in Revolutions of Terror, the panel showing various monsters encountered by Gabby and the Doctor was changed, removing illustrations of a Handbot, Kamelion, and a White Robot. These were replaced with characters from The Arts in Space. It's possible that these were removed due to a dispute, or that they were taken out to solidify the accuracy of Gabby's journal (as those three were the least likely in the image to actually be visiting the museum).
  • The Doctor mentions Zigma-shields. A character named Zigma is present in the Eleventh Doctor DWA comic story Picture Imperfect.
  • Binary apprentice calls himself "the Ultimate Apprentice" and says: "There can be only one". This is a reference to the movie Highlander, where the protagonist fights for the ultimate prize.
  • The melting clock in the redecorated room is strongly reminiscent of the painting The Persistence of Memory by Salvador Dalí.

Original print details Edit

to be added

Continuity Edit

4 romana arts

The painting of the Fourth Doctor and Romana II in Zhe's gallery

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