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Comic Book Review

Book Cover

Doctor Who
The Twelfth Doctor #2.4


Writer: Robbie Morrison
Artist: Rachael Stott
Colourist: Ivan Nunes
Publisher: Titan Comics
RRP: UK £2.90, US $3.99
Age: 12+
32 pages
Publication Date: 06 April 2016

The shadowy puppet-masters behind the darkness at Ravenscaur have been revealed! The Sea Devils have risen once more – and this time, they won’t stop until they have reclaimed the entire planet as their own! Thanks to the Doctor, the world knows the true form of these creatures, but will it make any difference when their victory seems assured? Will the Doctor and Clara be able to contain the threat, or will humanity be sleeping with the fishes for all eternity…?

As Clara Oswald and the School of Death reaches its fourth and final episode, writer Robbie Morrison cracks a joke about Scottish independence that would not have seemed out of place in one of Steven Moffat’s scripts. As a punishment for resistance by human forces, the newly emerged Sea Devils decide to target Scotland: “The entire country will be pulverized and plunged to the sea bed,” declares the former prime minister, “Well, they did want to separate from the rest of the UK…”

The Sea Devils use sonic devastators, which, with their glowing spots and slightly rocky yet slightly organic look, are reminiscent of bits of reptile architecture seen in the television serial The Sea Devils – in particular that strange totem pole thing that was glimpsed on the island during Episode Six. They also deploy multi-legged fighting vehicles, which bring to mind the Martian War Machines from War of the Worlds.

You’ve got to admit that the Sea Devil leader has a point about human beings when she tells the Doctor: “I’ve seen them destroy their world through greed, attack one another for different beliefs, for the colour of their skins. You think they’d embrace us?” Of course, within the context of the story Homo sapiens has to win, though the Doctor’s verbal defence of our species comes across as a bit feeble: “The good in humanity outweighs the bad.”

There is some hope for racial harmony, however, in the inseparable bond that has formed between Clara’s teenage helpers Jack and Lucy, who effectively represent the future of humankind.

Meanwhile, the Doctor’s solution to the Sea Devil infestation is, as Jack and Lucy would say, sick. For those of you who are not down with the kids, that’s a good thing, by the way.

Some aspects of this serial, in particular the depiction of the Sea Devils, may not have entirely convinced me, but on the whole it is easy to imagine the events of Clara Oswald and the School of Death taking place on screen as part of Series 9.


Richard McGinlay

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