‘The Naked Flame’ (YB/Comic)


Please feel free to comment on my review.

Menoptera with the Fourth Doctor and Sarah Jane on Vortis

Once again, we have another Fourth Doctor comic story by ‘Warwick Gray’ called ‘The Naked Flame’. This story was once again drawn by Charles Adlard and it was published in the ‘Doctor Who Yearbook’ of 1995. In this tale, the Fourth Doctor and Sarah Jane visit the planet Vortis. That’s right!

We return to ‘The Web Planet’ which debuted on TV with William Hartnell’s Doctor. We get to see the Menoptera again, but no Zarbi. 😦 As well as this story and ‘The Web Planet’, the Doctor also visited Vortis in ‘The Lair of Zarbi Supremo’, ‘Twilight of the Gods’ and ‘Return to the Web Planet’. 🙂

In ‘The Naked Flame’, the Fourth Doctor and Sarah Jane come across a female Menoptera called Jresta, who is wingless. It’s ironic to read that in this comic adventure as the Fifth Doctor and Nyssa would encounter another wingless female Menoptera called Hedyla in ‘Return to the Web Planet’. 😐

Jresta is the survivor of a Menoptera survey team. She takes the Doctor and Sarah Jane to a large crystal in a forest clearing, which is later revealed to be called Clynex. All of the Menoptera have been lured by Clynex’s bright light and have perished. Jresta is the exception here as she is wingless.

Eventually, a hostile male Menoptera called Versus causes trouble before the Doctor knocks him out. The Doctor uses his sonic screwdriver to shatter Clynex and save Vortis again. I did feel that the climatic aspect to this story was rather rushed, despite good set-up for nice character development.

‘The Naked Flame’ rating – 7/10

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