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COMPLETE REVIEW: Doctor Who: Time Lord Victorious

October 18th, 2020 by Marc Comments

Welcome to the Time Lord Victorious review section.

Time Lord Victorious is a major, multi-media Doctor Who event that takes place over numerous parts – comics, annuals, games, figures, books, audio adventures and an animated series and I, for my sins, have decided to follow it all and review it as I go.

Maybe it’s the lack of new movies and shows this year, but something about this event got me at a very basic level and I decided I really needed to dive into it – and review it for all you lovely, lovely nerds.

It all starts with a distress message sent through time for the Emperor Dalek:

DOCTOR WHO: TIME LORD VICTORIOUS
DEFENDER OF THE DALEKS #1 (Titan Comics, 2nd September)

Writer: Jody Houser
Artist: Roberta Ingranata

A thrilling new adventure for the Tenth Doctor (as played by fan-favorite David Tennant) that sees the shocking return of his deadliest enemies: the Daleks! But things aren’t what they seem – time is all wrong, and something is coming that terrifies even the Daleks… The first of two oversized issues kicking off the BBC’s highly anticipated multi-platform Doctor Who epic, Time Lord Victorious!

So, while I am a reasonably big fan of Doctor Who, I’ve never really dabbled beyond the main TV series and the odd collectible (and a couple of the Terrance Dicks books as a kid), but for some reason the new multi-platform event, Time Lord Victorious, has grabbed my attention and, against my better judgment, I have decided to go all in for it.

What does that mean? Well, between now and Christmas there will be comics, novels, collectibles, audio-adventures and more, all of which will form on massive story line featuring various incarnations of The Doctor.

And it all kicks off tomorrow with the release of Titan Comics’ Doctor Who: Time Lord Victorious #1.

And it’s a fun read, if a little… uneventful.

The book, which has gorgeous art from Ingranata, sees the Doctor – recovering from his adventure with the thirteenth Doctor in the last Titan Comics run – opens the door to his TARDIS to come face-to-face with his oldest foe, the Daleks.

So far, so Who.

But, too tired to face-off with his enemies, the Doctor nips off across time and space, only to open the door repeatedly, in new times and places, to… The Daleks. When he realises they aren’t trying to kill him, the adventure begins.

I don’t want to spoil too much here, but The Daleks are seeking The Doctor because something is threatening them – and all of existence – and they believe only he can help.

And honestly, aside from a few asides to previous Doctor Who lore such as the Time War, the whole story is that…

And when we do see what the new threat is it comes of as rather silly instead of scary… but, isn’t that maybe the truest compliment a Doctor Who monster?

The book, while not particularly eventful, is wonderfully drawn and the character of Tennant’s Doctor is spot-on, as is the obvious disdain the Daleks have for their predicament, so character isn’t an issue either – and when the art and characterisation is on point, you’re almost there.

And it’s not that it’s not an enjoyable read, it just feels like the story which took place over 48 pages could comfortably have been done in half that – there’s only so many ‘oh, yes you will!’ ‘Oh no, I won’t’ panels you can read before you just want the story to progress.

But, it’s a first chapter in a much bigger tale and it sets up the story and it introduces us to the new villain… and, as I said already, it does look great, so it’s certainly worth checking out.

I just hope the remaining books and chapters have more substance.

3 out of 5 Nerds

DOCTOR WHO: THE OFFICIAL ANNUAL 2021
BBC Children’s Books/Penguin Publishing (3rd September)

While the Annual doesn’t really add anything to the story or overall plot of the whole Time Lord Victorious event, it is a fun addition to the overall experience, but certainly one that could be skipped if you wish.

The contribution to TLV comes in the form of a newspaper – written by Melody Malone, Time Editor (who is someone familiar and, technically adds another face from the Whoniverse to the overarching story) – which focuses on the Kotturuh battle crisis and the Dalek Empire rising.

Here we are introduced to major new additions to the story, the Kotturuh, a mysterious race from the Dark Times who have the ability to decide how long species live and even, should they have the desire, to wipe out civilations. They will be a big part of the story, especially when we get the Big Finish audio adventures and the BBC Novels.

Another major new addition to the mythology is the Dalek Time Squad. This is a group of five Daleks – Time Commander, Strategist, Scientist, Executioner and Drone (there’s loads of them, obviously) who we have met already in the first comic from Titan but who will soon become major players in the story. They seem to have been created by events in the story, having not been around before. Interestingly, the Strategist seems to be quite the free-thinker among the Daleks. Will be fun to see how this fits in down the line.

We also get a brief rundown of other creatures from the Who mythology who were around during the Dark Times – a period previously timelocked but which will play a big role in the story. These include The Eternals, The Racnoss, The Osirans, The Great Vampires, The Daemons and, of course, The Gallifreyans.

There are all creatures and races we’ve met before and are the inspiration to an upcoming Bluray release – The Road To The Dark Times – which focuses on previous Who stories integral to the story (here).

3 out of 5 Nerds

DOCTOR WHO: MONSTROUS BEAUTY #1
Doctor Who Magazine #556 (17th September)

This is a two-for-deal for Time Lord Victorious fans as the actual comic, Monstrous Beauty #1, comes with the latest issue of Doctor Who Magazine.

The magazine, while full of the usual news and articles based around the Doctor Who universe in general but this latest issue, as well as having the comic included, focuses on the whole TLV event in a major way, delving into the creation of the event, interviewing the writers and creators with a breakdown and tease of all the elements still to come. It’s a worth while buy if you’re trying to get a feel for what TLV is about and what joys it has instore moving forward.

But, of course, the big Time Lord Victorious part in the first issue of the Monstrous Beauty story featuring Christopher Eccleston’s ninth Doctor along with his faithful companion Rose, based on Billie Piper’s performance on the show.

The story sees The Doctor and Rose travel back to The Dark Times, much to the bemusement of the Doctor, who informs Rose that no TARDIS can travel there as it’s a time-locked part of history.

This is undoubtedly where the real TLV story begins as we see the Doctor entering The Dark Times, where we know the story sees a new timeline created. While there the Doctor meets a familiar face – who I won’t spoil, but it’s a big name for Who fans – who doesn’t recognise him yet.

The Doctor and Rose end up fighting Cucrbites, creatures which the Doctor describes as ‘living spaceships fuelled by blood’. They’re definitely an odd villain, but it’s really the discovery made my Rose, that will likely form the backbone of this chapter in the story.

While the story is engaging enough, the art is lackluster, compared to the lovely art in the Titan tale, but the likenesses of Ellecston and Piper are definitely there and some of the costume design is lovely and feels like a lovely throwback to goldenage Who.

I’m looking forward to where the next part goes and am already seeing where it times into the overall story and, indeed, to more recent episodes of the TV series.

Oh, and there’s a pretty cool Time Lord Victorious poster free too…

4 out of 5 Nerds

TALES OF THE DARK TIMES (24th September, 10th October, 22nd October, 15th November and 18th November)
Doctor Who Comic Creator

Tales of the Dark Times is an ongoing comic strip available exclusively on the Doctor Who Comic Creator App and tying into the wider Time Lord Victorious story.

Each issue – there’s four planned – is £1.00 and features a very crude comic strip made with character art that, once you purchase each strip, you can then add them into your comic creator and use them to creat your own Who comics. It’s a cute idea, but honestly, there’s not much here and each strip takes about a minute to read and half that time is swiping to the next panel.

The first issue has the tenth Doctor on a deserted – or is it? – planet with Brian the Ood and is such a basic tale it’s not worth even mentioning except, I suppose, for a brief glimpse into the Doctor and Brian’s relationship.

Interestingly, though, the Doctor is wearing his Time Lord suit, so it’s placing in the Time Lord Victorious story is certainly interesting.

The second story is slightly better and sees the Daleks arriving on the home planet of the Velosians to reuse them from the end times that are coming.

The Daleks ask the Velosians to gather together their greatest minds and they would take them off-world to save them… they make it clear they can’t save them all but will save enough to help the species survive. But this is the Dales and, right from the off, something felt wrong…

This story is a vast improvement from the first story and while it doesn’t do much to improve the TLV story, it is a fun little glimpse into how the Daleks are behaving as the universe begins to crumble.

The third comic is, once again, yet another improvement and has the eighth Doctor traveling through space with the Daleks (so it takes place after Big Finish’s He Kills Me, He Kills Me Not) as they stumble across a mysterious space ship that seems to be a remnant of the Dark Times and is full of something the Daleks could use… but, of course, all is not as it seems.

Once again, the story doesn’t really flesh out the main story, but it is a fun little aside that has the Doctor and the Daleks involved in a little side-quest in among the big events.

The fourth story sees the ninth Doctor on an ice planet with a vampire princess called Ikkala when they come face-to-face with a monster (we never see the creature) and it’s about how they stop the creature from eating them. This story is a non-event. I don’t know why it’s connected to TLV or what the point was… perhaps we’ll find out down the line.

The fifth story sees the eighth and ninth Doctors together in the dark times when they stumble upon something that, simply, shouldn’t be there. This is a fun little story and unlike the fourth one, it’s easy to see how and where this fits into the overall story.

We have learned that all these adventures take place in the middle of the novel All Flesh Is Grass, so perhaps in that story we’ll see exactly how all these fit together as there are obvious loose ends left in these mini tales.

Overall, these Comic Creator strips aren’t anything to write home about but if you already use the app for comic creation, it does add some fun new models that you can use but at a £1 each, the content brings very little to the table otherwise.

2 out of 5 Nerds

THE KNIGHT, THE FOOL AND THE DEAD (BBC Books, 1st October)
Written by: Steve Cole  

Review coming soon.

SHORT TRIPS: MASTER THIEF/LESSER EVILS (Big Finish, 7th October)
Written by: Simon Guerrier Sophie Iles
Narrated by: Jon Culshaw

Big Finish jumps into Time Lord Victorious with their Short Trips adventures.

These are two adventures, not as long as regular Big Finish stories, starring the Doctor’s sworn enemy, the Master – here played/read by Culshaw but these are Roger Delgado’s Master in Master Thief and Anthony Ainley’s incarnation in Lesser Evils.

Like all the TLV content, these work well as standalone tales but, once you start seeing the bigger picture, you’ll see how this connects to the wider tale.

The first story, Master Thief, sees the Master breaking into a secure vault, the Repository,  to steal an item that will, well, we don’t know what it will do… but I can’t help feeling it will tie back into the TLV tale at some stage down the line.

During the heist, we really get a feel for the remorseless monster the Master actually is and it’s a wonderful exploration of how he thinks and how he truly is the very opposite of what the Doctor represents.

And, when the tables become turned on him – I’ll not spoil it as it’s actually pretty great – you feel the despair he feels and it’s completely believable.

One thing of note here is that this actually reveals how the Master regenerates from Delgado to Peter Pratt and that alone makes this an essential purchase.

One other possible connection could also be that the Master has a weapon that reverts people to the primordial sludge they evolved from millions of years ago and they are sentient and I can’t help but wonder if this ooze is somehow related to the the Hond, who we met in the first issue of Defender of the Daleks (above)?.

The second story has a much more obvious link. In this story we see the Master meet a member of the Kotturuh on the planet Alexis –  the Kotturuh are, of course, the new additions to the Doctor Who lore and are gifted with the ability to be able to designate how long the average life span of a species is, which is what it is doing when it meets the Master.

What follows is an interesting battle of wits and an exploration of who the Kotturuh are and what they do and the Master, who genuinely seems to like living on Alexis and one of its inhabitants in particular, seems to allude to something that – as before – may play a bigger role down the line.

There is a very off moment towards the end of the story where a massive time jump takes place briefly – you’ll know it when it happens – and it’s quite jarring and I’m glad to see, from reading around, that I’m not the only person completely thrown by it… but I look forward to seeing what it means down the line.

Special note must be made of Culshaw’s remarkable ability to mimic almost perfectly both Masters, it’s really a delight to behold.

4 out of 5 Nerds

DEFENDER OF THE DALEKS #2 (Titan Comics, 8th September)
Writer: Jody Houser
Artist: Roberta Ingranata

Picking up where we left of, this issue serves as a conclusion to the tale but primarily it acts as an introduction and getting-to-know you for the Dalek Time Squd, who all have their own identity and personality, especially the Strategist who becomes an almost ally to the Doctor.

Without going into detail, the story wraps up nicely but before it all closes another very familiar face enters the fray and although their role is unlikely to be much bigger than it was here, it’s nice to have them involved.

Also, the final shot in the comic seems to link to the second part (The Enemy of My enemy) of Big Finish’s upcoming TLV trilogy starring Paul McGann as the Doctor.

Overall, this was all satisfactory and the art, as with issue one, was lovely – full praise to Titan Comics, they put out a beautiful comic with the art, coloring, page count, and paper all being top-notch.

This has led to me adding Titans’ Doctor Who book to my regular pull list.

I enjoyed it for sure and look forward to meeting these Daleks again further into the adventure…

4 out of 5 Nerds

BRIAN THE OOD T-Shirt
Forbidden Planet (30th September)

As part of the Time Lord Victorious event Forbidden Planet, with the help of writer James Goss, produced a T-Shirt, limited to 500 pieces, that told part of the story.

The tee features the now popular character in the story, Brian the Ood, and, rather cleverly, it tells part of the story.

How does it do that?

Well, the tee looks one way in normal light but changes when it’s dark, displaying glow-in-the-dark writing that cannot be seen otherwise.

Now, I’ve not decided if I want to buy the shirt because, frankly, I’d never wear it, but the completist in me thinks it is a must-have.

While I decide, here’s a fun little video breaking down what it says and how it broadens the TLV story (PS I ordered one).:

3 out of 5 Nerds

SHORT STORY (25th September):
The Dawn of the Kotturuh, written by James Goss

As well as all the main Time Lord Victorious content, it looks like we’ll be getting a lot of short stories and little bonuses – some free, some not –  to complement and flesh out the larger story.

The first of these is The Damn of the Kotturuh, a short story focusing on the new superpower in the Whiniverse, the Kotturuh.

These mysterious creatures have the gift to decide how long any given race or species gets to live and, rather than a sacred duty, this is a task that brought, during the dark times, horror to the universe.

When the Kotturuh land on a planet, they don’t gently alter the direction of its people and creatures, but they bring terror and horror and, even worse, it seems like they are beginning to enjoy it.

Goss here writes a very trim but scary original tale to an enemy that, unlike more big guys in the Doctor Who worlds, don’t seem to have a weakness or an apparent way to stop them and in this story we meet them on the planet of Birinji and we see how lowly the Kotturuh see the people as being.

They seem to not just guess what a species’ worth is, but have the ability to see future events and how big a footprint they will leave in the universe… and we already know this won’t sit well with the Doctor.

This was a chilling tale of an enemy that seems to enjoy their dirty duty and it gives us a great flavour of what this whole event –  and the Doctor himself – has to defeat.

4 out of 5 Nerds

DOCTOR WHO – A TALE OF TWO TIME LORDS PAPERBACK (Titan Comics, 13th October)
Writer: Jody Houser
Artist: Roberta Ingranata
NB: This is not part of the TLV story but leads up to it.

Collecting the Thirteenth Doctor Adventures #2.1-2.4, this sees – obviously from the title – Tennant’s Thirteenth Doctor and Whittaker’s Thirteenth Doctor meeting each other during the events of the iconic Tennant episode Don’t Blink.

In that episode The Doctor and Martha (played by Freeman Agyeman) find themselves stuck in 1969 after an encounter with the Weeping Angels who send them back in time… without the TARDIS. And, it appears that during his period, they bumped into the Thirteenth Doctor and her crew of Graham, Yaz and Ryan as London becomes the target not just of the Angels, but of another classic Who villain.

While, as I said above, this isn’t officially tied into the TLV content, it doe set the scene before meeting the Tenth Doctor in Defender of the Daleks #1 where all this fun started, so for that reason alone it’s worth checking out.

It also ties into the end of the Defender story with a surprise appearance that will really only make sense if you read this… that said, it’s certainly not essential.

But, I must add, that this is a very fun read and, as someone who didn’t enjoy the last two seasons of Doctor Who, it proves that, with the right writing and attention to the fun spirit of Doctor Who, Whitaker has the potential to be as great a Doctor as anyone, so let’s hope Chibnal et al are reading this book.

Worth a purchase if you want the complete TLV experience but mostly worth a purchase if you want to read some fun Doctor Who content.

4 out of 5 Nerds

HE KILLS ME, HE KILLS ME NOT (Big Finish Productions, 14th October)
Writer: Carrie Thompson
Starring: Paul McGann

While Big Finish already entered the Time Lord Victorious story with the Short Trips (above), this is the first full-cast, full-length audio adventure to jump in and bring a new Doctor into the story.

Paul McGann at the stage is an old hand at the Big Finish stuff and always delivers a first-class performance and he’s no difference here.

In the story, the Doctor, in a rare break, aims to go to the planet of Atharna, where he wants to witness one of the Seven Hundred Wonders of the Universe however, instead of the lush, central hub of the galaxy with two suns in the sky, the TARDIS takes him to a dusty old world with very few inhabitants and, obviously, the Doctor believes he’s been taken to the wrong planet… but, after the events of The Knight, The Fool and the Dead, there are still ripples going across the universe causing massive alterations.

However, this is not the crux of the tale, although I’d imagine in one of the next chapters of the trilogy it will be, but rather the tale is pretty simple, focusing on Katherine and Felicity, both on the run from Brian, the Ood assassin…

While I don’t want to say more, as the story is so slight that any information could be construed as a spoiler, I will say that the story rips along and putting the Doctor in a wild-west setting of sorts is certainly fun, but the standout of the whole affair is Silas Carson as Brian, the murderous Oood.

Carson plays the Ood voices in Doctor Who, so having him return here is a creative move. It’s also a lot of fun to have Brian, a courteous, smart and obliging Ood, dabble in the darker side of things… no red-eyes here, Brian just likes to kill. His relationship with his orb makes me think back to other characters in some of my favourite franchises, particularly Scarface and the Ventriloquist from the Batman comics… it’s a fun idea and I look forward to seeing more of Brian in future (and past installments) of TLV.

Overall, there are lots of hints at the wider universe of the TLV story dropped in here, particularly in the Doctor not recognising Atharna or its surrounding planets as they have been fundamentally changed and also when he starts to work out that something bigger is afoot. Brian too is a big part of the bigger picture.

And it also does a fun job of setting up the next installment in the final page which seems to directly tie into the end of the Defender of the Daleks story.

So, overall it’s fun but very little really happens. If you’re a fan of McGann’s Big Finish adventures you’ll like this just fine but if you’re hoping for a big part of this story – as I was – then you’ll likely be a bit diappointed.

3 out of 5 Nerds

Doctor Who: Canaries (15th October)
Writer: Dave Rudden
Exclusive short story on doctorwho.tv

Canaries is the second free-to-fans short story tying into the Time Lord Victorious story and, like The Damn of the Kotturuh (reviewed above), it’s one of the best bits of the who event so far.

Written by Rudden to tie-in with both TLV and his new Doctor Who collection of short stories, The Winter Paradox, this is a superb bit of fantasy and is probably my favorite thing in all of this so far… and it didn’t cost me a penny.

Focusing on a museum of things that shouldn’t exist in the small alpine village of Verbier, we meet Anke Von Grisel, the owner and curator of this wonderful little building.

All the things in Anke’s collection have fallen through time and space and represent realities that never existed… except for one man: The Doctor. and, not only has she collected all these little oddities (I’ll not spoil what is there but the items tie into TLV and the wider Whoniverse) but she is occasionally contacted by the mn who caused them all.

But this time she finds herself contacted on the phone by a new Doctor, one she hasn’t spoken to before – adding, by the way, a new Doctor into the story – and he believes that her collection, or something in it, is causing time and space to unravel… she owns something that is creating a paradox and by the time it gets to the end, I was gasping for more.

Reading this has made my preorder Rudden’s book because, well, the guy can tell a story! Plus, I’ve heard that there’s of the museum in the book and that alone has made me want to pick it up.

Don’t miss out on this, click the link above and give it a read… you won’t be sorry.

4 out of 5 Nerds

DOCTOR WHO: MONSTROUS BEAUTY #2
Doctor Who Magazine #557 (15th October)

With the second part of this story, we see the ninth Doctor hunting for Rose who is being held by a bunch of vampires as he boards The Vampire Alliance’s Coffin Ship, which is basically a massive upside-down cathedral flying through space (yes, really).

On the ship he makes a grim discovery which reflects on how much of a force of evil these vampires have been throughout the galaxy and, sadly, the Doctor suffers losses before he finds Rose… and even then, it’s not the reunion he was hoping for.

As with part one, this adventure was breakneck fast and, while the art still isn’t holding a candle to the Titan stuff –  although the likeness to Eccleston is pretty spot on – it makes up for it in pacing and the scripting is solid too, especially in the writing of the Doctor as his character is perfectly nailed down.

No, the big reveal/surprise of the issue comes with the final panel and, while it looks like a gamechanger, we know that it’s going to be fixed next month.

Is it possible that the events of this whole event so far, which have wiped the Time War out of reality and has seen whole planets changed and so even vanish, will leave this event in canon? At least until the whole event is resolved?

It’s interesting because, at first I felt it was a cop-out and then, the more I thought about what this was trying to do, the more I’m now pondering if events may be left altered… for a while at least?

On an unrelated note, it was disappointing that this month the comic strip was merely incorporated into the actual magazine rather than being a standalone comic book like last month.

As for the magazine’s TLV content, there’s nowhere near as much time or space dedicated to it this time around… but if you’re excited for the upcoming Daleks!  animated show, then there’s some fun content and behind-the-scenes stuff in here for you to get prepared for the youtube series debuting on November 12th.

3 out of 5 Nerds

DALEK DRONE AND DALEK EMPEROR SET (20th October)
THE RESTORATION DALEKS (Short story)
Eaglemoss figures

One of the most anticipated parts of the whole Time Lord Victorious adventure was Eaglemoss’s first figurine set which will finally give the fans an Emperor Dalek similar to the one made famous in the classic Century 21st comic books.

The figures themselves, Dalek Drone and Dalek Emperor, are based on the designs that we already have seen in the TLV story from the Defender of the Daleks comics up to the soon to be released Daleks! animated series.

And they do not disappoint. Eaglemoss are no strangers to Dalek figures and they have applied that knowledge wonderfully here – from the lovely details sculpting (these figures are only 8cms tall) to the hand-applied paint applications, however, and it’s a small complaint given that these are meant for display, not play, but I would have loved some articulation in the figures themselves.

Along with the figures we get a magazine – I am a production journalist in my real life and the cover of this boggles my mind – that features lots of fun details on the Restoration Daleks, a line of Daleks that have never existed prior to TLV, and it’s well worth a read for fans… it also has a very cool cross-section of the Emperor. If you like that sort of thing.

The magazine also features the short story The Restoration Daleks, that, awful typos aside, tells the story of the Emperor Dalek receiving a message from a lone Dalek, lost to space and time, warning him about the Doctor and how his upcoming mission is going to fail…

The Dalek sending the message is the one from the Time Lord Victorious trailer (near the top of the page) and the Emperor receiving this confirms that this story takes place before the Daleks! series and also before the Defender of the Daleks comics – we know this because of the destination of the Emperor after he receives the message.

Honestly, I was very excited to get this chapter in the TLV saga and it did not disappoint with a fun short story, magazine and two cracking little figures. It’s a pricey addition but will look great on your shelf.

4 out of 5 Nerds

ROAD TO THE DARK TIMES (9th November)
BBC Blu-ray release – classic episodes of Doctor Who leading to the events of Time Lord Victorious

This collection isn’t strictly part of Time Lord Victorious, but rather gives us a taste of what the Dark Times are in the Whoniverse, who lived in them and how volatile the Doctor can be sometimes.

It is a collection of stories:

Planet of the Daleks in which the third Doctor (Jon Pertwee) crashes on the planet Spiridon that has an army of Daleks that are awakening and he must go to the Time Lords on Gallifrey to help, thus setting up the relationship the Doctor has with the Daleks and why they’re union with him at various points is such a big deal in TLV. It also gives us a nice insight into the Time Lord society.

Genesis of the Daleks sees the fourth Doctor (Tom Baker) sent by the Time Lords to Skaro before the creation of the Daleks, where his orders are to break the Time Lords’ own rules and change history by making sure the Daleks never come into being. While there, the Doctor questions if he has the right to stop some even as evil as the Daleks from being born. It’s also pretty much what sees the Time War become an inevitable part of Doctor Who’s lore. The Dalek army here is a nice parallel to the one we see in Daleks! episode 2 and this story goes further into who the Time Lords are and why the Daleks and them are such bitter enemies. It also sets up the Time War, which raged through all of time and space once it began and we all know now that it’s an even that has been wiped out of history during the events of TLV.

The Deadly Assassin sees the fourth Doctor return to Gallifrey after he has a vision of sorts of something he must stop. The story delves into the history of the Time Lords, who they are and why they may not be the all-good characters they are portrayed to be. It’s notable that this story sees the appearance of Rassilon, who also appears in Doctor Who Magazine’s Monstrous Beauty storyline.

State of Decay has the fourth Doctor stuck on a medieval world where the people fear the Three Who Rule who reign over the planet from an ancient castle. These three are believed to be ancient astronauts but turn out to actually be ancient Vampires – again, a race from the Dark Times and a major part of the Monstrous Beauty storyline in Doctor Who Magazine.

The Curse of Fenric has the seventh Doctor (Sylvester McCoy) trying to stop the awakening of an ancient evil called Fenric. The story ties into the TLV story because Fenric – who once had a terrifying body but is now just a spirit that can possess others – was from, presumably, the Dark Times. It also has the Doctor paying the price for his own over-arrogance and doing for some people what he believes is best for them whether they want it or not – similar to the events in The Waters of Mars where the whole TLV story actually began.

The Runaway Bride has little to do with TLV except that in it we meet the Racknoss, a race from the Dark Times who implant their young in newly created planets. It also shows that the tenth Doctor (David Tennant)is arrogant and prepared to push the boundaries of right and wrong – Donna Noble (Catherine Tate) tells the Doctor that he needs someone with him all the time to tell him to stop when he needs it.

The Wars of Mars has the tenth Doctor arriving alone on Mars just as the first colony is setting up camp and, wouldn’t you know it, as soon as he arrives people start turning into pretty scary zombies who can control (and leak a lot of) water. While not directly linked to TLV, the story has the Doctor referencing the ancient Ice Warriors – although I don’t believe they’re original Dark Times dwellers. However, it’s the main ending that actually not only links to but sets into motion Time Lord Victorious. The Doctor decides that he can change a fixed moment in time, calling himself the Time Lord Victorious and creating a paradox that leads directly into the short story (below) What The TARDIS Thought of Time Lord Victorious (below) and beyond that, into the rest of the story.

“For a long time I thought I was just a survivor, but I’m not. I’m the winner. That’s who I am. The Time Lord Victorious.”

Overall, while not at all essential to the overall adventure, this collection provides us with some iconic Dalek stories and it’s always nice to have some HD Doctor Who in your collection – and the old adventures look gorgeous here, with picture and sound all being top notch.

Whether it’s a must-buy item is up to you, but I like how it sets up certain aspects of Time Lord Victorious and really sells the idea that this story has been being set up for quite some time.

4 out of 5 Nerds

THE ENEMY OF MY ENEMY (Big Finish Productions, 11th November)
Writer: Tracy Ann Baines
Starring: Paul McGann

When the Doctor is approached by the Daleks time squad and asked to help them negotiate peace with a race, the Wraxians, who shouldn’t even exist he’s understandably hesitant but also quite willing.

This, unlike the first Big Finish story – He Kills Me, He Kills Me Not – feels like it’s actually not only important to the Time Lord Victorious story but feels like it may, in fact, be a lynchpin story.

When the Doctor and the Daleks – voiced wonderfully here by Nicholas Briggs who manages to give all the new Daleks we met before in the Titans adventures and other books great new personalities and, just like in the Titan Comics Defender of the Daleks books, the Strategist Dalek and the Doctor come painfully close to being friends – go to Wrax and meet the Wraxians, they find a race that shouldn’t be anywhere near as advanced as they are and, on top of that, they have a dark secret that the Daleks plan to capitalise on and the Doctor is worried by.

This is proper Big Finish, with Mcgann once again teasing us by showing us just how hard done by we really are by him never getting the chance to play the Doctor for a long period of time rather than his one stand-alone movie adventure.

His back and forth with the Daleks is a joy, his teasing of one and almost friendship with another is a delight – you really feel his inner turmoil over his predicament  – it’s a nice contrast to the Titan Comics story featuring Tennant’s incarnation and, when he has to become the negotiation, it’s so much fun to hear him… Baines’ writing is cracking and for an audio adventure, the locations and circumstances are easily envisioned.

On top of this, we see a big tie-in with Big Finish’s Short Trips Master Thief story and, yes, there’s a connection to the big bad of the overall story, the Kotturah.

So overall, I really enjoyed this adventure and would say that, by the end, when the Doctor and the Daleks are heading to somewhere the story predicted they would need to go, I was left excited for the third and final part of this trilogy.

4 out of 5 Nerds

NEW COMPLETE TIME LORD VICTORIOUS STORY ORDER (GUIDE):

DALEKS! EPISODE 1: THE ARCHIVE OF ISLOS (12th November)
(BBC YOUTUBE CHANNEL)

So, we finally get the all new animated Daleks! series which is the BBC’s main contribution to the series.

This new series sees the Daleks, led by the gold, circular headed Emperor, heading to the Archive of Islos, where they believe they can find information on the Koturrah based on the message from the fallen Dalek (near the top of this post) that warned them about the Doctor and the events coming.

It will also be this adventure/invasion that will see the Daleks going to find the Doctor in Titan Comics’ Defender of the Daleks story.

Overall, the story itself has potential but, while I know they were massively inhibited, not even the writing by TLV overseer James Goss, the cracking voice work of Nicholas Briggs or the loving homages to the TV Century 21 comics can get past the fact that this really does look like it was made as a school project.

That’s not to say all the animation is awful, in fact, there is some gorgeous work and shots here, but the explosions with angles and the really cheap animation models just make it hard to stay interested in.

But, I’m invested in this story – it’s been a big part of my staying sane during the lockdown, so I shall persevere… but it’s not winning me over yet.

2 out of 5 Nerds

DOCTOR WHO: MONSTROUS BEAUTY #1
Doctor Who Magazine #557 (12th November)

Review coming soon

DOCTOR WHO: DEFENDER OF THE DALEKS COLLECTION (17th November)

This is just the collected edition of the two-issue Titan Comics series but it’s a lovely presentation.

Have you not picked up the two issues, I would recommend this because, firstly, the presentation in lovely but also, you get some nice behind-the-scenes on creating the comics, an interview with TLV overseer James Goss and, for those of you who can’t afford (or don’t want to) afford all the various comic covers, there’s a nice gallery of all the covers.

So, overall, it’s well worth picking up.

And yes, I bought it along with the issues because I’m a sucker for nice collected editions.

 

THE EDGE OF TIME VR GAME TIME LORD VICTORIOUS UPDATE (November 16th)

Sadly, I don’t have an Occulus Rift or PS4 VR Headset, but if and when I get a chance to play it, I’ll update this post.

From what I have managed to gather online from other reviews and news, the update seems to give the player the chance to fly the tenth Doctor’s TARDIS – that’s Tennant’s TARDIS and the main TLV one as the original Edge of Time game seemed to be a thirteenth Doctor adventure (that’s Jodie Whitaker’s Doctor).

On top of that, it seems there’s many articles to be found in the game from the Dark Times, including the Time Lord Victorius Sonic Screwdriver:

Whovians will recognise this as a damaged/wrapped version of the ninth and tenth Doctor’s sonic and I actually really like this.

As well as in this update, the new screwdriver will appear in the upcoming novel All Flesh Is Grass.

I actually really hope they make a toy/replica of this because I actually really like this version of my personal favourite Sonic Screwdriver.

Meanwhile, here’s a trailer for you to enjoy:

WHAT THE TARDIS THOUGHT OF TIME LORD VICTORIOUS
Exclusive short story available on doctorwho.tv
Written by: Paul Goss

Another little free story that fits into the overall TLV story and, like Canaries and The Damn of the Kotturuh, it is another rich part of the story that feels like, short as it may be, it deserves a bigger platform… Canaries may still be my favourite part of TLV so far!

The tale, but the overseer of all of TLV, Paul Goss, tells the story of what happened at the end of The Waters of Mars, the tenth Doctor episode that takes place immediately before this story begins… basically at the end of that episode the Doctor saves someone who should have died and this creates a paradox and that leads to the Time Lord Victorious adventure.

This story is wonderfully written and really brings us back to the TARDIS’s character as seen in The Doctor’s wife when actress Suranne Jones played Idris, the human personification of the time ship. It explains how important the ship is to the Doctor and dwells on the idea that the Doctor isn’t really the one in control.

It also reveals how exactly the Doctor got to the dark times – something that has merely been alluded to before in The Knight, The Fool and the Dead novel and it makes a lot of sense… I thought it was going to be something to do with Amy’s crack in space/The Pandorica, but it’s not.

This is a fast but very enjoyable read and it leaves me pretty excited for Goss’s All Flesh is Grass novel coming next month.

4 out of 5 Nerds

DALEKS! EPISODE 2: THE SENTINEL OF THE FIFTH GALAXY (18th November (one day early))
(BBC YOUTUBE CHANNEL)

So, after a lackluster series opener last week, the Daleks are back after their failed attempt at taking the Archive of Islos.

They are on the run from an enemy released by the archivists on Islos that seems hellbent on destroying them at all costs and, still unsure what this enemy is, the Daleks run…

While still not a lot better than last week’s ho-hum opener, it’s more obvious how this leads to the future events we are already aware of in various other TLV installments.

The story focuses mostly on the Strategist who has a mission this episode that could give the Daleks an advantage over this, so far, unknown enemy and, once again, shows that this is a great addition to the Dalek lore as his character is devious and clever but also loyal and sympathetic at times and, even if you’ve not seen or heard any of the other installments, his pairing with the Doctor should be a tantalising proposition.

However, despite only being ten minutes, this episode feels like it’s a bit of a drag because, well, not very much happens – however, we do get a feel for whatever is coming for the Daleks and just how much trouble the Skaro race is really in.

So, an improvement but still hopefully with better to come.

Still, it’s free… and there’s not much TLV content that costs that.

2 out of 5 Nerds

COMING SOON:

The new updated Time Lord Victorious timeline has now confirmed that the new VR game, Doctor Who: Edge of Time, is part of the event.

Here’s the new timeline:

And here’s the trailer for Edge of Time, which really makes me wish I had a VR headset… perhaps Santa will bring me one.

TRAILER:

Coming in 2021

We also know that next year there will be an immersive Doctor Who adventure called Time Fracture (book here) which will allow an audience to jump into an actual Doctor Who story – it kicks off in London in February 2021.

Here’s the trailer:

Here’s the blogs leading up to the adventure:

Marc is a self-confessed nerd. Ever since seeing Star Wars for the first time around 1979 he’s been an unapologetic fan of the Wars and still believes, with Clone Wars and now Underworld, we are yet to see the best Star Wars. He’s a dad of two who now doesn’t have the time (or money) to collect the amount of toys, comics, movies and books he once did, much to the relief of his long-suffering wife. In the real world he’s a graphic designer. He started Following the Nerd because he was tired of searching a million sites every day for all the best news that he loves and decided to create one place where you can go to get the whole lot. Secretly he longs to be sitting in the cockpit of his YT-1300 Corellian Transport ship with his co-pilot Chewie, roaming the universe, waiting for his next big adventure, but feels just at home watching cartoons with his kids….