As the Doctor faces down Salamander the Master takes the opportunity to follow through with his own plan.
The final chapter of the Third Doctor’s battle with Salamander reaches a tense and intelligently crafted end as Salamander’s plan to travel into the past becomes reality as he and the Doctor land in London, 1868. Following Salamander into the Houses of Parliament, the Doctor must contend with Salamander’s plea to become a member of Parliament to further his scientific research.
Writer Paul Cornell verbalises Salamander’s motives with logical decision, by furthering humanity’s evolution, he believes he is using their capabilities as a strength of innovation and growth. Indeed, there is an undeniable understanding to Salamander’s manic plans. His fraught disdain towards the Doctor’s ‘static’ existence is relevant to the stories final reflection.
There is a beautiful revelation which the Doctor discovers after he heads back to the seventies, he admits to clinging onto one place, one group of friends for too long. By restricting his own potential and abilities, he may well have become predictable in his nature and lost his universal identity.
The script flows confidently with perfect characterisation and smartly explores themes of identity, both on a global and universal scale. There are some warm moments with Jo and Captain Yates which is appreciated, seeing as how their characters didn’t have much time to explore their relationship in the TV series.
Artist Christopher Jones’ distorted and bendy visual opening is an imaginative and dynamic approach to visualising the consequences of Salamander’s travels. The close-up shots adhere to the deep impressions of the character’s emotions. The Doctor’s drawn and tired face is texturally favoured by colourist Hi-Fi, whose fluid array of seeping mustard yellows and silver is indulgent and absorbing.
Finally, the conclusion of Heralds of Destruction is perfectly paced, tailored fantastically to the character’s developments and pays tribute to the Doctor and the Master’s friendship, their manipulations add suspense to the narrative and the predictable practicalities of the Master’s plan is a fine addition to the story that began as a classic mechanical machine invasion, but was actually a stepping stone for the Third Doctor’s own personal reflection.
Blogtor Rating 10/10
DOCTOR WHO: THIRD DOCTOR #5
Writer: Paul Cornell
Artist: Christopher Jones
FC – 32pp – $3.99 – On sale: February 22
COVER A: Andy Walker
COVER B: Will Brooks
COVER C: Brian Miller & Hi-Fi
COVER D: Carolyn Edwards
COVER E: Marc Ellerby