The Ninth Doctor is on the run from Rassilon, whilst Rose has been taken hostage by vampires, in the second part of Doctor Who Magazine‘s Time Lord Victorious tie-in comic strip, Monstrous Beauty
After many months of speculation and anticipation, Time Lord Victorious is now well and truly underway. September and October thus far have seen the release of numerous audio dramas, comics, books and more as part of Doctor Who‘s latest and most ambitious project. Time Lord Victorious will be told across a wide variety of platforms, ranging from novels and audio drama to figurines and live immersive theatre experiences.
Blogtor Who have put together an in-depth infographic to help fans wrap their heads around the various aspects of Time Lord Victorious will connect to one another, and the many different paths fans can take to follow each stand of the story:
Last month, Doctor Who Magazine introduced the Ninth Doctor and Rose Tyler into the mix with the first instalment of their tie-in comic strip adventure, Monstrous Beauty. This opening chapter saw the Doctor and Rose accidentally arrive on a mysterious, unknown planet, which was home to a secretive mining operation. However, they were quickly taken captive by none other than Commander Rassilon, who beamed them on board her ship, where they were examined by fellow Gallifreyan and scientist Medicus Androkan.
Monstrous Beauty has shown itself to be a thoroughly action-packed story thus far, with its first instalment seeing the Gallifreyans come under attack by blood-sucking living spaceships known as the Cucurbites. Rose, meanwhile, found herself whisked away by a giant bat to the lair of a group of vampires, who were more than ready to make her their next meal!
Monstrous Beauty #2 Delves Deeper Into the History of Gallifrey and the Vampire Alliance
As this second chapter of Monstrous Beauty begins, it’s immediately clear that the story’s fast pace isn’t going to let up any time soon. The Doctor quickly escapes Commander Rassilon’s grasp by hijacking her ship with Medicus Androkan in tow, as they set off in search of Rose.
The unfortunate downside of their quick escape is that Rassilon is largely absent from this instalment. Monstrous Beauty‘s exploration of the Gallifreyan people as they existed during the Dark Times before they became Time Lords has so far helped to broaden its appeal beyond the Time Lord Victorious storyline. It’s one of the aspects which makes Monstrous Beauty work so well as its own self-contained story, as it touches on this pre-established part of the Doctor Who universe that is still being explored, even as recently as the latest television series’ finale, ‘The Timeless Children‘.
As such, it’s a shame that this chapter doesn’t delve deeper into the life of Rassilon as one of the eventual founders of Time Lord society. Nevertheless, the Doctor’s growing friendship with Androkan does still provide some intriguing insights into the Gallifreyans at this early point in time.
As well as this, Monstrous Beauty‘s pacing strikes a good balance, allowing for such heartfelt conversation between the Doctor and Androkan, whilst also covering significant ground story-wise in the space of only eight pages. It’s not long before the Doctor and Medicus Androkan find themselves aboard a Vampire Alliance ship, where we learn more about Gallifrey’s current enemy.
Whereas the vampires we met in the previous issue were rooted in Gothic tropes and traditions, those the Doctor encounters in this issue are draw far more heavily upon science-fiction. As such, these two groups of vampires feel rather incongruous next to one another, so it’ll be interesting to see whether the final instalment of Monstrous Beauty explores their relationship in more depth. Plus, the vampires introduced in this instalment are immediately engaging both visually and conceptually despite only appearing for a couple of pages.
Overall, Monstrous Beauty continues to be a well-paced and thoroughly enjoyable story, which holds up as a standalone story within the larger Time Lord Victorious storyline. However, it will also be interesting to see how this story concludes in next month’s issue of Doctor Who Magazine, and how it will end up connecting to the rest of Time Lord Victorious…