|The Last Word|
|Printed in:||Doctor Who Magazine 305|
|Release date:||31 May 2001|
|Cover date:||27 June 2001|
|Format:||Comic - 1 part (7 pages)|
|DWM comic stories|
|Beautiful Freak||The Way of All Flesh|
|DWM comic stories in the Virgin New Adventures continuity|
The Last Word was a Doctor Who Magazine comic story which celebrated the tenth anniversary of the Virgin New Adventures. Consequently, it featured the Seventh Doctor, Benny and an older Ace. As of 2016[update], it remains the last Seventh Doctor strip printed in the pages of DWM.
Although the Seventh Doctor had previously featured in one full-colour DWM strip before, this was the character's first appearance in the pages of DWM after the magazine permanently moved to a colour strip. As a result it is also the only Seventh Doctor DWM comic to be digitally produced.
To those fans who had only begun following the comic strip recently and had not read the New Adventures, the story would likely have made little sense. Coming as it did over seven years since Benny's last appearance in a DWM comic story, and in the middle of the Eighth Doctor's run, the story was surprising for its lack of narrative introductions. The Timewyrm, Puterspace, Benny, and Smithwood Manor all appeared without any narrative explanation. The sudden reappearance of the older Ace in DWM also meant a return to the continuity of even earlier strips, as her very last appearance in the magazine some five years before featured her unambiguous death as a teenager.
Readers steeped in the lore of the New Adventures would have understood the strip easily, and as a result cited Ace's re-emergence in DWM as a repudiation of her "blasphemous" death in Ground Zero. The story celebrated the range by reuniting the Seventh Doctor with his first New Adventures foe, the Timewyrm, and included fan-servicing meta-textual elements such as the idea that the Doctor himself wrote all of the New Adventures novels and a panel in featuring a conveniently-placed chessboard in the foreground with the Doctor, out-of-focus, standing behind. Similarly, both Ace and Benny angrily questioned why adventures with with the Doctor "always [had] to be so bloody complicated" — a common criticism of the New Adventures themselves.
Whilst the TARDIS traverses the time vortex, the Seventh Doctor is attempting to write a novel about his adventures with Benny and Ace. As he writes, he recounts a recent adventure with the duo during which they were all together at Smithwood Manor. Devising a plan to lure the Timewyrm into a trap, he sends Benny to the 1980s to join a new romantic band named Flash Trash, and Ace to the future to tackle the Chelonians fighting in a Frontier War in the 57th century, claiming that he needs them to set history right in both periods.
These are weak points in the Web of Time, and the women's tampering brings about fundamental change to the flow of time. This gives the Timewrym something to feed upon, causing it to emerge from Puterspace to taunt the Doctor about his obvious trap. At first it appears that the Timewyrm has gained the upper hand, pulling the Doctor into Puterspace, but he springs a trap within a trap and the Timewyrm is soon denied the ability to transit between Puterspace and real space. The Doctor has achieved his final victory over the meddlesome Timewyrm.
Back in the TARDIS, as the Doctor finishes writing up the story, Ace realises that she once again has been used as bait in one of the Doctor's schemes, and Benny is left wondering why travelling with the Doctor is always "so bloody complicated".
to be added
- To indicate his victory, the Doctor quotes Anne Robinson, telling the Timewrym, "You are the weakest link. Goodbye."
- Benny enjoys single malt whiskey.
- An audience member at Flash Trash's concert claims that Spandau Ballet have a better "lightshow" than the band Benny is playing with.
- The Timewyrm shed its physical form and exists purely in puterspace.
- The girl who audition's before Benny is Kim Wilde, who sang Kids in America.
- Apart from having shed its physical form, there is no explanation as to how the Timewyrm returned after Revelation, unless the story is meant to take place between Timewyrm: Apocalypse and Revelation, where it had previously mentioned "other adventures" away from the Doctor.
- Ace last encountered the Timewyrm on the Moon, (PROSE: Timewyrm: Revelation) and refers to it as "the mad mutha of Mesopotamia". (PROSE: Timewyrm: Genesys)
- Puterspace exists in the 26th century. (PROSE: Love and War, AUDIO: Love and War)
- The Doctor is wearing his cream linen suit and fedora. (PROSE: White Darkness et al)
- The Doctor remembers the death of Katarina, Sara Kingdom (TV: The Daleks' Master Plan) and Adric, (TV: Earthshock) failing the Silurians twice (TV: Doctor Who and the Silurians, Warriors of the Deep) and leaving an entire parallel Earth to die. (TV: Inferno or PROSE: Blood Heat)
- Benny previously encountered Chelonians on the planet Sakkrat. (PROSE: The Highest Science)
- The Timewyrm would later attend Benny's wedding. (PROSE: Happy Endings)
- The gates to Smithwood Manor are shown in some detail, and feature much vandalism: the "Allen Road" side has been changed to read "Alien Road", while the "beware of the dog" sign has been altered to "beware of the god". (PROSE: Cat's Cradle: Warhead)