While these comic strip reviews make it seem as if the comic run of Pat Mills and John Wagner is short, being on a magazine for 34 weeks out of a 52-week year is no easy feat. Mills and Wagner used their run to bring to life four stories sent to the Doctor Who production team for Tom Baker, put into eight weekly four page comic strips going from the extremely campy, to an alternate universe tale, to something down to Earth, and even an examination of an authoritarian society. Doctor Who and the Dogs of Doom is the final story written from this team, and once again is something completely different. The story here is a sprawling space epic where the Doctor, Sharon, and K9 face off against the Werelox, which are basically space werewolves for hire. The Werelox could easily have become generic as since we’ve had stories such as The Greatest Show in the Galaxy, Kursaal, and Tooth and Claw which explored the idea, but the idea that their claws and teeth transmit a virus which transforms you into one, and further the Doctor is transformed into one is what elevates the idea. Perhaps immediately having the Doctor find a cure in the next issue makes this portion of the story feel rushed and any tension is lost quickly as three months are spent in the TARDIS finding the cure in the flip of a page. That and the weird naming scheme of planets and ships after famous people and legends of Earth partially weaken quite a bit of what Doctor Who and the Dogs of Doom has going for it. This little gap helps make this story a strong contender for a Big Finish adaptation if they ever produce a Volume Two for the Doctor Who Comic Strip Adapatations.
Halfway through the story Mills and Wagner throw in a magnificent twist for the comic as the Daleks appear to be the masterminds behind the Werelox in their quest to conquer the universe. Unlike the television series Mills and Wagner do not give the Daleks a grand plan, but this works in the context of the medium as appearing halfway through the strip means there isn’t much time to devote to the pepper pots. The second half of Doctor Who and the Dogs of Doom is essentially the Doctor infiltrating the Dalek ship to blow it up before they destroy the world. Once they show up the tension in the comic ramps up as the Doctor and a hypnotized Werelox, Brill, make a Star Wars like infiltration mission which of course ends with the Daleks being once again thwarted, this is a Doctor Who comic after all. The second half really summarizes the Mills and Wagner run on Doctor Who Weekly as they gave comic stories which fit the Season 16 and Season 17 era of the show with humorous stories underpinned by great science fiction ideas. Perhaps Sharon Davies is underutilized in this story as it feels almost like her appearance in Doctor Who and the Star Beast was mean to be her only one and Doctor Who and the Dogs of Doom was only quickly rewritten from its original outline to accommodate her inclusion. Yet as a finale for the first team of Mills, Wagner, and Gibbons Doctor Who and the Dogs of Doom is an excellent way of going out and Gibbons is still staying on so even if the comics tank the artwork will still be on standard. 8/10.