Happy New Year everyone! I thought I'd start the year off with something non-Judge Dredd related as you'll be seeing a lot more Judge Dredd Miniatures Games stuff very soon. Late last year, Warlord Games brought out a few sets of figures from the Doctor Who TV series, having acquired the rights to produce figures and a game based on this considerably large property. These initial figure sets included Judoon, the Silence, Zygons and the Tenth and Twelfth Doctors with some of their respective companions. The Doctors and their companions interested me far more than the aliens and so I bought both sets. I'm sure that most of you are very familiar with who these characters are but for those of you who aren't, I'm supplying brief backgrounds taken from the boxed sets themselves.
Rose Tyler (played by Billie Piper) started her adventure with the Ninth Doctor as he saved her from the Nestene Consciousness's Auton attack. During her time in the TARDIS, Rose was instrumental in making Captain Jack Harkness immortal and the inception of the Torchwood Institute. Rose will most fondly be remembered for her heart-wrenching separation from the Tenth Doctor in the new series 2 finale, Doomsday.
Outspoken and strong-willed, Donna Noble (played by Catherine Tate) would bond with the Doctor's spare hand to become part Time Lord - the "Doctor Donna" as the Ood had predicted. To save her mind from being consumed by the Time Lord/human meta-crisis, the Doctor wiped her memories of their adventures before returning her home to Chiswick.
Donna Noble's grandfather, Wilfred Mott (played by Bernard Cribbins) was unusually open-minded about the extraterrestrial. The strongly patriotic former soldier encouraged Donna to travel with the Doctor and then eventually joined them himself. Wilf had an almost paternal relationship with the Doctor, even willing to sacrifice himself in a radiation-soaked booth during The End of Time, although ultimately the Doctor takes his place.
Clara Oswald (brilliantly played by Jenna Coleman) is "The Impossible Girl". After all, how could she exist in several different points in time and space? Her modern day iteration developed a strong bond with the Eleventh Doctor - so much so that she sacrificed herself into the Doctor's time stream determined to save him in his past. Initially finding it difficult to accept the Twelfth Doctor's transformation after regeneration, the two would warm to his brusque character, once describing herself as his "carer".
Madame Vastra's wife, Jenny Flint, (played by Catrin Stewart) works as her maid to conceal their relationship from Victorian society. Equally capable in unarmed combat and swordsmanship, Jenny is a formidable opponent, facing such foes as The Great Intelligence, The Headless Monks and the Crimson Horror. The Eleventh Doctor called Jenny "everyone's favourite lock-picking chambermaid".
To preserve the honour of his clone batch, Commander Strax (played by Dan Starkey) served as a nurse as a punishment for being defeated by the Doctor during the Sontaran invasion of Earth. Strax now serves Madame Vastra as a butler in Victorian London. Strax has a hard time differentiating genders and is prone to lapsing back into Sontaran warrior ways to solve problems with brute force and a typical Sontaran willingness to die in battle. On his day off, Strax would travel to Glasgow to pick fights with the "pleasant primitives."
It is fair to say that these figures have come in for a bit of criticism from some gamers. Some thought they were too tall and/or too static and others were not happy with Warlord Games issuing "cease and desist" orders to companies such as Crooked Dice Games and Heresy Miniatures for making unofficial figures from the Doctor Who series. My view is that I dismiss all of these criticisms. I have nothing but the highest praise for this new range. The figures are roughly 35mm tall, but they come with very thin bases, which puts them level with a 28mm tall figure mounted on a slottabase. Also, being slightly larger than normal I have to say that made them easier to paint and I thoroughly enjoyed painting all ten of them. As for them being too static, I don't see that as being a problem. Doctor Who is more about solving problems with his brain than fighting. As for the three companions who are more used to violent solutions, Vastra, Jenny and Strax, they all look ready for a fight as Vastra prepares to draw her katana, Jenny holds her dagger menacingly and Strax raises his right hand in a clenched fist. None of the other companions were noted for their fighting prowess so their poses capture them perfectly. As for the "cease and desist" notices I can't blame Warlord Games for wanting to protect their property. I have most of the non-Doctor Who figures and I must say, they are not as well sculpted as these ten I'm showing here. Others may disagree and they are perfectly entitled to their opinions. I have no problem with that. But the bottom line is that I love this new range and I can see me buying a lot more as and when they are produced. I am particularly looking forward to getting the plastic Cybermen and Daleks sets, as well as the Into the Time Vortex rulebook later this year.
I should mention that I was particularly pleased that Warlord Games chose to release figures for the Tenth and Twelfth Doctors. David Tennant is my favourite Doctor and Peter Capaldi my second favourite. Yes, I do prefer the new series to the old series. Also, I was especially thrilled to get a near perfect figure of Clara Oswald, my favourite companion of all time. In every episode she appeared in she was, in my opinion, the star of the show. My love for Clara is surpassed only by my love for Vampirella, which is my highest praise possible.
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