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Bat Attack!/The Battle of Reading Gaol
Series: Doctor Who comic strip stories -
Tenth Doctor comic strip stories
Doctor: Tenth Doctor
Companions: Rose Tyler
Enemy: vampire virus
Setting: London and Reading, Earth May 1897
Author: Alan Barnes
Editor: Moray Laing Script Editor: Gary Russell
Artist: John Ross
Colourist: Adrian Salmon
Lettering: Paul Lang
Published In: Doctor Who Adventures 11-12
Publication: 24th August 2006
Publisher: BBC Magazines
Format: Comic - 2 parter (12 pages)
Previous Story: Save the Humans!
Following Story: Triskaidekaphobia




Part One

Bat Attack!

After helping Inspector Lestrade solve "the case of the unsuitable suitor" and stop the evil Professor Janus getting married (!), the Doctor and Rose leave to catch a cab to Waterloo, boat train to Paris and a night spent at Le Moulin Rouge. Their journey, however is interrupted no sooner than begun with a cloud of vampire bats that, blocking out the sun, congregate above the Royal Lyceum Theatre. Following the bats, the Doctor and Rose's timely arrival stops a young girl from being attacked by a bat. But all is not as it seems. The theatre is rehearsing for Bram Stoker's new production - Dracula. Bram is supported and assisted by his wife Florence who warns her husband that the descendant of the real Count Dracula has arrived from Transylvania and, furious that his and his family's name is being wrongfully misrepresented, he arrives intent on exacting his revenge on the writer by killing him. Florence saves her husband from Dracula revealing herself to be a vampire having been bitten some twenty years earlier by Oscar Wilde who is currently serving a sentence at Reading Gaol.
For twenty years Florence had fed on a diet of small cats and mammals. Bram has protected and supported his wife as she him. The Doctor identifies this type of vampirism as an alien disease, a virus strain, and offers to help. In order to save Florence (and the kittens), the Doctor must first find a cure for Oscar and, together with Rose, head off to Reading Gaol.

Part Two

The Battle of Reading Gaol

Using Florence's bats to fly him into the gaol, the Doctor finds and rescues Oscar Wilde who has been there some two years previous. Oscar explains that he was turned into a vampire when a strange shining creature (an alien probe, Drawn by the seance and travelling the thought waves), had arrived at his door one evening while he was holding a seance with a few of his friends. His friends were one by one killed and their blood used to fill the aliens tanks. Oscar was spared and left alive to spread the virus its survival letting others know of the planet Earth's rich pickings. Florence was Oscars first love and while in Ireland he infected her. Rose and Florence's distraction, created for the Doctor had led to their capture by the prison staff who had themselves been turned into vampires by Prison Doctor and Prison manager who had been using Oscar in their experiments. Arriving just in time, the Doctor, and a very 'butch' Oscar, rescue Rose and Florence, with Oscar being the stronger, original carrier of the virus, able to take command of the infected guards.
The Doctor needs a nano-filtration system to synthesize an anti-virus, but there isn't one so instead he 'manufactures' one himself by drinking batch 272 of the Vampire Virus (which has already been made and distributed across Great Britain). The Doctor explains how every Time Lord carries an anti-vampire serum which the Doctor then projects as a burp. The Doctor's infectious burps carry the antigens which spread out and saves the world.
Florence is caught by the burp and returned to her old self, once more being able to go out in sunlight (without having to be shielded from the sun by her bats). Oscar takes the opportunity to leave the prison and start a new life in Paris.


Original Print Details (Publication with page count and closing captions)

  1. DWA Issue 11 (6 pages) TO BE CONTINUED!


  • None to date


  • The DWAM comic strip adventures were very much aimed at a younger audience and the artwork and colours was bold and bright reflecting the tone of the magazine..
  • Self contained one part stories were the norm in the early issues later being expanded to two-parters.
  • Referencing Oscar Wilde's homosexual tendencies this story creates a parallel with Oscars vampiric virus.
Oscars imprisonment is attributed to a "terrible scandal".
Oscar talks of "unnatural urges - to kill or turn the things I love"
The Doctor questions Oscar's 'unnaturalness' with "born that way, or made".
Oscar even talks of a foul fellow, the prison Doctor, who "carries out invasive procedures on my person!"


  • When the Doctor requests Lestrade does not tell Queen Victoria it was him that helped solve the `Case of the Unsuitable Suitor', Rose's "smart thinking Sherlock!" quip to the Doctor, is picked up by Lestrade as a false name that could be used. A reference to the Doctor wishing to avoid Queen Victoria suggesting this adventure takes place after Tooth and Claw.
  • The Doctors psychic paper is used by Rose and Florece to gain access to Reading Gaol


to be added

External Links

  • The official BBC Magazine site with cover gallery and news of the latest available issue.
  • Doctor Who Reference Guide - synopsis for Bat Attack! / The Battle of Reading Gaol

This article uses material from the "Bat Attack!" article on the Dr Who wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.


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