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Comic Book Review
“When you told me we were going on an adventure, Doctor, I hadn’t quite anticipated you’d land us in the middle of a war zone…” The Eighth Doctor and Josie Day embark upon a universe-wide investigation that will take in Victorian magic shows, murderous trees, lost books, and barges in space crammed with the undead…! But their first stop is Lumin’s World, home to a raging war between the near-extinct Calexi and the crystalline Spherions! When Josie is wounded in the crossfire, it’s up to the Doctor to strike a peace – and find a cure – before she dies…!
Last issue the Eighth Doctor was in rather a good mood, which may have seemed out of place in light of his world-weary outlook in Paul McGann’s later Big Finish audio plays and the mini-episode Night of the Doctor. However, even in the latter he had plenty of witty lines, such as, “Four minutes? That’s ages. What if I get bored? I need a television, couple of books. Anyone for chess? Bring me knitting.”
Music of the Spherions redresses the balance. The Doctor seldom smiles during this issue, as he and Josie find themselves caught up in an interplanetary battle. “War,” he laments, “It’s everywhere I turn. No matter where I go, or what I do, everyone is at each other’s throats.” There are hints of the coming cosmic conflict that is the Time War as he continues. “It’s as if the universe wants to tear itself apart. I’m weary of all the fighting, Josie. It’s like a contagion, and it’s spreading faster than I can contain.”
His woes are compounded when his companion is injured – a wound that could cost her her life. Check out the Doctor’s reaction, a mixture of horror and anger – anger at himself for landing them in this mess, or at whoever created the weapon that did this. It is a testament to the artwork of Emma Vieceli that I can see all of this in a single image, and to the writing of George Mann that I care what happens to Josie so soon after being introduced to her.
This is a single-issue story, so the conflict is resolved rather swiftly and conveniently, though it has been good to see the Eighth Doctor’s gloomier side for a time. The issue also includes a page showing the artist’s preliminary sketches of the character.