London, 1889 and a

 time-stranded Doctor

 needs the help of an

 old friend to fix the

 TARDIS... but is beset

 by pursuers sent by

 Queen Victoria!


 How is this connected

 to a previous tale of

 the Sixth Doctor and

 a Fourth Doctor TALE

 that hasn't happened

 yet? And what will

 happen if the Doctor

 is captured by the

 Torchwood Institute?


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© IDW Publishing 2009. No copyright infringement is intended.

MAY 2009






IDW are fast becoming one of my favourite comic publishers. They’ve cornered the market in television and movie tie-ins, with their Doctor Who range in particular going from strength to strength. The Time Machination is their latest original release; the second one-off, following The Whispering Gallery.


Tony Lee, fresh from the anniversary special serial The Forgotten, once again provides

a twisty tale full of continuity references. This time it’s a much tighter tale, with a stronger structure, due in part, no doubt, to the much shorter length. This time, we have the tenth Doctor, travelling alone, looking up his old chum HG Wells, a few years after the events

of Timelash. Not my favourite serial, I have to say, but the idea of re-using Wells is rather irresistible. It also ties in with the new series ongoing trend of the Doctor meeting famous authors throughout history. We’ve had Dickens, Shakespeare and Christie, and now we have Wells. Lee even reuses the joke of having the Doctor quote from Wells’ works, the

hint being that he’ll then use those quotes as inspiration. The difference here is that Wells has yet to decide to become an author, seeing writing as a mere hobby, and the Doctor is desperately trying to convince hi to take it further. © IDW Publishing 2009. No copyright infringement is intended.


The continuity references don’t end there. Events here take place just before the events of The Talons of Weng-Chiang, while Torchwood, around ten years old here, are still out for

the Doctor. There are some interesting little asides – it’s here that Torchwood learn about the Doctor’s ability to change his form; they’ve been on his trail through the events in Perivale and Krakatoa; and it’s posited that the Gelth weren’t merely using the Rift, but had created it for their own purposes. The

plot is brief but effective, with Wells utilising the talents of his

scientist friend Jonathan Smith to help the Doctor repair his

TARDIS. However, Smith is more than he seems, and it isn’t

long before Torchwood are involved. Fortunately, the Doctor

is ahead of the game, and has a trick up his sleeve that his

scheming seventh self would be proud of.


Paul Grist provides the artwork here. I’ve not been sure about his work previously – I enjoy

the style, but it’s almost impossible to recognise his characters sometimes. However, he

gets the Doctor just right here (and it’s great to see him

don his deerstalker and cloak again). Indeed, the art is

actually fine throughout, quirky but effective; together

with some sympathetic colouring by Phil Elliott, it works

very well indeed. With the exception of the info-dump

towards the end, this is top-notch writing and art. It may

be a trifle fannish for some, but that suits me fine.


Copyright © Daniel Tessier 2009


Daniel Tessier has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act, 1988 to be identified as the author of this work.

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