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Welcome to Tickle Town (comic story)

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Welcome to Tickle Town
Welcome to Tickle Town
Doctor: Eleventh Doctor
Companion(s): Clara
Main enemy: Tobias Tickle
Main setting: Tickle Town
Key crew
Editor: Tom Spilsbury & Peter Ware
Writer: Scott Gray
Artist: Adrian Salmon
Colourist: Adrian Salmon
Letterer: Roger Langridge
Release details
Printed in: DWM 465, 466
Release date: 2013
Format: Comic
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DWM comic stories
A Wing and a Prayer John Smith and the Common Men
Welcome to Tickle Town was a Doctor Who Magazine comic story released in 2013.

Publisher's summary Edit

The Doctor and Clara take a trip to Tickle Town, an amusement park, where Clara meets her cartoon hero, whilst the Time Lord uncovers the terrible secrets at the heart of Tickle Town after crossing paths with a desperate mother and daughter.

Summary Edit

Part 1: Welcome to Tickle Town Edit

Carstairs, crawling through a tunnel, begs his ally to slow down in fear of a movent-caused collapse. The other man, however, senses that tonight is the night they escape, adding that he would rather be dead than stuck in where they otherwise would be. The pair manages to pass the perimeter wall, but as they reach the surface, the Doodlebugs, a group of cartoonish-looking butterflies, sing a tune warning that escape is impossible.

Meanwhile, the Eleventh Doctor and Clara arrive in Tickle Town, a far-future amusement park. Clara recognises a statue of supposed founder Tobias Tickle, whose cartoons entertained her as a child, but is displeased to see a large amount of extraordinarily obese residents. As the Doctor childishly enjoys the park's rides, Clara meets Hopalong Harry, an anthropomorphic frog whose show Clara's young self particularly enjoyed. After hearing that Clara is a newcomer, Harry quietly notes that it might be wise to simply "keep moseying along."

The Doodlebugs spot the TARDIS, throwing it into their garbage truck while singing another tune. Constable Claws, another cartoon character (in fact a solid light hologram, as explained by the Doctor) explains that leaving the TARDIS lying around is considered littering, a serious offense. However, the Doctor shakes up a drink bottle, exploding the drink on Constable Claws and allowing the Doctor to escape via a futuristic car. Constable Claws' rodent assistant mentions that the Doctor arrived with Clara, whom he can lead the Constable to.

A girl and her mother find the Doctor after he accidentally crashes into cartoon elephant Ellie Phunt, and, not recognising him, they realise he is a newcomer. Meanwhile, Constable Claws finds Clara and grabs her...

At the Edu-Zone's Physics Plaza, a sparsely occupied location, Rupinda and Meera Kholi introduce themselves to the Doctor. They tell of the amusement park's wonderful opening day twenty years prior, which was interrupted as the sun went down. An energy wall had formed, imprisoning everyone at Tickle Town. Since then, the population became divided into three groups: lifers, who completely gave up hope of escape and, with the help of sedative-laced "munchies," simply enjoy the amusement park without complaint; visitors (including the Kholis), who grow their own food and unsuccessfully attempt to escape; and empties, who begin as visitors but are taken through a traumatising "special ride."

Constable Claws brings Clara to the aforementioned ride. She is subjected to a song (accompanied with seemingly real visuals) explaining the outside world's horrifying situation. Supposedly, war-born zombie armies menace humanity; the forests have burned; the lakes have all been eliminated; and poisonous clouds fill the air: "...It's a red, dead world outside!"

Part 2: The Hidden Heart Edit

Hopalong Harry rushes into the room, having worked up the courage to do so after seeing Clara carted off.

Meanwhile, the Doctor, still with the Kholis, notices the strangely large amount of Tannoy posts, all placed in geometric patterns. Using his sonic screwdriver, he discovers that these posts double as Transmat Pylons. He inverts the resistor cones of one to teleport, escaping the aptly named Bronto Brothers who are after them for tampering with the Tannoy post.

Constable Claws is startled to find Hopalong Harry exiting with Clara, and forces them back where they came from by sending the Doodlebugs after them. The pair find and enter a small, circular trap door on the ground, and Constable Claws decides to bust it open.

The Doctor and the Kholis have teleported outside of Tickle Town, specifically into a power conduit which contains the energy used to run Tickle Town. Harry and Clara, meanwhile, have fallen into another room, occupied by an extremely ancient Tobias Tickle. His blood having been replaced with preservative fluids and his breathing supported with machines, he was able to survive for over three hundred years. Impressed with Harry's ability to rise above his programming by saving Clara, he promises the frog a position as Tickle's successor. However, at this point, the Doctor, Meera and Rupinda enter the room, angry at Tickle for forcing so many innocent people to reside in Tickle Town for twenty years. Constable Claws, himself interested in what Tickle has to say for himself, agrees to a truce with the Doctor.

At the end of the previous century, Tickle claims to have foreseen a final war which would eradicate mankind. He supposedly created the innocent, happy Tickle Town to save a group of humanity from this conflict. However, the Doctor, who is familiar with the era, explains that the aforementioned war was averted. Tickle runs the "'world outside' program" to prove him wrong, but he fails to scare either the people or the cartoons. Constable Claws, angry at Tickle for keeping him a prisoner of sorts as well, attacks and kills the weak, ancient man; however, overexcited about his newfound freedom, he decides to kill the Doctor next. Harry reacts by attacking the Constable, disrupting both beings' internal matrices beyond repair.

The Doctor shuts off the amusement park's central holo-projector and repairs the transmat engines, opening Tickle Town's gates for the first time in twenty years. He and Clara depart in the TARDIS, the latter carrying a Hopalong Harry toy...

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