All hope seems lost as the Ninth Doctor fights to save Rose from the Vampire Alliance in the final instalment of Doctor Who Magazine‘s Time Lord Victorious tie-in comic strip, Monstrous Beauty

The Ninth Doctor and Rose Tyler’s strand of the Time Lord Victorious narrative continues as Doctor Who Magazine‘s tie-in comic strip, Monstrous Beauty comes to a close. It forms part of one of Doctor Who‘s most ambitious and expansive projects to date, as Time Lord Victorious follows multiple Doctors in a story that’s being told across a wide array of platforms, from novels and audio dramas, to escape rooms and immersive live theatrical events.

Blogtor Who has created a helpful infographic detailing the previous and upcoming releases which form part of the Time Lord Victorious narrative, and how they interconnect with one another:

Blogtor Who's tube map guide to Time Lord Victorious, now updated with the most recent release dates (c) Blogtor Who Doctor Who BBC Studios Big Finish Titan Comics BBC Books Escape Hunt Eaglemoss
Blogtor Who’s tube map guide to Time Lord Victorious, now updated with the most recent release dates (c) Blogtor Who

Monstrous Beauty, a comic-strip adventure which has been released as part of the three most recent issues of Doctor Who Magazine, has introduced us to the Ninth Doctor and Rose Tyler’s side of the story, which is set to converge with the other strands of Time Lord Victorious in Una McCormack‘s soon-to-be-released novel All Flesh Is Grass.

Thus far, Monstrous Beauty has served as a good point of entry into Time Lord Victorious, with no knowledge of the wider storyline required to enjoy or understand what’s going on. Across the previous two chapters, the Doctor and Rose have found themselves caught up in the middle of the conflict between the Vampire Alliance and the people of Gallifrey, in the Dark Times before they became Time Lords.

The latest instalment saw the Doctor escape his capture by Commander Rassilon along with Gallifreyan scientist Medicus Androkan. After hijacking Rassilon’s ship, they set off in search of Rose, who has been taken prisoner by a sinister group of vampires on their coffin ship. Once there, the Doctor and Androkan were quickly accosted by the ship’s security and escorted to vampire Friar Grystock‘s chambers. Now, all hope seems lost, as Friar Grystock has murdered Medicus Androkan in cold blood, and Rose has been transformed into a vampire! Will the Doctor be able to escape and make things right?

Monstrous Beauty #3 Provides More Fast-Paced Action and a Neat Conclusion

As with the preceding instalment of Monstrous Beauty, this final chapter packs an impressive amount of action into just eight pages. This concluding part brings us more of the type of large-scale, outer-space battles between fleets of spaceships more typical of Star Wars than Doctor Who, without them feeling out of place.

These scenes make it clear that these Gallifreyans are markedly different from their Time Lord descendants. We can only hope that we get to learn more about them as the Ninth Doctor’s story converges with those of his other incarnations in All Flesh Is Grass later this month.

Elsewhere, Scott Gray continues to impress with his characterisation of the Ninth Doctor, as he chooses to appeal to his enemies’ humanity over resorting to violence. As such, it’s rather a shame that Rose ends up relegated to the sidelines for much of Monstrous Beauty.

Overall, Monstrous Beauty #3 provides a neat and satisfying conclusion to the story, although one could argue it’s too neat. Monstrous Beauty unquestionably works very well as a standalone adventure, but arguably less well as one piece of a broader narrative. Unlike Titan Comics‘ Defender of the Daleks series, its conclusion gives little indication as to how this story’s events will lead into those of All Flesh Is Grass, or indeed how they connect to the other aspects of the wider Time Lord Victorious storyline.

Nevertheless, Monstrous Beauty more than likely serves as a worthwhile prequel to the Ninth Doctor and Rose’s storylines as will be explored in All Flesh Is Grass, and certainly makes for an enjoyable read for any fan of this particular Doctor-and-companion duo.

Time Lord Victorious: Monstrous Beauty #3 is available to purchase now as part of this month’s Doctor Who Magazine (Issue #558) in shops and online via the Panini website.


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