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Tooth and Claw

Tooth and Claw

First Published
1997-1998
Script
Alan Barnes
Original Publisher
Marvel
Reprint Publishers
Panini
Artist
Martin Geraghty (pencils), Robin Smith (inks)
Editors
Gary Gillatt and Scott Gray
Featuring
The Eighth Doctor, Izzy and Fey
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Tooth and Claw is a Doctor Who comic strip. It has been printed through various publications.

SynopsisEdit

A small island in the Indian Ocean in 1939. Wealthy Varney and his monkey servants welcomes Marwood (grandfather of the character we see in Endgame), actress Miss Sabine Snitching, black magic enthusiast Canon Aelfric Pincock and undercover British agent Ms Fey Truscott-Sade to his island to sit out the imminent world war. All offer gifts to Varney, and Fey’s gift is a tin whistle. When Varney blows it the TARDIS materialises. During dinner, when all but Izzy drink a lot of Champagne, Varney recounts tales of his ancestor, Bad Captain Varney, who dined on his enemies. Showing them the Captain’s black chapel, he tells them how his ancestor was shipwrecked on this island and formed a pact with the devil that gave him unique powers. He has a phial of the Captain’s blood. It is said, whoever drinks the blood will be possessed by the Captain’s spirit. Later that night, Captain Lycett, pilot of the plane that brought the guests to the island, finds the phial drained... just before he is murdered.

The survivors gather and accusations fly, but when Marwood and Snitching attempt to leave, Varney and his apes blow up the plane with a canon. The generator fails. The Doctor and Miss Snitching go to repair it while the others nervously watch over each other, but Varney slips away. The Doctor repairs the generator, which was sabotaged, and discovers pictograms in the generator cave describing how the native monkeys were taught by a demon from inside the volcano to hunt and eat their victims. Just then one of the savagely transformed apes attacks with a hypodermic.

Fey drives the ape off. The Doctor has no idea why it was trying to take his blood, but he knows the answer will lie in the volcano. Here, the Doctor, Fey and Ms Snitching discover a hidden facility. Fey explains that Lycett has ferried over a hundred people to the island in the last six months, but now all that remains of them are blood samples in the facility, Lycett’s blood is there too, and the Doctor’s examination of it reveals it to be not even remotely human. Fey finds evidence that the Champagne during the meal was spiked. Ms Snitching is the first to transform. Marwood and Izzy, meanwhile, find the Canon Pincock vanished. A trail of blood leads to the black chapel where they discover the Canon was killed by an ape, Marwood kills it, but then transforms into a monster himself and is dragged off by Varney’s apes. Varney put the microbe in the Champagne. He needs transformed blood. Much to Izzy’s relief, the Doctor arrives... but both he and Fey are now transformed.

Varney relocates to the volcano facility and there reveals to Izzy and the transformed survivors a Cucurbite - a spaceship of legend that runs on blood, sucking whole species dry. This last ship plunged into the newborn Earth to be expelled centuries later through the volcano. A cracked fuel tank polluted the island’s water, transforming the monkeys who in turn captured Bad Captain Varney. But Varney communicated with the ship and began to formulate a plan to restore it to full power. Now that plan is about to reach fruition, and Varney will sell the ship’s secrets to both sides in the coming war, along with his sideline in chemical weapons. Before Fey can stop him with a syringe of deadly bacillus, Varney plunges them all into the blood tank. The Cucurbite seizes the Doctor, but as it starts to feed on him, he plunges the syringe of bacillus into his own chest, polluting his blood. The bacillus destroys the Cucurbite, restoring Fey and the Doctor to normal, but the Doctor is now dying of the toxin in his body and Fey realises they have to get him back to Gallifrey.

Imaginary Friends: Fey Truscott-SadeEdit

Fey

Fey Truscott-Sade

Undercover agent of the King George VI, and Katharine Hepburn lookalike Fey Truscott-Sade has met the Doctor before in an adventure as yet unrecorded involving the psychic weasels of Russell Square. During this encounter, he gave her a Stattenheim Summoner disguised as a tin whistle as a favour in case of emergency. He meets her again on an island in the Indian Ocean in 1939 where she is masquerading as an art detective whilst investigating the affairs of Varney and Lycett. Along with Izzy, she took the dying Doctor back to Gallifrey and helped stop the ambitions of Luther. However, unknown to her, she had been kidnapped by the Threshold in 1937, following her first encounter with the Doctor, and implanted with a perceptual relay unit that allowed them to spy on the Doctor’s every move. The Doctor quickly suspected this as Fey was able to pilot the TARDIS using the manual, even though this book was written in a Gallifreyan script. When Shayde was mortally wounded by the Pariah in Wormwood, Fey refused to let him die and instead bonded with him, becoming ‘Feyde’.

NotesEdit

  • The Comics Website Altered Vistas had this to say about the strip:

Varney takes his name from a 1845 vampire novel entitled Varney the Vampire or The Feast of Blood by James Malcolm Rymer, and this strip certainly plays to many of the conventions of the genre in its early parts, with its secluded location, blackouts and long shadows. Varney the vampire, by the way, committed suicide by throwing himself into a volcano... but when the story relocates to this setting it loses a great deal of its atmosphere. The Cucurbite (which literally means a vessel for distillation) is an interesting idea, but the idea of it transforming its victims without in any way affecting their minds doesn’t quite work and perhaps robs the end of the story of some of its potential power. Mind you, the Doctor plunging a syringe into his chest is certainly a strong image and the lead into a story set on Gallifrey, which has been promised since Fire and Brimstone is an exciting turn of events.*There is an Osirian grimoire in the TARDIS library, it tingles Izzy's fingers when she picks it up because it's alive. The Doctor apparently went through a great deal to collect that volume, commenting that Izzy "has no idea how much trouble it was to get that".

  • Fey Truscott-Sade carries a whistle that can summon the Doctor's TARDIS.

PrintsEdit