TME > Literature

Spinoff Comics

In the last few years the "unofficial spinoff" market has extended beyond videos and CDs to the world of comics, with no less than three starting up this decade. Although prior crossovers had occurred with, for example, Death's Head (of Transformers comic, and later of his own two series) appearing in the seventh Doctor stories of DWM, these three were all based around guest stars of the Doctor Who universe.

Each are officially licensed by the creators of the relevant characters, but none are recognised by the BBC...

Miranda (3 issues, 2003)

Characters
Miranda, who had appeared in the Eighth Doctor Adventure Father Time, as the Doctor's adopted daughter, who turned out to be heir to the ruler of the Universe in the far future...

Credits
Words (aka Script and Letters): Lance Parkin
Pictures: Allan Bednar (issues 1 and 2, and cover for issue 3)
(in issue 2, inking for pages 2-11 and 17-20 was by Robert Blancas)
Pencils and Inks (Issue 3): Miguel Montenegro
Centre Spread (Issue 3): Jon Taylor
Editor: David Whittam
Finance: Erik Pollitt
Marketing: John Parkinson
US Distribution: Geoff Wessel (issues 2 and 3 only)
Printed By: Popi Design

Subscribers had their covers signed by Bednar and Parkin. All issues were in b/w but contained a full-colour centre spread.

Planned as a six-issue miniseries.

Issue One (January 2003)
Miranda recounts the events leading up to her current situation. She is then attacked by a robot, saved, and presented with a wardrobe based on her old Polaroids (one of which appears to show her in a Tom Baker scarf, and another features the TARDIS doors) - she chooses her old school uniform.
She is then told the recent history of the Universe, and shown the troops that she now commands. They arrive at The Needle, where the last survivors of the Universe live, and Miranda is passed a note by a servant telling her that the leader of the troops wants to kill her...

Issue Two (May 2003)
Miranda meets many aliens at a reception celebrating her return, but quickly tries to slip away to talk to the servant who had passed her the note.
She narrowly avoids another attack on her life, and later enjoys a bath while Ferran, the troop commander, watches...
Despite promises that the issues would be bi-monthly, this issue was sent to subscribers four months after issue one.

Issue Three (May 2003)
Miranda goes on the run, and Ferran hires Thelash and Rum, two bounty hunters, to find her.
She is first found by suave rogue Mack Gideon, who is killed when the bounty hunters catch up with her...
This was published simultaneously with issue two. Due to its quick turnaround, it was unsigned, but instead contained a b/w reproduction on A4 paper of the art from page 18, signed by the artist and author (see image, right)

And then...
Nothing. Repeated promises from editor Whittam that the following issues would be coming soon were broken time and time again.
For financial reasons, these never happened, and no subscriber money was returned.
According to Parkin, the script has been completed, and artwork for the next two issues is ready, but distribution has remained a constant problem...

Faction Paradox (2 issues, 2003)

Characters
Faction Paradox (premiered in the BBC Books Eighth Doctor Adventure Alien Bodies - ran in arc through to The Ancestor Cell, then went on to appear in spinoff CDs produced by BBV from 2001, and later Magic Bullet from 2004, and a series of spinoff books from Mad Norwegian Press published from 2002).

Credits
Writer: Lawrence Miles
Penciller: Jim Calafiore
Inker: Peter Palmiotti
Letterer: Christa Dickson (for Metaphorce Designs)
Colorist: Paul Mounts
Editor: Lars Pearson
Cover Art: Steve Johnson
Gazetteer Art: Barry Kitson (issue 1)
Reliquary Art: James Pascoe (issue 1)
Backup Art (ie both of above): James Pascoe (issue 2)
Series Creator: Lawrence Miles
Published by Mad Norwegian Press and Image Comics

If subscribing via Burton's Books in the UK, a free gift of a mousemat based on Steve Johnson's issue 1 art was provided (see above-left).

Issue One: Political Animals (Aug 2003)
1774. A woolly mammoth is brought as a gift by the Russian Ambassador to King George - representatives of Faction Paradox express their concern. The American Ambassador brings hunting dogs as a similar gift, while the Faction's present remains locked in a prison - she is a powerful warrior who kills her warder.
Also in this issue was a four-page "Gazetteer" describing the political history (with Paradox influences) between 1744 and 1752, and a three-page article entitled "The Reliquary" looking at some of the props of Faction Paradox. The letters page for this issue consists of a lengthy introduction from Miles and a shorter one from Pearson.

Issue Two: Betes Noires & Dark Horses (Oct 2003)
1752. The story of Faction Paradox taking control of the missing eleven days when the calendar changed (already described in previous audios).
In 1774, the Faction learn of their warrior's escape and go searching, while a Commander Sabbath (who would appear in the Eighth Doctor novels and also the audios) launches his own investigation.
Also in this issue was a four-page "Gazetteer", this time discussing intelligence between 1744 and 1752, another two-page "Reliquary", and another non-letters page, explaining the FP backstory.
A bit.

And then...
Several months later, as the expected publishing in December 2003 of issue 3 (which had a cover design printed in issue 2 - see above-right) came and went, it was announced that future issues were financially unviable. Subscriptions were quickly refunded, and the comic world of Faction Paradox came to a close.
The audio adventures and novels (the latter published by the team behind the comics) continue to this day...

The Forge - Project: Longinus (3 issues, 2005-6)

Characters
The Forge, previously of Big Finish Audios Project: Twilight, Project: Lazarus and novel Project: Valhalla, a black ops organisation studying and experimenting with alien material. Seem similar to the reformed Torchwood Institute Captain Jack would eventually command...

Credits
Written by Cav Scott and Mark Wright
Art by Bryan Coyle

A free online comic available here, produced mainly in b/w, with splashes of colour - mainly red blood.

Issue One (November 12th 2005)
Nimrod [from the previous Forge texts] breaks into The Hecht Museum to retrieve something. Curator Rhona McAndrew [named for two models who played Lara Croft in the 90s)] goes to investigate the intruder. Nimrod continues towards his goal [passing the heads of a Raxacoricophallapatorian and an Earthshock-style Cyberman] and almost takes it before McAndrew finds him. She fires a gun at him, but he does not stop - he kills her, and takes a sample of her DNA.

Issue Two: The Dream (January 10th 2006)
A nightmare of medieval times, as a knight is persecuted and his lover killed. She gives birth posthumously. Eric Gryphus wakes up to find a woman from the previous night lying naked next to him, and Nimrod at the door...

Issue Three: Bullies (February 6th 2006)
Eric's girl, who appears to be working with Nimrod, helps him overpower the man. Back at the Forge's facility in Dartmoor, Nimrod presents Gryphus to a Mr Mastigophorer, and explains that he is the last of his clan... They have plans to conduct an experiment on him...

And then...
The series has taken a break as the writers enjoy other (paid) projects, but they promise it will return soon...