just been re-reading The Flood, the final Eighth Doctor
comic strip to appear in Doctor Who Magazine (#346-#353).
are some remarkable similarities here to the later TV episode
The Parting of the Ways.
The villains of the piece, in this case the Cybermen, take
on aspects of religious fundamentalism, like the Daleks in
Parting. They promise to "save" humanity from the weaknesses
of emotion and sins of the flesh. The very title is a Biblical
reference. Both stories end with the monsters getting disintegrated
by a member of the TARDIS crew, in this case the Doctor, who
has absorbed the power of the Time Vortex.
when the Ninth Doctor absorbs the Time Vortex energies, second-hand,
from Rose Tyler, his exposure to them brings about his regeneration.
Yet the Eighth Doctor survives his experience. How come?
yes, I wonder whether Russell T Davies, who had started writing
a regular column for DWM by that point, was inspired
- either consciously or unconsciously - by that comic strip.
reckon that the important difference is that, in The Flood,
the Doctor absorbs only a relatively small part of the Time
Vortex, which had been installed as a power source within
Alternatively, perhaps the Eighth Doctor does regenerate
shortly after the strip has concluded. After all, the effect
of the Ninth Doctor's exposure to the energies of the Vortex
is not immediate at the end of The Parting of the Ways,
so maybe it is similarly delayed in The Flood.
in case you're wondering how Rose manages to survive her exposure
to the Vortex energies, Sorvad, my counterpart on the Matrix
Data Bank column of DWM has suggested (in #364)
that the crucial difference could be that Rose absorbs the
energies via the filter of the TARDIS, whereas the Doctor
extracts them directly from Rose. He possibly also takes up
into himself all the damaging effects that would otherwise
have destroyed his companion.
also ponders whether there is a bit of wish-fulfilment going
on here. After all, in Boom Town, the TARDIS and the
Time Vortex grant Blon Fel Fotch Pasameer-Day Slitheen a fresh
start by reverting her to the form of an egg. Rose gets what
she wants in Parting by defeating the Daleks and saving
the Doctor. Perhaps the emotionally wounded Ninth Doctor gets
what he wants too: a fresh start in a new body...