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TARDIS Index File

The Arts in Space (comic story)

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The Arts in Space
Final Page of Letter Arts in Space
Doctor: Tenth Doctor
Companion(s): Gabby
Main setting: Ouloumos, the future
Key crew
Publisher: Titan Comics
Editor: Andrew James
Writer: Nick Abadzis
Artist: Elena Casagrande
Colourist: Arianna Florean
Letterer: Richard Starkings, Jimmy Betancourt
Release details
Printed in: 10D 4-5
Release date: 5 November - 17 December 2014
Cover date: November - December 2014
Traded in: Revolutions of Terror
Format: Comic
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Doctor Who: The Tenth Doctor
Revolutions of Terror The Weeping Angels of Mons
The Arts in Space was the second story of the Doctor Who: The Tenth Doctor comic strip series published in 2014.

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

Deciding she wants to travel to the future, the Doctor suggests the Pentaquoteque Gallery of Ouloumos. Landing on the planet, Gabby is amazed by the alien landscape of a sea of stars, sky aqueducts, and the subtle differences from Earth: the animals, the birdsong, the sand, the grass. She can barely understand how the Doctor can take it all in without even noticing.

The two look around the Pentaquoteque Gallery, where the Doctor shows her a variety of different art pieces, including 3D art, whispering paintings and self-creating portraits. The Doctor finds one piece especially interesting: a block transfer sculpture created through precise calculation and song (quantum form harmonics) by the artist Zhe Ikiyuyu through only her mind. Surprised to find an empty room supposed to be filled with their sculptures, the Doctor and Gabby visit the museum curator. She explains that a century beforehand, facing criticism, Zhe had withdrawn her works and exiled herself to her private retreat on the planet's moon, which can be accessed by a glass elevator. Her moon had been a creative retreat where she hosted parties to artists, writers and students (and also the Doctor), however she has not been visited in recent decades, besides an art dealer who was pushed away.

Reminiscing happily with the elevator's robotic pilot, Vernon, the Doctor and Gabby enter the elevator up to her retreat. Gabby is in awe of the view of her house. Gabby is slightly disappointed with the expansive sculpture garden fronting the house, however the Doctor explains that it is the basis of art across the universe. The Doctor explains that Zhe found such beauty in any form - humanoid and alien — that she used body augmentation to change between genders and forms.

Suddenly, the sculptures become anthropomorphic and attack, but the Doctor grabs her hand and run into the penthouse, unlocking the gates with the sonic screwdriver. The Doctor is surprised, as matter manipulation is too complex for Zhe. The Doctor and Gabby are greeted by Zhe's male form, which confuses the Doctor, approaching what appears to be a statue of Zhe, meditating. His form splits, with his male from with the Doctor and her female form suddenly in another room with Gabby. She calls herself the "ultimate apprentice", shifting into a monstrous two-headed male and female form that disturbs Gabby; she runs and shouts for the Doctor.

The Doctor is unsettled, finding Zhe's personality false to her character. He grows scissor hands and attempts to attack the Doctor, but he ducks and runs into a room filled with clocks. Zhe is offended by Gabby's dislike of the sculptures, and calls the Doctor a critic, not an artist. The Doctor escapes onto the balcony and observes Gabby fighting Zhe at ground level. Gabby runs back into the house, but as the Doctor tries to run back inside he reconfigures the layout, throwing the Doctor down an infinite stairwell.

Part two Edit

The Doctor realises the stairwell is an illusion, and manages to create an escape trapeze with his mind. Zhe transforms into a dragon and pursues the Doctor down a corridor.

Gabby locates Zhe's studio, and though they are initially hostile, they calm when Gabby says her work is amazing and shifts back into her female form. Gabby says that she likes to draw but is never any good at it, and Zhe shows her more sketches and holographic sculptures, and explains her process of creating art from numbers. The Doctor observes that her gallery has shifted into its recognisable form. Gabby walks into the room and tells him she has found Zhe's studio. The Doctor concludes that because the house's art and furnishings have been created by block transfer techniques, they are in a state of flux. However, the Doctor thinks there is something not quite right with her, and Gabby's hand morphs into obscure tendrils and attacks the Doctor, and into his male form. The Doctor narrowly avoids him and returns to the entrance, coming to the realisation that the statue is indeed Zhe, simply in stasis, and tries to penetrate her mind.

Gabby continues to be impressed by Zhe, and realises the best art makes you think differently. Gabby is amazed with her whole artistic process. Zhe offers to impart her ability on Gabby, and is stunned by images of butterflies and her own song. However, Zhe senses the Doctor's interference and is greeted by her male form. He joins with her, proclaiming "We must destroy the Doctor!" They approach the entranced, meditating Doctor, shifting back into two forms and morphing their hands to attack the Doctor. Gabby enters, pleading for his life. Zhe, the Originator, awakens from stasis as the Doctor gives her rest. Zhe's female form attacks his male form, who retaliates by anthropomorphising a sculpture, vowing to destroy the artwork. Gabby joins with her female form, giving her the power to reassemble the gallery and bring the real Zhe back to her former self, pulling the spirited binary pair into her. These 'apprentices' are only conflicting aspects of her psyche. Gabby is surprised by a series of black floating shapes which speak her history, and these morph into lips formed from her psyche.

Speaking over tea, Zhe reveals that she had been lonely and in need of a muse, and so created a sculpture with an AI persona. However, in the process, she had created a physical manifestation of her own self-doubt. She spent a century trying to drain the binary aspects of their power, slipping into voluntary stasis. Zhe concludes that Gabby may have enhanced ability as an after effect, but that will fade - but the Doctor must have thought her to be special to bring her to the gallery in the first place. Gabby found herself feeling connected to the universe in a new way.

The curator congratulates Gabby and the Doctor for returning Zhe. Zhe offers Gabby a role as her apprentice if she ever gets tired of the Doctor, sensing they have travelled for a long time, however Gabby says that it was a one-time trip. However, the Doctor is intrigued by her perceptions and lets her stay as his companion.

Characters Edit

References Edit

Notes Edit

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 to include aliens from The Arts in Space.

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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