Doctor Who: The Gods Walk Among Us

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Andrew East looks back at an early DWM comic-strip featuring the Sontarans.

The beginning of this short back-up strip from DWM #59 (December 1981) dates the initial scenes as 1928, but the main tale is told in flashback, and set somewhere in Egypt’s pyramid building phase. There is a suggestion that a Pharaoh is having a new style of tomb built – possibly a pyramid, although the artwork is decidedly vague – so this is possibly set around a similar time as when the Daleks pursued the Doctor, Steven and Sara to the part-built pyramids.

The story inscribed in hieroglyphs on the tomb discovered by the 1928 archaeologists, tells of the arrival of a Sontaran scout to Egypt. The Sontaran, named Styx, sets about using the locals to build an emplacement for an ion cannon with which he plans to attack the Rutan Host. He surmises that the Rutan will retaliate and probably wipe out Earth, but he cares little for these primitives (and clearly plans to be away from Earth long before any retaliation comes to pass). An Egyptian overhears him making these plans and when Styx settles down to recharge himself, the Egyptian has him walled up in the Pharaoh’s tomb so he can do no harm.

Styx awakes but finds himself trapped, until in 1928 when the archaeologists open the tomb and release him. He kills the archaeologist but clearly the knowledge of his entombment was passed through the generations of Egyptians and a group are waiting for him, slamming the heavy stone door on him and burying him in the sand. However, the last frame suggests that maybe Styx is still alive.

The artwork for this strip does it few favours, making its depiction of Ancient Egypt difficult to discern. There are two main Egyptians on display – a Pharaoh (or at least nobleman) and presumably his ‘number two’. Styx is described, entertainingly, as Toad God, and we see small parts of some tombs (as I said, it is never clear if they are actually pyramids or not).

Overall The Gods Walk Among Us is not one of the best DWM back-up strips from that era, but, in its defence, at only one part long it doesn't really have time to develop any of the characters.

A primary school teacher and father of two, Andrew finds respite in the worlds of Doctor Who, Disney and general geekiness. Unhealthily obsessed with Lance Parkin’s A History, his Doctor Who viewing marathon is slowly following Earth history from the Dawn of Time to the End of the World. He would live in a Disney theme park if given half the chance.

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