Saturday, 31 January 2015


3 parts (DWM 212-214) 11 May - 6 July 1994
Writer: Dan Abnett, Artist: Colin Howard, Editor: Gary Russell 

The 4th Doctor and 2nd Romana arrive on Kolpasha in the aftermath of a murder...
...with the Doctor testing out a new wardrobe.
A group of conspirators meet and scheme to use perfume Vitality to scratch the surface of the superficial society. 
The Doctor and Romana visit fashioneer Dara Clayd, but find her murdered, and are arrested.

When the computer log clears them they are freed to investigate the murders, and they soon realize that both used Vitality hypo-spray. 
The conspirators meet again, and one of their number, Gevaunt, has blood on his sleeve.
Meanwhile, the Doctor and Romana visit an old friend called Racheem Al-Hite, and Romana studies a sample of Vitality.

The spray might reverse the ageing process but after several uses, it causes human bodies to break down, making them easier to digest. 

The Doctor goes to the warehouse where Vitality is stored, only to run into Gevaunt, who shapeshifts into his true, monstrous form.

The Doctor recognizes him as a Quoll, and it's he who has tricked the others into porducing Vitality so that the humans on Kolpasha make them edible. 
Romana and Racheem report their findings to police chief Madlen Xel who interrogates the conspirators until the Doctor, pursued by Gevaunt, arrives.  

The Doctor sprays himself to become the bait to expose the Quoll, and when the Doctor then sprays the Quoll in its' true form, it explodes, and the day is saved!

The story that launched DWM's past Doctor run of the mid-90s is very much a false start; whilst characterisation and dialogue is, to be fair, note perfect, the story (admittedly in keeping with the era in which it's set, that of season 17) is lacklustre and slight. 

It echoes the likes of Nightmare of Eden via Caves of Androzani's spectrox, but it's a thin tale that's resolved rather too conveniently. 

The faults of the story are far from glossed over by some of the worst artwork to befall the DWM strip. The likenesses of the two leads are way off the mark and the jagged layouts fail to flow in a readable manner. 
It's not without its' merits but it's one to read once only, more to tick off your list than anything else. Poor. 


Coming Soon... The Lunar Strangers

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