The Ninth Doctor and Rose Tyler join Time Lord Victorious in the first part of Doctor Who Magazine‘s exclusive new tie-in comic strip, Monstrous Beauty

After months of anticipation and speculation, one of the most ambitious projects in Doctor Who‘s history, Time Lord Victorious, is finally underway. This complex multi-Doctor story will be told across a wide array of platforms, from novels and audio dramas to escape rooms and immersive live theatrical events.

Set during the Dark Times at the very beginning of the universe, Time Lord Victorious will feature the EighthNinth, and Tenth Doctors as they defend their home planet from a terrible race. Fans can also expect appearances from companion Rose Tyler, along with the Daleks and Ood.

Fans have been reassured by producer James Goss in a recent interview that it isn’t necessary to consume the story in its entirety or even in a certain order to understand it. He has explained that each aspect of Time Lord Victorious can be enjoyed as a self-contained experience, which also connects to the overarching storyline.

Blogtor Who have put together a helpful infographic to help fans keep track all the releases which are due out over the next six months and beyond, and how they connect to one another:

Blogtor Who's updated timeline for Time Lord Victorious, now with added DALEKS! and more... (c) Blogtor Who Doctor Who Eighth Doctor Ninth Doctor Tenth Doctor Daleks Kotturuh Brian the Ood
Blogtor Who’s updated timeline for Time Lord Victorious, now with added DALEKS! and more… (c) Blogtor Who

Earlier this month, Titan Comics kicked off proceedings with the first instalment of their two-part Tenth Doctor-centric series Defender of the Daleks. This was soon followed by Doctor Who: The Official Annual 2021, which features a ‘Guide to the Dark Times‘, which shed light on one of the story’s main villains, the Kotturuh, along with the bargain between them and the Great Vampires, as well as the Dalek Time Squad and Brian the Ood Assassin.

Monstrous Beauty is Another Excellent Jumping-On Point for Time Lord Victorious

Now, the opening chapter of comic-strip adventure Monstrous Beauty sees the Ninth Doctor and Rose Tyler enter the world of Time Lord Victorious. This first instalment comes free with the latest issue (#556) of Doctor Who Magazine as a twenty-page supplement, as will the following two parts. Much as Titan Comics’ Defender of the Daleks series has been produced by the same team behind the publisher’s ongoing Doctor Who series, Monstrous Beauty comes from the same group of creators currently in charge of Doctor Who Magazine‘s regular comic strip, which features the current Doctor and her companions.

As with the first issue of Titan Comics’ Defender of the Daleks series, Monstrous Beauty #1 makes for another excellent jumping-on point for any fans interested in delving into Time Lord Victorious. It introduces the Ninth Doctor and Rose’s storyline, which (for the time being) appears to be completely separate to the Tenth Doctor’s negotiations with the Dalek Emperor as seen in Defender of the Daleks #1.

Monstrous Beauty #1 opens with the Ninth Doctor and Rose landing on an unknown planet, whose metaphorical atmosphere immediately puts the Doctor on edge. They quickly discover that the planet is home to a mining outfit who are extracting an unknown substance. Before they have a chance to investigate further, however, they find themselves taken prisoner by the operation’s ruthless Commander. She beams them on board her ship, and orders her scientist, Medicus Androkan, to carry out a blood test to determine the Doctor and Rose’s species. This too is swiftly interrupted, as the planet comes under attack from a formidable enemy.

All of this takes place over the course of just four pages, making Monstrous Beauty a far more fast-paced comic story than Defender of the Daleks, as it wastes no time getting right to the action. This first chapter quickly sets Monstrous Beauty apart as a very different kind of story, and one which fans who are more interested in strange and unusual alien creatures and large-scale battles will definitely prefer.

Monstrous Beauty Shares a Surprising Connection with Series 12

As well as this, whilst Monstrous Beauty #1 doesn’t overlap with Defender of the Daleks thus far, it does share several unexpected connections to The Official Annual 2021, and more surprisingly, the most recent television series’ finale, ‘The Timeless Children‘.

It opens with a cryptic quote, which is attributed to a text known as ‘Tears of the Kotturuh’, referring to the alien race featured in the annual’s ‘Guide to the Dark Times‘, who are set to be one of the Doctor’s main adversaries as Time Lord VictoriousMonstrous Beauty #1 also introduces us to the Great Vampires, with whom Rose has a close encounter, and whose background is also expanded upon in the annual (including their bargain with the Kotturuh) which will likely be explored in greater depth as Monstrous Beauty continues.

These Great Vampires are exactly as you’d expect. They come complete with bats, gothic architecture, and pointy teeth, making their presence somewhat jarring at first, as Rose’s dealings with them are interspersed with the Doctor’s attempt to escape an alien spaceship. Nevertheless, the ‘Three Mad Sisters’ Rose faces up against are genuinely sinister, with their eeriness only being enhanced by Roger Langridge‘s excellent lettering. As well as this, Monstrous Beauty #1 reveals the origin of the white dress Rose can be seen wearing across the promotional images for Time Lord Victorious. How it becomes quite so blood-stained, however, remains to be seen…

The iconic art for Doctor Who: Time Lord Victorious as whole (c) BBC Studios Lee Binding Tenth Doctor Ninth Doctor Eighth Doctor
The iconic art for Time Lord Victorious by Lee Binding c) BBC Studios

Elsewhere, it transpires that the Doctor and Rose have been transported back to the Dark Times, an era to which no TARDIS should ever travel, meaning that they find themselves at a point in time before some Gallifreyans made themselves into Time Lords. As such, Monstrous Beauty begins to touch on the history of Gallifrey and its inhabitants, with one notable future Time Lord making a surprise appearance in this first instalment.

Over the next two issues, therefore, the revelations about the Doctor’s origins as the ‘Timeless Child’, and their pivotal role in the foundation of Time Lord society (as revealed in ‘The Timeless Children‘) may be explored in more depth. In light of this, Monstrous Beauty will not only interest fans looking to get into the Time Lord Victorious storyline, but also those who are keen to learn more about the history of Gallifrey more broadly.

Overall, along with Defender of the Daleks #1, this opening chapter of Monstrous Beauty makes for another effective hook into the Time Lord Victorious storyline. Its significantly faster pace, as well as its exploration of completely separate aspects of the project’s overarching plot, means that it’s likely to appeal more to some readers than Titan Comics‘ more gradual, Dalek-centric story. Nevertheless, even when only taking these two comics into consideration, together they suggest that there will be something for everyone as more Time Lord Victorious content is released over the coming months.

Time Lord Victorious: Monstrous Beauty #1 is available now as a supplement which comes free with this month’s Doctor Who Magazine (Issue #556) which is available in shops and online via the Panini website.

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