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The Final Chapter

The Final Chapter

First Published
1998
Script
Alan Barnes
Original Publisher
Marvel
Reprint Publisher
Panini
Artist
Martin Geraghty (pencils), Robin Smith (inks)
Letters
Gary Gillatt and Scott Gray
Featuring
The Eighth Doctor, Izzy, Fey and Shayde
Previous Doctor Who Magazine Comic
"Tooth And Claw (DWM)"
Next Doctor Who Magazine Comic

The Final Chapter is a Doctor Who comic strip. It has been printed through various publications.

Synopsis[]

As Fey and Izzy pilot the TARDIS to Gallifrey, the Doctor’s imminent arrival is reported to Overseer Luther in his watchtower. When the TARDIS lands, the Doctor’s party is greeted by Castellan Tenion, and Fey forces her to get the Doctor immediate assistance. The bacillus is purged from his system, but to aid recovery his mind is placed inside the Matrix. Here he meets Rassilon and the Higher Evolutionaries. The Doctor confronts them about the Threshold (see here). Back in the real world a college dropout named Xanti attempts to see the Doctor but is incapacitated by Fey. He believes he is being stalked by some strange cult called the Elysians. Just then the Elysians appear over the Doctor’s body declaring that he must die to safeguard the future.

The Doctor’s prone body is saved by the arrival of Shayde who kills one of the Elysians, but the rest of them seize Xanti and Izzy before dematerialising. Shayde summons the Doctor back to the real world, but the Doctor first asks Rassilon to tell him more of the threat he is facing for ‘the good of their bargain’. Rassilon speaks of a shared vision of Gallifrey grown dark and wicked, suppressing the weak, suspending progress. Returning to the real world, the Doctor examines the body of the dead Elysian and discovers it has the face of Xanti. Overseer Luther arrives and asks for the Doctor’s assistance. He has been concerned about Xanti for some time, but the Chancellory guard will do nothing to investigate the boy’s sightings of the Elysium. He instructs the Doctor to visit Uriel, the boy’s father, now residing in a mental asylum called the Quantum of Solace. It is a place presided over by Tubal Cain (see Fifth Doctor comic strip The Stockbridge Horror) who warns the Doctor that Uriel exists in a dangerous dreamscape of his own making. While Izzy and Xanti discover that Luther is behind the Elysium, Fey goes inside the dreamscape to assist the Doctor, but finds him bound, Gulliver-style, by tiny men.

Fey rescues the Doctor and is in turn rescued by Uriel, but Tubal Cain disconnects the circuits leaving both Fey and the Doctor’s minds trapped in the dreamscape. Uriel tells them he joined the Elysium in its early days. They were a secret society that rejected the old ways of Gallifrey. They were the oldest civilisation and should have been Gods. Xanti was a clone produced from Uriel’s own bio-data to be a weapon in the seizing of the Capitol, but upon seeing his son, Uriel’s feelings changed and he had himself committed to the asylum in shame. Uriel has a device that will allow the Doctor and Fey to return to the real world. They depart, leaving him to his guilt. Knocking Tubal Cain unconscious, the pair head to the department of records and there look at the plans of Luther’s watchtower: the purpose of each storey is clearly marked... apart from the ninety-fifth floor. While Castellan Tenion goes to confront Luther directly, the Doctor pilots the TARDIS to the ninety-fifth floor of the watchtower and is there greeted by the man. Xanti, who contains material from the Eye of Harmony, has been wired into the systems - the watchtower is the central column of a planet-sized TARDIS that will take Gallifrey back to Year Zero.

Luther plans to rewrite all of Gallifrey’s history to set them up as gods, but Izzy appeals to Xanti to use his powers over the Elysium. He does, turning them all against Luther, but Luther kills the boy as the TARDIS prepares to materialise at Year Zero - the year Rassilon activated the Eye of Harmony and turned them into Lords of Time. In turn, as power is unleashed, he is swept into the vortex. To avert the destruction of all Time Lord history, the Doctor must pilot the TARDIS back to its starting point, but to do so will require a living time brain wired into the system. The Doctor is resigned to his fate and tricks Fey and Izzy into departing in the TARDIS. Shayde appears, but it is the Doctor who must endure the agony of transfer. All is restored to as it was, but the strain of the operation forces the Doctor to regenerate...

Imaginary Friends - Shayde: Part Three[]

Part One Can Be Found Here: The Tides of Time

Shayde returns to the comic strip properly (having put in a cameo appearance in A Life of Matter and Death) after an absence of almost fifteen years in The Final Chapter, though what exactly his role in events is remains ambiguous at this time. He turns up to save the Doctor from the Elysium then reappears at the end to offer some words to the Doctor that will have to be heavily reinterpreted by the reader in the light of the following adventure.

The Doctor’s regeneration is a sham devised between the Doctor and the Higher Evolutionaries, with Shayde as their willing accomplice. The new Doctor is in fact Shayde disguised using a personal chameleon circuit, augmented by a persona imprint pulled from the Matrix to give the charade a convincing character capable of fooling the Threshold. It was actually he who piloted the watchtower back to its starting point in The Final Chapter while the Doctor hid aboard the TARDIS. The resulting trauma was sufficient to convincingly stage a fake regeneration and deliver to the Threshold exactly what they wanted: a Doctor who was vulnerable.

The plan exposed, Shayde does battle with the Pariah, his predecessor as an agent of the Time Lords, but loses the fight and is almost destroyed. He survives by bonding with Fey Truscott-Sade, becoming, as he later suggests, an agent of both Rassilon and King George VI. In their new, shared form, Shayde and Fey became known as Feyde. Feyde's story continues here: Me And My Shadow

Notes[]

  • The Doctor Who Comics website, had this to say about the strip:

Featuring the Higher Evolutionaries from The Tides of Time, mention of Merlin, Tubal Cain (going back almost two hundred issues), not to mention gratuitous references to the Order of the Black Sun from Alan Moore’s back-up strips Star Death, 4D-War and Black Sun Rising (earliest appearance in December 1980, almost eighteen years previously) I wonder if this strip actually makes much sense to casual readers or if it was intended to stimulate sales of back issues. It has the sort of breathless, complicated and epic-scale story that the Eighth Doctor’s comic strip adventures seems to turn out with astounding regularity, but is perhaps feeding on the comic strip’s own mythos just a little too much (particularly the surreal dreamscape sequence that harks straight back to Steve Parkhouse’s finest hours) to be totally satisfying. However, the regeneration of the Doctor at the end is the single most audacious thing the Doctor Who comic strip has ever done in any publication and provoked a very lively letters page the following month.

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Other Images[]

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