Synopsis: China. 1522. The TARDIS materializes to find warrior monks armed with alien technology. The Abbot Yueh of the local monastery takes the curious Doctor and his companion Sharon as prisoners. Free only to move around the monastery, they learn from a novitiate that Yueh has been "different" since he went out one night to investigate a "fallen star". Not only did strange "bronze men" start appearing as combatants in the master combat training areas, but Yueh, a previously honorable man, had gotten his position as Abbot by ruthlessly crippling his predecessor.
When the Doctor goes for a walkabout to investigate, he leaves the grounds of the monastery. Upon returning, he discovers his absence has been made known to the Abbot, who now chases him into the master combat training grounds. There, the Doctor discovers that the "bronze men" are actually Sontarans. He registers the fact quickly, but continues running. Soon he escapes the grouds of the monastery yet again, this time armed with greater purpose.
The young student who had talked to him before, Chang, goes with the Doctor, who wants to see where "the star" fell. There, they find not a star or a meteor, but a downed Sontaran vessel. Poking around inside, the Doctor sees that the ship's hyperspace transmitter has been damaged. It will require a large crystalline object for repairs. Chang then supplies the Doctor with two additional clues. First, he deduces that the method of combat training the "bronze men" have given the monks implies the monks were influenced by hyptonism. Second, he learns that the Emperor has a crystal that will likely provide the Sontarans with what they need.
The Sontaran threat becomes clear when Chang says that the Emperor has invited the monastery to the Imperial Court.
While Chang believes Yueh will use this opportunity to assassinate the Emperor and seize control of China, the Doctor more correctly guesses that the Sontarans will use Yueh's lust for power to get easy access to the crystal. That in hand, they will be able to contact their fleet and order an invasion of Earth.
The Doctor's party returns to the monastery to confront Yueh. The Abbot is in the mood for just a few words: the post-hyptnotic phrase that triggers his monks to go into battle. K-9, though, records the phrase and replays it, breaking the spell. Chang, whom it turns out was also hypnotized, doesn't hear K-9's counter phrase, and thus maintains his fury. Since he has learned that the Sontarans are the true enemy, his rage is focused at them. WIth the Sontarans now dead, all the hypnotic links are broken, and life returns to normal for this once-again peaceful corner of China.
Synopsis: The Doctor returns to Blackcastle, Sharon's home. She debates returning, since the Doctor has returned her more or less to the same time when she left, but she is now matured by several years, thanks to the events of "The Time Witch".
Mid-conversation, the Doctor and Sharon are whisked away to the asteroid belt in this solar system, where an alien anthropologist has been systematically removing specimens from throughout Earth's history and keeping them in time stasis until he can return to his own time.
The Doctor proposes a different way of life for the scientist. He proposes to rewire Varan Tak's ship so that it can leave the asteroid and take him to Earth. There, he'll be able to have the companionship he so clearly wants. But as the Doctor attempts to make the necessary repairs, he figures out why Tak has never been able to do this. The ship's computer has fallen in love with Tak and won't allow it. Earth is simply too dangerous a place for its master, who really will be instantly killed by the peculiar mixture of chemicals in Earth's atmosphere.
Unfortunately, the Doctor doesn't learn of the genuinely good reason the computer had for protecting its master until it's too late: Tak is now dead.
Using the time stasis capsules, he is able to return Tak to prevent Tak's death temporarily.
The Doctor makes that change permanent by using his TARDIS to transport himself back in time a few minutes to a point right before he accidentally killed Tak. Once there, he warns himself away from repairing the ship, and the timeline in which Tak died closes. The collector is thus left where the Doctor found him: inside the asteroid belt, waiting to hitch a ride.
Synopsis: On the planet Unicepter IV, a whole new form of entertainment has been perfected. Using telepathic hosts called "slinths", and the guidance of facilitators called "dream coordinators", multiple people can be hooked together to dream the same dream. The Doctor gives it a whirl, and finds himself sharing a very bad nightmare.
With K9's help, he returns to consciousness and rescues his fellow dreamers.
The slinth, called "Miki", is discovered as the source of the nightmare; it needed the particular human emotion of fear to survive.
Following the trail on this bizarre mystery, the Doctor surmises that the slinths are actually parasites more than hosts. Discovered, the slinths join together into one massive being of psychic energy. But as much as they need psychic energy to perpetuate themselves, they also need simple electricity. Their circuit is thus broken with the simple application of water to a nearby electrical main.
The dream coordinator who had arranged the Doctor's group dream, Vernon Allen, is now without a job. But he does have Sharon, who has decided to leave the Doctor to start a new job with Allen.
Synopsis: According to Greek myth, Prometheus brought fire to man--or, according to some interpretations, life itself. The TARDIS slips through a dimensional rift to get the real story. In this alternate dimension, the Doctor discovers the literal Prometheus, bound by Zeus as legend has it. The Doctor and K-9 free him, then take him to the planet Olympus. The other titans there are still sore at Prometheus for spreading the seeds of life throughout the galaxy before they had perfected life, and Zeus is mad at the Doctor for having freed his wayward cousin.
Both are once again imprisoned, Both again escape.
This time, though, Zeus is tired of playing the cop, and moves straight on to sentencing. He grabs a thunderbolt and sends it off in the direction of the TARDIS. The TARDIS survives the blow, but only barely. The Doctor limps back to his "own" dimension, having successfully served as a distraction for Prometheus to escape and spread Zeus' life spores throughout the as-yet-unformed universe of this new dimension. Still, the price has been somewhat high for the Doctor, whose TARDIS console is now fried to the point that he has absolutely no idea where he is or where he's going.
Synopsis: In orbit of the library world of Biblios, the Vromyx and Garynths are engaged in a battle to determine the fate of the planet. Each species is jealously guarding the secrets of legendary super-weapons from the other. Neither side will believe the library's caretakers that there are no such secrets to be found inside. The Doctor must thus think quickly of a way to bring peaceful resolution to the dispute. He finds an empty warehouse on the library's grounds, and rigs it with explosives. Then he calls up to the commanders of both sides and tells them that's where the records are housed. As the fleets move closer, the Doctor destroys the warehouse. With nothing left to fight over, the two fleets end their battle and go home.
Synopsis: A human survey team arrives on an alien planet. So does the TARDIS. Both crews discover a beautiful world, with friendly humanoid inhabitants. As the Earth team watches the locals, though, they see what they believe to be an act of human sacrifice. One person willingly places himself in giant spider's web, apparently awaiting the day when he'll be the spider's meal.
Horrified, the Earth team begin killing all the spiders to make the planet safe. The Doctor probes a little deeper though, and discovers a humanoid apparently hatching from an egg. The Doctor rushes back to the Earth team, only to find out that the spiders have now all been killed. Sadly, in so doing, the humans have permanently destroyed a beautifully symbiotic ecosystem. The humanoid inhabitants of this world didn't "sacrifice" themselves to the spiders. They gave food to the spiders, who, in turn, provided cocoons for the humanoids, from which the humanoids would metamorphose into humanoid butterflied.
The Doctor leaves, saddened that he could not work out what was going on in time to save this fragile relationship.
Notes: This is one of the most-reprinted strips in Doctor Who comics history.
Synopsis: In the future, the Millennium Wars are raging. The Doctor materializes right in the middle of one battle in a corner of that war. The TARDIS accidentally throws off a combatant's ship, forcing it to crash. The pilot, a soldier, figures out that the TARDIS drew him off course, and now he wants to enlist the Doctor in the war. The soldier attempts to compel the Doctor to use the TARDIS to down an enemy vessel. The Doctor--or more precisely, the malfunctioning TARDIS--does this. When the soldier rushes out of the TARDIS to go finish off his enemy, he locks the TARDIS, fixes the problem, and dematerializes--just as a second enemy ship arrives to attack the soldier.
Synopsis: In a city gone wrong, the TARDIS materializes upon a bunch of mutated cannibals. The Doctor narrowly escapes a deadly first contact with the help of the Guardian Angels, a group comprised of un-mutated humans.
Back at their base, he notes people working on a plan to escape the city entirely for the open air of a countryside no one has seen in generations.
The cannibals have meanwhile found the Guardian Angel base and kill most everyone there.
The Doctor sends everyone left alive out on a subway train, with a promise that he will continue working on the plan to get the trains onto the right track for the countryside. The leader of the cannibals shows up, intent on killing the Doctor. Thd Doctor feints out of the way of the onrushing chieftain, causing the cannibal to fall on the tracks and be electrocuted.
Now able to continue with his work, the Doctor gets the TARDIS to find the end of the subway line. Instead of an idyllic rural setting, though, the tracks lead to an open countryside that seems to be suffering from some kind of post-nuclear holocaust.
Synopsis: The Freefall Warriors are a team of stunt flyers participating in the Festival of the Five Planets. The Doctor catches up with noted science fiction author Dr. Ivan Asimoff to watch the show. The only problem is that there are actually six planets in the system. The sixth is in open rebellion against the other five, and has now sent an attack squad descending on the Festival.
When the Doctor and Asimoff agree to go on a test flight with the Freefall Warriors, they find themselves victims of a sneak attack by agents of the sixth planet. Their pilot, Machine-Head, sends out a distress call to the other Freefall Warriors, warning them of the sixth planet's attack. The Warriors give pursuit, and are able to take down and disable the sixth planet's pilots. The Warrors return home to a heroes' welcome.
Synopsis: The Tardis is collected for scrap by Flotsam and Jetsam. Exiting the TARDIS, the Doctor discovers his vessel is just one more piece to add to their collection. Other treasures are on display here, including a de-activated Cyberman. Unfortunately, the Cyberman reawakens, takes the TARDIS, and goes out looking for the Cybernaut named Zogran. In the end Zogron is reprogrammed as a butler and the cybermen are defeated with paint spray.
Synopsis: In a grand castle, Earth's last line of defense attempts to hold back the horde of Catavolcus and his army. As the Doctor arrives--having been positively summoned--the push is on to prevent Catavolcus from getting his hands on the Dragon, a nuclear reactor.
Of greater interest to the Doctor is who summoned him. An elderly wizard pushes forward, claiming both responsibility and a link to Earth's ancient past. He, too, has come to this spot in time to defend the Earth. Seeing the TARDIS as a means of escape, the wizard overloads the reactor and calls for the troops to abandon their defense and enter the TARDIS. As they try to make their escape, though, Catavolcus's troops breach the castle. The leader of the defenders--apparently a king--lays down his life so that his men can make it to the TARDIS. They do so. Catavolcus' army is completely destroyed in the subsequent explosion.
Sometime later, the Doctor wakes up in a forest, unsure how he's gotten to where he is. All he remembers is that the wizard and the king called each other "Merlin" and "Arthur".
The Doctor sees an image of Merlin, who tells him they will meet again . . .
Notes: This is the final Fourth Doctor strip to appear in DWM before the Fifth Doctor takes over the series. It is a prelude for the first few stories to come in the Fifth Doctor era.
Some Who scholars would have a problem admitting this story into their personal canon as it seems to contradict "Battlefield", a story from Season 26. In that televised adventure, it's strongly implied that the Doctor is Merlin. For other fans, it's not such a problem, because these classic comics are closer to their hearts than the low-rated 26th season.