Land of the Blind is the latest collection of comic strip adventures from the pages of Doctor Who Magazine and features the first five Doctors and their companions.
With a smashing cover from David Roach, the stories included are, in order of appearance: “Victims” a Fourth Doctor story by Dan Abnett, drawn by Colin Andrew, “The Lunar Strangers”, a Fifth Doctor story by Gareth Roberts, drawn by Martin Geraghty; “Food for Thought”, a First Doctor story by Nicholas Briggs, drawn by Colin Andrew; “Change of Mind”, a Third Doctor story by Kate Orman, drawn by Barrie Mitchell; “Land of the Blind”, a Second Doctor story by Scott Gray, drawn by Lee Sullivan; and “Bringer of Darkness”, also starring the Second Doctor, and featuring the Daleks by Scott Gray, drawn by Martin Geraghty.
It’s a great mix of past Doctor tales, commissioned by editor Gary Russell and Gary Gillatt at a time when the return of Doctor Who to TV screens was, incredibly, in doubt. Both Lee and Martin have updated some of the art in their strips published here, with a complete re-lettering job on “Bringer of Darkness”, to its definite benefit.
(Look out for a “Dan Dare” nod in “Kingdom of the Blind” that was alway there, though – an alien spaceship that looks very like the Tempus Fugit from the space adventurer’s late 1960s tales).
Some of the stories a fair bit draw on Who mythology (a new costume for the Fourth Doctor, Second Doctor Victoria’s final days aboard the TARDIS and Liz Shaw’s reasons for leaving the Third Doctor’s side). But this doesn’t hamper a wide breadth of stories and adventure and it’s a delight to see these tales, some of them, for me, actually for the first time. It’s wonderful to see the late Colin Andrew’s work on the First Doctor, for example.
Given the sheer lack of Daleks in any new Doctor Who comic stories – perhaps because the rights are too expensive, or some other reason – it’s also fun to see their brief reappearance here, in “Bringer of Darkness”, which again draws on Who mythology for some of its themes, and has had a very decent spruce up from Martin.
Oh, and come on – this collection has space cows… yes, space cows. Just let that sink in. How can you not be curious?
This collection also features exclusive new material revealing how the strips were created, featuring contributions from the writers and artists, plus never-before-seen images.
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Please note this review uses scans from the original publication of the strips included