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Time & Time Again (comic story)

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Time & Time Again was a one-issue comic story in Doctor Who Magazine #207 which celebrated the 30th anniversary of Doctor Who. When published, it was a significant, widely publicised "event". At ten pages, it was longer than the then-standard comic in DWM, and was also originally printed in colour — something that did not regularly occur in DWM until the late 1990s.

Narratively, Time was a celebratory multi-Doctor story, whose panels were filled with many visual references to the past, much like The Five Doctors. As with the earlier Terrance Dicks script, the narrative was less involved in plot and character, and primarily about building a structure that allowed meetings between the various Doctors.

The story took place almost exclusively in an alternate timeline in which the First Doctor had been prevented from leaving Gallifrey by the Black Guardian. However, the story ends back in the "normal" universe, with what is ostensibly a genuine account of the First Doctor and Susan's original departure from Gallifrey. It was the only time in which the event has been depicted in a visual medium, until the series 7 episode The Name of the Doctor.

Summary Edit

The Black Guardian has changed time so that the Doctor never left Gallifrey. This causes chaos amongst the stars. The Doctor must revisit his past and hunt for the Key to Time, which will put time back on track and defeat the Black Guardian.

Plot Edit

Having decided to visit London, 1993 for a vacation, the Seventh Doctor, Ace and Benny find themselves in a city in ruins, with various aliens species such as Cyberman, Draconians, Ice Warriors, Silurians, Robot Yeti and Zygons roaming the streets. As the TARDIS crew are shot at by a Sontaran, a Sea Devil and a Dalek, the Black Guardian laughs at their misfortune, saying, "Die, Doctor. Die!".

The White Guardian appears behind the Doctor and friends and explains what's going on; the Black Guardian has changed history as revenge for the Doctor foiling his plans. In this new timeline, the First Doctor never left Gallifrey and became President of the Time Lords. The Time Lords now fear the massive Dalek Empire and Earth has been invaded a dozen times for its tactical importance. The Guardian explains that to fix this the Doctor must once again find the segments of the Key to Time, and provides them with a set of rings to help them. The segments have been dispersed along the Doctor's time track, meaning the TARDIS crew will have to go into the Doctor's past. Benny begins to ask how they'll recognize the segments, but is teleported mid-sentence.

Arriving in a gleaming corridor, Benny discovers that her ring is talking to her. Realising that the object she seeks is a hat, she overhears the Second Doctor and Jamie McCrimmon discussing the fact that they are in the Land of Fiction. Posing as a fictional character, "the famous Hat Collector, straight out of Dr. Seuss", she asks the Doctor for his hat. Zoe Heriot warns him that it might be a trap, but the Doctor dismisses her, and hands Benny the hat, and she dematerialises.

Having arrived in a mansion, Ace grabs a sword mounted on the wall, as per her ring's instructions. However, before she can leave, the Third Doctor approaches, asking her whether she is the ghost seen by Sir Reginald Styles. Hoisting the sword's twin from the wall, he begins to duel with her. Ace disarms him, and, now with the correct sword, dematerialises.

Having arrived beside a river, the Seventh Doctor encounters his sixth incarnation, who is fishing with Frobisher. Discussing what difference it would make if they hadn't left Gallifrey, the Seventh Doctor is unable to convince his previous incarnation of their importance to the cosmos, but acquires his sixth incarnation's cat brooch, and leaves.

Arriving in a jungle, Benny attempts to get the attention of the Fourth Doctor, who is fleeing from Mandrels. Unable to get through to him, she despairs, but, to her good fortune, he offers her a jelly baby for her silence. Choosing a green one with a missing leg, she departs.

Encountering Adric amongst a group of people in fancy dress, Ace quickly get into position and catches a cricket ball hit by the Fifth Doctor before vanishing, leaving him stumped over whether or not he is out.

In a dark London alleyway, the Seventh Doctor observes his first incarnation talking to himself about his granddaughter Susan and the Hand of Omega. Tripping him up just in time to avoid him being hit by a Dalek death ray, the Doctor shoves the Dalek into the path of an oncoming bus and picks up a book dropped by his first incarnation.

Returning to the White Guardian, the trio hand over their items, with the Doctor expressing regret over having to lose his original TARDIS Instruction Manual. With time restored to normal, the White Guradian reassures him that he did the right thing.

On Gallifrey, long ago, the First Doctor and Susan narrowly dodge an explosion. Telling her that they must remove the Hand of Omega from Gallifrey due to the current chaos, the Doctor manages to convince Susan that they must break the rules and leave the planet. She asks him whether they will ever return, to which he responds with the affirmative, but not until the time is right. Until then, they must try their best to create a legacy that will continue long after they have departed.

Characters Edit

References Edit

Species Edit

The Key to Time Edit

Notes Edit

  • The comic's story featured the first visual appearance of the First Doctor and Susan leaving Gallifrey together in the TARDIS for the first time. This event would finally be glimpsed as on television screens in TV: The Name of the Doctor.
  • Adric's fancy-dress clothing is erroneous, as he did not change into it until after the Doctor had finished playing cricket in TV: Black Orchid.

Continuity Edit

External links Edit

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